Saturday 30 April 2011

George Soros Turns (Semi) Austrian: "Why I Agree With (Some Of) Hayek"


Why I agree with (some of) Hayek, by George Soros

From Politico

Friedrich Hayek is generally regarded as the apostle of a brand of economics which holds that the market will assure the optimal allocation of resources — as long as the government doesn’t interfere. It is a formalized and mathematical theory, whose two main pillars are the efficient market hypothesis and the theory of rational expectations.
This is usually called the Chicago School, and it dominates the teaching of economics in the United States. I call it market fundamentalism.
I have an alternative interpretation — diametrically opposed to the efficient market hypothesis and rational expectations. It is built on the twin pillars of fallibility and reflexivity.
I firmly believe these principles are in accordance with Hayek’s ideas.
But we can’t both be right. If I am right, market fundamentalism is wrong. That means I must be able to show some inconsistency in Hayek’s ideas, which is what I propose to do.
Let’s start with Hayek’s influence on the twin pillars of my interpretation. I was a student at the London School of Economics in the late 1940s and read the great methodological controversy between Karl Popper and Hayek in Economica, the school’s periodical.
I considered myself a disciple of Popper. But here I was on Hayek’s side. He inveighed against what he called “scientism” — meaning the slavish imitation of Newtonian physics. Popper took the opposite position. He argued in favor of what he called the doctrine of the unity of science — that the same methods and criteria apply to all scientific disciplines.
I was drawn to this controversy by my interest in Popper. I had read his book, “Open Society and its Enemies,” in which he argued that the inconvertible truth is beyond the reach of the human intellect, and ideologies that claim to hold this truth are bound to be false. Therefore, he argued, they can be imposed on society only by repressive methods.
This helped me see the similarity between the Nazi and communist regimes. Having lived through both in Hungary, it made a great impression.
This led me to Popper’s theory of scientific method. Popper claimed that scientific theories can never be verified — they can only be falsified. So their validity is provisional — they must forever remain open to falsification by testing. This avoids all the problems of needing to prove scientific theories beyond any doubt and establishes the importance of testing. Only theories that can be falsified qualify as scientific.
While I was admiring the elegance of Popper’s theory, I was also studying elementary economics. I was struck by a contradiction between the theory of perfect competition, which postulated perfect knowledge, with Popper’s theory, which asserted that perfect knowledge was unattainable. The contradiction could be resolved by recognizing that economic theory cannot meet the standards of Newtonian physics.
That is why I sided with Hayek — who warned against the slavish imitation of natural science and took issue with Popper — who asserted the doctrine of unity of method.
Hayek argued that economic agents base their decisions on their interpretation of reality, not on reality — and the two are never the same.
That is what I call fallibility. Hayek also recognized that decisions based on an imperfect understanding of reality are bound to have unintended consequences. But Hayek and I drew diametrically opposed inferences from this insight.
Hayek used it to extol the virtues of the invisible hand of the marketplace, which was the unintended consequence of economic agents pursuing their self-interest. I used it to demonstrate the inherent instability of financial markets.

In my theory of reflexivity I assert that the thinking of economic agents serves two functions. On the one hand, they try to understand reality; that is the cognitive function. On the other, they try to make an impact on the situation. That is the participating, or manipulative, function.
The two functions connect reality and the participants’ perception of reality in opposite directions. As long as the two functions work independently of each other they produce determinate results. When they operate simultaneously they interfere with each other. That is the case not only in the financial markets but also in many other social situations.
I call the interference reflexivity. Reflexivity introduces an element of unquantifiable uncertainty into both the participants’ understanding and the actual course of events.
This two-way connection works as a feedback loop. The feedback is either positive or negative. Positive feedback reinforces both the prevailing trend and the prevailing bias — and leads to a mispricing of financial assets. Negative feedback corrects the bias. At one extreme lies equilibrium, at the other are the financial “bubbles.” These occur when the mispricing goes too far and becomes unsustainable — boom is then followed by bust.
In the real world, positive and negative feedback are intermingled and the two extremes are rarely, if ever, reached. Thus the equilibrium postulated by the efficient market hypothesis turns out to be an extreme — with little relevance to reality.
Frank Knight was the first to identify the unquantifiable uncertainty inherent in financial markets. John Maynard Keynes and his followers elaborated his insight.
Classical economists, by contrast, sought to eliminate the uncertainty connected with reflexivity from their subject matter. Hayek was one of them.
The methodological debate in Economica took place in the context of the larger political controversy over the role of the state in the economy. Hayek was on one side, Keynes and socialist planners on the other.
But Hayek subordinated his methodological arguments to his political bias. That is the source of his inconsistency. In the Economica, he attacked scientism. But after World War II, when the communist threat became more acute, he overcame his methodological qualms and became the apostle of market fundamentalism — with only a mild rebuke for the excessive use of quantitative methods in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech.
Because he was fighting communism, a scientific theory that proved that market participants pursuing their self-interest assure the optimum allocation of resources was too convenient for him to reject. But it was also too good to be true.

