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Look... the world is ALWAYS ending

Recs

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February 24, 2011 – Comments (112)

I have come to the conclusion that if one is to participate in the markets, you will be exposed to wild end-of-days theories and discussions on a daily basis.  It will simply be a part of your life.  As I have thought about it more and more for the last couple of weeks since a friend told me she thought I got moody when I read stock stuf, two good things have happened.  First, something or other inspired me to go back and read my best blogs (probably ever) if by "best" you mean "ones you and others could have made the most money on", which reminded me how caustic, arrogant and irritating the bears were in early 2009, how stunningly wrong they were, and how not one of them has ever posted a thread like "how we got it all wrong" or "sorry if i scared you out of the markets just before a 100% rally".  Just more anger and ABSOLUTE statements, usually about Ben Bernanke, who is at fault, for all things.  Including people rebelling against dictators and the price of a champagne bottle at XS nightclub.  And the fact that their neighbor has a nicer lawn.  And for spoiling their milk and leaving the water running while they were at work.  Alot of other stuff too.  

And anyway, I would like to observe that over my fairly short lifetime, the world has, without any doubt, for absolute positive sure, been ending.  And I don't mean maybe, it was FOR SURE ending, SOON.  Life as I know it has ALWAYS been about to end, FOR SURE, and there have always been teeming mobs of mindless masses repeating the same story and yelling and yapping (i.e., "chanting" as I said in my "cult of negativity" thread), and rarely thinking things over or forming their own opinion.  

You don't believe me?  You think today is really different, there are FOR SURESIES real problems today?  Here is a list of just what comes to mind as I think my life over chronologically.  

I don't remember it, but lil check, all toddling around and pooping in diapers, was born into a time of inflation, on a bitter winter day in the mid 70s.   I have read a few blogs that say "well in the 70s we survived inflation because we were the dominatn power in the world, today we are a third world country".  I absolutely promise you that if you'd have read stock blogs, if they had existed, in the late 70s you'd not have read about how dominant we were. You'd have heard tales of the Soviet militaries supremacy and how Japan was going to take us over...   The inflation got under control eventually and we launched, anew, into a period of epic prosperity.

Remember whne we were "turning japanese" as the song says?  Remember when japan was going to own all of the USA?

Remember when we were no match for the soviets and our planes and tanks didn't have a shot against theirs?

Remember Black Monday? 

I remember, as a soph in high school, being told that I would be drafted in two years.  People panickingand yapping, "another vietnam", "gas rations", "endn of days". 

Remember when the "Asian Tigers" were going to take over the world?

I remember hearing ont he news my father watched that like, 50 banks went broke in the early 90s, and it was quite a huge panic.  Oh, no, wait, that was FIVE THOUSAND.  I remember posting that fact, saying, "folks, we've done this before..." in early 2009 and being told I was an idiot, its different this time, this time, FOR REALS, the world is ending. 

Remember 9/11?

Enron?

Remember in ten years that China was goign to take over the world, please.

Remember in early 2009 when ALL of the remaining banks were going to be nationalized?  The S&P was going to 500?

Remember in april 2009 when everybody who was long was an idiot and it was just a suckers rally?

Beyond just finance and geopolitical stuff...

Remember in 20 years that we were all going to die of global warming, soon, end of days, no tomorrow, no more snow on kilamanjaro.  Al Gore said so, and he was desperate for attention, so he had to be right.

Remember in 20 that we were going to have an end of society due to peak oil.

But, no...  remember this:   when i was EIGHT, in the early/mid 80s, MORE THAN 25 YEARS AGO...  we learned in school that by the year 2000-2010 we would be out of oil and driving would be over as we knew it, and that manhattan and LA would be underwater.  THESE CULTISH NEGATIVISTS CAN'T EVEN COME UP WITH NEW MATERIAL!

Beyond that, remember when it was frequently in the news that EVERY scientist agreed that global warming would end the world...  soon?  I got po'd at a liberal friend and emailed like 20 climatologists from various universities.  I got some quite kind responses ranging from agreement to skepticism to outright refute of the concept.  

I remember as a kid being told I was getting an education far worse than those japanese and european kids and I would, soon, be obselete and unable to compete.  Who invented everything tech again and launched the world into a 20 year run of prosperity?  Some japanese kids in a garage, right?  It wasn't two american kids in a garage...  that never happened.  

My short life has seen what? 5, 6, 7 recessions?  The world was ending each time, I promise. 

 

Here is my point:  there is a certain element of society that just isn't happy unless its mad.  If we all started driving electric cars do you really think that the environmentalists would be happy?  they absolutey positively WOULD NOT, they would be EXACTLY as mad, but about something new.  

The world will always be ending, there will always be negative headlines, there will always be conspiracy theories, and there will always be something bad happening, there will always be something risky, something scary, something bad CAN HAPPEN, and sometimes does.  

This is not a call to ignore potentially bad things and be a pollyanna, it is a reminder that just because you read something scary and ranting (chanting) and negative, doesn't mean it will come true.  It is a reminder that, in general, the human animal manages to muddle through.  And occasionally, we are brilliant OR BETTER.  

And please, sometime, stop to consider that sometimes people join these cults of negativity because they offer a place to belong.  The comaraderie at an enviro-nut club is probably quite nice.  And sometimes this is the expression of peoples frustration with life, the world, their wife running off with the milkman, their sister having bigger boobs, whatever.  And sometimes this is just the frustration of people who never really found the... willingness to swallow their pride and just give life a try.  And ... sometimes, they are right.  

But usually they are wrong, and a very important part about living in life in the US, where so many people are so negative about our culture despite it being easily the most successful one in the world today is tuning out the BS and focusing on what matters in life.  

To accomplish this, you have to first think for yourself.  Who cares what I say?  I'm some idiot with a keyboard in the middle of nowhere.  YOU need to decide, after considering the possibilities.  You'd be shocked how many opinions, even eloquently stated ones, are just plagarism of the lamest kind.  I'd say nowhere near 10% of people actually think for themselves.  Second, you have to take responsibility for your own actions.  YOU bought pets.com, YOU bought a house in 2005, YOU didn't buy insurance in March 2009, "the fed" didn't make you do it.  CHECKLIST started a business in a dieing industry and lost his life savings and spent YEARS digging out of that hole, CHECKLIST decided to go out for baseball and struck out 41 times in a row.  I know its hard to believe, but "the bernanck" didn't make me do it.  You'd be stunned how free it feels to just admit you screwed the pooch.  Just try it "i completely screwed up, and it will hurt for years, and I can't ever get another chance, this sucks.  It was MY fault."  You will find freedom in facing that pain.  And that freedom just might give you the courage to start another biz, and go up to the plate for the 42nd time.  And grounding out to short that 42nd time might give you a bit more confidence, and on your 156th time you just might wind up the last kid to ever hit a ball over the center field fence of your hometown park.  SOMETIMES the cults of negativity are right, but it is really, really not that often.   Don't let them dominate your train of thought. 

To the topic of money making:  I guaran-d@man-tee you that, eventually, EVERY great investor/trader wound up with their own strategy.  ALL OF THEM.  Learned from others, sure, but in the end it was THEIR way that helped them win.  Quit following.  (note to self as well as a rant at the world).

People are generally good, for all our sins.  Actually, people generally suck, but we are prone to these moments of brilliance so fantastic that it makes up for all of our failures.  Like two kids in the 70s in some garage somewhere, inventing the PC.  It will happen again.

And, we can do things like this.  

 

 

112 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On February 24, 2011 at 10:30 PM, checklist34 (99.69) wrote:

dear culters:  I bet you $10 at least half of you were thinking something like "thats cute, checklist, but so naieve, if you only knew like I do, you'd know we're screwed"

But, see, guys/gals, thats what you thought when you read my posts in early 2009.  And I made 7x since the march bottoms and you didn't.

Don't join cults.  Including cults of positivity, folks, THINK FOR YOURSELVES.

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#2) On February 24, 2011 at 10:43 PM, checklist34 (99.69) wrote:

And, you see, the generally sucky but occasionally brilliant nature of people...  just maybe, is surfacing in the middle east.  What if these guys actually get a better day, a better state, a better life?

