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Ask Me Anything

Recs

41

November 06, 2009 – Comments (115)

To many, these times make little sense.  I think I have a pretty good handle on it until I don't.  Then maybe I'm half wrong.  What's really important is that the Fool blogosphere hasn't been very exciting the last few days.  Let's spice things up.

Ask me anything

Topics open for discussion include but are not limited to: 

Stock Market
Economic Recovery
My choice in music
Government
History
Inflation/Deflation
Precious metals
Love and Romance
Sports
Jon & Kate
Military / Foreign Policy
Global Warming
Health Care
Republicans/Democrats/Everyone Else
Media
My favorite food
General Interest
Whatever floates your boat

Yep, I'll give you the best, most complete answer I can. If I don't have an answer, I'll try to amuse you.  So fire away. I've got about 6 hours to kill and not much to do.

Fancy charts from lucas1985 are not welcome. Questions only, please.

I promise to not be too much of a smart ass, unless you ask for it.

Rec if you like to rec stuff.

David in Qatar 

115 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On November 06, 2009 at 10:14 AM, PeteysTired (< 20) wrote:

Do you see a "world war" within the next 10 years?  If yes, why? 

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#2) On November 06, 2009 at 10:16 AM, kdakota630 (29.71) wrote:

Why in the world is Jon & Kate on your list?

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#3) On November 06, 2009 at 10:17 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

PeteysTired,

Perhaps not in ten years, but within the next thirty it is possible (although some may say we already have a world war between the West and Islam.)

Protectionism is the key.  The more protectionist policies are pushed by struggling countries, the more likely we are to see the tit-for-tat retaliation that played a major part in the last two world wars.  

Since Obama has already played the protectionist card (tire industry) like Bush before him (steel industry), America is not setting a very good example.

David in Qatar

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#4) On November 06, 2009 at 10:17 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

kdakota630

That counts as a question.  They're on the list because I have an opinion about everything.

David in Qatar

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#5) On November 06, 2009 at 10:29 AM, anticitrade (99.66) wrote:

What makes your opinion particularly valuable?

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#6) On November 06, 2009 at 10:30 AM, 4everlost (29.56) wrote:

Did you see Can Capitalism Survive? on Mises?  The theory that capitalism won't survive because of its own effectiveness is very intriguing:

"[Capitalism's] very success undermines the social institutions which protect it, and "inevitably" creates conditions in which it will not be able to live and which strongly point to socialism as the heir apparent. (p. 2)"

"Capitalism, then, is by nature a form or method of economic change and not only never is but never can be stationary.… The fundamental impulse that sets and keeps the capitalist engine in motion comes from the new consumers' goods, the new methods of production or transportation, the new markets, the new forms of industrial organization that capitalist enterprise creates,… incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one. This process of Creative Destruction is the essential fact about capitalism. (pp. 42–43)"

IMO this means that the country needs to embrace constant and vigorous change because we can't have our freedom limited by those who don't accept change.  So there you have it - everyone (esp. the Federal Gub'ment) needs to embrace and foster this concept so that everyone can prosper.  What do you think?

(Sorry if this 2 questions).

Rec #3

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#7) On November 06, 2009 at 10:32 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

anticitrade,

That's a fair question. It depends on what you value. All valuations are made by subjective actors and are constantly evolving.  In fact, every price in the market is arrived at in this manner.  

David in Qatar

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#8) On November 06, 2009 at 10:36 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

4everlost,

I did read that.  My honest opinion is that Schumpeter fails to see the underlying cause of Capitalism's failure isn't the sloth of the citizen or their rejection of "change" but rather the monopoly on force granted to the elite in government.  The enemy of Capitalism is government, not the people. Capitalism is merely the condition that arises when people are allowed to exchange ideas and services freely amongst themselves. Government, in its current form (whether democratic or not), is the negation of this freedom.

David in Qatar

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#9) On November 06, 2009 at 10:50 AM, kdakota630 (29.71) wrote:

OK then... what is your opinion on Jon & Kate?

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#10) On November 06, 2009 at 10:51 AM, DaretothREdux (36.24) wrote:

Oh Wise Man of Qatar!

Who will have more recs at the end of the day: your blog or mine?

Jon and Kate....you kill me....

Dare

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#11) On November 06, 2009 at 10:52 AM, Teacherman1 (28.03) wrote:

Which direction is up?

I guess that falls under the General category.

I too have time on my hands as I sit and wait for a referal to go see a surgeon about a hernia operation.

I took the day off to wait because it hurts less that way.

Have a good day. 

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#12) On November 06, 2009 at 10:54 AM, Bamafan68 (98.38) wrote:

Hi David,

What do you think would be the most effective way to get more Libertarians elected to office?

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#13) On November 06, 2009 at 10:55 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

kdakota630,

It's a match made in Heaven (or Hell perhaps.) She's a control freak and psychotic (passing eight human beings out of your body will do that to you.)  He's immature, insecure, and runs away from his problems.  He'll probably end up marrying a young 20 something that will tell him he's special and that his poop smells better than anyone else's. Then she'll grow up, figure out she's married to a total loser, divorce him, grab whatever money he has left, and he'll blame eveyone but himself for his life's failures.

David in Qatar

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#14) On November 06, 2009 at 10:55 AM, kdakota630 (29.71) wrote:

I have another one, although I don't think you can answer this one...

What's the deal with TMFDeej closing all his picks?

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#15) On November 06, 2009 at 10:56 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Teacherman1,

That's easy. Just look at my portfolio and imagine the opposite direction of all of my holdings.

David in Qatar

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#16) On November 06, 2009 at 10:57 AM, miteycasey (30.29) wrote:

how long till Jon bangs Kate again?

If he hasn't already slipped in and back out?

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#17) On November 06, 2009 at 10:58 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Bamafan68,

Good question.  I've actually answered this before, but I'll summarize.  Keep the movement decentralized, focus on policies over personalities, utilize the Internet to educate as many as possible, and don't try to change the world all by yourself.  Just try to exercise the influence you can, and let the chips fall where they may.

David in Qatar

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#18) On November 06, 2009 at 10:59 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

kdakota630,

I'm concerned about TMFDeej.  The first sign of a possible suicide is the relinquishing of all the person's belongings. Perhaps an intervention is necessary.

David in Qatar

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#19) On November 06, 2009 at 11:00 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

DaretothREdux,

As usual, you will beat me like a G-8 protestor.

David in Qatar

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#20) On November 06, 2009 at 11:02 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

miteycasey,

I think Kate is wise to his game, and to be honest, do you really think she wants any more kids?  She's probably as close to chaste as you're going to find outside of a Saudi Arabian Youth Group.

David in Qatar

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#21) On November 06, 2009 at 11:08 AM, jddubya (< 20) wrote:

Betty or Wilma?

