Sunday, March 15, 2009
i am posting this because i, personally, find this subject fascinating. i live near one of these places. it's a secret though, so no one knows about it. lol.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
The Sovereign Society Offshore A-Letter
Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - Vol. 11, No. 64
Pity the Saucer-Men:
For They Know Not Where They’ve Come
Dear A-Letter Reader,
Uncover the Mystery and Discover the Truth! (or so the website says)
This year’s week-long UFO convention is slated for Vegas in July. And some of the regular attendees are hoping for some… “extremely foreign” guests.
As for the existence of intelligent life outside of this little Blue Planet, we can’t say. But if aliens do exist…and they chose to visit us right around now…
Well, we’d feel pretty sorry for them.
A Day in Bizarro World
Confusion and Dismay are the reactions we’d imagine.
For they’ve come to a planet where rules and regulation mean mayhem…where “laws” mean off-the-hip decisions…where competition is subsidy…and the world’s largest insurer is also the world’s largest gambler.
They’ve come to a world whose people would all admit we face a state of global crisis, and yet “our” governments frantically engage in massive, untested remedies at the risk of making it all terribly worse.
They’ve come to a place where the businesses of a single street– where the wall once stood – can pay a relatively trivial sum of American currency to the government (in the form of noble contribution), and in turn foist their tremendous debts upon generations of the nation’s public.
Perhaps our visitors would rule out “coincidence” there. They might even say we got a raw deal.
If nothing else, our world would fascinate them. Maybe even make good material for their schools…
“Alright now children…what did we learn from the FDIC’s insurance rate hike in the early months of 2009? Yes, Bobby.”
“We learned that small regional banks would be punished for the weak balance sheets of the country’s superbanks. The superbanks were much worse off, and the FDIC raised its rates because of their solvency issues. But the raise in rates would raise operating costs for all banks…even the well-off regional outfits. It’s a perfect example of unintended consequences. When the government intervenes to aid one company, it often does so at the risk of harming others.”
Sharing a Coffee with E.T.
And if you manage to convince a “visitor” to share a coffee, it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to take them to Starbucks. You’d already have enough to explain without four-dollar-coffee.
“I mean, what it comes down to is healthy businesses doing healthy business,” they’d tell you over an Orange Mocha Frappucino, “that’s what you need to recover. And trust me…we even struggled with varying degrees of government intervention during crises. As long as there are greedy people, it’s likely to remain a necessary evil.”
“But it takes a master’s touch…because you’re always playing with an unexpected set of possible consequences. Help one company because you believe they pose a catastrophic risk, and you’re likely to hurt their competition. The worst part? Their competition is the healthy companies…the responsible companies. So it’s always a double-edged sword.”
“Like that report you showed me…that AIG was offering more competitive rates on life insurance than their healthy un-subsidized competition. Or the other one…where Warren Buffet’s company – one of only seven remaining AAA credits in the country – is paying more for credit than questionable, government-backed competition. In both cases, the healthy suffer…maybe even as much as the sick benefit.”
“And you simply can’t have these types of things happening without a major loss of confidence across the broad economy. Be mindful of your confidence in times like these…it’s the thread holding you over the void.”
Maybe you personally muster the confidence to ask them how they deal with crises like this one.
“We don’t have them.”
“What?! Why not?”
“We don’t let our companies get big enough to pose catastrophic risk in the first place. That’s just bad management. Either you regulate them all the way or not at all. And you actually have to enforce those rules too. The whole idea that banks can trade in unregulated instruments – like Credit Default Swaps – and still enjoy the protection of FDIC insurance…that’s just doesn’t work.”
They’d likely go on to tell you that despite the mayhem and uncertainty, there are still a few serious opportunities out there. You’d have to look harder…and find some specialized help.
“But you can still find immense profits from picking up business that the incapacitated superbanks are leaving behind…simply lending capital to productive and capable parties. It’s that easy. Funding is in short supply, and people are paying handsomely for it.”
