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Buy this essay and others in Jim's new book Being Sovereign.

The Indomitus Report
Volume 2, #24

25 July 2005
A Reliable Unit of Account

Being Sovereign

      "... whenever the legislators endeavour to take away, and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience ... [Power] devolves to the people, who have a right to resume their original liberty, and, by the establishment of a new legislative (such as they shall think fit) provide for their own safety and security, which is the end for which they are in society."

      - John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government, 1690

The legislators in both the national and state legislatures in the USA have taken away and destroyed the property of the people, especially where that property includes life and liberty. With the USAPATRIOT act, now on its way to being made as permanent as any legislation, the people are reduced under slavery to an arbitrary power. Since the Trading with the Enemy act was modified in 1933 to identify all Americans as enemies, with the provisions of registration and identification embodied in the REAL ID act, and with the arbitrary powers of taxation and regulation under the executive, there can be no doubt that no further obedience is due from a free people to such a legislature.

It remains for you to resume your original liberty, the liberty that is original with you. No one else is able to do so for you. It is either you, securing for yourself your liberty, property, and life, or it is them, binding you into slavery. If you wish to be free, the choice is yours, and the time to choose is now.

What if one does not think anything is fit to be condemned to legislation? Why not replace the legislature with nothing?

Where is the evidence that any man's property is secure while the legislature is in session? Given that all legislatures assume, properly or without authority, plenary powers, why put up with them? What is it about legislatures, anyway? You have as much sense as anyone in the state or national legislature. Why delegate any power to these fools?

Josiah Warren suggested in Equitable Commerce that legislation is not needed. Communities ought not be founded upon coercion. If you want things done a certain way at your home, in your office, in your shop, do them that way. Why should you have any say in how I do things in my home, in my office, in my shop? How did my property become the subject of legislation? I certainly don't consent to be governed by a legislature.

What have we obtained in the way of safety or security from legislatures? Nothing. As HL Mencken notes, an election is a sort of advance auction on stolen property.

With the recent insanity issued from the Supreme Court in Kelo v. City of New London eminent domain is being exerted in new and more absurd ways. Among the very few legislators who have ever been worthy of our admiration is Dr. Ron Paul of Freeport, Texas. In his district, in Freeport, several fishing companies are being forced to give way to a marina development favored by the city fathers. All over the country, legislatures are being faced with angry citizens demanding that eminent domain powers be curbed. But, for how long? What legislation can possibly curb the power of eminent domain which is granted by the constitutions of the several states and of the national government?

Over and over again we've seen abuses of power. From the earliest days of the national legislature, we've seen spending on unauthorized projects. Davy Crockett argued against these expenditures, and his words fell on deaf ears. For over two centuries, property has been seized, arbitrary and capricious laws have been passed, and the people have been relegated to the status of slaves. If Congress wasn't bad enough, the executive was worse.

Executive order number one in the current series was issued by Abraham Lincoln on 15 April 1861. It is an anniversary commemorated annually by taxpayers. Since then, endless legislative power has been seized in the most brutal and arbitrary fashion. The executive branch has been usurping legislative power by issuing executive orders which are wholly unconstitutional. The executive branch has also usurped legislative power by issuing endless reams of federal regulations with neither the advice nor the consent of Congress.

To make the hat trick complete, the Supreme Court, federal judiciary, and state judiciaries have also engaged in legislative action, entirely beyond the constitutional limits on their authority. The mistake is clear: legislatures are a bad idea. They are such a terrible notion that once any sort of legislative action is accepted, everyone in power seeks to legislate on everything.

Or, as Archie Bunker once said, "You give dem guys in Washington an inch, and dey all thinks they's rulers."

The problem with legislation is legislators. With judges legislating from the bench, Congress and state legislators adding endless laws they don't even read before approving, and the executive adding both executive orders and regulations, it seems that everyone is a legislator. And, where does this term come from? It is Latin, which makes it necessarily suspect, given the horrors and brutality of the Roman Empire. It means "proposer of law." Now, what is law?