Ginger or Mary Ann?

Daphne or Velma?

Uhura or Nurse Chapel?

Beatrix, O-Ren Ishii, Vernita Green, Elle Driver, Sofie Fatale, or Gogo Yubari?

 

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#22) On November 06, 2009 at 11:12 AM, anticitrade (99.66) wrote:

Why do you think my post about a black box challenge was largely ignored?  Do you think there are only a couple hardcore quant guys in the CAPS community?

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#23) On November 06, 2009 at 11:15 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

jddubya,

I'm willing to trade personality in exchange for a more casual moral attitude and the higher probability of success, so...

Betty
Ginger
Velma (had to be more desperate)
Uhura (she does it for me)
Vernita Green

David in Qatar

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#24) On November 06, 2009 at 11:22 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

anticitrade,

If it helps, I gave it a rec. I think the idea would have gained more steam if it had a BIG CASH REWARD $$$$

David in Qatar

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#25) On November 06, 2009 at 11:26 AM, 4everlost (29.56) wrote:

I agree with you on all your points.  I didn't interpret him pointing to lazy citizens but I do think rejection to change has some validity.  I also think that he is pro-capitalism and that he is simply examining the road we are on unless we take action.

The reason that gub'ment forms monopolies of the elites and all that other crazy crap they do is that the politicians and their corporate buddies want the status quo.  This is a rejection of change.  I agree with your statement: "Capitalism is merely the condition that arises when people are allowed to exchange ideas and services freely amongst themselves."   Don't you think that Schumpeter is saying that "new consumers' goods, the new methods of production or transportation, the new markets, the new forms of industrial organization that capitalist enterprise creates,… " is what motivates the gub'ment and special interests to do stupid things to block the free exchange of ideas and services - in other words, reject change?  If they don't reject change they will lose their place among the elite.

Imagine Pres of Big Company A has had a lot of success but faced with the change that capitalism creates his success is waning.  Well, he doesn't like to lose his money or status so he goes to Dumb Politician 1 who knows that if Pres of Big Company A loses his status he will lose his.  In order to prevent that Dumb Politician 1 comes up with BS legislation/regulation/law that impedes the inherent progress.  Of course this repeats itself with Company B, C, D and so on with Politician 2, 3, 4 etc.  Eventually capitalism fails due to selfishness. 

That's what I came away with after reading the article.  Here's my hallucination: the elites suddenly wake up, realize their mistakes and go wild with their efforts to make capitalism work.  They get out of the way, quit ineffectively using resources and become the small framework of the efficient engine of the free market they were designed to be.  Oh, to be so lucky....

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#26) On November 06, 2009 at 11:38 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

4everlost,

Good points all, but no question there, so -1 point for you:)

David in Qatar

 

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#27) On November 06, 2009 at 11:39 AM, anticitrade (99.66) wrote:

Maybe I should have Dare talk to his friend Ben and borrow a bunch of money which we can give out as a reward....

Would 1 BILLION dollars be enough to get people excited? 

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#28) On November 06, 2009 at 11:43 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

anticitrade,

To plagiarize Lawrence from Office Space, "And I think if I were a billionaire I could hook that up, too; 'cause chicks dig dudes with money. "

David in Qatar

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#29) On November 06, 2009 at 11:59 AM, klaracat (27.89) wrote:

I was grow up with socialize medicine, I know difference between socialize and capitalize by own experience and experience off some my friends.

Can you convince me capitalize health care is better?

 

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#30) On November 06, 2009 at 12:00 PM, klaracat (27.89) wrote:

I was grow up with socialize medicine, I know difference between socialize and capitalize by own experience and experience off some my friends.

Can you convince me capitalize health care is better?

 

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#31) On November 06, 2009 at 12:01 PM, Melaschasm (53.59) wrote:

If America abandons freedom, what country is the best place for freedom loving people to move to?

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#32) On November 06, 2009 at 12:04 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

klaracat,

Probably not. But I can certainly claim that you have never experienced Capitalistic Health Care.  Health care in the West is a mixture of Fascism (HMO, PPO, medical-industrial complex) and Socialism (VA, Medicare).  Oh and don't forget Syndicalism (AMA).

But take a read of the Free Market Guide to Healthcare if you are willing to view the other side of the argument.

David in Qatar

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#33) On November 06, 2009 at 12:09 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Melaschasm,

That depends on whether Economic Freedom or Social Freedom are more important to you (and in the end, one without the other will never last - such is the failure of American politics.)

If you desire Economic Freedom, check out the Tax Misery Index, where you will find that Qatar is the most tax friendly country in the world (hint: that's was a big part of my decision to move. Though the summer heat is um... miserable.)  

For Social Freedom, I'd pick Amsterdam, though I thought Prague was more fun if partying is your thing.  South Africa would also be high on my list.  

David in Qatar

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#34) On November 06, 2009 at 12:12 PM, Judochop172 (31.59) wrote:

Will the saints win the super bowl?

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#35) On November 06, 2009 at 12:16 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Judochop172,

Sorry to disappoint you, but no chance in Hell.  Let's put it this way, when we get to Super Bowl Sunday, and the AFC Champ says "ok Saints, beat us with your running game," are you comfortable betting the season on Pierre Thomas/Mike Bell?  They're not going to be playing the Bills and it ain't gonna work.  They're the '84 Dolphins all over again.

David in Qatar

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#36) On November 06, 2009 at 12:22 PM, TMFHousel (90.55) wrote:

How'd you end up in Qatar? (or are you from there)

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#37) On November 06, 2009 at 12:25 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

TMFHousel,

I had been working in the IT department at Great Lakes Naval Hospital outside of Chicago after I got out of the Marines.  I had wanted to get back overseas, decided I was going to do it, sent out about seven million resumes and finally got a call from a company out here.  I jumped at the opportunity.  It was one of my best decisions.  I really love my job and Doha is fantastic (outside of that pesky summer heat.)

David in Qatar

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#38) On November 06, 2009 at 12:27 PM, StatsGeek (29.33) wrote:

If you were going to shoot a mime, would you use a silencer?

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#39) On November 06, 2009 at 12:28 PM, StatsGeek (29.33) wrote:

If toast always lands butter-side down, and cats always land on their feet, what happen if you strap toast on the back of a cat and drop it?

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#40) On November 06, 2009 at 12:30 PM, PeteysTired (< 20) wrote:

At what point in your life did you become a libertarian?

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#41) On November 06, 2009 at 12:32 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

StatsGeek,

I would use a Canon EOS Rebel Ti 15.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera.  In addition to its admirable performance with an all-new 15.1 Megapixel Canon CMOS sensor, DIGIC 4 Image Processor, a 3.0-inch Clear View LCD with anti-reflective and scratch resistant coating, and compatibility with the EOS System of lenses and Speedlites, the EOS Rebel T1i adds remarkable Full HD video capture at resolutions up to 1920 x 1080.

