Freedom Lawyers of AmericaA site that will chronical the dark side of the news to show what happens when freedom is dying and to sell his books SHELLY WAXMAN'S BOOKS. We also foster and certify the proper use of independent contractors. http:independentcontractor.info CHECK OUR WEBSITE http://thelawyer.info WHERE YOU CAN ALSO ACCESS OUR FREEDOM LAWYERS YAHOO GROUP
Thursday, September 26, 2002
THE "PLUMBERS" SPY SYSTEM I DESCRIBED IN MY BOOK IS ALIVE AND WELL
Denver spy files target Libertarian Party
Colorado Freedom Report
The Denver PD kept secret spy files on the Libertarian
Party. What's a bit surprising is that the organization,
a political party, was classified as a "militia." (09/06/02)
Wednesday, September 25, 2002
THIS IS AN INTERESTING IDEA
September 25, 2002
Release a "freedom book" into the wild
Among the things most freedom lovers have in common is a vast
appetite for reading and a love of books. Go into one of our homes
(or offices) and you're likely to be unable to see the furniture for the
books. No "Martha Stewart" decorating for us -- the best decor
consists of stacks of books, shelves of books, boxes of books.
There's no such thing as "too many books," right? Some of us even
collect several copies of our favorites so that we can always have a
copy handy in our car, office, purse or backpack.
Today I'm going to suggest something we book lovers may
consider quite radical. I'm going to suggest that we giving away
books! That's right, give away. Not sell. Not loan to a friend. Not
trade in for another book. I'm suggesting that we just outright give
away a book, to an unknown recipient. And not just ANY book, but
a book that you love. One that has inspired you. One that you
treasure. One that you can't live without.
Before you decide I've completely lost what few marbles I have
remaining, let me introduce you to BookCrossing, an online book-
sharing community of bibliophiles (a ten dollar word for book lovers)
who are doing exactly this ... giving away books. Or, as they call it,
"freeing books" by leaving them out "in the wild" for others to pick
up, read, enjoy and hopefully pass on to others. They want, in
effect, to make the world into "one big library."
When you join BookCrossing, you'll see that the idea is very
simple. You register your book and get an ID number, download a
label to paste in your book with the ID to identify it as part of the
project, leave your book in some locale where it is likely to be
picked up and read and, finally, register your book as a "release"
(saying where it was released etc.). That's all there is to it. When
your book is picked up, the hope is the recipient will follow the
instructions on the label, go to the BookCrossing site, and log it in
as a "capture." That way, you'll be notified by email that your book
has found a new home ... and notified again if the new "owner" then
releases it and someone else finds it, etc.
If the idea of giving up some of your books seems too scary to start
out with, you can also participate by looking at the list of "released
books" in your area, "go hunting" for the books others have
already released, find the book, log on to BookCrossing and make
a "journal entry" to let people know that you found the book ... and
then release it again. (Looking at the lists of "released" books by
clicking on the "go hunting" button will also give you some ideas of
where good spots to release books are.)
Unfortunately, a quick look at the BookCrossing "release list"
shows that very few freedom lovers are joining in this activity (or, if
they are, they aren't able to bear parting with some of their favorite
For this week's action, I'm suggesting that we all join
BookCrossing and add some freedom-oriented books to the "wild
population." Take a look at the BookCrossing site for more info on
how it works and for "testimonials" from members. Or read the
Book Magazine feature article on the project.
If, like me, you're reluctant to part with any of your book friends, I
suggest buying a replacement copy for yourself first, then releasing
the book. Or visit your local used book store and score some
freedom lovers' "old favorites" at a minimal cost to start with.
This is one of those activities that you can do anytime, anywhere
... and get a quick "rush" when you release a book. Excellent
therapy for those days when the death march of our country into a
socialist police state seems inevitable, and you feel like there is
nothing "little old you" can do to stop it.
Til next week!
o An online program puts stray books up for adoption
Please forward and copy freely, and include the following:
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Opinions expressed are purely those of our writers and editors.
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Tuesday, September 24, 2002
INTERESTING GOLD DEVELOPMENTS
10:32 AM ET Sep 24, 2002
NEW YORK (CBS.MW) -- Would an electronic substitute for physically owning gold boost demand for the metal in times of fiscal turmoil?
The World Gold Council, a bullion trade group, acknowledges it's working on a new investment vehicle for gold but offers few details. Experts at a New York bullion conference say they expect such a security, probably in the form of an exchange-traded fund that is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, in coming months.
"I think Chris Thompson's product will make a big difference," said Rick Rule, chief executive of Global Resource Investments. Thompson is the new chairman of the gold council, whose charter is to increase investment demand for gold. "If it's backed by the gold council and there is a big, recognizable gold depository involved, it will be a big success."
Thompson, the executive who helped turn South Africa's Gold Fields Ltd. (GFI) into one of the world's largest gold producers, this summer brought on James E. Burton, former chief executive of the California Public Employees Retirement System, as its new CEO. (See: More on Chris Thompson.)
For now, individual investors worried about a financial meltdown have few alternatives to buying bullion bars, coins and jewelry. They can buy a closed-end fund, Central Fund of Canada (CEF) that holds gold and silver in storage. There also are some small, preferred company stocks that act as loose proxies for gold and silver.
In addition, hedge funds and mutual funds can buy structured finance notes that represent gold, with a minimum commitment of $5 million. A number of banks, including HSBC, Deutsche Bank and others, also offer gold-denominated bonds sponsored by the World Gold Council.
"Anything that creates demand for gold is good," John C. Doody, editor of Gold Stock Analyst, said at the New York Institutional Gold Conference on Tuesday. The spot price of gold rose $4 an ounce Tuesday morning, surpassing the $325 level seen as a critical area of resistance. See full story.
Doody said he expects gold, which has benefited from the relentless decline of equities, and war fears, to reach $450 an ounce in the next two years, in part because of investment demand for the metal. Miners' output of the metal is seen falling about 3 percent this year, the largest drop since 1976 and a bullish sign for gold.
Gold enthusiasts long have floated the notion of an exchange-traded fund for gold, a bulky commodity that requires insurance and storage fees. Exchange-traded funds, such as the Nasdaq 100 Trust (QQQ), have swelled in popularity because of minimal fees and the flexibility to trade baskets of stocks real time on an exchange.
Exchange-traded funds now are available for fixed-income products, via Barclays Global Investors, the creator of iShare funds that track baskets of securities. The bond exchange-traded funds (TLT), representing U.S. Treasury bonds, have risen sharply since their July debut as investors flock to the safety to government securities.
Treasury bonds and gold are among the best investment classes this year and for the past 12 months, along with certain other commodities, including soybeans, corn and wheat. Gold's price is up 18 percent this year, as is platinum, another precious metal.
In the gold industry, there is growing anticipation of the day when gold is available as a tradeable stock. No commodity is yet represented by an exchange-traded fund in the United States. The Securities Exchange Commission and possibly the Commodity Futures Trading Commission would have to approve such an exchange-traded fund, which almost certainly will require real-time arbitrage of prices and day-end storage of gold in audited vaults.
"Let's face it, safe-deposit boxes aren't cheap when you are talking about 400-ounce bars," said James Turk, chief executive of GoldMoney.com. Via the Internet, www.goldmoney.com gives depositors electronic accounts and a secure payment system based on physical grams of gold deposited in an actual vault.
Turk and others in the gold industry say they expect gold prices to rise sharply as investors begin to consider the metal as a substitute for currencies. Several gold miners are considering issuing their dividends in gold grams, among them Iamgold (IMG), a small, profitable Canadian producer.
"At the end of the day, investors will find they need to own physical gold, which is extraordinarily difficult to do," said Eric Sprott of $1.2 billion (Canadian) Sprott Asset Management in Toronto. Sprott said his clients have a strong desire to own gold. He currently owns 19 percent of Central Fund, a closed-end fund that holds about $140 million worth of gold and silver and trades at a premium to bullion prices.
"The world's faith in managed currencies is a source of amazement," said James Grant, editor of Grant's Interest Rate Observer. "Gold will have its day as people confront the immense over-investment of faith they have in dollars, yen and so on."
Gold mining shares, as represented by the Amex Gold Bugs Index (HUI) followed gold prices higher Tuesday morning. See: Where is the QQQ for gold?
Security plan threatens civil liberties, Byrd says
The war on terrorism should not be used by the Bush
administration as an "an excuse to ignore constitutional
liberties behind closed doors," Sen. Robert C. Byrd told
the Senate. (09/23/02)
Medical-pot supporters fight feds
Marijuana activists are growing increasingly furious with
the federal government over its attempts to usurp states'
medical marijuana laws and violate individuals' right to
make personal choices. (09/23/02)
Online gamblers thumb their noses at the law
Despite laws against online betting, and government
pressure on credit card companies to refuse to honor
gambling transactions, the industry is thriving and
gamblers are happily ignoring the law. (09/23/02)
Property rights battle heats up in rural county
Rural Nevada County has become a local hotbed of the
nationwide property rights movement. Locals face off
against officials over restrictions on land use. (09/23/02)
The naked truth
Seven men who bared almost all in Toronto's Gay Pride
Parade have been cleared of public nudity charges
because they were wearing shoes. (09/20/02)
Libertarian forum listed as a hate speech site
SurfControl has classified LibertyForum, a libertarian news
and political discussion site, as a "hate speech" site.