Human beings act on the basis of their imperfect understanding — and their decisions have unintended consequences. That makes human affairs less predictable than natural phenomenon. So Hayek was right in originally opposing scientism.
At the time of the Economica articles, Popper was between Hayek and the socialist planners. He was just as opposed as Hayek to communism’s threat to individual liberty, but he advocated what he called piecemeal social engineering rather than laissez-faire.
Here I sided with Popper. But Popper and Hayek were not that far apart. I was influenced by both — and I also found fault with both.
By identifying Hayek’s inconsistency and political bias, I do not mean to demean him — but to improve our understanding of financial markets and other social phenomena. We are all biased in one way or another and, with the help of reflexivity, our misconceptions play a major role in shaping the course of history.
Because perfection is unattainable, it makes all the difference how close we come to understanding reality. Recognizing that the efficient market hypothesis and the theory of rational expectations are both a dead end would be a major step forward.
As in that earlier time, the political controversy on the role of the state in the economy is raging today. But the standards of political discourse have greatly deteriorated. The two sides used to engage in illuminating arguments; now they hardly talk. That is why I was so pleased to accept this invitation to the Cato Institute.
As I see it, the two sides in the current dispute have each got hold of one half of the truth. which they proclaim to be the whole truth. It was the hard right that took the initiative by arguing that the government is the cause of all our difficulties; and the so-called left, in so far as it exists, has been forced to defend the need for regulating the private sector and providing government services.
Though I am often painted as the representative of the far left — and I am certainly not free of political bias — I recognize that the other side is half right in claiming that the government is wasteful and inefficient and ought to function better.
But I also continue to cling to the other half of the truth — namely that financial markets are inherently unstable and need to be regulated.
Above all, I am profoundly worried that those who proclaim half truths as the whole truth, whether they are from the left or the right, are endangering our open society.
Both Hayek and Popper, I believe, would share that concern. Those of us concerned with the protection of individual liberty ought to work together to restore the standards of political discourse that used to enable our democracy to function better.

How to Help Protect Yourself From Low-Level Radiation


Washington’s Blog

As everyone knows, exposure to high levels of radiation can quickly sicken or kill us. Here's an illustration from Columbia University:
But as I've previously noted, even low level radiation can cause big problems. Columbia provides an illustration:
Radiation can sicken or kill us by directly damaging cells:

Or indirectly ... by producing free radicals:

Indeed, some radiation experts argue that the creation of a lot of free radical creation is the most dangerous mechanism of low level ionizing radiation:

During exposure to low-level doses (LLD) of ionizing radiation (IR), the most of harmful effects are produced indirectly, through radiolysis of water and formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The antioxidant enzymes - superoxide dismutase (SOD): manganese SOD (MnSOD) and copper-zinc SOD (CuZnSOD), as well as glutathione (GSH), are the most important intracellular antioxidants in the metabolism of ROS. Overproduction of ROS challenges antioxidant enzymes.

Scientists from the Institute of Nuclear Science claim in the Archive of oncology:

Chronic exposure to low-dose radiation doses could be much more harmful than high, short-term doses because of lipid peroxidation initiated by free radicals.
Peroxidation of cell membranes increases with decreasing dose rate (Petkau effect).

(See this for more on the Petkau effect.)
Countering free radicals is therefore one of the most important ways we can help protect ourselves from the effects of low-level radiation from Japan, from Chernobyl and elsewhere.
Now that you know, I invite you to read the following articles to learn how to help counter free radicals:

Note: The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists reported that one of the best-known scientists of the 20th century - Dr. John Gofman - also believed that chronic low level radiation is more dangerous than acute exposure to high doses. Gofman was a doctor of nuclear and physical chemistry and a medical doctor who worked on the Manhattan Project, co-discovered uranium-232 and -233 and other radioactive isotopes and proved their fissionability, helped discover how to extract plutonium, led the team that discovered and characterized lipoproteins in the causation of heart disease, served as a Professor Emeritus of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California Berkeley, served as Associate Director of the Livermore National Laboratory, was asked by the Atomic Energy Commission to undertake a series of long range studies on potential dangers that might arise from the "peaceful uses of the atom", and wrote four scholarly books on radiation health effects.
But whether or not chronic, low doses of radiation cause more or less damage than acute, higher doses is beyond the scope of this article. The point is that they both can cause damage.
Disclaimer: I am not a health care professional.

Little Darling Here Comes The Sun


The first thing that popped into my head was the old Beatle song, “Here Comes the Sun.”

If I am reading this right new discoveries are indicating that changes going on with the sun are changing matter as we know it and actually neutralizing radiation!

“Exactly what has scientists so on edge is the fact that the natural rate of decay of atomic particles has always been predictable. Indeed, using the decay rate of Carbon-14 has been a method to date archeological artifacts. The process, known as carbon dating, measures the quantity of Carbon-14 within organic objects. According to the numbers, Carbon-14 has a specific half-life of 5,730 years. Physicists have proven through exhaustive observation and experimentation over the course of a century that it takes 5,730 years for Carbon-14 atoms to decay into a stable Nitrogen-14.

The values don’t change—or at least they never have in the past. With certain evidence that radioactive decay can be significantly affected by an unknown effect from the sun, much of science is turned on its head.”

“But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall… Malachi 4:2

Terrifying scientific discovery: Strange emissions by sun are suddenly mutating matter…”

Posted on October 5, 2010 by rockingjude

“Something impossible has happened. Yet the “impossible” has been proven to be true. Laboratories around the globe have confirmed that the rate of radioactive decay—once thought to be a constant and a bedrock of science—is no longer a constant. Something being emitted from the sun is interacting with matter in strange and unknown ways with the startling potential to dramatically change the nature of the very Earth itself.”

Apparently scientists across the globe are shooting emails back and forth trying to figure out what is happening. It is strange and unknown to them and does not follow natural laws. It is influencing the decay of radioactive elements as once again as noted we find ourselves the plaything of the Gods. There is absolutely nothing we can do about it except “ride the wave”.

At this point some are very concerned and some are jumping for joy. There are various theories that abound but I have always had my own theory on it as you well know. I have found if you listen to the prophets you seldom go wrong!

He promised ”There shall be a shifting, a great shaking and all things shall be touched, even the stones, and in a moment there shall be a newness in a great swelling of light that will fill the heavens and block out even the light of our own sun in its brightness…and the worlds shall split as will the heavens… in a moment. And in that moment you shall be where your heart is for time as we have known it shall be no more.”


Herein seems to be the answer to every riddle, Mayans call for a rise in consciousness, religions speak of the coming of light, scientists indicate matter is transforming. It might also explain just why teevee personalities are losing their focus if they are being affected by unknown as yet energy fields. Anyone have any better ideas?