Legislators all over the world have proposed all manner of law, and written out tens of millions of pages of it. So, one would hope that somebody knows what it is. And, indeed, a great many years ago, there was a legislator named Frédéric Bastiat who examined the entire process of legislation during the inception of socialist "laws" following the Revolution of February 1848. Bastiat explained that socialism would degenerate into tyranny. Sadly, his words fell on deaf ears then. Probably, they will fall on deaf ears in the USA of today. But perhaps you and I may learn something from him.

Bastiat was brilliant and erudite, as well as very practical. So, his explanation of the law bears the very simple name, The Law. Within that treatise, first published in June 1850, is a section "What Is Law?" which gets right to the point. We'll set that part in context by considering also the section immediately preceding, "Life Is a Gift from God."

    "We hold from God the gift which includes all others. This gift is life - physical, intellectual, and moral life.

    "But life cannot maintain itself alone. The Creator of life has entrusted us with the responsibility of preserving, developing, and perfecting it. In order that we may accomplish this, He has provided us with a collection of marvelous faculties. And He has put us in the midst of a variety of natural resources. By the application of our faculties to these natural resources we convert them into products, and use them. This process is necessary in order that life may run its appointed course.

    "Life, faculties, production - in other words, individuality, liberty, property - this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.

    "What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.

    "Each of us has a natural right - from God - to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties? If every person has the right to defend even by force - his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right - its reason for existing, its lawfulness - is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force - for the same reason - cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.

    "Such a perversion of force would be, in both cases, contrary to our premise. Force has been given to us to defend our own individual rights. Who will dare to say that force has been given to us to destroy the equal rights of our brothers? Since no individual acting separately can lawfully use force to destroy the rights of others, does it not logically follow that the same principle also applies to the common force that is nothing more than the organized combination of the individual forces?

    "If this is true, then nothing can be more evident than this: The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all."

So, law is not something that must constantly be proposed. Moreover, the history of legislation is the history of the use of force to destroy the equal rights of others, to gain special advantage for some, to apply the combination of individual forces, under the color of law, to injustice.

Bastiat correctly perceives the cornucopia universe. We live in a universe not of scarcity, but of plenty. It is brimming with natural resources. Mining, forestry, hunting, fishing, farming, ranching - these are the industries which combine natural resources with liberty to produce property. Where they are unfettered, they produce prosperity.

It is true that because the individual has life, liberty, and property which he is right to defend even by force, then it follows that a group of individuals may organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. But, it turns out to be a bad idea. Delegating the use of force has not worked out. It has led to bad results. It has not done so rarely, occasionally, nor intermittently, but constantly. Inevitably. Incessantly.

When power is concentrated, it is abused. All the time.

Wisdom is not the absence of error. Wisdom is the application of experience based upon errors. Judgement, it has been noted, arises from experience which in turn arises from a lack of judgement. So, while it is incredibly frustrating to the point of being very sad that mankind seem determined never to learn that legislatures are errors, the fact of these errors allows for the possibility of future wisdom.

Fortunately, technology has brought to the individual amazing powers. It is now possible to have entire libraries at one's command from the safety and comfort of one's own home. Enormous power is at your disposal in the form of electricity, natural gas, and phat pipes of information. These capabilities were brought to you by trade and commerce, and are least expensive and most powerful where they are least regulated and most open to competition.

Ayn Rand noted that civilization was progressing toward a society of privacy. You now have access to all manner of things in privacy that you used to have to expose yourself to public examination in order to access. You can gamble at home, you can obtain all sorts of entertainment at home, including films, music, plays, and games. You can shop at home, have the goods of the world delivered to your doorstep. You can do complex calculations, access vast libraries of information, and do amazing work without leaving the privacy of your home.

