Silver & gold

Silver and gold were up big yesterday, and the mining stocks were up even bigger -- 7.5% for the GDX index fund. This morning, it's continuing, with gold powering past $600 and silver near $11.

I hope you used the past month's weakness as an opportunity to buy. I did.

It's not too late. We are still in the early stages of a long bull market.


Decrepit caveman running his mouth again

Does anybody still care what this guy says?

Blah, blah, blah, jihad. Blah, blah, blah, Allahu sukbar. Blah, blah, blah, death to infidels.

Your story has grown tiresome, dude. You're a decrepit old jackass cowering in a cave.
Peggy Noonan on the decline of the New York Times:

But it's not what it was. Once it was such a force that it controlled the intellectual climate. Now it's just part of it. Seventy years ago its depiction of Stalin's benignity left a generation confused, or confounded. Fifty years ago, when the Times became enamored of a romantic young revolutionary named Fidel, the American decision-making establishment believed what it read and observed in comfort as an angry communist dictatorship was established 90 miles off our shore. The Times' wrongheadedness had huge implications for American statecraft.
Read the whole thing... bonus commentary on flag-burning and Hillary too.


got tea?

Our buddy Tex sends along this news:

British health food shops will soon be offering customers iced cannabis tea, its Swiss distributor said.

Sold under the label "C-Ice Swiss Cannabis Ice Tea", the beverage contains five percent of hemp flower syrup and a tiny (0.0015 percent) quantity of THC, the active ingredient of marijuana.

Not a bad idea. But "C-Ice?" What the hell is that? Silly Brits never were very good at marketing.

How about High Tea? Tea HC?



SF Pride

Gavin Newsom wouldn't miss it.

Willie Brown wouldn't miss it.

Neither would the Barbary Coast Cloggers.

Celebrating the inclusiveness of God's love.

Not celebrating the inclusiveness of God's love.

Debating the inclusiveness of God's love.

I won't argue with that.

Gay Chinese dragons with gay firecrackers.

Funny guy.

So that's the path to personal power and profound wisdom!

Japanese instructional video on French martial arts

Headline plagiarized from Ace.

You have to see this: Japanese aerobic surrender videos.


UC corruption scandal suicide

Last month I wrote about the University of California corruption scandal. Fatcat administrators have been giving themselves and their colleagues undisclosed, and apparently illegal, massive perks including five-figure housing allowances and six-figure severance packages.

Today the UC Santa Cruz Chancellor, one of many key figures in the scandal, jumped to her death from a 42-story building.

Dyke March pics

I couldn't stick around for the parade, but here are a few pics from the pre-parade party in Dolores Park.

Can someone explain what "pee shy" means?

Just another Saturday in Frisco

Off to the Dyke March. Pics to follow.



Couldn't resist it... bought more SLV yesterday. If we get a bounce, I'll take a tax loss on the lot I bought when silver was just under $14.

I still think these are awesome buying levels for gold. We might never see these prices again.


Some things should be obvious

You'd have to be pretty stupid not to have seen this coming... or to have taken Alan Greenspan's advice and gotten an adjustable-rate mortage.


Iggy goes down

It's official: Iggy de la Fuente lost the Oakland mayoral election.

On this Father's Day, though, let's honor Iggy's achievements as a father.


Tears of pity

... over at the Huffington Post for terminated TV star Dan Rather from, of all people, a Columbia School of Journalism teacher:
It all seems a bit harsh when you consider his enormous contributions to the history of television news -- his reporting from the front lines of hurricanes, assassinations and wars; his classic confrontations with Richard Nixon during Watergate; his memorable "60 Minutes" stories that helped the show achieve its first number-one Nielsen rating in 1975, and even his absurdist but groundbreaking "Gunga Dan" reporting from Afghanistan in 1979. In light of those legendary achievements, it seems coldhearted and callous for CBS to cast Rather out so mercilessly, and so publicly, in the twilight of his career.
I guess it had nothing to do with the fact that he completed discredited the CBS News organization with his vehement defense of a blatantly partisan story based on obviously fraudulent documents.