Perfect for all you mime shooting needs.

David in Qatar

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#42) On November 06, 2009 at 12:35 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

PeteysTired,

When I was an enlisted NCO I became friends with a retired Master Sergeant.  We talked politics and military stuff all the time and he was the first to introduce me to Libertarianism.   I thought he was out of his mind at first, but now I'm forever grateful.  I was a big time "might equals right" kinda guy.

David in Qatar

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#43) On November 06, 2009 at 12:35 PM, kdakota630 (29.71) wrote:

As a libertarian, how often is it that you tell that to someone and they think you put books away at the library for a living?

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#44) On November 06, 2009 at 12:37 PM, ogolly (< 20) wrote:

If the minute and hour hand both read 15:00, what is the degree angle between the hour and minute hand?

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#45) On November 06, 2009 at 12:37 PM, kdakota630 (29.71) wrote:

Also, now that you've answered PeteysTired's question, how does one go about learning about libertarianism on their own, as a good starting point?

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#46) On November 06, 2009 at 12:37 PM, StatsGeek (29.33) wrote:

I too am a proud librarian.

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#47) On November 06, 2009 at 12:39 PM, carcassgrinder (45.40) wrote:

David

     I need to know 2 things....

1.  Was Master of Puppet's written in E standard or E flat?

2.  Do the Mayans get it right?   

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#48) On November 06, 2009 at 12:41 PM, StatsGeek (29.33) wrote:

Why, in a country of free speech, are there phone bills?

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#49) On November 06, 2009 at 12:46 PM, kdakota630 (29.71) wrote:

carcassgrinder

I realize this isn't my blog, but...

1)  I believe it's E standard, and...

2)  No.

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#50) On November 06, 2009 at 12:47 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

kdakota630,

I can't say that's ever happened to me, but if it does I'll tell them that you have to know the Dewey Decimal system to understand it.

carcassgrinder,

Almost every Metallica song is written in E Flat Minor.  Master of Puppets is the most ground breaking, compelling, and creative rock album ever released.

StatsGeek,

Freedom isn't free. It costs a buck o' five.

David in Qatar

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#51) On November 06, 2009 at 12:49 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

kdakota630,

I'm not sure how one goes about learning about Libertarianism without being introduced to the Cult.  I guess if anyone has figured out how to get people's attention, it's Ron Paul.

David in Qatar

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#52) On November 06, 2009 at 12:58 PM, kdakota630 (29.71) wrote:

whereaminow

I think I fell into libertarianism largely the same way you did but I'm still largely new to it.  I was looking for something fairly simple to use as my guidelines for teaching it to my kids, the eldest of which is a particularly bright 4-year-old.

Also, I did a Google search on Master of Puppets guitar tuning, and I was right, it's standard E, at least according to these guys, and that's how I've always played it, although I don't know what I'm doing and largely suck.

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#53) On November 06, 2009 at 12:58 PM, 4everlost (29.56) wrote:

David,

Sentance 4 of paragraph 2:

Don't you think that Schumpeter is saying that "new consumers' goods, the new methods of production or transportation, the new markets, the new forms of industrial organization that capitalist enterprise creates,… " is what motivates the gub'ment and special interests to do stupid things to block the free exchange of ideas and services - in other words, reject change? 

Can I have my point back?

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#54) On November 06, 2009 at 1:04 PM, TMFLomax (50.66) wrote:

Given today's ugly and unavoidable flashback to 1983, will we all wake up one day soon aware of a strong and, for some of us, disturbing urge to synchronize our swatches, and break out the leg warmers and parachute pants? (I think I've already heard rumblings about the leg warmers...)

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#55) On November 06, 2009 at 1:05 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

4everlost,

Damn, so sorry, but you have to admit that was a mouthful.  No, I think Schumpeter is saying that these advancements make it difficult for existing enterprises to compete and increases the likelihood that they will seek alternative methods to fight back, thus destroying Capitalism.  Or maybe that's what I am reading into it.  That's pretty much what has happened though.

kdakota630,

It's tuned in Standard E, but I think that's different. It's been about 12 years since I picked up a guitar, but the key the song is written in and the tuning are two different things.

David in Qatar

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#56) On November 06, 2009 at 1:07 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

TMFLomax,

Every Robert Downey Jr. movie is a flashback to 1983. Perhaps his return to prominence was a sign.

David in Qatar

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#57) On November 06, 2009 at 1:16 PM, MustBNuts (32.47) wrote:

David,

This was a lot of fun to follow - thanks!

What happens next?

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#58) On November 06, 2009 at 1:20 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

MustBNuts,

I'm going to go work out, and by "work out" I mean make dinner and watch TV. But I'll keep checking in to answer all your Foolish questions.

David in Qatar

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#59) On November 06, 2009 at 1:22 PM, ocsurf (< 20) wrote:

David, what stock are you the most confident that will 'pop' within the next 6 months?

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#60) On November 06, 2009 at 1:38 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

ocsurf,

It's not a stock.  FAZ will go to zero in less than six months.  

David in Qatar

 

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#61) On November 06, 2009 at 1:57 PM, carcassgrinder (45.40) wrote:

KDakota and Whereaminow.... 

I think that may be the most conversation about Metallica I've ever seen on an investment forum....except when Guitar Hero: Metallica came out.  Furthemore...the debate continues on MOP tuning...I have to tune to E Minor for it to sound right when I play....I too, suck.  I appreciate both of your input.

If I may....one last question....

Why does the guy in the Orbitz commercials remind me of Phil Hartman? 

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#62) On November 06, 2009 at 2:00 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

carcassgrinder,

Because secretly you suspect that he is a womanizer who doesn't appreciate the fox he has waiting at home.

David in Qatar

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#63) On November 06, 2009 at 2:05 PM, carcassgrinder (45.40) wrote:

I knew it....thanks.

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#64) On November 06, 2009 at 2:09 PM, kdakota630 (29.71) wrote:

carcassgrinder

I'm still pretty sure it's played in a standard E tuning, but I'm hardly the expert on the subject.  I can tell you that's how I play it and it sounds right.

As long as we're talking about Metallica, I know I'm in the minority here, but I always thought Ride the Lightning was a better album than Master of Puppets.  Both are fantastic, but I've never been tired of a song from Ride the Lightning like I have with Master of Puppets.

And since we're talking about guitars, check out this Tommy Emmanuel clip I uploaded to YouTube.  This guy is amazing.