And, as we've reviewed in these pages, you can defend your home with all sorts of tools for self-defense. Technology has decentralized power, making it possible for individuals to have control of enormous quality of violence. Projecting force effectively is harder and more costly, while defending is easier and cheaper.

In addition to all these facts, legislation is based on a logical fallacy. The collective is not greater than the individual. It is not wiser, more clever, more knowledgeable, more sincere, more earnest, nor more ethical. It is somewhat more forceful, but it is unclear that the group is stronger than the individual, given all the tools of self-defense aforementioned.

Indeed, based upon experience, legislatures act upon the ethics of the least just among them, using the intellect of the stupidest among them, with the knowledge of the most superstitious, and the sincerity of the most venal and corrupt. Not only is it a mistake to form legislatures, but also it is completely avoidable.

You have the tools, now, to live your life as you please. You have the capabilities at your disposal that you would need to live a moral life with prosperity and justice for yourself. Charity, morality, prosperity, and justice begin at home.

The circle of your felicities is complete when you stop seeking to rule others, and stop submitting to external coercion.

Free Market Money

      "It seems to me that the decisive factor that would create a general preference for a currency stable in value would be that only in such a currency is a realistic calculation possible, and therefore in the long run a successful choice between alternative currencies for use in production and trade. In particular, the chief task of accounting, to ensure that the stock of capital of the business is not eaten into and only true net gains shown as profits available for disposal by the shareholders, can be realised only if the value of the unit of account is approximately stable.

      "...in the long run at least, the effective choice between competitive offers of currencies will be the usual one of competition. The currency that will prevail will be the one preferred by the people who are helped to succeed and who in consequence will be imitated by others."

      - F.A. Hayek, Denationalisation of Money - The Argument
      Refined: An Analysis of the Theory and Practice
      of Concurrent Currencies
      , 3rd Edition, 1990

It is very helpful to have a stable unit of account, because with such a unit, comparisons between past performance and present performance may be made swiftly and easily. The problem with inflating dollars is chiefly that such comparisons are difficult, at best.

Since we now know that the government is lying about inflation, changing the method of calculation as well as the items being calculated, it is necessary either to have a stable unit of account, or to have an independent source for information on inflation. The easiest, cheapest, and therefore most likely solution is to adopt a stable unit of account.

Then the question becomes, which unit? It should be a unit of account which is unregulated, undistorted, and therefore subject to market forces. Given the long history of its success, the troy ounce of gold or its more recent variant, the metric gram of gold, would be likely units of account. And, all other things being equal, we should like to adopt these units of account.

Unfortunately, gold seems to have been manipulated in recent years. Central banks have apparently been playing fast and loose with their own accounting, lending out gold while keeping it on their books, and selling gold into the market without regard to delivery. Paper gold at several of the major markets combined with this absurd practice of lending gold without regarding it as a reduction in assets have tended to suppress the price of gold. If such official actions are distorting the market, and the evidence given by GATA.org and many others suggests such distortions are significant, then it would be wise, at least in the interim, to use another unit of account.

An obvious alternative is silver. Silver has as much longevity as gold in terms of its historical use as money. There is some evidence that China may have official stocks of silver to use to distort the market, but these are not nearly as substantial nor as proportionately significant as the official stocks of gold.

We anticipate seeing SilverMoney from the good folks who brought us GoldMoney.com sometime later this year. It would be nice to see some of the charts that have populated the Founder's Commentary of GoldMoney's web site re-worked to switch from grams of gold to ounces of silver for the accounting. For example, it might be nice to see the price of oil denominated in ounces of silver over the last century or so.

Two other possible units of account might be worth examining in the near term. One is the ounce of platinum, which has remained elevated in price amidst considerable turmoil in the price of gold. The other is the pennyweight of copper.

A pennyweight is a twentieth of an ounce troy, or 24 grains. Thus, it is approximately 1.555 grams. The 1792 Mint Act had the temerity to define the dollar in three metals simultaneously, and one of these was copper. It may be that pounds (avoirdupois) of copper would be the better unit in contemporary times.

