Thoughts and Observations of a Minister

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You will find some of my favorite things, and some of my innermost thoughts.

Poems, quotes, music, preaching, and a few funny things.
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Monday, September 29, 2008

Naked In Wonderland Patrick Byrne

Recent concerns about short-selling have culminated in a regulatory flurry of emergency orders and amendments. What should be of concern, however, is not short-selling per se: As its devotees frequently remind us, short-selling is a vital and legitimate market activity. What should be of concern are specific types of stock manipulation that cloak themselves within legitimate activities such as shorting, and which, in one way or another, rely upon loopholes in our nation's system of stock settlement. "Settlement" is the moment in a stock trade when the seller receives money and the buyer receives stock. Our settlement system has gaping loopholes that allow sellers to sell shares but fail to deliver them. In such cases, the system creates IOUs for shares, and lets those "stock IOUs" circulate in the expectation the seller will soon correct his error. This is harmless--as long as the IOUs are inadvertent, temporary and few. Manipulators are exploiting these loopholes, however, selling stock they do not intend to deliver. This is often referred to as "naked short-selling" (short-selling because they feign selling borrowed shares; naked because they don't really borrow shares, but instead deliberately rely on loopholes to generate and hide stock IOUs). However, naked short-selling is just one form this manipulation takes. Other forms include failed long-sales, abuse of the option-market-maker exception, failed offshore deliveries and ex-clearing abuses. The common denominator of these manipulations is that they flood the system with stock IOUs that are deliberate, persistent and massive.By whatever name, these actions create small, medium and large problems. The small problem is that stock IOUs corrupt corporate democracy because the system has trouble distinguishing real stock with real votes from stock IOUs with fake votes. In 2006, Bloomberg Markets wrote, "A robust market for stock loans puts into circulation billions of borrowed shares that can create multiple votes that corrupt corporate elections." Bloomberg quoted Registrar & Transfer CEO Thomas Montrone: "It is an abomination. ... A lot of the time, we have no idea who's entitled to vote and who isn't. It's nothing short of criminal." Bloomberg suggested arbitrageurs are exploiting this, and concluded that until it is fixed, "double and triple voting on one share will continue to make a mockery of shareholder democracy." The medium problem is that manipulators selling millions of stock IOUs drive down share prices: If they choose the right target (e.g., a large financial firm already weakened by exposure to the mortgage crisis, or a small biotech company sipping at capital as it develops drugs), this can crash the firm. According to former Undersecretary of Commerce for Economics Dr. Robert Shapiro, "There is considerable evidence that market manipulation through the use of naked short-sales has been much more common than almost anyone has suspected, and certainly more widespread than most investors believe." His research turned up at least 200 companies that were destroyed, for "a combined market loss of more than $105 billion." Shapiro added, "we believe that this type of stock manipulation has occurred in many hundreds and perhaps thousands of cases over the last decade. ... Illicit short-sales on such a scale or anything approaching it point to grave inadequacies in the current regulatory regime." The large problem is that unsettled stock trades create systemic risk. Imagine that a hedge fund generates IOUs on 5 million shares of a $1 stock and carries this as a $5 million liability. To settle these IOUs, the fund must obtain stock. However, the act of buying 5 million shares of a thinly traded stock forces its price up (i.e., a "squeeze"). The fund must pay more than $1 per share, so the $5 million liability balloons. The Securities and Exchange Commission has revealed that, during the second quarter of 2008, there were $14.9 billion in stock IOUs at just the tip of the non-settlement iceberg. The commission refuses to reveal (and, in fact, may not know) the size of the whole iceberg. Public data suggests the entire bucket may be over $150 billion; settling it would cost more than $150 billion, but perhaps far, far more. Our settlement system lies within a black-box called the Depository Trust & Clearance Corporation. The DTCC is essentially unregulated, but is owned by those who benefit from seeing these activities continue--investment banks, which in return for prime brokerage fees, enable manipulative hedge funds. When these loopholes began to be exposed this winter, Wall Street started to eat its own. In a moment of Shakespearean irony, Bear Stearns--with its legendary willingness to provide cover to manipulative hedge funds--became the target. Stock IOUs in Bear Stearns spiked, as they subsequently did in Lehman Brothers (nyse: LEH - news - people ), Merrill Lynch (nyse: MER - news - people ), Fannie Mae (nyse: FNM - news - people ) and Freddie Mac (nyse: FRE - news - people ). In an absurdity worthy of Lewis Carroll, the SEC promulgated a temporary (and now expired) emergency order against doing to these and 16 other firms what has been illegal for seven decades: selling non-existent stock and deliberately relying upon stock IOUs. That the 19 companies protected included prime brokers widely thought to be enabling naked shorting against other firms may only be described as "Kafkaesque." Since its Aug. 12 expiration, four of the 19 firms have been lost. The rest of the financial market balances on a precipice as the SEC temporizes, adopting half-measures with Nerf penalties, draconian measures (such as forbidding all shorting in financial stocks), contradictory measures (re-opening the option-market-maker exception for financial stocks), and "don't ask, don't tell" measures (such as yesterday's, requiring option-market makers not to sell puts to someone they think is increasing a net short position in a financial stock). While the SEC performs its best headless chicken imitation, we must not be distracted from the fundamental problem: Our system is rife with unsettled trades that are deliberate, persistent and massive. Commenting on this last year, Warren Buffett's partner, Charles Munger, said, "Those delays in delivering sometimes reflect tremendous slop in the clearance process. It is not good for a civilization to have huge slop. Sort of like how it isn't good to have a lot of slop in nuclear power plants." Charlie Munger is known for many things, but careless word choice is not one of them.Patrick M. Byrne is the chairman and chief executive officer of Overstock.com and writes for DeepCapture.com. http://www.forbes.com/opinions/2008/09/23/naked-shorting-trades-oped-cx_pb_0923byrne.html

