Saturday, November 28, 2009

Biggest gold heist in History

It looks like there is a very good chance that Ft. Knox is full of fake gold bars. This is probably the biggest heist in history and was perpetrated by someone high up in the government (probably a lot of people were part of it). When the chickens come home to roost, expect gold to sky rocket as the supply believed to exist is probably half fake.

Both of these articles attack the different aspects of the same issue, both are worthwhile if you are interested in gold.

[edit]In response to Brian, I know this is a bit conspiratorial. However, ask yourself, if a few 400 oz bars were faked, then how do we know how many fakes might be out there? The fakes were good enough to be sent out from the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), so our choice is to expect that the bars the Chinese discovered are the only ones, or ask the question “are there more out there?”

What doesn't seem to be in dispute is that the Chinese ordered some gold bars in October and received gold plated bars of tungsten, I had read that story on a bunch of web sites when it was reported. I don't expect the mainstream media cared much as the bars came from London and went to China and once the fakes were discovered I am sure they were replaced at the time with real bars of gold in an effort to limit the outcry from the Chinese.

The thing is that we really cannot know for sure how wide spread this is unless somebody in the government orders a full audit with rigorous testing of the gold stored there, and at the federal reserve, LMBA, etc. It also would not make any difference as long as that gold just remains in the vault, when it will become an issue is when the value of the dollar drops to a point when countries like china no longer trust the dollar and demand payment in gold, then it becomes an issue if we do not have the gold to clear those debts. If they do have it and this is just an isolated incident, and the vaults of gold that the government claims to have at Ft. Knox are pure, then the issue would go away, however they have not done a true audit in over 50 years, so who knows. When you have government agencies ignoring FOIA requests and refusing to allow independent audits, you do open yourself up to conspiracy theories that could easily be stifled with more transparency.

Also a quick observation that lends credibility to the time frame presented in the second article as to when they think the swap may have occurred, is that in February of 1996 gold $415 and then started a decline and by the end of the year was $370, then by the end of 1997 was $290 and then never getting above $300 until 2001.There may be lots of reasons for this decline, but if the tungsten bar theory turns out to be true, then one of the reasons could easily be that the market was flooded with “new” gold.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's time for liberals to get off of the freedom train when the subject of marijuana legalization is brought up

It seems like marijuana legalization is closer to becoming reality than it ever has been in my lifetime. Here is where the rubber hits the road and separates the liberals from the libertarians in this cause. In the past we have been loosely allied for this cause, but that is changing. It is time for liberals to get off the freedom train and everyday this is becoming ever more painfully apparent.

I have been in two internet arguments lately on the legalization of marijuana and both were against other people who share my belief that marijuana should be legal. The sticking point in both of these discussions were about taxes. Here is where libertarians are going to have to stand up against the liberals. I would prefer to see marijuana legal and taxed than remain illegal, but the best option is to keep taxes off of the table. I am sick and tired of hearing the argument that marijuana should be legal and taxed. No, it should be legal and untaxed. It may be a pipe dream (lol) to believe that this is even a remote possibility, but that doesn't mean that the proper libertarian argument should not be for both full legalization and no additional taxes.

It is frustrating to me to have to argue these points. We should legalize drugs because humans are not the property of the government, and we should be the ones who choose what we put into our own bodies, for good or bad. When the government tells you what you are allowed to ingest into your body and is willing to use force to stop you from consuming what you want, what it really is the government telling you that they have a higher authority to decide what you can do with your own body than you do. This is pretty much the same reason I am against all taxation as well, if you own your own body as I believe you do (or should) then you own the products of your labor and mind, taxation is someone taking a portion of that labor through force. I am not sure why liberals seem to think that the best reason to legalize marijuana is to help the government buy more bombs.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mormons are trying to save my damned soul

The Mormon missionaries stopped by this weekend. I didn't give them nearly as hard of a time as I gave the last guys. The fact is that I could see the brainwashing in their eyes, and I felt sorry for them. They both told me that they felt god had personally reassured them that their faith in Mormonism was the correct path and they had chosen well.

