Wednesday, March 31, 2004

So long for now

Dasher-1 is fueled are ready to go. It’s not as clean as I would like, but time has not been on my side.

Lord willing, I will return late April 3rd. See you then.

Posted by Ted on 03/31/04 4:39 PM | Link

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

No better friend, no worse enemy

The marines have made their point in the Sunni Triangle ("don't mess with the marines") and are now patrolling frequently and getting a friendly response from Sunni Arabs. The anti-government Sunnis, who thought the marines might be an easier mark than the paratroopers they replaced, are now laying low and rethinking their tactics. Four days of fighting in Fallujah left dozens of anti-government Iraqis dead and many more wary of shooting it out with marines. The marines are out making contacts and collecting information so they can make raids on the anti-government forces. This worked for the paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne division, but the marines plan to try a tactic of working harder to establish contacts with less hostile Sunni Arab groups.

Posted by Ted on 03/30/04 8:44 PM | Link

Cool Bush Ad

Here’s a Bush ad put together by some independents. The Bush people should do so well. Give it a look, it’s very cool.

Posted by Ted on 03/30/04 8:35 PM | Link

My Daily Market Report

I’m still in cash. Since I’m leaving tomorrow for three days at client site getting some billable hours, I will not be able to follow my trades. When that happens, it’s best to stay out of the market.

Posted by Ted on 03/30/04 8:26 PM | Link

To fight or not to fight

Some had advised against me speaking out at the church meeting. I felt though the pastor is no saint, I rather like him. At the last church, I felt we left without a fight. This time I decided it I needed to stand and be counted.

Besides what was it going to cost me? If I cannot stand up and fight for what I believe is right, how will I stand up when it WILL cost me.

As the saying goes, “A man has to do what a man has to do.” My honor required it.

Posted by Ted on 03/30/04 8:20 PM | Link

Monday, March 29, 2004

War is declared

The church held it’s meeting tonight. At that meeting, they made the decision on whether or not to retain the pastor. The meeting was moderated by the Associate Regional Pastor of South Jersey. She oversees about 80 churches.

I was impressed with how seriously she took the proceedings. She said the church is over 100 years old. She says God loves all of us. He is on everyone's side. (Editor’s note – “I'm not sure that last sentence is true.”)

At the meeting, she made it clear that anyone could speak, but they would be limited to three minutes. I thought three minutes was certainly reasonable. In toastmasters, all our speeches are timed and they typically run five to seven minutes. After the discussion, the voting would be limited to members only. That seemed logical to me.

The meeting started with someone reading a statement written by the pastor about the situation. The pastor has been with this church about eight months. It seems he felt that one lady had been “a thorn in his side” since his arrival. One day he lost it and blew up at her. A few people witnessed the incident and the conflagration quickly grew.

This is a very small church. It takes just 20 people to sign a petition to call for a meeting to decide the pastor’s fate. Since many people have been members for many years, the 20 signatures were easy to get and this meeting was the result.

After the pastor’s statement was read, the aggrieved party stood up and read her blow-by-blow coverage of the incident – as they called it. It thought calling it an “incident” made it sound like a nuclear explosion. One-by-one the prosecution presented its case. All had copiously prepared statements.

After a bit, the prosecution seemed to have run its course. Then the pastor’s defenders took the floor. One thing I noticed was the defenders statements were typically greeting with applause and the prosecutors with silence.

Things seemed to be dwindling down so I felt it was time to make my move. I volunteered to speak. I stood before them and surveyed my audience. I attempted to look each one in the eye. I purposely waited about 10 to 15 seconds before I spoke. I did this for two reasons. I wanted to put myself in the right mood and I wanted to build some drama. Have someone stand for 10-15 seconds before a group and not speak and it really builds the tension.

Then I launched into my message. I asked them what they were doing. I told them to look at what the outside world was trying to do to destroy the church and here they were tearing it down from the inside. I used a tone of voice that was a cross between anger and weeping. I asked them if this was the end of this church. I admonished them that if they left the church, they would discover that finding another church would not be as easy as they thought.

I had not prepared a specific speech, but rather the thoughts I wanted to convey. Once I started talking, I just put myself in the zone and what happened, happened.

I spontaneously grabbed a Bible from under one of the seats and held it in the air. I told them this is God’s word. It is our responsibility to read it. Then I told them follow it. As I said this, slammed the Bible down on one of the chairs and walked back to my seat. Unfortunately, the seats are padded, so it made silent impact and some drama was lost.

I had really wanted to bring them to tears. I wanted them in as much emotional pain as I could develop. My hope was, if I could push them far enough and put them in enough pain, they might come together to comfort each other.

Alas, three minutes is not enough time to move people that far that fast. Although Karol said, she was in tears.

A little later Karol spoke. She had meant to remind the people how much physical pain the pastor was in and that may have contributed to his going ballistic. The pastor was suffering from restricted circulation in this right leg and he was in a lot of pain. Unfortunately, when she stood before the audience, the message left her mind. It was an emotional night and that’s understandable.

When the speeches were over, they called for the vote. The bylaws said they needed 50 members present for a quorum. They only had 46. The Associate Regional Pastor led a vote to reduce the quorum requirements to 46. I mildly objected as I thought that made the rules seem superfluous. She replied that they were close to 50 and she wanted to resolve the situation tonight.

That seemed a reasonable response. The vote was taken. I and another individual counted the votes. The prosecution needed more than 1/3 of the votes to remove the pastor. Out of the 45 votes counted, the prosecution received 13 votes.

