From: Neil Harrington on

"Bill Graham" <weg9(a)> wrote in message
> "Neil Harrington" <secret(a)> wrote in message
> news:YvmdnSTtrLdFC2DXnZ2dnUVZ_j-dnZ2d(a)
>> "Bill Graham" <weg9(a)> wrote in message
>> news:brKdnb9WGetYVGHXnZ2dnUVZ_qWdnZ2d(a)
>>> "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.
> It's nice to be young enough to be so optimistic about the future, and
> your faith in American business is as good as was my dad's who invested in
> the stock market all of his life. But I retired in 1996, and my faith in
> American business has not served me well at all. My retirement has been

Bill, you're almost certainly a lot younger than I am. I'm 80, less than two
months shy of 81 in fact, and I semi-retired 30 years ago, fully retired 21
years ago. By the usual standards I know I should be investing a lot more
conservatively than I am now, because of my age.

> nothing short of miserable.....(financially speaking) I would have been
> better off putting my entire life's savings into gold back in 1996 when I
> retired at the age of 61. I was told for most of my life that saving 10%
> of everything I earned would make for a good retirement. If I were going
> to do it all over again based on what I know today, I would have saved
> twice that.....20% minimum. This is a much more reasonable number,
> considering that you work about 40 years, and usually live at least 10
> after you retire. Today, people are living closer to 20 years after they
> retire. With that kind of life expectancy, 10% just doesn't cut it.
> Especially with the government throwing our money at everything they
> see......Including the moon.

Government overspending is a huge part of the problem, that's true. Also the
fact that as we live longer but in most cases still start drawing Social
Security at somewhere between 62 and 65, there are fewer and fewer workers
supporting each retiree through that system. That, along with all the extra
giveaways our congresscritters have tacked onto Social Security over the
years, sooner or later is going to bust the system.

Obama already wants to cut half a trillion dollars from Medicare -- so he
had dump more money into Medicaid, where his real constituents are.

From: Neil Harrington on

"Bill Graham" <weg9(a)> wrote in message
> "Neil Harrington" <secret(a)> wrote in message
> news:0aWdndpkrMXpBGDXnZ2dnUVZ_rGdnZ2d(a)
>> "Bill Graham" <weg9(a)> wrote in message
>> news:Y-qdnVjXHOA4V2HXnZ2dnUVZ_hadnZ2d(a)
>>> 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 year.
> Well, there are 4 X 13 weeks (52) in a year right now, so there wouldn't
> be any difference between the correction we have right now and the one we
> would have with a 13 month year. We would still need a leap year day
> (February 29th) once every four years just as we have now.

No, the leap year day only makes up for the extra 0.24 day that the Julian
calendar was short. Not counting leap year, a year is 52 weeks + 1 day (365
days in all).

> The only difference is the number of days per month wouldn't jump up and
> down from month to month as it does now......We wouldn't have to memorize
> the, "30 days hath September, April, June, and November....." poem that
> every schoolchild does now. All months would have exactly 28 days 3 years
> out of every 4. So, if the first of the month is on a Saturday this month,
> then you would know that the first of every month will also be on a
> Saturday for the rest of the year, and this would go on until the next
> leap year's February......This would be very convenient when trying to
> plan your future appointments.

You'd still have to get that extra day in somewhere.

From: Neil Harrington on

"J�rgen Exner" <jurgenex(a)> wrote in message
> "Neil Harrington" <secret(a)> wrote:
>>As a unit of liquid measure, the cup is what it is and does not have any
>>particular relationship to the amount of coffee you're served in a cup.
> Then if the unit "cup" doesn't have a relationship to a cup of beverage
> then what is the specific benefit of having that unit "cup" instead of
> using e.g 1/4 liter?

Cups (and mugs) come in a wide range of sizes. It's convenient to have a
specific unit of measure, and there is one, called a cup, regardless of its
relationship or non-relationship to any real-world cups. If your complaint
that it shouldn't in that case be called a cup, very well, but most words in
the English language have more than one meaning and this is just such a
case. I'm sure most housewives understand that when a recipe or whatever
calls for an amount like 1/2 cup, it's the standard measure that's referred
to and not half of an actual cup. Context is everything in the language.

From: Neil Harrington on

"J�rgen Exner" <jurgenex(a)> wrote in message
> "Neil Harrington" <secret(a)> wrote:
>>"R. Mark Clayton" <nospamclayton(a)> wrote in message
>>> "The metric/imperial mix-up
>>> The metric/imperial mix-up that destroyed the craft
>>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
>>as much the fault of using the metric system as of anything else.
> So, are you suggesting that in order to avoid future incidents like this
> the world should standardizes on the measurement system that is used by
> a small minority?

No, I'm saying that they should use the same measurement system all the way
through. That they failed to do so is not the fault of either measurement
system in itself, is it?

> Why doesn't that surprise me?

Probably because you're not metric enough.

From: Neil Harrington on

"Chris H" <chris(a)> wrote in message
> In message <Ba-dnXxPaOA3AmDXnZ2dnUVZ_gmdnZ2d(a)>, Neil
> Harrington <secret(a)> writes
>>"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
>>see that happen in your entire lifetimes. And we'll still be buying our
>>in quarts and our meat by the pound. There is simply no reason to change.
> I agree... but they are local things. Meat that is imported will be
> imported in Kilograms, Exports will also have to be in Metric units.

Hardly a problem, is it? I cannot imagine any importer-exporter being
troubled in the least by such a conversion.

> But on the street you can convert to anything you like.
>>The metric system seems to have started because Europeans squabbled over
>>measurements, as Europeans always do over one thing or another.
> And the Americans developed a completely new set on their own and
> continue to squabble as Americans always do.....

Who's doing the squabbling? I've never heard an American complain about
Europeans using the metric system for everything. It's only those who think
metric must be The One True Religion who are constantly bitching about it.

>>The English
>>mile was different from the Italian mile, and neither would accept the
>>standard of the other.
> And American sizes are different again

Not at all. The American mile is the same as the English mile.