Friday, March 27, 2009

Religions Need Auditing for National Security

"Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's"

We should definitely end the tax-free status of religions. We're paying for CULTS as well! Most waste the money on themselves anyway, some send the money overseas to terrorists. Without government auditing, which making them taxable would enable, we have no idea where the money is going.

This affects taxes you and I pay, we're being forced to subsidize religious contributions. Is this fair to everyone? Athiests? The growing number of 'spiritual but not religious' people? Religions like Buddhism or Taoism that don't ask for money, have no word for "tithing"? Why should all of them pay for donations to televangelists? Most would rather feed the poor than air-condition a big building that's empty 98% of the time.

This also hinders national security, the big buzz-word allowing big brother intrusions on all our rights. OK, the government is going to hamper individual rights, why not the self-proclaimed rights of religions - why are they immune to examination and responsible actions?

There actually was a televangelist 'church' raided by the feds recently, because they were trying to buy guns with silencers, granade launchers, all sorts of other nasty stuff, that is not for 'self-defense'. What they found was a minor army of weapons everywhere, cash everywhere (150 million in all, one secretary had 30,000 in her drawer!). They also found a list of proposed islands to buy, and more weapons they wanted to obtain. I hope everyone saw this, and realize that this is sometimes where you're hard-earned charitable contributions are really going.

Both the OLD and NEW testaments warned that churches are for hypocrites, even Jesus said the truly devout pray in private at home, not in public! (Matthew 6: 5-6)

I have this and more at Bible Decoded. This blog is aimed at cutting throught the materialist hypocrisy rampant in religion today and revealing the underlying metaphysical philosophy that I believe religions have forgotten and are hiding from the 'worshippers', who get no education, just a place to worship and sing.

My former Methodist church in Macon, Georgia now has a security guard in the huge parking lot, and a bullet-proof glass and a locked-door for their main office! you talk to the receptionist through a hole in the glass! UNREAL -- when I found out after my mom died, I decided to NEVER go back to this church again. They waste enough money to feed half of Georgia annually (they built a gym and a movie theater on the same site! what's next, a water park?), and brag about their huge income from annual tithes ("fourth in the nation" at one point). This is not a church, this is a banking fortress with armed guards. Any day I expect walls and a locked gate and the military compound will be complete.

What would Jesus think about this, done "in his name"?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Eulogy for Jessie

___ Jessie [1994-2009] ___

The other four cats and I ("we") just lost Jessie, 15, a shiny jet black female who usually liked to keep to herself but who loved female visitors. She got sick about a two weeks ago with a cold and fever, and we cured that, but she was losing weight and energy.

So her treat was getting to go outside for hours each day, which perked her up. They haven’t been outside since moving back to Georgia from California in 2001, due to foxes, bobcats, roaming dogs. She had felt ok enough even today to go outside, she walks around out there, seems to enjoy it and never got bad enough to be falling down.

Tonight about 9:30 pm was the first time she acted like she didn't feel well - she kinda moaned at me, I held her and she got down after not too long, so that didn't feel good either... I almost called the vet to put her down then but figured it may take awhile for them to come if available anyway. So I did a healing and asked her to go ahead and leave so I wouldn’t have to take her to the vet, and she crawled back under the computer again, in the warm hole by the woofer (that's usually on so it's warm, it's the power for the whole computer speaker system)..

She seemed to be going to sleep or try, so I left her alone.. a little later I sorta sensed she was gone - but was afraid to look, afraid I might wake her and she'd be uncomfortable again. I lit a candle for her and tried to talk to her spirit and tell her how great she was, and how pretty, which was her favorite word; she knew it was a compliment. When I finally had the guts to touch her, her body was already turning cold.

For some reason I didn't let the other cats see her dead like I did with Scooter, who died at 18 on New Year’s Day, and was the “cathouse matriarch”, so I let all the other cats smell her and check out out when she was gone. Not this time. I went to the garage and got one of my rubbermaids with the snap lid, covered her with a towel and put her in that - when I carried her out, Sarah was following me and giving me such a look that I had to stop and tell her it was Jessie - she knew anyway, you should have seen the look I was getting.