They failed and the pastor stays.

Afterward, the Associate Regional Pastor said she said this went up like a brush fire. She said this church has issues. She said this church has gone through nine pastors in 20 years. She said if this pastor had been turned out, she had no replacement.

I wonder how many of the 13 that voted against the pastor will leave the church.

Posted by Ted on 03/29/04 9:13 PM | Link

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Sunday Service

On this Sunday’s sermon the pastor used Matthew 6:5-15:

"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
"This, then, is how you should pray:
" 'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.' For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

His message was "The Need to Forgive"

The pastor said he had agonized over this message for a couple of weeks. He said this sermon was as much to himself as to the congregation.

He gave an example of a lady that had been shot and was trying to forgive the assailants. She said, "I know I have to forgive them otherwise God will not forgive me."

The New Testament is littered with admonitions to forgive those who have harmed us.

“What is forgiveness,” the pastor asked. He replied, “Forgiveness calls sin, sin. It holds sinners accountable for their actions. Forgiveness is a verb and not a noun. We forgive first and then the sinner must confess their sin. God's forgiveness does not wait for repentance, it forgives first. Accidents need to be excused as opposed to forgiven.“

“Does forgiveness indicate a works-based theology? If we refuse to forgive others, it shows we have not really been saved. Our hearts are still hard as stone.”

The pastor related the story of Joseph and his brothers selling him into slavery and his forgiveness of his brothers for doing so. Forgiveness is hard - very hard. God gives us the power to forgive. God takes even the evil done against us to make it good.

Jesus says if we refuse to forgive, we don't really understand why he died on the cross. Forgiveness is an act of faith. We must forgive those who hurt us. That's what the Bible teaches. Our own salvation depends on it. Lack of forgiveness is like a poison in our being. It eats away at us.

Few people really truly forgive. Forgiveness is a directive of our Lord, not a suggestion.

Posted by Ted on 03/28/04 7:29 PM | Link

Saturday, March 27, 2004

The Back Porch Project

Karol and I spent today replacing the floor on the back porch. Last nigh we went down to Home Depot and bought all our materials. Then this morning, right after breakfast, we started in. We tore out the old flooring and replaced it with new. As you can see, it looks a lot better.

Click on the picture to get a more blow-by-blow on this project. All we have left to do is to put the molding back around the edges, paint the new flooring, and then re-install the railings.

We're having some disagreement about what color to paint it. Karol wants to do a stain of sorts, I just want to paint it with something durable and water proof.

My carpentry skills leave a lot to be desired. My left hand will take some time to heal. It seems that my accuracy with a hammer needs some improvement and my left hand, which holds the nails, suffered several impacts.

Posted by Ted on 03/27/04 8:13 PM | Link

Friday, March 26, 2004

My Daily Market Report

I’m still 100% cash. This recent correction will be good. If we’ve reached a bottom, and only time will tell, then it should set up some nice buying opportunities. In the near future, I expect I’ll again tiptoe into the market in the quest for a quick profit.

Posted by Ted on 03/26/04 8:57 PM | Link

John Kerry Joke

Q: How many John Kerrys does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: At least four. One to unscrew the old lightbulb. One to simultaneously announce his courageous commitment to replacing the old bulb. One to vote against funding the new light bulb. And one to denounce George W. Bush and America's Benedict Arnold CEOs for leaving everyone in the dark.

Posted by Ted on 03/26/04 8:48 PM | Link

Wounded Soldiers

I was seated next to two soldiers who'd returned injured from Iraq and were being treated at Walter Reed hospital. The soldier sitting closest to me clearly liked Bush, perhaps because he had just seen the president, in person, for the third time. Apparently, Bush pays regular visits to wounded soldiers at Walter Reed. Did you know that? I didn't.

from Mickey Kaus

Posted by Ted on 03/26/04 7:44 AM | Link


An editorial in this morning’s Opinion makes an interesting observation. Before today, Bush’s critics bemoaned his pre-emptive strategy. Now their complaint is Bush was not pre-emptive enough.

Posted by Ted on 03/26/04 7:36 AM | Link

Thursday, March 25, 2004

New Method to Spot Snipers

Snipers have long been one of the more dreaded foes in combat. Now there is a "sniper detector" system arriving in Iraq that is cheap and portable enough that it might make a difference.

The Boomerang system consists of a small sensor that is mounted on an aluminum pole rigged to the back of a hummer or truck. A wire runs from the pole to a PDA size display mounted on the dashboard or windshield. If anyone fires a rifle nearby, the sensor picks up the shockwaves and soundwaves and instantly calculates the distance and direction of the fire. The display also has a speaker, which barks out a warning message along the lines of "incoming, seven o'clock" (which is standard military lingo indicating direction of enemy fire.) The display then shows the location of the fire relative to the vehicle.

This bit of information is important in urban combat, because all those buildings cause the sound of a single shot to echo and confuse everyone as to where it's coming from. Moreover, the Iraqis are, in general, lousy shots, and will often fire several times before they hit anything. Or, the smarter Iraqis will get off several shots and then move to another location before they can be spotted. The really dumb Iraqis let off a blast of automatic fire, which is much easier to spot. Boomerang enables U.S. troops to quickly swing their weapons in the right direction and return fire. This may hit the enemy who just fired, will most likely spoil his aim, and will probably cause him to stop firing and get out of there. Some fifty Boomerang systems were given to army and marine units willing to use them in Iraq.

