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Showing posts from December, 2011

Flat is the new up

... and it doesn't get much flatter than the S&P 500 this year. It closed at 1257.60 compared to last year's 1257.64 for a loss of 0.003%. But you got 2% in dividends at least. Small-caps, foreign stocks, and emerging markets all did much worse.

Meanwhile, gold was up 11%, and up for the tenth year in a row.

A man for his time

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"He's just an honest man, and that's something we need now in this day and time. It's a lot of politics, and no honesty. When you have honesty, well, people will try to do anything to blot you out, and that's what they will try to do is blot him out, because he will be honest, and they need more like him."

Truer words were never spoken. Are any other candidates speaking the truth about the sustainability of trillion-dollar deficits or the Federal Reserve's monetization of the them?

Charles Hugh Smith: Why I am hopeful

This is worth a read. While the Nanny/Police State is doomed to collapse under its own weight, people are social creatures and will re-discover community to save themselves and each other.

Putting Obama on Clearance

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GayPatriot has Obama collectors' plates marked down to $2.99. HT: Instapundit.

I can beat that. I snapped this picture of an Obama "Yes We Can" puzzle at Big Lots! (née Pic n' Save) for $2.00 two days before Christmas. Hate to see what that's marked down to now!



UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers! Please check out our Tea Party buddies the SLOBs (San Diego Local Order of Bloggers).

Greenspan's Body Count: Aziz "Bob" Yazdanpanah, NaFatemah Rahmati, Nona Yazdanpanah, Ali Yazdanpanah, Mohamad Hossein Zarei, Zohreh Rahmaty, and Sara Fatemeh Zarei

Alan Greenspan gets really twisted around the holidays.

His latest massacre involved a man dressing up as Santa to kill his family among their just-opened presents on Christmas Day.
The Dallas Morning News reported the family was having financial troubles and that the mother moved into the Grapevine apartment after separating from her husband, who is still living in the family's Colleyville home just a couple of miles away.

Last year, the bank foreclosed on the home, which was tied go the father's filing for bankruptcy according to federal records, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Neighbors told News 8 that the father had been living at the house and was seen just last week cleaning up leaves in the yard. They said the family lived there for at least 12 years.

Neighbors also told News 8 they believe the father works in real estate. Aziz Yazdanpanah is listed at 5406 Sycamore Court in Colleyville, TX, which was purchased pre-bubble in 1999, so he almost certainly took…

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

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Merry Christmas

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Same debt crisis, different Christmas.



 We can dream, can't we?

Efficient Portfolio Advisors' William Bernstein criticizes Ron Paul's portfolio

In the WSJ blog, on Ron Paul's heavy exposure to gold mining stocks and lack of bonds:

At our request, William Bernstein, an investment manager at Efficient Portfolio Advisors in Eastford, Conn., reviewed Rep. Paul’s portfolio as set out in the annual disclosure statement. Mr. Bernstein says he has never seen such an extreme bet on economic catastrophe. ”This portfolio is a half-step away from a cellar-full of canned goods and nine-millimeter rounds,” he says. There are many possible doomsday scenarios for the U.S. economy and financial markets, explains Mr. Bernstein, and Rep. Paul’s portfolio protects against only one of them: unexpected inflation accompanied by a collapse in the value of the dollar. If deflation (to name one other possibility) occurs instead, “this portfolio is at great risk” because of its lack of bonds and high exposure to gold. Running an investment portfolio that protects against only one bad outcome is like living in California and buying homeow…

How central planners destroyed the economy and killed capitalism

... in the Wall Street Journal, nonetheless.

Via ZeroHedge:

Strangely parallel to the Yellowstone catastrophe was the start of the federal government's other fire-suppression policy with the 1984 Continental Illinois "too big to fail" bank bailout. This was followed by Alan Greenspan's pronouncement immediately after the 1987 stock market crash that the Federal Reserve stood by with "readiness to serve as a source of liquidity to support the economy and financial system," which heralded the birth of the "Greenspan put." The Fed would no longer tolerate fires of any size.

From a forestry point of view, the lessons were learned. In 1995, the Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy stated, "Science has changed the way we think about wildland fire and the way we manage it. Wildland fire, as a critical natural process, must be reintroduced into the ecosystem."

Herein are pearls of great wisdom for central bankers today. Central banks are cr…

Note: You Can Smuggle Knives Onto a Plane But Not a Fake Bullet Belt

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Ahh the TSA. They've molested me, pulled out my questionable battery-operated devices in winding lines, scanned my boyfriend's naughty bits, harassed me for the state of California budget problems that prevented my state-issued ID from being released in a timely manner and destroyed my $700 HP laptop. My relationship with them goes beyond love-hate, it's a necessary evil that I accept as a person who actually needs to get out of town every few weeks or months. I've driven across the country - several times - but with 3 or 4 vacation days to cash in, what can I do but subject myself to the TSA violations just to escape from my homebase for 72 short but precious hours?