Interestingly, conservative forums with blatantly racist
content have not been so tagged. (9/18/02)
Monday, September 23, 2002
LAST POST FOR TODAY
By Thom Calandra, CBS.MarketWatch.com
Last Update: 12:30 PM ET Sep 23, 2002
NEW YORK (CBS.MW) - Executives from some of the world's most successful gold companies say they expect further gains for the metal.
The gains could come in the next several months, as a confluence of events shakes investor faith in traditional investments such as stocks, bonds and currencies.
Speaking at the New York Institutional Gold Conference Monday, CEO Robert McEwen of Goldcorp (GG) said, "We believe gold is money and that we can defer taxes by holding back gold and selling at higher prices."
Goldcorp is one of the most profitable gold companies, with a vast deposit of bullion at Red Lake Mine in Canada. The company is essentially purchasing a portion of the gold it mines in a strategy that is directly opposite of the forward-selling of bullion by many major miners around the world.
"Hedging is the toxic waste dump of the industry," said McEwen, whose Goldcorp manages 67 percent gross-profit margins because of the rich grades of ore it mines. One 82-pound rock pulled from the Red Lake mine clocked in at 7,284 ounces per ton, a phenomenal figure for the gold industry. Other, smaller rocks have come in at 11,000 ounces per ton.
With gold up almost 20 percent for the year, investor interest in precious metals is growing. The metal was selling for $322.90 in the spot market Monday, up $1. Some 3,000 people registered to attend the New York gold show, up sharply from recent years, said conference director Sandy Lawrence.
James Turk of GoldMoney.com, an electronic payment system that uses gold grams as its basis of value, said he expects some gold mining companies to consider issuing their dividends in the metal. One company, Iamgold (IMG), on Monday reiterated its desire to pay shareholders with gold.
Iamgold President Todd Bruce said the Canadian company has about $30 million in gold in its corporate treasury. Turk from GoldMoney said he expects other mining companies to consider using an online delivery method for dividends paid in gold.
The message coming from gold executives and the newsletter editors and fund managers who specialize in precious metals is that they expect gold to pierce $325 to $330 an ounce, a level that has repelled further advances thus far this year.
"I don't see $350 as a high," said Richard Sacks of Phoenix Advisory, a Chicago money manager who specializes in gold mining companies. "I see far higher." Sacks recommended a number of small gold companies whose shares have yet to take off, among them Crystallex International (KRY), which is sitting on a potential 20 million resource ounces of gold in Venezuela.
"We probably won't get through the year without gold going to the next level," said Robert Bishop, editor of Gold Mining Stock Report.
Eric Sprott, a Toronto manager who oversees about $800 million worth of assets, said investors almost certainly will see new ways to acquire gold, if the efforts of the World Gold Council and other groups are successful. Trade groups such as the gold council and merchant banks are working on plans to launch an exchange-traded fund for gold. The so-called ETF would work much like the Nasdaq 100 QQQs and other trusts that represent baskets of securities, only with its basis in gold.
"In the end game, you have to own gold, physical gold, in some shape, to be prepared for what the financial world has in store for us," said Sprott of Sprott Asset Management. Sprott owns 19 percent of a closed-end gold and silver fund, Central Fund of Canada, that trades on the American Stock Exchange.
David Williamson, a former mining engineer and commodities analyst from Shearson Lehman in London, said he expects gold to surpass $350 an ounce sometime this year. He, like many at the conference, pointed to stock-market turmoil, war talk in the Middle East and in India and Pakistan and a growing disbelief in the institutions in which investors have placed their faith.
Others were even more enthusiastic. "I think we're headed into a major bull market for gold," said John Brock of Brock Management Co. in Boston. "Thousands of dollars an ounce."
Many of the unhedged gold companies - those that do not use futures and other derivative devices to sell their production forward - were making a strong showing at the conference. Companies such as Gold Fields (GFI), Harmony Gold Mining (HGMCY) and Goldcorp have beaten larger, hedged competitors in their stock-market performance by margins of 75 percent and more in the past 12 months.
Companies that hedge their sales in an effort to boost income have all said they intend to reduce their hedge books, among them Barrick Gold (ABX), one of the largest. The industry acknowledges that the practice of hedging dilutes gold prices by adding to supply, mainly via lending of the metal among central banks, commercial banks and producers.
"Gold has been the best investment class for the last year and a half, and we have another eight years to go," said McEwen at Goldcorp.
SOME HEAVY STUFF GOING ON
Under Iraq War Shadow
Sharon Fights for Strategic Footing
DEBKAfile Special Analysis
23 September: The weather vane of US-Israel relations has begun to hover between fair and cloudy as the Bush administration�s assault on Iraq approaches. DEBKAfile�s Washington and Jerusalem sources say the trouble is not related to Israel�s isolation of Yasser Arafat in Ramallah � that episode is closely coordinated with the White House � but to developing dissonances over the Iraq campaign.
In one of the first surface Indicators of this unease, Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, in one of his pre-New Year interviews earlier this month, suddenly came out with a revelation � not about Iraq or even Iran, but about Egypt�s previously unheard of nuclear program. He informed an unsuspecting American and Israeli public that a Libyan program was well advanced to build the first Arab-Muslim nuclear bomb as a joint Egyptian, Iraqi enterprise funded by Saudi Arabia.
Sharon�s revelation was not repeated. According to DEBKAfile�s Washington sources, the Bush team jumped on him for stirring up embarrassing mud when Washington needed help from Egypt and Saudi Arabia to fight Saddam Hussein. The timing was unfortunate. In early August, Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah and Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak had been finally brought round to making bases available for the campaign.
They agreed half-heartedly to turning a blind eye � Abdullah, to American military use of the Prince Sultan air base east of Riyadh; Mubarak, to the American aircraft touching down and lifting off from the big military base at Cairo West and US warships cruising up and down the Suez Canal.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly (No. 76) first revealed on August 2 that Cairo West had been converted into the main logistic and jumping off base for US assault troops going into Iraq, while the Suez Canal (despite the Egyptian ruler�s public denials of Egypt�s involvement) is being used by American warships and aircraft carriers bound for the Persian Gulf and Red Sea as a crucial short cut from the Mediterranean.
Slapped down on the Arab nuclear issue, Sharon came up with a new one: He defined as a casus belli Lebanon�s project to tap the Hatsbani River by pumping water from its main tributary the Wazzani and diverting 15 percent of Israel�s water supply. The Hatsbani is fed additionally by subterranean springs near Ajar, the border village split between Israel and Lebanon. And a further complication: the Hizballah has posted armed guards at the Lebanese project on top of the thousands of missiles the Lebanese Shiite terrorists have positioned along the Lebanese-Israeli frontier � all pointed at northern Israel.
Washington, fearing an untimely conflagration, again asked Sharon to hold his horses, while a panel of American water experts hurried over to review the rights and wrongs of the situation and report to the US administration. Although Israel assigned its own water and intelligence experts, such as retired general Uri Shani, chairman of the Mekorot Water Company, to keeping the issue alive, the Bush administration�s efforts had until last week succeeded in muting the discord surrounding this and other Middle East flashpoints.
But then the cat was let out of the bag. At a House Armed Services Committee hearing, Joel Hefley (R-Colorado) put a question to defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld: �If we attack (Saddam), he showed in the Persian Gulf War that he�ll send missiles to Israel. If he sends dirty bombs to Israel�I don�t think we can restrain Israel this time.�
Rumsfeld�s reply: �It would be in Israel�s overwhelmingly best interests not to get involved.�
Our analysts translate this as a message from Washington to Riyadh and Cairo in respect of Israel�s plan to crush Arafat�s regime in Ramallah with Washington�s assent.
The message ran like this: We are holding Israel in check on the Libyan-Egyptian-Saudi nuclear bomb and the Wazzani water dispute; it is up to you to hold quiet for the Israeli assault on Arafat�s power base.
What would Egypt and Saudi have to gain from their silence? The intelligence data reaching Washington on a potential Iraqi pre-emptive attack points to Israel as Saddam�s preferred target in the Middle East.
If Washington can this time too persuade Israel to sit on its hands in the face of an Iraqi attack, its deterrent and strike capabilities will be seriously impaired - as they were in 1991.The Jewish state will come out of the Iraqi conflict beaten and debilitated, while Egypt and Saudi Arabia have every chance of escaping Saddam Hussein�s ire and emerging stronger.
The small price for this reward will be to abandon Arafat to his fate.
And, indeed, the silence from Cairo and Riyadh over Arafat�s plight has been deafening.
American-Israeli sparring over Iraq has only just begun. Our Washington sources believe that the Bush administration will push hard to prevent Israeli from reacting militarily to an Iraqi strike � even if it is a terrorist attack. At the same time, Sharon will be given free rein to grab the top terror team under Arafat�s protection in Ramallah, including Tawfiq Tirawi, West Bank General Intelligence chief and the commander of the suicidal al Aqsa Martyrs� Brigades. Putting Tirawi, who takes care of Iraqi military intelligence agents on the West Bank, out of commission is also in America�s military interests.
