2004 Issues #1 to #16
Seventeenth Issue 10 January 2005
B M GM FMM S LT N L P
Buy this essay and others in Jim's new book Being Sovereign.
The Indomitus Report
21 March 2005
"Religion has been weaponized."
We were feeling mildly flush with funds, and Richard Maybury had this nice deal on offer, so we subscribed to his newsletter. It was well worth the price, roughly half off the regular annual subscription fee of $330 per year (outside USA).
We've long admired him. He spoke at the 2000 International Society for Individual Liberty conference in London, Ontario, which we attended at the request of Michael van Notten. (We've since joined up, so we are now a card carrying international individualist!) He's also written extensively.
Mr. Maybury is the author of the "Uncle Eric" series of books which are described on his web page. These are very good books for any teenager or older person wanting to grasp concepts about history, freedom, and money. He's also written as a free-lance writer for national business publications.
So, we e-mailed him to get his permission on the above four-word quote. One of his subordinates wrote us to indicate his assent in our use of same. Excellent.
In his books and essays, Mr. Maybury points out the essential nature of certain conflicts as religious. For example, there is an establishment clause in the First Amendment which prohibits Congress from any establishment of religion (and is also supposed to prevent their prohibiting any free exercise of religion - one supposes the Mormons found out how little regard there was for the constitution in 1858 when thousands of troops were sent to Utah to suppress polygamy). Now, the government of Israel claims to be a Jewish state. The government of, e.g., Saudi Arabia, claims to be an Islamic state.
There is certainly contention among people of Jewish ancestry whether the policies and practices of the Israeli government are satisfactory to them, meet with the customs of Jewish culture, reflect adherence to Jewish law, or represent the best policies to be done not only in the name of all Jewish people but allegedly for their benefit. Similarly, one can see many instances where Islamic fundamentalists disagree with the extent to which the Saudi government is properly Islamic. But, there should be no argument about the USA government. Its constitution forbids the establishment of religion, not just within its borders, but anywhere.
So, logically, the billions of aid sent to Israel and the military aid provided to Saudi Arabia are a direct violation of this establishment clause. The USA Congress has no constitutional authority to establish or preserve a Jewish state in Israel nor an Islamic state in Saudi Arabia. Yet, billions of tax dollars and thousands of lives have been spent on this very topic. Mr. Maybury goes on to point out that the Iraqi elections have resulted in the formation of a government which claims to be establishing an Islamic state in Iraq.
Worse, as Mr. Maybury points out, the Christian religion is being used by Bush to excuse his vicious policies toward Iraq. We're again reminded of a Jethro Toll song, "Jesus saves? Well He'd better save Himself, from the gory glory seekers who use His name in vain!" As if the Catholic Church had not done enough raping, pillaging, looting, torturing, murdering, invading, conquering, and library burning in the name of Jesus, now the maniac in the seat of power in DC is desecrating mosques in Fallujah and ordering the torture of civilians at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, all in the name of the Prince of Peace.
On the one hand, we can see here the weakness inherent in constitutional republics. A republic which prohibits Congress from making any law to establish religion, but provides no standing for individuals who object to bring suit or have recourse, is not a republic which actually limits government. With unlimited government comes unlimited difficulty. Without any teeth in the constitution to punish traitors and scum who violate its terms in spite of their oaths of office, the further descent into democracy and tyranny should be swift, violent, and horrifying. Daniel Shays was right to rebel, as were the Western farmers of the Whiskey Rebellion. The bloodshed of the War for Southern Independence, and the excesses of intervention in the 20th Century permanently stain the memory of Alexander Hamilton and the men who foisted the counter-revolutionary constitution on the victors of the American Revolution.
Then the question arises: what to do about it? One of the reasonable responses is: benefit from the policy conditions, in spite of the fact that you dislike the policies. For example, war causes resource stocks to rise. So, invest in resource companies, in commodities like gold, and in the resource sector generally. That seems like good advice. Mr. Maybury follows up with various practical suggestions for investing in resource companies. Obviously, we have no complaint with this idea, and we make our own suggestions below.
