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  • Interesting Times For All Commodities And Investments!! Chapter 59.....  [View instapost]
    After reading (scanning really) the first article, it struck me that Gold became an instrument of trade due to the need for one, and by default because of the limited supply. That very limited supply was what eventually made Gold obsolete as the major trade vehicle, and for a while it was the BP, now the USD. The danger of our overproduction of dollars may move the Euro into the lime-lite next if we do not reduce deficits, as the "Trade Vehicle" must meet certain standards.
    1 There must be a limiting factor on the supply to give it value; but there must be enough of it to provide the liquidity needs worldwide.
    2 It must achieve recognition for stability, such as governments not being overthrown.
    3 It must be portable. Gold's very lack of portability signaled it's end. The threat of a ship loaded with it sinking beyond recovery meant that it was less trustworthy than money issued by a stable Govt. You may recall that that ship that sank in the 1850's that was recently found threw the US into one of it's worst recessions ever, one that would have lasted decades longer if not for the Civil War.
    Return to the Gold Standard will never happen due to #3.
    Another part of the article referred to population balance. When you see a country like India with overproduction of people, you see that the "Standard of Living" must be spread across too many people. China would be in a similar state without the draconian birth and population controls of the Mao Era. In the time discussed there (1870-1914), the US needed more workers. Right now, the US is close to being balanced, but things could go either way. Back at that time, Europe was reaching serious population overproduction, while there was significant extra room in the "New World".
    Population production in 1st world countries (by and large) stabilizes due to reduced birth rates, balanced by immigration. People with the ability to control the number of children they have, historically going back to Rome, tend towards smaller families to concentrate "Living Standard". Rome brought in slaves, and eventually fell due to lack of enough men willing to fight in the Roman Army.
    As for the next 2 links, I'll see your 1907 and 1914 and raise you 1987.
    In all cases, the real underlying factor was liquidity. In 1987, one of the biggest problems was that Margin Calls were due during trading sessions, while credit for sold stocks was not applied until after Trading. Thus just selling stocks to meet margin calls had to be done the day PRIOR to the call. Something no one wanted to do as they were already in the red.
    The currency failure then was related to item 1 above, there was not enough liquidity, just as we saw in 2008.
    Panics are not usually a failure to produce goods and services, but a breakdown in the exchange system. Pseudo-Exceptions like the Irish Potato Famine may seem to be a failure of adequate goods; but in fact Ireland was producing a great deal more food than it needed. The problem was that the food was produced on "Absentee-Landlord" owned land (mostly English) and was exported to England rather than being on the Irish Market.
    Mar 17, 2014. 11:08 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Interesting Times For All Commodities And Investments!! Chapter 59.....  [View instapost]
    Have to agree with the author of that article on T-Bills. Even 2-3 Trillion dumped would be absorbed rather quickly.
    I seriously doubt China wants to get involved in Euro type affairs, they have Asian affairs like claims on the S China Sea to be higher on their list.

    Certainly Russia has a history of using low level "Semi-important" people to float threats just to gauge reaction. In this case, one big yawn.