Tabby, her littermate brother, the only other one to survive (we think a hawk or owl got the 3rd one when real small), followed me to the door and was waiting for me when I came back in and I had to try to tell him too - he's been sniffing her all week and looking at me like "what's wrong with Jessie?".. I’m sure they sense the aura of death, it’s likely easier for animals to pick up.

[Jessie when a kitty] At least I held her a lot when she'd let me and took her out every day for hours, she loved that, it’s been warm and sunny with lots of birds who would come squawk at her. The others would watch and were jealous and I had to tell them "Jessie doesn't feel good, she deserves a favor"..

In her prime, Jessie was the best dragonfly catcher I've ever seen, back in California. She'd see them coming and time her leaps and grab them about 4-5 feet off the ground. Then with the big wings sticking out for inches from her mouth, she didn't know what to do with them. She had the same wide-eyed look you see in the photo at the top. I'd gently pry them loose and let them go, they'd always fly off again, apparently unharmed from a mere carnivore's big teeth. Feral cats are actually the most efficient hunters in nature, successful around 75% of the time.

I buried her today next to Scooter. She liked to lie on my cool slate stepping stones in the garden, so I pulled one up and put that over her as a marker.

Tonight I'm burning an outdoor fire for Jessie. I think we do that because the flame represents their spirit, and somehow this makes us feel that its still there. But no matter how hard we try the flames will also eventually go out.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Are You a True Southerner?

Things Only a True Southerner Knows
1. Only a true southerner knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption, and that you don’t “have” them, you pitch them.
2. Only a true southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnips, beans, etc, make up a “mess”.
3. Only a true southerner can point you in the direction of “yonder”.
4. Only a true southerner knows how long “directly” is – as in “I’m going to town, be back directly.”
5. Only a true southerner knows that the term “booger” can be a (a) resident of the nose (b) a description, as in “that ole booger, (c) a first name, or (d) something that jumps out at you in the dark and scares you into a conniption.

Things a Southerner Would Never Say

1. Aw, heck, I just couldn’t – she’s only sixteen.
2. I’ll take Shakespeare for $1000, Alex.
3. Duct tape won’t fix that.
4. Come to think of it, I think I’ll have a Heineken.
5. We don’t keep firearms in the house.
6. You can’t feed that to the dog.
7. No kids in the back of the pickup, it’s just not safe.
8. Did you mail that donation to Greenpeace?
9. Wrasslin’s fake.
10. Too many deer heads detract from the décor.
11. We don’t need another dog.
12. I’ll have grapefruit instead of biscuits and gravy.

[PS - I was raised in Macon, Ga , home of Little Richard, Otis Redding, and the Allman Brothers, and now live in Pine Mountain, Ga, home of SciFi author Michael Bishop, so I know these things!]

Famous People Who Never Married

Susan B. Anthony – U.S. women’s rights leader
Jane Austen – British romantic author
Ludwig von Beethoven – German composer
James Buchanan – U.S. President
Frédéric Chopin – Polish composer
Emily Dickenson – U.S. poet (who wrote about love)
Elizabeth I – queen of England ("I'm married to my country")
J. Edgar Hoover – head of the U.S. FBI (rumored to be homosexual)
Henry James – English novelist
Joan of Arc – French heroine, burned at the stake by the Catholic Church, later sainted ('uh, sorry 'bout that fire!' They eventually 'apologized' to Galileo as well, 500 yrs later..)
Maria Montesorri – Italian physician and educator (children’s schools!)
Ralph Nader – U.S. consumer advocate, politician
Sir Isaac Newton – British physicist (also made the “virgin list”)
Florence Nightingale – English nurse, hospital reformer (whose name is an anagram for “Fetch an iron leg, Nigel” Now, that’s funny!)

[Apparently everyone after the letter 'N' that was famous got married!]