Assuming we encounter a useful database of price information, we'll endeavor to make available some comparisons in these various units of account. Meanwhile, our analysis of gold performance against silver since May 1999 suggests that gold is the most stable unit of account.

We'll continue our focus on Denationalisation next week.

Gold Mining

Here's how the stocks we presently suggest in this area look of late (Tuesday 26 July 2005):

Company Symbol C$ US$
D
Exploring
Almaden AMM.TO 1.71 -
-C$0.03
Free Gold ITF.TO 0.15 0.133
-C$0.13
Luzon LZN.V 0.14 -
-C$0.15
Western WNP.V 3.65 -
C$1.91
Holding
Regalito Copper RLO - 4.40
-$0.50
Northern Peru Copper NOC.to 1.16
-C$0.74
Lumina Resources LUR.to 0.405
-C$0.345
Silver Standard SSRI - 11.82
-0.96
Vista VGZ.TO 4.71 -
- C$0.29
Mining
Apex Silver SIL - 13.73
$1.18
Newmont Mining NEM - 37.94
-5.36
Northgate NXG - 1.12
- 0.53
Tan Range TRE 1.50 1.24
C$0.50

Luzon sent around a note from Jim Currie has left off active management of the company. He remains on the board of directors. Mr. Willie McLucas "the Scottish mining financier," as if there were only one, has joined the Luzon board as chairman. Don MacDonald of Vancouver has joined the board and been named president in Mr. Currie's stead. The arrangement with Vista Gold on the Amayapampa deposit has been renegotiated as of 18 July 2005. Among other compensation, Vista gets a million warrants for one common share of Luzon each at an exercise price of 20 cents expiring after three years. Vista gets three million Luzon shares right off, and another million if Luzon discloses recovered gold at Amayapampa of more than 400,000 ounces. Vista's net smelter royalty is 4.5% when gold is less than $450/oz and 5.5% above $450. After the first 440,000 ounces, the royalty drops to 1%. As part of the development plan, a conditional guardianship agreement was entered into with the region's populatoin, who see the project as an opportunity and seek to protect it. We would look to the release of a new 43-101 expected in ten days time to firm up financing for the project and perhaps the share price.

Late Breaking News Republic Gold, Ltd., of Australia has become involved in Luzon. Republic has entered into a transaction with three shareholders to acquire options over six million shares, or about 19% of the issued capital of Luzon. Republic has mineral resources in Australia of about 541,000 ounces of gold, according to their press release on the Luzon deal. Four million of the options are exercisable by end of December 2012 for fifteen cents (Canadian) per share.

Western Prospector has advanced back into double territory. As you'll recall, we first suggested this stock at $1.74 in early February 2005. It promptly doubled, then fell back, and has now recovered to be more than double its price at first suggestion. If you didn't avail yourself of the opportunity to sell half your holding at the time of the first entry into double territory, you should consider doing so now.

Tan Range continues a steady advance. It has now improved to 150% of our initial suggestion price, and looks to be headed for a double. Again, we suggest you follow Doug Casey's advice and sell half your position on a double. Naturally, if you do so, consider buying gold with the proceeds to hold your cash in the most stable unit of account you can find.

We were sent some notes on Pinnacle Mines, PNL.V. They've apparently had a nice gold discovery at one of their sites. The market hasn't reacted to this news, presumably awaiting 43-101 documentation.

Jim Czirr, a gentleman we met at last year's New Orleans show has sent along some information on Metalline Mining, MMGG.ob, which stands at $1.05/share at present. Part of the attraction seems to be a new hydrometallurgy technology to recover more zinc. This tech has been tested at the Skorpion Mine in Namibia. Metalline has 100% of the Sierra Mojada project in Coahuila, Mexico where it expects to recover silver, copper, and zinc.