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#65) On November 06, 2009 at 2:14 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Thanks for all the questions everyone. Lots of fun. Food coma is kicking in and I've got to get a little sleep before work tomorrow. (It's 10pm here, and I get up around 3:30am.) If you drop some questions off here while I'm out, I'll get to em first thing in the morning.

David in Qatar

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#66) On November 06, 2009 at 2:21 PM, nzsvz9 (< 20) wrote:

David,

Something you never answered in other posts.

If the Fed and O-Bam-A have pumped in trillions into the economy, after it has "lost' trillions in real estate holdings, futures contracts, derivatives, stock market valuations, and bankruptcies, is it possible what flowed out and what flowed in are at or near some balance so that the end result is not inflation but just a transfer of wealth?

Has anyone calculated how much went in and how much was lost?

If it doesn't collapse then inflation/deflation will adjust what's left. Right?

And, I say "just a transfer of wealth" with a HEAVY heart. I'm not advocating it, just trying to get a grip on it.

Oh, and Pink Floyd Animals is the best rock album of the last 50 years, not Metallica. Now that's "Sad but true".

Known by my mp3s as listener nzsvz9

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#67) On November 06, 2009 at 2:23 PM, carcassgrinder (45.40) wrote:

kdakota630

Ah yes....this has been the debate for 2 decades.  I agree with you....I have gone through phases where I listened to Ride the Lightening more.  But I think the reason I lean toward Master is the fact that the level of play ability is challenging to even the best musicians...the tempo, timing scales and structure on Master are more in line with a classical composition or arrangement....as a few symphonies have taken on the challenge of playing Master in an orchestral arrangement...and it is beautiful.  Ride reminds me more of a straightforward speed-metal album.  Hell...the debate wouldn't be complete without some longhair yelling...."F&*K THAT, KILL 'EM ALL RULES"....or  "DEFINITELY JUSTICE FOR ALL MAN....DEFINTELY JUSTICE!!"  The debate ends with those four albums.

Great clip...thank you.  And in return....

Check out these two a$$holes make me wish I never started playing.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iLIhLv8LuY Report this comment
#68) On November 06, 2009 at 2:45 PM, kdakota630 (29.71) wrote:

nzsvz9

I think that's my favourite Pink Floyd album, along with Wish You Were Here, although I haven't listened to either in a long time.

carcassgrinder

I agree, the debate ends with those four, and I loved the clip.  As of the last year or so, my favourite rock album has been Inferno by Motörhead. Check it out if you can.

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#69) On November 06, 2009 at 2:48 PM, carcassgrinder (45.40) wrote:

nzsvz9

Animals is a GREAT album.  But....the evidence before the court is incontrovertible...The Wall is superior as is Dark Side. 

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#70) On November 06, 2009 at 3:01 PM, lemoneater (71.74) wrote:

How hot is Quatar in the summertime? And what do you do to survive? I have a Sonic a couple blocks away but I don't think you have that chain there. Lemon Berry slush, anyone?

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#71) On November 06, 2009 at 3:03 PM, rofgile (99.43) wrote:

A) Do you think it is better for a government like India or the US to have large tax-payer funded programs providing food, shelter, and medical treatments and some chance of living for members of society who would die without such programs or to let everyone fend for themselves?

B) If you were one of those members of society that has had the bad fortune to be born into absolute poverty, or to enter that state through no fault of your own (example getting a very expensive disease such as cancer) - would you rather giver up your life or think it is fair that everyone pay some percentage of their assets (which they would otherwise spend on a TV or a fur coat) such that you could get the treatment you need to live?

-Rof 

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#72) On November 06, 2009 at 3:05 PM, rofgile (99.43) wrote:

Have you ever been in such a dire state that you, personally, needed government help?  For fighting a fire, maybe solving a crime, facing unemployment?  Do you ever ride a bus or other form of public transport?

-Rof 

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#73) On November 06, 2009 at 3:27 PM, carcassgrinder (45.40) wrote:

David...

Sorry for the hijack...i'll let it go...

but...

nzsvz9

If you have never listened to "Les Claypool and the Fearless Flying Frog Brigade"...you need to!!  Check out their 2nd album.....they cover Animals from start to stop...LIVE.  It is unbelieveable...a true compliment to Floyd.  You will never hear a better Floyd cover than Les Claypool can perform.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTgAiQvdWOE Report this comment
#74) On November 06, 2009 at 3:58 PM, EvilCactus wrote:

red or blue?

regular m&m's or m&m's w/ peanuts?

what's Qatar like and how is it better than most places?

what's the best way to learn 500 pages of material in 5 days?

and.....since i think you're really fun and funny.....what's the absolute best joke or line you've got??

 hahaa :)

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#75) On November 06, 2009 at 4:34 PM, chk999 (99.97) wrote:

This was most amusing!

If you could only eat one cuisine for the rest of your life, which would it be?

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#76) On November 06, 2009 at 4:44 PM, ocsurf (< 20) wrote:

What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

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#77) On November 06, 2009 at 4:56 PM, ocsurf (< 20) wrote:

Why do dogs like the smell of other dogs butts?

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#78) On November 06, 2009 at 5:03 PM, TMFLomax (50.66) wrote:

David, I really liked the Robert Downey Jr. Economic Indicator answer. Very nice (not to mention a bit eerie and ominous, since he is back with a VENGEANCE, I mean he was awesome in Iron Man). And I'm relieved I may not need to find my swatch protector. Follow-up: what could it possibly mean if he starts using again? V-shaped recovery? Something more eerie and ominous? ;)

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#79) On November 06, 2009 at 5:47 PM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@whereaminow,
"Fancy charts from lucas1985 are not welcome."
What's wrong with representing data in a graph? Do you really hate facts and knowledge this much?

Anyway, some questions to you:

- Government
What's the origin of government?

- Health Care
Tell me if this article is a joke.
* The usual dose of "know-nothingness"
"I come to the second argument against public subsidies of vaccination, which deals with the lack of knowledge that we face when it comes to the efficacy of vaccination as a medical treatment
Up to now, we have simply assumed that the immunization of the public will help to prevent a pandemic. However, since the real world is one of vast uncertainty, we cannot be 100-percent sure."

We do have a bit of knowledge on swine flu vaccines (1)
We do not need perfect certainty to enact policy or take actions. Imperfect knowledge is fine, as long as it's scientifically sound.

