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Monday, March 31, 2003
Venezuelan currency controls causing problems
After Venezuela's strike, the government imposed currency controls
to try to bolster its economy. Instead, it's dried up American
imports, causing widespread problems that could shrink the economy
by 30% this year. (3/31/03)
RECENT WAR NEWS
I just heard that Iraq has Scuds hidden in Syria and when Bagdad invasion occurs, they will launch them against Israel as a diversion. And it is not true that we have control of Western Iraq. All of this stuff is happening around the Bekka Valley--the place where Armageddon is reputed to occur.
SCHIFF IN BAD TROUBLE--THEY CUT OFF HIS MONEY
The judge banned a book he never read
COLUMN: Vin Suprynowicz Sunday, March 30, 2003 Las Vegas Review-Journal
Tax author, radio host and IRS gadfly Irwin Schiff argues his reading of
statutes and Supreme Court decisions such as Brushaber v. Union Pacific
R.R. Co. (240 US 1, 1916) have convinced him that paying income taxes on
domestic wages is voluntary for most Americans.
Why? Because if such a tax were made mandatory it would be an
unconstitutional direct tax as currently enforced, under Article I of the
Constitution, Sections 2 and 9, which still stipulate that direct taxes
must be apportioned among the states by population. (Those sections were
unaffected by the 16th Amendment, as the high court found in the
aforementioned Brushaber case, as well as in Stanton v. Baltic Mining,
, and Cook v. Tait, 265 U.S. 47 .)
Whether you agree with him or not, in a free country like ours, surely
Schiff is free to shout what he believes from the rooftops ... right?
In federal court in Las Vegas on March 19, U.S. District Senior Judge Lloyd
George ordered Schiff to stop giving lectures, and to stop selling his
latest book: "The Federal Mafia: How the Government Illegally Imposes and
Unlawfully Collects Income Taxes."
"If they can ban me from speaking ... what good is freedom of speech?"
Schiff asks. "I've never feared criminal prosecution, because I'd get to
cross-examine their claims while they were under oath. It never dawned on
me that they could ever ban a book ... especially when they can't present,
subject to cross-examination, what in my book is wrong."
Department of Justice trial attorney Evan Davis told the court Schiff has
been "running one of the largest tax scams in U.S. history," encouraging
people to file tax returns on which they assert they have no income subject
to the tax. Davis asserted this "is designed to clog the federal court
system and inundate the Internal Revenue Service."
"Lloyd George banned a book he never read," Schiff argues. "The government
was claiming this stuff I say is frivolous, that `He tells people to break
the law.' The judge asked `What book does that?' They said, 'The Federal
Mafia.' He said he'd like to see the book. On the counsel table I had all
the books I sell, plus five huge volumes of the regulations that execute
the Internal Revenue Code, so I gave him the book, which to my knowledge is
the first time he ever saw the book.
"There's a recess, he goes into chambers, he comes back within 10 minutes
and basically bans the book. All he did was take the government's
representations at face value. ... How can they ban a book without allowing
me to cross-examine anyone? Here we are bringing democracy to Iraq and we
can ban a book right here at home?"
Judge George did not return phone messages last week, asking whether in
fact he had read "The Federal Mafia" before he banned it. But local
attorney Richard Salas, who represented Schiff employee and co-defendant
Larry Cohen in the March 19 appearance (Mr. Cohen has since dismissed his
attorney, apparently preferring to represent himself) agrees: "They seem to
proceed from the notion that everyone knows what Schiff says is outrageous,
so it must be false."
Schiff attorney Noel Spaid of San Diego also agrees: "He didn't know the
book at all, and I consider the injunction to be in violation of the First
Amendment. ... It's vague and ambiguous; it doesn't specify what can and
can't be done; it enjoins him from making statements 'against Internal
Revenue law.' What does that mean? Search warrants have been quashed for
vagueness that were more specific than that. ... We're going to argue that
it's overly broad.
"This judge summarily decided Irwin's positions are frivolous; he made no
in-depth study or analysis; he offered no sound, reasoned decision as to
why Irwin's positions are wrong or frivolous."
"This is the first time I know of in the history of this country that a
book has been banned where I'm not telling how to build a bomb; it's not
pornographic." Schiff says.
"A restraining order is an extraordinary measure; it's designed for cases
where someone is in imminent danger. It's not as though I'm brewing up
explosives. The government said I cost them $54 million dollars over the
past three years. So what was I going to cost them over the next three
weeks? What was the big rush? Isn't the First Amendment more important?
"The United States government was established to protect rights," Schiff
insists, "not to raise revenue. But now the courts see their first duty
being to protect the raising of revenue. ... The government wants to ban me
not because what I say is frivolous but because it's correct; anyone can
Federal statutes allow criminal prosecution of anyone who advises others to
break the law, Schiff contends. "But they haven't filed any criminal
charges. Why not? Because then we'd be in criminal court, where I'd get to
cross-examine them under oath. ..."
"When you look at it, it's really a lot easier for the government to do it
this way" -- through a civil action claiming damages in the form of lost
tax revenues from those who have read Schiff's book -- Salas says. If the
government chose the criminal route, "You can either prosecute someone for
failing to file -- but they can't do that because the zero return is a
return -- or you can charge fraudulent deductions. But then Mr. Schiff
could get the forum he wants, he could probably win recognition as an
expert witness, at which point he could take the stand to explain why he
thinks people should be able to file a zero return."
Saturday, March 29, 2003
Minnesota gov wants war protestors to pay for own arrests
"As anti-war protesters begin adopting more confrontational
tactics, Gov. Tim Pawlenty wants them to reimburse law
enforcement for the expense of their own arrests." (3/28/03)
Indiana city asks folks to prepay taxes, trust them on amount
"To avoid cash-flow problems later, the Boone County treasurer
wants homeowners and their mortgage lenders to pay property taxes
this year before they're told exactly what they owe." (3/28/03)
Maryland MMJ bill passes House, awaits gov's signature
A medical marijuana bill that reduces penalties for "people with
serious illnesses" has passed the Maryland House. Gov. Ehrlich is
reportedly favoring signing it. (3/28/03)
California moving closer to internet taxation
"A tax committee of California's Senate on Wednesday approved two
bills that would clear the way for the state to collect sales tax
on goods sold by out-of-state vendors to its residents via the
Web ..." (3/27/03)
Friday, March 28, 2003
WHO'S A LAWYER?
WHAT IS LAW PRACTICE?
Utah Defines a Lawyer�s Job to Meet Middle-Class Legal Needs
BY STEPHANIE FRANCIS CAHILL
A new Utah law defines law practice as what happens in a courtroom. That�s troublesome to the Utah State Bar, but not as troublesome as you might think.
The ABA also has tried to define law practice, drawing critics who fear it would be anti-competitive and lead to higher prices for consumers. But bar leaders in Utah say their law is meant to do just the opposite. It reflects a legislative attempt to improve advocacy for people who can�t afford to pay attorney fees, yet make too much money to qualify for legal aid.
"This is an attention-getter," says Utah Rep. Stephen Urquhart, a St. George attorney and one of the bill�s sponsors.
The Utah statute, set to take effect May 3, 2004, says:
1. The term "practice law" means appearing as an advocate in any criminal proceeding or before any court of record in this state in a representative capacity on behalf of another person.
2. Only persons who have been admitted by the supreme court of this state to practice law may practice or hold themselves out as licensed to practice law in this state.
3. A person may not use "J.D.," "Esq.," "attorney," or "attorney-at-law" on business cards, signs, advertisements, or official documents as those terms are used to indicate status as an attorney, unless licensed to practice law.
The law allows nonlawyers to perform out-of-court services such as real estate closings and preparation of wills. But the bar and the legislature hope they can come up with a better law�one without such a narrow definition�before this one goes into effect next year, says John C. Baldwin, executive director of the Utah State Bar.
The law stemmed from a legislative spring cleaning a few years ago, Baldwin says, when lawmakers eliminated laws that contradicted the Utah Constitution, including one that conflicted with the state supreme court�s authority.
"In the process, they erroneously extinguished some laws prohibiting the unauthorized practice of law," Baldwin says. This new law was supposed to fix that problem. But at the same time, legislators were focusing on the legal needs of Utah�s middle class, which the U.S. Census defines as a household with an annual income of at least $45,000. The state supreme court appointed a commission to study the issue.
"Some legislators weren�t satisfied with the progress of that commission, so last session, they introduced H.B. 349," Baldwin says. "They said it was not really intended to define the practice of law, it was intended to force the issue of creating greater access."