    The US's largest export product-Agriculture will have markets somewhere. It is the one thing that will always underpin our economy, and something that we can always find a market for. Modern US Agriculture is actually only minimally labor intensive. I was raised in Kansas, and when you see the huge harvesters wipe out a section of wheat in a couple hours, you'll understand our inherent efficiency there.
    Mar 17, 2014. 10:13 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Interesting Times For All Commodities And Investments!! Chapter 59.....  [View instapost]
    I cannot imagine that the US will fade away that quickly, as people here just control too much wealth. That said, we probably won't be the largest economy unless we get some manufacturing back.
    You didn't mention the pollution in China. My understanding is that reducing pollution there is high on the population's mind, and will be rather costly to clear up. It might slow their GDP down once/if they seriously address it.
    I have spent considerable time in Asia, but never in China, and my impression of the people is that they are quite hard workers; but as you say, there is some sort of <maybe call it creativity?> I don't know. It's not lack of intelligence nor motivation to work. Perhaps it's a cultural thing about "Rocking the Boat". I have not been to Japan since the 70's; but back then, no office workers went home until the boss did. Now do not misunderstand me, there has been much creativity coming, at times, from every corner of the world, I just think that there will always be a strength of will here in the US that will keep us in the running as an economy despite not having the largest population base or Market.
    Mar 17, 2014. 09:50 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Interesting Times For All Commodities And Investments!! Chapter 59.....  [View instapost]
    IT, There are many countries that send their gold to the US to hold because they can't trust their own military to guard it. That is part of the reason no one is allowed to inventory our Gold a Ft Knox. It would show WAY more than the US has claim to. Now their money goes to the Caymans or wherever. As bad as the US is, we DO have a stable government that is unlikely to be overthrown by a military coup. Our Bankers and Wall St. would never allow it!!
    Mar 17, 2014. 09:32 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Interesting Times For All Commodities And Investments!! PORTFOLIO #15.......  [View instapost]
    Please sell 200 (QCOR) at close and spend it on (UA)
    Mar 17, 2014. 03:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Ukraine's Market Disruption Seen In Leveraged Long ETFs By Market Makers [View article]
    The question of course is, leaving all the political and who is right or wrong aside, how can we best invest to make money out of these developments? I do not wish to take any stance of what is or is not justified, I cannot affect that. I am "Seeking Alpha".
    Are we looking at an increase in the VIX? Oil prices? Gold prices?
    I don't like gold Mining stocks as a substitute for gold, as higher oil prices would hurt them. What sectors might be good this week?, I am about 35% cash right now, looking for which way I might turn in case of a Market Retreat, as seems to happen upon "War and Rumors of War".
    Mar 17, 2014. 01:33 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Healthcare Fallacy [View instapost]
    I must first preface this argument with the disclaimer that the potential for structural abnormalities in the human body is endless, so there is never an "ABSOLUTE" answer, only that such an abnormality would virtually always be associated with other, more obvious abnormalities.

    The issue around gall stones is the biliary tract. While Lamasil may indirectly somehow cause biliary stasis in some part of the biliary tract, the tract itself is just a drainage system, and in order to affect it, it would have to be absorbed into the liver, and affect it first. For that reason, there would almost certainly be abnormal levels of liver enzymes in the bloodstream due to damage or stimulation of liver cells. Anything absorbed by the bowel enters the bloodstream in a system that enters the hepatosplenic system and is thus filtered by the liver and spleen before it can get into the rest of the bloodstream. It is the only blood system in the body where blood goes through 2 discreet capillary beds before returning to the heart (first the bowel capillary bed, the the portal vein, then the hepatosplenic capillary bed, then the vena cava and on to the heart).
    Stones may form in any region of the biliary duct system. Think of it as a liver-wide collection system like creeks-small rivers-larger rivers etc. It also is joined near the the sphincter valve into the bowel with the Pancreatic Duct just before they dump into the first ~2 inches of the small bowel. As with any human system, there can be abnormalities, even kinks in the system. As I stated, Gallstones are usually a symptom of a sick Gallbladder; but there is no "Wall" separating the tissue of the GB from the ducts. The GB is just a sac in the system. The entire system is composed of muscular walls with an inner and outer lining, exactly like the arterial system.
    Any drug, including alcohol, that affects liver function will cause the release of liver enzymes (the product of cellular breakdown), which is what the liver enzyme tests reveal, much as a heart attack causes an increase in the blood of the products(enzymes) of dying heart muscle cells. Stones that might form upstream of the GB would be unlikely, but not impossible, to enter the GB, as the biliary duct is usually a straight shot with the GB just essentially being a reservoir along side. Certainly possible, but who knows? It would be irrelevant in a chicken/egg manner anyway. There is no way for a medication to enter the biliary tract without passing through the liver and/or the pancreas first. There is no way to bypass that as the Sphincter into the bowel only opens when there is greater pressure from the biliary tract than in the bowel. It is a 1 way valve, and even if something did get in, it would be washed back out by the greater pressure of the pancreatic duct, and the Common Bile Duct.
    Again my disclaimer, but if you were that abnormal, gallstones would be the least of your worries.