The Columbia School of Journalism ought to instead ask why it's taken CBS this long to dump Rather, who made a mockery of himself and CBS News, defending the story for days in the face of overwhelming evidence against it. Rather proved that he is either a partisan political operative, or dumb as a box of rocks, or perhaps a bit of both. No matter which it is, it is CBS's disgrace that it did not fire Rather on the spot.


Wharton on Wal-Mart going upscale

A worthwhile read for Wal-Mart investors. Nothing brilliant, though. A rather pedantic explanation of what Wal-Mart is doing. Nothing that some first-year hack at the New York Times couldn't have done. Certainly nothing to justify the prestige of the Wharton brand.

Mark Goldblatt: I'd love to be a liberal, but...

The National Review's Mark Goldblatt:
What makes a liberal a liberal? It’s a question I’ve been asking myself lately, perhaps because every liberal I meet nowadays seems to ask me how in the world I could be a conservative. My stock answer is that I’d love to be a liberal because, you know, chicks dig the progressives. But also because I’d love to resolve debates with clever rejoinders like “Halliburton!” or “Fox News!” or “Karl Rove!,” and because I’d love to engage in intellectual group hugs rather than confront awkward truths, and because I’d love to show how my heart is in the right place by supporting benevolent-sounding but historically discredited social policies which end up devastating the very communities they’re intended to benefit. So, yes, I’d love to be a liberal... except these pesky I.Q. points keep getting in the way.


Tears of shame

... over at the Daily Kos:

I don't think I've ever seen such a look of misery and dejection on the face of my daughter as I just did a moment ago. She just couldn't understand why the President would be spying on everyone. "Even my Grandma?" she asked pitifully.

I sat down with her on the sofa and (as calmly as I could) tried to explain to her why the President has ordered a group of spies to collect information on every American. "And yes honey, even Grandma", I was forced to say.

I tried to keep my voice steady, but it became increasingly difficult - the rage and feelings of helplessnes were just too much. I think my daughter could tell something was wrong. I found myself at such a loss for words - nothing made any sense; nothing makes sense anymore. I finally had to admit, "Honey, I just don't know - I don't know what's going on in this country anymore..."

When I finished her lower lip started to tremble and her eyes began to fill with tears, "Daddy" she said, "why are the Republicans doing this to the country?" Well, that was it for me: I finally fell apart. She just fell into my arms and we both began sobbing for several minutes.

For once she had to comfort me and get me back on my feet. Sometimes I just think it's too much, but seeing the strength in my young daughter's voice helped me to get through.

I know how you feel, man. That's how I felt when I found out that Milli Vanilli was lip-synching.

HT: Ace.

Pissing off your voters

Democratic candidates: "We'll stop Wal-Mart!"

Democratic constituents: "But we LIKE Wal-Mart!"

Hairdressers Local #622 shut down

Australia overrules gay union law.
Australia's conservative national government has overruled a local law allowing gay unions.
HT: Ang.


The Dems' Prevent Defense

That's pronounced PRE-vent DE-fense for you foreigners.

It's a football term. It's used when a team is ahead near the end of the game, and they want to prevent big plays. The problem is that they give up a lot of small plays. It often backfires.

That's what the Democrats are doing with their timid "agenda," which proposes meaningless, populist measures and ignores the significant issues of our time. They think they're ahead, and they are afraid to blow it by proposing something that could offend someone. They think they can win by just trying not to lose. Good luck.

I don't think it will work. This strategy exposes them as the power-hungry cowards they are. If you don't stand for anything, you'll fall in November.

Dems to announce "agenda"

This should be good. The party with no plan will announce a plan!

Big and bold reforms are just what we need -- and what the Democrats need to win. They've been comparing this year to the 1994 Republican sweep. The Republicans had a bold reform agenda in the Contract with America. It included immediate Congressional reforms and an aggressive and much needed ten-point plan including term limits, tort reform, tax reform, and fiscal discipline.

