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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mr. Orwell? Paging Mr. Orwell...

Prediction:  Our borders are going to be kicked open even further than they already are because of the recently reported mass slaughters that have been happening in Mexico.  They've been stacking the bodies like cord wood.  "We need to be humane and let these people flee into our waiting arms."

Obviously, it would be inhumane and downright mean to send back the 11-20 million illegal aliens that are already here, so let's just grant them citizenship, too.

Asylum For All!  Woo hoo!

In other totally unrelated and not even worth mentioning news, teenage unemployment is officially 26 percent.  That means in the real world, it's at least half-again higher - probably in the low 40% range.

Illegal immigration has nothing whatsoever to do with that.  Nothing.  At all.  Really.

I saw this on Thursday, and was shocked (almost) beyond words.  The Ninth Circuit Court has said it is OK for the government to plant a tracking device on your car.  The police do not need a warrant.  They can come on to your property to set the bug.

Did these fascists all miss class on "Fourth Amendment Day" while in law school?

They did put their foot down, though.  Rich people need not worry.  If your car is behind private gates or in a garage, THEN the police need a warrant.  Whew!  Had me scared there for a minute. 

If you're a poor slob who lives in an apartment building or are such low-life that you have to park your car on the street, well, you'd better watch your butt -
Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, who dissented from this month's decision refusing to reconsider the case, pointed out whose homes are not open to strangers: rich people's. The court's ruling, he said, means that people who protect their homes with electric gates, fences and security booths have a large protected zone of privacy around their homes. People who cannot afford such barriers have to put up with the government sneaking around at night.
Shut up, you pinko, liberal piece of flotsam.

Oh wait.  HE is the conservative member of the court.  The bleeding-heart liberals said it was A-OK to totally disregard any semblance of privacy in our country.  It's for the greater good.  Must protect the hive, after all.

I hope some organization like the EFF starts putting tracking devices on police cars they run across in public, then reporting their locations for a day or two of driving.  Might be interesting to have a record of where these cars - and our employees - spend the majority of their time.

I'm sure a law will be passed making THAT illegal, especially considering it's becoming increasingly illegal to film cops doing their job... in public.  The state has rights, dontcha know?

Right now, this only affects the western states covered by the Ninth Circuit.  Earlier this month, the DC Circuit court ruled exactly to the opposite of this.  Seems like it will be headed to the SCOTUS for final rulings, I'd guess.

Until then, we westerners had better get used to Big Bro having his way with us.

If it is OK for the state to do this, does that mean it is OK for private parties to do it as well?  As long as they follow the "don't cross the rich guy's gate" rule?

Does that mean I can plant a GPS tracking device on anyone I want?  Hmmm.  Should I go with the more expensive unit that reports its position every 15 seconds and plots it on Google Maps, or should I go with the cheaper version that I have to retrieve, then download the information.

I wonder which one has the Ninth Circuit Court Seal Of Approval?

Decisions, decisions...

Alex, I'll take "1984" for a thousand, please...

Have ya seen what's going on with gold and silver lately?

I get a publication called The Grey Sheet.  It provides the wholesale prices for most US coins.  Dealers use it as a gauge to determine the prices when buying and selling from each other (BTW, anyone can buy a subscription, or even just a single copy by going here).

At the top of each issue, they have a quick re-cap of what's been going on in the coin world.  In the last issue, they had something that caught my eye:  Gold has been increasing in price over the past week or so.  Raw (ungraded) coins have been following these prices lock-step.

But, numismatic coins have been slipping in value.  It seems that people are shunning the opinion-based value of the numismatics in favor of the market-based value of raw coins.

Also, the price multiple between gold and silver has been narrowing.  Just a week ago, the multiple was 68:1 (68 ounces of silver cost the same as 1 ounce of gold).  As of today, that ratio has dropped to under 65:1..

Wut dat mean?  Since 1970, that ratio has been as high as 89:1 and as low as 20:1.  The ratio during the 20th century was 47:1In the "olden days" it used to be fixed at around 15:1

So, big-picture-wise, we're on the upper side of the ratio.  If historic ratios return - and the market is indicating it's going that way - the value of silver should increase at a faster pace than that of gold.

I think this is mostly being driven by the fact that gold has gone up in price so much that demand is being transferred to silver.  More people can afford to buy an ounce of silver than can afford an ounce of gold.

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Copyright 2010 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.


Andrea said...

I just don't get it...where do they think you're going that is sooooooo dang interesting that they need to GPS you?

Chief Instructor said...

Andrea, great point. If you're truly a criminal (or there's reasonable cause to believe you may be), why not get a warrant as required by the Constitution? If you're not a criminal, why are they tracking you?

Simply stating, "Because we can" doesn't cut it.

Groundhog said...

I see an interesting problem with the GPS thing. Here in Texas, your car has been deemed somewhat of an extension of your home. This is evidenced by the law allowing you to carry firearms in your car now without the need for a CHL. So, your car is protected as long as it's inside your home, but not outside. What if it's an extension of your home? Bleah, gonna be a LOT of arguments over this one.

Chief Instructor said...

Groundhog, as the article mentioned, there is an expectation of privacy of your property (curtilage). This isn't some new-fangled idea - it's been around forever. And the 9th Circuit simply wipes it away.

I'll be interested to see if this sticks, and how TX would handle this with the cars and guns. Might be some "arguments" indeed...

Anonymous said...

O (Big) Brother, where art thou?!

suek said...

Re: the GPS might find these solutions amusing...

Chief Instructor said...

Anon, indeed.

Sue, I like the 50 clones idea. Sewer rat was pretty cool as well!

Ryan said...

I think it is that most people recognize gold has risen too much too fast. Buying it now would be like 1980-81. Silver however hasn't risen as much in terms of percentages let alone dollar amount.

Also as you mentioned just about anybody can afford to pay $20ish for an ounce of silver.

Chief Instructor said...

Ryan, I've also been looking for some fractional gold - 1/4 oz, for instance - and it's been a bear to find. Still fairly easy to find full ounces, and the premiums for them are coming down significantly. Market used to be spot + 6.5% only a couple of weeks ago, and now it's down to spot +4.5% to 5%.