The system took only two months to develop by a Massachusetts company, BBN Technologies Inc. DARPA provided the money needed to fund that effort and the marines provided the live fire testing in their training area at Quantico last December. Each Boomerang system costs $10,000, but that is expected to come down to about $3,000 if it works in Iraq. It might not work in actual combat situations. For example, Iraqi urban areas are noisy places, and the additional noise, from many sources, might make Boomerang less effective, perhaps to the point where it's not much help at all.

If Boomerang does work, the developers can improve the technology to make it more accurate and plan to install networked Boomerang systems throughout hostile urban areas, using wireless data transmission to provide a constant record of gunfire, and where it's coming from.


Posted by Ted on 03/25/04 9:30 PM | Link

Clarke is one smart dude

Clarke seems to be imploding. As time goes on his statements get wilder and wilder. His recent verbal statements contradict what he says in his book. His book contradicts what he said to the House Intelligence committee. The committee chair is saying that either Clarke lied to his committee or he lied in his book.

I will admit, however, he is one savvy promoter. He got CBS to give him two episodes to promote his book and then he appears on national TV before the 9-11 commission to promote his book - and all this was FREE! I wish I could promote my business as well has he does his book.

P. T. Barnum would be proud.

Posted by Ted on 03/25/04 9:22 PM | Link

Hopefully the pain is over

I finished up with a counselor tonight. I’m reading a book called “Clients Forever” by Doug Carter. At about page 90, the book gave me three words, “Find a partner.” They had some exercises to go through that required a partner. A fellow in my office building that does that for a living. I decided to use him.

These exercises were VERY painful to do. It was like driving a corkscrew through your brain. I think I’m now ready to start up the book again. The book has great promise, but we’ll see if the pudding tastes as good as it looks.

Posted by Ted on 03/25/04 9:10 PM | Link

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

The Americans in Afghanistan

The U.S. Army Special Forces have gone back to their roots in Afghanistan. Using techniques developed and used with great success as far back as World War II, Special Forces A Teams are operating in remote Afghan valleys, and forming their own small armies by hiring local Afghans to help catch any Taliban or al Qaeda who might come through. U.S. troops have hired armed Afghans in the past, but from local warlords. This did not work too well. The warlord who supplied the troops had their own agendas. This included not getting any of their lads killed, and being open to bribery from the opposition. All of this is considered traditional in the Afghan scheme of things. A warlord becomes a warlord by having enough money to pay troops, some way to raise more money to keep paying them, and enough battlefield sense to keep down friendly casualties. Any warlord who misses too many payrolls, or gets too many of his guys killed, finds that no one wants to follow him anymore. A warlord without gunmen is no longer a warlord.

The Special Forces understand all this, and now they are, well, behaving like warlords. Special Forces troops have been establishing contacts throughout the southeastern Afghan border area over the last two years. So when a dozen Special Forces troops show up with guns and money, they are not treated as enemies. The Special Forces already have a well earned reputation throughout Afghanistan as being formidable fighters. Often the Special Forces can speak the Afghan languages, which impresses Afghans a lot (because it is so rare for outsiders to do this). And most importantly, the Special Forces have the power to call down from above "the bombs that never miss" (JDAM dropped from B-52s overhead).

When the Special Forces troops arrive, they sit down with the village elders and heads of the local families and arrange to hire the proper number of armed men from each clan, so no one is offended. And all the families now have another source of income. Along with the Special Forces comes access to American army civil affairs troops and more money for public works (repairing roads and bridges, digging wells, building schools). Locals are hired to help build the Special Forces compound, and work in it. The Special Forces often also bring along a detachment of soldiers or marines to help with security.

The word quickly gets around that the Special Forces are operating in a particular valley. This attracts the local Taliban supporters. Attacks will be attempted on the compound the Special Forces are living in. The Special Forces expect this. Like any competent warlord, they deploy their troops to watch for intruders. The hired gunmen get more training, being taught how to "fight like a Special Forces warrior." This builds relationships with the younger locals, who are also being courted by the Taliban recruiters.

But more importantly, the Special Forces spend a lot of time sitting around drinking tea. Chatting with their gunmen and other locals creates a familiarity that eventually leads to what they are really here for; information. The Afghans know they are being played, but they admire how the Special Forces do it by Afghan rules. Professionals are always admired, and in Afghanistan, professionals with guns, money and patience are particularly admired.

The Afghans know the Americans are there to find the Taliban and al Qaeda fighters, and kill them. The Afghans understand that the Americans are the enemies of the Taliban and al Qaeda. You kill your enemies if you can, and Afghans have long played by that rule. Afghans also understand that it's important to be on the winning side if there's going to be a dispute. The Special Forces went to valleys where the locals were not particularly pro-Taliban. The Special Forces quietly made a deal with the locals, "let us defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda together, and then we will leave." By working for the Special Forces warlords, the Afghans agreed to the deal. Of course, if the Special Forces run into a lot of problems, and appear in danger of defeat, all that could change. But that's how you survive in the remote valleys of Afghanistan.


Posted by Ted on 03/24/04 9:48 PM | Link

New French Threat Levels

The French Government has established new internal threat levels. Unlike the US the French only have four such levels. They are, from low to high:


On Saturday, in light of the Madrid bombing, France has raised its terror alert level from "RUN" to "HIDE."

Posted by Ted on 03/24/04 9:42 PM | Link

Is Richard Clarke a Karl Rove plant?