* It repeats common anti-vaccine nonsense
"As an example, one should consider the disastrous effects of the influenza vaccination exercised in the United States in 1976–1977. There were many reports of serious brain damage related to the public immunization program. Again, some concerned scientists doubt the efficacy of the vaccine today."
Not even wrong
"In 1976 there was an outbreak of influenza among US servicemen stationed at Fort Dix in New Jersey that resulted in several hundred clinical cases and one death. The strain identified was a novel Hsw1N1 “swine flu” virus, similar to the 1918 pandemic Spanish flu strain which killed half a million people. Fear that another 1918-type pandemic was about to occur prompted the authorities to begin mass vaccination and a total of 45 million Americans were vaccinated against swine flu. In fact there never was a significant outbreak, not because the population was protected by vaccine, but because transmission of the virus remained confined to Fort Dix by the infection control measures implemented at the time.
Following the vaccination campaign, there was a rise in the numbers of GBS recorded that year, with 581 cases being reported by the CDC in Atlanta. This led to speculation that the vaccinations were responsible, but the number of reported cases was disputed since there was felt to be some bias in the collation of data and the criteria for diagnosing GBS. Subsequent reanalysis conducted by the CDC’s Immunisation Safety Branch rejected 29% of the reported cases of GBS. One of the possible theories as to why the vaccine might have caused GBS was that the vaccine had been contaminated with Campylobacter jejuni, since at that time this infection was common in poultry and the vaccine was produced in chick embryos.
Ever since, there has been concern that influenza vaccines given for seasonal flu might cause the same problem, particularly when in the USA in 1994 when the numbers of cases of GBS rose to 74, having been only 37 the year before. These reports prompted The Institute of Medicine to set up a Safety Review Committee to study the links between influenza vaccines and neurological syndromes. The IOM reviewed all available evidence regarding GBS post vaccination, for which there were many detailed analyses available. In 2003 they reported “the evidence favored acceptance of a causal relationship between the 1976 Swine Influenza vaccine and GBS in adults.” However, the evidence for other years was “inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship”. The estimated risk of GBS after flu vaccine is currently thought to be around 1 to 2 cases per million vaccinated persons per year.
An association between influenza season and a rise in the incidence of GBS has been noted before, with the suggestion that influenza infection itself might be a cause. However, it is often difficult to dissociate what might be due to influenza infection from what might be due to influenza vaccination – obviously both are common during flu season. As the authors of the study commented: “Whether the associations [of GBS] with influenza are real or whether they reflect seasonal patterns in influenza vaccination is unclear.”
The role of influenza was clarified in a recent French study published as a major article in the in-house journal of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. This not only looked at epidemiological data on GBS but also tested all the cases microbiologically to establish the causative agent. In 18% of GBS cases they investigated, influenza infection was shown to be the cause. They also estimated that the incidence of influenza-related GBS to be 4-7 cases for every 100,000 cases of influenza.
So where does this evidence leave the antivaccine lobby’s claims about GBS and swine flu vaccine? Essentially nowhere. That GBS might be triggered by flu vaccine is possible; it certainly seems as though 33 years ago it may have done so with the vaccine produced at that time. Whether the current swine flu vaccine will do anything similar is questionable; flu vaccines produced since 1976 do not appear to have significantly raised the risks of GBS above the background noise level, and any epidemiological rise in GBS cases during the flu season may not be due to the vaccine but actually caused by influenza. In fact the most powerful argument in favour of continuing to have flu vaccine (thereby running a tiny, one or two in a million risk of GBS) is that flu itself is a relatively common cause of GBS, and would appear to cause it once in every 14,000 to 25,000 episodes of flu. Running the risks of a rare vaccine side effect is perfectly acceptable when the risks from not having the vaccine are much worse."
(2)

* It flunks the economics of immunization. A quick literature review gives some numbers
"Results of Base-Case Analysis: Assuming each primary infection causes 1.5 secondary infections, vaccinating 40% of the population in October or November would be cost-saving. Vaccination in October would avert 2051 deaths, gain 69 679 QALYs, and save $469 million compared with no vaccination; vaccination in November would avert 1468 deaths, gain 49 422 QALYs, and save $302 million.
Results of Sensitivity Analysis: Vaccination is even more cost-saving if longer incubation periods, lower rates of infectiousness, or increased implementation of nonpharmaceutical interventions delay time to the peak of the pandemic. Vaccination saves fewer lives and is less cost-effective if the epidemic peaks earlier than mid-October.
Limitations: The model assumed homogenous mixing of case-patients and contacts; heterogeneous mixing would result in faster initial spread, followed by slower spread. Additional costs and savings not included in the model would make vaccination more cost-saving.
Conclusion: Earlier vaccination against pandemic (H1N1) 2009 prevents more deaths and is more cost-saving. Complete population coverage is not necessary to reduce the viral reproductive rate sufficiently to help shorten the pandemic."
(3)
"At present time, there is uncertainty regarding whether influenza-like illness in healthy adults is best managed by preventive efforts that use the trivalent influenza vaccine, administration of neuraminidase inhibitors at the onset of illness, or recommendation of supportive care alone at the onset of illness. We conducted a cost-effectiveness analysis that examined these 3 strategies for managing influenza-like illness. Vaccination with inactivated trivalent vaccine would save approximately 25 dollars per person while resulting in a net gain of approximately 3.2 quality-adjusted hours relative to providing treatment with the neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir. A quality-adjusted hour is a fraction of a quality-adjusted life-year, which is the equivalent of 1 year lived in perfect health. Treatment with oseltamivir was associated with an incremental cost-effectiveness of approximately 27,619 dollars per quality-adjusted life-year gained relative to providing supportive care. Vaccination is cost-saving relative to providing either treatment with oseltamivir or providing supportive care alone" (4)
"Immunization: The Benefits Remain Invaluable
Immunization is viewed, correctly, as a public investment in a nation's future—an investment that benefits society as a whole but one the market cannot bear alone. It makes sound economic sense for governments to provide immunizations for children. Even at US$40-50 per child, immunization is still one of public health’s “best buys.” Recent studies estimate:
   1. For every 14-20 USD spent on immunization, a child gains one healthy year of life ;
   2. The cost-benefit ratio of immunizing a child against measles was 2.27 in one South African province;
   3. Eradicating smallpox saves governments 275m USD/year in direct medical costs;
   4. Eradicating polio will save governments 2 USD in medical costs for every 1 USD spent on vaccination.

The benefits of immunization extend far beyond health treatment savings. Eliminating vaccine-preventable childhood diseases also increases life expectancy and contributes to a healthier, more productive labor force."
(5)

- Global Warming
Don't make me laugh. You don't understand the laws of radiative physics (Kirchhoff's law, Stefan–Boltzmann law, Planck's law), you don't understand the greenhouse effect, you don't understand biogeochemical cycles, you don't understand basic atmospheric physics, etc and yet you pretend to lecture about anthropogenic climate change. If you have a working brain, you too can learn the science behind this phenomenon.

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#80) On November 06, 2009 at 5:54 PM, Donnernv (< 20) wrote:

David:

Can you name three better songwriters than Jim Croce, Jimmy Buffett and Glen Campbell? (for us old timers).