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The 80-20 Rule

Statisticians and scientists, using computers to sort quantitative data, have discovered that in nearly field of activity, such as the stock market or sexual activity, eighty percent of the action or movement is caused by only twenty percent of the participants.

It's actually a little worse in the stock market, they actually estimate that 90% of the trading is just the 10% that are really 'pros'. It's because these folks are using their own and other people's money as well (OPM). So this 10% controls ninety percent of the movement, blame them when prices rise or fall irrationally.

Extrapolating this to other endeavors, this also means:

  • Eighty percent of all divorce is just twenty percent of the people, so the divorced folks marry on average four times to make up for all the “single mate” folks.
  • In projects, eighty percent of the work is done in the first 20% of the time; the other 80% of the time is spent on the last 20%. This is called the law of diminishing returns. This rule also probably means that 80% of a project's work is being done by 20% of the group. (I think these people are called "workers", the others "management"!)
  • Eighty percent of the food is being eaten by twenty percent of the people. I’m sure you know a few of them - maybe you've eaten a bag of cookies or chips during one movie! Marlon Brando once ate two gallons of Haagen-Daas and they had to pump his stomach, he almost died.
  • Eighty percent of the beer is consumed by twenty percent of those drinking - mostly Germans, Aussies, and sports fans..
  • Eighty percent of the gasoline is being used by just 20% of you - hey, quit all that cruising! (well, we know it's all the truckers out there, some freeways report 50-1 truck traffic over autos in recent studies!)
  • Eighty percent of the babies are being born to twenty percent of the women; so eighty percent of the sex is being had by only 1/5 of the population – I need to meet some of these women! (actually, I have..)

PS - A manager is someone who comes to work early if you're late, and who leaves early if you stay late.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Obama Gives a Great Town Meeting

“As President, I have to walk and chew gum at the same time.” - President Obama tonight at the town meeting in Orange County.

Obama gives a great town meeting! Obama started with a short talk, obviuosly winging it, getting into a rhythm and sounding like a cross between Dr. King and Jesse Jackson! He even once said "that be" instead of "that would be", as some street slang crept in - I love it.. we all know what he meant, and now he has street cred as well.

He's sounding a lot more like a real person now, he's even smiling and in a good mood. When he said "I'm hot, so I'm taking off my coat, you do the same", the crowd went nuts. Hey people, it’s not Elvis in Vegas, or Marvin Gaye in Atlanta!

He even had the kind of "amen" stuff going from the crowd as he was talking. At one point the crowd rose and chanted " O-BA-MA , O-BA-MA" and he laughed and stopped them. I was thinking "my god, he's not Hitler!"

Fun stuff though, a very loose and confident guy for a new President. When asked about running again in four years, he said "I'd rather be a good president for four years and take on the tough issues and problems than a mediocre one for eight years" -- obviously a poke at Dubya Bush.

He also held the meeting in Costa Mesa, Orange County – in Reagan and Nixon country! Good idea... as an announcer said "the most cheering for a democrat in Orange county in decades".

Good stuff and blog worthy! I like this guy and will support his efforts wherever I can. I feel that he has a heart, and that it's in the right place: here with the people.

"I'm not going to play the blame game. I'll take responsibility from now on, because I'm the President."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Top 10 Stock Trading Mistakes

I've been aggressively trading the market since the advent of electronic trading in the 80's. I've made more than my share of mistakes and have witnessed these from amateur investors much too often, more so than good techniques. In today's market, you have to be flexible and move fast, or you won't be trading very long.

The most common 10 mistakes amateur investors make:

1. Buy and Hold - this simply does not work any more, even if you're going to hold a decade or longer. Some stocks have returned to 1930 levels recently, like Ford, GM, and GE.

2. Holding Losers Too Long - even pros have losing trades; the best attitude is that the 'first loss is the smallest' and to go ahead and take a loss when you're getting uncomfortable with it, say 5-10%. This can be done automatically with a stop loss order placed as soon as you buy a stock that will cause it to be sold if it falls a certain amount. Through experience I like a 5% stop, but 10% for some of the new ETFs.