Glenn Reynolds makes an interesting point. Is Richard Clarke a ruse by the Republicans? Clarke comes out with this book that slams the president. Yet when we examine Clarke’s background, we find he has made statements almost 180° from what he states in his book.

That could lead both the press and the democrats to jump on this opportunity to savage Bush only to have it blow up in their faces.

Or is Clarke in the early stages of Alzheimer's?

Posted by Ted on 03/24/04 9:28 PM | Link

Pull the plug

It’s time to disband the 9-11 commission. It, and the surrounding media coverage, is degenerating into nothing more than a partisan finger-pointing session that does nothing to combat terrorism or make the US safer.

One can place plenty of blame at Clinton’s feet. However, I have to say as former Clinton basher, I’m not sure he could have really done anything.

Without the emotion of 9-11, it would have been very difficult to rouse the country to a war in Afghanistan. Certainly, we would not have had the cooperation we currently have in the endeavor.

Also, please recall all the warnings of how both the British and the Russians failed in Afghanistan.

The United States for at least 10 years has been too divided to take any course of action that wasn’t forced upon it. Those divisions have only intensified over time. Only 9-11, reduced the civil war of words to a low enough volume that decisive action could be taken.

Past events always look predictable in hindsight. Listen to all the stock prognosticators tell us why the market went up or went down. Ask them, however, which way it’ll go at the beginning of the day and you’ll get a different answer.

Stop the charade. The 9-11 commission is a waste of time and money. Pull the plug.

Posted by Ted on 03/24/04 9:21 PM | Link

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

An Amazing Hubble Photo

Here is a picture taken by the Hubble telescope over many days. In a universe that appears to be 13,700 million years old, this picture could be of objects as they appeared when they were only 300 million years old.

As a comparison, if the universe were an 80-year old man, this is a picture as he would have looked when he was 21-months old.

The intensity of the light from these objects was like looking at a firefly on the moon.

Most of the lights you see in this picture are galaxies. A galaxy is composed of millions of stars. It is mind boggling to look at all the points of light and realize that each one is actually millions of stars. Since light from those stars has taken 13.4 billion years to reach us, many of those stars probably no longer exist.

Posted by Ted on 03/23/04 8:58 PM | Link

Farmer Ants

The leaf-cutter ants cut small pieces of leaves from trees and then take them into their nests. The ants cannot digest the leaves. Instead, they chew up the leaves and grow a fungus on the mulched leaves. They ants eat the fruiting bodies on the fungus. The ants are farmers.

A competing fungus grows on the fungus the ants eat and threatens to destroy it. However, a species of bacteria that lives on the ants’ legs eats the competing fungus. The bacteria have no direct effect on the ants.

All four species need each other to survive. The ants need the fungus to eat. The fungus can only grow after the ants have prepared the bed. The competing fungus needs the host fungus to survive and the bacteria need the “weed” fungus to survive.

All four species also prevent any one species from taking over. The system only works when all four are in balance.

To presume that this system of interlocking components “evolved” and was not specifically created by God would seem to require more faith in evolution than a divine creator.

Posted by Ted on 03/23/04 8:31 PM | Link

How to never have to worry about getting a date

An anthropologist living in rural Taiwan in 1957 made a startling discovery. He met a woman who had years before given away her five infant daughters and replaced them with five girls adopted from other families. “I gave away all five girls and raised instead wives for my five sons,” she said. “This saved me money and the need to pay dowries as well as the trouble of arranging 10 marriages.” For each marriage of an adult son, she would have had to throw large and expansive feats, as well as pay a fee to the bride’s family.

The researcher found these girls were considered daughters-in-law as soon as they were moved in, even if they were only a month or two old. An official marriage ceremony occurred shortly after both members of the couple reached puberty.

From Science News 3/20/04

Posted by Ted on 03/23/04 8:05 PM | Link

The new SDB

The Navy is re-arming its aircraft with the new 250-pound SDB (small diameter bomb). An F-18 can carry two dozen (or more) of the new SDB. It is more accurate than current smart bombs, can penetrate over three feet of concrete and, in most cases, can destroy a target that currently requires the attention of a 2,000-pound smart bomb. Thus, fewer sorties are needed from carriers to destroy a larger number of targets once the SBD enters service in 2006.


Posted by Ted on 03/23/04 7:54 PM | Link

Monday, March 22, 2004

It's not the same

I was in my motel room the other night and caught a little bit of the original movie, “Men in Black.” It’s a pretty good movie. Tommy Lee Jones is a terrific actor and will Smith is not too shabby either.

The movie takes place in New York City. There was a scene of New York from the harbor.

There they stood. The twin towers of the World Trade Center. Looking at those two towers as the story line progressed seemed surreal. Here were the characters talking about improbable things and all I could think of was the monstrous evil that took those two towers and the lives that were lost.

I turned it off.

Posted by Ted on 03/22/04 8:45 PM | Link

A church at war with itself

The church we are currently attending is undergoing a civil war. The pastor of this church has been there about nine months. I don’t have all the gory details, but it seems the pastor got a little up tight and said something to which one of the senior members took offense. The pastor as attempted to apologize, but that apology has been refused.

A petition was circulated to call a meeting. The meeting is scheduled for Monday March 20th at 1900 hours. At that meeting, they will air their grievances and then take a vote on whether or not to evict the pastor.

As I non-member I cannot vote. I have been told, however, that I can speak. Everyone who wants to speak has three minutes. I intend to speak.