Another sector of the economy that should do well in war time is weapons-related stocks. The Early Warning Report gives several examples of these, as well as managed funds which invest in the sector. So, if that's an area of particular interest to you, Mr. Maybury's newsletter would be a good resource. Subscribers also get access to his online resources and links to extensive information.
Now, we have no argument against weapons. Individuals should keep and bear arms for the defense of life, liberty, and property. We agree with the guarantees offered by the Second Amendment. We support individual initiative in this area. You won't find any complaints against the idea of weapons, nor any promotion of a passive pacificism here.
However, the military industrial complex is not an area of investment which we promote. Companies that make weapons for the Pentagon's war machine also make difficulties for taxpayers. The military industrial complex is not our term, it was developed and sincerely presented by Dwight D. Eisenhower in his farewell address to the nation. Eisenhower warned against the corruption, the unwarranted influence, and the dangers inherent in creating an enormous war machine and providing for certain egregious companies and individuals to profit from its excesses. Eisenhower was wrong to expand the military industrial complex, mistaken about its necessity, and right in being concerned about its difficulties.
So, the idea of investing in the defense contractor companies which arrange for profits through the corrupt allocation of defense contracts, which fortify the police state with weapons and technologies, and whose contribution to the world amounts to fomenting wars so they can profit from the deaths of more women and children is too much wrong to get a tiny return on investment. It would be one thing to invest in resource companies, even though some of the cobalt goes to making weapons for the war machine. It is another to invest in the very companies that are corrupting politicians, the very companies that are pork barrelling defense contracts, the very companies that are promoting USA interventionist policies all over the world. On the whole, that would make as much sense as investing in member banks of the Federal Reserve, or investing in political lobbying companies, or making campaign contributions to gutless socialists like John McCain or George W. Bush.
Everyone has choices to take. We like Mr. Maybury's ideas (e.g., his two laws which you can find on his web site), his understanding of history, and his views on resource companies. We'll continue to subscribe to his newsletter. We don't choose to follow his advice on investing in defense contractor stocks.
Free Market Money
"In the past, producers offset such [speculative] purchases with forward sales; but in recent years, they have become buyers through reductions in their forward sales positions. There is only one possible explanation for why purchases of thousands of tonnes of gold in the futures and forward markets does not blow the price of gold sky high: The official sector must step in on gold price rallies as an offsetting forward seller."
Mr. Veneroso has very nicely captured the essence of the problem. Governments and central bankster frauds are using their enormous power to steal and murder in order to suppress the gold price with stolen gold. Why suppress the gold price? To squelch the economy's desperate signal that inflation is massive, and that hyperinflation is coming. To finance with foreign tax dollars the deficit spending of the hateful war machine that massacres civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan to slake the bloodthirsty cravings of evil men. There is probably never going to be a proper day of reckoning for these vermin, but hanging, even by their own viscera is clearly too fast and easy a death for such worthless villains.
Here's how the stocks we presently suggest in this area look right now (after close of business Friday 25 March 2005):
Naturally, red ink is spilling across our table like the blood of civilians is spreading through the soil of Iraq.
Free Market Money
The action on metals this week has all been bad. Perhaps motivated by its end of fiscal year reporting obligations, the government of Japan and its central bank seem to be making amends for casual comments on the stupidity of holding exclusively dollar reserves, a policy that Japan has only itself to blame for. Unfortunately for us, this jawboning, combined with the sale of stolen gold by governments and central banker scum has taken out the rise in gold's price.
One of our notes from the New Orleans Conference, November 2004, reads, "Nothing goes straight up except my shorts," said Jim Rogers. He had been discussing the stair-step appearance of many commodity prices. We thought of the expression, "every staircase has landings." The double entendre regarding shorts seems obvious enough.
Gold closed Friday March 25th at $425.90.
Silver closed at $6.92 on Friday.
Copper remains above $1.52.
The three stocks we've suggested in this sector are PVH, GBH, and MCG. GBH went down the drain this week. Assuming the dividends continue, it remains a good value, though not quite available at the price of its dividend yield just yet.
"We are very early in the process of examining the data from all the instruments. It appears our infrared spectrometer is performing spectacularly, and even if the spatial resolution of the High Resolution Instrument remains at present levels, we still expect to obtain the best, most detailed pictures of a comet ever taken."