3. Buying Too Many Stocks - most people hear that they need to diversify, then proceed to buy 10-25 stocks 'to be safe'. The best way to diversify is to buy an exchange traded fund (ETF) that represents a basket of stocks and you have instant diversification. I've found the best amount of stocks to own is 3-10, only a few in bear or difficult markets, and only 10 in raging bull markets. As long as some of these are ETFs, you're diversified.

4. Buying with Market Orders - learn how to use and buy with limit orders, or a top limit that you will pay for a stock. Otherwise, you may be the chump that bought at the high of the day just after the market opens when a market-maker takes advantage of your order. I've seen prices jump from 15 to 18 for one order, then come back down to 15 again!

5. Buying Stocks at the Open - the first half-hour to hour of market trading is the worst time in the day to buy stocks. Orders pile up overnight from people who trade after work, from Asians, then Europeans. So when the market is in a rally, these are usually buy orders and the market often opens higher, then dips after these initial orders are processed. It's best to buy after the first hour or during the lunch hour. It's said that 'amateurs trade the open, pros trade the close'.

6. Buying Hot Tips - rarely will you hear the proverbial 'hot tip' that turns into one. What you'll hear more often is unsubstantiated rumors, bogus stories, sometimes downright fraudulent attempts to move a stock. Always fully research these stocks before buying them, and get opinions from numerous sources. There have even been scams online where people faked valid news agency articles about a stock, causing rapid price movement and prison!

7. Buying Companies You Like - most people like Apple stock because they like iPods or iPhones, Disney because they like the movies, or Wal-Mart stock because they like cheap goods; all would have lost money for recent investors, some for a whole decade. Often by the time the public buys a stock, the easy money has been made by the pros and insiders, and the public is left 'holding the bag'. It's better to buy less-known companies that market pros like.

8. Buying Stocks That Analysts Like - this is also often bogus information you're hearing. Analysts quite often are simply 'talking their book', they want the public to buy a stock so they can sell out at higher prices. They may also want to drive a price down to buy in at lower prices - you can never really ascertain their motivation, so be skeptical.

9. Averaging Down if a Stock Falls - this is buying more of a stock as it falls, and 'averaging down your break even price per share'. Its awfully tempting if its a good company; the price will come back, won't it? So you double up and now have twice as much money at risk in a falling stock. After the stock falls 50-90% you have multiplied your original loss, and pros call this 'throwing good money after bad'. It's the equivalent of doubling up your bets in Vegas until you finally win! Average up, but never down, as a stock that falls 50% from 100 to 50 now has to go up 100% to get back to 'even'.

10. Buying Cheap Stocks - many think they can buy a penny stock that goes to a dollar and they make several thousand percent on this trade, which will pay for many losers. This is their confidence game, the lure of 'lottery winners', but it's a losers' game. Over a decade, 80% of all public stocks will go bankrupt, and guess where the majority are in price? Yep, under a dollar, which is where they have to fall before going to zero. Cheap does not often mean 'bargain' in the stock market.

There are probably hundreds of other valid tips available for both investors or traders, and I'll include more here. The important factor for all is preservation of capital, or you won't have anything to invest, so keep your losses minimal and you're on the way to stock market profits.

"Return of principal is more important than return on principal." - Will Rogers

Saturday, March 7, 2009

How to Make Non-Blogger Templates Work

As Featured On EzineArticles

We now have a blog that shows various templates: Template Demos

It’s very easy to change from a Google template to another and have everything work; simply go to “Customize”, and select “Choose New Template” and Blogger offers you “one of 30 professionally designed templates”, only what you really get is about 12 basic designs and 2-3 color variations on those. Take the Minima template, which has a white background: Minima Dark is the same with a black background, while Minima Blue is again the same but with a dark blue background. This hardly qualifies as three different templates since a blogger can change the background to one of basically 30 colors that each work, and has an infinite variety of text, header, and title font colors. Would be then say you can created a million templates from Minima? No, one template with customizable colors, that's all you have.