Although I feel like smacking these people up side the head, I will attempt to pour some oil on these troubled waters. Will I be successful? I don’t know. But I intend to give it my best shot. I have developed some modest oratory skills.

What really ticks me off is these people call themselves Christians. Christ gave the model of forgiveness and turning the other cheek. There seems little forgiveness in some of these members.

Posted by Ted on 03/22/04 8:35 PM | Link

Portrait of a Traitor

This is a picture of a traitor. This person is celebrating the attack and resulting destruction of the World Trade Center. This person is celebrating the death of nearly 3,000 Americans. This is a person that hates America. You cannot call him a patriot. You can only call him a traitor.

This goes beyond free speech. Them is fightin' words and the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled there is no protection for fightin' words.

Posted by Ted on 03/22/04 8:15 PM | Link

My Daily Market Report

Cash continues to remain my refuge. The bear has awakened and prowling about looking for victims. I sit barricaded safely behind impenetrable walls. When the bear resumes his slumber, I will again venture out.

Posted by Ted on 03/22/04 7:23 PM | Link

The CBS Infomercial

It turns out that CBS’s parent company, Viacom, will profit from the sales of Richard Clarke’s book, “Against All Enemies.” This book was promoted on CBS’ 60 Minutes show.

Can you say, “Infomercial?” Most informercials acknowledge they are trying to sell you something. CBS appears to be sneaking in the sales pitch under the radar.

Posted by Ted on 03/22/04 12:29 PM | Link

Richard Clarke's story

I saw an interview with Mansoor Ijaz this morning. He rebutted Richard Clarke’s attack on the Bush administration. He challenged Clarke to debate him on Clarke’s claims at any time on any TV station. Mansoor basically called Clarke a liar.

Clarke seems to be a recently fired disgruntled employee. He is supposedly high on Kerry’s list for a Secretary of State position.

Posted by Ted on 03/22/04 7:51 AM | Link

They got 'em

I am pleased to see the Israelis got Sheik Ahmed Yassin. I don’t know why the Palestinians are so upset. Yassin now has his 42 virgins. Shouldn’t they be pleased the Israelis have helped Yassin to the promise land?

They are also vowing revenge. How will the Israelis know a revenge attack from a regular attack? It’s hard to make a creditable threat when they already attack Israel at every opportunity.

Posted by Ted on 03/22/04 7:43 AM | Link

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Sunday Church Service

This Sunday one of the members of the congregation sang. He sang "It Is Well With my Soul". He was not a great vocalist, not as bad as me, but not great. That said, I found it moving. He really put his heart into it. I wanted to compliment him after the service, but he disappeared before I had a chance to talk to him.

The scripture for the Pastor’s sermon was Mathew 27:11-26.

Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?"
"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied.
When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, "Don't you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?" But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge--to the great amazement of the governor.
Now it was the governor's custom at the Feast to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas. So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, "Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?" For he knew it was out of envy that they had handed Jesus over to him.
While Pilate was sitting on the judge's seat, his wife sent him this message: "Don't have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him."
But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.
"Which of the two do you want me to release to you?" asked the governor.
"Barabbas," they answered.
"What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?" Pilate asked.
They all answered, "Crucify him!"
"Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!"
When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. "I am innocent of this man's blood," he said. "It is your responsibility!"
All the people answered, "Let his blood be on us and on our children!"
Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

Pilot’s wife warns him to stay away from Jesus. The pastor asked why Mathew put this into his narrative. He is the only one of the gospel writers to mention Pilot’s wife. Since all scripture is for reproof and learning, why did Mathew include it?

The pastor said he could find very little on the importance of this passage. He ventured several possible theories as to why Mathew included this.

1) Men should listen to their wives. The pastor said that in the New Testament it seems that women are the ones that listen to God and obey his commands. When Jesus is crucified, the disciples scatter, but the women hang tough. Pilot says that he washes his hands of Jesus, but he still signs his death warrant.

2) Perhaps Mathew meant we should pay attention to our dreams. In many passages, people are warned or spoken to in their dreams. There are modern anecdotal incidents of people getting messages in their dreams.

3) Perhaps Mathew was demonstrating that not all Romans were clueless. Church theology says that this incident so affected Pilot's wife that she later became a devout Christian. Pilot many years later committed suicide. The Roman soldier at the cross said, "This truly was the son of God." The pastor asked, if we were there, would we have said, "This truly was the son of God?"

4) Pilot’s wife says, "Leave that innocent man alone." How many people are in jail because of faulty evidence? Perhaps Mathew wants us to see the sense of injustice so we can get an idea of the magnitude of the sacrifice. Christ died, but he died for sinners.

What would have happened if Pilot had actually listened to his wife? Because he didn't, Jesus' sacrifice took away the sins of the world. Because of his innocence, we become innocent. We are guilty, but because of him, we become innocent.

Posted by Ted on 03/21/04 9:55 PM | Link

News of my new Grand Niece

I just received this letter along with this picture (scroll to bottom) from my sister.

I need to say that I've spend the last six days in Las Vegas helping Suzanne & John out with their new daughter. Cooking, cleaning and taking breaks playing with Nuriel. It was hard work, but someone had to do it.

Suzanne was pretty sore since she had torn in three places. Then to top it off her milk came in by the gallons, the day she came home which complicated her plans to breast feed. But it all worked out in the end.

We're all pretty proud of this darling little girl, so we just wanted to share this with all of you.