Lish Whitson, a Seattle lawyer, chairs the ABA�s Task Force on the Model Definition of the Practice of Law. He commends the Utah Legislature and state bar for their interest in affordable legal services, but disapproves of the legislature�s tactics.
"I�ve read the law, and I was fairly appalled," he says. "It just seems to me that it�s a mischievous way to accomplish a goal. It�s one of those clever knee-jerk things that perhaps could have been better thought through."
Baldwin says the law was also supposed to "force the bar to come to the table and come up with more specific ideas." Debra Moore, a Salt Lake City lawyer, chairs the Utah State Bar Task Force on Delivery of Legal Services, formed in July to do just that. She says the group will issue a final report soon, and it will include research from five focus groups. Moore says the focus groups expressed feeling a lack of control and access to the legal system. The groups also said they distrusted attorneys and didn�t understand what lawyers do.
"People didn�t always recognize when they even had a legal problem," Moore says. "They were afraid the services would cost more than they could afford, or more than it was worth to them."
Moore�s group is likely to recommend that lawyers start negotiating more affordable fees and offering alternatives such as flat-fee billing and unbundled legal services, where attorneys only perform part of the work and the client handles the rest. Moore says the bar and Utah attorneys need to communicate with nonlawyers to let people know such services may be available.
"It�s my premise that attorneys already do deliver services on an unbundled basis. What they don�t do is advertise their willingness to do it," Moore says. "People see all the advertisements and have a sense that legal help is plentiful, but they don�t know how to sort through and find the right attorney who is willing to work with them."
Charles Robert Brown, a Salt Lake City attorney who handles tax and business law matters, says the billing rate for a "top-level" Utah lawyer is between $250 and $300 an hour. Households that have a combined income of $45,000 may not be able to afford too many hours of service at that price, but Brown says that he and many of his colleagues are willing to work with people. A member of the ABA�s House of Delegates, Brown says he�s disappointed that the ABA has not done more to help the middle class afford legal services.
"It has to be done," he says. "We�re getting pressure to do so, and it�s the right thing to do."
The ABA has a Standing Committee on Delivery of Legal Services, and the Litigation Section recently established a Modest Means Task Force. This year, ABA President Alfred P. Carlton Jr. created the Presidential Commission on Access to Lawyers and the Task Force on Lawyers Center for Personal Legal Services and Client Development.
"It�s our hope that these two [presidential] initiatives will lead to better communication with our members about available ABA resources and create new resources as well, to help lawyers better serve clients of modest means," says Boston lawyer Mary K. Ryan, chair of the delivery of legal services committee.
Thursday, March 27, 2003
IT'S NOT ALL BAD NEWS
New Hampshire is now the third state where one chamber of the legislature passed a FIJA bill. It is still pending in the Senate. Thanks to Dick Marple and the other sponsors! AZ and OK were the first two.
LSR #: 374 Body: H Local Gov: N Chapter #: Gen Stat: HOUSE
Status: PASSED / ADOPTED WITH AMENDMENT
Status Date: Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Current Comm: JUDICIARY
Comm of Referral: JUDICIARY
Date Intro: Wednesday, January 08, 2003
Due Out of Comm: Thursday, March 20, 2003
Floor Date: Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Title: relative to an informed jury.
HB 122 - AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL HB 122
AN ACT relative to an informed jury.
SPONSORS: Rep. Marple, Merr 37; Rep. McElroy, Hills 61; Rep. Gilman, Graf 9; Rep. L. Christiansen, Hills 66; Rep. Ingbretson, Graf 13; Sen. Boyce, Dist 4; Sen. Roberge, Dist 9; Sen. Prescott, Dist 23; Sen. Sapareto, Dist 19; Sen. Green, Dist 6
This bill states that a criminal defendant has a right that the court instruct the jury of its inherent right to judge the law and the facts in controversy and to nullify.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Three
AN ACT relative to an informed jury.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 Findings and Intent. Under the decisions of both the New Hampshire supreme court and the United States supreme court, the jury has an undeniable right to judge both the law and the facts in controversy. The jury system functions at its best when it is fully informed of these prerogatives. The general court wishes to perpetuate and reiterate the rights of the jury, as ordained under common law and recognized in the American jurisprudence, while preserving the rights of a criminal defendant.
2 New Section; Right of Accused; Jury Instruction. Amend RSA 519 by inserting after section 23 the following new section:
519:23-a Right of Accused. In all criminal proceedings the court shall instruct the jury of its inherent right to judge the law as well as the facts and to nullify.
3 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2004.
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
WHO WOULD HAVE BELIEVED IT--THEY OUT AMERICANNED US
Russia's flat tax miracle
by Daniel J. Mitchell
"The Russian flat tax has been so successful that even American
politicians might learn the right lessons. Let's look at the
evidence: Russia's economy has expanded by about 10 percent since
it adopted a flat tax." (3/24/03)
14- Chicago police sued for illegal searches
"U.S. Olympic speed skater Shani Davis Monday filed a federal
court suit against the Chicago Police Department for illegally
stopping and detaining him. Davis and brothers Damien and Quincy
Joyner allege they were stopped in separate incidents by police,
detained and searched for no apparent reason or legal
WHICH ONE ARE YOU?
The slogan they use on NPR is "Committed to bringing out the best in medicine". This is from the 'Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy'. It's nice to see they can maintain a sense of humor after providing the detailed clinical notes:
Flatulence, which can cause great psychosocial distress, is unofficially described according to its salient characteristics: (1) the "slider" (crowded elevator type), which is released slowly and noiselessly, sometimes with devastating effect; (2) the open sphincter, or "pooh" type, which is said to be of higher temperature and more aromatic; (3) the staccato or drumbeat type, pleasantly passed in privacy; and (4) the "bark" type (described in a personal communication) is characterized by a sharp exclamatory eruption that effectively interrupts (and often concludes) conversation. Aromaticity is not a prominent feature. Rarely, this usually distressing symptom has been turned to advantage, as with a Frenchman referred to as "Le Petomane," who became affluent as an effluent performer who played tunes with the gas from his rectum on the Moulin Rouge stage.
Monday, March 24, 2003
New cocaine sweet 'will help people relax'
A company in Peru is developing a sweet made out of a mixture of caramel and cocaine.
The company, from Carmen Alto, says the Cocamel will help people relax from the stress of daily life.
Firm boss Rosario Lazo told Las Ultimas Noticias online: "The Cocamel is delicious and can be used to relax people from daily tensions.
"It will surprise everyone and give people more than a smile."
The company has been working on the sweet for six months, and still has to get Department of Health approval before it is put on sale.
Mrs Lazo added: "I want to demystify the use of cocaine leaves. In many parts people chew or make tea with them to fight altitude sickness."
If put on sale, the Cocamel will be sold in bags of 12 for 50p.
Sunday, March 23, 2003
ISN'T IT THE TRUTH
"To err is human, but it takes a politician to really screw things up." --
Groucho Marx: "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it,
misdiagnosing it and then misapplying the wrong remedies."
P.J. O'Rourke: "When politics are used to allocate resources, the
resources all end up being allocated to politics."
"Giving money and power to the government is like giving car keys and
whisky to teenage boys."
Gideon J. Tucker, 1866: "No man's life, liberty or property are safe while
the Legislature is in session."
Will Rogers: "This country has come to feel the same when congress is in
session as when a baby gets hold of a hammer."
"It is awful hard to get people interested in corruption unless they can
get some of it."
"A politician is just like a pickpocket; it's almost impossible to get him
Mark Twain: "We have the best congress money can buy."
"There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress."
"Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of
Congress. But I repeat myself."
Thomas Sowell: "You have to have a sense of humor if you follow politics.
Otherwise, the sheer fraudulence of it all will get you down."
Monte Markham: "I don't approve of political jokes. I've seen too many of
them get elected."
H. L. Mencken: "Looking for an honest politician is like looking for an
Charles Peacock: "I'm a politician, and as a politician I have the
prerogative to lie whenever I want."
Charley Reese 10/20/99: "Experience to a politician is like experience to a
prostitute -- not much to recommend them."
Neal Boortz: "If there were any people safe to criticize, they'd be
politicians and child molesters, doncha think?"
William F. Buckley, Jr.: "No one since the Garden of Eden -- which the
serpent forsook in order to run for higher office -- has imputed to
politicians great purity of motive."
Dave Barry: "A child can go only so far in life without potty training. It
is not mere coincidence that six of the last seven presidents were potty
trained, not to mention nearly half of the nation's state legislators."