NASA has absconded with $330 million in taxpayer money for a comet impact spacecraft, paying various defense contractors to pretend they care about space rather than massacring women and children for a few weeks. The defense contractors seem to have screwed up the main high resolution camera, which does not focus properly. So, it is high resolution only in the theoretical sense. Very high cost blurry photos are anticipated. Naturally, with other instruments, Grammier can claim that "pictures" are the best ever taken. It is hard to say whether to be more annoyed at the incompetence of the mission operation or the use of a Hollywood film title for this mission's name. "Deep Impact" as we recall was a typically hokey film about people running away from a major cometary impact and the resulting tsunamis.
The really good news is the mission to the comet has been launched, so all the quality control NASA could muster has already gone into the spacecraft design. Maybe they can re-write the software to bring focus to their poorly implemented instrumentation, but any fix to the hardware itself would require one of Walt Anderson's robotic salvage missions.
In other news, astronomers have detected light from two planets circling stars outside the Solar System. In the last decade, about 100 extra-solar planets have been detected. Most of them have been inferred by their gravitational effects on the stars they orbit, causing the stars to wander slightly in their path. A few have been detected when they transited in front of the stars, dimming their light. Both of the planets viewed were seen by the Spitzer Space Telescope in the infrared, and both are gas giants like our planet Jupiter.
NASA announced some space prize giveaways, in the areas of power beaming and tether materials. Power beaming was discussed by Peter Glaser and Gerry O'Neill in the early 1970s, and demonstrated at the Goldstone facility about 1976. The idea is to collect power at one location and transmit it to another using microwaves. Rice University scientist John Freeman developed a photo-klystron for use in this area of technology. Tether satellites have been discussed and developed since the 1980s. The Italian space agency had a shuttle-based tether satellite experiment flown a few times, and Dennis Wingo of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) helped design a tether SEDSsat as a secondary payload that was flown in the early 1990s for the University of Alabama at Huntsville. No doubt more stolen tax dollars given away as prize money should make a big difference in both areas.
Our friend Walt Anderson's situation was again profiled in the Washington Post. Perhaps they were instructed that their last essay quoting Bob Werb extensively was too favorable to the defendant. It seems that Walt's bail has been again denied by the federal judge, apparently unacquainted with the constitutional prohibition against excessive (e.g., infinite) bail. There is some joy in the fact that Walt's alter ego "Ragnar Danneskjold" is beyond the spelling capability of federal prosecutors in the case.
Investigators raiding his home three years ago apparently found a poster in his library. "Someday I hope to buy the government, trade it for a dog, and shoot the dog," was the caption.
Rick Tumlinson of the Space Frontier Foundation is quoted in the article saying, "I only saw him doing good things for people...none of us ever saw that other side. We had no idea." It is sort of tragic that accusation seems to amount to conviction these days.
Here's how things stand for the stock we suggested in this sector:
SpaceDev is at $1.70. It is up $0.20 since we first suggested it.
"Let's just say I've got an interest in cutting-edge concepts in transportation."
It's official. Doug Ramsburg of Northglen, Colorado is the winner of a free trip into space courtesy of Volvo and Virgin Galactic. The prize, announced at the NY International Auto Show, won't be available for a few years. So, Ramsburg has plenty of time to stay in shape. Meanwhile he can ride in comfort in the Volvo XC90 V8 sport utility vehicle which he was also provided at the show.
Given that the Volvo is a vehicle valued at tens of thousands of dollars and the trip into space is valued at $200,000, one does wonder how much Mr. Ramsburg is going to enjoy his new higher tax bracket, thanks to the filthy vermin at the IRS.
So, our quest to give away the first trip into space seems to have been met with limited success. The idea was so good, it has been emulated by someone capable of actually making it happen.
New Country Developments
"Nothing is so well calculated to produce a death-like torpor in the country as an extended system of taxation and a great national debt."
William Cobbett observed corruption and excess in the officers of the British military, pursued justice against some of them, failed, fled to France, found the inflationary excess of the revolution not to his taste, fled to the United States, and, for the next few decades, spent his time in the three countries variously. Among his other sensible positions, he favored gold over paper money, having seen the results of hyperinflation in Revolutionary France. His views on taxation are correct.