However, there are many well-designed and “more professional looking” templates out there, very tempting to the everyday blogger to import. Most of these are tested for blogger and work fine, but Google has made the importation of these a buggy and more tedious process than it used to be. There are simple steps to make these other templates work.

1. To change to a new template, you must first have the new one downloaded onto your local computer, and it will normally be in .XML format, but sometimes is simply in a TXT file.

2. Inside of Blogger, “Customize” your blog.

3. First backup the existing template: select “Edit HTML” and “Download Template”. Change the name to something you recognize, like “Temp-MyBlog-030509”, then save it. This takes a few seconds, the file will be small, usually 50-100k.

4. Then backup your posts. Select “Settings”, and under Basic, “Export Blog”. This exports the posts themselves. Again save the file as something you remember, like “Exp-MyBlog-030509”. You won't have to reload these, but it’s a good idea to back up your posts periodically anyway, especially when making major changes.

5. You need to copy each of your widgets HTML code, and unfortunately, copy and paste is the only option here, one at a time. Make sure you use a text editor like Notepad. I put them all in one file with labels for each and a seperator line, which makes it easy to copy them back into the new template in order, if desired.

6. Now you’re ready for the new template. Return to “Edit HTML”, and select “Browse” to find the new template on your computer. When you select it, hit “Ok”, then when back in Blogger, select “Upload”. The new template will be transferred to Blogger.

7. You will see a list of “widgets” that will be deleted, such as “html1” and “blog1”. If you proceed from here, you will likely get the infamous “Bk-#” error screen with an error code. You must first debug the new template.

8. Use “ctrl-F” to find, and search for “widget id”.

9. When you find one, edit the result you see by incrementing the number, as in “html1” should become “html2” and “text1” becomes “text2” and so on. Sometimes there may be two or more of each of these, change them all. Don’t miss changing “blog1” to “blog2”, this seems to always be present.

10. When you’ve edited them all (and be careful to NOT cycle through them twice), click “Save Template”. After the screen refreshes, you have a new list of “widgets” that will be deleted, but now it’s OK.

11. Click “Confirm and Save”. This should work without errors now, and you can either “Preview” or “View Blog” and see the results.

12. You can now copy your widgets back (one at a time) that were deleted during the importation process. Even if you have many, it should take less than an hour.

Since you’ve properly backed up the previous template, if there’s a problem with the new one or you don’t like it, you can change back to the original by using the “Upload” process again, and select the original template backup name. You will have to copy back the widgets again, but at least you won’t lose anything.

If you want to see some good alternate ones at working blogs:
National Rage uses ProBlogger
World's Best Books uses Brooklyn
1000 Great Films uses Cellar Heat (dark version)
Stem Cell Stock Informer uses Froggy

This blog is also using the Brooklyn template, see the footer for links to the creators, Our Blog Templates.

So, don’t be afraid to try a new interface and refresh your blog!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Right Wing Won't Leave Obama Alone

I can't believe the right-wing media. Now they're blaming all the stock market drop since the inauguration on Obama, as if the financial situation just happened when he took office. ..and the whining about more taxes for the rich, give it up already - it's not enough extra to worry about in the light of everything else going on, or "no one cares about the tax problems of the wealthy anymore (if we ever did)."

First of all, any new remedies take time - he's been there, what, 45 days?

Second: the stock market and its prices are manipulated daily by collusion and hardly represents any kind of reality. It's the reality created by hedge and mutual fund managers and day traders. They think they can affect economic policy with daily market gyrations.

Third: we just gave these clowns a chance and look what happened. Unregulated capitalism = volunteered slavery. We may as well just send corporations our paychecks and let them volunteer how much taxes they'll allow the feds to have, they run things anyway - and once again: look at the result.

They wave the S word (socialism) like a new scarlet letter (see Hawthorne, you illiterates!) when the new bad one should be the C word. Something must be better than this, look at Denmark: 60% taxes, but then the feds provide everything expensive and even pay for social clubs, so 80% of the population are members, the same percentage that goes to church. Apparently 20% of the population are hermits (likely writers and artists) off alone somewhere. And they were found the be the "happiest country" after a 10 yr study. Need a heart transplant? It's free..