So when I read about the person stopped on a Washington to Chicago flight trying to smuggle in knives hidden in a carved-out book (a book about ninjas, none the less), I couldn't help but think back to my harassment on a flight to San Francisco from Richmond way back in 2009:

If anyone recalls, the fir…

Porter Stansberry: The Corruption of America

I've got mixed feelings about newsletter writer Porter Stansberry. I generally agree with his investment views, but his newsletter pitches are really annoying. He talks cryptically about basic investment ideas, making them sound like state secrets in order to get people to subscribe to his newsletter. Case in point: his $3.00 government silver secret. Or a recent e-mail pitch for the secret Walmart retirement strategy which made people into millionaires. Reading between the lines, he's just talking about ordinary old dividend reinvestment plans (DRIPs).

 However, a friend sent me his most recent subscription newsletter, which was devoted not to investment advice but to commenting on the sad state of our nation.  Every one of those words rang true, and it glowed like burning coal.  I forwarded it to friends but regretted not having an online copy that I could link here for WCV readers.

Well, here it is, a concise and precise explanation of the corruption that is rotting Ame…

Ron Paul leads Iowa!

We are on the verge of a historic win for liberty.

PPP shows Ron Paul in the lead in Iowa.
According to the PPP pollMr. Gingrich's campaign poll numbers are dropping "rapidly" and Ron Paul has now taken the lead in Iowa. While Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, is leading the poll at 23 percent, Mr. Gingrich is now at 14 percent. Only former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney barely trails Rep. Paul at 20 percent. We have a stark choice in 2012: the status quo of never-ending debt, intrusive government, Wall Street looting of the economy, and global military adventurism; or peace, liberty, and fiscal responsibility.

Please give what you can here.

Greenspan's Body Count: Andre L. Turner, Henry Serrano, Robert Scott Lindsay

Another workplace shooting, and -- surprise! -- the killer was deeply underwater on his house.

UPI:
An employee who killed two people at a Southern California Edison office before taking his own life targeted his victims, a witness said.

The shooter was identified Saturday as Andre Turner, 48, of Norco, the Los Angeles Times reported. He shot four co-workers at the company's information and technology office in Irwin Friday afternoon, including two who were critically injured.

Let's go to the real estate records. Turner was listed at 1495 Andalusian Drive in Norco in California's Inland Empire, ranked the #2 worst place in America.

Turner bought the McMansion in 2004 for $711,000, reportedly put a lot more money into it, and was trying to short-sell it for $590,000.

Workplace disputes rarely end in violence. The psychological impact of severe financial distress caused by Greenspan's bubbles cannot be underestimated. It is what pushes a few, like Andre Turner, over t…

How to protect your assets from a thoroughly corrupt financial system

Barron's is aghast at the blatant theft of client gold and silver from segregated accounts at MF Global:
It's one thing for $1.2 billion to vanish into thin air through a series of complex trades, the well-publicized phenomenon at bankrupt MF Global.

It's something else for a bar of silver stashed in a vault to instantly shrink in size by more than 25%. That, in essence, is what's happening to investors whose bars of silver and gold were held through accounts with MF Global.

The trustee overseeing the liquidation of the failed brokerage has proposed dumping all remaining customer assets—gold, silver, cash, options, futures and commodities—into a single pool that would pay customers only 72% of the value ...Jesse's Cafe and Market Ticker have additional thoughts, with which I agree completely. This completely violates the basic assumption that any financial assets you hold through a broker are legally yours and protected by law. You should immediately reassess…

Tea Party News

Where has the Tea Party gone?  Why haven't we seen them in the streets lately?

They've gone indoors and are hammering the phones, organizing, and holding politicians accountable.  Read all about Tea Party 2.0 at Reuters, including a quote from our own Leslie Eastman.

In other Tea Party news, Tea Party Patriots spokesman Mark Meckler was arrested at a New York airport while declaring his permitted, locked, and unloaded gun per TSA regulations.  Leslie has the full story at Temple of Mut, and Sarah Bond discusses it with KOGO radio's LaDona Harvey here (starting 01:40).  Apparently the local cops have a history of harassing lawful gun owners in violation of federal law.  I think there's going to be blowback on this one.

Heckuva job, 'merica!

Notes on Iraq over at McDanger.

We Fully Support This Bill

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Given we have families we are most inclined to support whatever our leaders do. I have to say without reservation that we fully support the NEW America where the Constitution is now being openly gutted, as it should for the good of our leaders, and us of course. And where we should all view it a privilege to obey what our leaders mandate.

I for one am proud of this step and never ever want to be considered a terrorist because I'm certainly not one. I can state without reservation that I would give up all my freedoms to ensure that my freedoms are protected.

(Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives approved a defense bill on Wednesday requiring the military to handle suspected militants linked to al Qaeda, acting not long after President Barack Obama removed a veto threat from the controversial legislation.

The bill is expected to pass the Senate this week and then go to Obama's desk for his signature into law.

Shortly before the House vote, the White House announced …

The Change You Voted For

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Ron Paul ad on Newt Gingrich: Selling Access

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I love that Ron Paul is now the leading Not Newt Romney candidate. The polls are looking great in Iowa!