Sunday, September 21, 2008

True Assets

Calculating Your Net Worth
How does a person calculate their net wort?Many would say you start with real assets, the house, car, bank accounts.Then subtract your liabilities.What are your real assets? What is first on your list?Let's take a look at our real assets, the things you do not want to loose.The things you would never put a price on.Family, wife, husband, children, grandchildren, parents, friends.If you have ever lost any of these you know exactly what I am talking about.I have lost a brother, a grandson, and some really close friends.I have learned these are real assets, these are of real value. They can never be replaced.Money comes and goes, cars rust, houses need continual upkeep.Family and friends need our time, or values, or attention.Take some time and assess your true net worth.With these assets, there are few liabilities.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Short Selling abuse

It is so simple, but those wanting to feed off the beast can not see it.
If you own it you can sell it, if you do not own it, you have no right to sell it.
If you have a purchase agreement to buy it, you can sell it, but you must deliver,
no exceptions.
If you sell a company short and it goes BK, your debt becomes a asset to the owners of that company,and all debt needs to be collected. No more canceling stock in any company until all settlements are collected.
It is so simple, a preacher can understand it.
When you through ethics out the window, you only have anarchy left.
Oh; but we must make a market, tell me the difference between enron,
and the way the market is now doing business.
Everyone would love to sell things they do not own.
Hypothetically, if I know a restaurant that looks like it will fail. can I sell that restaurants equipment to you, and not own the equipment?
Then when when the restaurant goes BK, I owe you nothing.
Only in the stock market does it work that way,
IMO end it and end it now