"[Political] offices are as acceptable here as elsewhere, and whenever a
man cast a longing eye on them, a rottenness begins in his conduct." --
Thomas Jefferson, 1799
"You cannot adopt politics as a profession and remain honest." -- Ambrose
"The personal qualities necessary for attaining office are practically the
opposite of those demanded by the office itself. The trouble with the damn
system is that it selects for the skills needed to get elected, and nothing
else. A test that you can only pass by cheating can't possibly select
honest people." -- James P. Hogan
"Most politicians believe in just one thing -- winning elections. They'll
say anything to get in office and stay there." -- Harry Browne
"The United States was supposed to have a limited government because the
founders knew power attracts swarms of crooks, demagogues and despots as
surely as horse manure attracts swarms of horseflies." -- Rick Gaber
"Never was a government that was not composed of liars, malefactors and
thieves." -- Marcus Tullius Cicero,
brilliant philosopher, writer, political scientist, orator, humorist and
last Free Consul of Rome, before he was murdered by the despicable despot
Mark Anthony, doing his utmost to demonstrate and underscore Cicero's
"The only true allegiance a politician has is to his own re-election." --
"Is there anything more dangerous to the cause of liberty than a politician
fixated on re-election?" -- Neal Boortz
"A politician in power tends to remain in power." -- Neal Boortz's "First
Rule of Political Dynamics"
"It is the rare -- maybe even nonexistent -- politician who will admit
this, but number one on the politicians to-do list is always to get
reelected. Nothing else comes close. The economy, the stock market, the war
on terrorism . NOTHING comes ahead of getting reelected. Staying in power
is job number one." -- Neal Boortz
"One reason the economy is such a mess is that politicians care far more
about keeping their jobs than about
helping you keep yours." -- Steve Dasbach
"There is always an easy solution to every human problem -- neat, plausible
and wrong." -- H. L. Mencken
"Congress will always couple one bad idea with another, the better to
'offset' them." -- Jeff Taylor
"Whenever the government causes a crisis, Congress and the president of the
United States will almost surely give even more power and authority to the
agency that is most responsible for the calamity." -- William L. Anderson
"The modus operandi which politicians have loved for so many years is: 'If
it doesn't work, do more of it!' " -- Ian Bernard
"A politician is like a drunk who walks into a bar, sees a sign that says
"All you can drink for $1", and orders $2 worth." -- Cafrman
"Giving a politician access to your wallet is like giving a dog access to
your refrigerator." -- Tim Barber
"Politicians detest self-sufficient citizens. Politicians need to be
needed. When we get socialized medicine, you will be completely dependent
upon politicians for your medical care, as Canadians are today. That's why
if you need an MRI in Canada, you have to wait three months -- unless you
pay certain kinds of homage to the right politicians." -- Neal Boortz
"A politician's guiding philosophy: 'When in doubt, pander.' " -- Doug Newman
"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed -- and
thus clamorous to be led to safety -- by menacing it with an endless series
of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." -- H.L. Mencken
"For those looking for security, be forewarned that there's nothing more
insecure than a political promise." -- Harry Browne
"Politicians, like bombers, seldom see their victims..." -- Donald
Boudreaux, in his article, "Losing Touch". located HERE. In all fairness,
Dr. Boudreaux also says, "Friends of liberty do their cause no favors by
exaggerating the moral shortcomings of politicians or by portraying them as
inherently stupid, fiendish, or sinister."
"Okay then, how about misguided, careless, amoral, desperate or blind?" --
"Bad policies, stupid policies, gutless policies have real consequences."
-- Molly Ivins
"Someone once noted that a 'gaffe' in Washington is when a politician
accidentally tells the truth." -- Jonah Goldberg
"[In politics] no good deed goes unpunished" -- Clare Booth Luce
"Robbery, when legalized, is profitable, at least for the middle men. And
the middle men in the legal plunder game are the politicians and their
clients with government jobs." -- Wirkman Virkkala
"The average federal income tax rate for the 437,036 individual returns
filed for the year 1916 was .0275 (2.75 percent). And to think that Senator
Nelson Aldrich had urged passage of the income tax, vehemently bellowing on
the floor of the Senate his impassioned assurances that it would never,
never, EVER go above one percent!" -- Rick Gaber
"The single most exciting thing you encounter in government is competence,
because it's so rare." -- Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 1976
"If there's a distinct group of Americans who harbor open contempt for
constitutional principles and rule of law, it's lawyers, judges and members
of Congress." -- Walter Williams in his column, "Attacks on the Rule of Law"
"What this country needs are more unemployed politicians." -- Edward Langley
[A demonstration of how politicians deserve to be talked about]: See "The
contrast was exquisite. Politicians yakking about a supposed problem while
real people in the real world make the yakking moot." HERE.
"This country has gotten where it is in spite of politics, not by aid of
it." -- Will Rogers, 1935
"This government never furthered any enterprise but by the alacrity with
which it got out of its way." -- Henry David Thoreau in his essay, "Civil
"Doing nothing in the public policy world allows much more to be done in
the real world." -- Thomas Hazlett
"People constantly speak of 'the government' doing this or that, as they
might speak of God doing it. But the government is really nothing but a
group of men, and usually they are very inferior men. They may have some
better man working for them, but they themselves are seldom worthy of any
respect." -- H.L. Mencken
"You can't get something for nothing. Everybody remembers this except
politicians." -- P.J. O'Rourke
"It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making
decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no
price for being wrong." -- Thomas Sowell
"Politics is the business of tinkering with other people's lives." -- Nolan
"Everything the government touches turns to crap." -- Ringo Starr
"Turning to politicians is the worst way to solve a problem." -- Jim Babka
"Being a politician means never having to say you're sorry. You don't have
to say, 'I never should have voted to subsidize that ridiculous Enron
project in India.' ... After all, they're greedy businessmen and you're a
selfless public servant." -- Harry Browne
"Politicians are notorious for attaining results contrary to their stated
goals." -- Prof. Aeon J. Skoble
"Whenever you come across a screw-up this big, you know the government is
behind it." -- Ann Coulter
"Imagine how fast Social Security would be fixed or replaced if Congressmen
had to rely on it like they force everyone else to, instead of on their
lucrative special pension fund, sometimes paying millions a year. Heck,
imagine how they might even want to learn about real economics instead of
all those fallacies once they had such incentives." -- Bert Rand
"My grandfather once told me that there are two kinds of people: those who
do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the
first group; there was less competition there." -- Indira Gandhi
"I have never seen a politician purport to have bad intentions, no matter
what the agenda. Hitler thought he was doing the world a favor." -- Doug
"I try to ONLY ridicule people who's efforts are sincere. Very little
trouble has been caused in the world by insincere efforts. An occasional
seduction maybe. There were very few insincere Stalinists or Nazis." --
"Some politicians actually work their butts off. But it's usually in just a
frantic, futile attempt to justify their neurotic existence." -- Bert Rand
"The idea that money is corrupting innocent politicians would be laughable
if it did not lead to such dangerous legislation..." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell.
"It doesn't matter whether the coercive individuals or groups identify
themselves as bandits, Mafia, Church, party, government, chief, Pharaoh,
king, high priest or president. If they initiate force, they are all simply
criminals, regardless of their aliases and pretensions." -- Jarret Wollstein
"Politicians are frightened to death of people who actually believe in
liberty." -- Neal Boortz
"When will the world wake up and realize that most politicians, especially
in the poorest countries of the world, are nothing more than glorified
gangsters who view government as simply a fiercely-guarded monopoly on
every form of compulsion and extortion to be perpetrated in a specific
geographical area? Why do you think the largest amounts of 'foreign aid'
extracted from the gullible diplomats of wealthier countries wind up in
those politicians' pockets or Swiss bank accounts, despite all the
virtuous-sounding rhetoric?" -- Bert Rand
"The one thing government has which we (you or I or any corporation) DON'T
have, is the ability to use deadly force to accomplish its goals." -- Neal
"Ultimately, however, as the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter pointed
out, a powerful bureaucratic class is in the same relation to commerce as
was the scorpion in Aesop to the dog on whose back he crossed the river.
They will destroy commerce and establish socialism, even if it kills them,
because that is their nature." -- John Derbyshire
"Scratch the surface of an endemic problem -- famine, illness, poverty --
and you invariably find a politician at the source." -- Simon Carr, in his
review of The Mystery of Capital by Hernando de Soto
"There is no limit to the hunger politicians have for the money you've
worked so hard for. ... You can tell them to take a hike, but then the guns
come out." -- Neal Boortz
"Congress is a Mafia running a protection racket.. ." -- Dr. Jack Wheeler.