Michelangelo’s Final Judgement

This is somewhat of an add on but some things come to mind. The Japanese use as their national emblem, the Red Sun. In the Philippines they use the White Sun. Now maybe it is my imagination but the archetype of the sun seems to reach far back into human history, no? The more I think about this some thoughts just seem to flow into others. What is it about the sun? I would imagine the various cultures who use them don’t know what it is all about and it is just a distant memory forged by current archetypes. At any rate it seems we will soon find out.

Then there is the Hadron collider. Is it a desperate attempt to offset the coming change?

Japanese Red Sun

Philippine White Sun

Another Clue that Everything is Not OK out there


Fathom this… while we’ve recently read a few articles about the one-million people who applied at McDonald’s fast-food chain of restaurants for a total of 50,000 jobs, to actually visualize this spectacle will likely shed new light on the magnitude of the situation.

We are so often numbed by the huge numbers that are thrown around these days. Millions, Billions, Trillions… eventually some of us don’t even register the full meaning of the numbers anymore. The way that they are often presented by the talking-heads in the media, it’s no big deal. It’s only a number. Who cares…

Well take a look at this number. It’s ‘only’ a million.

Michigan stadium (a.k.a. The Big House) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is apparently the 4th largest stadium in the world, holding a bit more than 100,000 people (I believe it’s 109,000). For those of us who have attended football games in such an arena can attest to the magnitude of what it’s like to be with that many people – it’s a mind numbing sea of humanity.

Now, imagine, if possible, 10 of these stadiums together, to combine to one-million people! It’s difficult to even imagine or comprehend the sheer quantity.

This is the number of people who applied for a minimum wage type of job at McDonald’s recently!

Everything’s fine out there?

100,000 People

1,000,000 People

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55-Percent of U.S. say we’re in a Depression or Recession



According to a new Gallup pole, nearly the same percentage of Americans (29%) believe that we are currently in a depression as those that were polled shortly after the September crash of 2008 (33%).

A whopping 55% of all Americans believe that we are currently in a recession or a depression.

52% of upper-income Americans say the economy is in a recession or depression.
65% of of lower-income Americans say the economy is in a recession or depression.

Although economists announced that the recession ended in mid-2009, more than half of Americans still don’t agree.

Are the American people losing faith in the U.S. economy?

From the Economic Collapse Blog – Losing Faith in the U.S. Economy
According to official government figures, the U.S. economy is growing right now and virtually nobody in the mainstream media or the government has used the term “depression” to describe the economic downturn that we went through recently.

There is clear evidence that the American people are losing faith in U.S. government economic statistics and instead they are basing their opinions on what they see in their own communities.

Despite the pablum about an “economic recovery” constantly being spewed by Ben Bernanke and Barack Obama, faith in our economic system continues to decline. The truth is that the American people are not stupid. They can see what is happening to the economy.

GALLUP – More Than Half Say U.S. Is in Recession or Depression

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Alternative Vote or Automated Violation of the Electorate?: AV & The Electronic Voting Machine Elephant in the Room


By Neil Foster – The Sovereign Independent

There’s a lot of hype in the UK at the moment over a referendum to change the electoral system from a ‘once past the post’ system to a ‘proportional representation’ type system.

However, coupled with this is the push for electronic voting using the much maligned electronic voting machines since scrapped in Ireland before they were ever used.

The Irish government purchased 7,500 of these machines but then decided to scrap the idea when the machines were exposed as being completely insecure.

The machines cost Irish taxpayers €51 million before a single vote was cast

They were then scrapped and put in storage at a cost of €3 million in the 5 years to October 2010 and are still costing millions so much so that an investigation was launched into the contracts given for extended periods for machines that are now regarded as obsolete.

In India a researcher exposed the vulnerability of these machines and was arrested for exposing it.

In the US elections of 2008 California scrapped the machines in 20 counties due to fears of the machines being infected by a ‘virus’.

Therefore, we know that these machines are susceptible to either hacking or computer viruses. They can also be tampered with to give any desired result the establishment desires. It has nothing to do with the ‘party’ system folks. The system simply perpetuates and protects the system and it’s that system which would love electronic voting machines. Even the manufacturers admit that these machines can be programmed to cheat the electorate.


Alex Jones reviews Obama’s newly released Birth Certificate


There are so many things wrong with the alleged “long form” of Barak Obama’s birth certificate, that Alex Jones has temporarily concluded that this whole “birther” thing has all been contrived to serve as a distraction or side show from real issues. “They couldn’t possibly think we’re this stupid.”

My response to Alex Jones is, “9/11 is also blatantly obviously an inside job to anyone who looks honestly.” The evidence is to clear that those buildings came down with the help of pre-placed demolition charges.

Americans, to their downfall, have been trained to accept what their government and media tells them to be true is really true. They have a very short attention span and don’t think for themselves or pay attention to important details, but just go along with the mainstream and quickly shut up when made fun of.

Alex has been a bull-dog on 9/11; and he needs to be the bull-dog on the fact that 1) President Barak Obama was not born in the United States, and 2) both his parents were not citizens of the United States thus disqualifying him as a Constitutionally-mandated candidate for that office because he is not a “natural-born citizen”, which means that both parents are U.S. citizens at the time of his/her birth. He is a Constitutional bastard and should be thrown out of office as illegitimate and a traitor to the Constitution that he swore to uphold. His very act of running showed flagrant disregard to the Constitution.

Indeed, even a cursory glance at the alleged “long form” by even an untrained eye shows a tell-tale sign that it is contrived, not genuine.

Look at the upper left hand corner and down the left side. It is obvious to see that one document has been cropped and overlaid on top of a matching background. At least that much has been doctored – blatantly.

Second, as many have pointed out, when the pdf file from the Whitehouse website is pulled into Adobe Illustrator, it doesn’t pull up as one item, which would be the case if it was truly just scanned in from an original as claimed (jpg file); but several editing “layers” show up, superimposed on top of each other, including doctored numbers, names, signature, etc. JPG pictures don’t have any editable layers, but of course only experts know that, the average computer user knows nothing more than just browsing and viewing.