Be alot harder to recruit terrorists, be alot less anger in the world, probably be, with fits and starts, a good thing.  I am actually kind of excitedly hopeful for them, godspeed, as the saying was years ago.   May they find their George Washington.

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#3) On February 24, 2011 at 10:53 PM, recklessfier (< 20) wrote:

haha long post, I enjoyed it though - thanks :)

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#4) On February 24, 2011 at 11:06 PM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

Yep - the world is always ending.  And some people spend their whole lives getting rich telling others about the impending doom.

Harry Browne    1933 - 2006

How You Can Profit From The Coming Devaluation          1970

You Can Profit From A Monetary Crisis                           1974

New Profits From The Monetary Crisis                             1978

The Economic Time Bomb                                             1989

Why Government Doesn't Work                                       1995

The Great Libertarian Offer                                              2000

 

Nope - I never read any of them.  But I have spent 40 years watching one after the other make the rounds.  

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#5) On February 24, 2011 at 11:16 PM, BlackSwanCapital (79.12) wrote:

I love this,

Although I don't necessarily blame them.  Some people just dwell on the negative aspects.

 

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#6) On February 24, 2011 at 11:19 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

So wait, you're saying the world is NOT going to end? I really thought it was. 

And this post was actually directed at Harry Browne? Honestly, I did not see that coming. Nicely done.

David in Qatar 

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#7) On February 24, 2011 at 11:34 PM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

Just judging by the titles, Harry Browne seems to be an excellent example of the kind of negativity this post is about. 

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#8) On February 24, 2011 at 11:43 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Damn, and I wasted all this time reading books when I could have just read the titles. I have wasted so much of my life.

My whole adult life I was hoping to start a cult. Now I find out that one was formed here on CAPS without my knowledge and I wasn't invited. This is horsesh*t! 

David in Qatar 

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#9) On February 24, 2011 at 11:50 PM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

Haha

I don't rdeally believe in judging a book by its cover either, David.  I just wasn't ever attracted to what sounded like a pessimistic message to me.  If I start reading them now can I be like you?

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#10) On February 24, 2011 at 11:50 PM, checklist34 (99.69) wrote:

Just saying, David, not meaning to be disrespectful or deserving of sarcasm-only responses...  ;)

i will honestly buy an entire casino all the booze they can drink...  the day after a bear admits they were wrong.  sincerley.

 

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#11) On February 24, 2011 at 11:51 PM, checklist34 (99.69) wrote:

truth, in all honesty the title alone would insure that I never ever considered reading one of those.  I have decided to spend the rest of my life allergic to irrational negativity. 

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#12) On February 24, 2011 at 11:52 PM, checklist34 (99.69) wrote:

thanks reckless!

 

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#13) On February 24, 2011 at 11:53 PM, checklist34 (99.69) wrote:

thanks reckless!

 

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#14) On February 24, 2011 at 11:53 PM, checklist34 (99.69) wrote:

blackswan:  thanks,

i swear:...  i have blkswan license plates

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#15) On February 24, 2011 at 11:58 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Check,

Just saying, David, not meaning to be disrespectful or deserving of sarcasm-only responses...  ;) 

This just in: pot calls kettle black. (See any of my posts you've commented on.)

i will honestly buy an entire casino all the booze they can drink...  the day after a bear admits they were wrong.  sincerley. 

But GMX has already admitted he's wrong. I didn't know he was a cult leader and I can't imagine what other "bears" you are talking about, since there are no prominent ones on CAPS.

I'm just p*ssed I didn't get an invite to the cult. Wherever it is.

I think, however, I should do a post about this crazy cult I came across recently. They think the seas will turn to lemonade, that lions will be domesticated, that everyone will be in paradise.

I don't know that anybody actually feels that way, but what the heck. It'll get 30 recs and I can pat myself on the back when I'm done!

David in Qatar 

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#16) On February 25, 2011 at 12:01 AM, awallejr (85.54) wrote:

and how not one of them has ever posted a thread like "how we got it all wrong" or "sorry if i scared you out of the markets just before a 100% rally". 

In all fairness GMX did apologize and admit to being wrong.

http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/i-am-caps-1-day-hottest/543321

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#17) On February 25, 2011 at 12:03 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

truth, in all honesty the title alone would insure that I never ever considered reading one of those.  I have decided to spend the rest of my life allergic to irrational negativity. 

That's not thinking for yourself. That's choosing not to think at all. 

David in Qatar 

 

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#18) On February 25, 2011 at 12:07 AM, monksnake (38.29) wrote:

I don't think the world is going to end, however, times do appear like they won't be as rosy in the not-too-distant future.

We had Dow 6500 in March 2009 from over 1400 in 2007. 

The initial sources of problems that caused the DOW to drop 7500 have not yet been "solved".  We still have very large amounts of defaults on house loans and we still have banks going belly up. 

I have had shoulder pain recently from my infraspinatus muscle.  The pain is in the front of my shoulder, however, the muscle is on my shoulder blade in the back.  At times I will ice the front of my shoulder as it makes it feel better for a while.  Give it a few hours and my shoulder hurts again.  I need to treat the source of my pain (on my back), ALAS my frontal shoulder will subside.

All this government spending is doing is treating the front of the US's shoulder (the ice pack), this spending will cause it's own problems in time.  They need to address the root cause for things to truely get better. 

I personally think the root cause of all the problems in the US economy is the fact that people are no longer held responsible for what they do.  

For example, the banker that loans out the $250,000 house loan should suffer a personal monetary loss if the loan is defaulted upon.  I garuntee you'd see a stricter approval process. The person that defaults on the loan should see jail time (exceptions being considered).

I ranted a bit, forgive me, also forgive my weak vocabulary.  I work at a place that does not let me use my brain that often and it has since become weaker. 

 

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#19) On February 25, 2011 at 1:18 AM, Momentum21 (96.14) wrote:

there are 2 sides to every trade...why doth chet protest? : )

Great post but I also want to stand up for "the bears" because I do feel that there is tremendous value to the views I get on CAPS. I see where you are going but I think the drive-bys are going to skew towards bearish and shouldn't be lumped in with the thoughtful. 

And why have you not picked a stock in like years??? Step up Chet! 

 

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#20) On February 25, 2011 at 1:39 AM, dragonLZ (99.59) wrote:

That video is priceless. Made my day. If that's not one of those "Everything is possible" reminders, I don't know what is.

Thanks checklist.

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#21) On February 25, 2011 at 2:10 AM, HarryCarysGhost (99.69) wrote:

This is what you told me-

#1) On October 18, 2009 at 12:47 AM, checklist34 (99.82) wrote:

who oh oh , who oh oh, dime.

only time will tell if fundamentals prevail right now or not.  this markes greatest ally is the limitless, and passionate (limitlessly passionate) contepmt for its advance.  eventually those beras may capitulate and... represent the final advance in stocks for bulls like me.

this is clearly, blatantly, clearly, a bulls year. even at S&P even for the year a prudent, odds-playing bull was at least double his money.

imagine what that prudent odds-playing bear will be at S&P 1200!!!!!!  still down 20% from 10 years ago.

Thanks man.

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#22) On February 25, 2011 at 8:40 AM, OneLegged (< 20) wrote:

+1

 A good way to begin thinking for one's self is to drop the labels.  As soon as the lib, dem, neocon, bear, bull etc language starts flying the brain has already shut off.  The optimist is just as deluded as the pessimist.  The opitmist is just more politically correct in his tone.  In this country there is no such thing as a realist.  These are things I personally need to pay attention to.

 Great post.

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#23) On February 25, 2011 at 9:24 AM, Option1307 (29.65) wrote:

Firrst off I have to give you major props for essentially calling "the bottom" spot on and making a killing the last few years. I tink it's fair to say that you've played the market better than probably anyone the since the start of this massive rally, including the corrections. Also, you seem to always to a good job of admitting your errors (RJET, NBK, OTE, etc.) and try to learn from them which is likely the hardest part for most investors.

With your massive success you have every right to be a bit arrogant, bc lests face it, you killed it recently. While I have enjoyed your recent "attitude" in your posts bc I think we can all learn a lot from your experiences I must say that this post is boardering on the exact opposite from how the bears were during the crash.