Or, they might go on, “You could also trade in ‘coin-of-the-realm.’ The fundamentals might be ‘on-hold’ at the moment, but some powerful trends are making for huge profits in foreign exchange markets. There’s always a bull market somewhere in currencies.”
Maybe they’d have better advice than we can dream up…we certainly hope they do.Because in these new times – where up is down, left is right, and you wouldn’t know your government from a hole in your pocket – …well, let’s just say it’s gotten a lot harder to see what’s around the bend.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Motorist pulled over and quizzed... for LAUGHING at the wheel
By Chris Brooke
Last updated at 12:29 AM on 05th March 2009
When Gary Sanders was pulled over by police he was sure he had done nothing wrong.
The company director was obeying the speed limit and not driving dangerously.
But to his astonishment he was told he had been stopped for excessive laughing.
Mr Sanders had been talking on a hands-free kit and was chuckling at what his friend had said.
But the officer who ordered him to stop at the exit to the Mersey Tunnel told him: ‘Laughing while driving a car can be an offense.’
If that had been the end of the matter then Mr Sanders, 47, would probably have laughed the whole thing off.
But he subjected him to a 35-minute grilling, with questions about everything from his ethnic group to details of distinguishing scars on his body.
And despite not being charged with an offense, he still had to waste a further 90 minutes of his time producing his driving license and other documents at a police station.
Due to the delay Mr Sanders, the managing director of Liverpool-based Spontex Workwear, missed an important business appointment.
He said: 'I couldn't believe it when he told me I'd been pulled over for for laughing. I was driving very safely in the Birkenhead Tunnel and took a call from a friend on my hand-free phone.
'He said something funny and I was laughing - simple as that. I never took my eyes off the road and was in full control of the car.
'Then I noticed the police car flashing its lights and the officer signaling me to pull over. I definitely wasn't speeding so I asked what the problem was and he told me I was laughing too much.
'The officer accused me of throwing my head back in a dangerous way, which I denied since it is definitely not something I do.
'I was astonished that he could say that laughing might be an offense. What is the country coming too? I was kept there for 35 minutes answering unrelated questions like what ethnic group I belonged to and if I had any distinguishing marks or scars.
'It became a bit ridiculous when he wanted to know the colour of my hair as I have alopecia and there isn't a hair on my head. When I pointed this out he asked "What colour was your hair when you had some?" It went from ludicrous to unbelievable. He definitely had a bee in his bonnet about something and I got the brunt of it.'
Mr Sanders said the officer eventually admitted no law had been broken, but still insisted he should show his documents to be checked.
'The police should have better things to do than harassing law-abiding people this way. I missed an important meeting and my whole day was messed up and all for nothing. Its was certainly no joke.'
Superintendent Kevin Hagger of the Mersey Tunnels Police said: 'There is no record of the incident in the system so it seems the gentleman was just spoken to by the officer and the matter not taken any further.'
Solicitor Nick Freeman, dubbed Mr Loophole for his ability to clear celebrities of motoring offences in court, said laughing at the wheel could only be an offence if it caused the motorist to drive dangerously.
'If the man was swerving all over the road then the officer may have grounds to charge him with driving without due care and attention or dangerous driving,' he said.
Brian Gregory from the Association of British Drivers said: 'This is a shocking example of the police harassing innocent motorists simply because they are an easy target. To suggest that a driver could be prosecuted for laughing is ludicrous beyond belief.
'What next? Can we expect to hear of people being stopped for sneezing or coughing while they are at the wheel? What about the risk of listening to the radio... they might broadcast something that makes a driver laugh. Drivers have to be credited with some common sense.
'It is a fact that drivers who are happy and smiling are far safer on the roads than anyone uptight and stressed.
'Since the introduction of on-the-spot fines the police have become judge and jury and it's time these powers were reigned in a little. We are all human and sometimes we cannot control involuntary things like laughter.'