"The politicians don't just want your money. They want your soul. They want
you to be worn down by taxes until you are dependent and helpless." --
James Dale Davidson Founder, National Taxpayers Union
"Politicians don't like empowered individuals." -- Neal Boortz
"Confronted with economic problems, politicians always blame the private
sector first ... [even] blaming the problem on the solution." -- Richard L.
"There is no company -- no corporation on earth that engages in accounting
fraud to the extent the Imperial Federal Government of the United Sates
does. Not many congressmen are willing to come forward with the details."
-- Neal Boortz
"The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a bit longer."
-- Henry Kissinger
"The motto of the nation's capital should be 'Land of the spree and home of
the depraved'." -- Rick Gaber
"A lot of what is called 'public service' consists of making hoops for
other people to jump through. It is a great career for those who cannot
feel fulfilled unless they are telling other people what to do." -- Thomas
"[Politicians] -- they'll give you everything you want to your face -- and
then, as you walk away, they'll shoot you in the back because it's fun to
watch you die." -- Bob Crandall, former president, American Airlines
"[Certain politicians] don't mind if price controls cause shortages of
health care. In fact, they welcome the prospect, because then they can
impose rationing; they can impose priorities, and tell everyone how much of
what kind of medical care they can have. And besides, ... there's that
deeply satisfying rush of power. We should know by now that reasoned
arguments by economists or disillusioned ex-controllers are not going to
stop them." -- Murray N. Rothbard
"By far the most inappropriate and ridiculous name change any major sports
team has perpetrated was the Washington Bullets' changing its name to the
Washington 'Wizards.' Give me a break." -- Rick Gaber
"The closer one gets to elections or wars, the further one gets from the
truth." -- Tony Blankley
"You know, if government were a product, selling it would be illegal. ...
Government contains impure ingredients -- as anybody who's looked at
Congress can tell you. ... government practices deceptive advertising. And
the merest glance at the federal budget is enough to convict the government
of perjury, extortion, and fraud. ... in a nutshell: government should be
against the law. Term limits aren't enough. We need jail." -- P.J. O'Rourke
(from "a revised Constitution for our times"): "Section 2: The House of
Representatives shall be composed of persons who own at least two dark
suits and have not been indicted recently." -- Dave Barry
"Why do so many busybodies, control freaks, neurotics and even psychotics
become politicians? Because they can have an effect on the world and gain
at least temporary respect without doing anything really productive. If
they're really lucky, they can even gain fame and fortune while doing
incredible long-term damage!" -- Randy Richards
"Where do politicians come from? Why, they come from Uranus!" -- Neal Boortz
"A statesman is a dead politician. Lord knows, we need more statesmen." --
"In reality, because government actions have been a major factor in forcing
up the price of health care in America, we now have the perverse situation
in which someone who either does not have access to private insurance or
qualifies for government payments must face the system out of pocket. While
politicians and their allies are fond of decrying the fact that at any
given time, millions of Americans lack health insurance, they forget that
they themselves have played a major role in creating the conditions that
have made going without health insurance a recipe for individual financial
calamity." -- William L. Anderson
"Some people have suggested that our tax laws should be simplified so that
the taxpayers could actually understand them. How could this be done? My
friend John Dorschner proposes this system: Every year, on April 15, all
members of Congress would be placed in individual prison cells with the
necessary tax forms and a copy of the Tax Code. They would remain locked in
the cells, without food or water, until they had completed their tax
returns and successfully undergone a full IRS audit. Of course this system
would probably result in a severe shortage of congresspersons. But there
might also be some drawbacks." -- Dave Barry
Whenever you consider this collecton of clowns, always remember, as Neal
Boortz says, "The one thing government has which we (you or I or any corporation) DON'T
have, is the ability to use deadly force to accomplish its goals."
Saturday, March 22, 2003
ONE MAN'S OPINION
----- Original Message -----
From: "Stuart Friedman"
To: "SADO FORUM Mailing List"
Sent: Saturday, March 22, 2003 6:56 PM
Subject: [SADO FORUM] - Way O.T.Belgium BS
I have been dealing indirectly with Belgium's laws. A friend of mine is
counsel on a case involving extradition from the US to Belgium. In that
case, Belgium is attempting to exercise broad extraterritorial
juridiction. As much as it gnaws at my gut, I guess the question is why
shouldn't Belgium exercise this jurisdiction? The United States
If the United States exercises worldwide jurisdiction, why can't other
countries? We try foreign dictators in our courts for actions done in
their countries. If we can try Marcos, why can't Belgium try Sharon?
What right do we have enjoining French court degrees against Yahoo
because the French court orders (banning Nazi related speech) violate
our First Amendment? Yahoo!, Inc. v. La Ligue Contre Le Racisme et
L'Antisemitisme,169 F.Supp.2d 1181 (N.D.Cal.2001).
We (the US) routinely export our laws and enjoin foreign websites from
violating the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. For exampl, in a well
known case, we put Russian programmers on trial for breaking the copy
protection in Adobe's ebook digital rights scheme. United States v
Elcom, Ltd., 203 F Supp 2d 1111 (ND Cal 2002). American courts have
enjoined Scandanavian programs from distributing the DeCSS program
(which breaks the copy protection on DVDs) outside the United States.
See, gen. Article, The Digitial Trademark Right: A Troubling New
Extraterritorial Reach of United States Law, 81 NCL Rev 483 (2003); Paul
Borman, The Globalization of Jurisdiction, 151 U Pa L Rev 311 (2002).*
I believe that the International Criminal Court can be the answer to
this problem. It has a majority of the nations signed on and under the
Vienna Agreement regarding the interpretation of treaties, it is binding
on non-signatories, viz the United States. The United States
incidentally has ratified the Vienna Agreement, so we have effectively
agreed to be bound by the Court's jurisdiction notwithstanding Bush's
statements to the contrary. If we perfer to adopt our current approach,
then we can not complain when others follow the same suit.
No one likes "frivolous lawsuits," but I believe Belgium has the same
right to exercise extraterritorial jurisdiction as the United States.
If we don't like others exercising it, then we should stop exercising it
THE PROBLEM WITH NATIONS IS THAT THEY ALL MAKE THEIR OWN LAWS--MAKE ONE LIKE THIS AND PEOPLE STOP VISITING
Fearing Prosecution, Powell Slams Belgian Law
Powell lamented "this kind of legislation�makes it hard for us to go to places, it puts you at such easy risk."
WASHINGTON, March 18 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) � Fearing prosecution in over perpetrating war crimes during the 1991 Gulf War, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell warned Belgium that its status as an international hub may be jeopardized.
Seven Iraqi families filed a lawsuit Tuesday, March18 , in Belgium against former U.S. president George Bush, incumbent Vice President Dick Cheney, Powell and retired U.S. General Norman Schwarzkop for the bombing of a civilian shelter in Baghdad that killed 403 people on the night of February12 -13,1991 .
"It's a serious problem," said Powell, adding Washington had deep concerns about Belgium's "universal competence" law, which allows legal proceedings against people accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide regardless of their nationality or location.
"The Belgian legislature continues to pass laws and modify them over time which permit these kinds of suits," he said in an interview with reporters from international news agencies at the State Department.
"We have cautioned our Belgian colleagues that they need to be very careful about this kind of effort, this kind of legislation, because it makes it hard for us to go to places, it puts you at such easy risk," Powell said.
"It affects the ability of people to travel in Belgium without being subject to this kind of threat," he said.
"For a place that is an international centre they should be a little bit concerned about this."
Heads of state, prime ministers and foreign ministers are immune from the Belgian law while in office, but some 30 current of former political leaders are facing legal action under the legislation, including Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Cuban President Fidel Castro.
Powell claimed that officials at NATO headquarters in Brussels had problems with the law but stopped short of suggesting that the North Atlantic alliance might move its operations elsewhere because of the concerns.
"I know its a matter of concern at NATO headquarters now, an international headquarters sitting there in Belgium where not just U.S. officials but officials from anywhere in the world such as Sharon can be subject to this kind of litigation," he said.
Sharon could face legal action for war crimes by 23 Palestinians who survived a massacre by an Israeli-allied militia at two refugee camps in Beirut in 1982 .
"If you show up, the next thing you know you're being ... who knows?," Powell said, slapping his hand on a table in a motion that appeared to indicate either being served with a lawsuit or being arrested.
Cheney was U.S. defense secretary at the time of the first Gulf War, while Powell was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Schwarzkopf commander of the Operation Desert Storm.