The property contains two mineral systems separated by a fault. North of the Sierra Mojada fault the mineralization is silver, copper, zinc and lead sulfide deposits. South is oxide zinc. Based on information from the company's web site there appears to be some 4.9 billion pounds of recoverable zinc resource, with a current value of about $2.6 billion. That works out to a bit over $120 per share fully diluted.

So, why aren't we suggesting this stock? North Limited of Australia agreed in October of 1999 to provide a bankable feasibility study to earn a 60% interest in Sierra Mojada. They did extensive work on the project and were acquired by Rio Tinto, Ltd., in October 2000. Rio Tinto reviewed the Sierra Mojada project and terminated the joint venture. Minas Peñoles signed a joint venture in November 2001, spent $3 million on exploration, and terminated the joint venture in December 2003. It is possible that there is substantial value here that was not seen by Rio Tinto or Minas Peñoles. The solvent extraction electrowinning technology that has been used in Namibia may be the key to profitable mining at this location. But, there are too many doubtful premises at this time and no evidence of a bankable feasibility study nor 43-101 compliant resource definition. And, it's zinc, with a seemingly remote possibility that the silver, copper, and lead might be recovered way down the road. Zinc isn't part of our expertise.

Zinc appears to have peaked at just below 65 cents a pound earlier this year. About two months ago, a large amount of zinc was added to warehouse stocks. So, what's going on with zinc? I have no idea. If the five year chart is any indication, zinc prices could fall back to around 35 cents a pound within a couple of years. If the price rises to new highs instead, or thereafter, and the Metalline story is further along, it may prove to be a brilliant play. Until then, it is an interesting mineralization in a politically stable country in a metal we don't follow.

Free Market Money

Gold was up nicely at the end of last week when China re-valued the yuan renmimbi. After staying above $425 for about four calendar days, it seems to have settled back to around $422.60 today.

Silver also saw a nice rise, corresponding to the comparative devaluation of the dollar, to about $7.10. It is $7 at this writing.

Copper topped $1.68 to prove that it hasn't run out of steam. However, warehouse stocks have leveled off. They haven't recovered any ground though, and with inventories so low, higher prices seem likely. Copper is at $1.6787/pound at this writing.

U3O8 is $29.50/lb for another week as of 18 July 2005.

The three stocks we've suggested in this sector are PVH, GBH, and MCG. Prices from Tuesday 26 July 2005.

Company Symbol gAu
D
Gold Barter Holdings GBH 0.160

- 0.84

MicroCasino MCG 0.52

+ 0.007

Pecunix Venture Holdings PVH 0.015

- 0.035

The anticipated dividend from GBH has not materialized. It is unclear why, but the payment of four months of payments for the sale of Cambist.net which I was able to negotiate about ten days ago has been paid over to the GBH corporate account. Yet, a capital distribution has not manifested itself. Since quarterly dividends were anticipated for this year, and since CFO John Kyle negotiated the sale of Cambist on the basis that the proceeds would be distributed to shareholders, it is unclear why Tristan Petersen has delayed making the distribution.

PVH has not made a distribution for 2004, and we've recently learned that one is not planned. However, the company broke even for 2004, and should be able to improve for 2005. Moreover, the company can operate for a further three years on existing capital. We understand that more gold is to be bailed into Pecunix in the near future, which ought to increase profitability.

Dividends have been distributed from The Gold Casino which is listed on the dBourse.com stock exchange. While funds have been moved from the dBourse account to the MCG account, a delay has been encountered in distributing these to shareholders, owing to some log-in difficulties. These should be sorted soon.

Space Frontier

Have you ever seen a test board from the 1970s? By contemporary standards, it is an artifact from an ancient time. We saw one briefly in the recent coverage of the shuttle return to flight, and gosh was it scary-old looking. Since then, we've not run across the same, but here is an image of the shuttle sensor box and related circuit boards, looking very mid-Twentieth Century. And, of course, it is. The shuttle was designed in the 1960s, built in the 1970s, and started flying in the 1980s. Various bits have been upgraded, but the basic systems were selected over 30 years ago.