Thousands of websites have noticed that and are talking about this “sophomoric” level of fraud. With all their spook tricks up their sleeves, you would think they could have done a more convincing job on such an important announcement as this one, which would be so carefully scrutinized.

Here’s a video of Alex Jones pointing these out, along with Rob Dew:

The question Alex Jones asks is “why so blatant?” I think his answer is wrong. He says it must be meant to be a distraction to get people hyperventilating about this – as a decoy from darker issues they should be paying attention to; and that the whole “birther” thing was designed as a decoy all along and actually has no substance.

I don’t think so. Yes, there are plenty of other dark issues that we need to pay attention to; but this is one of them, not just a decoy. I think it is a case of extreme slop by a power structure that is so arrogant in how much lying they’ve been able to get away with, and how easy it is for the American People to buy into their lies.

One of the tell-tale signs that this is intended as a deception is that the usual administration lapdogs, the mainstream media, are not covering this certificate fraud issue. They’re not touching it, despite how obvious it is.

Barak Obama should have never been elected. The fact that he’s been able to get away with it for this long, is as much a travesty as the fact that the conspirators have been able to get away with 9/11, blaming it on al Qaeda, while their purpose was to give reason to go to war, take away our liberties, and wage war on our civil liberties, all in the name of the “war on terror;” when they are in fact the biggest terrorists.

This level of slop should give us hope that they are near the end of their game; and should give us all the more evidence and reason to get rid of the conspirators who have been destroying the economy, suppressing free energy, waging war on civil liberties, and otherwise destroying the planet, all while claiming to be environmentalists.

Ron Paul is another one who needs to come up to speed on this one. He was caught like a deer in the headlights on this issue recently when asked about it, and the host concluded, “so, you’re not a birther.” Come on Ron Paul, surely your staff is more astute than that. They should bring you up to speed on the myriad of facts behind this.

Briefly, here are some of the main evidences that this is a forgery:

Factual Problems

1. No official seal.
2. No footprint.
3. According to the hospital’s website, in 1961 that hospital was named Kauaikeolani Children’s Hospital. It did not change its name to the Kapiolani Maternity Hospital until it merged with the Kapiolani hospital system in 1978.
4. Dr. Sinclair was working at the Kauaikeolani Children’s hospital in 1961.
5. Instead of “African” under father’s race, “Colored” or “Negro” would have been used in 1961.
6. Birth certificate of someone born at the same hospital a day later has a lower number.
7. The “Date Accepted” is four days later than “Date of Birth.”
8. No birth weight.
9. Address for Obama’s childhood home is the middle of a highway.
10. Hawaii’s Governor until recently claimed there was no birth certificate.
11. His birth name was Barry Saetoro (held through college, e.g. Occidental transcript), and he changed his name to Barack Obama after visiting Pakistan. (Some say he started with the name Barak Obama, then changed to Barry Soetoro, then back to Barak Obama)

Typesetting Problems

1. The content portion is obviously cropped and laid on top of a new background.
2. Obviously Photoshopped, with layers revealed when the Whitehouse pdf is opened in Adobe Illustrator.
3. There is no “chromatic aberration” around the letters and numbers, which normally shows up in enlarged viewing of color scans. (Link)
4. “41″ at to right of document looks suspicious, as the 1 is a different pixilation and doesn’t appear to be as “aged” as the digits preceding it.

5. The type for “Caucasian” is too perfect, not possible for a typewriter from 1961.
6. Under hour of birth, the “M.” in “P.M.” is a different font.
7. The patterned background is too seamless for a document kept in a bound volume.
8. Two mysterious Xs above “twin” and “triplet.”
9. Unexplained “8991″ on document’s right side.
10. Still says “Certificate of Live Birth.”
11. Signature of mother and attendant are too similar.

All this being said, I tend to agree with Tony Cartalucci in his article, Obama’s Birth Certificate: Not the Issue. He points out that the powers that be, behind the scenes, are really the ones running the show, and they control whoever is in office (at least those who have been in office for the past many decades). It’s that corruption that needs to be cleaned up most of all. If Ron Paul were elected, they wouldn’t be able to control him.


The REAL Obama Certificate…And Why Grandma Died?


Benjamin Fulford The World is close to WWIII right now


Benjamin Fulford on Jeff Rense 27 Apr 2011 The world is now close to WWIII , it is going...
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The Last Devotion-David Wilkerson


The Last Devotion-David Wilkerson

dwilk2 The Last Devotion David Wilkerson

“This is a tribute to David Wilkerson and to the God whom he served in the faith. A Man I knew, but didn’t know. Just as I knew him, He did not know me. I was one of millions his ministry touched.”

By The Watchman

Dana G Smith

Keywords: David Wilkerson, watchman, ministry, church, faith, America,

At the end of this document, you will find a Psalm and devotion concerning this, it too is called, “The Last Devotion.”

Little did I know the devotion I read would be the last one written by David Wilkerson. I am sure when he wrote what God put on his heart he did not know it would be the last devotion to go out before his own death. The devotions come, as I call them early in the morning. So when I check my email, it is there. In his last devotion, David Wilkerson spoke about “When all means fail.” For me, this devotion was the last word I received from David before his death. It was then, as I read the words, David Wilkerson Killed, my heart sank, my spirit felt grief, and I knew “The Last Devotion”, would have to be written. This is that word, given from my heart concerning this matter.

