Hello from Spokane, Washington,
I flew in a few nights ago through Mexico City and then San Francisco. In SF I was forced at gunpoint to explain my reasons for being there. The 20-something kid with a buzz cut looked me up and down and asked, "Who are you here to see?" I replied, "No one." He leered up. "What are you here to do?" I replied blankly again, "Conference".
He then began to type in the computer for about 20 minutes. I can't even imagine what he was writing as I had only said two words... I'm not sure how that can be turned into a book. But he typed away for what seemed like an eternity and then gave me my passport, "You can go."
I then made my way to the customs person, handed him the form they make you fill out and he immediately motioned me over to an area where grown men dig through your underwear and personal items in search of plants. I spent another 15 minutes staring in amazement at how intently he was inspecting every single item in my luggage. "What's this!" he'd say from time to time as though he had just cracked the case. I'd respond, "It's a computer mouse"... or toothpaste... or socks.
Finally they allowed me to go and after another flight I arrived in Spokane. The Silver Summit is a really enjoyable conference with lots of great people. Soon though I began to remember why I really don't like to come to the US anymore.
"Can I smoke inside?" I asked the waitress.
"No," she said, you have to go outside.
I began to make my way outside and before I even made it to the door a few hotel security people were on top of me.
"You can't drink outside," they stated firmly.
It wasn't too much later that the manager came by and told me I was "cut off."
"Cut off of what?" I asked naively.
"No more drinks for you."
I sat confused for a moment.
"Why not?" I asked, seriously perplexed.
"One of the waitresses complained about you," he said. "I'm going to have to ask you to leave."
I slunk back in my chair and tried to recall anything I said or did that could have caused a problem.
"Are you sure you've got the right guy?" I asked, "I can't think of anything I did or said that could be a problem. I just remember I told her she had nice eyes... that's about it."
"That's the problem," he said. "I don't want to have to ask you again, sir. Please leave."
I bid farewell to my friends and business associates, apologized to everyone involved for my transgression and made my way to the other side of the hotel to another bar where I found the Silver Summit event founders and organizers, Shauna Hillman and David Bond. They greeted me warmly and thanked me for coming to the show. I responded in kind and thanked them for having me. I mentioned that I got kicked out of the other bar for complimenting the waitress and Shauna nodded.
"You can't do that here," she said, "Bill Murphy did something similar last year and he had to write a letter of apology to the hotel."
I sat wide eyed, wondering if I was in an episode of the Twilight Zone.
She then winked and said, "It should be okay... I'll even get you a drink but make sure you drink it really discretely. I'll pour it into a water glass."
I was still somewhat surprised at the course of events of the evening and I began to sip my drink down below the table as discretely as possible when a hand grabbed my shoulder.
"That's just about enough, sir!" said the muscular young man.
"Enough of what?" I again asked, exasperated.
"You've been cut off!"
"But that was a different bar," I replied.
"You're cut off on the entire premises," he said and walked me off into the cold evening.
I looked up at the stars and said to myself, "We're not in Mexico anymore, Dorothy!"
I then found myself at a nightclub... had just about had enough to drink and smoke to relax when, like veja du, all the lights came on and a man came on the PA system shouting, "Move! Move! Move! Everybody out!"
Veja du, by the way, is that feeling that you can't believe this shit is happening again.
As I stood outside in the cold, dark evening, turning down numerous invitations from some of the local kids to fight, I came to a stark realization. This isn't San Diego... I can't just take a short cab ride to Tijuana this time. I found a cab and told him how sad I was that everything was closed. He replied, "There's still a place open!"
I looked up, "Really?!"
"Yes," he said, "But it's in Idaho."
I sat motionless. I wondered if he was joking or was being serious.
"It's in another state?" I finally asked.
"Ya, but it's only about 30 minutes away. It's called the State Line. Everyone goes there because it's open later than Washington clubs."
I gave him the nod and we soon arrived there. There were two people inside... I asked one of the girls, "Can I get a Vodka Red Bull?"
She looked at me like I was from outer space. "You can't drink! It's after 2am!" she said, as though I had just asked the craziest question in human history.
Seeing no other reason to be there I got back in the cab and went back to the hotel. I wasn't tired enough to sleep so I thought I'd play a little online poker. I loaded up Party Poker and a big warning message flashed on stating something to the effect that US citizens are not allowed to play poker on the Internet.
As I closed my laptop and slumped into bed I thought to myself, "Wow, how can people handle all this freedom here in the land of the free?"
Homeowner Forced To Live With Bum
The more I live outside of the US and the Western world the more bizarre it seems to me each time I return. It's actually rather funny to see how all the laws in the US are really turning on more and more everyday people. Like this woman, for example.
Because of a Detroit city law she is not allowed to kick a squatter out of her house who had moved in recently when she was away. In Detroit, apparently, if someone breaks into your house and starts living there, you are not legally allowed to remove them on the spot. You are supposed to get some paperwork together, go to court, and get an "eviction notice"!
The reporter asks the poor homeowner, "People might find it strange that you are living with a squatter," to which the obviously exasperated homeowner replies, "That's, I guess, something that happens in Detroit"!
Governments Gone Wild
Government's don't make much sense at the best of times but when this article crossed my path I had to laugh. The article states that six Italian scientists have been convicted of manslaughter for not properly predicting an earthquake that killed 309 people in 2009!
As with all government interventions this will have all manner of unintended consequences. For one, if any seismologists would even take the risk of working in Italy anymore, and knew that if they don't predict an erthquake they may be thrown in a cage, what do you think they might do? Here's a guess... predict an earthquake every single day of the year!
Not to mention, not many young Italians are going to be lining up to be a seismologist after this!
Showing the complete absurdity of what governments do worldwide, Jim Berkland succesfully predicted the Loma Prieta 6.9 earthquake that struck during the 1989 World Series. He was so good at predicting earthquakes that the US Government demanded he stop! Berkland claims that government officials told him not to make any more predictions, fearing mass panic, and he was suspended for two months from his Santa Clara County geology position in late October, 1989.
So, in Italy, it is illegal to not predict earthquakes and in the US it is illegal if you do.
Governments... can't live with them, can't overthrow them.
I was interview this week by Simit from InformedTrades.com. You can check out our discussions on one world government, hyperinflation and a top in gold here.
Until Next Time
I am about to pack up and head for the airport so I will leave you at that for today. Have a great weekend!