I don’t understand all aspects of the markets.  I admit that.  But even a couple of insiders and experts I’ve talked to recently are rubbing their heads and saying the same thing.  This is all very, very confusing.  Oil is all over the radar, gas prices have eased very little, the market swings are increasingly violent and few, if any, investors are feeling especially confident these days.  What’s happening in Europe is scary.  Riots, deep divisions among leadership, labor disputes that are unprecedented and whole nations on the verge of collapse.  But hey, Wal-Mart is bringing back lay-a-way!  Woohoo!  Now you can spend 90 days paying for those fine Chinese-made goodies!  What are we to do?  I tell you, there are really only three things you can do: pray, prepare and punish.  Pray that the good Lord watches over our nation; we need him badly, no matter what the Hollywierd atheists might want you to believe.  Prepare!  Make sure you have your bills paid up wherever possible, especially your mortgage and car payments.  Get out of debt.  Get rid of the plastic money and start dealing in cash.  And make sure you have food in the house; canned goods, things that don’t have to be refrigerated.  Of course, as you know, I’m about as pro Second Amendment as they come.  If you don’t own a firearm, get one.  Take a training and safety course.  Learn how to use it safely and legally.  And as I said earlier, punish.  Punish the elected officials who have helped put you and your family in this bind.  How do you do this?  Vote.  If your not registered, go see the county clerk and get registered today!  Educate yourself on the candidates.  Vote smart.  What I’m trying to say is this hot mess we have on our hands will likely get worse before it gets better.  The writing is on the wall.  It’s taken years to create this mess.  No, it didn’t start with Obama, but it needs to end with him.  When he vacates the White House in January, 2013, the rebuilding process can begin, but only if we have a congress in place that’s willing to make very tough choices and get their houses, both of them, in order!  Don’t look for much in the way of market stability until at least that time. Until then, you might need to invest in a good long board to ride the waves.  Hang ten kiddos!