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I wrote this Jan 27th, look at wall street now.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Change the laws that govern our market
Can the US stock market be cleaned, can it restore the confidence needed to bring a vibrant market to earnest investors. A good market is built on rewarding companies that are successful, Rewarding investors that placed they earning in those companies.There is a old saying build a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door.That is true of a private company, where the owner has complete control over earnings and expenditures. A private company knows its worth. If you sell a private company, how would you set a price, 2 1/2 times the gross income, 3 times the net. That would be entirely up to the seller, the owner seller has absolute control.In a public company it is different. If you own stock in a private company, and you do not want to sell, and say no one that owns shares in the company wants to sell. Then you would think as the demand for your company goes up so would the price per share.It isn't like that in the public market, see a broker can sell your shares to someone else, just by borrowing your shares. What if you do not want to loan them, no problem, he can borrow them and sell them anyway. That alone will devalue your ownership by 50%. They call that making a market. I call it making up a market. Selling something they do not own, so they can make commissions on a sale. The price goes down, you can not take that much loss, so you sell. The reason you sold for a loss was because someone without your permission, already had sold your shares.
Then there is the selling of shares you don't own. The short selling adds even more shares to the market, yet no one has sold, this is all buying, you buying first, then the market maker selling your shares they borrowed without you knowing, or approving, the short sellers see the price going down, and they jump in. They have no investment in the company and the own no shares, they sell with a promise to buy at some future time. The price continues to go down, and it picks up speed.The snowball rolls so fast that the short sellers, continue to sell, they may sell as many as 20 time the amount of total shares in the company float. The company fails. Those who have shorted never need to buy anything, the company has failed, those who invested lost all, to those who never invested, but just sold with a promise to invest later walk away with the money.
Let's do some math. Company A, has 1000 shares for sale. 500 preferred shares not for sale.you and a few friends buy 1000 shares, yep you own it all. $1 a share.The company does well, more people want to buy, but you do not want to sell.The price per share goes to $2, then $3, then $4 you still do not want to sell.The market maker sells anyway, he doesn't need your approval, he just borrowed your shares.Now he sells 1000 share that you own, for $4 a share to me. You did not sell, so you get no money, where does the $4000 go? good question. The answer to that is why they borrow your shares, and help destroy your company.It get even worse. The price drops to $3 because the number of shares have doubled.That attracts Short sellers, now they do not own anything, but they can sell shares in your company, after all, there needs to be a market, a unfair, a unethical, and a totally manipulated market. The short sellers sell 2 thousand shares, the price goes down even further to $2 a share, as long as it goes down the short Sellers sell. Why not, they get the money and have not invested anything in your company.That attracts another group, they see that the company is falling fast, so they sell short as long as anyone is buying they are selling. They may sell as much at 20,000 shares. How can they do that, there never was more than 1,000 shares and they were not for sale. no mater it is called making a market. The key is to drive the company into receivership and share prices into sup penny, yes sub-penny. now the parts per share is $.0001 and they buy all they shares they sold for $4,$3,$2, $1,$.50,$.10,$.01$.001, they buy all 21,000 share back.Most investors would love to buy something for $.0001 and sell for $4, but that is almost impossible, but selling for dollars and buying for pennies, is going on unchecked in our market every day.One more point, what if you still do not sell you 1000, and the other investor, that would be me, that paid $4 did not sell, then they would fail to deliver, and someone would be in trouble.First of all the failure to deliver laws as seldom enforced, and when they are it is always too late.Just in case there is a problem, the off shore hedge funds they usually naked short a company out of business, cut a deal with the owner of the 500 preferred shares, and in the fine print you will see that preferred shares can be converted to common shares, at the rate to 1000 to 1.Now you have plenty enough to knock out any real investors.The problem is most of this is looked on as legal in our market. The US market is not designed to build companies, it is designed to destroy the investors, and in so doing destroying the company.The laws we have need to be governed by ethics, a law with not ethical enforcement is not a law at all it is just a license to rob.We need some real changes, or our market is lost, people are catching on, and the investment dollars will soon dry up. and there will be no one left to rob.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Baggage Claim Oct 9th-12

To my family and friends,

It is has been my great joy to be theater director at our church.

Our production of "Baggage Claim, A Modern-day Parable" is opening
on Oct. 9th and will continue through Oct. 12th.

This powerful and compelling play is preceded by a full service meal which is accompanied by a live jazz band.

As most of you know, my background is in live theater, and I've had the pleasure of receiving professional training. My cast is comprised of folks from all walks of life, and varying degrees of acting experience. I am proud of their work.

I invite you to come with your friends, and enjoy a wonderful meal served by our gracious wait staff, listen to jazz by a band that should have a recording contract! and witness a performance that you won't soon forget!

We are selling tickets, now, and seating is available for meal and show, or show, only.