The Bush administration has roped in two distinguished senators for its drive to force Israel to hold still in the face of assault from Baghdad. Saturday, September 21, Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D.-Delaware) chairman of the foreign relations Committee and Richard C. Shelby (R.-Alabama), vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, both warned that any Israeli military response would ignite a fresh Arab-Israeli war and send the entire Middle East up in flames.
DEBKAfile�s Washington sources discern in these moves the beginning of the blame game, one that is destined to be played out should the US offensive against Baghdad tip the Middle East into overall conflict or run into unforeseen setbacks. The finger will then swivel round to point at Sharon instead of Washington or any Arab government.
Sunday, September 22, when he saw this coming, the Israeli leader abruptly ordered IDF bulldozers to back off and stop tearing down the buildings housing Arafat�s ruling institutions in Ramallah, although he left the choking, isolating siege in place. He needed time out to ponder whether Arafat�s eclipse would be worth the price of restraint in the face of Iraqi aggression � a decision more crucial than any the 74-year old ex-general has ever confronted, and one that will determine Israeli�s fate and regional standing for a decade or more.
President George W. Bush is facing hard dilemmas of his own, as too is Prince Abdullah. By receiving the US war commander, General Tommy Franks, on Sunday, September 22, the Saudi de facto ruler was signaling Saddam Hussein that, if he played his cards right, a second golden opportunity for undermining Israel had been dropped in their laps by Washington.
GOOGLE ON THE MOVE
By Bambi Francisco, CBS.MarketWatch.com
Last Update: 2:34 PM ET Sep 23, 2002
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) -- Google unveiled its service for news Monday, the latest move to build upon its popular platform for search, and potentially compete with its portal partners.
The service aggregates more than 4,000 English-language news sources from around the world, such as The Financial Times, CNet's (CNET) News.com, TheStreet.com (TSCM), The New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, Fox Sports, and ABC News. It includes a fast crawler and a photo search.
A more limited version of the service, which is still in beta form, has been available for a few months.
While many articles aggregated on the Web can be found via stock ticker and are ranked based on freshness, articles listed on Google are ranked based on Google's search methodology to rank relevance. The algorithm is based on many factors, including how often and on what sites a story appears on the Web.
The service could give Google yet another product of aggregated search listings to sell to its growing list of portal customers. Those customers have been signing on for Google's paid listings of advertisers, which generate money for both Google and the distribution partners every time a user clicks onto one of the advertisers' links. It's a proven moneymaker in an environment where revenues and profits are scarce.
It's also a business that Overture (OVER), with $650 million in expected sales this year, defined, dominates and is aggressively expanding to retain its lead. Overture allows advertisers to bid for placement in its search results. Advertisers pay the amount of their bid only when a consumer clicks on their listing.
Google has made progress against Overture, however, partly due to its relationship with portals. Google's initial search product is the backfill or algorithmic searches it sells to many portals, such as Yahoo (YHOO).
But because of Google's clean site and its reputation as a pure search engine, users began to bypass the portals and go directly to Google's site. Some estimates indicate that about 40 percent of all searches are currently done on Google. This has raised questions regarding Google's paid listings, and perhaps its news search service.
How does Google build trust among distribution partners when the strength of its brand name could eventually kill the search business of these partners?
As Google CEO Eric Schmidt has said in the past: "We have convinced them [portal partners] that their traffic goes up when their users use Google."
DO WE HAVE A POLICE STATE OR WHAT--AN IMPERIAL POLICE STATE I WOULD SAY
Grand Rapids District Judge David Buter has recently sentenced one potential juror to 24 hours of community service after she said on voir dire that she had hard feelings against the police due to a recent incident where they failed to help a coworker who had been assaulted. He gave her the option of changing her opinion first. Another potential juror received similar punishment for saying she had religious scruples against serving on a jury. Words fail me. FOR STORY, CLICK ON "A" BELOW. THE ADDRESS WAS TOO LONG TO FIT IN ANYTHING ELSE.
Friday, September 20, 2002
U.S. military planners are focusing on February as the
optimum time to begin a war against Iraq. They say they
would rely greatly on defecting Iraqi units to topple
Saddam Hussein. (09/20/02)
U.S. governor tells Canadians that drug war failed
The Vancouver Sun
New Mexico's Governor Gary Johnson told a news conference
in Vancouver that the U.S. experiment with drug prohibition
has been a miserable failure that consumes resources
without producing results. (09/20/02)
I SHOULD HAVE ADDED TO THE TITLE OF LAST POST, "AT LEAST WHEN TWO MAJOR NEWSPAPERS ARE INVOLVED"
WHADDA YOU KNOW--SOME JUDGES MAYBE STILL BELIEVE IN THE CONSTITUTION
� 2002 Criminal Defense Resource Center
SIXTH CIRCUIT OPINIONS
CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS -- First Amendment
Detroit Free Press, et. al. v John Ashcroft, et. al.
#02-1437, August 26, 2002
KEITH, Daughtrey, Carr
HERSCHEL P. FINK for Detroit Free Press
LEE GELERNT for Detroit News
Affirmed district court order granting preliminary injunction against conducting secret
deportation hearings in cases involving suspected terrorists following the attacks of September Case below: 195 F Supp 2d 937 (ED Mich 2002).
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution confers a public right of access to
deportation hearings, and protects the people�s right to know that their government acts fairly,lawfully, and accurately in such proceedings. Congress�s power over immigration matters is limited by the constitution; non-citizens, even if illegally present in the United States, are �persons� entitled to due process rights. The government is not entitled to deferential review of non-substantive immigration policies, and, where a constitutional right is involved, the government must show that the challenged law is a narrowly tailored means of advancing a compelling interest. Public access plays a significant positive role in deportation hearings : it acts as check on the actions of the executive, ensures that the government does its job properly, and enhances the perception of integrity and fairness. Although the government has a compelling interest in preventing terrorism, the blanket closure rule is not narrowly tailored. It is overinclusive, overly broad, and indiscriminate. The injunction will not cause substantial harm because the government can seek closure in individual cases at appropriate times. �Democracies die behind closed doors;� the court wrote, adding that open proceedings, with a vigorous and scrutinizing press, serve to ensure the durability of democracy.
Thursday, September 19, 2002
NOT A BAD IDEA
Bill to eliminate the Fed introduced
Rep. Ron Paul has introduced legislation to abolish the
Federal Reserve as a way to "restore financial
stability" to the country and re-establish the once-used
gold standard. (09/17/02)
THE RESPONSE TO MY POLLS HAS BEEN DISAPPOINTING--PLEASE SUGGEST A QUESTION AND I WILL PUT IT UP
WE NOW HAVE 14 MEMBERS. I LIKE THE POLLING FEATURE OF YAHOO. THE LAST POLL HAD 3 RESPONSES. HOW ABOUT SUGGESTING A QUESTION YOU WANT POLLED.
Tuesday, September 17, 2002
HEY, MEMBERS--THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A DISCUSSION GROUP. HOW ABOUT POSTING SOME MESSAGES
I have been the only one making posts. That is not the way it is supposed to be. Also, I have made 2 polls and only myself and Mike Linksvayer have responded. C'mon!!! Let's put some effort to make this a great group.
INTERESTING DEVELOPMENT FOR GOLD
Kitco and GoldMoney Establish Arrangement for Online Gold Transactions; Consumers Given Means to Buy & Sell Gold Online
Business & Technology Editors
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 17, 2002--Rectifying a long-ignored deficiency in the precious metals transaction infrastructure, two leading precious metal operators today announced an alliance to create the means to buy & sell gold online.
In doing so, Kitco, a precious metals retailer and GoldMoney, an asset-based online transaction system, are implementing an entirely new way for individuals and companies to buy & sell gold easily and inexpensively with the assurances of safe and secure allocated storage for their precious metals.
Prior to the alliance, gold purchases often required expensive shipping to the buyer because insured storage of gold was not practical or possible at low cost in many instances. Physical ownership of gold often involves complex and costly steps that are largely prohibitive for many consumers. The GoldMoney - Kitco alliance will enable anyone to purchase physical gold online and store their gold in a high-security facility in Great Britain.
"Kitco's proficiency in retailing precious metals, combined with GoldMoney's infrastructure will simplify gold ownership," said James Turk, founder and managing director for GoldMoney. "Consumers will finally enjoy inexpensive storage with an easy way to buy gold. It's an important break-through, particularly now that gold ownership is again proving to be a wise decision."
By creating this online way to buy & sell gold, GoldMoney and Kitco are letting consumers trade gold at real-time prices. Formerly, the lack of real-time trading often meant buy orders were subject to shifts in valuation until execution. In addition, consumers will have the unprecedented option of storing their purchase as digital gold currency (through GoldMoney) or in physical gold through Kitco's streamlined coin and bullion retail operation. Purchase, storage and exchange are thus efficient and economical.