To believe when all means fail is exceedingly pleasing to God and is most acceptable. Jesus said to Thomas, “You have believed because you have seen, but blessed are those that do believe and have not seen” (John 20:29). [David Wilkerson Today;WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011;WHEN ALL MEANS FAIL]

In that last devotion David spoke of death and hopelessness. He also addressed going through the valley and the shadow of death. In all these keywords we find the major arch enemy of us all, Satan. It is his work through lies and deceit to achieve his goal which is bringing us to the end of faith in our God and our Savior Jesus Christ. But in all this, we are reminded as David put it:
“you will hear this word: Weeping will last through some dark, awful nights—and in that darkness you will soon hear the Father whisper, “I am with you. I cannot tell you why right now, but one day it will all make sense. You will see it was all part of my plan. It was no accident. It was no failure on your part. Hold fast. Let me embrace you in your hour of pain.” [ibid]

The Last Devotion:

It was early am, around 4. I was working on getting some breakfast for us before we went to work out. As usual, it included checking emails and ministry related stuff. Little did I know at that time that someone whom I had come to know through the years had been killed? This is a summary and a tale of that as I recollect my thoughts regarding this man. I remember my pastor telling me one time that “he was just a man; he put his pants on one leg at a time.” This was in response to me and others heralding his ministry and pastoral effect he had on us. It was his way of being humble. Nevertheless, he had a great impact on me and my family. That was years ago. It was through that church and my pastor that I first came to know this one, whom had died so quickly and tragically.

The year was somewhere after 1975. We were one of the many churches in the Casper area that took part in the David Wilkerson crusades. At the time we were told of the ministry, outreaches, and how we were to take part in the crusade. I was a volunteer those many years ago. I cannot remember the sermon, but remember that there were those who came forward for salvation. The crusade was gone and so was David Wilkerson, to another city, another high school or arena to preach in.

That was the start of many years of following his ministry. From the start his message struck a chord. But it wasn’t until I had read his book, “The Vision”, and before that “The Cross and the Switchblade” that I felt an inner tug and conviction. With the Vision I became a witness of what he was saying. Years before, as a young man, I had had repeated visions of America and what was coming. I had known this, saw this, and literally walked in among the vision. I know this sounds hard to believe, but it occurred. It was a lingering experience, one that I didn’t understand. Then I read David’s book the Vision and for the first time someone had come forward that I knew which was warning America of judgment. It helped explain what I had seen so many years before in my own vision.

Over the years I worked in my church, took over the men’s group and worked for the Lord. Soon we went to bible school, graduated. We entered the ministry. We followed David during that time. We got correspondence. The best part was the personal message in the letter. He would pray and put scripture in concerning what he felt the Lord telling him. At times he would bear his heart even more and you would get a glimpse of this man of God. But he did preach judgment with a fire and fervor, and in love. The Spirit of God convicting the hearts of those who heard him. Many times in his letters, especially after his hard warnings of judgments and his book, then later his follow-up to the Vision, people would get mad. He wrote about this in his many letters that went out. It is true, many who reject Gods message are Gods own people.

I remember as well the time he sold off his ministry holdings in Texas to go to New York. We respected him for that and saw his example. I also remember when he was in New York there was a moment David’s heart was gripped by what he saw. His words something to the effect, “Lord, you need to build a church here”, referring to Times Square and New York. Then the words, again, something to the effect, “David, you build one here”. With that he started Times Square church. My wife and I spent hours over the years listening to his fiery sermons. We read his newsletters as thousands of others did. Yet as he grew older we also noticed his age catching up with him. This happens to all of us. We watched as he stopped preaching so much at Times Square church or so it seemed and took to the international ministry to native Pastors. I knew well, one day this great man of God would be taken home. How many remember his “thousand fires in New York city dream” he had. How many times have his words of Judgment and words of instruction to seek the Lord rang out in the American landscape?

Yet for many, including those in the churches and religious establishment David Wilkerson is just another Pastor, Evangelist, in the work of the Lord. But he was not that then and surely is not to be remembered that way today. The hand of the Lord was upon this man. The evidence was his life and ministry. It was said of David Wilkerson at the time he came to our city that although he preached to thousands and thousands and was in the public eye most of the time, he was a private man. Now I don’t know him personally, what I know is through the only contact I had with him and through his ministry. But I have seen others who minister in that way and yet for them, getting up to preach before crowds was hard. Getting to know people was hard, simply because of the private nature of the person. I cannot speak to David Wilkerson’s true nature, but one thing I know, his calling as a Watchman. I also saw his calling as a street preacher as we all have. We watched as he took on the call to New York and to build a church there. Yet, the one thing that made David Wilkerson who he was and how he ministered was his God and his Savior Jesus Christ. For this alone I am sure David would say don’t laud me as a Christian, a Pastor, or leader; but Laud my Christ and my Savior Jesus. It would be to this end that we should speak. Not to the qualities of men and flesh, but to the grace and mercy of the infinite God who love us so much to send his only begotten Son into the world to die for our sins. Yes, it is to this purpose and end we were all born, which is, to laud, give praise, and to give glory to our God and Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

Moreover, when I wrote my first book, D Day for America; I called Times Square church. I wanted to send a copy to David. The one who answered said that was possible. Many do this I was told. So I wrote the address they gave me and sent him the book. Today as I minister, and preach I do so as a Watchman first. That is who I am and what I do. I am not a David Wilkerson, nor am I my Pastor. I am one who seeks the Lord and warns people of what is coming to America and the world. As I do, I have fond and challenging memories of my Friend David Wilkerson, whom I know and don’t know. David ministered to me and to my wife many times as we sat listening to his sermons. In this I thank God, that in all things, Christ died for us, so that when all this comes to an end, we have hope and redemption through Jesus Christ our Lord. David pursued this hope and offered this redemption in all he met. David you will be missed, my friend, for I am just one who knows you through a small encounter many years ago at a crusade and who followed your ministry as many others have done. The world will never know, neither will the religious establishment of the work and fruit that was brought into the kingdom by your faithfulness.

The Last Devotion, A Psalm

“ A tribute to David Wilkerson and to the God whom he served faithfully. A Watchman whom I knew; even as he did not know me”

A Psalm by the Watchman

Dana G smith

Sorrow hits my joints.