What I mean is that during the crash, the bears were out in full force saying "how did you not see this coming, your an idiot, etc etc." This post is kind of screaming just the exact opposite, "how did you not see the rally coming, you missed the opportunity of a lifetime etc. etc.".

I'm not out to knock you bc I certainly appreciate your stance/opinions/thoguhts/etc. and while I was caught up in "the crash" for a period I did come around to the bull market after reading blogs (yours included) and profit nicely!

I guess my point is this, I see two camps right now. Those that called the crash correctly but subsequently lost their a** during the rally, and those that called the rally correctly but were not around during the market crash. Both have been right for a period of time, but both camps seem to be looking backwards and hindsight is always 20/20.

In this regard, I can't think of any Caps player that has successfully called both the crash AND rally correctly. There are may Fools that nailed the crash, and there are many Fools that staretd right after the crash, but I seriously can't think of anyone who has called both... Interesting.

So enjoy your success bc you deserve it more than any other, but don't let your success drive you towards the other extreme, the extreme that you hated so much during early 2009. 

Fyi I don't think that is the point of your post, bc you are brinig up a good point about "thinking for yourself" etc. but just throwing out more food for thought.

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#24) On February 25, 2011 at 10:42 AM, Valyooo (99.35) wrote:

David,

In all honesty, if you saw a book title called "Fiat currency: scientific facts about why most people who are against the fed have an IQ below 80, and examples of why metal based economies have failed and only fiat has worked through history"

And you saw about 20 similiar books, would you read them all?

Also, what if you saw a book called "see spot run" or "The Second coming of Jesus will be in 1992"?  Would you think that see spot run was intellectually stimulating, or that the second one would have some accurate predictions?

I am not trying to be a dick, but unless the titles of those books were completely a joke, the predictions cannot have been very accurate.

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#25) On February 25, 2011 at 10:43 AM, Valyooo (99.35) wrote:

Specifically referring to the first 4, not talking about the libertarian books.

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#26) On February 25, 2011 at 11:51 AM, russiangambit (29.12) wrote:

Ha-ha. You are on to somthing. I always wondered how with so much irrepsonsibility and  plain incompetence at every level of every society the world is still somehow held together.

I have to tell you, though, I could never understand how americans can afford the lifestyle they have given that an average salary is somewhere around 40K, just barely enough to support a family. Then eventually it became clear - many had inheritance and many lived on credit. USA right now is leaving my spending its wealth, eventually it will run out. It is already starting getting ugly with states pushing spending cuts.

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#27) On February 25, 2011 at 11:53 AM, catoismymotor (51.71) wrote:

Checklist34, well said. I agree with most of your sentiments. Congrats on your successes and for learning the lessons taught by the College of First Hand Experience

 

David, with regard to #17: To say he is choosing not to think is incorrect. He obvioulsy does think, does a good job with it. To me it sounds more like at this stage in his investing and personal life such books don't have a place, maybe never will. Don't judge him harshly. He is merely on a different path than you, on the way to the same finish line.

 

Sincerely,

He who should be doing other things,

Cato

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#28) On February 25, 2011 at 2:16 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

 Valyooo,

I've read the Bible though I'm not a Christian. I read Dawkins though I'm not an Atheist. I've read Keynes' General Theory, Marx's Das Kapital, and everything in between.

I'll pick up books no matter the title and give it a thumb through at least.

Harry Browne was one of the kindest, most courageous champions of liberty that of the past century.

Those mocking his book titles are the most ignorant pieces of crap I've come across in a while.

They might not remember this, because they only read titles, but there was a fantastic monetary crisis in the 70's. It was called stagflation. It was a MAJOR F*CKING EVENT. Silver and gold shot up to all time higs in the early 80's.

Laugh all you want. You weren't there. 

Appareantly for truth and check,

Thinking for yourself

=

Avoiding books with upsetting titles.

David in Qatar 

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#29) On February 25, 2011 at 2:29 PM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

No.  It means reading things I'M interested in.  You like to read about macroeconomics and intellectualize and criticize professional economists who have studies economics their entire lives.  It makes you feel smart.  That and philosphizing about some goverment-less world that will never exist.  That's your bag. 

Other people here on this investing site might just not want to split their time between reading to suit you and reading what interests them.

You think the seventies were so bad?  Were YOU THERE?

I WAS.   It was NOT A MAJOR EVENT!  SORRY! 

Normal average people went on going to work and paying bills.  Without any help from Harry Browne.  

 

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#30) On February 25, 2011 at 2:37 PM, leohaas (31.85) wrote:

Unfortunately I already gave my "Post of the Year" award out a couple of days ago, otherwise this one would have been the winner.

Oh, wait, come to think of it, you also wrote the post that did win.

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#31) On February 25, 2011 at 2:44 PM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

Reading about it in books will enable you to argue it and sound more knowledgeable.  I'll give you that. 

And I still won't put enough time and energy into it to argue against you very effectively.  Because I'm interested in other things.  

I don't have to read about the seventies...which, by the way, were the best years of my life.  I had just left home, was on my own for the first time.  Life was wonderful and a good job was hard not to find.  

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#32) On February 25, 2011 at 2:52 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

You are a complete idiot.

David in Qatar 

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#33) On February 25, 2011 at 2:53 PM, mtf00l (44.77) wrote:

"Can't we all just get along...?"

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#34) On February 25, 2011 at 2:55 PM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

For crying out loud...in the seventies you could lose a really good job in the morning and know you'd find a better one before the day was out anyway. 

Books such as those I listed were viewed as ridiculous in the seventies and the people who read them were seen as pessimistic econochondriacs.  

And life went on....

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#35) On February 25, 2011 at 2:57 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

For crying out loud...in the seventies you could lose a really good job in the morning and know you'd find a better one before the day was out anyway. 

LOL, what??????

David in Qatar 

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#36) On February 25, 2011 at 2:58 PM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

I'm sure many people here feel that way about you, but are afraid of your insults.   Insult away.  Reading about an era someone else lived through and fondly remembers and wanting to lecture them about it makes you the idiot.

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#37) On February 25, 2011 at 3:01 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Reading about an era someone else lived through and fondly remembers and wanting to lecture them about it makes you the idiot.

Moron, I wasn't lecturing you on your personal experience.  

You are the dumbest person on CAPS, bar none.

David in Qatar 

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#38) On February 25, 2011 at 3:04 PM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

I used to think you were one of the smartest.  You fixed that.

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#39) On February 25, 2011 at 3:04 PM, dragonLZ (99.59) wrote:

I still think that video is incredible.

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#40) On February 25, 2011 at 3:06 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

How would you know either way? You can't get past the titles.

David in Qatar 

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#41) On February 25, 2011 at 3:07 PM, ETFsRule (99.94) wrote:

+1 rec

But seeing as how there's already 40 comments on this blog, I'm getting the hell out of here before someone satisfies Godwin's Law

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#42) On February 25, 2011 at 3:20 PM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

The seventies are part of my personal experience.  Stagflation wasn't some earthshaking "MAJOR F*CKING EVENT."

It was something people were aware of and bitched about when prices creeped up faster than usual, but most people didn't consume a lot of time thinking about it.

Fantastic monetary crisis?  You make it sound like I lived through some kind of depression.   Which, to me, is laughable.

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#43) On February 25, 2011 at 3:24 PM, mtf00l (44.77) wrote:

Damn Nazi's =D

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#44) On February 25, 2011 at 3:24 PM, dragonLZ (99.59) wrote:

I don't know why bears...

...have a such big problem admitting that they were (and majority of them still are) just dead wrong about this bull market.

I mean, I have no problem admitting that I am a bull, and as such, a lot of times lose money because I don’t recognize bear markets at the right time. In other words, I either hold onto a stock on its way down for way too long (getting better on this one all the time), or I get burned as I can't wait and buy a stock at the wrong time.

However, when it comes to bull markets: I know one when I see one.

It is just plain crazy to me that some people just don’t see it this time.

They talk about how “fundamentals did not improve so this can’t be a bull market”, or how “this is just a correction in a bear market”, or how “blah, blah, blah”…

I mean, I just don’t get it.

First of all: YOU DON’T ARGUE WITH THE MARKET! (I mean, you can, but you won’t make any money).

If market is telling you “Everything is fine, or is on the mend”, you better believe it (even if you “know” it ain’t so).