Recognized as a leading retailer of precious metals, Kitco offers a complete line of highest-quality bullion products as well as refining and trading services for industrial users of precious metals. With more than 8 million monthly visitors, www.kitco.com is ranked as one of the world's most popular sites for information on precious metals.
GoldMoney, inventor and patent holder of the asset-based online transaction process available from www.goldmoney.com, allows consumers to conduct limitless transactions over the Web using gold - a time-honored asset - instead of fiat currency.
"This is a perfect example of vertical integration in response to market demands," said Kitco president, Bart Kitner. "Kitco's website attracts a large and diverse clientele with an avowed interest in precious metals. By integrating GoldMoney into our system, thousands of GoldMoney users will have a simple way to buy GoldGrams, using US or Canadian dollars."
Because GoldMoney is an established form of online currency, consumers will also be able to shop online using the value of the gold in their account. A growing number of online merchants and other entities accept GoldMoney payments due to its secure, irreversible, and instantaneous nature.
GoldMoney is Digital Gold Currency - gold in digital form that can be spent and transferred electronically. By converting the world's oldest money into a new and much-needed digital currency, GoldMoney allows consumers, merchants and consumers to avoid the intrusion and expense of credit cards as well as the hassle of using conventional fiat currencies online. GoldMoney founder, James Turk is the creator and patent holder to the asset-based online transaction system. GoldMoney services can be accessed at www.GoldMoney.com
Kitco is recognized throughout the globe as a leading retailer of precious metals for small and large consumers as well as the precious metals industry. Kitco provides highest quality bullion bars and coins for consumers, refining services for the jewelry manufacturing industry, and mill products. Kitco's website, www.Kitco.com is a nexus of the precious metals industry providing real-time pricing, industry news and a precious metals purchasing platform.
Monday, September 16, 2002
NEVADA GRASS INITIATIVE
To help, please visit MARIJUANA
I thought you might be interested to know
that Nevadans will vote in November on
whether to remove the threat of arrest and all
other penalties for adults who use marijuana
responsibly. This is a groundbreaking
initiative that people all across the country
The Las Vegas Review-Journal -- the largest
newspaper in Nevada -- has already
endorsed the initiative, which has a real
chance of passing this November. All of us
who want to bring an end to the
government's war on marijuana users should
consider making at least a $10 donation to
Nevadans for Responsible Law Enforcement's ballot initiative -- which will appear on the statewide ballot in Nevada on November 5, 2002 -- removes the threat of arrest for responsible marijuana use and punishes irresponsible use. If it passes in 2002 and again in November 2004, the marijuana initiative would do four things:
1. Eliminate the threat of arrest for adults who responsibly use and possess up to three ounces of marijuana. (This is the equivalent of four packs of cigarettes.)
2. Require the state government to implement a system whereby adults could obtain marijuana through a legally regulated market, rather than from the criminal market.
3. Allow seriously ill patients to obtain marijuana at a lower cost than non-medical users. (In 1998 and again in 2000, a majority of Nevada voters passed an initiative that allows seriously ill patients to use medical marijuana, but the initiative did not provide a way for patients to purchase medical marijuana legally. The 2002 initiative would fix this problem by requiring the state government to allow patients to purchase low-cost medical marijuana through a legally regulated system.)
4. Impose common-sense restrictions that the voters demand, such as imposing penalties for driving dangerously while under the influence of marijuana, smoking marijuana in public, and providing marijuana to minors.
This ballot initiative would allow the police to spend more time going after murderers, rapists, and other violent criminals, rather than wasting valuable resources hunting down tens of thousands of nonviolent marijuana users. "Nevadans for Responsible Law Enforcement" is the right name for this campaign committee.
Friday, September 13, 2002
MORE SIGNS OF THE DOOM TO COME
Greenspan warns deficits threaten economy
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the U.S.
economy has weathered a series of shocks, but he warned
that a swift return to government spending discipline is
vital for economic health. (09/13/02)
IRS to focus on high-income taxpayers
The Internal Revenue Service says it will focus more
attention on high-income individuals and those who seek
refuge from confiscatory taxes through such means as
credit cards issued by offshore banks. (09/13/02)
GOOD THEY CAN STAY AWAY FROM ME
Love Is?? A group of professional people posed this question to a group
of 4 to 8-year-olds, "What does love mean?" The answers they got were
broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:
"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her
toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when
his hands got arthritis too. That's love."
Rebecca - age 8
"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know
that your name is safe in their mouth."
Billy - age 4
"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and
they go out and smell each other."
Karl - age 5
"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries
without making them give you any of theirs."
Chrissy - age 6
"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired."
Terri - age 4
"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before
giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK."
Danny - age 7
"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening
presents and listen,"
Bobby - age 5
"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend whom
Nikka - age 6
"There are two kinds of love: our love and God's love. But God makes both
kinds of them."
Jenny - age 4
"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday."
Noelle - age 7
"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends
even after they know each other so well."
Tommy - age 6
"My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me
to sleep at night."
Clare - Age 5
"Love is when mommy gives daddy the best piece of chicken."
Elaine - age 5
"Love is when mommy sees daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is
handsomer than Robert Redford."
Chris - age 8
"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all
Mary Ann - age 4
"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes
and has to go out and buy new ones."
Lauren - age 4
"I let my big sister pick on me because my Mom says she only picks on me
because she loves me. So I pick on my baby sister because I love her."
Bethany - age 4
"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars
come out of you."
Karen - age 7
Thursday, September 12, 2002
DRUMS OF WAR
"Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the
citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a
double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the
mind.... And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the
blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no
need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry,
infused with fear and blinded with patriotism, will offer up all of
their rights unto the leader, and gladly so. How do I know? For this is
what I have done. And I am Caesar."
-- William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Libertarians call for pardons for all drug offenders
The Libertarian Party called on Florida's Gov. Jeb Bush to
pardon all of the state's non-violent drug offenders
after his daughter made headlines again for allegedly
abusing rock cocaine while in a rehabilitation center in
Afghan farmers to harvest marijuana
Under the Taliban, many marijuana cultivators in
Afghanistan stopped growing their crops. Now some of
those farmers are back in business, and fields of sturdy
marijuana plants line part of the main road leading west
from the biggest city in northern Afghanistan.
City leaders to pass out marijuana to sick
City leaders in Santa Cruz, California, will join medical
marijuana users at a marijuana giveaway at City Hall
next week, hoping to send a message to federal
authorities that, in this town, medical marijuana is
Police spy files stir an uproar in Denver
In recent years, hundreds of people aroused the suspicions
of Denver police, who maintained dossiers on about 3,200
individuals and 208 organizations who practiced peaceful
dissent. They've been lining up to view the files since
their existence was revealed. (09/12/02)
Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is
when we're kids?
If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you
think in fractions.
"How old are you?" "I'm four and a half!"
You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five!
That's the key.
You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the
next number, or even a few ahead.
"How old are you?" "I'm gonna be 16!" You could be 13, but hey, you're
gonna be 16!
And then the greatest day of your life . . . you become 21. Even the
words sound like a ceremony . . . YOU BECOME 21. . .
But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there?
Makes you sound like bad milk. He TURNED, we had to throw him out.
There's no fun now, you're just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong?
You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40.
Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you
REACH 50 . . . and your dreams are gone.
But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!
So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to
You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a
day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!
You get into your 80s and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you
TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime.
And it doesn't end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; "I was
Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little
kid again. "I'm 100 and a half!"
May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!
HOW TO STAY YOUNG
1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and
height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her.
2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening,
whatever. Never let the brain idle. " An idle mind is the devil's
workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimers.
4. Enjoy the simple things.
5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is
with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.
7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets,
keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable,
improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, to the next county,
to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.
10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments
that take our breath away.
Wednesday, September 11, 2002
REAL TRUTHS ABOUT LIFE, THAT LITTLE CHILDREN HAVE LEARNED:
1) No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.
2) When your Mom is mad at your Dad, don't let her brush
3) If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They
always catch the second person.
4) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
5) You can't trust dogs to watch your food.
6) Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
7) Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time.
8) You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
9) Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.
10)The best place to be when you're sad is Grandpa's
GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT LIFE, THAT ADULTS HAVE LEARNED:
1) Raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-O to a tree.
2) Wrinkles don't hurt.
3) Families are like fudge . . . mostly sweet, with a
4) Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held
5) Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the
6) Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the
fiber, not the joy.
GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT GROWING OLD
1) Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
2) Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives
I can get.
3) When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do
while you're down there.
4) You're getting old when you get the same sensation
from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller
5) It's frustrating when you know all the answers, but
nobody bothers to ask you the questions.
6) Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy
7) Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
THE FOUR STAGES OF LIFE:
1) You believe in Santa Claus.
2) You don't believe in Santa Claus.
3) You are Santa Claus.
4) You look like Santa Claus.
At age 4 success is . . . not peeing in your pants.
At age 12 success is . . . having friends.
At age 16 success is . . . having a drivers license.
At age 20 success is . . . having sex.
At age 35 success is . . . having money.
At age 50 success is . . . having money.
At age 60 success is . . . having sex.