I don't really want to belittle anyone's faith, but I don't believe I will be turning religious anytime soon. I am just too analytical for that, but I did let them give me a brochure, so I thought I might share some sweet gems from it, and my thoughts.

The pamphlet is called “The Plan of Salvation” and has a picture of white Jesus on the cover. The first page they talk of something the call “pre-earth life” the gist of this is that before you came into being you lived with god and he taught you everything you would need to know to live a happy life on earth. This is great in concept, but doesn't seem to have any evidence, and I seriously have an issue with the idea that god would teach you the meaning of life or some crap, and then send you out to the world only after he strips you of any memory of any of his teachings. It also seems weird that he would teach that Jesus is the savior, but then make you forget and expects everyone to relearn this in a world where only a tiny fraction of the worlds population believes anything like that. The picture is of a Latino couple, quite unusual in Mormon circles, in fact all of the pictures in the book are of minorities, except for Jesus which I find odd.

The pamphlet then goes on to say that god teaches us right from wrong. I don't think you really need god to teach you, there is basically one rule in life that determines right from wrong. If you hurt another person with your actions, then those actions are wrong. You don't need god to tell you that those actions are wrong, you normally get immediate feedback from the person you harmed, especially as a little kid when you are learning these things.

The rest is just a rehashing of the Jesus story, until the last page where it says that you will know that all of this is true through prayer and that Joesph Smith has added to the resurrection story. Sorry, but this whole idea of resurrection seems silly to me. The claim is that Jesus was resurrected, but the proof offered for this claim is the lack of a body, but then they say that resurrected Jesus appeared as a spirit, so why did he need his body to disappear, and is there not any other possible reasons that a body may have disappeared in the middle of the night 2000 years ago besides god incarnate deciding to resurrect his body and walk out of the tomb and into heaven?

The good news, they are coming back to see if I read their pamphlet. I think there is more of a chance of me converting them than them converting me. It would be a real win, if I could move the conversation to politics and convert them to reject the idea of coercive government.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Biggest Loser loves big fat bureaucracies

I was watching “The Biggest Loser” the other night and for the episode they went to Washington DC. Let me tell you that this episode was disgusting, the hero worship that was shown for the bureaucrats was amazing. I guess it gives me a window into an aspect of society I rarely see. They kept saying things like “I can't believe I am working out right here where I can see the white house, THE WHITE HOUSE!”. I say so what?

I used to live a couple of blocks away from the Colorado State Capitol and I don't believe I ever thought to myself anything like “I am going to eat at the Noodle bowl that is across the street from the capitol building! The capitol building, that is where the bureaucrats work!”. For 2 years I lived right beside the governor's mansion, I felt no awe about it. So am I unusual and the fact that I didn't feel any awe about the trappings displayed by the state government? Am I an anomaly or do most people not really feel much about the state facilities? If most people don't care about state facilities then why do they care about federal facilities?

Back to the Biggest Loser, at one point they ate a salad in the kitchen at the White House. To my eyes it seemed pretty lame and the kitchen looked like any other restaurant kitchen. They didn't eat in a dinning area, but rather in the actual kitchen and most were standing or leaning against counters, etc. I thought it seemed rather lame, but the players in the biggest loser interviewed seemed to act like this was the highlight of their life.

They also spoke to some bureaucrats, and this was even more lame. They were pleading with these bureaucrats to “do something” about the obesity crises. What the hell can some bureaucrat do to prevent obesity that doesn't involve a greater level of tyranny? If I had been on the show (an I am obese so this is not as much of a stretch as you may think) I would have told them to leave us alone and that if they really wanted to do something about obesity (which I doubt) they should quit subsidizing farmers. Maybe if people had to pay the true price for food then obesity would drop, it may make the tax payer thinner and the tax payer's wallet fatter, a double win.