    If you can get a look at a Grey's Anatomy book showing the biliary system, it would show what I mean.
    Mar 17, 2014. 01:16 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Healthcare Fallacy [View instapost]
    @ IT
    I personally would send her to this site
    It is an open forum on the subject.
    Certainly there are as many opinions as people who you ask; but in the end, the decision is not hers alone, the child's father will also have input (Assuming he is part of the child's upbringing).
    Perhaps by that time there will be more truly "independent" research upon which to base a decision. Everyone complains that research is biased, depending upon who funds the research. There is certainly more than a grain of truth in many (if not most) research programs, but just maybe you all can get together, find a generous Berkshire-type (he is currently giving away money to good causes, or so he and Mr Gates claim) and instead of venting on forums, get some unbiased researchers who have no vested interest in the outcome. I personally believe that the same French Research institute that found the HIV virus would be a place to start-the French would love to embarrass the US by beating us to another such research coup. I do think that they could be trusted to be more independent minded than you may find within the US.
    Just my 2 cents worth!
    Also do not forget that you will find someone allergic to almost anything,(my wife is allergic to the "hypo-allergenic" silk tape so often used in medicine today for example) so the child's allergies may make the decision moot anyway.
    Mar 17, 2014. 12:11 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Healthcare Fallacy [View instapost]
    Was perusing this again and in response to your first paragraph, MRI uses no radiation. What they do is place you in a magnetic field many times the strength of the Earth's. That aligns all of the atoms in your body with their poles all in one direction. They then introduce a polarity change which causes the atoms to wobble. Each element then releases energy in the form of a radio wave unique to that element (the wavelength that is). By "listening" to the RF, the computers build up an image. The Radio Waves are non-ionizing, thus harmless, less harmful even than the RF emitted by a CB Radio.
    CT does use x-ray; but the new equipment causes less damage than a 2-view Chest X-Ray. The reason being that they use a tightly focused beam (often under .5cm in diameter, whereas a Chest X-Ray beam is the full width and length of your upper body. I really need to display a graphic image to show you how the physics works; but suffice it to say that the sensitivity of the receiving photocell is so much beyond what was required even 10 years ago that it only requires a few photons to activate it, whereas to expose film, or even the electronic plates used for large area exposures requires many more ionizations per cc of tissue. Part of the increase is due to the requirement of "Thick Part" exposures is due to having to place a lead "Grid" in fron of the film or photoreciever to filter out "Scatter". If I could use like 3-4 images here, I could do the equivalent of many thousands of words.
    In the case of acute abdominal pain, there are so many potential causes that it actually requires a CT to rule out the most severe causes unless something shows up in Lab work that points them to something specific. For instance, a high biliruben level would point them to Ultrasound as the next step; but absent a blocked bile duct, gallstones do not elevate the liver tests.
    The most important thing to rule out in acute abdominal pain is free air in the peritoneum, indicating bowel perforation-a true surgical emergency. Ultrasound cannot rule that out, even in the most skilled hands as the speed of sound in air is so much slower than in tissue that you get no return image.
    Now had they repeated the CT after injecting "X-Ray Dye", that would have been "Bad Practice" (we never say "Mal").
    With the new "Band-Aid" incision GB removal method, that really is the best way to go, as gallstones are more often a symptom of a sick GB than it's own entity. The exception being if you go for months without eating any fat, as was the fad in the "Protien Shake" diets of the 1990 era. The GB is supposed to contract when you eat something with fat in it, as the bile "emulsifies" fat, allowing it's digestion. Fat would otherwise not be able to be absorbed. Absent a GB, the bile duct itself has muscular walls to send bile into the duodenum. Lamasil would possibly cause disturbances in other liver enzyme tests, but has no effect my research has found on the physical ability of the GB muscles to contract. Liver tests like SGOT or SGT would have been abnormal had Lamasil affected your liver.
    The fact is that sometimes we just get sick without any reason other than bacteria or viruses just finding a place to multiply, especially as age creeps up on us. I reviewed some of my medical books, and found there is also a statistical correlation of "desk jobs" (sitting longer), and gallstones, as sitting apparently adds to "stasis" of bile, allowing the salts to accrete. There is just not a lot of current research on gallstones, as it is "boring" compared to all the new, fancy, and unusual-Things that might get published.
    <My P or P Rant>
    Remember that in Academia, the rule is "Publish or Perish". Thus research and teaching institutions generate tons of trash that has to be sorted through to find real original ideas. It's always easier to get published if you find something uncommon. The less common the more papers you can generate on it.
    Mar 16, 2014. 11:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Healthcare Fallacy [View instapost]
    Edit timed out while I searched references, but 1 more here.
    I misspoke when I associated Autism with alcohol ingestion. While alcohol ingestion can cause FAS, there is no association with Autism there any more than there is with vaccines.
    If there is any environmental cause for Autism, I would vote for atmospheric Atomic Testing above all else, as true Autism appears to have a genetic cause.
    1 last thing:

    The 2006 CDC Research:

    In 2006, the CDC conducted a large-scale survey to better understand the prevelance of autism in the United States. They found that about 300,000 individuals -- or one in every 166 people -- had been diagnosed on the autism spectrum. They also found that there was a slight decrease in the incidence of autism diagnoses since 1999.
    1 in 166 is NOT 1 in 88!
    Mar 15, 2014. 08:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Healthcare Fallacy [View instapost]
    First off, where is the evidence (other than anecdotally) of a correlation between autism and Vaccines? Are there any double blind studies showing a correlation?
    Second, if Vaccines are contributory, why is it only affecting boys?
    We are setting ourselves up for a 3rd world type epidemic of children blinded by Measles, dying of Whooping Cough, and boys sterilized by Mumps.
    The problem is not vaccinations, but over diagnosis of Autism. Part of the problem is that the latest DSM has lumped many syndromes such as Asperger's Syndrome and mild Tourette's into the "Catch all" of Autism. Tourette's is directly linked to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, as well as drug use and abuse by the mother. Most of these episodes of "Autism" can be linked to drugs and alcohol, as well as smoking by the mother. Doing Ultrasounds on mothers who smoke, I can tell by the second trimester if the mother smokes by the damage to the Placenta. The Placenta goes through a natural degeneration process which includes the appearance similar to a liver of an alcoholic. A smoking mother's placenta at 6 months is heavily calcified, rigid, swollen, and at 8 months is barely functional. Parental abuse of their own bodies (men included) has been linked to birth defects since the 70's when cocaine became popular. We began studies through the 70's and 80's that proved that drug and alcohol use is the single most damaging contributor to birth defects and especially Neural Tube defects. As little as 1 drink a week, or a single use of cocaine, meth, or similar "Home Brewed" drugs (like Crack) or related stimulants during the first trimester shows a statistical correlation. Daily use increases the miscarriage rate in the first trimester 3 fold. Premature delivery is strongly correlated with said ingestion, especially smoking, as the placenta fails.
    The bottom line is that what a mother ingests is far more damaging than any list of vaccinations. It's true that introducing anything into a pre-schooler's body carries risk; but that has to be balanced against the devastating effects of preventable diseases like Polio and Smallpox back in my youth and the complications I listed above for the still present diseases. Is it fair to your child to risk those devastating diseases without good scientific evidence? You want your only son sterilized?
    JW the first link would not play on my laptop, so I missed that, but the second link was pure BS. I was raised among the Amish in Yoder, Kansas, and can trace my Mennonite heritage back to the 15th century in East Prussia. I knew 2 Amish children in Yoder who were clearly Autistic, 1 boy and 1 girl. The BS of the article is that Amish and "Old Order Mennonite" (Who are exactly the same) are scattered all over the country. There is no "One Single Amish Community" but hundreds from Pennsylvania, to Ringgold County Iowa, to Central Kansas and beyond. There is even a Mennonite 4 year college in Newton Ks. Hesston Industries was started by Mennonites, and the parking lot at Hesston had horse tenders, as many workers rode to work. At one time, they were the world leader in hay handling equipment. They invented the first "Large Loaf" Bail. They are human and suffer human diseases. The statistical reduction in communicable diseases is the result of isolation. Their resistance to many of the other listed diseases is common to ALL people from East Prussia, however cancer rates are similar to other population groups. I had an uncle by marriage die of colon cancer, several relatives die of breast cancer, and my own mother died at 90 of a rare cancer. The Author's claims cannot be verified for 1 reason. The Author was careful not to identify the community he chose to prevent someone cross-checking his claimed statistics. Most likely the community that the author picked out had few recently trained Doctors, thus no over-diagnosing. The author makes many claims in his articles without citing even 1 reference such as "No vaccine has ever undergone any independent, controlled, double-blind studies to determine safety and effectiveness." and on Hep B "It is only transmitted through the following methods:
    Sexual intercourse
    The use of unclean hypodermic needles
    Being born of a mother who is infected"
    Hep B virus can live up to a week on a counter top or table. It is usually best killed by 5% Bleach (undiluted Clorox or equivalent).
    That author's propaganda is as damaging as Government propaganda as he uses quotes like "The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) declared the Western hemisphere free of Polio in 1994." The Keyword being Western Hemisphere, when everyone knows that with world travel being so heavy, that claim can end in disaster should just 1 3rd world family settle in an un-vaccinated community.
    The reason the Vaccine makers were given such immunity was so that they could get vaccines out for new influenza strains in 1 year as opposed to the 5 that would otherwise be needed. Double-Blind studies are required for every flu vaccine for safety and effectiveness, just as any medicine must have for FDA approval, they just have to step up the process to prevent another 1918 type tragedy, when Flu victims in the winter in Kansas were stored like cordwood until the ground thawed. My father was one who had to stack them when he was only 15.
    Please read their-autism-rates-may...
    and especially her links including and . She clearly has no axe to grind.
    There are certainly lies on both sides of the argument, and as always, the truth lies somewhere in between.