Which is insane. The only reason to continue doing things the way NASA does them is to preserve existing contracts (corruptly allocated we suspect) among the vast array of Congressional districts from which NASA derives its funding.

There is some good news. The shuttle launched successfully, and no one is dead as a result. The shuttle is expected to rendezvous with the space station. Some repairs and installations at the space station are anticipated, including three space walks. Our delight will be complete if NASA manages to get the shuttle back down in one piece.

On the fairly long list of bad news: NASA has no idea why the sensor failed in April, again in July, or whether it may fail in the future. NASA hasn't fixed the shuttle, but flies it on a wing and a prayer. NASA is still getting funded to build the shuttle and pretend to be interested in the Moon and Mars.

NASA delenda est.

SpaceDev was at $1.58 before trading on Tuesday 26 July 2005. It is up $0.15 since we first suggested it.

Launch Technology

Got a hundred million dollars to spare? If so, you may want to contact Russia's federal space agency Rovkosmos. Together with NPO Energia, they are planning to offer a trip to the space station and then on around the Earth's Moon.

It isn't a very long story, and we've yet to hear how NASA is going to oppose, delay, or sabotage this project. But, you heard it here first.

Is anyone interested in paying that much for a trip to the Moon? Who knows? Several men have paid $20 million a throw for a trip into orbit. Maybe Virgin Galactic will be inspired to offer upgrades from its first class suborbital missions all the way to the Moon.

NASA delenda est.

New Country Developments

So, we were jamming around today, looking for some interesting sort of country to discuss. The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic was vaguely interesting. They have their own country code top level domain - .eh.

Now that might be fun for Canadians. You can see it now. Beer.eh and goodday.eh and allabout.eh - that's all a boot dot eh, you Yanks. Or it might work for the elderly. Hardofhearing.eh?

But, anything with Democratic Republic is probably socialist, as hard as the very idea seems to be to hold in one's head at the same time as basic Islamic theology. What's more, the country is occupied by Morocco. It is Morroco's position that the territory of Western Sahara is, well, Southern Morocco.

Western Sahara is the only place in Africa on this list. We suspect that the Somaliland Republic would like to have UN recognition. The UN recognizes Somalia, which hasn't existed since 1991. Fourteen years and counting. Somalia, of course, when it did exist, ruled Somaliland from Mogadishu. Ogaden, Western Awdal, and Haud continue to be ruled from Ethiopia, since 1954, and the UN seems deaf to pleas for help in this matter.

In the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, the UN lists Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falklands (Islas Malvinas), Montserrat, St. Helena, and Turks and Caicos. (Does anyone see a pattern here? Possibly, oh, I don't know, an anti-British pattern.) The US Virgin Islands are also listed. For whatever reason, the USA keeps throwing referenda at the Virgin Islands, who just don't bother showing up at the polls.

For some reason, no place in Asia is listed. East Timor and Tibet would seem to be obvious candidates, along with sundry islands in Indonesia and the Philippines.

In Europe, Gibraltar is listed. Funny, we thought referenda there kept turning up pro-British.

For the Pacific and Indian Oceans, the candidates are American Samoa, Guam, New Caledonia, Pitcairn Islands, and Tokelau. Little wonder that the USA, France, and Britain have lodged formal protests with the UN over this list.

Tokelau is a territory of New Zealand, but, not exactly nearby. These three islands used to be called "the Union Islands." Tokelau became British in 1889 and New Zealand got them in 1925. Good news, the Tokelauans are drafting a constitution and moving toward self-government. If successful, they would join Niue and the Cook Islands in free association with New Zealand. Perhaps there is an incipient free trade zone or privacy haven to be built in Tokelau. They would likely have a geosynchronous satellite slot to claim. On the topic of legislatures, they have a population of 1,405 on the three atolls, and a unicameral legislature or "General Fono" with 45 representatives serving three-year terms. At least the representatives might know the 31 or so people each of them represent.