The families who brought the action are either victims or relatives of victims who died in the attack, according to socialist lawmaker Patrick Moriau, who accompanied the Iraqi plaintiffs when they filed their lawsuit.
Powell said he understood that plans were being made now for another lawsuit to be filed under the same law against President George W. Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld even before the start of a new invasion of Iraq.
"They are getting ready to accuse current President Bush and Don Rumsfeld ... for whatever might happen," he said.
Belgium is fiercely opposed to the looming U.S. war on Iraq, and was among three countries, along with Germany and France, which caused a crisis at NATO in February by refusing to back a U.S. request to boost Turkey's defences.
Brussels also this month refused to expel an Iraqi diplomat as requested by the United States.
Thursday, March 20, 2003
They Finally Got Around to Irwin Schiff
Thursday, March 20, 2003
Copyright � Las Vegas Review-Journal
FIRST AMENDMENT FIGHT: Restraining order issued on activist
Federal judge orders Schiff to stop circulating information that paying taxes is voluntary
By GLENN PUIT
Anti-tax activist says judge's order violates his right to free speech
A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order Wednesday against Las Vegas anti-tax activist Irwin Schiff and two of his associates, saying the group is to stop disseminating information that paying taxes in the United States is voluntary.
Schiff criticized the order by U.S. District Senior Judge Lloyd George, saying it violates his First Amendment right to free speech.
"If they can ban me from speaking, and if you can only talk about things that the government wants you to say, what good is freedom of speech?" Schiff said.
But in his remarks to the judge during a Wednesday morning hearing, Department of Justice trial attorney Evan Davis said Schiff "is running one of the largest tax scams in U.S. history."
"We are trying to shut the scam down," Davis said, adding that the First Amendment does not protect speech that facilitates illegal conduct.
Last week, the government filed a civil complaint in Las Vegas against Schiff, Cynthia Neun and Larry Cohen. The complaint alleged that Schiff has falsely asserted that payment of federal income taxes is voluntary and that any governmental attempts to collect such taxes are illegal.
Specifically, Davis said Schiff has been giving advice on how to file false tax returns listing zero income and zero liability. Davis said Schiff has some "3,100 clients attempting to evade $56 million" in taxes, even though such filings can lead to jail time or civil fines.
"It is designed to clog the federal court system and inundate the Internal Revenue Service," Davis said.
Of the seemingly large number of people following Schiff's advice, Davis said: "You tell a big lie often enough, people begin to believe you. The arguments he is making are not only wrong, they can land you in jail."
But Schiff said he is simply selling books that offer information about the tax code, and he has every right to do so.
Schiff's attorney, Noel Spaid, told George that, if the government believes people are filing false tax returns, it already has the power and ability to pursue such discretions without seeking restraining orders.
"Isn't our government big enough to stand against that?" she said. "Isn't our government big enough to pull out zero tax returns and go after that?"
The request for a temporary restraining order asked that Schiff, Neun and Cohen be prevented from representing customers before the IRS and that they be prevented from holding tax-related seminars for compensation.
George granted the order and also prevented Schiff from distributing his book, "The Federal Mafia."
Schiff said his book is "the first book that's been banned since 'Lady Chatterley's Lover,' " a 1928 DH Lawrence novel that shocked the nation with its sexual content. He also claimed that the judge hadn't read the book before he issued his order.
George offered some sharp criticism of Schiff's actions before issuing the temporary order.
"I have some sympathy for the people drawn into this, but really, it's nonsense," he said.
A hearing was scheduled for April 7 to determine whether a preliminary injunction should be imposed against Schiff and his colleagues.
Friday, March 07, 2003
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
Asset forfeiture sales go online
"'It's the best way to get the most money. All properties are now
on the Internet,' said U.S. Marshals spokesman Jason Wojdylo of
the shift to holding asset forfeiture auctions online. (3/7/03)
Ohio midwife still refuses to talk, remains in jail
Cleveland Plain Dealer
A Mennonite midwife remains in jail for failing to reveal who
gave her prescription drugs that she used to stop a woman's
bleeding after childbirth. She has already served almost two
months in jail. (3/7/03)
California panty thief at risk of life sentence
"A man with a history of robbing women of their underpants at
gunpoint faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced March 28
for breaking into the office of a woman he had dated." (3/7/03)
The reason there has to be a war, as I previously predicted, is because it is the only way to get Israel to allow the creation of a Palestinian State. This would also lend impetus to Zecariaha's prophesy of a split Jerusalem imposed by "all the nations." If no war, the U.S. would not be able to leverage this result.
VERY INTERESTING STUFF
Justice uses humor to pan argument Constitution is 'living document'
By Jennifer G. Hickey � 2003 WorldNetDaily.com Posted: March 7, 2003 1:00 a.m. Eastern
The speech delivered by President George W. Bush at the advocacy conference hosted by the American Medical Association may have received the most ink, but it did not elicit the most laughter from those in attendance. In fact, the humor was provided by one of the most unlikely of speakers � Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.
Addressing the conference with his right arm in a sling as a result of recent shoulder surgery, the conservative jurist used a liberal dose of sarcasm and humor in making the argument for an originalist interpretation of the Constitution. As Republicans and Democrats in the Senate dug in their heels to try to stop the nomination of Miguel Estrada to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Scalia criticized the politicization of the nominating process, asserting that the nation's system of justice is getting kicked in the teeth.
"I've been predicting this for 20 years � that ultimately this theory of the living Constitution will destroy us, it will destroy the federal courts," Scalia said.
The current legislative loggerheads, he said, are a result of interpretations of the Constitution as a "living document" � one that is flexible and adapts to a society's ever-changing standards. Scalia argued that as an originalist (he pleaded not to be labeled a "strict constructionist"), he knows what he is looking for � the original intent of the words used by the Constitution's authors at the time it was authored.
For instance, by specifically mentioning the right to a trial by jury in "capital" cases, the drafters left no doubt that they did not consider the death penalty to be cruel and unusual punishment (as has been argued by proponents of a "living Constitution"). If a judge adheres to the original intent, Scalia said, he also is bound by it regardless of his own personal beliefs. "If you don't want your judges confined by that, what do you want your judges confined by?" the justice asked.
Once the American people become aware that jurists are not using the original meaning of the Constitution as their guide, they will realize the judges must be making it up. "Once the people figure out what the game is, they will say, 'We will select our judges on the basis of who will create the Constitution that we desire.' You are watching this play out before your very eyes," Scalia said, referring to the judicial crisis that has resulted from inaction by the Senate on pending nominations.
Often depicted in frightening terms by his critics, Scalia displayed a strong sense of humor in outlining his judicial philosophy, as well as in describing the wrongheadedness of "living constitutionalists" who revel in what they see as the Constitution's recognition of the "evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of mature society." Repeating the phrase with sarcastic glee, Scalia inquired why "better societies only mature; [do] they never rot?"
Decried and demonized most often by liberals, Scalia advised the audience not to view the debate in terms of liberal versus conservative because "conservative Republicans are just as willing to distort the Constitution to their aims as are liberal Democrats. It has nothing to do with your social views."
He illustrated his point with two decisions handed down by the Supreme Court on the same day in 1996. In the first case (Romer v. Evans), the court ruled as unconstitutional an initiative passed by voters in Colorado denying special legal protection to homosexuals. It was deemed unconstitutional, said Scalia, in "violation of ... I have no idea. The sexual-preference clause?"
Liberals cheered the ruling, while conservatives derided it. The other case (BMW v. Gore) involved the question of whether a punitive award could be so grossly excessive that it would violate the due-process clause of the 14th Amendment. At issue was incidental damage done to Ira Gore's new BMW (or, as Scalia called it, his "Beemer"). The car was repainted, but BMW did not tell Gore about the damage when selling it to him. A jury decided this constituted fraud and awarded Gore $4,000 in compensatory damages for reduced value of the car and $4 million in punitive damages.
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the punitive-damage award was "grossly excessive" and, as Scalia added, "unconstitutional and a violation of ... I have no idea. The freedom-from-excessive-punitive-damages clause of the Constitution?"
Conservatives applauded and liberals jeered, but Scalia says a pox should be on both their houses. The Constitution was written to establish and protect American rights, as well as to prevent future generations who might not be as virtuous or wise as the Framers who wrote it from doing some foolish or evil things, he said.
"Its meaning doesn't change," Scalia contended. "To achieve change, all you need is a legislature and a ballot box. Things will change just as fast as you like." Instead of creating new rights in a way in which democracies normally do � by passing laws � proponents delight in the idea of a living Constitution because it enables judges who agree with their idea of change to insert a "right" that cannot be overturned. This is easier than engaging in the systematic process of persuading fellow citizens of the worth of a particular right and passing that right into law.