Grief fills the soul.

In darkness, weeping hears this;

The sad grieving;

For the loss is great!

How weak is man!

How great is his God.

Yet many forsake him.

In the death of the flesh,

In the destruction of life,

There is no joy.

Alas, had I known,

If only I paid more attention,

Then, preparations would have been made.

Then my heart would have been ready,

For this, this loss, Yet I wasn’t.

Will you know little man,

Of This thing, which I speak,

Not of sorrow, yes;

But of a Greater Joy?

For in death,

There is life, do you know this?

For one only conquered death!

One alone conquered hell!

That one, fully God, fully man,

Son of God, Savior;

Lion, of the tribe of Judah;

The Scepter, which has been raised,

Is now the head of the corner,

He is the stone which the builders rejected,

But now he is our Lord and Savior.

He is Jesus Christ, who sealed by his blood,

The covenant with God.

That by faith in him,

In his work, we shall taste life,

Yea, not taste death nor hell.

For this, in the Death of one,

This one whom is grieved,

One who was taken,

Yea, sorrow is borne, but joy also comes.

For on that day we shall join,

All of us, together in one,

During that time in eternity’s resurrection,

Arm in arm, heart in heart,

Crowns tossed at our Saviors feet,

For this our God has redeemed us,

So that in death, we would have hope!

So, my friend, we shall meet again on that day,

We shall be known then, even as we are known today,

So wait the day until sorrow turns to joy,

And hope is fulfilled in Christ Jesus,

Then we shall be with our God and he shall be with us.

Forever, amen, forever,

Praise be our God and father and to Jesus Christ our Lord,

Blessed be he that sits upon the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever!

Proud To Be A Brit


I'll hold my hands up here to being rather anti-parochial at times. There isn't much which impresses me about the modern UK. If there was an island somewhere on which I could hole up and fire a big gun at those who wish to dictate their mores on me, 99% of the time I'd be there, no question.
Today, though, was one of those days when I was truly proud to be British.
I'm no royalist, but what a bloody show, eh? Go on, rest of the world, beat THAT if you dare. To be fair, I was pretty ambivalent about the whole thing before this week, but the incessant bleating from insufferable lefties on the airwaves fair forced me to watch. Just nip in and out of the coverage, I thought. But no, it just sucked you in from start to finish.
Yes, there were crashingly grating twee families from the home counties camping out, but they compensated by glugging Lambrini and vodka red bulls from about 8 this morning. Don Shenker was probably having palpitations, poor love.
The £30m price tag? Pah! Peanuts. This was top drawer theatre which has probably paid for itself already. Listen, I have mentioned before that my company has suffered to the tune of around £3k - and the country, in the region of £6bn according to the CBI - but that's coming back in many ways.
We talk here about the ignorance to personal enjoyment employed by many in the gloom business, and this is no exception. Counting costs without accepting the relevance of pleasurable value applies equally in this case.
Patrick Basham, writing in the Guardian, reckons we should have sold the rights to the highest bidder, but for once I kinda disagree with him. Unlike the Olympics, the Royal Wedding, IMHO, will be a net gain for the country in mostly intangible ways.
Tourism? No doubt. Today told the world that the streets are empty (and red), everything is clean, and our people quite scrumptious. Nonsense, yes. They'll come over in their droves, though, more fool them. But the cash, eh?
We've seen royal occasions in European countries. Quite rubbish by comparison, no contest in fact. This is what we Brits do best, there really is no credible rival. Massive buildings crafted from stone sourced by ancient artisans from the best that Britain has to offer; pomp derived from a history which Americans can only dream about; music to die for; history; tradition; and men with great big furry hats.
What's more, the flags. Everywhere. We've had this deep shame about our national identity foisted upon us by progressive idiots for years, but here was a nation quite unashamed of displaying the union flag in all corners of the country. Even the celts got involved, with proud parties being held in Wales, Nothern Ireland, and yes, even in Jockland.
Rack up that fun factor, calculator fans, I think you'll find the country made a profit today. My local fish and chip shop, run by a Pole, was watching what I presume is Polish TV. They were wall to wall with the wedding, as was probably just about every other national network worldwide. Britain the centre of the globe, and for reasons that your average knee-jerk republican scouser will never understand.
Politicians? Well, they got a cameo, I suppose it's a downside of everything these days, but they were relegated to also-rans. A brief shot of Cameron, Miliband etc wandering into the Abbey and then nothing. How bloody refreshing was that? No chance to hijack anything for their myopic self-interest. Just be there, or be forever condemned as a bit of a dick. Sit down, shut up, be part of the scenery. That's it. If only they were compelled to act the same in perpetuity. That was worth the (free) entry money on its own.
WW2 planes flying past, snogs on the balcony, happiness just about everywhere, and even a retro Aston Martin. What's not to like?
OK, they banned beer at the reception which leaves Mike Tindall in a bit of a cleft stick, but mere trifles, surely.
Max Farquar points out that everyone will have their own lasting memory of the day, his is admirable, sort of. Personally, I'm a romantic who was mighty impressed with William telling Kate "you're beautiful" as she rocked up at the altar.
Get in, sunshine. You both did the nation proud today.

Friday Caption Contest (Sillyband Edition)


When a car arrives outside Ed Miliband’s office displaying Silly Millie The Clown, children’s party entertainer, the jokes pretty much write themselves. Good luck anyway…

Mapping the US Housing Bubble: 2000-2010


Unlike prices in the stock market (which are the same no matter where you you live) your experience of the housing bubble was determined by your location in the years 2000-2010. These maps (which I created with Matthew Mulbrandon) give a quick and easy glance at the change in housing prices focusing on the bubble in the United States. They show the Housing Price Index (not inflation adjusted) by state. As you have probably seen in the news, the housing bubble was largest in the West and the South East, in states such as California, Arizona, and Nevada and Florida. Those states had the largest increase from 2000-2006 (height of the bubble) and the largest decrees from 2006-2010. However, from 2000 to 2010 one can see all states (except Michigan) had more moderate price increases. You can learn more about the housing market at

Data source: Federal Housing Finance Agency

April 30th is the last day to reserve your copy of An Illustrated Guide to Income in the United States at

Feed enhanced by Better Feed from Ozh

Two Rules For Trading Pink Sheet Stocks


Tony Sagami

I have been touting Asian stocks for years not because I was born in Japan but because that is where the best stock market opportunities are to be found.

