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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How to Kill the Christmas Spirit

The message of Christmas is simple: God loved us, so He sent His son to us. We’re celebrating His birthday.

Ways to celebrate this gift to us are many, and bring peace and joy to us, knowing that God loves us. We can spend time with those we love. We can spend time with those that need love. We can give gifts to show our love.

And then there are horrible ways to honor this gift. Here’s a sample from today’s news:

Focus on the shopping. Shopping is war.

Shopping is war.

The battle is not just among the jostling crowds at the sale bins and cash registers in these pre-Christmas days; it is also between warring factions of our own brains, some economists and neuroscientists say.

Recent studies suggest that each buying decision plays out in the brain as a fight between a pleasure center seeking the bliss of acquisition and an aversion center seeking to avoid the pain of paying.

Waste money on consumerism. With so many needy people around the world, lining up a day before Christmas to overpay for a limited-edition set of sneakers is a complete waste of time and money. Before you spend $2000 trying to get something that moths and rust will destroy, try to imagine how many low-cost sneakers you could buy for the millions of people in this world that have no shoes.

Criticize Santa. Criticize parents for lying to their children instead of nurturing imagination in children.

Vandalize a nativity scene. It’s a sad commentary that churches have to outfit baby Jesus with a GPS to catch petty thieves trying to ruin Christmas for others.

It’s easy to kill the Christmas spirit, but in doing so, you miss the gift that was meant for you.

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Mechanical Investing for December 2007

Hey! Finally caught up and passed the Dow Jones index! The overall portfolio went down over 8% and then back up 9% in just 2 weeks, so that was pretty volatile. Here are the numbers and changes –

  • Last 4 weeks: -1.3%
  • Last 3 months: 4.6%
  • Last 12 months: +9.6%
  • Year to date: +9.7% (Dow is +6.8% ytd from 12,463)

Holding for another month:

Ticker Bought Now Months Return  
CELL $16.12 $16.96 1 +5.2% Brightpoint Inc. From the H52EarnPS screen.
MCY $53.85 $51.56 13 -4.2% Mercury General Corp. Sort of like putting it under a mattress. From the LPE_YLD screen.
MOS $68.30 $72.20 1 +5.7% Mosaic Company. From the RSPeg2 screen.
SIGM $43.82 $68.12 3 +55.5% Sigma Designs, Inc, a tech-video company. From the Screamers and RSPeg2 screens.

Selling these:

AXYS $31.37 $39.67 2 +26.5% Axsys Technologies. From the Screamers screen.
CASY $28.42 $28.37 2 -0.0% Casey’s General Stores. From the H52EarnPS screen.
CY $36.15 $33.68 1 -6.8% Cypress Semiconductor. From the RSPeg2 screen.
DV $53.75 $54.30 1 +1.0% Devry Inc. From the Screamers screen.
FCX $110.86 $96.47 2 -13.0% FREEPORT-MCMORAN COPPER & GOLD. From the H52EarnPS screen.
GLAD $18.33 $19.89 1 +8.5% Gladstone Capital Corp. From the LPE_YLD screen.
MDR $39.815s $52.29 6 +31.3% McDermott International. From the Screamers screen, then the RSPeg2 screen, but now the TREPPE screen. Split-adjusted.
MGA $92.83 $82.18 1 -11.5% Magna International Inc. From the H52EarnPS screen.
NE $53.44 $53.80 1 +0.7% Noble Corp. From the Peg_Minimalist screen.
PAAS $33.80 $33.06 1 -2.1% Pan Americal Silver Corp. From the Peg_Minimalist screen.
PCU $127.24 $110.06 1 -13.5% Southern Copper Corp. From the TREPPE screen.
RIG $124.30 $137.12N/A 1 +10.3% Transocean Inc. From the PEG_Minimalist screen.
SPWR $129.53 $127.82 1 -1.3% Sunpower Corp. From the Screamers screen.
TCB $21.01 $19.35 1 -7.9% TCF Financial. From the LPE_YLD screen.

New stocks for this month:

Ticker Bought Sold Months Return  
ARTC $57.39 $N/A 0 N/A% Arthrocare Corp. From the RSPeg2 screen.
BG $117.94 $N/A 0 N/A% BUNGE LIMITED. From the H52EgPS screen.
BHP $74.71 $N/A 0 N/A% BHP BILLITON. From the TREPPE screen.
BOOM $63.99 $N/A 0 N/A% DYNAMIC MATLS. From the RSPeg2 screen.
BUCY $88.67 $N/A 0 N/A% BUCYRUS INTL. From the Peg_Minimalist screen.
DLB $52.01 $N/A 0 N/A% DOLBY LABORATORIES INC. From the Screamers screen.
DO $119.64 $N/A 0 N/A% DIAMOND OFFSHORE DRILLING INC. From the Peg_Minimalist screen.
DRS $59.81 $N/A 0 N/A% DRS TECHNOLOGIES. From the H52EgPS screen.
FLS $93.52 $N/A 0 N/A% FLOWSERVE CORP. From the Peg_Minimalist screen.
KTII $113.05 $N/A 0 N/A% K TRON INTL. From the TREPPE screen.
LG $34.76 $N/A 0 N/A% LACLEDE GROUP. From the H52EgPS screen.
PBG $42.33 $N/A 0 N/A% PEPSI BOTTLING GROUP. From the H52EgPS screen.
PCLN $113.53 $N/A 0 N/A% PRICELINE COM INC. From the RSPeg2 screen.
PFE $23.58 $N/A 0 N/A% PFIZER INC. From the LPE_YLD screen.

6/3 Options:

Ticker Bought Sold Months Return  
MDRBX $3.69s $5.1 3 +38% MDR Feb 2008 Calls. (was MDRBA but now split-adjusted) Sold in early December.
RZJDC $14.00 $12.60 3 -10% GRMN Apr 2008 Calls. Sold in early December.
AXVDJ $27.30 $97.90 .75 +358% ISRG Apr 2008 250 Calls. Sold early, replaced by CUBDJ.
RULAA $8.70 $11.95 2 +37% RIMM Mar 2008 106.62 Calls. Sold in early December.
CUBDJ $4.90 $4.80 2 -2.0% CUB 50’s Apr 2008 Calls. Replaces the AXVDJ options sold early. Sell in early January.
MQNDM $7.60 $12.40 1 +63% SIGM April ’08 65’s. Sell in early February.
MOSFO $10.60 $12.70 1 +19.8% MOS Jun ’08 75’s. Sell in early February.
RULFU $19.25 $N/A 0 N/A% RIMM Jun ’08 115 Calls. Sell in early March.
TEFFB $6.20 $N/A 0 N/A% TEF Jun ’08 110 Calls. Sell in early March.
QSUFY $25.90 $N/A 0 N/A% SPWR Jun ’08 140 Calls. Sell in early March.

The next trade will be December 31.