In adopting an originalist interpretation, Scalia told the audience, judges often find themselves supporting a right to which they personally are opposed. In siding with the majority in a 5-4 ruling protecting the right to burn the flag, Scalia said he was bound by the First Amendment regardless of his views � and those of his wife. The day after the ruling, Scalia said he came down for breakfast to find the banner of the Washington Post heralding the decision and his annoyed wife humming "Stars and Stripes Forever."
Added Scalia, "If you have to be bound by what it meant when it was adopted you often have to reach results you don't particularly like."
Asked by an audience member about his views on the due-process rights of enemy combatants currently detained at Guantanamo Bay, Scalia refrained from addressing specifics. However, he said the likely question at issue if a case comes before the Supreme Court would be who has rights under the Constitution.
"Americans abroad, Americans anywhere, have rights under the Constitution. Aliens in the United States have rights under the American Constitution. But to say that aliens abroad have rights under the Constitution, well I am not sure I can govern that much territory," remarked Scalia to a clearly entertained audience. However, he concluded, there probably is a reason why the holding base is on Guantanamo Bay and not in Cuba.
Scalia will continue to be a lightning rod in the current debate over Estrada's nomination and in other Supreme Court nomination battles, but members of this audience left entertained by his wit and perhaps enlightened by his wisdom.
Thursday, March 06, 2003
GOOD BUT LONG ARTICLE ABOUT GOLD AND GOLD STOCK TRADING
Copyright � 2003 Jim Puplava March 4, 2003
Charts courtesy of http://www.sharelynx.net/ and http://www.stockcharts.com/
One of my favorite stories as a young boy in parochial school was the story about David and Goliath. A young shepherd boy taking on a great warrior and slaying the giant has been read and told throughout the centuries. There are several aspects to this story that seem to resonate in today�s investment markets. If we look at the story of David and Goliath, the odds were against David. He was a boy; Goliath was a giant warrior. In battle the odds favored Goliath. He had height, strength, experience and heavy armor. David had speed and cunning. When the Israelite King Saul heard David had volunteered to fight the Philistine giant, he was told he didn�t stand a chance. David responded that as a shepherd he had killed a lion and bear to protect his flock of sheep. The Philistine giant would be no problem.
Many new gold investors, as well as some not so new, seem puzzled by gold�s sudden drop�especially now when the fundamentals for gold and silver have never been better. Gold and silver demand is outstripping supply. The upcoming war and possible terrorist attacks that are expected to follow have added political uncertainty to gold�s fundamental demand. On the financial front most importantly, we have a declining dollar. For the fourth consecutive year, our stock market is at a loss in the U.S. The economy seems to be drifting and along with it, corporate profits. On the monetary front, the money supply continues to expand at a high rate. Fed officials have made it well known that they will burn the currency if necessary to keep the markets liquid and America�s climbing debt pyramid from imploding.
There is an important lesson here to be learned by the gold community. For the last three years, I have observed the futures markets and precious metals equities markets. The goliaths of the investment markets dominate this market. Large commercial hedgers, Wall Street firms and bullion banks control this market. Time and time again I see the commercial hedger go short silver and gold; while small traders and technical trading firms go long. In the end, the commercials end up driving the price down with their large short positions and the small traders and technical trading firms end up withdrawing from battle after heavy losses. The larger commercial hedgers then come back in and cover their short positions at lower prices. It is a game that I�ve seen played over an over again.
Slaying The Philistine
As I began to understand more about silver and gold�s fundamental position, it struck me why the small trader lost each battle. The small trader was taking on Goliath and fighting him at his own game. I also realized that the way Goliath fought made him vulnerable to the stones of a small shepherd boy. Gold Goliaths have heavy armor. In this case, that means access to capital at favorable rates. The Gold Goliaths also have strength, which comes from the leverage of their capital. This capital is leveraged through derivatives. Derivatives in this case act as a force multiplier. Gold Goliaths also have experience. Their technical expertise in trading, as well as access to information and capital, gives them a great advantage on the investment battlefield. Playing the futures game or the equities markets on the giants� terms will only end up in defeat for the small investor. The giant is vulnerable and the giant knows it. He can only win if the small investor plays by the terms and rules of the giant. If David would have put on heavy armor and fought Goliath in hand to hand combat, it would have been David�s head that would have been displayed on a pole on the battlefield that day. Instead, David worked with what he knew and understood.
When it came time for battle, he would rely on his own faith to bolster and give him confidence. He chose to fight the giant on his own terms. David also saw one of Goliath�s main weaknesses: the giant�s own hubris and conceit. He looked in disdain at the small, unarmed shepherd boy. He was confident he would overcome David as he had done to many others in the same way by using his strength and armor to assail his opponents. He never saw the stone coming until it was too late. The small, smooth stone slung by a small shepherd boy had slain the giant Philistine. The lesson learned here is never confront a superior force directly and never fight a battle on the enemy�s terms or from a position of weakness. In this gold war, investors have been fighting and losing this battle in the futures pit and in the stock market. They have been fighting on terms and rules set forth by Goliath. This strategy is bound to end in defeat. It is time to turn the tables.
Your Five Smooth Stones
The story of David and Goliath demonstrates the futility of fighting directly and in a way that favors the giant, so a different tactic is necessary. It is time to adopt the strategy of David and choose five smooth stones for your sling. These five smooth stones are as follows:
� Fundamental knowledge of the precious metals markets.
� Technical knowledge of the primary trends of the markets.
� Understand short selling and how this is the giant�s Achilles heel. Learn to buy and turn this to your advantage.
� Learn to master and control your own emotions.
� Buy and take delivery of your bullion positions and hold your ground in precious metal equities.
Now let�s discuss how these five stones give you the ammunition to slay the giant and turn a losing battle into victory. All stones work together and become your arsenal.
Stone Number 1: Fundamental Knowledge
Understanding the fundamentals of the gold and silver market is akin to the battleground. Every great general surveys the battlefield before the battle is fought. Unless you understand the fundamentals behind the silver and gold markets, you will not have a firm understanding of the battlefield. You will operate blindly without confidence and be played like a fiddle by the Gold Goliaths. The first task is to understand the supply/demand position of silver and gold. In simple terms, the demand for silver and gold has been growing each year. Demand increases; while supply is starting to decline. Silver has been running a supply deficit for 13 years with gold not far behind. There are 2,500 tonnes of gold mined each year; while demand is running at close to 4,000 tonnes. Selling aboveground stockpiles, scrap metals and melting old coins has made up the deficits. The biggest supplier of meeting those deficits has come through central bank sales and gold leasing by bullion banks. These four charts supplied by Sharefin show the continuous deficits of gold and silver over the years. The bottom two charts show the cumulative deficits or the draw-downs of aboveground stockpiles of gold and silver.
[Charts Courtesy of Sharefin]
The Gold Goliaths would have you believe that it is natural for gold and silver to run supply deficits and see the price of both metals decline. Can you think of any other commodity whether it is oil, natural gas, wheat, corn or orange juice where that is indeed the case? The price of gold and silver have been kept suppressed through the sale of aboveground stockpiles by central banks, by borrowed gold sold by bullion banks and by the dangerous use of derivatives. In the words of Warren Buffett, these derivatives are ticking time bombs that are ready to set off a nuclear explosion in the financial markets. There are numerous stories and fundamental information on the gold and silver supply deficits that can be found on our gold site and those of others that will give you a better understanding of this condition. There are numerous books on gold and silver fundamentals that follow this essay. I encourage you to read them.
The more you know and understand about gold and silver fundamentals, the greater your understanding will be. I also would say the stronger your faith will become. It was David�s faith that gave him the courage to take on Goliath. Unless you are willing to invest the time and do the reading and research to understand gold and silver fundamentals, you will be at the mercy of the Gold Goliaths. You will end up running instead of using your sling. This point is critical to winning the investment battle. Unless you understand the investment you are making, you don�t belong in this market, especially in gold where there is so much misinformation.