At age 70 success is . . . having a drivers license.
At age 75 success is . . . having friends.
At age 80 success is . . . not peeing in your pants.
AIN'T TECHNOLOGY GRAND
Gadget alerts drivers to road cameras
British police came out against a new gizmo which alerts
drivers to speed traps. The device warns motorists as they
approach fixed speed cameras, and interest in it is high.
GEORGE CARLIN BEING GEORGE CARLIN
WARNING: CONTAINS ADULT LANGUAGE -- PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK
George Carlin on Bush War
by GEORGE CARLIN
Rockets and Penises in the Persian Gulf
History Lesson - I'd like to talk a little about that 'war' we had in
the Persian Gulf. Remember that? The big war in the Persian Gulf? Lemme
tell you what was goin' on.
Naturally, you can forget all that entertaining fiction about having to
defend the model democracy those lucky Kuwaitis get to live under. And
for the moment you can also put aside the very real, periodic need
Americans have for testing their new weapons on human flesh. And also,
just for the fun of it, let's ignore George Bush Sr.'s obligation to
protect the oil interests of his family and friends. There was another,
much more important, consideration at work. Here's what really happened.
Dropping a Load for Uncle Sam.
The simple fact is that America was long overdue to drop high explosives
on helpless civilians; people who have no argument with us whatsoever.
After all, it had been awhile, and the hunger gnaws. Remember that's our
specialty: picking on countries that have marginally effective air forces.
Yugoslavia is another, more recent example.
But all that aside, let me tell you what I liked about that Gulf War: it
was the first war that appeared on every television channel, including
And even though the TV show consisted largely of Pentagon war criminals
displaying maps and charts, it got very good ratings. And that makes
sense, because we like war. We're a warlike people. We can't stand not
to be fucking with someone. We couldn't wait for the Cold War to end so
we could climb into the big Arab sandbox and play with our nice new
toys. We enjoy war.
And one reason we enjoy it is that we're good at it. You know why we're
good at it? Because we get alot of practice. This country is only 200
years old, and already we've had ten major wars. We average a major war
every twenty years, So we're good at it!
And it's just as well we are, because we're not very good at anything
else. Can't build a decent car anymore. Can't make a TV set, a cell
phone, or a VCR. Got no steel industry left. No textiles. Can't educate
our young people. Can't get health care to our old people. But we can
bomb the shit outta your country, all right. We can bomb the shit outta
If You're Brown, You're Goin Down
Especially if your country is full of brown people. Oh, we like that,
don't we? That's our hobby now. But it's also our new job in the world:
bombing brown people. Iraq, Panama, Grenada, Libya. You got some brown
people in your country? Tell 'em to watch the fuck out, or we'll goddamn
Well, who were the last white people you can remember that we bombed? In
fact, can you remember any white people we ever bombed? The Germans!
That's it! Those are the only ones. And that was only because they were
tryin' to cut in on our action. They wanted to dominate the world.
Bullshit! That's our job. That's our fuckin' job.
But the Germans are ancient history. These days, we only bomb brown
people. And not because they're cutting in our action; we do it because
they're brown. Even those Serbs we bombed in Yugoslavia aren't really
white, are they? Naaah! They're sort of down near the swarthy end of the
white spectrum. Just brown enough to bomb. I'm still waiting for the day
we bomb the English. People who really deserve it.
A Disobediant American
Now you folks might've noticed, I don't feel about that Gulf War the way
we were instructed to feel about it by the United States government. My
mind doesn't work that way. You see, I've got this real moron thing I
do, it's called 'Thinking'. And I guess I'm not a very good American,
because I like to form my own opinions; I don't just roll over when I'm
told. Most Americans roll over on command. Not me, There are certain
rules I observe.
Believe You Me
My first rule: Never believe what anyone in authority says. None of
them. Government, Police, clergy, the corporate criminals. None of them.
And neither do I believe anything I'm told by the media, who, in the
case of the Gulf War, functioned as little more than unpaid employees of
the Defense Department, and who, most of the time, operate as unofficial
public relations agency for the government and industry.
I don't believe in any of them. And I have to tell you, folks, I don't
really believe very much in my country either. I don't get all choked up
about yellow ribbons and American flags. I see them as symbols, and I
leave them to the symbol-minded.
Show us your Dick
I also look at war itself a little differently from most. I see it
largely as an exercise in dick-waving. That's really all it is: alot of
men standing around in a field waving their dicks at one another. Men,
insecure abuot the size of their penises, choose to kill one another.
That's also what all that moron athlete bullshit is all about, and what
that macho, male posturing and strutting around in bars and locker rooms
represents. It's called 'dick fear.' Men are terrified that their dicks
are inadequate, and so they have to 'compete' in order to feel better
about themselves. And since war is the ultimate competition, essentially
men are killing one another in order to improve their genital self-esteem.
You needn't be a historian or a political scientist to see the Bigger
Dick Foreign Policy Theory at work. It goes like this: 'What? They have
bigger dicks? Bomb them!' And of course, the bombs, the rockets, and the
bullets are all shaped like penises. Phallic weapons. There's an
unconscious need to project the national penis into the affairs of
others. It's called 'fucking with people'
Show us your Bush
So as far as I'm concerned, that whole thing in the Persian Gulf was
nothing more than one big dick-waving cockfight.
In this particular case, Saddam Hussein questioned the size of George
Bush's dick. And George Bush had been called a wimp for so long, he
apparently felt the need to act out his manhood fantasies by sending
America's white children to kill other people's brown children.
Clearly the worst kind of wimp.
Even his name, 'Bush', as slang, is related to the genitals without
being the genitals.
A bush is sort of a passive, secondary sex characteristic. It's even
used as a slang term for women: 'Hey, pal, how's the bush in this area?'
I can't help thinking, if this president's name had been George
Boner...well, he might have felt a little better about himself, and he
wouldn't have had to kill all those children. Too bad he couldn't locate
Actually, when you think about it, this country has had a manhood
problem for some time. You can tell the language we use; language always
gives us away. What did we do wrong in Vietnam? We 'pulled out'! Not a
very manly thing to do. No. When you're fucking people, you're supposed
to stay with it and fuck them good; fuck them to death; hang in there
and keep fucking them until they're all fucking dead.
But in Vietnam what happened was by accident we left a few women and
children alive, and we haven't felt good about ourselves since.
That's why in the Persian Gulf, George Bush had to say, 'This will not
be another Vietnam.' He actually said, 'this time we're going all the way.'
Imagine. An American president using the sexual slang of a
thirteen-year-old to describe his foreign policy.
And, of course, when it got right down to it, he didn't 'go all the
way.' Faced with going into Baghdad he punked out. No balls. Just Bush.
Instead, he applied sanctions, so he'd be sure that an extra half a
million brown children would die. And so his oil buddies could continue
to fill their pockets.
If you want to know what happened in the Persian Gulf, just remember the
first names of the two men who ran that war: Dick Cheney and Colin Powell.
Dick and Colon.
Someone got fucked in the ass.
And those brown people better make sure they keep their pants on,
because Dick and Colin have come back for an encore.
Tuesday, September 10, 2002
GOOD OL THOM
Poll: 'Get me the heck out of here'
As stock losses take toll, folks still shockingly upbeat
By Thom Calandra, CBS.MarketWatch.com
Last Update: 11:32 AM ET Sep 10, 2002
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) -- This is for the 54.95 people making money in the stock market.
The figure, 54.95, comes to 5 percent of 1,099 Americans polled about financial markets in a just-released CBS MarketWatch/CBS News national survey. Clearly, the money-makers in this, the third losing year for stocks, have a 5 percent solution for profits.
After all, 66 percent of investors say their retirement accounts have lost money these past two years. Many others report no change. So most of us would like to know what those 54.95 people are doing right. See the poll story and results.
Are the winners buying gold? Real estate? Water rights? Selling puts on CBOE volatility options? What?
Many of the investors who responded to this telephone poll are, dare we say, shockingly upbeat about where the stock market is headed the next few years. Just 9 percent have lost all faith in the stock market. And 47 percent say the Dow Jones Industrial Average will reach 10,000 in the next one to two years.
The 9 percent who see the stock market as a shell game can be forgiven. They are the same 9 percent of the American population whose eyes are glued to computer screens, digesting report after report of corporate shenanigans.
These are the folks who don't care anymore about where the Dow ends each week. They have been born again to a new way of life, one without stocks. That level of epiphany, 9 percent of the investing public, can only grow as the fires of Mordor incinerate America's retirement accounts.
On Wall Street, investor surveys are worth their weight in (pick one: gold, platinum, soy futures). The professionals look to investors to catch the mood of the market. When investors feel close to chucking all their stocks down the disposal, the market usually rallies. When everyone feels just grand about stocks, the market tumbles.
The poll's respondents are just like Americans everywhere. Most are either looking for their next score or getting gun-shy about stocks:
"Took my money out of stocks and bought a condo," said one investor.
"I'm changing over to annuities and real estate," said another. See the full real-estate story.
"My five-year plan will now be in real estate as opposed to stocks," said yet another malcontent.