And for the questioning, the tuning of a guitar has no necessary relationship to the key a song is played in, although a different tuning may make the fingerboarding easier.

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#81) On November 06, 2009 at 7:42 PM, binve (< 20) wrote:

e or pi?

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#82) On November 06, 2009 at 8:03 PM, NOTvuffett (< 20) wrote:

e or pi? that's just irrational, lol.

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#83) On November 06, 2009 at 8:04 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Good morning everyone.  It's 4am Qatar time and I will try to answer everyone's questions - particularly ncszr9's great inflation/deflation question - once I get into work, but one here stood out and needs immediate attention.

Have you ever been in such a dire state that you, personally, needed government help?  For fighting a fire, maybe solving a crime, facing unemployment?  Do you ever ride a bus or other form of public transport?

rofgile,

I suppose if the government had a monopoly on toilet production, I would theoretically need their assistance every time I took a dump, but that doesn't mean that social cooperation in the area of human waste removal would be impossible without them, nor does it mean I should thank my all powerful overlords each time I spray the beday.

David in Qatar

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#84) On November 06, 2009 at 9:45 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

nzsvz9,

If the Fed and O-Bam-A have pumped in trillions into the economy, after it has "lost' trillions in real estate holdings, futures contracts, derivatives, stock market valuations, and bankruptcies, is it possible what flowed out and what flowed in are at or near some balance so that the end result is not inflation but just a transfer of wealth?

There are quite a few ways to tackle this problem, but first let's assume for arguments sake that the Fed knew exactly how much money was lost and could re-insert (magically) that money into the system in the exact same distribution as before. Under this theoretical framework we could see that for all practical purposes the result would be a giant mulligan for society, except for the resulting increase in moral hazard - the increased likelihood that such events would repeat themselves on a larger scale. The latter problem could possibly be solved with punitive measures.

Now, you and I can see that such an pipe dream is fanciful at best and downright childish to believe at worst. Only the dullest drone could possibly believe that the end result of such a massive monetary injection would replace all that lost wealth with no harm done. Sadly, many believe that.

The reality is that, aside from the horrible distribution effects of monetary creation (counterfeiting), the true amount of wealth lost in the brief deflaionary bust was almost certainly overcompensated by the zeal to be proactive (read: over-reactive) in responding to the crisis the Fed created in the first place (Mises correctly noted that the boom is far worse than the bust due to the misallocation of precious resources that occurs during the credit orgy.)

In fact, if we were to measure the CPI in the traditional way, inflation is currently running at 5% (see www.shadowstats.com for more info on this), and that doesn't include the speculative bubble that is forming in the equity markets. It's quite clear to me that the Fed has created far more money than was lost in the first place, copmpounding the distribution effects with a drop in the standard of living that will be felt for years to come.

For those unfamiliar with how the CPI used to be calculated as opposed to now, it was changed in the early 90's as follows:

Originally, the CPI measured the price changes of a fixed set of goods, i.e. the cost of a steak now versus the cost of a steak last year. This was a crucial measure used by businesses and unions to determine costs and negotiation strategies. Then came along a group of quack economists (one was named Greenspan) that decided, "hey if the price of a steak rises, the guy might buy a hamburger, so we'll compare a hamburger today to a steak yesterday."

While it's true that Joe Blow might substitute a hamburger for a steak, he also might substitute a bowl of Lucky Charms or a BLT. What good does this knowledge provide us? Absolutely none. In fact, it makes the CPI calculation completely meaningless for most individuals, including the many Fools who point to the CPI numbers to support their deflationist or economic recovery theories.

So to answer your question, what we are seeing right now is moderate inflation which is being masked by the faulty CPI calculations that everyone buys hook, line, and sinker.

The real kicker is this: the government uses these mangled CPI stats to calculate the cost-of-living adjustments given to senior citizens. Ha! Take that AARP! Suckered again.

David in Qatar

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#85) On November 06, 2009 at 9:50 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Donnernv,

Can you name three better songwriters than Jim Croce, Jimmy Buffett and Glen Campbell?

Fantastic question. No I can not. And I can't name a better place to hang out for drinks on a Saturday night than Croce's Bar in the Gas Lamp District in San Diego.

David in Qatar

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#86) On November 06, 2009 at 9:53 PM, GenericInvestor (88.37) wrote:

Do you think all races are of equal intelligence? If so, why the disparity between invention, world achievement, civilization building, etc?

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#87) On November 06, 2009 at 10:26 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

GenericInvestor,

Do you think all races are of equal intelligence? If so, why the disparity between invention, world achievement, civilization building, etc?

First we have to agree on how intelligence is defined, and I don't even think we can do that. The current methodology of intelligence testing is a particular useful indicator of future success only within the framework of which a society determines a person's usefulness to the group. It's not a particularly relevant measurement nor a very interesting one from a libertarian perspective.

There are countless reasons why some civilizations (or races, if you prefer to think along those lines) advance while others stagnate and decline. Truth be told, very few advance, so rather than contemplating why so many fail perhaps we could turn our attention to the reasons why some are successful.

Each individual should be treated as a completely unique being. There are a million differences between you and I, the least important of which is the superficial distinction that can be seen in the pigment of our skin. Of all the many things that you and I could compare, how ridiculous is it that we would spend such an inordinate amount of time discussing the least important? Probably because humans tend to take the easiest way out.

David in Qatar

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#88) On November 06, 2009 at 11:01 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

lemoneater,

How hot is Quatar in the summertime? And what do you do to survive?

For comparison's sake, it's probably about 5 degrees hotter than Phoenix on average. There are couple more differences however.

1. There is pretty much zero cloud cover during the summer months.

2. We get occasional spells of humidity due to being on the Gulf.

3. For two months at the height of summer, it blows a constatnt 30 mph wind in your face.

So for those two months, everyone pretty much stays indoors. I can't say that I cook very much, so I order a lot of take out food.

chk999,

If you could only eat one cuisine for the rest of your life, which would it be?

I got hooked on sushi when I was living in Japan. One of the best dishes I've ever had in my life was the sashimi at Japonais in Chicago, particularly the smoked salmon. If I only had that to eat for the rest of my life, I'd be perfectly fine with it.

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#89) On November 06, 2009 at 11:18 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

EvilCactus,

what's Qatar like and how is it better than most places?

It's classy, elegant. You don't see people walking around with their fat bellies hanging out or women in slutty outfits and guys wearing wife beaters. Everything is cleaner. The stores are cleaner, the restaurants are spotless, etc. The movie theaters have comfortable seats, assigned seating, and ushers to escort you to your proper seat. It's a true "melting pot." Only a small fraction of the people are Qatari and the rest are a mix of dozens of nationalities. You'll literally see just about anything at the mall (except Mexicans.... just kdding, haha, gotcha!) There are a few nightclubs and hotel bars, though they are ridiculously expensive, and quite a lot of sporting events, museums, etc.. Crime is practically non-existent. I never lock the front door of my house (though I do live in a gated community, I have a maid and maintenance people coming and going all the time.) Like I said, outside of the heat, it's a very nice place to live.

and.....since i think you're really fun and funny.....what's the absolute best joke or line you've got??