So what's the Democratic "Contract with America?"
[I]ncreasing the minimum wage, cutting costs of prescription drugs, reducing interest rates on student loans, rolling back subsidies for oil companies, and pay-as-you-go budgeting...
Not exactly overwhelming. Nothing about Iraq? Civil liberties? National security? Illegal immigration? Health insurance affordability? Surely they must have some ideas. THE ENVIRONMENT? Al Gore is burning up the ozone layer flying all over the country trying to raise awareness about global warming, and his own party doesn't even bother to mention it?

A quick look at what they are proposing:

1) Increasing the minimum wage: an insignificant bone thrown to unions. Will help the few people, many of them teenagers, who still earn minimum wage, unless it results in job cuts, in which case there will be more unemployed teenagers hanging around the malls and street corners. Will raise prices for consumers in mininum-wage industries like fast food.

2) Cutting costs of prescription drugs: re-importation would be a good and cheap way to accomplish this. Expect the Democrats to propose something large, bureaucratic, costly, and punishing to the pharmaceutical companies instead.

3) Reducing interest rates on student loans: student loans are already subsidized and universally available. This is just a cash giveaway to a key Democratic constituent group: the permanent student.

4) Rolling back subsidies for oil companies: pandering! Let's go get the big bad oil companies! I'm sure there are some subsidies that should be removed, but they pale in comparison to the massive taxes imposed on both gasoline sales and oil company profits. This is not a serious policy proposal; it's pandering.

5) Pay-as-you-go budgeting: ostensibly means no tax cuts without spending cuts, and no spending increases without tax increases. Ignores stimulative effect of tax cuts and depressive effect of tax hikes, of course. So we'll get more spending with tax increases, which will bring in less revenue than budgeted, making the deficit worse.


Iggy? Popped.

Congratulations to Ron Dellums on his victory over eminent domain abuser Iggy de la Fuente.

It may not be fair to blame de la Fuente for raising his son to be an alleged serial rapist, but it certainly is fair to celebrate the demise of a sleazy eminent domain abuser who supports wealthy and politically connected developers over small family businesses.

Dellums is right on the 50% threshhold to avoid a runoff. I hope it holds. If not, he'll have to give Iggy another thrashing in November.

Death tax part deux

Zeke, who likes the death tax for its social engineering, won't like this.

Happy happy joy joy

There's no terrorist like a dead terrorist.

Congratulations to the fine people in the U.S. military responsible for this.

It is a shame, though, that his head remained intact. We need to look into upping the payload on those F-16 bombs.

Video: What a wonderful world.


The Senate Republicans think you are stupid

The Senate Republicans realize they have a problem with "the base."

They have been spending like drunken Democrats, and their amnesty-with-a bonus plan for illegal aliens is an obscenity.

The solution? Contrition? Repentance?

No, Senate Republicans forge ahead with their spending and amnesty plans. They think "the base" can be appeased with a hopeless sham display of outrage over gay marriage.

"Don't worry about what we do on little things like massive deficit spending. We're still conservative. See, we hate homosexuals!"


The best movie I've seen in a long time

Get The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. Get it now.

I won't waste space trying to write a review. I couldn't do it justice anyway. Suffice it to say that this is Tommy Lee Jones' Unforgiven... and then some.

Bush loses California 50th District

California voters today delivered a stunning rebuke to President Bush over his amnesty-with-a-bonus plan for illegal aliens.

In the 50th Congressional District, Brian Bilbray, who ran on a strong anti-Bush-amnesty platform, defeated Francine Busby, a proponent of amnesty and other benefits for illegal aliens who went so far as to urge illegal aliens to help with her campaign.

Busby, who had reached across party lines to join Bush's Coalition For Amnesty, could not be reached for comment.


Greenspan to homeowners: close your garage door and run your engine

Just over two years ago, crack dealer Alan Greenspan told people to go load up on adjustable-rate mortgages.

Nice going, Al! Will you be there cheering them on when they jump off the Golden Gate Bridge because they can't make their mortgage payments?