Take for example some of the stocks connected with the auto industry. Everybody knows auto industry is in the worst shape ever.  

Tell 95% of the Americans about buying a stock of TRW Automotive, Tenneco, or Arvin Meritor and they will tell you: you are insane. With these companies being suppliers to auto industry, people wouldn’t thouch them even if you gave them these stocks for free.

However, from their March lows, TRW is up a 1,000%, TEN is up 1,500%, and ARM is up 1,300%.

Or what is all that talk about this just being a correction?

In which correction you have returns like these? I haven’t been an investor for a long time (actually I'm quite new to this "game"), but I just can’t believe there was ever “just” a correction with so many tenfold gains (since lows) in so many stocks and in so many industries.

Car Rentals: Dollar Thrifty (DTG) up 2,200%, Avis (CAR) up 2,200%, Hertz (HTZ) up 500%.

Retail: Kirklands (KIRK) up 800%, Stein Mart (SMRT) up 1,000%, Jones Apparel (JNY) up 400%.

Tech: STEC up 900%, RFMD up 600%, ZAGG up 1,000%.

I mean I could go on forever: Gaming, Biotech (majority of them up tenfold), REIT’s, Mining/Metals, …

Simply, everywhere you look, there are stocks that went up 10, even 20 times.

Does that happen in corrections? I don’t think so.

Or what about volume?

That's another easy tell. Just look at the huge difference in volume before (for some stocks ever) and after March in majority of the stocks that performed well this year, and you will know what I mean.

I mean, Bears, just wake up. Realize that there are both bear AND bull markets.

And this one is a Bull.

____________________________________________

That was my first ever post here on CAPS, and checklist had some great comments there. It was only July of 2009, but to me it seemed like even Bears should had realized by then that we were in a bull market. Boy, was I early... (Bears don't listen very well)...

p.s.

That kid in the video is my new hero...

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#45) On February 25, 2011 at 3:29 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

I'm going to ignore truthisamoron and leave with this.

The post author does not even know why markets rise, and yet he pats himself on the back for calling the upswing.

I do know why markets rise, called this rise (though not exactly on March 2009, but look through my posts and comments), and what happens when I write posts trying to explain these hidden effects? The post offer makes a smart ass remark and moves on.

I think he doesn't know how lucky he is.

David in Qatar

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#46) On February 25, 2011 at 3:45 PM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

The only direct driver of share prices are interactions between buyers and sellers in a market nobody has any control over. 

In the world most of us live in.

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#47) On February 25, 2011 at 3:46 PM, Slider08 (44.54) wrote:

1. One can be bearish on the economy while being bullish on the stock market.

2. Your license plate is blkswan. That's ironic.

3. Harry Browne actually consulted for a fund (PRPFX) that roughly follows his suggestions in Fail-Safe Investing. It has outperformed SPY by ~160% over the past decade.

 4.It's spelled "a lot." http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html

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#48) On February 25, 2011 at 3:47 PM, catoismymotor (51.71) wrote:

Godwin Alert!

I heard that Hitler called the market bottom in mid 1932. That gave him some street cred with the kids in Austria. Exactly two years later once Hitler amassed enough power he had all his "haters" in the Night of The Long Knives. 

Nah, I made that up. Thanks ETFsRule for the invitiation for silliness.

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#49) On February 25, 2011 at 3:49 PM, catoismymotor (51.71) wrote:

..."haters" killed in the...

I promise that word was not missing when I proofed it. I blame the new laptop. :)

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#50) On February 25, 2011 at 3:56 PM, Slider08 (44.54) wrote:

#45 perfectly summarizes why the blkswan license plate is ironic.

#46 lives on Mars, perhaps?

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#51) On February 25, 2011 at 3:57 PM, wolfman225 (62.18) wrote:

How is it I'm not dead?  Or broke? Living under a bridge?

The year I was born, JFK was assinated.  The country survived.

When I was 6, it was the peak of the unrest over Vietnam; riots, Kent State, etc.  It was the end of "civil society" and a President was eventually forced from office.  Dark days, indeed, for the republic. Yet, the country survived.

During the 70's we had President Peanut, double-digit inflation and interest rates, high gas prices (relative to incomes) and gas rationing (remember the days of only being allowed to purchase gas on alternate days and only allowed to buy so much?) with lines at stations often stretching for blocks.  We also had great unrest in the Middle East;  the "student uprising" that toppled the Shah, gave us Khomeini (and eventually Achmadinejad), and led to Americans being held prisoner for more than a year.  The country is still here.

In the 80's we had Ronald Reagan who, the liberals told us, would plunge us into nuclear war with the Soviets.  We went through a couple of recessions and monetary crises (Savings and Loan bailout, anyone?) I graduated in 1981 into a very soft job market.  Competition for even entry-level spots at minimum wage was tight. We had a major car company on the verge of bankruptcy (Chrysler) and Japanese imports were going to be the end of the US auto industry, forever.  The country is still here.

In the 90's we had Clinton and his assorted scandals.  The sexual trysts in the White House that did great damage to our moral standing in the world body.  We had the beginnings of the war on terror;  the bombings at the WTC, US Embassies, the USS Cole, etc.  The Republicans maintained that Clinton and his policies would be the ruin of the country. Yet, the country is still here.

In the 2000's we saw the unrest that resulted from the election controversy in Florida, with some calling our president "illegitimate" and the election "stolen".  We went through the first of 2 "bubbles" in the stock market tech-led crash.  We saw the greatest affront to our nation in decades, 9/11.  We went into 2 wars (one done, the other ongoing).  We went into, and are still suffering the effects of, the collapse of the 2nd "bubble", real estate.  The country's still here.

Currently, we are in the middle of yet another fiscal crisis.  We have added massively to our already out-sized federal debt.  Unemployment is near 10% (significantly higher in some areas).  We have seen some urban areas, such as Detroit, decimated by debt, blight, and crime.  Thousands are losing their jobs and homes.  We have recently seen Greece/Italy/European-like rioting over attempts to rein in unsustainable spending by government.  The country still stands.

No one can tell for a certainty what the future will hold for us and our children, but I have faith in this: the country still stands.

 

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#52) On February 25, 2011 at 3:59 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

 #46) On February 25, 2011 at 3:45 PM, truthisntstupid (< 20) wrote:

 

The only direct driver of share prices are interactions between buyers and sellers in a market nobody has any control over. 

In the world most of us live in.

Exhibit A

David in Qatar 

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#53) On February 25, 2011 at 4:03 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Slider08,

Thanks. I wasn't even going to point out that Harry Browne was a better investor than either the post author or truthisntareader.  I didn't really want them to know that. I was enjoying them patting themselves on the back for their own ignorance.

David in Qatar 

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#54) On February 25, 2011 at 4:47 PM, fewl10 (< 20) wrote:

I lost 20,000 in 2008 following MY OWN STRATEGY.  I have made maybe net $8000 on gold since then. 

Thanks for rubbing in everyone's face how rich you are and that you are up 7X.  Doesn't work for everyone, A$$HOLE.

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#55) On February 25, 2011 at 5:02 PM, Slider08 (44.54) wrote:

whereaminow,

 I couldn't let you have all the fun! Have you seen this shirt by the way? Maybe we should order a few for truthisntstupid and checklist... t-shirts are easier to read than books.

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#56) On February 25, 2011 at 5:30 PM, Valyooo (99.35) wrote:

Whereiamnow,

I stress the part where I said "20 similiar books".  I read books on stuff I strongly disagree with all of the itme, so I can know both sides better...but when a book specifically says the "coming crisis" and 41 years later it still hasn't came, it probably does not hold much value.

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#57) On February 25, 2011 at 5:32 PM, Valyooo (99.35) wrote:

I know there was monetary crisis since then....but the dollar still exists.  Also, gold also crashed hard since that huge run up.

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#58) On February 25, 2011 at 5:37 PM, Valyooo (99.35) wrote:

David,

You have a lot of valuable things to say, but it would be nice sometimes if you actually responded during debates instead of saying "I won't respond" or "You're an idiot" which is extremely immature.

I also remember your theory about "90% of markets rising has to do with monetary inflation"

Which is not true at all, if you pull up  long term charts of small cap indexes vs M3.  I have a chart on my wall of inflation vs stocks vs bonds, stocks way outperformed inflation.  Somebody even gave you an example of how 3 people with a fixed money supply could inflate the market caps of companies by exchanging money, and you just ignored it as per usual.