Posted by Ted on 03/21/04 9:19 PM | Link

Karol's Grand Nephew

Karol’s Grand Nephew Joey Orrell had the first anniversary of his birthday. The kid really raked in the loot. Here are some pictures.

Posted by Ted on 03/21/04 8:05 PM | Link

Email challenge

My email went down this morning. I could launch my Outlook 2003, but then it would close all by itself. This was very puzzling, as it worked fine last night.

I downloaded the latest Office 2003 update, but that didn’t help.

MY suspicion was that I had a corrupt PST file. I ran the PST fixer. It found errors, but it still didn’t fix my outlook.

Quite a while ago, I download a Microsoft PST backup program that works with Outlook. I copied the backup file into my current PST file, and voila, Outlook now works fine.

Posted by Ted on 03/21/04 1:18 PM | Link

Friday, March 19, 2004

My Daily Market Report

Cash continues to be my holding of choice in the current market. This correction has yet to run its course. At some point, this market will bottom and start back up again. At that time, I will re-enter the market.

Posted by Ted on 03/19/04 10:03 PM | Link


A wet heavy snow is currently falling. It started about 0700 this morning. The snowflakes look as golf balls.

Posted by Ted on 03/19/04 8:31 AM | Link

Letter to the Editor

At the request of The Press of Atlantic City, I sent the following letter on the one-year anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

March 20th, 2003 American and coalition forces left Kuwait and headed north. Here are my thoughts on the events since then.

Peace is preferable to war, but not at any price. America must prevail. Failure is not an option.

Our intelligence was flawed. But intelligence will always be flawed, 100 percent certainty is impossible. All decisions must be made with incomplete knowledge.

I am in awe of the courage, generosity, and ingenuity of American soldiers. They are making this work. I also have the highest regard for the unsung heroes, the Iraqi police. Their stations are bombed, but they return to work. That’s valor. I cry inside for every American casualty and I mourn for what the terrorists are doing to the Iraqi people.

Has the operation encountered setbacks? Absolutely. Many mistakes and blunders also happed during World War II. Human endeavors are fraught with errors.

The war has produced dividends. Libya is coming clean on its WMD. Syria and Iran are dead regimes walking. Iraq, today, has more civil rights than any other Arab nation on the earth. The whole Middle East may transform into a more civilized culture.

People see what they focus on. Critics see no good in Bush or the war; their hatred blinds to it. Their view of God, man, and the universe shapes their opinion of the world and America’s place in it.

Ted Armstrong

Posted by Ted on 03/19/04 7:52 AM | Link

Thursday, March 18, 2004

The newpaper wants my letter

I just received a call from the Press of Atlantic City – the local newspaper. Since I sent them a letter at the start of the war, they’re looking for letters on the one-year anniversary.

They’re actually encouraging me. Shows to go ya how newspapers are just not that smart.

Posted by Ted on 03/18/04 8:01 PM | Link

My Daily Market Report

I’m still 100% cash. When you’re sitting in cash, you almost enjoy seeing the market go down. A market does not go down forever. But that decline sows the seeds of new stocks to emerge and become ripe for picking.

I was kicking myself yesterday and today I'm breathing a sigh of relief. ESMC has been a stock I have watched with anguish. I saw in ESMC a lost opportunity a few weeks ago.

In the recent market fall, ESMC dropped 38% in five days. I thought it was dead. But yesterday I saw it was up 17% for the day. I looked at my 30-minute intraday chart and saw a trade I could have made and would have had a tidy 10% profit in 24 hours.

Then I looked at the chart again today and say a different story. ESMC gapped down this morning. Had I put a buy order in on Tuesday night, I would have had a 10% profit Wednesday night. Today I would have been stopped out with a zero profit.

Perhaps this market is a tad too volatile for someone that’s not a day trader.

Posted by Ted on 03/18/04 7:49 PM | Link

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Satan in Gibson's Passion

I came across this take on Mel Gibson’s Passion and thought I’d pass it along.

Hollywood’s typical recent representations of Satan are of a sinister, threatening, and overpowering “dark force” without specific form. But he is brutish and frightening. His very presence is malevolent and makes one shudder. His voice is shrill and foretells disaster.

But director Mel Gibson may have gotten it about right in The Passion of the Christ. Satan is so amorphous that we are not even sure if he is male or female. S/he isn’t shrill or threatening. S/he doesn’t menace or portend harm. S/he certainly doesn’t announce a demonic presence by the smell of brimstone or some gaudy, outlandish attire.

The Satan of The Passion is the one I’ve encountered and battled for all my life. S/he blends into the background. S/he speaks in whispers rather than with shouts. S/he makes good sense. You’d deny s/he is anywhere at hand.

So Satan whispers to Jesus and tells him the task he has taken upon himself is too hard. One person can’t fight this battle. It is impossible for him to do anything that could rescue humankind from the morass of confusion and deadly error into which we have fallen.

Satan works the edges of the crowd to get them to take up his chant against the Son of God. He can’t be who he claims to be. He demands too much or presumes too much or claims too much. Jesus – not Satan – is the real threat. Something must be done to get rid of him!

Worse than the beating Jesus takes at the hands of two sadistic Roman soldiers is Satan’s temptation for him to give way to despair. To abandon his Father’s plan. To leave the despicable humans to the fate they deserve.

Almost everyone with whom I have spoken about The Passion has had something to say about Rosalinda Celentano’s character. Its believability. Its shocking accuracy. And if someone replies that some of us seem to know Satan too well from up-close encounters, I can only wince and grieve that he has not been perceptive enough to realize how close s/he is to him.