One of the long-standing advantages of jurisdictional arbitrage is the fact that tax rates are not the same in all places. Naturally, this fact meets with horror from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) of the OECD and similar tax "harmonizing" organizations. Given that government functions the same way as organized crime, using its muscle to extort compliance with its theft or "tax" operations, it is no surprise that the organizers seek to limit tax competition.
There are many places where taxes are less. Some of these also make an effort to provide for financial privacy, to one extent or another. A complete list would not be practical, but some of the places we like include the Cook Islands, the Caymans, the Bahamas, Nevis, St. Vincent, Isle of Man, Belize, Anguilla, Bermuda, the Channel Isles, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar, Panama, Ireland, Barbados, Hong Kong, British Virgin Islands, and for non-Americans, the United States. There is also an increasing number of Eastern European flat tax countries, including Estonia, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic. We also like Austria as a financial privacy haven.
We anticipate profiling some of these places in future issues of this report. One of the essays we plan for our return later this Spring is on Panama, especially one of the native sovereignties within Panama's territory.
"Consumers are being defrauded out of their health and money by a regulatory system that is a proven failure."
"Those involved in alternative medicine have long argued that the FDA functions to protect the financial interests of large drug companies and not the American public. This allegation was confirmed when the FDA launched an all-out campaign against the right of Americans to purchase lower-cost medications from other countries," Faloon continues.
We've long felt that the FDA is second only to NASA in agencies that should be eliminated. Both the FDA and the national parks are widely seen as great accomplishments of President Theodore Roosevelt. Neither has any identifiable constitutional authority. Both have resulted in tremendous difficulties and widespread mayhem.
In the case of the FDA, the very thin pretext for regulating any commercial activity is the so-called "elastic clause" giving Congress power to regulate inter-state commerce. However, the obvious intent of the constitution's authors was to limit the power of individual states to prevent commerce from other states, not to grant an unlimited authority to regulate everything under the Sun. Moreover, the production of pharmaceuticals is not itself an inter-state activity, but typically happens in a lab in some specific state. Therefore, any regulation should be handled by the several states, not by a nationalist socialistic agency.
The corruption of the drug screening and approval process, the deaths resulting from bad drugs being approved, and the much more numerous deaths from good products being forbidden or prevented from approval are so widely documented (see the Life Extension magazine link above, e.g.) that we need not belabor the point. The FDA has proven itself incompetent to guard our food against disease and quality issues, while driving food production company owners to shooting rampages. It has proven itself incompetent to approve new treatments or drugs while approving harmful products quite frequently. The century or so of its existence has been one instance of malfeasance, non-feasance, or mis-feasance after another with the typical results being death, suffering, and poverty.
Just to complete the related thought, the national park "system" has prevented the several states from having proper control of their own territories, has limited their property tax revenues, has produced idiotic policies against natural forest fires with enormous destruction of private and public property and many deaths as a result. The national park service should also be eliminated.
We mentioned Alteon three weeks ago. We have not suggested this stock, owing to concerns about the finance team running things with little evidence of a serious commitment to a science team. (If the things their former science team discovered don't prove out, there's no serendipity here. Nothing else is likely to be pursued without a new science team brought in.) Alteon is now up 8 cents to $0.64, and seems to have found its bottom. If you are persuaded that Alteon is a good buy at this price, get in touch with us.
Elan Corp, PLC, seems to have fallen off a cliff at the beginning of 2002. It has climbed back up, and fell again at the start of this year. Assuming you like their products, team, and paper, they may be a good value. They are certainly not overpriced like they were at $60/share in 2001. Part of the answer to the question: are they of any use? would be the outcome of a class action lawsuit on behalf of those who purchased their stock during the 12 months ending 25 February 2005. The suit seems to relate to positive claims about Tysabri, the company's multiple sclerosis vaccine and treatment, and the absence of clear warnings about its potential side effects. Tysabri was recently withdrawn from the market by Elan owing to these side effects. Keep in mind that Tysabri has nothing to do with the anti-aging research which first attracted us to Elan. We'll continue to investigate before making any suggestion.
Publication Note: We're through! Back on 11 April 2005, and back on schedule for a few issues at least.
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