I once told my fiance that if she got fat, I'd still love her BUT I'd love her a lot less. Amazingly, she was ok with that.

David in Qatar

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#90) On November 06, 2009 at 11:58 PM, sleepreading (< 20) wrote:

will you marry me?

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#91) On November 07, 2009 at 1:21 AM, MGDG (34.80) wrote:

I was really hoping you were going to answer Statsgeek question about the Cat and the toast. Did you eat the toast last night when the food coma was coming on and as a result were not able to finish your research into it? Do you even have a Cat and does it like toast?

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#92) On November 07, 2009 at 1:42 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

MGDG,

I hate cats but I like toast. In the spirit of the blog, I'll say that once the toast touches the cat I want no part of it, but maybe some people would eat both.

In Madascar, foreskin is a delicacy. Random disgusting fact.

David in Qatar

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#93) On November 07, 2009 at 1:50 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

In Madascar

Of course, that should read "In Madagascar."

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#94) On November 07, 2009 at 2:13 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

rofgile,

I missed these two questions from you, but since they're pretty good questions I want to respond.

A) Do you think it is better for a government like India or the US to have large tax-payer funded programs providing food, shelter, and medical treatments and some chance of living for members of society who would die without such programs or to let everyone fend for themselves?

First, people still die with those programs and I don't think we can make a meaningful comparison as to how many people would die in one scenario versus the other. Second, when everyone "fends for themselves" they don't actually "fend for themselves." There is no example in the history of humankind where a society became so self absorded with cold, heartless humans that nobody was willing to lend a helping hand to another human in need. This vision present in all socialists' nightmares simply does not exist and could never exist. Humans, by and large, help each other often, willingly, and graciously. The times when they don't help often make the news, but only because it is newsworthy in its exceptionalism. Humans help each other with or without government prodding, coddling, forcing, or redistribution.

B) If you were one of those members of society that has had the bad fortune to be born into absolute poverty, or to enter that state through no fault of your own (example getting a very expensive disease such as cancer) - would you rather giver up your life or think it is fair that everyone pay some percentage of their assets (which they would otherwise spend on a TV or a fur coat) such that you could get the treatment you need to live?

It is sad that we can think of no alternative solution to this problem than others must be forced to pay in order to finance my survival. With such incredibly intelligent and creative minds filling this planet, this is the best we can do? Can Socialism really be that alluring, when it's solutions are so child like and embarrasingly naive?

In the free market health care system that previously existed in the United States there were thousands of private Christian hospitals that dotted the American landscape. No one was ever turned away for treatment at these hospitals. There is not one single historical record of a person in need of treatment being left for dead on the doorsteps of a private Christian church. This is not as much an endorsement of Christianity (though it deserves commendation) as a celebration of the charitable spirit of humans working freely to solve social problems.

How sad is it that Socialists can only imagine a world where every choice is death or theft?

David in Qatar

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#95) On November 07, 2009 at 2:19 AM, MGDG (34.80) wrote:

Do you believe we have recovered from reccession while shipping volumes continue to decline YOY? Are we really still working through inventory or can we recover without anyone buying or selling anything?

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#96) On November 07, 2009 at 2:33 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

MGDG,

Do you believe we have recovered from reccession while shipping volumes continue to decline YOY? Are we really still working through inventory or can we recover without anyone buying or selling anything?

Let's find a logical starting point. We know that when new money is created, it must be given to some people and not others. When this happens those who receive it will benefit. It's logical then to say that there will be improved conditions in the sectors of the economy that most benefited from these stimuli.

It's not surprising, if you follow, that the banking sector would lead the way in the current "recovery" while other sectors that received no "help" would continue to decline.

Austrian theory tells us that this is a misallocation of capital caused by government interference. Are they correct? If they are, we should able to see a continued divergence between the reality of the condition of banks and the perception of banks in oh, say the stock market. That certainly appears to be the case. Meanwhile, other sectors should continue their slow spiral to death.

So what happens if the government continues to solve the problem of malinvestment with more malinvestment? I would speculate that the "returns" on these monetary injections would decrease with each one, going from poor to really effing poor over time. That's pretty much how it played out in Japan as well.

The farther down this path America travels, the harder it will be to put on the brakes (governments hate, above all things, to admit they were wrong) and the more difficult will be the next bust.

And that's pretty much how history always plays out. A classical education makes you a cynic. It helps if you have a sense of humor.

David in Qatar

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#97) On November 07, 2009 at 2:38 AM, Tastylunch (29.36) wrote:

?

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#98) On November 07, 2009 at 2:40 AM, MGDG (34.80) wrote:

Good answer and I concur. Oops, I forgot a question. Do you even care if I concur?

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#99) On November 07, 2009 at 2:45 AM, MGDG (34.80) wrote:

Do you believe a trace gas, such as Co2 can cause global warming? Using cause and effect, couldn't it just as well be the rise in Co2 levels are the effect of rising global temperatures?

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#100) On November 07, 2009 at 2:59 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

MGDG,

Do you even care if I concur?

Not in the least.

Do you believe a trace gas, such as Co2 can cause global warming? Using cause and effect, couldn't it just as well be the rise in Co2 levels are the effect of rising global temperatures?

I don't think anybody completely understands the cause and effect relationship, or the implications, of climate phenemona. In my next blog, I'm going to present of the best arguments I've come across in the AGW debate.

David in Qatar

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#101) On November 07, 2009 at 3:05 AM, MGDG (34.80) wrote:

I'll keep an eye out for it. Sorry, I ran out of questions. It's midnight and I'm becoming brain dead. Either that or too much alcohol sloshing around.

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#102) On November 07, 2009 at 3:13 AM, TMFUltraLong (99.95) wrote:

Do I really have the magical power to 1 star any 5 star stock and 5 star any 1 star stocks?

Do you have a shrine to my CAPS achievements in Qatar

Are 10 speeding tickets in a decade enough?

Was Barry Sanders the greatest back in NFL history?

On what day of the week with Gray Television (GTN) file for bankruptcy protection?

How did I get to be so awesome?

UltraLong =)

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#103) On November 07, 2009 at 3:25 AM, weg915 (< 20) wrote:

How in the world can LAUSD say a child is failing 6 weeks into Kindergarten?  And why do they see the fault in the children and not in themselves?

 


 

 

 

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#104) On November 07, 2009 at 3:32 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

UltraLong,

This is easily the best set of questions thus far, so add that to your already prodigious collection of achievements.