The movie cast the character well. It may have been about as close to perfect as anyone will ever get Satan on the big screen. Maybe it will make some of us more aware. More alert. More determined to resist.

Believe it or not, Karol and I have yet to see the movie.

Posted by Ted on 03/17/04 6:53 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Words now forgotten

According to the CIA’s report, all U.S. intelligence experts agree that they are seeking nuclear weapons. There is little question that Saddam Hussein wants to develop them.

In the wake of September 11, who among us can say with any certainty to anybody that the weapons might not be used against our troops or against allies in the region? Who can say that this master of miscalculation will not develop a weapon of mass destruction even greater, a nuclear weapon?

John Kerry, October 2002

Posted by Ted on 03/16/04 9:20 PM | Link

The Iraq war really was about oil

It turns out the Iraq war WAS about oil. Only it wasn’t the Americans that after the oil, it was the French. Why am I not surprised?

From the New York Post I read, “French oil companies stood to make a $100 billion profit from exclusive contracts they had with Saddam, had he remained in power.”

No wonder the French fought us tooth and nail in the build-up to war in Iraq.

Posted by Ted on 03/16/04 9:18 PM | Link

Monday, March 15, 2004

Spain hoists the white flag

The Spanish people have just surrendered to the terrorists. There is no other way to describe it. A terrorist attack in Spain changes an election. Before the attack, Aznar, a staunch US ally in the war on terror, was favored to win by five percentage points. After the attack he losses to Zapatero by six points.

This can only embolden the terrorists. You cannot pretend this is a victory against them. This was a clear win for the terrorists. The terrorists have been rewarded for their efforts. Behavior that is rewarded will be repeated.

The relatives of the victims at the next attack can send a thank you to the Spanish people. They have just rewarded the terrorists. This is appeasement.

The Spanish people are now hoping the tiger will eat them last.

Posted by Ted on 03/15/04 8:38 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Cash - It's a beautiful thing

It is a great relief to be 100% cash and watch the market sink lower and lower. It’s sort of like watching a plane crash in TV. You feel for the victims, but you’re very happy you’re not on that plane.

Mind you, my being 100% cash no great guessing on my part. It’s just using very tight stop loss points and the market has put me in cash without my having to make the decision.

Posted by Ted on 03/15/04 8:21 PM | Link

Sunday, March 14, 2004

I'm a Grand Uncle

I'm a grand uncle. My niece in Las Vegas just (3/13/04) gave birth to a 6 ½ pound baby girl. They have named her Nuriel Fiona Cook. Here is a picture of Nuriel and her father.

A quick search on Google turns up this on the names Nuriel and Fiona.

Nuriel is a prominent angel in Jewish lore, Nuriel is honored as being one of the tallest of all beings in heaven, declared to be three hundred parasangs tall (a measurement used among the Persians and accepted as being around three and a half miles). Nuriel is also supported by fifty myriads of angels said to have been formed out of fire and water. Associated with these angels is Nuriel's post as the angel responsible for hailstorms. A resident of the second heaven, he supposedly met Moses when the great lawgiver journeyed to heaven.

I found the name Fiona on a web site listing Irish names. It says the name means Fair.

Posted by Ted on 03/14/04 8:29 PM | Link

Weekend Market Report

My last trade was sold, while I was out of town. I am now 100% cash. It was been a rough couple of weeks in the market. The market appears to be going through a correction. The market has been on a tear since the first week of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Nothing goes up forever, or down forever. It was overdue for a correction.

A 10% decline is the official point to call something a correction. I reviewed the three markets and came up with the following. The S&P 500 fell about 5%, the Dow fell about 6.5% and the NASDAQ fell about 11.6%. I’d call recent market action a correction.

Posted by Ted on 03/14/04 3:54 PM | Link

Tuesday, March 9, 2004

US Casualties Down

In case you hadn’t notice, US casualties in Iraq are way down. This is not by accident. The US military has an attack database installed in their internet that covers all of Iraq. An investigation team carefully reviews each attack on US forces. The team researches what kind of attack it was, how effective it was and how effective US counter-measures were. It also makes recommendations against future attacks. All US commanders have access to this database.

Yankee ingenuity developed effective counter-measures. The attackers have no such research facility available to them. So even as they changed their tactics, US commanders changed faster.

In addition, the US has spent time in developing good intelligence sources. Many would-be attackers have been either arrested or killed. The prices that mercenaries charge their patrons to attack US troops have gone through the ceiling. Insurgents have discovered that attacking US convoys can get you killed.

The US military of the 21st century is staffed with amazing people. After-war success was due to troops on the ground improvising and learning as they went. They have done a stupendous job!

US success in Iraq has not gone unnoticed by our potential adversaries like China, Iran, Syria or North Korea. They are amazed and wary of how quickly the US defeated the Iraqi army and how quickly the US quelled the insurgency.

You’ll notice that most of the attacks now are on the Iraqi Police. The US is finding a little difficulty instilling some of the same out-of-the-box thinking and initiative into the IP. Under Saddam, initiative and creative thinking could get you killed.

I have great respect for the bravery of the IP. In spite of the tremendous casualties they have taken, they continue to show up for work. Americans should revere the IP highly. They are taking the hits that would otherwise be directed at US forces.