"Put 401(k) money into fixed interest investments," said another.
"Fired our broker, moved into bonds ... and land."
"My money is sitting in money-market accounts. I am a lot slower to buy stocks."
"I just withdrew money out of the stock market and put it in a credit-union (account) at 4.06 percent."
"If Lucent Technologies (LU) doesn't go bankrupt it will be worth $10 next year. It's time to buy stocks."
"I stopped looking at stocks as a potential windfall, put my money in improving my lifestyle, buying a new car, new tools for work."
"Sure as heck not going into the stock market."
In all fairness, the folks on Main Street who responded to this poll are more or less divided evenly about the state of the economy. Some 48 percent say it is good and 50 percent say it is bad. Some 51 percent expect the American economy to have improved a year from now.
I think most of us, after scanning these poll results, would sure as heck like to know a) just what makes real estate a great investment these days; b) how much higher government bond prices can go when the national debt (companies, individuals and Washington) is $30 trillion; and c) the address of that credit union with the 4 percent return.
The 54.95 profiteers out there can give us a heads-up on that. See the poll story and results.
WAR ON DRUGS=WAR ON THE PEOPLE. WAR ON BUSINESS=WAR ON THE PEOPLE
Government loves war.
Ludwig von Mises Institute
by William L. Anderson
A government that can jail the rich and well-known at will
and confiscate all of their assets is a government that
can do the same thing to "ordinary" people -- and at a
lower cost to government officials, warns Anderson. (09/06/02)
NOW IT'S WAR ON BUSINESS
Monday, September 09, 2002
WHAT WON'T THE DRUG CRIMINALS DO TO MAINTAIN THEIR MONEY PUMP
With ballot initiatives pending that would mandate
treatment rather than prison for drug users, the federal
government is quietly using taxpayers' money to
influence the outcome of the election. (09/09/02)
There is no shame when it comes to the drug war
Sunday, September 08, 2002
ANOTHER ACCOUNTING SCAM SOON TO HIT
Dead Ahead: $144 Billion Pension Shortfall
The rules for calculating pension liabilities have been so lax in recent years, hundreds of major US corporations have been legally manipulating the way they calculate the value of the portfolios.
The market plunged in 2000, driving their pension fund assets into the hole, and they ignored it. The market plunged again in 2001, and they still ignored it.
But now, as the market continues to fall for a third year, they can't ignore it anymore. So they're starting to admit the shortfalls, but only one small piece at a time.
Here's what we see coming:
* If the corporate pension funds of S&P 500 companies lose just 5% this year, the shortfall in pension funding is going to be at least $109 billion!
* If they lose closer to 10%, then the shortfall is going to be in excess of $144 billion.
* If you look beyond just the S&P companies, the problem is even larger -- thousands of smaller pension funds that could drag down corporate profits for years to come.
* If the pension funds really take a major beating of 20% or more in the next year or two, the losses could set off a chain reaction of events that will make the recent accounting scams look like a Sunday school picnic. You'll see wholesale dumping of shares by investors ... mass protests by employees ... draconian new countermeasures by Congress and the SEC.
The crisis could affect $3 trillion, even up to $4 trillion in market cap. Unbelievable? Yes. True? Absolutely! For the evidence, take a look at ... The Numbers Game Behind The Coming Pension Fund Disaster
There are three fundamentally flawed accounting rules that are at the root of the pension fund scam:
Flawed Rule #1. Companies are allowed to calculate a pension's funding requirements based purely on hypothetical projections of annual returns, rather than on how well, or how badly, a pension's investments have fared in the real world.
In other words, let's say Company A is projecting an annual return of 10% of its pension fund assets of $100 million, or a $10 million return. But in reality, Company A's pension has unrealized losses of 5% this year or $5 million. What do you think Company A puts down on its profit & loss statement? A loss of $5 million?
Sadly, no. GAAP accounting rules let the company spread out the unrealized losses over a period of time. Let's assume it's 10 years. As a result, Company A shows a net profit of $9.5 million (the $10 million projected gain minus the half million dollar amortized loss) less any costs associated with maintaining the pension fund. This phantom "profit" of $9.5 million allows the company to postpone contributing the needed money to its pension fund, and avoid deducting that amount from its corporate bottom line. In short, they postpone the day of reckoning based on the blind assumption that the losses will "naturally go away."
The original intent behind this kind of creative accounting was to smooth out annual swings in income for pension funds, so companies can better plan their contributions.
The practical result, however, is far more sinister: Companies are allowed to legally hide massive losses in their pension plans, avoid contributing additional funds, and therefore exaggerate their profits in any given year.
Flawed Rule #2. A pension fund's projected gains can be based on seriously unrealistic assumptions regarding how well the pension investments will perform.
Let's say you're managing your own retirement program and you determine you'll need $1 million in 20 years when you retire. If you assume you can get a 10% annual return on your investments, then you only need to contribute $17,459 a year to reach that goal. But if, in reality, you only get a 6% annual return on your investments, then you need to contribute $27,184 each year -- or 56% more.
For CEOs with fat options packages anxious to show investors high net earnings, the temptation to exaggerate their estimated pension fund returns -- and add that money to the bottom line instead -- is almost overwhelming.
It's hardly surprising, then, that dozens of America's largest companies base their pension fund contributions on an assumption of a 10% annual return or greater -- including Bank of America, Bristol Myers Squib, Campbell Soup, FedEx, General Mills, Mattel, Lehman Brothers, Pepsi, Sprint, and Weyerhaeuser, among others.
According to Milliman USA's 2002 pension study, the average assumed rate of return in 2000 for the 50 largest American companies was 9.38%, with an expected projected profit of $51 billion. However, the actual return on investment that year was only $14 billion -- or $37 billion short.
In 2001, the average projected rate of return for the 50 largest companies was a bit higher -- at 9.39%, with an expected profit of $54 billion.
Give me a break. The stock market had just taken a beating in the previous year, and they were projecting even higher returns!? Actual results for 2001: A loss of $36 billion -- or a shortfall of $90 billion from what companies expected.
And it gets worse ...
Flawed Rule #3. Companies can count the hypothetical gains in their pension funds as part of their own bottom line, even though it has nothing to do with their operations, and even though the money doesn't even belong to them.
Companies show their projected returns from their pension funds on their P&L statements. As The Times of London put it, "any major U.S. company that is worried about its earnings can therefore engineer a $100 million boost simply by tweaking its expectations about pension fund returns."
Consider this example: You own a hot dog stand that usually makes $10,000 a year in profits. Plus, you have $100,000 in your pension plan, which you optimistically project will earn 10% a year.
Now, let's assume this has been a horrible year for hot dogs -- not one meager dime in profits. What's worse, your pension plan, instead of making 10% this year, has actually lost 5% -- or $5,000.
Pretty miserable, right? Not if you use the "legal" GAAP gimmicks to jury-rig the numbers! First you could spread the $5,000 pension fund lost over five years -- just $1,000 each year. Then, you could assume a $10,000 pension fund gain. Bottom line: Deduct the $1,000 loss from the $10,000 gain, and voil� ... your loss of $5,000 has been transformed into a $9,000 profit.
How common is this kind of creative accounting? It's systemic ... and massive. As I told you earlier, based on our review of S&P 500 corporations, 150 out of 354 companies reporting pension data were able to boost their earnings -- or actually turn net losses into profits -- by adding hypothetical pension fund income when calculating the company's annual net earnings. For example:
* Verizon Communications had multi-billion dollar losses in 2001. But just by adding in its projected pension fund gains exceeding $2 billion, the company was able to magically report a net profit for the year of $389 million.
* Eastman Kodak lost tens of millions last year. But by including its projected $100-million-plus profit from its pension fund, the losses were magically transformed into a $76 million profit.
* TRW also lost tens of millions in 2001. But by adding in a $100-million-plus projected gain in its pension fund, it transformed the huge loss into a $68 million profit.
* Whirlpool should have told its investors that it lost over $20 million last year, but because of the pension fund accounting rules, it was able to goose up its bottom line, wash away the loss, and magically create $21 million in profits.
* Honeywell International's loss of $99 million in 2001 would have been several times greater. But they counted the company's projected pension fund gain of hundreds of millions on the corporate bottom line.
* Prudential Financial's loss would have been equally catastrophic -- over half a billion dollars instead of just $154 million -- if they had not added their pension fund's phantom "gain" to the corporate bottom line.
* Northrop Grumman's 2001 income of $427 million would have been cut down to about a quarter of that amount. Weyerhaeuser's 2001 profit of $354 million would have been sliced by two-thirds. Consolidated Edison's profit would have been cut practically in half. Boeing's earnings would have been reduced by about a third.
The examples go on and on. More than 140 other major companies in the S&P 500 did essentially the same thing. Now do you see why I call this the greatest accounting scam of all time?
Friday, September 06, 2002
CASH WILL BE KING
Depression will deflate most markets
Prechter interview: 'Deflation destructive to economy'
By Thom Calandra, CBS.MarketWatch.com
Last Update: 10:08 AM ET Sep 6, 2002
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) -- Economic forecaster Robert R. Prechter is confident a global depression will wreak havoc with stocks, bonds, real estate and money markets.
