From: Neil Harrington on

"Bill Graham" <weg9(a)> wrote in message
> "Neil Harrington" <secret(a)> wrote in message
> news:gMudneX3UeLFH2HXnZ2dnUVZ_vydnZ2d(a)
>> "Bill Graham" <weg9(a)> wrote in message
>> news:rP6dnVTiDe6ZBGbXnZ2dnUVZ_hWdnZ2d(a)
>>> "Neil Harrington" <secret(a)> wrote in message
>>> news:qsydnQ67t4093GbXnZ2dnUVZ_tudnZ2d(a)
>>>> "Bill Graham" <weg9(a)> wrote in message
>>>> news:6b6dnQhWaqiOimbXnZ2dnUVZ_r-dnZ2d(a)
>>>>> "Neil Harrington" <secret(a)> wrote in message
>>>>> news:65udnU_MUZedlmbXnZ2dnUVZ_hCdnZ2d(a)
>>>>>> Yes, he is. Most of the drooling dingbats who so eagerly jumped on
>>>>>> the Obama Kool-Aid wagon are really out of sorts these days. And will
>>>>>> become increasingly so as time goes by. Tsk tsk.
>>>>> Unfortunately, financially, we will all be, "out of sorts" by the time
>>>>> Obama is ushered out of office. The dollar will be out of sorts......
>>>> You can say that again. I think gold is up again today, which is really
>>>> just another way of saying the dollar is down some more today.
>>> Yes. At $1100 an ounce, gold is still a good buy right now.....It has to
>>> double in the next 5 or 6 years......Do you hear that rumble coming from
>>> the East coast late at night? That's the sound of Obama's printing
>>> presses printing $20 bills......And every one he prints makes my savings
>>> shrink a little in buying power. (and yours too) The lousy 7-1/2 per
>>> cent the stock market yields can't even begin to keep up.
>> Well, the stock market has done very well since hitting the bottom March
>> 9, and I made back about half of what I lost the previous year or so (in
>> dollars, at least). My equity funds are up 72% to 110% since 3/9, and 38%
>> to 54% on the year (as of yesterday's close) -- and that ain't bad. But
>> Obama seems determined to destroy the market one way or another, and if
>> the Congress lets him I'm sure he will. Our only hope is that his agenda
>> will be delayed long enough for us to get a better Congress in there.
> This is the short term view. (to me) I was worth .93 million in 1998, and
> was drawing 1/2 of 1 % out of the market every month, or about 6% a
> year......I assumed that my principal would not change, and I would leave
> over 1/2 million to my kids when I died. Today, I am only worth around 1/2
> million, and I am drawing over 1 % per month out of my IRA, so I am
> looking at being broke in 5 to 8 years. With any luck, I will be dead by
> then, but I sure won't be leaving anything to my kids......I would have
> been better off trading all my stocks for gold back in 1998. I may still
> be better off doing the same thing today.

The problem with gold is that it's sterile. It doesn't produce anything or
earn any interest. Yes, its price is up now and may go higher still, or it
may fall, and you can't really know which. Buy gold now and you could be
buying at the peak. The question is, How much of the rise in gold (in
dollars) is due to the dollar's weakness, as opposed to real increase in the
value of gold? Increased attractiveness of gold is sure to mean it will be
overbought sooner or later, if it isn't already.

Long term, stocks have always outperformed gold, bonds, real estate or
anything else I know of. There are always ups and downs in the market, and
by 2007 the stock market already looked like it was due for a correction,
simply because sooner or later there always is one and the market had been
going up for a long time. For that reason I started taking my mutual fund
distributions in cash instead of automatically reinvesting as I usually did.
So when the market crash started I was up to about 30% cash, exceptionally
high for me. Of course at that time money market funds were still paying
pretty well, so going to cash still continued to make me a little money. Now
they're paying practically nothing -- my money market fund now is down to
about 1/8 of a percent and probably hasn't stopped falling. But I have only
a few thousand in that now, have put some money in high-income funds and
they're still yielding 5% or so on average, along with a nice increase in
share price. Fidelity Strategic Income Fund for example as of yesterday's
close had a total year-to-date gain of 29.67%. That won't go on forever (for
this kind of fund) but it's nice while it lasts.

I never expected anything remotely like the plunge in the market between
October 2007 (when the Dow briefly went over 14,000) and the bottom in March
of this year (when it fell to about 6,500). I'd been through the crash of
'87 and thought that was a once-in-a-lifetime thing, but this is obviously
much worse. What makes it worse still is our radical anti-capitalist
president, along with a Congress that seems determined to spend us into the
poorhouse permanently. But neither he nor they are going to be here forever,
and with a return to fiscal sanity the stock market will still be the best
place for your money in the long term. The terrible mess we've been through
has cost us a lot of money, but it's been a buying opportunity too.