There are three ways to invest in foreign stocks:

Option #1: Buy American Depositary Receipts, or ADRs. ADRs represent ownership in the shares of a non-U.S. company that trades in the United States. ADRs enable U.S. investors to buy shares in foreign companies without the inconveniences of cross-border and cross-currency transactions.

They carry prices in U.S. dollars, pay dividends in U.S. dollars, and can be traded like the shares of U.S.-based companies. Many Asian companies, including Toyota, Honda, China Mobile and Sony — trade on the New York Stock Exchange through ADRs.

China, India and Japan offer the most of all the Asian countries.


Option #2: Buy on the Home Exchange. There are hundreds of Asian ADRs traded on the NYSE and Nasdaq, but that is just the tip of the Asian iceberg. There are TENS OF THOUSANDS of other Asian stocks traded on their home exchanges in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, Jakarta, and other major Asian cities.

While ‘most’ Asian countries welcome your investment business, there are exceptions:

CLOSED DOOR: Taiwan and mainland China allow only large institutional investors. U.S. investors are not allowed to invest directly into the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

RESTRICTED LIQUIDITY: Vietnam requires that you leave your money in the country for at least a year. I don’t know about you, but I will not invest in anything that restricts my liquidity.

NO RESTRICTIONS AND SIMPLE: Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.

NO RESTRICTIONS BUT NOT-SO-SIMPLE: India, Cambodia, Pakistan and the Philippines.

I don’t know why, but most investors I talk to seem to have a phobia about buying stocks on a non-U.S. exchange. They mistakenly think that investing in foreign stocks is difficult and expensive.

It costs a couple more dollars to trade foreign stocks but no more than $20 or $30 per trade if you use the right broker. Bottom line: Buying foreign stocks is simple, easy, and inexpensive.

Option #3: Buy on the U.S. Over-The-Counter Market. The over-the-counter market is also known as the “Pink Sheets” market. The Pink Sheets are a daily publication compiled by the National Quotation Bureau with bid and ask prices of over-the-counter stocks.

Unlike companies on a stock exchange, companies quoted on the Pink Sheets system do not need to meet minimum requirements or file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The name “Pink Sheets” comes from the paper color that quotes were historically printed on.

The Pink Sheets have a horrible reputation. Whenever you hear about a stock getting de-listed from the NYSE or Nasdaq, it ends up on Pink Sheets, a marketplace primarily filled with penny stocks and borderline insolvent companies.

However, there is a wide range in the quality of issuers whose securities are traded on the Pink Sheets — from major international conglomerates to very small, highly speculative, often worthless companies.

The Pink Sheets: Hide and Seeking the World’s Best Foreign Stocks

There are roughly 15,000 stocks traded on the Pink Sheets, and most of them are worthless.

But there is one sub-category of Pink Sheet stocks that is worth your time and is the source of some of the very best values.

Any stock that trades on the Pink Sheets falls into one of these two categories: (1) companies that don’t meet the listing requirements of the New York, American or Nasdaq stock exchanges or (2) companies — usually foreign — that are unwilling to jump through the regulatory, legal, and accounting filings that accompany listing on the major exchanges.

The second category is foreign companies. For example, everybody has heard of Nintendo, and it is certainly not some crappy penny stock.

The only reason Nintendo is on the Pink Sheets is that it — like many foreign companies such as Volkswagen and Nestle — sees no reason to create a duplicitous legal and accounting department just to be traded on the NYSE.

These huge international companies already meet the filing and regulatory requirements of their home countries, but they would have to open and maintain an English-speaking version of those same offices.

A double legal team, double accounting team, as well as staff that are experts at U.S. securities regulations requires a huge financial and time obligation that a lot of foreign companies are unwilling to undertake.

Plus, these foreign companies have already met all those legal, regulatory, and accounting requirements in their own country and feel that the burden is on YOU to read/translate their home country filings.

Clearly, companies such as Nintendo, Volkswagen or Nestle are not borderline insolvent pieces of financial junk. They are thriving, profitable, household-name companies that are every bit as reputable as any U.S. blue chip company.

The biggest problem for most of the 15,000 stocks that trade on the Pink Sheets is that the U.S. companies on the Pink Sheets are indeed borderline insolvent pieces of financial junk. The foreign companies, however, can be hidden gold mines.

Here are my two rules for investing in Pink Sheet stocks.

Rule #1: Stick to non-U.S. companies.

Rule #2: Always use limit orders when buying/selling. Many stocks, both foreign and domestic, suffer from a lack of trading volume. Many of the Pink Sheet stocks don’t trade for days or even weeks at a time and suffer from Grand Canyon-sized bid/ask spreads. It is pretty hard to make money on a stock when the market maker is killing you for a 10% to 25% bid/ask spread on both sides of the trade.

Market Order: A market order does not have a set price and is therefore executed immediately at the current ‘market’ price. Markets, especially OTC markets, can be highly volatile, and the price of execution may differ dramatically from the price at time of order entry. Those who use market orders are more concerned about the speed of the execution as opposed to the price.

Limit Order: A limit order has a set price and may only be executed at the set price; however, a limit order may never get executed because the market may move away from the set price. Those who use limit orders risk not having an order executed.

As long as you follow those two rules, the Pink Sheets is an underappreciated market filled with some of the best bargains you will ever find.