Daniel Hannan Drops F'Bombs on the EU

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It sounds so cool when English people go blue:

Hey Gay Legal Men and Those That Question McQueary

To anyone who believes that version of events, Amendola said, "I suggest you dial 1-800-REALITY."Hey guys, welcome to the hottest place for triple-X action. Get ready for bulging, bursting pleasure with horny gay, bi, and bi-curious studs. Just 99 cents per minute.
More on Jerry Sandusky's rock solid legal defense here.

I'll see you on the dark side of the moon

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President Obama is right

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Now this is a surprise -- President Obama delivered the beginning of a good speech today.

This bit made think for the first time that he -- or at least his speechwriter -- actually understands what's going on:
Long before the recession hit, hard work stopped paying off for too many people. Fewer and fewer of the folks who contributed to the success of our economy actually benefited from that success. Those at the very top grew wealthier from their incomes and their investments -- wealthier than ever before. But everybody else struggled with costs that were growing and paychecks that weren't -- and too many families found themselves racking up more and more debt just to keep up.

Now, for many years, credit cards and home equity loans papered over this harsh reality. But in 2008, the house of cards collapsed. We all know the story by now: Mortgages sold to people who couldn't afford them, or even sometimes understand them. Banks and investors allowed to keep packaging …

ESPN Sportswriter Gets It

Sportswriters write the darndest things:Scariest Words I Have Heard All Year: The Federal Reserve's moves to grant special favors to European governments "pose little risk to the U.S. taxpayer, Fed officials said, because the Fed is doing business with foreign central banks viewed as trustworthy." Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Dexia Bank of Belgium -- they were "viewed as trustworthy," too. U.S. taxpayers once were told they would never, ever have to cover Fannie Mae losses. Now U.S. taxpayers are being told they will never, ever have to cover losses for European bonds.

What happened last week was that the Fed offered deeply discounted "liquidity swap lines" to European banks. This mumbo-jumbo means European banks can borrow U.S. dollars from the United States at 0.5 percent interest. If you need to borrow for a car or credit card debt, can you get a 0.5 percent loan directly from the United States government…

Newt Gingrich: ultimate hypocrite

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A couple different friends have sent me this excellent Ron Paul ad against Gingrich today:



Also well worth reading is George Will's column, Romney and Gingrich, from bad to worse.
Gingrich, however, embodies the vanity and rapacity that make modern Washington repulsive. And there is his anti-conservative confidence that he has a comprehensive explanation of, and plan to perfect, everything.

Granted, his grandiose rhetoric celebrating his “transformative” self is entertaining: Recently he compared his revival of his campaign to Sam Walton’s and Ray Kroc’s creations of Wal-Mart and McDonald’s, two of America’s largest private-sector employers. There is almost artistic vulgarity in Gingrich’s unrepented role as a hired larynx for interests profiting from such government follies as ethanol and cheap mortgages. His Olympian sense of exemption from standards and logic allowed him, fresh from pocketing $1.6 million from Freddie Mac (for services as a “historian”), to say, “If you want to pu…

What is Gold?

We've been huge fans of shiny metals for years. We love gold, silver, platinum, and even nickel. Precious metals are the bomb and when our fiat bubble bursts we believe they'll be worth a tad bit more than the price we acquired them for. But why is that and what kind of investment is it really? Is gold "a put against the idiocy of the political cycle" as Kyle Bass states here?

Seeking Alpha posted commentary on metals and fiat currencies titled "Is Gold A Risk Asset Or A Safe Haven" which offers an interesting argument.One of the reasons the debate over whether gold is a risk asset or a safe haven seems to live on is the fact that one troy ounce of gold has a monetary value priced in fiat currency. This monetary value fluctuates up and down. As it does, people like to call gold a risk asset or a safe haven, based on how the fiat monetary value is performing relative to asset classes such as equities or fixed income. It seems like every time we see gold, …

Ciao Dr. Socrates

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FROM THE WC SOCCER DESK

Last week we lost legendary Welsh player and manager Gary Speed to, still yet to be determined why, suicide. Yesterday we lost Dr. Socrates to a far more reasonable means of exit, death by alcohol abuse.

Socrates was the captain of the greatest soccer team that didn't win the World Cup, in 1982. While some may debate that, what is not debatable was that he was part of the most loved team in Brazil. That 1982 team was the most elegant practitioners of the beautiful game maybe in history. Socrates was their leader. Click here for a link to a fantastic tribute to that 1982 team.

He was known as Dr. Socrates because while playing he earned a medical degree and after his playing career was over became a doctor.

Obrigado Dr. Socrates, boa viagem.....

Jon Stewart viewers learn about the Dirty Fed and the biggest bank bailout in history

Adam Corolla on OWS

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Hard to refute this. (Warning: language).

15.1 TRILLION LARGE

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On November 17th we noted that the US National Debt hit $15,000,000,000,000. Today we hit $15,100,000,000,000. It took us 14 days to get one tenth of the way to $16,000,000,000,000. Using the most crude of methods that means we will hit that next milestone on April 5th of 2012.

And this guy added 6 trillion by his lonesome in his first 3 years in office:

Zerohedge with the deets.