From: Neil Harrington on

"Bill Graham" <weg9(a)> wrote in message

> What makes me wonder is why we don't have 13 months of exactly 4 weeks
> each?

Actually, the twelve-month calendar Julius Caesar gave us was a huge
improvement on the ten-month Roman calendar on which it was based, and
served pretty well for many centuries. I think it was Pope Gregory who made
the last adjustments including the leap year arrangement.

> Any bridge player can tell you that 13 times 4 is 52. This would be a much
> better system than the stupid 12 months in a year system we have now. We
> would still need a leap year day once every 4 years, but otherwise, all
> months would be the same.

A leap year every 4 years wouldn't quite do it, though. Thirteen four-week
months only gives you 364 days, which is about 1.24 days short of an actual

From: Neil Harrington on

"J�rgen Exner" <jurgenex(a)> wrote in message
> "Neil Harrington" <secret(a)> wrote:
>>"J�rgen Exner" <jurgenex(a)> wrote in message
>>> Then please explain _YOUR_ definition of 'metric'.
>>Based on the meter, exactly as the term indicates. Units of length and
>>volume are metric (or not) on that basis. Units of mass are metric when
>>based on the mass of some metric volume of water under standard
> Well, that's too bad because if you restrict yourself to length only
> then you are missing 6 of the 7 base units of the SI and thus the vast
> majority of coherence and simplification that comes with that system.

I'm not addressing SI, just the metric system. That the latter is
incorporated in the former does not make them the same thing, any more than
a transmission is the same thing as an automobile.

> Now, how come that doesn't surprise me?

I don't know. Maybe you're not metric enough.

From: Neil Harrington on

"R. Mark Clayton" <nospamclayton(a)> wrote in message
> "Neil Harrington" <secret(a)> wrote in message
> news:muudnU7_3uQPqWbXnZ2dnUVZ_oSdnZ2d(a)
>> "R. Mark Clayton" <nospamclayton(a)> wrote in message
>> news:s72dnR0m5on4k2bXnZ2dnUVZ8sGdnZ2d(a)
>>>> And go metric, you mean? There'd be no point to it. Metric is silly for
>>>> most ordinary purposes, and it would cost billions to change
>>>> everything.
>>> Well what about the cost of not changing it?
>>> Item 1 Mars Climate Orbiter crashes and burns*
>>> $327,600,000.00c
>>> So that's about one dollar per citizen - bad start!
>> What has that to do with English vs. metric?
> Er because they mixed up the metric and imperial (well US) units and it
> dodn't decelerate enough resulting in burn up...
> did you follow the link given?
> "The metric/imperial mix-up
> The metric/imperial mix-up that destroyed the craft was caused by a
> software error back on Earth. The thrusters on the spacecraft, which were
> intended to control its rate of rotation, were controlled by a computer
> that underestimated the effect of the thrusters by a factor of 4.45. This
> is the ratio between a pound force - the standard unit of force in the
> imperial system - and a newton, the standard unit in the metric system.
> The software was working in pounds force, while the spacecraft expected
> figures in newtons; 1 pound force equals approximately 4.45 newtons.
> The software had been adapted from use on the earlier Mars Climate
> Orbiter, and was not adequately tested before launch. The navigation data
> provided by this software was also not cross-checked while in flight. The
> Mars Climate Orbiter thus drifted off course during its voyage and entered
> a much lower orbit than planned, and was destroyed by atmospheric
> friction.
> "

I understand, and I repeat the question: What does that have to do with
English vs. metric? (In terms of one being preferable to the other.)

The problem was that they mixed up two different measurement systems, not
that one of them was better than the other. So you can say that it was just
as much the fault of using the metric system as of anything else.

From: Neil Harrington on

"Chris H" <chris(a)> wrote in message
> In message <W8-dnQ16jqYTl2fXnZ2dnUVZ_vSdnZ2d(a)>, Neil
> Harrington <secret(a)> writes
>>> Even though the Yanks left the Empire they still won't join the rest of
>>> the world.
>>And go metric, you mean? There'd be no point to it.
> You may have no choice... In many places I see Global standards that are
> used the whole world over except in the USA. Eventually the US is going
> to have to fit in with the rest of the world.

The two systems co-exist perfectly well in virtually all everyday
applications. If you're expecting to see American mileage signs on the
highways change to kilometers, neither you nor your great-grandchildren will
see that happen in your entire lifetimes. And we'll still be buying our milk
in quarts and our meat by the pound. There is simply no reason to change.

The metric system seems to have started because Europeans squabbled over
measurements, as Europeans always do over one thing or another. The English
mile was different from the Italian mile, and neither would accept the
standard of the other. English barrels came in different sizes for different
liquids, confusing units of measure based on the barrel. And so on. Such
problems neither had then nor have now nothing to do with us here.