Prechter says a "deflationary depression" has already started and will gain momentum over the next 2 1/2 years as banks stop lending, borrowers default on their loans and an unprecedented expansion of worldwide credit stops in its tracks.
"Deflations are quite rare, so if you are going to forecast one you have to have your dominoes lined up," says Prechter in a televised interview with CBS MarketWatch. "Deflations are destructive to the economy and to investments on the way down."
Prechter, president of Georgia-based Elliott Wave International, in his 1978 book, "Elliott Wave Principle," was among the first to forecast a tremendous rise in stock prices. His 10th book, "Conquer the Crash," makes a compelling case for a vast and rapid deflation of monetary assets.
"Bob Prechter has been the consummate market technician for over 30 years," says Jeff Hirsch, editor of Stock Trader's Almanac and Almanac Investor Newsletter.
"He's one of the smartest guys I know, and a real gentleman," says Paul F. Desmond, an award-winning technical analyst and president of stock-market researcher Lowry's Reports Inc.
Recently, Prechter is facing the scorn of some subscribers and individuals who criticize the timing of his calls and his reliance on 1930s author Ralph Nelson Elliott's theories about economic waves and fractal patterns in financial markets.
"As a past subscriber to Prechter's Elliott Wave (newsletter), here is my take on him. He was wrong then and I believe he is wrong now," says Jerry Dorfman, an individual investor. "He missed the boom so why not be there for the bust?"
Mark Hulbert, editor of newsletter rating service Hulbert Financial Digest, describes Prechter as "one of the best stock market timers of the decade of the 1980s, up until the crash of 1987. Since then, with few exceptions, he has been aggressively bearish."
Hulbert, who has been rating financial newsletters since 1982, says Prechter's performance "is therefore mixed. On the assumption he went into cash while bearish, his overall record is creditable. On the assumption he went short, his performance over the last two decades is a huge loss."
Prechter, in person and in his new book, is forthright about his misses. "After identifying the start of the great bull market," he says," even I never imagined that the stock mania would last as long or go as high as it did."
Prechter's "Conquer the Crash" book is subtitled," You Can Survive and Prosper in a Deflationary Depression." His case for a major depression is built on three centuries of financial data, economic trends, central bank strategies and investor sentiment.
He predicts the Dow Jones Industrial Average will fall to the triple-digit level, or below 1,000. The Dow (INDU) is now above 8,000. His timeline for a Dow crash is almost certainly imminent, says Prechter, who sees a slight chance such a horrific fall could occur in future decades.
In the interview, Prechter says:
"Only the largest stock-market declines lead to depressions ... and those are the ones that follow ... a big amount of credit and a large mania of stocks that gets the public involved. I think the United States is in the middle of one of those."
"The last major area will be a fall in real estate. The real-estate frenzy we saw this summer was a replay of the stock frenzy we saw in 2000. We went back 200 years looking at the major peaks and found the real-estate market tended to peak nearby, usually with a two-year lag."
"What's going to happen when the stock market finally bottoms? You'll be able to go in there and buy stocks that used to trade at $85 a share for maybe half a dollar or a quarter of a dollar."
"I'm not fully sure what will happen with gold and silver. Precious metals do not go up in deflationary periods unless there are price controls on them, as (gold) did in the '30s. The price of silver went down with everything else. I have five reasons why you should own (gold) anyway."
Prechter also questions the safety of most money-market funds and bank deposits, which bankers have squandered on expensive real-estate loans that will plummet in value. The 53-year-old forecaster recommends a number of safe-money reports that rate banks by their lending reserves.
At the heart of Prechter's case is the credit expansion of the 20th century. By some estimates, American households, companies and the government owe $30 trillion worldwide, an amount that is three times the country's entire yearly economic output. "The Fed (U.S. Federal Reserve) has thought for some time it could avoid a (credit crash)," he says.
Prechter advises investors to seek only money-market funds with short-term Treasury bills in their portfolios. He envisions a wholesale collapse of nearly every form of paper, including stocks, corporate bonds and municipal bonds. "A lot of people think they're in cash equivalents when they're in money-market funds," he says.
He suggests that investors investigate cash accounts in other countries with reputations for fiscal soundness, including Switzerland and Singapore.
"Go ahead and panic, beat the rush," Prechter says. "If you do it early, you're not being paranoid. You're being prudent. We're only half way through this bear market."
Thursday, September 05, 2002
I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING EXCEPT THE DEBT PART--CASH IS KING AND IF YOU CAN GET IT CHEAPLY GO FOR IT. CREDIT CARDS NOW OFFERING 3.9% UNTIL PAID
There's safety in numbers
Tips for managing the deflation of all things paper
By Thom Calandra, CBS.MarketWatch.com
Last Update: 10:58 AM ET Sep 5, 2002
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) -- In the coming bad months and years, the ones that deflate paper assets and shrink the oceans of debt and credit sloshing 'round the world, investors and workers will be asking what they can do to avoid a total meltdown of their personal portfolios.
This includes their homes, their bank deposits, insurance policies, even their paychecks. Here are some starters, gleaned from many fine sources, including the Weiss Safe Money Report, Robert Prechter's new book, "Conquer the Crash," and "Crisis Investing" author Doug Casey's International Speculator.
Do investigate the integrity of all money markets, bank deposits and other cash instruments at your disposal. Not all money market accounts or funds are created equal. Those that are based on risky short-term paper, from corporations or even government agencies, probably won't allow you peace of mind in the event of a fiscal meltdown. Several sources, including the Weiss Safe Money Report, Bankrate.com and Grant's Interest Rate Observer, examine safety and liquidity issues surrounding commercial banks and the fund companies that manage money markets.
Do investigate cash equivalents that exist outside of your home country, in the event of political risk. Switzerland's bank reserves, unlike those in the United States, are backed by a 25 percent savings rate that is required of citizens by law.
Do sell all stocks that are losing you money. Do sell all stocks that are making you money.
Don't consider buying any stocks, or bonds, or anything considered a paper asset, unless you are prepared to take a 25 percent loss. Or unless you are prepared to hold for 15 years or longer (just ask the folks who still own Ford Motor (F) shares.)
Don't be lulled into a sense of false security by the interim rallies staged by Wall Street. The rallies are perfectly normal in that they allow sellers to exit with just a bit more cash than they had a month ago, but not nearly enough to make up for losses in this, the third year of falling equities.
Do buy gold and silver -- coins, bars and even some bullion proxies, such as Central Fund of Canada (CEF), if personal storage of the metal is a challenge. If currencies self-destruct from the drag of decades of credit issuance by national and corporate treasuries, bullion almost certainly will become a commodity with monetary status.
Do eliminate as much debt as you can -- credit cards, automobile loans, margin interest, mortgages, second mortgages. The credit overhang in the United States, more than $30 trillion owed by U.S. companies, individuals and the government, is three times gross domestic product, the highest ever. Besides saving you or your home from personal bankruptcy, default or repossession, your elimination of debt will be a service to this country's economy.
Keep your day job, sell the SUV and if you really see the red writing on the wall, start short-selling some of the major equity indexes, especially the price-weighted Dow Jones Industrial Average's exchange-traded Diamond Trust (DIA) and its major components, like high-priced 3M (MMM).
THIS IS JUST A CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL POLICE FORCE CREATED BY G. GORDON LIDDY--THE PLUMBERS. SEE CHAPTER IN MY BOOK RE "THE SPOOKS."
WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND. THROW IN THE FBI, CIA AND ALL THE OTHERS.
Civil libertarians protest anti-drug tactics
In Wilmington, Delaware, police routinely round up
everybody in an area of town, photograph them, get their
names and other details, and then put the information in
a database to use in future investigations. The rough
tactics have drawn strong criticism. (09/05/02)
Spy file' backlog has police hopping
Rocky Mountain News
Denver police are scrambling to catch up with requests that
went unfilled when political activists descended upon
headquarters to view intelligence files on peaceful
protesters and dissidents who somehow excited official
GOLDCORP (GG) INCREASES BY 20% ITS 3Q DIVIDEND--$.03 PER SHARE
THIS AMONG OTHER THINGS IS WHY THE DOLLAR IS DROPPING--ON TOP OF LACK OF REVENUE ARE THE INCREASED EXPENSES
Tax receipts hit 56-year low
The most dramatic drop in tax revenue since 1946 has put
the government into deficit for the next three years and
has shriveled the projected 10-year federal budget
surplus by 60 percent in just five months, according to
the Congressional Budget Office. (08/28/02)
Wednesday, September 04, 2002
THIS IS A NEAT PAGE FROM FREEDOMLAW.COM
WE ARE AT WAR!
Accordingly, investments that make money during wartime are favored to
increase in value over all other investment vehicles. I have installed a
ticker tape in the Prosperity Pages at WATCH THE TICKER
which lists most, but not all, of the major equipment suppliers for war
followed by some real estate plays and ending with gold stocks. Checking
this ticker daily will allow you to test the notion that war suppliers are
a good investment, with the sole caveat that equipment purchases are a hot
political issue and no investment ever goes straight up.
