November 16, 2012
- Ron Paul’s final speech… and your chance to listen in on the first meeting held in his office afterward
- Obama heads to Myanmar: Chris Mayer, who’s already been there, with a final assessment of the vast investment potential
- Work out harder and longer, with less strain and pain: Patrick Cox on a fitness breakthrough even scientists call “unbelievable”
- The latest 3-D printing wonder, exploding on the big screen (literally)… small business owners commiserate in our mailbag… a full dozen winning plays with an average 81% gain… and more!
“Our Constitution, which was intended to limit government power and abuse, has failed,” declared Rep. Ron Paul.
The good doctor delivered his valedictory speech on the floor of the House Wednesday afternoon. At first, the Republican House leadership — in a final, spiteful attempt to shut him up — could not find room in the schedule.
Then President Obama decided to hold his first press conference in God-knows-when… and the powers-that-be decided it was safe to let Dr. Paul speak at the same time. He’d only be on C-SPAN. The cable news channels wouldn’t “dip into” his speech as a “Developing Story” and expose his message to the masses.
Of course, in the Internet age, the message got out anyway. Right-wingers like Drudge and lefty sites like Raw Story both thought it newsworthy.
“One needn’t agree,” wrote Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic, “with the premise of every question [that he posed] to conclude that the United States — and especially its most unjustly treated citizens — would be better off if more legislators were grappling with them.”
After the speech, Dr. Paul repaired to his office… and a meeting with Addison.
Ron Paul is retiring from Congress… but not from the public eye. He will deliver lectures on college campuses. And he’s talking with Addison about how to creatively counter Federal Reserve propaganda.
“Next year marks the centennial anniversary of the Federal Reserve Act,” Addison reminds us. Expect a barrage of messages to the effect that were it not for the brilliance and munificence of the Fed, we’d still be communicating in Morse code, getting from place to place on horseback and transacting business with a gold-backed currency. Perish the thought.
“To this day,” Addison says, “most people don’t know anything about the Fed, how it was created or what it does, if they are aware of its existence at all.” There’s a cottage industry of Fed criticism… but it’s overwhelmed with economic crankery – e.g., films like Zeitgeist.
With that in mind, Addison met with Dr. Paul Wednesday afternoon to kick around a few ideas about how to raise awareness. Joining them were a few other folks in our circle, including Laissez Faire Books’ Jeffrey Tucker – who conducted a brief interview
“I think interest rates will go up,” Dr. Paul told Jeffrey, “but it won’t be because Bernanke decided they’ll go up. They’ll go up because the market has decided we need a little inflation protection… or foreigners won’t buy as much debt.”
The interview also touches on the feds’ growing and ominous “war on cash”. Click on the image below to watch the whole thing…
Who knows what these musings might lead to? But whatever it is, we’ll keep you posted as the Fed centenary infects the public consciousness over the next 12 months.
“O-Burma,” reads the front page of The Myanmar Times.
Obama is packing his bags and setting off to become the first sitting U.S. president to visit Myanmar this weekend. He’ll meet with President Thein Sein and Nobel Prize-winning activist Aung San Suu Kyi.
“In preparation, Myanmar officials have granted amnesty to 450 political prisoners, in what is criticized by activists as a ‘cynical ploy to curry favor,’” Agence France-Presse reports.
We wonder if they were surprised…
“It’s good to visit places like this, to see the best that one can achieve in a country,” our globe-trotter Chris Mayer writes of Myanmar, reflecting on his recent visit.
“In the big-picture sense,” Chris says, “the country is poor. Per capita income is only $900. Compare that with $1,400 in Vietnam and $5,000 in Thailand.
“In reading as much about Myanmar’s history as I could get my hands on, it’s worth remembering that it has often been a fractious country with chieftains holding sway over large areas as Scotland or strongholds as small as a single hilltop.”
“It seems like people are interested in the story,” Chris adds. “When I got home, I sat for an interview with Lauren Lyster on the TV show Capital Account in Washington, D.C.
“And I also did a 40-minute interview with one of Myanmar’s English-language business magazines, MZine+. People wanted to know what I thought and what my impressions were.
“Later,” Chris goes on, “I saw Lauren interview Jim Rogers, the prescient globe-trotting investor and author. In that interview, he said: ‘If I could put all my money into Myanmar, I would.’
“In terms of pure upside potential and size (with a population of about 60 million),” Chris concludes, “there is nothing like Myanmar in the world.”
Angles for retail investors? That’s hard. Jim Rogers says as much… and the best thing Chris unearthed was a Singapore-listed property investor that’s already richly priced.
Another day, another flat open for the major U.S. stock indexes. But we’ve been here before this week, only to see them slide by day’s end. The Dow sits at 12,550.
“So far, this is a mild, even orderly correction,” writes Big Picture blogger and Vancouver favorite Barry Ritholtz this morning.
“The negatives have been a) an inability to muster even a modest bounce; b)despite rising bearishness, we are not at an extreme sentiment level; c) markets are seemingly reacting to both good and bad news with selling.
“The positives are a) earnings could have been much worse; b) Housing remains a bright spot; c) consumer sentiment is good, business sentiment seems to be improving; d) Greece has not caught fire and burned to the ground.
“Watch for a bounce today or Monday,” he concludes. “The key is whether it attracts some volume and conviction, or fails at new resistance levels, of which there are many.”
Gold is again treading water at $1,713, even as the dollar index rises to a two-month high at 81.2. Crude took a rest in overnight trading but bumped up again this morning to $86.28.
