I've been studying and trading markets since the early 80's. Having realized that "the Markets" won't make me wealthy (never well enough capitalized), I trade mainly for the challenge and to try to earn a little pocket change. Because the tone of commentary on SA seems to be increasingly laced with political opinion, I would like to add my own: I was born, raised, and still live in rural Texas. My father instilled in me a work ethic that has served me well. I am unashamedly conservative in my opinions and approach to everyday living. Sadly, the ideals and values that I hold dear and that made this country strong are disappearing. And, though I have taken a more active role as a voting citizen, I fear that it may be too late to turn the tide of political corruption and the government takeover of the American free enterprise system and way of life. When I was a very young man, I had the honor and privilege of working for a family owned business. I watched my father work seven days a week at nurturing and growing the business, doing whatever he had to do, until the ever increasing encroachment of government bureaucracy and confiscatory policy finally overtook it and my father's desire to fight. As a young husband and father, I followed my father's example and owned & operated my own company. I was successful enough (using a lot of my own blood and sweat) to support my family for many years. But, again, I found that the greatest obstacle to entrepreneurial success was not my competitors - it was government. In the years since, I, like my father, have done whatever I could to provide for and protect my family. Today, I have the blessing of owning everything I have (home, vehicles, & a little extra real estate) debt free. Have I been lucky? No. Far from it! I've paid my share of "stupid tax" along the way because of my mistakes. Once I learned that there was no quick & easy path to wealth, I simply chose to live my life in the only manner that was sure to keep me out of debt and far from the welfare office. The insidious trend of ever increasing government control of our lives is gaining momentum and must be reversed. My current station in life is the best example I can provide - for even though I have no debt; the income taxes, property taxes, excise & sales taxes, combined with all of the other hidden taxes that our government imposes on us are taking so much out of my earnings that I now worry about whether or not I can pay the tax man at the end of the year. This situation is not the result of my family living beyond our means. As recently as two years ago, I could afford to pay all of the bills and save a little, too. Now, with the same level of earnings, it's a battle just to stay ahead the appraisal district and "Uncle Sam". Is it any wonder that young families can't afford to buy a home today? Surely, many of you who read this bio will be thinking "oh boy, here's another raging, right-wing wacko". That's fine. I can only pray that your eyes will be opened one day soon. But, for those of you who are my age & over (now in my 50's), you know where I'm coming from. And, you know that the America you are living in today has strayed far off of the path that once made her great. It is up to us to steer our beloved country back on the course of prosperity and, yes, righteousness. For you can not have the former without the latter.