Many questions are being asked about unethical soccer players in the World Cup faking fouls to gain penalty kicks. Some did it poorly, but a few elite players were brilliant in their fakery. What made the difference? The best were Ninja-Trained Victims, professionally trained so that they, like the victims who lose fights to ninjas in the movies, can go flying 10 to 15 feet with just a simple bump, or so that they can be knocked unconscious with little more than a love tap. There’s only one place to become a Ninja-Trained Victim, and that’s Dodkodeska’s School of Ninja Theatre, one of many fine ninja commercial services that help sponsor my Website. For details, see my Web page on Commercial Ninja Services.
Want to pay way too much for some silver? Looking for a quick fleecing? Then look no further than First Federal Coin, a.k.a. GovMint.com, where I took the above screenshot. I ran into them in this month’s Scientific American, with a full-page color add similar to the Web ad. Folks, the coins they are selling are bulk silver coins, which you can purchase at many places for close to the spot price of silver. OK, there’s a slight premium for half dollars, but the prices they charge are ridiculous. One pound of silver coins has about 14.5 ounces of silver, worth about $170. You can buy a pound of silver coins, including nice half dollars, for under $200 on Ebay. At Northwest Territorial Mint, you can buy a 72 ounce bag of 90% silver coins – that’s 4.5 pounds – for $746 ($756 if you cant it all in half dollars), which is what you would pay to get 2 pounds of coins at First Federal. In other words, they are charging twice as much as they should. It’s like paying over $20 an ounce for silver when it’s current price is $11. Don’t fall for that.
I think you can get silver coins in bulk even cheaper at Monex.com.
Buy low, sell high. Don’t give away your money.
“Why Are Americans so Angry?” by Rep. Ron Paul of Texas raises solid questions about the disappointment and anger of many Americans over what is happening in Iraq. Here is an excerpt:
Some of the strongest supporters of the war declare that we are a Christian nation, yet use their religious beliefs to justify the war. They claim it is our Christian duty to remake the Middle East and attack the Muslim infidels. Evidently I have been reading from a different Bible. I remember something about “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
My beliefs aside, Christian teaching of nearly a thousand years reinforces the concept of “The Just War Theory.” This Christian theory emphasizes six criteria needed to justify Christian participation in war. Briefly the six points are as follows:
- War should be fought only in self defense;
- War should be undertaken only as a last resort;
- A decision to enter war should be made only by a legitimate authority;
- All military responses must be proportional to the threat;
- There must be a reasonable chance of success; and
- A public declaration notifying all parties concerned is required.
The war in Iraq fails to meet almost all of these requirements. This discrepancy has generated anger and division within the Christian community.
Some are angry because the war is being fought out of Christian duty, yet does not have uniform support from all Christians. Others are angry because they see Christianity as a religion as peace and forgiveness, not war and annihilation of enemies.
Constitutional and moral restraints on war should be strictly followed. It is understandable when kings, dictators, and tyrants take their people into war, since it serves their selfish interests– and those sent to fight have no say in the matter. It is more difficult to understand why democracies and democratic legislative bodies, which have a say over the issue of war, so readily submit to the executive branch of government. The determined effort of the authors of our Constitution to firmly place the power to declare war in the legislative branch has been ignored in the decades following WWII.
While I don’t agree with its message, I am deeply impressed with the power of the poem “Prophecy” by Gerald Long, a friend of mine from my high school days in Salt Lake City. Jerry is a significant poet and an insightful person in many ways. I am grateful to have his permission to share this poem on my site. Please share your comments here.
Surprisingly, many people don’t understand the most basic aspect of the stock market, the way stock prices are determined. Here in the United States, with our free economy, the price of each stock is determined by “market forces.” The term “market forces” refers primarily to two very important and very funny men little men: Ben Bernanke and Jim Cramer. Ben Bernanke, of course, is Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, and Jim Cramer is America’s most famous investment personality and host of a wild and crazy TV show called “Mad Money” on CNBC.
So how do they do it? Simple. Nearly all serious investors and fund managers watch Jim Cramer’s show every night. He talks about dozens of stocks, and takes calls from many callers with questions about stocks in his “Lightning Round.” When he likes a stock, he says “Buy! Buy! Buy!” very fast, waves his arms excitedly, and presses buttons to make bullish sounds. This elicits a Pavlov-style reaction from greedy investors who rush out and begin to buy tons of that stock from people who now know their stock is more valuable. The result is that the price goes up, up, up. Sometimes he doesn’t like a stock, and says “Sell! Sell! Sell!” This makes everyone want to sell, and forces the price to go lower. But mostly he talks about stocks he likes, so on the average, the stock market goes up. Plus his show is very entertaining, which makes people happy and willing to buy more stocks and drive up the price.
Of course, it’s not as simple as that. There are some more complicated effects going on. For example, Mr. Cramer also shouts and screams and displays animated graphics and throw chairs across the TV studio and tear off the heads of bulls and plays many other funny sound effects and waves his latest book around while people shout “Boo-Yah!” over the phone. (That’s another fun part of Mr. Cramer’s show – the phrase “Boo-Yah,” like “Ditto” on the Rush Limbaugh show, means “I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I am ready to believe everything you say.”) All this may sound complicated, but it works and usually helps our economy to grow. It’s a beautiful mechanism, this free market of ours.
But the stock market can’t go up forever. That’s where Mr. Bernanke comes in. Just like his predecessor, Alan Greenspan, Mr. Bernanke plays a much more subdued but potent role. He is not on television every night. He does not scream and shout and throw chairs across the TV studio and tear off the heads of bulls or play funny sound effects and wave his latest book around while people shout “Boo-Yah!” In fact, he’s very boring, but also very scary. He only comes out from his crypt for a few minutes every few weeks or months, but when he does, everyone gets very worried that he might not be happy. It is not good when he is not happy, because he is the most powerful man in the world and can do whatever he wants to the economy by changing interest rates, which determine whether companies and the whole economy will have money to grow or whether they will shrivel and die. So when Mr. Bernanke is worried that the market has gone up too much or when he’s just feeling grouchy, he comes out and says “Boo!” (well, actually he uses many more words than just that one, but they all boil down to “Boo!”) and then all investors become really scared and start selling everything so that prices go down again.
When prices go down, that is called a “correction,” and market analysts tell us that this is good and healthy, even though everybody is poorer now. But then Mr. Cramer comes back on TV and says that since everything is cheap now, it’s a great time to “Buy! Buy! Buy!” and soon everyone starts buying and the market goes back up. This is how we get cycles in the market.
Cramer and Bernanke, yin and yang, light and darkness – they are all part of one great cosmic whole, each element playing its unique role.
President Bush issued a stern warning to North Korea today in response to the missile crisies, a warning that is expected to bring the North Koreans to the negotiating table:
“The United States is prepared to retaliate against North Korea with the full force of the United States Treasury. If North Korea will not abandon their missiles, then we are prepared to conduct precision bombing operations to deliver massive payloads of cash to enemy targets.
Shake well before serving – that’s a message the world needs, I figure. Shaking well means preparing before you rush out and do something stupid. It means stirring things up and creating a healthy mix in life. This little blog is meant to be an attempt to shake things up in the quest for knowledge that can help you be more effective in life and better able to serve.
And perhaps I’ll try to have a little fun as well.