This certainly isn't Obama's creation, and the falling market isn't either; it had already been destroyed and will take a minor miracle to reverse at this point. The traders will stop whining, forget about 10% more taxes on what's basically free money anyway (well, you pay in stress) and realize there's more room on the upside at this point. It's just a manipulated numbers game anyway, not connected to any reality but its own.

See the real way the market works in the "Buying stocks doesn't drive the price up" post, based on a 10-yr study of the 1987 crash.

"Don't you be calling me the C word!"

Monday, March 2, 2009

How Low Can the Market Really Go?

Here's a really good analysis at Business Insider using Robert Shiller's PE methods on the SP500, and a look at recent bubbles and troughs in the market:
How Low Can the Market Go?

We're now at 700 on the S&P as of today - Shiller projects the potential lows at 35% from here if it falls to the last low's peak (S&P 450 range), but down 55% if it falls to the last low's bottom (S&P 300 range).

Good site, good analysis.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Buying of Stocks Does Not Send the Price Up

The Nightly Business Report on PBS commissioned a study on the 1987 crash that took ten years to complete. They determined that there was net buying of stocks during the more than 30% decline in the Dow and S&P500. Therefore, stocks fell by one-third while there was more buying than selling.

Most people think that 'for every buyer there's a seller', which is not true. There's a portion of every company's stock that is unowned, called the 'public float' - technically not owned by the company or any individuals. The market-makers (called 'specialists' on the New York Stock Exchange) can buy or sell from this float, from their own inventories (and therefore move the price up if they want to sell their own, down if they want to buy more), or can simply match a buy order with a sell order of the same price, called crossing the trade. Ironically, these crossed trades do not have to be included in the daily trading volume reports, it's up to the mm's discretion. So if a big fund wants to sell 10 million shares of GE, and someone else wants to buy them, the shares may get reported in the volume or not; I'm not sure the rationale behind this, seems like even a big transfer of 500 million shares should be reported to the public.

Volume issues aside, the NBR study proved that the price tail wags the volume dog, or they create trading volume by changing the prices a lot. They raise the price a lot, it will generate selling (greed wants the profit), they lower the price a lot, it will generate buying (bargain hunters see a temporary sale). So the mm's can get the public and many others to sell by lowering prices, those who want a bargain will now buy, and can continue buying as long as we're selling - they have more money than we do. Conversely, when they want to sell to us, what better way than raising prices, getting us to buy something rising in value, while they sell the shares they bought when everyone was selling. Remember, these are big, multi-billion dollar firms, and old adage is "Wall St can stay solvent longer than any of us", or they can ride out a downturn while collecting stock at cheap prices, and we can't; we'll sell out for a loss and wait until prices are rising again before buying.

This is how the market works. There are some good films that show you the harshness of the insiders, how little they care for the public:
Wall Street - based on the story of Ivan Boesky, a takeover artist
Boiler Room - the story of a brokerage that pushes worthless stock to unsuspecting public customers
Rogue Trader - the story of the Barclay's Bank trader who lost that firm billions, and bankrupted one of the biggest banks in the world

The important thing to remember is that even in a bull market, over 60% of all stocks still go down, and that statistics show that about 80% of all stocks (most are very small) will go bankrupt over 10 years. The S&P500, though representing most of the capital in the market, is only 500 of over 9000 publicly traded stocks, half of which are worth less than 100 million each.

The market insiders also use the averages to send a message to influence policy: if a President says something they don't like, down it goes; he announces a policy favorable to the market or big companies, it'll likely go up. This is hardly economic or politicaly reality, it's basically manipulation by those in collusion to invoke their own policies by manipulating our wealth.

Never risk money you can't afford to lose, be skeptical of all you hear, for the insiders are selling stock to us for a reason, else they would keep it all themselves.

Digital Copyright Registered & Protected

About Me

My photo
Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

1000 DVDs to See

  © Blogger templates Brooklyn by 2008

Back to TOP