THE FED HAS PRINTED MORE MONEY THAN ANYONE CAN COMPREHEND
OH MY, THINGS HAVE GOTTEN WORSE IN JAPAN AND MIGHT GET WORSE YET, WOW--GLOBAL DEFLATION?
Japanese banks are in such poor financial health that even the
Governor of Tokyo - the equivalent of the Mayor of New York City - is
threatening to pull Tokyo's $14 billion out of Japanese banks. He wants to
move it to foreign banks to get it out of danger!
What a slap in the face! This is mind-boggling news. No wonder the
Nikkei just plunged to a 19-year low last night. It smashed through the
9600 support level I told you about and plunged straight to 9217 - on its
way to 7000, on this leg alone.
Turn this crisis into some of the most astonishing profits
imaginable. A modest $8,000 in put options on select Japan indexes and
stocks could explode into profits of $49,380. And this is just the beginning.
Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara:
Get Tokyo's money out of Japanese banks!
It is mind-boggling that the Governor of Tokyo would say something
like this. It's like Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City, saying US
banks are so unsafe that we have to yank the City's money out and move it
into Japanese banks. You can't even describe the impact that would have.
But the Japanese banks are in such terrible condition, I can't blame
him. I would do the same thing. The Japanese banks are drowning in loans
gone bad. Just recently, some of the major Japanese banks wrote off $21.5
billion in bad debts -- but so many more loans went bad that they ended up
with more bad loans than they started with.
And it's no wonder! More than 1,700 Japanese companies went bust in
July alone. And that's just the beginning because Japanese retail sales --
the driving force in any economy
-- are falling, down a whopping 5.7% in July compared to last year. That's
the 51st consecutive decline and one of the worst declines ever.
Imagine if your business' sales went down 51 months in a row.
Jeepers, I'd close the doors, go home and cry.
The Ginza shopping district in Tokyo is like a ghost town. Huge
stores are nearly empty of customers. Other, smaller retail shops lining
the Ginza are boarded up. On the famed Ginza subway line -- with its main
stop in the heart of the shopping district -- you can almost hear a pin drop.
It's already spread from the retailers to construction companies and
manufacturers. Huge Dai Nippon Construction went belly-up in July with $2.3
billion in debt ... giant rope maker Tesac Corp. -- $334 million in debt
... and machine tool maker Hitachi Seiki -- bust with $423 million in debt.
It's no surprise to me that ...
The Nikkei just crashed last night to a 19-year low. The next leg down in
Japan's stock market has begun. The rout is on!
Under this mountain of bad news, the critical support in the Nikkei
at 9600 -- which I told you about -- cracked. It's gone.
Now, I expect the Nikkei to fall to 9000, perhaps bounce a bit, and
then slice through it like a knife through hot butter. Then, it's going to
melt away to 8600, 7600, and even down to 7000 and lower!
The Japan crisis is rolling like a tsunami across the globe
Japan is the largest or second largest trading partner of nearly
every significant East Asian country, including China, Taiwan, Thailand,
Indonesia (the fourth most populous nation in the world), Korea, and the
Philippines. So Japan's troubles are pouring over onto them.
There's a civil war in Indonesia ... a terrorist rebellion in the
Philippines ... and political sackings in Thailand. Stock markets are
getting creamed in Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Hong Kong. These
countries were just barely recouping from the 1997-98 depression. And now,
their largest trading partner is going into collapse. It's devastating.
Japan's troubles are even beginning to spill over to Europe.
Unemployment is running 50% higher than in the US. Meanwhile, consumer
confidence is crashing through the floor and a rally in the euro is killing
exports. And the opportunities in Europe are just as leveraged as those in
The Asian crises of 1997 and '98 were just the early tremors of the
earthquake that's on its way now. Back then, the US was strong enough to
support the whole world. Not so today. The US is in its own heap of
trouble. There is no economic power on Earth that can stop a global
Instead of being rescued by the government, Japanese banks are being
abandoned. And these collapsing banks will have to be liquidated, setting
off a new chain reaction of corporate failures and massive layoffs. Huge
multinational companies that used to dominate the world economy are simply
going to go belly-up. Kaput. Gone.
Larry Edelson, Co-Editor
A REALLY GOOD READ
"Bordering on Chaos--Mexico's Roller-Coaster Journey Toward Prosperity," by Andres Oppenheimer. Proves the old adage, "The Truth is stranger than fiction," which reminds me. Have you all purchased my book or got a friend to buy it. I need to get a buzz started. that is, only if you enjoyed the book. Also, how about some discussion??? Mike and I are the only ones who are posting.
VOTE ON THE POLL!!!
Sunday, September 01, 2002
MY GOLDCORP (GG-NYSE) HAS BEEN DOING WELL--WISH I HAD MORE MONEY TO INVEST IN IT--IT IS A GOOD COMPANY
Danger: Sink hole ahead
Individuals seen rejecting Wall Street, the Fed
By Thom Calandra, CBS.MarketWatch.com
Last Update: 11:16 AM ET Aug 30, 2002
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) --
Your next-door neighbor's deepening despair about the stock market (and for short-sellers and gold investors, it's jubilation these days) is a hot commodity among money professionals. Commercial banks, brokers and mutual funds, even high-brow analysts and economists, are more likely than ever to glance over their shoulder at the beer-belly crowd.
Call it second-guessing, or yet another feedback tool for market timers who have burned through all their mathematical models without turning a profit. Financial newsletters, especially those that focus on hard assets and safe-money strategies, are thriving.
The Main Street crowd, largely disgusted with the stock market and everything that corporate America represents, is near a turning point. As Elliott Wave theorist Robert Prechter Jr. points out in his new book, "Conquer the Crash," the leanings and opinions of ordinary folks set the directions for the stock market, not the other way around as most of us were taught in Economics 101.
Those leanings (Wall Street calls this investor and consumer sentiment) are bordering on lethal. "Not only is the market a ticking time bomb, but so is the global economy," says Jeff Morgan, whose main credentials are an e-mail account, a brain and the eyes to see what others can't. "I'm constantly amazed at how many people are in denial. And we sure don't need to dance with Iraq anytime soon. I don't want a self-fulfilling prophecy, but people had better get their finances in order real soon because the bottom is going to fall out just like a big sink hole."
As we enter the autumn season, America's love affair with stocks shows signs of ending -- after more than 20 years. The light bulbs are starting to burn bright as folks switch off their online brokerage accounts and switch on their common sense. Stock investors -- the ones who have lost half their savings these past 30 months -- are probing Bankrate.com and other services for the safest money-market and cash alternatives.
Plain-vanilla savings bonds, and gold, are in the running for best-performing investment classes. The Commodity Research Bureau's tally of hard assets -- agricultural, metal and so on -- is at its highest point since June 2001. Organizers says precious metals and contrarian investment conferences set for the autumn season -- in New York, Denver and New Orleans -- are already at overflow.
For the most part, the folks streaming to these fresh investment waves are you and me: our spouses, our fathers-in-law, our house painters, maybe the owner of that dry-cleaning shop down the block. Or your medical doctor, whose self-managed retirement funds and hopeless mutual funds are on death's door.
"As of today," individual investor Bruce Allen tells me, "I am again long the gold market. I don't know if I'll turn another quick 45 percent profit, but with all of the screwy stuff going on in the markets, I'll take my chances with gold."
Naturally, there are still stock-market believers, which is why the Dow Jones average of 30 stocks, led by 3M (MMM), is still selling for a number that begins with 8, as in 8,665 this final trading day before the Labor Day holiday.
"Any investor who sells what he has left and goes out and buys puts on the Dow (DIA) with his leftovers may very well be digging his own financial tomb," says Peter Garcia, a Main Street investor.
Yet increasingly, folks are second-guessing the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks whose loose-money policies have turned financial markets into roulette wheels.
"Another bubble is in the making, has been for a while," says Joseph Zipay about the burgeoning market for residential real estate. "The Fed will probably keep rates very low so that a different type of prosperity replaces the former one. It is then that cash will become very scarce. If the Fed is smart it will start to ease the air out slowly, starting now."
From what I see -- and I receive investor feedback from around the world -- more of us (but let's face it, not a whole lot more) are formulating strategies that steer clear of the Wall Street herd. I will leave it to another individual investor, Aaron Bachelder, to say it better than I can.
"Wall Street and the real estate gurus want us to believe that we can all grow cash on trees. I've been out of the market for 1 1/2 years -- never ever bought a tech stock and I'm an engineer. Got tons of cash. Accumulating gold. And waiting. Waiting for point where I can write down all a company's real assets, write down a company's book value, conservatively project earnings and expect a dividend rate of 5 percent. Waiting for property values to actually reflect people's true earnings, not their ability to borrow."
Spot gold on Friday was trading for $313 an ounce, just below a two-week high. "It will probably be late-September or early-October before we see gold mount a real challenge of the $315 resistance level, and then take on the $325 to $330 hurdle," says Brien Lundin, editor of the 31-year-old Gold Newsletter and organizer of the granddaddy of all counter-trend investment conferences, the New Orleans Investment Conference, held in November.
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