“When I first talked to the two scientists who discovered and exploited the principles behind this technology,” our tech savant Patrick Cox writes, “the word that came to mind was ‘unbelievable.’
“This technology is remarkably simple,” says Patrick.
Utilizing a hacker technique devised by sophisticated gamers called “overclocking,” this technology is able to “modify an incredibly elegant and complex biological system” by mimicking our DNA and ‘hacking’ our body’s temperature control.
To what end? By cooling the muscles during exercise, it delivers benefits “that are much greater than those derived from steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs,” explains Patrick.
This ‘future of fitness’ technology resembles a high-tech boxing glove and keeps your body cool and fatigue-free while you exercise.
“When we are doing physical work,” Patrick explains, “muscle cells create heat. That heat is moved via the circulatory system throughout your body, including your core organs.”
This technology, he says, “responds by shunting blood to your radiator system.
“The body responds by increasing blood flow to the heat loss structures so that it can protect the most important and heat-sensitive locations, such as the brain and other organs.
“We now know that you can stop that cell cooking by restoring core body temperature to normal. This means that recovery times after workout will dramatically shortened. In turn, this means that, with core cooling, we can work out more often and harder, increasing fitness levels much faster.”
The applications are nearly endless: for firefighters, miners and industrial workers and to treat migraines, multiple sclerosis and the obvious billion-dollar market, sports and fitness.
Investment possibilities? Not yet. The company is still private, and the product is about six months away from hitting the market. But the story gives you a taste of the ground-floor opportunities Patrick discovers in the course of his research.
And now a high-tech development not nearly as useful, but just as cool: The latest 3-D printer breakthrough played a major role in the new James Bond movie, Skyfall.
The plot involves the destruction of a 1960 Aston Martin DB5 that first appeared in Goldfinger, the third Bond movie, 48 years ago.
The car itself is now priceless… so the producers couldn’t blow it up for real. But CGI effects alone wouldn’t fit the bill, either. Enter a 3-D printer.
“The effects crew model makers called on a company called voxeljet, who used a massive 3-D printer with a capacity of 283 cubic feet to reproduce three 1:3 scale models of the Aston Martin,” according to Gizmodo.
“Each pseudo-miniature was actually assembled from 18 individual components so that they could be assembled with real-life functionality such as opening doors, trunks and hoods.”
Not the real thing…
One of the models met its demise in the film. But one of the others has already been auctioned by Christie’s for nearly $100,000.
“The current marijuana experiment in Colorado and Washington is a perfect example of the futility of government,” a reader writes.
“Who said it was any government’s role to regulate anything, much less a substance that grows wild in nature? A far better approach is to remove the cold, clammy, uncaring and incompetent hands of our regulatory bureaucrats from all things, allowing the individual to regulate themselves. Then and only then will free people actually live freely.
“My vote (hopefully, this vote will have more meaning than the ones cast on Nov. 6) is we end the ‘War on The 5’ and consolidate our forces in an effort to wage war on our only real enemies, all governments and their cronies.”
“So while you rail at the U.S. government, you are silent about Argentina’s national socialism and racism,” writes a reader addressing an expat who wrote in earlier this week.
“Hmm, seems likely you are hanging out in Bariloche to enjoy the high value of the dollar, especially on the black market, as their currency and economy prepares to collapse again. I enjoyed skiing there in August, but the signs of distress are everywhere, and I prefer Utah’s better snow, prosperity and better prices.”
The 5: And your point?
“Like the gentleman at 4:20 Wednesday,” reads our latest missive from the front lines of small business, “I work for a company that earns $24 million per year in income.
“We print invoices, about 300 per day, have 70 employees, the boss is a multimillionaire. His cars are worth that much.
“You see, we run a printing press, our press exchanges an item we produce, steel, for a form of payment, cash, and electronic digits in the form of dollars.
“Every time we print an invoice, it results in dollars in exchange for goods, real-life touchable items.
“Now compare that to the government and the Fed.
“Fiscal cliff this new year, mandatory government insurance next year, the next compounded fiscal cliff.
“We cannot move our company. I suppose the owner could relocate the cash.”
“Au contraire, mon frere, make no mistake, it is not coercion, it is armed robbery,” says another, commiserating. “Notice how well armed the feds are that show up to lock the doors of a business that did not remit employee tax withholdings?
“Other than that, I agree with all your points. I work with numerous 1120 filers; small businesses are the very lifeblood of the economy and the vampire guvmint is intent on sucking them dry. Although I believe the guvmint sucks something else as well. I fully understand The 5’s ‘dead hand of government’ phrase.
“And to all you wannabes: Do you really believe that Oblamadin, or Romyan or any of their ilk would even so much as give you the steam off their p***?
“Red or blue, they will **** you!
“Given the ‘coarse’ nature of this email, I dare you to print it!
“Does that still work?”
The 5: Sure… but we do reserve the right to edit for space, clarity and what Bill Bonner calls “the Presbyterian standard” — stick to words you’d write to your mother.
“The guy that owns the S Corp, hey, I feel your pain, truly,” writes another. “If you want to move your business to another country, you may get that opportunity soon.
“If Texas secedes from the union, you can move there, and at a lower cost than moving to another country. Got to love those Texans!”
The 5: As long as you brought it up… we’re confused by this current ‘secession’ wave. We see seven states have now reached the 25,000-signature threshold at which the White House (supposedly) must respond.
But really, what’s the deal with playing Mother May I on the White House petition website?
I mean, it was a “Declaration of Independence,” not a “Request for,” right?
Have a good weekend,