To learn more about the play and to purchase tickets, please visit our website at http://www.heritagechurchofgod.org/

Or, you can call me at 419-283-4813.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Brinda


sales@ducatdirect.comhttp://ebay.ducatdirect.com/

Monday, September 8, 2008

Palin Politics

I am not much into politics, I think we have better things to do.
To see any person being crucified for their Christian belief, like a Christian can not hold office because they have faith in a living God should upset every Christian living.
No matter what political side you set on, no Christian should be put down because of their faith.
Most know me as a believer in the kingdom of God, and believing that God has the rule over any king or kingdom, so who sets as president is neither here nor there to me. Both seem to sell out, and both parties have their share of crooks.
To set back and tolerate a person being tagged as a Christian as being a bad thing, or disqualifying one to serve this country is over the line. Way over the line.
Yes it offends me as a born again Christian. It should offend you too.
The presidential race should be about the issues, and neither candidate has addressed the nationalizing of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac .
I do not like a presidential candidate owning a brewery either, alcohol has been and still is one of the worst things that has hit this country. Now I have offended both the Republicans and Democrats, so be it. If you are offended, your politics are stronger than your faith, God help us all.
You see I am non partisan. I am Christian first, and last.
What the media is saying and doing to Sarah Palin is a disgrace.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Kingdom of God