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#59) On February 25, 2011 at 5:37 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Valyooo,

Book titles are decided by publishing companies.  

David in Qatar 

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#60) On February 25, 2011 at 5:40 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

I also remember your theory about "90% of markets rising has to do with monetary inflation"

That's close.

Sorry I missed your example. I don't remember that. I get sidetracked in other discussions sometimes. I will write a follow up post soon and I promise to consider your objections seriously.

David in Qatar 

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#61) On February 25, 2011 at 6:48 PM, Bays (30.13) wrote:

You could know absolutely nothing about why stocks rise or why stocks fall, and still can make boat loads of money in the next 30 years. 

How? Stay fully invested in index funds, diversified geographically, buy more during bear markets.  Never sell. 

It's funny, but I honestly think a person's intelligence can work against them when it comes to investing.  As everyone here knows, the market is not rational, and timing it is impossible.  Peter Schiff for example, very intelligent guy, accurately called a major economic crisis with the housing bubble.  But, he had been predicting that crisis well before it ever materialized, so if you followed his advice and went short in the early 2000's you probably lost your money, and quite possibly your sanity trying to figure out how the market can be so irrational.

I can see where checklist is coming from with his post, having a strategy that depends on the world ending has never worked in the past (past performance does not predict the future).  

Anyway, just my thoughts.

Cheers

 

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#62) On February 25, 2011 at 7:13 PM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

"Laugh all you want.  You weren't there."

Yes I was, you buffoon.

Then:

"Moron,  I wasn't lecturing you on your personal experience."

Make up your arrogant mind. 

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#63) On February 25, 2011 at 7:32 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Still struggling with the reading comprehension skills, I see. But at least you're reading.

David in Qatar 

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#64) On February 25, 2011 at 7:33 PM, Valyooo (99.35) wrote:

Bays, most importantly if the world does end, the money won't matter anyway, so why invest like it is ending?  If you win you end up with worthless fiat or you are dead.  If you lose, the world stays the same and you go broke.  Thats a lose-lose.  If you invest like the world is going to end, either it does or you get rich.  That's a win-lose.  I take win-lose over lose-lose.

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#65) On February 25, 2011 at 8:10 PM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

You are an idiot. You presume to lecture everyone about how bad the seventies were, saying,

"Laugh all you want. You weren't there."

 I was there.  But don't let reality get in the way of what you want to believe.

I'm through being intimidated by the internet bully David for Qatar.   When someone disagrees with you or you don't get your way it's straight to the name-calling, insults, or just "dismissing"  your opposition as beneath you.

Of course, it couldn't be that other people have different interests, could it?  No, they must be stupid.  So we get the frustrated tantrums and the bullying.

In my last post,

http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/historical-gold-prices-and/536575

there are 90 comments.  Despite the rude and obnoxious comments I had already received from you in other blogs before that, I never insulted you.  I never called you names.  I never talked down to you trying to make you look stupid.

Anybody that's interested can go have a look. 

Did I have a chance to insult you or did you make it all the way through those 90 comments without ever getting confused?  Could I have treated you like an idiot after comments #42 and #43?  

But  DID I?

No.  I did not.  I treated you with more respect than anybody that disagrees with you ever gets.

More than you deserve.

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#66) On February 25, 2011 at 8:18 PM, devoish (98.56) wrote:

You are the dumbest person on CAPS, bar none.

 - David in Qatar 

The Grand High Exalted Mystic, Am I Dethroned?, King Devoish, Who, if Nothing Else, Thinks For Himself.

Truth should be honored.

Checklist, great post. I agree entirely with the sentiment.

Those two guys in the garage, did they have to work two jobs for subsistence or did they have healthcare and food and time to play?

Having discretionary time and cash offers some insulation on whether or not the world ends. Having unemployment and food stamps and welfare and medicaid does too. Sometimes it is useful to remember that this is an investing website.

Best wishes,

Steven

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#67) On February 25, 2011 at 8:27 PM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

Hi, devo!

BTW...anyone who goes to that link might read the next 8 or 10 comments following the ones I mentioned, to see how whereaminow's mistake in thinking was resolved.  

And ask yourselves, if it had been the other way around...would he have pointed out the error in my thinking without rubbing it in and grabbing the opportunity to try to make me look stupid?

Most of you know the answer.

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#68) On February 25, 2011 at 8:30 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

truth,

Does this mean we can't be friends?

 "Laugh all you want. You weren't there."

Ok, since I have to spell it out for you, the person I addressed in that post was Valyooo, which is why his name is at the top of the post. I know he is in college, and therefore wasn't there in the 70s.

"Moron,  I wasn't lecturing you on your personal experience."

That's correct. I'm not. I don't center my history around whether or not truthisntstupid was doing well or poorly at that time. I don't think that has a lot of historical value. Shucks, I wonder why...  If you had a bad day, I wouldn't consider that a black day for all of humanity either.  That's just the way I am, I guess.

Now, you can cry all you want about insults. Whether you have ever insulted me directly, I don't know. I don't keep track of those things. I do know that you just insulted a man I have great respect for, Harry Browne, in your first comment on this post. I know that you have insulted libertarians and gold investors over and over again since you've been here.

So take the high road.. now.. after all this time. You've always be a pig to me.

David in qatar 

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#69) On February 25, 2011 at 9:28 PM, ChrisGraley (29.65) wrote:

The world is always ending until it ends. (and it will end)

Being right or wrong in the market has a lot to do with timing and luck.

I'll give you a great example. I called the bull market exactly to the day! 03/09/09. Am I brilliant? No, 03/09 happens to be my birthday. I knew we were close and it was as good of a day as any to make a bull run.

I also went bear about the same time as GMX. (He did admit he's wrong, so let me know what casino to show up at and free drinks at the casino don't count as buying everyone a drink) The difference between the 2 of us was that he was a deflationary bear and I was more in the camp of inflation. I also remember porte was heavy on deflation at the time and posting a Hugh Hendry post every other day. 

So why should I admit I'm wrong? I've made money this whole time. I still think my hypothesis was right and the economy is propped by inflation. Do I think the bulls owe me something for a polyanna view of the economy, when I can see the flaws of their view?

No, on the contrary, if they all saw the same as I did, they would all be hoarding their free income and would have caused the deflationary bear market that porte and gmx were predicting. My silver would have spiked earlier, but it would have met a collapse with the deflationary economy.

I do agree with you that eventually everyone has to come up with their own investment style. I don't know about you, but my style started by blindly following Graham and Buffet. I adapted from there, but if I would have went on my own in the beginning, I would have been broke and given up early in my lifetime.

When the market eventually turns and it will turn. It always does. I won't be out there telling bears that they should demand an apology from those bulls leading people to slaughter. The higher the market climbs, the harder it has to fall. Those bulls are making me money right now and they don't even know it.

It seems kind of stupid to condem people on a website that is successful because it lets people voice their opinions because they have different opinions than yours. If you only want to hear from bulls, I'm sure there is a www.onlybulls.com out there where you don't have to worry about someone giving you a different viewpoint.

It's very hard to come up with your own investment style when you aren't willing to listen to differing opinions though.

I particullary hope that the bulls are loud and proud! I make more money in the crash if they can sell Polyanna a little while longer. Part of my investment style that I came up wth all by myself clings to that Buffett statement that I learned when I was blindly following him, "Be fearful when others are greedy" and I still don't see any jobs out there.

I still don't think that even when I'm proven right that I'll ever come out with a post that says "See I've made money, you all owe me an apology."

Bernie Madoff could have made that statement a couple of years ago. So could Michael Mulkin when he was making money. You can only win a race when it's over and I'm pretty sure that the market opens up again on Monday.

I hope I'm not coming off as condensending. That really wasn't the intent.  I do think that I should defend people that had the audacity of having a different opinion though.

I've said it before, "sometimes being right too early looks a lot like being wrong"

I chuckle inside every time I see a post calling me as a Silverbug "A speculator" I do try to argue my points to those that want to listen, but as long as I keep hearing "You're a speculator", I know I can hold on to my silver. When everyone is agreeing with me, it might be a good signal that I should sell it off.