Stone Number 2: Technical Knowledge of Primary Trends
The second stone is a basic understanding of technical trends in the financial markets. You don�t have to be a technician to understand graphs and use this stone or tool. What you do need to know is how to read a chart and know what that chart is telling you. There are three trends in any market. The first is the primary or main trend of the market. This is the direction in which the wind is blowing. Primary trends can last a long time, go on for years, and even decades. The second trend in the market is the intermediary trend, which is counter-cyclical to the primary trend. This trend is shorter-term and can last as short as six weeks or six months. This trend is in the opposite direction of the primary trend. For example in a primary bull market (primary trend), an intermediate trend will take the form of a correction. In a bear market, the same holds true, but this time the intermediate trend may be a temporary rally. In a bull market, temporary corrections from the primary trend are usually good entry points for taking a position. Lastly, there are the short-term trends, which may run as short as six days to six weeks. Unless you are a fully competent and experienced trader, I would avoid these short-term trends. This is best left to experts.
What you need to grasp here is a basic knowledge of charts. It is similar to looking at a map of the battlefield. You need to have a full understanding of the battlefield and the terrain. The accompanying notes list a number of books to help you.
Stone Number 3: Understanding Short Selling
Short selling is selling something you don�t own at today�s price in the hopes of buying it back later at a much lower price. When you buy a gold stock or buy gold or silver bullion you are considered long the position. You actually have bought and taken an investment position.
A short seller on the other hand does just the opposite. He tries to profit on the price of an investment declining. So if you expect the price of IBM stock to go down, or the S&P 500 to go down, you sell at today�s price. You don�t own the stock, so you have to borrow it from your broker. You must post margin (currently 50%) of the proceeds of the sale. Since you don�t own the stock, you owe your broker interest on the shares you have borrowed. In effect you have sold something you don�t own and which you are going to have to buy in the future to cover your short position, or in this case pay back your broker who loaned you the shares in the first place.
Short sellers hope to profit from falling prices just as long investors hope to profit from rising prices. In going short, you need to understand not only the fundamentals, but also the primary position of the markets. If you are in a bull market you go long and in a bear market you go short. As shown in the graphs of the S&P 500 and the gold market, it is obvious from viewing these two graphs which market is in a primary bull market and which one is in a primary bear market. The counter trends or intermediate trends are good times to add to positions in a bull market and add short positions in a bear market. An experienced trader can play the short-term trends, but it is inadvisable for inexperienced investors to try and do this. As I wrote in �The Next Big Thing,� you only have to make a few key investment decisions in your lifetime. If you can get in at the beginning of a new bull market, ride that market until the primary trend changes.
[Three-Year Primary Trend Charts for S&P 500 and Gold]
The Futures Market
This is where the short positions come into play. Think of making an investment decision in the same way that you would a major consumer purchase for a car, TV set or furniture for your home. You would want to shop around for a sale and buy that item at its lowest price. The old adage "Buy low and sell high" comes into play. In a bull market, your greatest chance of buying is when prices pull back in an intermediary correction. This happens more frequently in the commodity markets because so much of commodity investing is short-term oriented. This is a field dominated by the Goliaths. When you buy a futures contract, you must post margin or collateral to cover your purchase. Today that is around 15% of the total contract value. The problem arises is if the price goes against you. If this happens, you must post additional margin or collateral to back your purchase. Most futures contracts are settled in cash or paper. Most investors or speculators don�t take actually delivery of their future contracts unless they are in the business. For example a dentist may hedge the cost of gold used for fillings by locking in a price in the futures market today for a delivery to be made in the future, hence the name "futures market."
The futures market has been used as a means of hedging and locking in prices to guarantee costs. This market has been used by farmers for centuries to hedge their crops and make their harvest results predictable. It is hard at the time crops are planted to know what the price will be at the time those crops are harvested. So farmers buy futures contracts today to guarantee a price in the future when those crops are harvested and brought to market. In any market there are those who believe prices are headed down and those who believe prices are headed up. The price in the futures pit is determined by this battle between supply and demand forces that determine prices. If you think prices are going up, you would go long a contract. If you thought the opposite, you would go short.
There are times when professionals can alter the outcome or price of a commodity by taking large positions on either the short or the long side of the market. These positions can get to be so large because of the amount of leverage involved, that prices can be influenced by the size of the position. This is indeed the case we find today in the metals markets in both gold and silver. It is also a position found many times in other commodity markets. In one sense you can say that the gold and silver commodity markets now function like our fractional reserve banking system, since there is only a small amount of silver and gold in the commodity warehouses as collateral to back up all of the long or short positions taken in the market. This is because most futures contracts are settled in cash or paper. Very few investors actually take delivery of the commodity. Unless you are a business that needs or consumes the commodity, you have no need to take delivery. Investors or speculators own many of today�s commodity contracts. This is a market dominated by the Goliaths or The Big Boys. Very few investors actually make money this market over the long run. The Goliaths that have large amounts and access to large credit lines and the ability to leverage their positions have superior staying power and end up dominating this market. If you are a small investor, the odds are against you. Unless you have a large amount of capital, access to large lines of credit at low costs, and have technical and fundamental trading skills, you will find yourself outmatched.
The Strategy: Use Cash, Take Delivery & Hold
There is a way however to use the giant's leverage and turn it to your advantage. You want to keep you distance from the Goliaths and not take him on at his own game. Instead when you find him heavily burdened by his heavy armor, in this case heavily leveraged by being short, you simply take advantage of his weakness. Those large short positions in silver and gold have suppressed the price of the metal. Rather then leverage your position and play the giant's game, you need a different strategy. Instead of leverage, use cash and then take delivery. This removes supply from the warehouse and weakens the giant�s position. The giant is able to leverage his position through derivatives. His position is in paper not physical. As long as delivery is not demanded, the giant can use his superior strength in paper to outwit and outmaneuver you.
Instead of playing the giant's game, you pay cash and take delivery. When you do this, the gold or silver is in your possession. It can�t be sold out from underneath you by a margin or collateral call if the price moves temporally against you. It is yours. You own it and the exchange or the giants can�t take it away from you. In essence, you remove the small physical base that supports the giant's large and heavy armor. By reducing supply on which paper positions can be pyramided against you, you are taking control of the battlefield and fighting on your own terms. Once you have bought, paid for and taken delivery, the silver and gold is yours and they can�t take that away from you. Now you are using the giant�s leverage that has suppressed the price to fortify your own position. This is the biggest kept secret in the bullion business. Supply is being drawn down as demand increases. That is why there is so much disinformation. This fact makes the gold and silver Goliaths vulnerable. That is why you need to understand silver and gold�s fundamental and technical trends. It is also important to become knowledgeable when the giant has the most exposure. In this case, when he has gone short so you can have the giant subsidize your purchases.
The same strategy holds true for shares in silver and gold equities. When the Goliaths increase their short position, the price of the shares fall or weaken. The price goes down and you are afforded another opportunity to buy at attractive prices. In the case of precious metals equities, I don�t believe you need to take delivery. All that is necessary is for you to make your purchases at lower prices and then hold your ground. Remember, if you don�t sell, the short-seller will eventually have to cover his short position. If you don�t sell, then the short-seller has less available shares to buy in order to cover his position. Holding your ground is to fight from a position of strength. Selling your shares is playing the giant's game and operating from a position of weakness. All of this assumes that you have done your homework and understand the fundamentals and primary trends of this new market. If you don�t do your homework and understand silver and gold fundamentals, you are operating from a position of weakness and playing by the giant�s rules. Under these circumstances, you will inevitably lose.
Stone Number 4: Learn to Control Your Emotions
If you have done your homework and have a full understanding of silver and gold�s fundamentals and the technical position and primary trend of this new bull market in metals, then you need to operate from a position of strength and faith. You don�t cave in and run when the battle starts or when faced with a cavalry charge. You need to learn to control your emotions. It is your knowledge of fundamentals and technical positions of the market that should give you the courage to stand up against the forces rallied against you. I say "WAR!" because that is what it is. A war is being waged against honest weights and measures represented by gold and the freedom and protection it gives the ordinary investor. I would suggest reading Gold Wars by Ferdinand Lips this week�s guest on Financial Sense Newshour. It will give you a better understanding of the battlefield terrain and the war waged against gold.
The reason for understanding all of these things is so you don�t panic and that you begin to use the markets to your advantage. In the words of Warren Buffett, "You become fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.� You use a valuable aspect of the markets that Warren Buffett learned from his mentor, Benjamin Graham. Mr. Graham�s analogy of Mr. Market can be read in his book The Intelligent Investor which I suggest you buy and read over and over again. Reading The Intelligent Investor will give you a better understanding on how to use the vagaries and moods of the market to your advantage. You will also learn valuable lessons about investing and managing your money. In Warren Buffett�s words �I read the first edition of this book early in 1950 when I was nineteen. I thought then that it was by far the best book about investing ever written. I still think it is.� Graham�s concepts of �Margin of Safety� and "Mr. Market� will prove to be invaluable in your success as an investor.