John the Baptist came preaching, as recorded in Matthew chapter three verse two.“Repent ye: for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” The scripture then reports in Mark chapter one verses fourteen, and fifteen. “Now after that John was put in prison Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye; and believe the gospel.
John and Jesus spoke very clearly about the kingdom of God. The term kingdom is used throughout the New Testament, and is refereed to more than one hundred times.
The term born again, sanctification, and kingdom have all been used to divide Gods people, but all of these term if understood should, and will bring unity to all believers.
There never has been any argument about the preaching, or message of John the Baptist referring to Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the messiah. He is the king of kings. When the angle in Luke chapter one verse thirty-three said. “He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” All Christians agree Jesus is king of the everlasting kingdom.
The controversy has always been that man has tried to make this kingdom of God an earthly kingdom. Jesus spoke very plain on this subject, in Luke chapter seventeen verses twenty, and twenty-one.“And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said. The kingdom of God cometh not with observation. Neither shall they say, low here: or low there: for, behold the kingdom of God is within you.”
The kingdom is not a worldly kingdom, but a spiritual kingdom headed by Christ, and made up of born again believers.
Jesus even cleared up for us when the kingdom would be setup. In Matthew chapter sixteen, verse twenty-eight Jesus said. “Verily I say unto you, there is some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the son of man coming in his kingdom.” In Luke twenty-one verse thirty-two. “Jesus said verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away, till ALL be fulfilled.
The point that Jesus made here is so clear that it leaves no room for any other interpretation than the obvious. The only point that might be challenged, is how long a generation is, but I am sure that in our wildest imagination a generation could not reach two thousand years. The number we would probably come up with would be more like forty years. The number of years the children of Israel were in the wilderness. Then Jesus said some shall not even taste death, till they see the son of man in his kingdom.
The words that Jesus spoke while hanging on the cross were, it is finished, but some may question, if it was finished or not. Jesus being the messiah had fulfilled all the prophecies. Jesus stated this in Luke chapter eight verse thirty-one. “Then he took unto him the twelve and said unto them, Behold we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the son of man shall be accomplished.” Jesus was the word that was made flesh. The New Testament is a testimony of his life, and teachings. The cross was the final defeat for Satan, and when Jesus said it was finished, it was over the scriptures had been fulfilled.
If we can see what it is to be born again, and sanctified unto God, it will not be hard to understand what Jesus was talking about in Luke chapter eleven, and verse twenty. “The kingdom of God is upon you.” Jesus had finished his work. Pilot had asked Jesus art thou the king of the Jews? Jesus answered thou sayest. He is defiantly the king, but a king without a kingdom is no king at all. The kingdom of God is here now it is within the heart of every believer, and has been sense Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament. John speaking through the spirit in revelation chapter one verse nine. “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom.” John knew he was in the kingdom at that time, he also knew the Christians he was addressing were also in the kingdom. Luke also speaks on this subject in the eighteenth chapter, and the verses’ twenty-nine, and thirty. “And he said to them, verily I say unto you, there is no man that hath left house, or parent, or brother, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of Gods sake, who shall no receive many times more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.” Notice the phrase in this present time. Jesus is speaking of the kingdom being already in existence and the believers being part of it then, and there. Jesus speaking again in Luke chapter twelve verse thirty one.“But rather seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not little flock; for it is your father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”We are not to be waiting on the kingdom of God, we are to be seeking it, and it is the father’s good pleasure to give it to you.
Still there are some that do not believe that Jesus fulfilled all the prophecy as he said he did. They believe that Daniel’s seventh week must be fulfilled at some later date, and Jesus must return to do that. I chose to take the word of Jesus rather than that of man on this subject. The problem is if Jesus did not fulfill the prophecy then he wasn’t the messiah, and it really wasn’t finished when Jesus said it was.
How then do we deal with the woman in Revelation chapter twelve, where she is with child, and cried travailing in birth, and pain to be delivered? Then in verse five the scripture says she brought forth a man child who was to rule all nations, and her child was caught up to God, and to his throne. There cannot be any doubt that this is talking about Jesus Christ. Then we read in verse ten “Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brothern is cast down. Salvation, strength, and the kingdom is come, now notice how all three are used together. The word travail, or tribulation coming before the kingdom could be scriptural. Let us take some time and explore this. The whole creation groaning together from the time John the Baptist started his ministry until the time Jesus completed his ministry. The bible even tells us that when Jesus died the graves opened, and the sun turned black. The spiritual warfare had to be beyond description. The day heaven, and hell meet. Jesus was victorious. Man could live again not under the law of discipline, but in the kingdom of God. If you need to fit in the seven years, I believe this is a very good place to do that.
Another word we hear is millennium. The word millennium means a thousand. Some theologians use it to refer to a period of time for an earthly kingdom. Jesus answered this himself and so did the angle of God, and every Christian knows in his heart, that there is no end to the kingdom of God, not in a thousand years, or ten thousand years. The kingdom of God cannot be put in a box.
The question then comes up about Revelation chapter twenty, verse two.“He laid hold on the dragon that old serpent which is the devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit; and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should not deceive the nations any more.” This verse means what it says Satan cannot deceive the nations, because the kingdom of God cannot be deceived. Satan lost his power over this world when Jesus defeated him on the cross, and if this did not happen at the cross than what did happen to Satan there, does he have the same power he did before, or are his movements limited, and where are they limited? These are not only limited, but totally powerless in the kingdom of God.
The next word is Armageddon as referred to in Revelation chapter sixteen the sixth angle poured out his vial upon the Euphrates, an three unclean spirits like frogs came out of the dragon’s mouth, they are the spirits of the devil. These go forth to the kings of the earth to gather them together to battle. This is taught by some to take place at the end of the tribulation. Now it is the belief that the church will be in heaven at this time. Then what is to take place is that, Jesus is to lead an army consisting of the Christians in heaven, and these dear saints will come out of heaven, and fight earthly men, and kill then. The slighter will be so bad that the blood will run as high as the bridle on the horses.
If I believed in soul sleep I would have an easier time trying to understand this line of thinking, but I don’t believe in soul sleep.
Paul tells us to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. When our body dies, we go directly to heaven to be with the Lord, and he will wipe away every tear.
In John chapter fourteen Jesus says let not your heart be troubled you believe in God believe also in me. In my father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also. Heaven is a place. We go directly there. We do not pass through purgatory, or limbo. The reference to Jesus coming to take us to heaven is referring to our physical death.
Then after we are in heaven, having communion with the saints, listening to the angelic choir sing. Then we are to take up a sword, and fight a battle that Jesus has already won.
The New Jerusalem as spoken of in Revelation chapter twenty-one, verse ten. “The angle carried me away in the spirit to a great high mountain and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.” We need to remember that John saw this city, and the angle made no mention of it being an illusion. Then in the sixteenth verse it tells us the length, breath, and height, all fifteen hundred miles each. The scripture tells us in the book of Galatians chapter four, verses twenty-five, and six. “For this is Agar in mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children, but Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” Notice verse twenty-six Paul says the Jerusalem which is above, that is in the present tense, and the same verse says which is the mother of us all, again in the present tense. The New Jerusalem is already in place, and has been throughout the kingdom age. Christians may be in this natural world, but we are not of this world.