Truly, I hope more people agree with you on this post, than agree with myself. It's a lot harder to make money when everyone has the same gameplan.

just my 2 cents.

Chris. 

 

 

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#70) On February 25, 2011 at 10:07 PM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

 I don't center my history around whether truthisntstupid was doing well or poorly at that time.  I don't think that has a lot of historical value.

I don't remember what the name is for the kind of dodge you're trying to pull there.  It doesn't matter.  Anyone can see it for what it is.

You're not so clever.  Your'e trying to make what I said be about me instead of the fact that I remember the seventies and it just wasn't some dire major f*cking event like you wanted to make it sound like.  

Because comment #28 was vehement and anything that would weaken it in any way, right...or wrong...wasn't submitting to David from Qatar's authority on the matter.

Too bad.

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#71) On February 25, 2011 at 11:48 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

You are free to believe whatever you like truth. You're also free to ignore my commentary. It doesn't appear that you want to, however.

There is no dodge here. Now that you've had it spelled out for you, feel free to apologize at any time for thinking the first statement was directed at you when it clearly was not. 

As for what everyone sees here, it matters little to me. I'm just having fun with you. If you're not having fun, why are you still commenting? 

David in Qatar 

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#72) On February 26, 2011 at 12:20 AM, Bays (30.13) wrote:

wow dragonlz, you're right.... That video is unbelievable.

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#73) On February 26, 2011 at 2:07 AM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

OK.  IT won't matter, because you'll just find some other specious argument... 

But since you're having so much "fun,"   I will too.

Look back at comment #28.  Here.

Those mocking his book titles are the most ignorant pieces of crap I've come across in a while.

They might not remember this, because they only read titles, but there was a fantastic monetary crisis in the 70's, It was called stagflation.  It was a MAJOR F*CKING EVENT.  Silver and gold shot up to all time highs in the early 80's.

Laugh all you want.  You weren't there.

 Apparently for truth and check,

Thinking for yourself

=

Avoiding books with upsetting titles.

No.  Thinking for myself means reading what I want to read, whether you like it or not.  Which doesn't include some guy's 30-or-40 year long list of books with paranoid-sounding titles.

Especially when I've been alive the whole time most of them were coming out and the dire expectations raised by titles like these never came to pass. 

 And why shouldn't I respond to a comment criticizing me? 

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#74) On February 26, 2011 at 9:24 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

You enjoy arguing as much as I do :)

I don't tell you what books to read. I make suggestions. I believe in volutary association.

I'm simply pointing out how incorrect your assumptions about Harry Browne and his books are. And of course, mocking you for admitting you judge books by their covers. If that's not funny, I don't know what is.

Let's go one book at a time. 

How You Can Profit From The Coming Devaluation          1970

The dollar has lost 87% of its value since the publishing date. Fantastic call! On top of that, Browne's message is positive. He's not saying the world is going to end. He's not saying we will be attacked by zombies. He's saying WE CAN MAKE PROFITS FROM THIS.

He's simply saying two things: the dollar will lose value (it did) and you can profit from that (he did).

Do you dispute any point made here?

David in Qatar

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#75) On February 26, 2011 at 11:30 AM, dragonLZ (99.59) wrote:

whereaminow, I hope you won't mind a question from somebody who is probably dumber than anyone other you've ever met (including internet meetings + I'm not kidding + I also don't read books):

The dollar has lost 87% of its value since the publishing date. 

How, or where from, did you get this number (87%)? 

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#76) On February 26, 2011 at 11:54 AM, dragonLZ (99.59) wrote:

So why should I admit I'm wrong?

ChrisGraley, maybe because you were wrong?

I mean, you don't have to ever admit anything, but if somebody in 2009 said the crash/double dip is around the corner, and we are here in 2011 (2 years later, and 100% in S&P500's value later) and the crash/double dip hasn't happened yet, what does that tell to an objective person? That "the somebody" was right or wrong?

There are so many people who commited a murder but won't admit it (even though there are finger prints, DNA, got caught on video,...and other evidence equal to 100% market gain). Does that make them innocent?

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#77) On February 26, 2011 at 12:11 PM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

dragonlz

Here's an inflation calculator that goes up to 2010.  It says a dollar today is only worth $0.17 in 1970 dollars, which means the dollar has lost 83% of its value since 1970.   But it only goes up to 2010, and maybe other inflation numbers go through the end of 2010.  I don't know, they're probably all slightly different, anyway.

http://www.dollartimes.com/calculators/inflation.htm

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#78) On February 26, 2011 at 12:57 PM, dragonLZ (99.59) wrote:

Thank you, truth. That answers my question.

However, what I'd like to know now is what was the average hourly wage in 1970 vs. 2010?

Or what was the life expectancy in 1970 vs. 2010?

Or how many babies were dying right after birth in 1970 vs. 2010?

Or how cars, phones, computers, TV sets, foreign-country vacations, high-quality clothes, movie tickets, McDonald burgers, ... could an average worker afford in 1970 vs. 2010?

This is the way I look at it:

If we as a nation can, in general, afford to buy/have more stuff today than we could in 1970, did the dollar really lose 87% of its value.

Even if we can afford only half of the things we could in 1970, didn't dollar then lose 50% of its value and not 87%? 

p.s.

I'm just trying to figure out if the world is ending because dollar lost 87% off its value?

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#79) On February 26, 2011 at 1:02 PM, dragonLZ (99.59) wrote:

*many* missing in How many cars... question.

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#80) On February 26, 2011 at 1:49 PM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

dragon

Very smart question.   I got my driver's license in 1973 and gas cost right around $0.30 a gallon.  Sounds crazy, right?  But while it's been a long time and I'm not sure, I believe the minimum wage at the time was $1.65 an hour.  I'm nearly positive that's what it was when I got my first job...in 1973..

My mom used to go to this day-old bakery back then and buy bread for $0.15 a loaf. 

People that made $10 an hour or more were seen as making real good money.  Now I'm telling you from the viewpoint of an average person living in the seventies, not from what some idiotic statistics say.

I hate statistics.  They lump everybody in the country including all the super-rich people all together, and then they tell us "middle-class is someone making X amount of money per year."

And it's always some figure that is way higher than anyone I know makes, including some people that are generally viewed as having pretty well-paying jobs.

So I haven't looked at any figures available and likely would think they were ridiculous anyway.  As I said, $10 an hour was great money back then.  A lot of people made $7 or $8 an hour and felt pretty good about it, too.

So it sounds like everything was pretty good, eh?  Well, it certainly wasn't as bad as some people seem to think.

That said, I don't think today is so horrible. either.  The spread of WalMart and its cheap prices seems to me to have improved the standard of living for lower-income workers more than inflation has hurt it.  I don't know and I don't care what any statistics say.  I left home in 1974 at the age of 17 and no statistics are going to change my perception of the last 36 years.

The minimum wage went from $1.65 an hour to - what is it now? - $7.25 an hour?

So while it's significantly higher, many consumer goods that people wanted actually moved in the opposite direction during that time.   My first VCR cost $325.  Can you imagine that?  It also didn't do half what a VCR that was 3 or 4 times cheaper 10 years later would do.

Computers, same story.  Go back to 1988 and see what you can buy for the same money you spend today.  Good luck. 

The cost of my first microwave oven in 1978...talk about ridiculous.  And remember, a dollar in 1978, according to the inflation calculator, had the same value as $3.48 does now.  Hm.  Well...not as far as microwave ovens, computers, or VCRs go, I'll tell you that.   You can buy a TV cheaper now, too.

So when people want to point to some figures showing how "bad"  something was then, or how  "bad"  things are now, they aren't seeing the whole picture.  Books with numbers and statistics are inadequate. 

 

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#81) On February 26, 2011 at 2:09 PM, ETFsRule (99.94) wrote:

truthisntstupid (< 20) wrote:

dragonlz

Here's an inflation calculator that goes up to 2010.  It says a dollar today is only worth $0.17 in 1970 dollars, which means the dollar has lost 83% of its value since 1970.   But it only goes up to 2010, and maybe other inflation numbers go through the end of 2010.  I don't know, they're probably all slightly different, anyway.

http://www.dollartimes.com/calculators/inflation.htm

Does this mean that I can only afford to buy 17% as much stuff as people from previous generations? It sure doesn't feel that way to me.

Instead of just looking at price changes, it would be more meaningful to compare those price changes to the average, real interest rate (interest rate minus inflation) over that time period.

Gold bugs often point out how much the price of gold has risen against the dollar, and use this as "proof" of one idea or another. But that's a straw-man comparision, because no one really leaves their cash hidden in a mattress: they put their cash in interest-bearing accounts. Or they buy bonds.

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#82) On February 26, 2011 at 2:16 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Ok, I'll let you guys discuss what (price) inflation means and how much value the dollar has lost since 1970.

Let me know when you've got it figured out so we can get back to the first book that Harry Browne wrote.

David in Qatar

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#83) On February 26, 2011 at 2:48 PM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

ETFsRule

Does this mean that I can only afford to buy 17% as much stuff as people from previous generations?  It sure doesn't feel that way to me.

Well, the people that say that are right if you go looking for a 15-cent loaf of bread.  But how many people today have a microwave oven they paid less than $120 for, that is way better than the one I paid the equivalent of closer to and probably more than $800 for in today's money?  We paid something around $300 or $400 for it - THEN!

People wish to use how "bad" things have been in the past and how "bad" things are now, as their excuse for sounding an alarm about how "bad" things will be going forward.  My only problem is the seeming emphasis on how  "bad"  the past, present , or futurewas/is/might be.

Things have never been that "bad" and they may be very unlikely to be that "bad" going forward, either.  The track record for  "bad"  seems pretty  "bad"  to me.

I don't want to restart the argument about gold, but I agree with you.

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#84) On February 26, 2011 at 3:08 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Does this mean that I can only afford to buy 17% as much stuff as people from previous generations?  It sure doesn't feel that way to me.

It doesn't feel that way because that's not what it means.

David in Qatar

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#85) On February 26, 2011 at 3:15 PM, Momentum21 (96.14) wrote:

"Money will always flow toward opportunity, and there is an abundance of that in America. Commentators today often talk of “great uncertainty.” But think back, for example, to December 6,1941, October 18, 1987 and September 10, 2001. No matter how serene today may be, tomorrow is always uncertain." - Warren

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#86) On February 26, 2011 at 3:21 PM, ETFsRule (99.94) wrote:

"The dollar has lost 87% of its value since the publishing date. Fantastic call! On top of that, Browne's message is positive. He's not saying the world is going to end. He's not saying we will be attacked by zombies. He's saying WE CAN MAKE PROFITS FROM THIS."

Who is this guy, and what has he done with David in Qatar? Every time David speaks about inflation he is overwhelmingly negative.

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#87) On February 26, 2011 at 3:25 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

People can be so resistant to learning the simplest concepts. This is really a fun exercise in human psychology.

David in Qatar

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#88) On February 26, 2011 at 3:27 PM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

David,

I'll agree that the cost of living in dollars has risen.  We have had inflation.  I probably will never agree that the cost of living has actually gone up if we convert today's dollars into the equivalent dollars of whatever year you wish to compare to today.  If we do that, my perception is that living today is generally better and many things are cheaper.  (I almost wrote many things are "probably" cheaper, but that's just wrong.  There is no "probably"  about it)

Now in spite of my new name "truthisntareader"  my mother somehow had me reading before I even started first grade.  Since she hates reading herself, I'll never figure out how she accomplished that.  I was probably motivated by the fact that my stepfather hated me and made me dread leaving my room from the age of 3 till I left home.   I needed something to do in there.

I am perfectly capable of understanding that perhaps Harry Browne's books were given overly-sensational titles by the publisher, and perhaps they weren't what the titles suggested. 

It's nobody's fault that the publisher gave them titles that would keep a lot of people from even picking them up and reading the back cover.  Because from what you're telling me, if I had only browsed the back cover of one at some time, I just might have read one.

 

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#89) On February 26, 2011 at 3:34 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

truth,

You're alright in my book. And yes, that's a serious comment.

David in Qatar

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#90) On February 26, 2011 at 4:15 PM, selfdestruct2 (41.84) wrote:

I'm learning who's comments are worth reading and which I should skip over.

Apart from that, I have made some unbelievable investing blunders myself ! 

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#91) On February 26, 2011 at 4:34 PM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

Well, David

I'm not sure where that came from or why, but I'll take it.  All of what I've written in the last several comments might help someone understand where I'm coming from. 

Yeah, we've had price inflation, but in spite of that, it doesn't seem to me as if an average person's paycheck will buy less today than some other time 20 or 30 years ago.  It might buy more.

From my viewpoint, having been somewhat forced to drop out of college one semester short of my BA in accounting 15 years ago, and prior to that having spent most of my adult life in 2 different branches of the military, I've never made a lot of money.

Strangely, I feel like I live better now than I did 30 years ago.   The inflation calculator tells me I must be making at least 2.5 times as much as I did then if that's true.

I'm absolutely not making 2.5 times as much as I did then. 

 

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#92) On February 26, 2011 at 4:46 PM, kdakota630 (29.46) wrote:

Wow!  I can't believe I missed this blog and the comments until now.  I was dealing with my accountant pretty much all day.

Loved the blog, rec #60 from me.

Now to watch that video so many said they liked.

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#93) On February 26, 2011 at 4:47 PM, kdakota630 (29.46) wrote:

I was dealing with my accountant pretty much all day.

That was on the day this blog was originally posted.

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#94) On February 26, 2011 at 5:29 PM, ETFsRule (99.94) wrote:

It doesn't feel that way because that's not what it means.

David in Qatar

Correct. It was a rhetorical question. My point was in the paragraphs that followed.

Do you want to make any more hollow, condescension-filled posts... or are you ready to start saying something substantive and/or constructive?

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#95) On February 26, 2011 at 5:47 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

are you ready to start saying something substantive and/or constructive?

I already have, many, many, many times. I'll toss up another post on this topic this coming week, and we can go back and forth for another 60 comments or so.

truthisntstupid,

You're not a bad guy. Even when I make it personal, I'm over it in 15 minutes. That's just my personality. You didn't let it get to you and that made me happy.

Take for example my current fiancee. Our first encounter was when I hit her in the face with a nerf football (at the office) and then said, "Hey, way to catch that ball with your face!" and then laughed hysterically.

Moral of the story. I grow on you. Like a rash that only itches occasionally.

David in Qatar

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#96) On February 26, 2011 at 6:50 PM, dragonLZ (99.59) wrote:

wow dragonlz, you're right.... That video is unbelievable.

Bays, I can't believe nobody else is talking about it.

 

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#97) On February 27, 2011 at 1:11 AM, checklist34 (99.69) wrote:

holy cow. 

I guess I hit some nerves...  In all honesty, there is almost no way that I will be able to reply to all of these responses in anything resembling a timely fashion, but I thank everybody for stopping by. 

What I wanted to say is NOT that the bears are wrong.  In fact, I was going to post tonight that they were right about the majority of the things that they have/were predicted.  Just as the bulls were right about a great many things in 1999...  even underestimated the penetration of the internet.  

Yet both sides failed...  because they made the one fatal mistake when it comes to markets and so forth, which is to completely disrespect history and assume that "this time is different".  

What I wanted to say was that, quite literally, the world is ALWAYS ending.  Watch the media, read everywhere, and you will ALWAYS be able to find someone, often someone charismatic and charming and convincing, yelling at you and telling you that you had better run, you had better hide, you had better be afraid, because the world is ending, for real, right now.  Some catastrophe always awaits us, int he mind of someone.  

It can be overbearing, often incredibly overbearing, andt he people preaching negativity really seem to form into these "cults" where only absolute-thoughts are allowed, where only complete adherence to the purpose and intent of the cult is permissible, where the same messages get repeated over and over and over and over again.  

In all honesty, and with no disrespect to the particular persons involved, I can see this nowhere stronger than the hyperinflation/goldbug crowd.  The same thing gets posted that is touted, and spouted, at the gold kiosk IN THE LOCAL SHOPPING MALL, IN A TOWN OF <100,000 PEOPLE.  

And we are in unfortunate, but interesting, times, and negativity doth quite literally abound.  And we have seen a spectacular rally that, it seems to me at times, the vast majority of bloggers really worked pretty hard to keep people out of. 

And I ask, why?  Why focus on every negative possibility?  Why resolve yourself to a belief system that disallows any kind of optimism?  Why stretch and, sometimes misrepresent the truth (sometimes grossly, frankly)?  Why not considera scenario in which the outcome is good?

I am, genuinely, massively aggravated by the pessimists.  Not because I dislike or disrespect them, but because their attitudes spits in the face of my very being. 

And mostly, because they are so incredibly willing to make statements of fact, that are not nearly based on fact. 

 

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#98) On February 27, 2011 at 1:18 AM, checklist34 (99.69) wrote:

I meant it as a blog of optimism, it was not a runaway bullish thesis, frankly I'm not that bullish (or bearish) right now and believe in sitting on some positions and a hoarding pile of cash. 

It was meant to point out that, if one is to live in this day and age, in the US of A, you WILL be faced, AT ALL TIMES, with doomsday, hyper-negative scenarios, WILL.  Except maybe in 1999, which is exactly when you should have been running for the exits.  What was wrong then?  NOTHING.  We had a federal surplus, we had a strong dollar, cheap commodities, we had just had virtually 20 years of nearly uninterrupted prosperity adn literally nearly 10.  Unemployment was low, income was high, investment returns had never been better.  EVERYTHING WAS GREAT.  

It was the worst time to be an investor of our lifetime.  

But I digress, I just hoped to point out to people who may read blogs and get terrified and run out and blow their life savings on a bomb shelter and canned soup...  that its ALWAYS this way, we're ALWAYS in trouble.  Almost literally.  

And that video...  if you can watch that and not somehow get taken away into that part of you that believes you/it/we can do something... sorry you gave up on life.  Because that video is just amazing. 

My son never liked his bike, never wanted to ride it.  3 days after we found that vid on youtube it was all he wanted to do.  I guess I've always thought of it as sort of people at their best, in a way.  

Danny Macaskill for president!

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#99) On February 27, 2011 at 1:34 AM, checklist34 (99.69) wrote:

the two guys in the garage were jobs and woz...

I got a feelin...  ooooh, ooooh

that two guys are in a garage right now.  no idea what they are doing, but I bet we all benefit from it some day.  

oooooh, to be a visionary grand, and be able to be one of those kids in a garage.  I guess I gave this world maybe the best I can come up with.  

It sure wasn't the PC.  lol

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#100) On February 27, 2011 at 1:44 AM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

checklist

Sorry to have cluttered up your blog.  Hope we at least gave you a few minutes entertainment!

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#101) On February 27, 2011 at 1:46 AM, checklist34 (99.69) wrote:

last note:  believe me, I do not think that the bulls leading the masses to slaughter in 2008 should NOT be strung up...

But why be perma anything?  And...  in all honesty, to see the bearish case in 07 or even the early part of 08, took alot of brains.  You had to think against the grain, you had to be a bit outside of the box, you had to ignore paper valuations, and have something going on.  

To be bearish, or not bullish, in march of 2009 you had to blatantly ignore history and simply spit in the face of every simple investing saying ever made

"greedy when others are fearful, fearful when others are greedy"

"in economics and markets the majority is always wrong"

on and on.  That was simple...  super simple.  Frankly, the bears won the harder battle. 

My complaint is that they veer sooooooooo far from fact, but present everything as fact, if not absolute fact irrefutable, and almost never stand accountable for their failures.  

I am by far not a permabull.  In fact if you read just hte titles of my blog history you'll realize my greatest error as an investor wasn't RJET or NBG or IRE, it was being too bearish for the last couple of years.  Its probably cost me 30%, for real.  oh well

WRT one comment above, and subject of a future blog, we are each wired a bit differently (but mostly the same) and some people are good bears, some people won't likely ever be.  Some people are good bulls, some people won't likely ever be.  The key to ultimate successis to flip flop from one camp to the other as appropriate. 

Will Checklist be the guy who spots the next great shorting opportunity?  Its not entirely likely, as I am bullish or neutral by nature, my mind just doesn't think in terms of shorting.  

But I am willing to stand by holding hoards of cash and hedged bond funds, waiting for my next time to shine...  our next big dip.  And in that, I frankly think I will wind up well ahead of the curve for all of eternity.  I am more than willing to accept my limitations as a human, because my ambitious nature has smashed me up against them so many times.  

So, I wait.  I was a neutral market participant this week.  I added so some short positions in levered bear ETFs, but I sold stuff all week also.  And bought some hedges, as noted.  

 

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#102) On February 27, 2011 at 1:46 AM, checklist34 (99.69) wrote:

truth, this blog turned out so awesome its insane.  Incredibly great commentary from all sides.

I'm flattered to have inspired it all.

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#103) On February 27, 2011 at 1:52 AM, checklist34 (99.69) wrote:

and, as noted and pointed out above, booze for a casino is now my sworn duty.

lets do it in reno, I've never been there, and Starfire lives there...

let me know who is in

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#104) On February 27, 2011 at 2:14 AM, Starfirenv (< 20) wrote:

#103- Good idea.
Troot- Ad Hominem was what you were looking for.
   There's a ton of fresh at Tahoe, a ton of sun in Reno and I am back from a month of killing Lionfish in Bz for the last month. 18 hour travel day yesterday.
  You may never want to see Vegas again. Glad I read thru all that. Best

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#105) On February 27, 2011 at 2:34 AM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

Some thoughts always pop up later.  Sometimes you think of something you'd like to add.  Sometimes you see something you wrote that you want to be sure isn't misread.

Comment #80.  

My first VCR in 1980.  To anyone who has read this thread and really felt what I was trying to say, this will blow you away.  I paid, as I said right around $325 for my first VCR in 1980.   OK.  Now go to that inflation calculator.  Plug in the numbers.  What did I pay in today's dollars for that VCR?  

...............................$915.................................

Think about everything I've said...and consider that.

Comment #91

Yeah, we've had price inflation, but in spite of that, it doesn't seem to me as if an average person's paycheck will buy less today than some other time 20 or 30 years ago.  It might buy more.

That leaves room to be misread.   Here's what I mean:

Yeah, we've had price inflation, but in spite of that, it doesn't seem to me as if an average person's paycheck will buy less today than an average person's paycheck would buy 20 or 30 years ago.  It might buy more.

Anyway, that's just a couple things I thought I'd point out that I didn't think of right away.   A person paying $325 for a VCR while living on 1980 wages just might take on a very different significance if you equate it to a $915 dollar purchase today.   

And that computer you can buy in WalMart for $500 today?  IF you can buy one like it in 1985 or 1988, you might find that it would take thousands of today's dollars to do so.  

Ok.  It's been fun.  I'm not sure I'm done, but that's all I've got for now.

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#106) On February 27, 2011 at 2:38 AM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

Hi, Starfire!

That's what I was looking for?  I'll look it up!  I wish I'd kept that logic class textbook from college.  I loved that class.

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#107) On February 27, 2011 at 3:16 AM, Starfirenv (< 20) wrote:

Troot- that's when rational discussion becomes a personal attack. I think that's what escaped you.

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#108) On February 27, 2011 at 3:25 AM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

Thanks, Starfire.

 I was actually wishing I remembered the different types of fallacies, ie, fallacy of composition....ah, fallacy of composition is the only one I can remember, and I don't even remember what it was... I just remember the name.  Oh well.

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#109) On February 27, 2011 at 3:30 AM, Starfirenv (< 20) wrote:

All Glory to you know who.

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#110) On February 27, 2011 at 3:49 AM, truthisntstupid (81.04) wrote:

Ah, yes...

We're just a couple weeks past the 13-month anniversary of that...I wish I could undo it.  Thanks for reminding me.

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#111) On March 02, 2011 at 11:06 PM, rexlove (99.45) wrote:

One of the best posts i've read in a while. Hope some people can read this and learn a lesson or two. 

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#112) On April 18, 2011 at 2:39 PM, mtf00l (44.77) wrote:

One more point to make it an even 112 posts...

Your VCR in 197x probably came from Japan.  Your VCR today if you could get one would come from China.  Production costs should be a factor in your calculation.

Additionally, the life expectancy of your 197x VCR would be substantially longer than your "new" VCR by design.

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