    As for the next referenced article, I stopped reading when the author claimed Avian Flu was more dangerous than Anthrax.

    As for the last referenced article, Vaccines were in their infancy then, any very likely mistakes were made. Comparing modern medicine to WW1 medicine (Pre Antibiotic, and almost pre-anesthesia) is a pointless argument. Certainly there was no one trying to make millions off vaccines then, and "Doctors" had less training than today's average LPN.
    Just 1 point though. If the vaccines caused the pandemic, where did the virus involved come from? It came from people already stricken, and the Pandemic was already underway. Does anyone really think that medicine at that time could create a Flu Virus in a test tube????
    Mar 15, 2014. 08:09 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Interesting Times For All Commodities And Investments!! PORTFOLIO #14.......  [View instapost]
    Hurts a lot less to take a 10-15% hit here though LOL
    The thing is though that people "Time the Markets" every day. The Market Makers-But then they have all the information that we don't get until someone files with the SEC later.
    Mar 14, 2014. 06:55 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Interesting Times For All Commodities And Investments!! PORTFOLIO #14.......  [View instapost]
    With "War and Rumors of War", Gold could be the best Bus to ride. Expect serious trade disruptions between Germany and Russia next week. Angela is threatening deep cuts in purchases from Russia (Read that OIL). I think you may have the first nice Gold pop in 18 months <IMO> Oil as well.
    Mar 14, 2014. 05:18 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Interesting Times For All Commodities And Investments!! PORTFOLIO #14.......  [View instapost]
    For Reference:
    Sell Targets
    CBI $88.49-89.08 or 5/18/14
    DRN $51.64-55.68 or 5/27/14
    MANH $42.1 or 6/10/14
    QCOR $73.5 or 6/14/14
    RCL $54.66-56.6 or 5/18/14
    REGN $363.88-368.51 or 5/18/14
    UA $130.88 or 6/06/14
    V $240 or 5/18/14
    Subject to change upon War or significant Impulse Selling LOL
    Mar 14, 2014. 02:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Interesting Times For All Commodities And Investments!! PORTFOLIO #14.......  [View instapost]

    Please sell my (MU) at open with my (MDSO) BUT DO NOT sell my (V)

    Put everything into QCOR then please.
    Mar 14, 2014. 06:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment