One of AFOP’s competitors (symbol OCLR) reported a disappointing quarter yesterday. AFOP shares held up fine, but OCLR and another of its competitors got killed. Aristides’s Chris Brown reports that he sold some on this news. “It seems like there is definitely a bit of a slowdown in optical networking, but certain companies are doing better than others. OCLR has had flat revenue for the last 4 years, so clearly it is no AFOP, which has had very healthy revenue growth. I didn’t want 4% of the fund in a company whose peers just dropped 25-50% from their highs, so I’ve whittled down the AFOP to about 2.5% of the fund. Still seems like a very good company trading cheap to me, but I would think that at some point, sector concerns may eventually outweigh the valuation, at least for the next 3-6 months or so. When I recommended this 7 weeks ago, the risk-reward was very skewed towards reward; now with all of these sector concerns, who knows? My feelings won’t be hurt if you and your readers take profits on half their position. I’m keeping some; it’s cheap enough and the company is quality enough that I want to see how this plays out.”


Allan: “I am tiring of your support for the Dems. Just so you know, I have been mostly a staunch democratic supporter although I live in Illinois where the only difference between most Democrats and Republicans is who pays them off. It’s pay to play here in Illinois and I think that’s the way in works in Washington as well. While you and Tom Friedman think our legislatures have passed meaningful financial regulation, I think it has mostly been a charade. I also have to wonder about Obama’s campaign message of changing how Washington works by hiring Geitner, Rubin and Summers to run economic policy. These guys were the ultimate insiders with long standing Wall Street connections. Wonder is the wrong term. Shock and disappointment is more like it. I know that he had Paul Volcker on his staff but he was only window dressing. He was advocating for a return of Glass-Steagall type laws. Indeed, the banks run the place, along with Big Pharma and Health Care. I could go on about Health Care but I will keep it short. Max Baucus’ right hand advisor during the health care legislation process was a former executive with WellPoint. Whose interests were near and dear to her heart? The average American? I frankly do not see much difference between the two parties on matters of economics. Republican or democrat will vote along with the industries that pay them off. I won’t be voting republican or democrat. I’ll vote for the Green Party.

☞ I hear your frustration and share a good deal of it. But the Green Party – with best of intentions – destroyed the world. Well-meaning people (including 97,488 of them in Florida) gave us Bush instead of Gore, which gave us the right wing Court that gave us Citizens United that is giving corporate money even more influence. (The Green Party also gave us the war in Iraq, the near-Depression, and delayed the stem cell breakthroughs that might otherwise have come in time to save a loved one’s life.) All this with best intentions.

Are we really going to make this mistake again?

Democrats in Congress share your views to a far greater degree than Republicans. Not so solidly that 60 votes are possible without substantial compromise; but at least we get most of our folks voting for the things we want, and get some of those things – whereas the other side votes NO in near perfect lockstep.

I beg you not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.


Michael Fabricant: “Yesterday’s link to the Tom Friedman column is much appreciated, but the real story is the study that Friedman discusses, “Rising Above the Gathering Storm.” Whether you agree or disagree with everything else he has done so far, this election and the next should overwhelmingly favor our President for what he believes about education and his willingness and ability to be a driving force in making it better. Education alone. The President is making education important again. So why doesn’t anybody know about the hope he has brought to education reform? Because it’s not sexy. It doesn’t command ratings. The 24-hour news cycle is hurting our country. But even more damaging can be the demagogues and pundits that prevail on the internet, TV and airwaves, because too many folks can simply follow someone that spoon feeds what they already want to hear and only reinforces their often misinformed beliefs. Rather than reporting actual facts and challenging someone to come to a reasonable conclusion on matters of significance and importance.”

☞ Here are some quotes Michael collected from “The Gathering Storm” study:

“When I compare our high schools to what I see when I’m traveling abroad, I’m terrified for our workforce of tomorrow.” – Bill Gates, Founder, Microsoft Corp.

“If you don’t solve (the K-12 education problem), nothing else is going to matter all that much.” – Alan Greenspan, former Chairman, Federal Reserve

“ . . . we need young people—a smart kid coming out of school—instead of wanting to be an investment banker, we need them to decide they want to be an engineer, they want to be a scientist, they want to be a doctor or teacher.” – President Barack Obama

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” – Thomas Jefferson


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