Best wishes,


ETFs Offer Eight Ways to Weight the Same Stocks


Ron RowlandETFs are a big help in many ways. One of the top benefits is that you are relieved from the task of deciding which individual stocks to buy out of the thousands available. Stock-picking is tough business.

What you may not know is that building a list of stocks is only part of the work. You also have to decide how much of your portfolio you will allocate to each one. Professionals call this a weighting strategy — and it is crucial to your long-term success.

Today we’ll look at some common weighting strategies and see what a difference they can make in your bottom line.

Weighty Matters!

I’m going to illustrate my point by looking at the U.S. large-capitalization stock market — the big companies that constitute most of the trading activity.

Analysts have different definitions of just what should be considered “large.” The most common is the S&P 500 Index. The 500 stocks picked by S&P are well-known to everyone. Both institutional and individual investors use the index as a benchmark. Any domestic fund that calls itself “large cap” probably has most of the same stocks as the S&P 500.

The same stocks at different weightings will produce different results.

The same stocks at different weightings will produce different results.

You can, however, combine this particular group of stocks in various ways. Consider the following list of ETFs. All are based, more or less, on the stocks in the S&P 500 Index. Yet look at the three-year cumulative performance difference (as of 4/21/11):

WisdomTree LargeCap Dividend (DLN) -1.1 percent

WisdomTree Earnings 500 (EPS) +2.2 percent

SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) +3.1 percent

PowerShares Dynamic Large Cap (PJF) +4.0 percent

RevenueShares Large Cap (RWL) +4.2 percent

PowerShares FTSE RAFI U.S. 1000 Portfolio (PRF) +15.1 percent

First Trust Large Cap Core AlphaDEX (FEX) +15.4 percent

Rydex S&P 500 Equal Weight (RSP) +18.6 percent

As you can see, even ETFs that generally hold the same group of stocks can have dramatic performance variation. Over the last three years, the best in the group made +18.6 percent while the worst lost 1.1 percent.


Why is this? Expenses may account for a very small part of the gap, but I think weighting is the bigger issue. Every ETF on this list employs a different weighting strategy …

  • DLN, which had the worst three-year results, gives more weight to stocks that pay high, consistent dividends. That didn’t work so well in the last few years because the financial crisis forced many companies — particularly banks — to actually cut their dividends.
  • EPS also comes from WisdomTree. This one allocates its money across large-cap stocks according to their corporate earnings. As it turns out, that approach produced results nearly identical to the S&P 500 during the past three years.
  • SPY, the defacto standard for S&P 500 ETFs, of course uses the traditional approach of weighting the 500 stocks by market capitalization. The 10 largest holdings occupy 18.8 percent of the fund while the 10 smallest ones have less than a 0.2 percent allocation.
  • PJF uses an “intellidex” methodology to pick the large-cap stocks with the greatest potential for price appreciation. Apparently PowerShares is not satisfied with the results — earlier this month they announced plans to change this ETF’s benchmark index, ticker symbol, and investment strategy. Starting June 16, it will look much more like PRF.
  • PRF is another large-cap ETF from Powershares. This one is based on the Research Affiliates Fundamental Index (RAFI) methodology and holds 1,000 stocks weighted by a score consisting of their book value, cash flow, sales, and dividends. Higher-scoring stocks get bigger allocations.
  • RWL comes from RevenueShares, and not surprisingly bases its holdings on revenue. Companies that bring in more money get a bigger slice of RWL.
  • FEX follows an “enhanced” (AlphaDEX) index that ranks stocks according to fundamental criteria like sales growth and cash flow. The higher-ranked companies get a bigger weighting in FEX, and the lowest-ranked 25 percent get a 0 percent weighting.
  • RSP holds the same stocks as the S&P 500, but in equal allocations. Each stock gets the same 0.2 percent of the portfolio at each periodic rebalancing.

Different strategies can produce different results.

Different strategies can produce different results.

Your next question, of course, is probably “Which way is best?” The answer depends on your goals. If you want your portfolio to look like “the market” and don’t expect outperformance, then SPY is what you need. If you want the potential to do better than the S&P 500, then it may be time to look at one of the alternative-weighting ETFs.

The data show that RSP had the best performance over the last three years. We don’t know about the next three years. Maybe investors will start to demand dividends and DLN will shine. Any one of these ETFs could become the top performer. It all depends on the market conditions we encounter and the approach that is best suited for those conditions.

You also don’t want to forget about risk. Some of these ETFs are more volatile than others. Think about that if you don’t like roller-coasters.

Best wishes,


McDonalds Hires 62,000, Turns Away Over 938,000 Applicants For Minimum Wage, Part-Time Jobs


This is what the US economy has been reduced to: McDonalds reports that as part of its employment event to hire 50,000 minimum wage, part-time (mostly) workers, subsequently raised to 62,000 it received a whopping 1 million applications, or a Tim Geithner jealousy inducing 6.2% hit rate (h/t X. Kurt. OSis). Alas, the US economy is now so pathetic that the bulk of the population will settle for anything. Literally anything. And the saddest part: over 938,000 applicants were turned away. Here's hoping to Burger King needs a few million janitors in the immediate future too. And yes, aside from reality, things in America are really recovering quite nicely.

From Bloomberg:

McDonald’s and its franchisees hired 62,000 people in the U.S. after receiving more than one million applications, the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. Previously, it said it planned to hire 50,000.
The April 19 national hiring day was the company’s first, said Danya Proud, a McDonald’s spokeswoman. She declined to disclose how many of the jobs were full- versus part-time. McDonald’s employed 400,000 workers worldwide at company-owned stores at the end of 2010, according to a company filing.
Earlier this month, McDonald’s said sales at stores open at least 13 months climbed 2.9 percent in the U.S. after it attracted more diners with items such as beverages and the Chipotle BBQ Bacon Angus burger. The fast-food chain has about 14,000 stores in the U.S. and more than 18,000 abroad. About 80 percent of all McDonald’s stores are franchised.