The Next Civil Liberties Scare

“Katrina is comparable in intensity to Hurrica...
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I’m amazed at how fast we’re moving to a system where the government controls everything. They’re nationalizing banks, socializing medicine, rewriting property laws and taxing our grandchildren as we speak. Here I thought the loss of property rights from the Kelo decision were bad for America. All this coming from lefties who have said for decades they distrust the government. Apparently that’s true only when they’re not in power.

Here’s the latest: they want to put a GPS in your car. They want to see where you drive, when you drive, how far you drive, and tax you based on your driving habits.

The system would require all cars and trucks be equipped with global satellite positioning technology, a transponder, a clock and other equipment to record how many miles a vehicle was driven, whether it was driven on highways or secondary roads, and even whether it was driven during peak traffic periods or off-peak hours.

The device would tally how much tax motorists owed depending upon their road use. Motorists would pay the amount owed when it was downloaded, probably at gas stations at first, but an alternative eventually would be needed.

Of course we can trust the government not to abuse this information. Just like we can trust them with Katrina cleanup, the IRS, and the banking system.

Next step, no doubt, is to actually implant GPS technology into people.

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Mechanical Investing for February 2007

Yeah, I know I said the next trade would be February 5, but I had some time at lunch today. Monday is Monday, and it’s close enough to the first of the month. A small tweak; I’m switching from the H52EarnPS to the H52EgPS for some of the stocks, but I don’t expect it’ll make a lot of difference.

The market continues to improve, and yay, I’m beating the market again –

  • Last 4 weeks: +2.5%
  • Last 3 months: +2.5%
  • Last 12 months: +0.5%
  • Year to date: +2.1% (Dow is +0.3% ytd from 12,463)
  • Annualized Return: +15.0%

Holding for another month:

Ticker Bought Now Months Return  
AKS $16.49 $20.08 2 +21.8% AK Steel Holding Corp. From the Peg_Minimalist screen.
BAB $97.47 $107.00 2 +9.8% British Airways plc. I still own some airplanes! From the TREPPE screen.
CGB $33.50 $36.19 1 +8.0% CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. From the RSPeg2 screen.
JAS $24.53 $24.75 1 +0.9% Jo-Ann Stores. My wife says they have nice clothes. From the Screamers screen.
MCY $53.85 $52.25 3 -3.0% Mercury General Corp. I’m going to cruise it up and down this’a road. From the LPE_YLD screen.

Selling these:

Ticker Bought Sold Months Return  
KELYA $28.64 $30.04 3 +4.9% Kelly Services Inc. From the H52EarnPS screen.
KMX $54.20 $58.46 1 +7.9% CarMax Inc. From the Screamers screen.
MDR $48.50 $50.39 1 +3.9% McDermott International Inc. From the Peg_Minimalist screen.
MRO $88.85 $88.03 1 -0.01% Marathon Oil Corp. Ok, no more oil stocks for me this year. From theTREPPE screen.
SKX $33.95 $35.05 1 +3.2% Skechers USA Inc. Shoes! From the RSPeg2 screen.
SWY $31.20 $35.35 5 +13.3% Safeway Inc. From the H52EarnPS screen.
WM $44.39 $44.42 2 +0.0% Washington Mutual. From the LPE_YLD screen.

New stocks for this month:

Ticker Bought Sold Months Return  
ATI $102.14 $N/A 0 N/A% Allegheny Technologies Inc. Dang, I just sold them last month for a loss, too. From the Peg_Minimalist screen.
BGC $43.78 $N/A 0 N/A% General Cable Corp. Which of course should be abbreviated “BGC.” From the Peg_Minimalist screen.
ENR $84.79 $N/A 0 N/A% Energizer Holdings, Inc. Is this the Energizer Bunny company? Let me go look – yes! From the Screamers screen.
LEA $34.33 $N/A 0 N/A% Lear Corp. And jets, too? Aww, no, they make automobile seats, I think. From the H52EgPS screen.
MKL $484.35 $N/A 0 N/A% Markel CO Holdings Co. Don’t they ever split their stock? They’re an insurance company. From the TREPPE screen.
NAV $43.54 $N/A 0 N/A% Navistar Intl CP. They make heavy truck chassis. From the RSPeg2 screen.
PFE $26.10 $N/A 0 N/A% Pfizer Inc. From the LPE_YLD screen.

6/3 Options:

Ticker Bought Sold Months Return  
.MEHDV $0.5722 $0.85 3 +48.6% MEH Apr 12.5 Calls. Sold!
.RFYFJ $13.00 $4.80 2 -70.1% RIMM Research in Motion June 150 Calls. Not looking good, is it? Will sell in early March.
.QTCGE $13.00 $3.10 2 -76.2% TeleTech Holdings Inc. TTEC July 25 Calls. Yuck. Will sell in early March.

The next trade will be February 26.

Fantasy Coffins

When I die, I’d like to be buried in a solemn, dignified way. Like in a coffin shaped like a giant shoe.

A coffin for those with restless soles.

Let’s say a giant shoe isn’t your thing. “But Michael,” you say, “my sole is at rest. What other coffins are available.”

I’m glad you asked. At Fantasy Coffins, you can also be buried in a beer bottle, a chicken, a fish, or an automobile.

The Path Less Taken

Why do people come to Chasing the Wind? What answers are they seeking? What pheromone drives them buggy? What carrot moves their donkey?

The first answer is simple – apparently, I’m a virtual babe magnet. I’m attracting women bloggers like buttered toast attracts cats. I dunno why, though I suspect it’s the pretty colors. So subdued, it’s like getting a massage for your eyes after visiting other stark black-n-white or aggressively multicolored websites. Perhaps it’s the fact that not *once* have I discussed automobile repair on this manly site (well, I did once mention automobile transmissions, but just in passing, not in a tool-guy sort of way, so that doesn’t count.) Perhaps it’s because my dog protects me from farts.

It can’t be that single-guy-raising-a-kid-by-himself thing. That’s too cliche, like a bad Ben Affleck movie. Whatever it is, most of the first visitors to this site were women. Friends and family may be shocked to learn that I’m happily cross-linking to several women simultaneously. Hello to Uptown Girl (my first!), Lisa, Beth, Courtney, HunnyB, Rachel (who hasn’t technically linked me, though she did email me today) and especially the talented Miss Vox who was kind enough to send me some chocolate today.

The other way I can find out why visitors are coming here is that – surprise! Most people don’t know that most websites are able to get the results of your search engine query. So I know *exactly* what phrase people searched for before ending up here. Here are this week’s winners:

  • “Chasing the Wind Movie”  I’m a movie? I had no idea… ah, I *am* a movie, and I’m all about storm chasing and tornadoes, and I originally aired on PBS. I never knew that.
  • “Kingdom of Loathing”  That’s one funny game, but I’m a dead-end if you’re looking for information on it. I’m currently playing a Pastamancer: With his mastery of the arcane secrets of Noodlecraft, the Pastamancer is a force to be reckoned with. He relies on his Magicalness to get ahead in the world.
  • “lonely man suspensory”  Besides being a pastamancer, I’m the official repository of Spam Poetry.
  • “Star Trek Enterprise”  Pastamancer from Spaaaaace! no, seriously, this it the one tv show I watch. I’m only vaguely aware that there are other tv shows, like American Idol and Survivor. But they don’t have season finales that include Alien Nazis in San Francisco like Star Trek: Enterprise did. Really. I’m not kidding.
  • “Backgroung music and blogs”  Haha, some dufus misspelled “background” as “backgroung”. Hahaha, what a loozer…. oh wait, I did too. Dang it.

So tell me – why are you visiting “Chasing the Wind?”