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Waking up this morning, I had many thoughts. But one stood out among them: It’s hard to believe 13 years have passed since the 9/11 attacks.
So much has changed in my life since then. Just a few days after the attacks, I joined the Weiss Research family. Exactly 364 days later, the first of my beautiful daughters was born. Another followed in 2005.
I moved a handful of times. I traveled around Europe. I celebrated countless birthdays and anniversaries … added a stepson and amazing wife to my family when I remarried in 2012 … and more.
And yet, so much has NOT changed in the world. Just a few hours before this morning’s solemn commemoration ceremonies, President Obama stepped in front of White House microphones to announce an open-ended military plan to destroy ISIS. The brutal terrorist group is fighting to establish an Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria, beheading captured Americans, and threatening attacks at home and abroad.
In other words, it’s doing many of the same things that al-Qaeda did up to — and after — the 9/11 attacks. So while we finally delivered the justice that Osama bin Laden deserved almost a decade after 9/11, new terrorist leaders have taken up the terrorism cause.
|“The ongoing, post-9/11 cycle of war has ebbed and flowed in the last 13 years. But it has never fully receded.”|
As for our military response, sure, we aren’t committing tens of thousands of ground troops like we did in Afghanistan and Iraq. But we are flying drones, dropping bombs, launching airstrikes, and conducting surveillance and support operations in Yemen, in Somalia, in Pakistan, in Libya, and in Western Africa. We’re doing similar things, albeit to a lesser extent, in Iraq and Afghanistan. And now, Syria has just been added to the mix.
One lesson from all of this?
The world remains a dangerous place. The ongoing, post-9/11 cycle of war has ebbed and flowed in the last 13 years. But it has never fully receded. Martin has explored many of the investment implications for you here.
On a personal level, there are some lessons to consider as well. Kim and I brought Gunnar to the newly opened National September 11 Memorial Museum when we traveled to New York this August. Considering he was only two years old at the time of the attacks, he doesn’t have the first-hand memories that we do of that day. But he was absolutely transfixed by the well-done exhibits, memorabilia, and visual and audio remembrances of the victims in New York and Washington.
|The World Trade Center complex consisted of seven buildings, spanning 16 acres.|
I hope and believe that it helped him understand both the tragedy of the event, and the courage and resilience our country, our police officers, our firefighters, our EMT personnel, and our soldiers demonstrated in its wake. I’m encouraged that my daughters have learned the basics at school as well, and I look forward to having the chance to bring them to New York some day, too.
Finally, today above all other days, we owe it to ourselves as Americans (or citizens of other countries around the world) to remember and reflect. And we owe it to the victims to live life to its fullest … to be better people to our friends, neighbors, and families … and to remain vigilant to ensure something like 9/11 never happens again.
If you would like to share your remembrances of 9/11, or any other thoughts you might have on this solemn day, please feel free to do so in the comment section below.
|Our Readers Speak|
Meanwhile, in the wake of Apple’s big presentation earlier this week, many of you weighed in on the latest generation of iPhones. You also discussed the company’s spirit of innovation — or lack thereof!
Reader Allan said: “Underwhelmed by Apple presentation. I have a 5S; no reason to change. No important innovations. And that watch looks like a toy. I’ll stick with my 1957 Gruen watch.”
Reader Charley added: “I have the iPhone 5 using Verizon and it has worked well, probably better than my old HTC. I have a Mac, but for my really powerful stuff I had to buy a PC, so I use both.
“I’m not excited about new phones and features. My equipment does what I need to do today. Changing is always a MAJOR ordeal. It will do more than I need. It is like buying a vacuum cleaner with all the attachments and finding out you never use but two.”
But Reader Tom took the opposite side, saying: “I am an iPhone, MAC, and iPad user and intend to stay there. Samsung has nice products but I’m looking for more than nice products. I want electronics that are the best possible, that work with everything else I have, that are quality in their construction and durable. Apple does all that quite nicely.”
I guess we won’t really know whether Apple has once again captured the imagination of American consumers until later this month when the iPhone 6 hits the market. As for the Apple Watch, that’ll be an early-2015 story. But if you have any further thoughts about Apple’s products or Apple’s shares, please do hop on over to the comment section and share them!
|Other Developments of the Day|
Jobless claims rose by 11,000 to 315,000 in the most recent week. That was the highest in two months, but may have been distorted by the Labor Day holiday. Claims also remain in the range of roughly 290,000 to 330,000 that we’ve seen for some time, indicating the labor market is in better shape than it has been in several years.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is trying to look like it’s not sleeping on the job, going after corporate executives for not properly disclosing trades of their own companies’ shares. Several individuals and companies will have to cough up fines totaling $2.6 million.
Speaking of wireless phones, as we did this week, here’s a great photo essay from the Washington Post on the history of them. Amazing to see how far the technology has come over the past few decades!
Remember JDS Uniphase Corp. (JDSU, Weiss Ratings: D+)? One of the poster children of the dot-bomb bubble? It’s still around and its shares jumped today after the firm said it would split into two publicly traded units. Of course, at $13-and-change, the stock is a long way from its split-adjusted price of … get this … $1,226 in early 2000!
Reminder: You can let me know what you think by putting your comments here.
Until next time,
P.S. Have you had a chance to view Martin’s new Q&A video series? Click here to view now! You will also be able to catch up on the urgent video briefings that he posted last week.