Do I really have the magical power to 1 star any 5 star stock and 5 star any 1 star stocks?

The only thing that is impossible is that there are no impossibilities.

Do you have a shrine to my CAPS achievements in Qatar?

No, but I am working on a project to have all of your blogs translated into Arabic. My ultimate goal is to teach a class on UltraLong 101 at Qatar University.

Are 10 speeding tickets in a decade enough?

For some people. For the rest of us, the road and its rules are merely guidelines. Smart people are always looking for more efficient means to achieve their objectives. The unspectacular go with the flow of traffic.

Was Barry Sanders the greatest back in NFL history?

Barry Sanders was the most spectacular runner (or as Dan Dierdorf might call him, 'the most spectacular foot athlete') in NFL history. For the complete package: running, receiving, blocking, and occasionally passing; no one beats Sweetness.

On what day of the week will Gray Television (GTN) file for bankruptcy protection?

Friday is the best day to announce bad news.

How did I get to be so awesome?

The things worth having in life don't come easy. If I could answer that, I'd be UltraLong.

David in Qatar

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#105) On November 07, 2009 at 6:31 AM, sleepreading (< 20) wrote:

you still haven't answered my question...

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#106) On November 07, 2009 at 6:50 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

sleepreading,

will you marry me?

If you can defeat my fiance in a duel, then consider me yours.

weg915,

How in the world can LAUSD say a child is failing 6 weeks into Kindergarten? And why do they see the fault in the children and not in themselves?

There is no non-arbitrary way to measure the intellectual progress of an individual. American schools, obsessed with quantifying the results of their work (and thus, justifying their ridiculously overcompenated paychecks - the majority of American teachers, particularly big city union teachers, schoolmasters, and DOE bureaucrats, aren't worth minimum wage), react with terror at the slightest indication that their efforts at behavior modification are failing. Since the majority of American public school teachers are not given the creative license to experiment with various learning methods and feedback mechanisms (typical State once-size-fits-all approach rules), blame must fall on the victim of these tactics: the child.

You can't blame the parents. They vote, pay taxes, and occasionally rabble.

You can't blame the system. American public schooling is an instrument of social engineering.

You can't blame the teachers. They are the selfless, courageous, underpaid (yeah, right) servants of the children.

So you can blame the children, until you go too far. And then you can always fall back on the big lie: there's not enough money.

David in Qatar

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#107) On November 07, 2009 at 9:10 AM, weg915 (< 20) wrote:

Well said.  I continue to fight the good fight everday not just for my own but for all.  Sometimes I have a positive efffect. 

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#108) On November 07, 2009 at 11:24 AM, kdakota630 (29.71) wrote:

whereaminow

I once told my fiance that if she got fat, I'd still love her BUT I'd love her a lot less. Amazingly, she was ok with that.

I think we think a lot a like in certain matters:

My wife once asked me if I loved her as much now as I did when we were married.  I told her "of course not", as we now have 3 kids and a 4th on the way, and my love had to be equally divided amongst her and the kids, and therefore when the 4th one comes along, I will love her slightly less.

 

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#109) On November 07, 2009 at 11:46 AM, GenericInvestor (88.37) wrote:

What do you think of the fact that AIPAC/israelis control U.S forign policy?

 

Do you think the U.S will ever put pressure to end their illegal occupation/warcrimes? Or even turn down the billions we give them to continue their illegal occupation?

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#110) On November 09, 2009 at 1:52 AM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@MGDG,
"Do you believe a trace gas, such as Co2 can cause global warming? Using cause and effect, couldn't it just as well be the rise in Co2 levels are the effect of rising global temperatures?"
- Trace substances can have powerful effects. Examples:
* The recommended daily intake of selenium for adults is 55-70 mcg/day
* The LD50 (classic measure of toxicity) of botulinum toxins is 1-3 ng/kg. Yep, that's nanograms (10–9 g) per kilogram.
- The atmosphere is huge, so even small concentrations do add up when talking about big masses/volumes.
- The greenhouse properties of CO2 are well-understood. It's basic physics.
- There's copious evidence on the role of CO2 as a main driver of climate change in the past, specially in the last 65 million years.
- We know that the origin of the rise in CO2 concentrations is mainly the burning of fossil fuels. How do we know this?
* Isotopic profile.
* The nice fit between the CO2 curve and measurements of fossil fuel mining and energy production since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
* The existence of ocean acidification (i.e. more dissolved CO2 in the ocean). Warming oceans should release CO2 to the atmosphere and the exact opposite is what's happening (the oceans are taking huge amounts of CO2 which decrease the pH).
* Volcanic activity can't explain the steady rise in CO2 concentration. We should have constant activity from super-volcanoes which isn't the case.
* There's no recent temperature increase that could explain the dramatic, constant rise of CO2.

@whereaminow,
"I don't think anybody completely understands the cause and effect relationship, or the implications, of climate phenemona."
In other words, since we don't know everything this means that we know nothing. The fact that there are important sources of uncertainty (aerosols, clouds, ice feedbacks, geochemical feedbacks, land use change feedbacks) in climate science doesn't invalidate the huge amount of knowledge of the atmosphere and the climate system. An analogy would be that since we don't know how each electron behaves in a transistor, computing is unreliable/untrustworthy/incomprehensible.

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#111) On November 11, 2009 at 2:35 PM, nzsvz9 (< 20) wrote:

David,

You did not respond to my late post to your "The other side of the war" blog.

Question 1. Why not?

Question 2. What is your reply?

Thanks.

Known by the keepers of process as nzsvz9

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#112) On November 11, 2009 at 3:02 PM, chaimyl (95.48) wrote:

What is the first 5 things you look at before you pick a stock?

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#113) On November 11, 2009 at 3:04 PM, lemoneater (71.74) wrote:

Thanks for answering question #70. I lived in Tempe, AZ for about a year when I was near kindergarten age. I remember it being so hot it melted my crayons into soup. I learned that there is such a thing as a naturally sweet lemon :)

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#114) On November 12, 2009 at 9:30 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

nzsvz9,

You know I always make time for your thoughts. The reason I didn't respond is because I am in almost total agreement with what you said (although I differ on the origins and purpose of the Constitution and I am an anarchist.)

chaimyl,

I wrote a blog a while back about how I pick stocks, but mainly I look for low price-to-book and good cash management (not to be confused with Cash Flow, which is an accountant's trick.)  I don't have a business preference, I just want to know if I would actually want to own that business at that price. If not, then I won't pay for it.

And yes, I like to red thumb ETF's. 

David in Qatar

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#115) On February 07, 2010 at 9:45 PM, Judochop172 (31.59) wrote:

You can't be right all the time where. Geaux Saints 2010!

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