Longevity

Curcumin is great. It is a powerful anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and has anti-carcinogenic properties. The 15 August 2005 issue of Cancer which is surprisingly early - we show a release date in early July - published a report showing that curcumin from the spice turmeric inhibits melanoma cell growth. It also stimulates tumor cell death in cell cultures.

The study by Dr. Razelle Kurzrock, MD, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Research Center, and colleagues, dosed three lines of melanoma cells with curcumin. Curcumin irreversibly decreased cell viability dose-dependently and induced apoptosis (programmed cell death) at high concentrations over short periods and at low concentrations over long periods of exposure. Curcumin apparently suppresses two proteins that prevent apoptosis.

Given last week's discussion of apoptosis as a major factor in aging, this news about curcumin is interesting. Obviously, apoptosis is good for us if it happens in cancer cells, and bad for us if it happens in body cells that are otherwise normal.

Calorie restriction slows aging in part by delaying the accumulation of mitochondrial DNA mutations. It is conceivable that resveratrol would have similar effects.

Jim Czirr also sent around information on Integrated Pharmaceuticals INTP.pk which is available on request. Among other things, INTP has developed a calcium gluconate which is 98% bio available for absorption in both the stomach and small intestine, thus much better than typical calcium carbonate. Mr. Czirr ("sear") says the company's "business model is to make higher quality safe natural compounds at a fraction of the cost of traditional production while maintaining high margins."

The company's information indicates that it "creates diverse products by using biotechnology and pharmaceutical science to manipulate basic materials - typically carbohydrates - to alter their structure and interactive characteristics." Their intellectual property "helps to manipulate them chemically, altering their size, purity, shape, solubility, interactivity, and chemical characteristics...". Products include calcium gluconate, potassium gluconate, ferrous gluconate, glucono-delta-lactone, sodium gluconate, copper gluconate, magnesium gluconate, manganese gluconate, gluconic acid, sodium lactate, and potassium lactate.

More information is available from the company by request or at their web site. The stock, which trades on the pink sheets, is currently $1.07. We'll keep an eye on it for you.

Dendreon was at $5.82 when we looked in Tuesday 26 July 2005 before trading. It was up $0.50 since we first began tracking it. Today, it lost ground to $5.74 and picked up a penny in after hours trading. Dendreon seems to be the subject of some gamesmanship at UBS, which downgraded them from neutral to reduce in January 2005, upgraded them in March from reduce to neutral, and then downgraded them on Friday 22 July to reduce from neutral. UBS apparently justifies the current downgrade on the argument that the FDA may require a confirmation of the results for Provenge. Last week, of course, the company was doing great on news that a second late-stage trial of Provenge showed the therapy extends the lives of prostate cancer patients. Perhaps FDA "fast track" status isn't what it used to be, or perhaps the FDA bureau-rats decided to short Dendreon to feather their own nests.

Elan Corp, PLC, was at $7.85 also on Tuesday 26 July before the open, up to $7.94 at the close, and $8.04 after trading. It is up 81 cents from our suggestion two weeks ago. Elan has contributed an unspecified amount to the Institute for the Study of Aging, a charity based in New York which funds Alzheimer's research. Elan's stock rose recently on news that its Tysabri drug works in combination with Biogen's Avonex to improve treatment of multiple sclerosis. Last Thursday, a suit was filed claiming damages from Biogen and Elan for progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, a rare disease which seems to be a side effect of Avonex/Tysabri treatment. The "victim" was Mrs. Anita Smith, who was presumably suffering from multiple sclerosis at the time, and "was enrolled in the Tysabri clinical trial," according to her family's law firm's press release. One would suppose that an effective, not to say hefty, waiver of liability was signed by every clinical trial patient.


Publication Note: A day late. Sorry. Gratuitous example of bizarre legislation: It is illegal to swim with orcas in USA waters. If you wish to swim with orcas, go to Norway.


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