Airlines May Start Treating Passengers “Like Freight”
Finally, being in shape may become lucrative for regular people, not just celebrities 🙂

Dow Jones Industrial Average P/E ratio stills stands at a lofty 27.22 (including dividends), it was around 28.2 on June 8 when I checked last. Something’s gotta give: earnings must rise (unlikely judging from the latest announcements) or the market goes down some more.

A High Price for Healthy Food
As of Dec, 2007 “energy-dense munchies cost on average $1.76 per 1,000 calories, compared with $18.16 per 1,000 calories for low-energy but nutritious foods.” Since then healthy food went up in price even more, and more than the junk in percentage terms.

We’re doing our part in staying out of hospitals by eating well, shouldn’t we be able to deduct some of our grocery bills? or at least pay less in medical taxes?

Corn

Some corn uses are: feed for livestock, heating, plastics, fabrics, high fructose corn syrup.

This year corn crop is ruined by rains and floods. Prepare for much higher food prices next year, and possibly shortages. I’ll be looking for some corn stocks or funds, don’t want to try futures since I haven’t really figured out the stock part of the market yet. If you have any ideas on how to play this situation, let me know.

Corn field under water (this is Pennsylvania, Iowa has been flooded much worse).
Photo credit – courane01

Corn field under water

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/169/petition-to-stop-bill-c51

Proposed by the conservative government this bill will severely restrict natural products, and heavily favours pharmaceutical drugs.

Even if you’re personally not interested in taking vitamins/supplements, please recognize this as a personal freedom-limiting law and protest. You don’t have to be a Canadian to sign the petition.

Does this seem reasonable to you?

Canada’s Police State Bill C51 Camouflaged as a Health Bill

Under Bill C-51 the State could:

  •   Enter private property without a warrant
  •   Take your property at their discretion
  •   Dispose of your property at will
  •   Not reimburse you for your losses
  •   Seize your bank accounts without a warrant
  •   Charge owners shipping and storage charges for seized property
  •   Store your property indefinitely
  •   Levy fines of up to $5,000,000.00 and/or seek 2 years in jail per charge
  •   Will not have to report seizures to a court.
  •   They can charge you just for talking about or promoting natural alternatives

Bill C-51 full text

Here’s a chart with our food expenses, from Jan 2007 to May 2008 (without alcohol). August and September omitted due to a trip in that period.

Frustrating…

Monsanto’s GMO corn threatens biodiversity. © Statchett

I’ve touched on the topic of ethical investing before. While our investments aren’t blameless (nobody can say mining is harmless), this company takes the cake for being the most evil — MONSANTO.

They sell death, and use some pretty underhanded tactics to attack their opponents. Here’s an abridged list of things Monsanto has created. Each one on its own has the ability to destroy or at least seriously cripple humans. Imagine the eventual effect of these 4 combined.

The only way to fight this is to vote with your wallet:
– do not invest in Monsanto;
– do not buy products they have “touched”.

Sometimes I wonder… what do people who lead this company think of the future and the future of their children? They aren’t able to control their GMO technology: it has contaminated several non-GMO batches of rice in the U.S., for instance. So do they genuinely believe that their GMO foods and rBGH-contaminated milk are safe? Or are they so arrogant as to believe that they will be able to somehow avoid these foods? Do they have a vault of all-organic seeds, similar to Norway’s Doomsday Vault? Some things are much more important than profit for today.

This is a bit off topic. I’m going to humour my inner conspiracy theorist. As we know pharmaceutical companies must invent chemical drugs, even though alternative healing methods exist, such as herbs (by the way, most earlier chemical drugs were derived from herbs). They have to modify the herbs not because those aren’t effective, but because they cannot patent something that exists in nature and charge exorbitant amounts of money for it.

Now, imagine for a minute this scenario (I’ll be the first to admit, it’s crazy and outlandish, but not impossible): Monsanto has patented their GMO technology and charges some crazy licensing fees to farmers – even those whose crops got accidentally contaminated.

Since food provides building blocks for our bodies, it’s reasonable to assume and, in fact has been proven, that when you eat GMO foods, parts of it remain in your body. Genetically-modified particles become part of your digestive system etc. So what if Monsanto comes along and says that you’ve become a user of their patented GMO technology and therefore, it has every right to charge you licensing fees. They will essentially own you – a modified organism at this point.

Wikipedia: “Inflation is defined as the increase in the price of some set of goods and services in a given economy over a period of time. It is measured as the percentage rate of change of a price index. A variety of inflation measures are in use, because there are many different price indices, designed to measure different sets of prices that affect different people. Two widely known indices for which inflation rates are commonly reported are the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures nominal consumer prices, and the GDP deflator, which measures the nominal prices of goods and services produced by a given country or region.”

There’s this method of figuring out commodity valuations: you take an index value (i.e., DOW) and divide it by the price of a commodity in question and see how much you can buy. Often oil and gold are compared using this index “buying ability”. I don’t know if there’s an official name to this method/formula.

Since hard assets (commodities) are usually a better indicator of inflation than paper assets (stocks and bonds) this can be an interesting inflation exercise.

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