Lazy French: Chirac sucks!

It takes a pretty dumb politician to try to make the French work more.

Cheney's investment portfolio: loaded for bear

DickCheney says he has faith in the President's policies, but he sure isn't putting his money where his mouth is.

With his portfolio tilted heavily away from stocks and toward foreign bonds, cash, and inflation-protected securities, Cheney is betting on a financial apocalypse.

Out of the shadows

A la Mark Twain, there's only one thing I can't resist, and that's temptation. With the brief (yet brilliant!) post below, Varones has lured me out of seclusion and back into the ring of witty discourse. To this he lends his half a wit, and I my own.

From the link: "What is fair, for example, about telling someone that he will be unable to distribute his hard-earned money, which has already been taxed once, to his heirs as he sees fit?"

The answer, dear friends, is that he is in fact less able to distribute his hard-earned money during his life. The government (save small exemptions, spousal gifts, clever trust manipulations, etc.) taxes any transfer of wealth, whether it's spent or given away. That's how taxes work. To the extent that the rest of the tax code is fair, the "death tax" is more than fair!

If one compares the annual gift exemption to the current estate tax exemption (that is, several thousand dollars vs. millions of dollars), he'll find that the best way to distribute his wealth as he likes--given the current tax code--is to die. If anything, we might ask why a dead man should have more freedom under the tax code than does a live man.

Back to my cave.


On the death tax

Zeke, who is pro-death-tax, won't like this.

Varones voters' guide to the California primary

Ready to vote Tuesday?

My recommendations:

Prop 81- NO. Puts California deeper into debt to build libraries.
Prop 82- NO. Do you want California pre-schools run by the same bureaucracy that brought you California public schools?

Democratic governor: Steve Westly. More of an outsider, more charismatic, less a creature of the Democratic machine. Better (though still slim) chance to beat Schwarzenegger. Angelides is a greedy, land-raping real estate developer.

Lieutenant governor: don't care.

Controller: don't know.

Oakland mayor: Ron Dellums. Iggy de la Fuente is an abuser of eminent domain, on the side of greedy developers taking private property from family businesses.

Santorum is carne tostada

Over year ago, I predicted that nutty right-wing religious zealot Senator Rick Santorum would not win re-election.

Looks pretty good now.

California 50th District

There are a lot of interesting races next week, but the one I'm most interested in is the 50th Congressional District in northern San Diego County. This is the race to replace convicted bribe-taker Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

It's a heavily Republican district, but the polls are even. The Republican candidate is Washington lobbyist and former Congressman Brian Bilbray. He's a weak candidate, but in a normal year, Democrats wouldn't have a chance at this district. The Democrat in the race is Francine Busby, who recently made headlines encouraging illegal aliens to help her campaign.

If Busby wins, it's an indication of a bloodbath for Republicans in November.

I'll go out on a limb here and predict a Bilbray victory.

P.S. Check out Busby's lying weasel explanation at the end of the story. She was talking about teenagers, not illegal aliens!

“I was clarifying the question that was being asked in Spanish and then stated that you do not have to be a registered voter to help the campaign because there were many people who appeared to be to be under 18 in the group who wanted to volunteer,” she said in a statement.


Signs of the apocalypse

Not the greatest of all time?

Poll: Ronald Reagan is the greatest President since WWII.

Bush Jr. is the worst.

I'll heartily agree with Reagan.

Bush probably isn't as bad as Carter, but I am too young to remember how bad Carter was, so I won't disagree.


I love Wal-Mart

I bought a digital camera (for a great price) at Wal-Mart.

A month later, I had a problem with the camera and needed to send it to the manufacturer. Unfortunately, I had lost the receipt. I thought I was out of luck.

I called Wal-Mart with the purchase date and my credit card number, and they cheerfully looked up the transaction, reprinted the receipt, and mailed it to me.

Above and beyond the call of duty. Wal-Mart treats its employees well, and the employees in turn treat the customers well.

Happy Super Tuesday!