Stone Number 5: Take Delivery and Hold Your Position.
Once you understand the fundamentals and have a clear understanding of the primary position of the markets, you wait for opportunities to present you with your buying opportunity. Understanding primary trends and short positions will provide you with the best buying opportunities. You will be able to leverage your position at the expense of the giants. In effect you are going to learn to use their short position in driving down prices to subsidize your purchases. If you are buying physical, this means taking delivery which moves the supply off the market. If you don�t take delivery in the futures market, you are playing the giant�s game and will probably lose longer-term. I have met very few wealthy commodity investors. I have known and have come to know many wealthy investors--all of whom made their money by taking positions and holding them longer-term in a primary trending market.
Think back to the last bull market in technology. Most of the money was made in the early years--in the 90�s when techs were cheap. Those who bought Dell, Microsoft, Cisco, and Intel made the majority of their money by buying early when they were cheap and then having the good sense to hold on for the ride of their lifetime. If they had traded out of their positions at the top of each rally and then tried to buy back in, they would have been worse off due to taxes. It is doubtful if they would have ever have bought consistently at the bottom and sold at each new top. In fact, technically speaking, many of these stocks remained in oversold conditions throughout tech bull market.
Profit From The Paper Chase With a Gold or Silver Paperweight
So if you believe in gold and silver fundamentals and want to invest in physical, pay cash and take delivery. This means if you're buying in the futures market that you pay cash and take delivery. This takes supply off the market and makes it harder for the Goliaths to leverage their paper positions when delivery is demanded. Their enormous short positions are predicated on the fact that buyers settle in paper or don�t demand delivery. Like fractional reserve banking, their strategy falls apart when there is a run on the banks. The only way the derivative pyramid can work is if you play their paper game. It doesn�t work when contracts are settled by physical delivery. So if you are buying physical, take possession.
You don't have to be a major player to buy gold and silver bullion. You can start out small at your local coin shop. You can buy gold coins, junk bags of silver, silver rounds or ten ounce bars of silver. It is probably easier to buy gold coins because of the current cost of gold. You can do so monthly and average your cost or quarterly whenever funds are available. The important point is even small stones will work to slay the giant. Besides, owning gold and silver coins or bars give you the added pleasure of admiring their beauty.
Profit From Short Subsidies
In the precious metals equities market, it isn�t necessary in my opinion to take delivery of shares. You simply buy and hold them. If shares are sold short, as they are today, the short seller eventually has to return to the market and buy them back. What you don�t want to do is panic when short selling piles up and drives down prices. How do you think the short seller is going to cover his short position? He will cover when the price drops and that is when you panic and sell your shares. When you buy, plan on holding your position. By denying the short seller available supply to cover his short position, you reduce supply. This means when he moves to cover his position, he will create additional demand and drive up prices. The short seller is counting on you to panic and sell. Instead of panic, learn to profit by his short subsidies.
Unless you fully understand the previous four stones and how to use them, you aren�t standing on firm ground. Your position is one of weakness instead of one of strength. You don�t want to take the Goliaths of the gold market head on. You would be playing their game and you will end up losing. Imagine if David would have put on Saul�s heavy armor and faced Goliath directly. I would venture to say we wouldn't have been reading about him in the Bible. It would have been David�s head instead of Goliath�s that would have been on the top of that pole.
Pick up your sling and find your five smooth stones. Goliath stands proudly and arrogantly on the battlefield. If history teaches us anything, it is that the strong and mighty can be humbled. This includes giants.
The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
Gold Wars by Ferdinand Lips (on FSO)
Tomorrow's Gold by Marc Faber (on FSO)
The Power of Gold by Peter L. Bernstein, John Wiley & Sons, 2001
Gold and Economic Freedom by Alan Greenspan, The Objectivist, 1966
Silver Bonanza by James U. Blanchard III and Franklin Sanders, Jefferson Financial, 1993.
Money: Ye Shall Have Honest Weights and Measures by James E. Ewart (on FSO)
Introduction To Technical Analysis by Martin Pring
How Technical Analysis Works by Bruce M. Kamich
Saturday, March 01, 2003
SOME GOOD QUOTES FROM THE PAST
"Paper money has the effect to ruin commerce, oppress the honest, and open
the door to every species of fraud and injustice." -- Geo. Washington
"If the average American people ever allow private banks to control the
issue of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the
banks and the corporations that will grow up around them, will deprive the
people of all property until their children will wake up homeless on the
continent that their fathers conquered." -- Thos. Jefferson
I believe the banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than
standing armies. Already they have raised up a money aristocracy that has
set the government at defiance. The power should be taken from the banks
and restored to the government to whom it properly belongs." -- Thos.
"If Congress has the right to issue paper money, it was given them to be
used by themselves, and not to be delegated to individuals or
corporations." -- Andrew Jackson
"The government should create, issue and circulate all the money and
currency needed to satisfy the spending power of the government and the
buying power of the consumers." -- Abraham Lincoln
"If the Nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill. .
. Whereas the currency, the honest sort provided by the Constitution, pays
nobody but those who contribute in some useful way. It is absurd to say
that our Country can issue bonds and cannot issue currency. Both are
promises to pay but the one fatten the usurer and the other helps the
people." -- Thos. Edison
Where does the Federal Reserve get the money with which to create bank
reserves? Answer: It doesn't get the money, it creates it. When the
Federal reserve writes a check for a government bond it does exactly what
any bank does, it creates money. . . It creates money purely and simply by
writing a check. And if the recipient of the check wants cash, then the
Federal reserve can oblige him by printing the cash - Federal Reserve Notes
-- which the check receiver's commercial banks can hold over to him. The
Federal Reserve, in short, is a total money-making machines." Congressman
REPLY TO POST
Thanks for your comments, which I am posting to the site to share with the
other members, along with my reply. Greenspan has said that if the debt
level reaches 2% of GDP, there could be a financial implosion. It is a sure
thing in my mind that it will. It would be a hyperinflationary depression.
Government expeditures are zooming and revenues are falling, as well as the
same thing at all levels of the massive governmental structure that we have.
The Fed is doing every thing that they can to prevent deflation, including
aiding in the financing of homes by financing mortgage paper. Everybody is
experiencing the crush of ads for refinancing, home equity loans and credit
cards caused by the need to move the available money. But it is not having
the expected effect.. Bankruptcies and foreclosures are hitting record
Greenspan has disobeyed Friedman's basic stricture for the Fed--keeping the
money supply constant. First he put the credit crunch, causing the burst
bubble, and now making up for that mistake he is flooding us with money. The
classic definition of inflation is too much money chasing too few goods.
That is going to happen, is happening. Based on an annualized rate core
inflation is at 3.6%. .3% last month. That is no problem but it appears to
be rising. Of course the price of oil is going to have a tremendous
inflationary effect but it is not considered because the price of oil is
based on short term cyclical factors.
What you say is going to be proposed, if true, would in any event take a
long time to become law and can have no effect on the present scenario. The
gold spot is currently $349 and has remained steady at 345-50 range for
sometime now. Remember, it was only months ago when gold was $260. Anyway, I
have made my bet and this is my opinion. If I am wrong I will pay dearly for
my opinion. Hope I'm right and not you. ( :---))
Sheldon (Shelly) Waxman, Lawyer
Author of "In the Teeth of the Wind"and "All Anybody Needs to Know About
PURCHASE AT MY WEBSITE: http://thelawyer.info/ OR Call Iuniverse toll free
JOIN OUR YAHOO GROUP http://groups.yahoo.com/group/freedom-lawyers/
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2003 6:50 AM
Subject: Re: [Freedom Lawyers of America] GOLD AT $336.40-6:41p.m. Eastern
> --- In email@example.com, "sheldon waxman"
> > I am new to your site,, my name is Bill Harrington,, I live in
> Michigan,,, also I am not an expert on anything,, lol,,, However, may
> I suggest before you leap into the Gold market, that you pay some
> attention to Mr. Greenspan,,, Gold will only go up if we have
> inflation,, currently it is speculated that Inflation will result
> from the coming war,, as it always does when their is war. What you
> need to know is Greenspan is proposing a new method of Calculating
> Inflation,, it is most certainly a done deal, considering Republicans
> will do anything if it cuts Benifits to the people. That said, what
> Greenspans proposes will cut the COLA payments to Social Security
> Benificiary,, suggest also it would save about $40 billion. With this
> interference in the growth of inflation,,, Gold may not glitter, like
> you think it will. BH
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