Posted by Ted on 03/09/04 9:24 PM | Link

3-Day Away Mission

I have a three-day away mission starting tomorrow at about 1630. Lord willing, I will return late Saturday evening.

Posted by Ted on 03/09/04 9:06 PM | Link

My Daily Market Report

Man the market continues to batter my portfolio. I had more stop losses trigger today. I sold DOCC with a 0.5% loss, FLSH with a 3.9% loss, GGB with a 1.6% loss, IONA with a 9.3% profit, KCS with a 3.0% loss and PTR with a 2.7% loss.

One buy order kicked in. I bought KFRC at $10.21. Since I’m leaving for an away mission tomorrow, I cancelled all my remaining open buy orders. I’m down to three trades in play – ENMC, KFRC and PLXT. PLXT was up 8% today. I’ll put tight stops on all three tonight and put things on automatic pilot until my return this weekend.

Posted by Ted on 03/09/04 8:34 PM | Link

A True Story from Afghanistan

I saw this on and had to share it with you.

So we are up in the mountains at about 0100 hrs looking for a bad guy that we thought was in the area. Here are ten of us, pitch black, crystal clear night, about 25 degrees. We know there are bad guys in the area, a few shots have been fired but no big deal. We decide that we need air cover and the only thing in the area is a solo B-1 bomber.

He flies around at about 20,000 feet and tells us there is nothing in the area. He then asks if we would like a low level show of force.

Stupid question. Of course we tell him yes.

The controller who is attached to the team then is heard talking to the pilot. Pilot asks if we want it subsonic or supersonic.

Very stupid question.

Pilot advises he is twenty miles out and stand by. The controller gets us all sitting down in a line and points out the proper location. You have to picture this. Pitch black, ten killers sitting down, dead quiet and overlooking this about 30 mile long valley.

All of a sudden, way out (below our level) you see a set of four 200' white flames coming at us. The controller says, "Uh-- guys-- you might want to plug your ears". Faster than you can think a B-1, supersonic, 1000' over our heads, blasts the sound barrier and it feels like God just hit you in the head with a hammer". He then stands it straight up with 4 white trails of flame coming out and disappears.

Cost of gas for that: Probably $50,000

Hearing damage: For certain

Bunch of ragheads thinking twice about shooting at us: Priceless.

Posted by Ted on 03/09/04 4:55 PM | Link

Monday, March 8, 2004

A new day in Iraq

Iraq signed their new constitution today. I see a little irony here. Afghanistan signed a new constitution a few weeks ago.

The irony here is Europe CANNOT sign one. Perhaps they should ask the US to come in and help them write one that all could sign on to.

Look at the new Iraqi constitution. It is refreshingly short. It will bring tears to your eyes.

This is no guarantee there won’t be challenges ahead, but for now, we’ll take the successes we have and rejoice in them.

Posted by Ted on 03/08/04 9:38 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

My Daily Market Report

This is proving to be a tough market in which to make money. This is particularly true as governmental regulations prevent me from shorting the market. Today several of my trades were stopped out. I sold CHRD for a 4.4% loss, CMC for a 0.9% loss, GTI for a 2.1% loss, and NKTR for a 1% profit! Using very tight stop-loss positions seems to be saving my equity.

I also had the following buy orders kick in. I bought ENMC at $8.98, FLSH at $20.97, PLXT at $10.40 and PTR at $54.50. Unfortunately, every single trade sagged below my buy price by the day’s close.

Posted by Ted on 03/08/04 8:54 PM | Link

Sunday, March 7, 2004

My Niece at University of Michigan

My niece Betsey goes to school at the University of Michigan. She is on a Water Polo scholarship. She is quite the star goalie for her team.

Here’s an article about the team and her.

Posted by Ted on 03/07/04 8:49 PM | Link

My Niece's first baby is due soon

I received this email from my sister about my niece in Las Vegas.

This is an update for some of you who are not aware, but my oldest daughter, Suzanne, is expecting her first child any day. She and hubby are in Las Vegas, so they are not close. I am planning to go out to help once the baby arrives. However, Suzanne wants me there the day she comes home from the hospital. Therefore, I'm rather on edge now not knowing when to arrange for a flight out. Fortunately, flights to Las Vegas are a dime a dozen, easy to get, and inexpensive.

I have my bag just about all packed:
Baby gifts, cookbooks & secret ingredients I'll need to do my style of cooking, plus special requests. Just yesterday, Suzanne told me to bring her an apple fritter. Evidently, she has not been able to find one of these out there. She also wants me to bring her a couple of packages of Meijers Macaroni & cheese (she doesn't like Kraft). John told me I had better bring her a case and not just a couple of packages. I said that I’d see how much room I have. John wanted apple cider, but I pointed out that it was the wrong time of year for that.

So thus has been my life recently. I'm waiting for that call that says I'm on my way to the hospital. Meet me at my house in two days. Fortunately, my supervisor is cool about the whole thing. My co-workers aren't crazy about being left to just the two of them for up to 4 days. However, we all know that's what we have to do when one of us is gone for any reason.

I hope that next time I write I'll have digital pictures to include. So stay tuned!


Posted by Ted on 03/07/04 8:45 PM | Link

Taking the fight to the enemy in Iraq

An old pro in Iraq reports: “Recently the guerrillas shot at one of my patrols with rocket and machine-gun fire. My boys killed all the bad guys less one. Then this wounded dude started babbling and apologizing for taking us on.”

The bewildered sergeant asked the wounded guerrilla what all the apologizing was about. He replied, “We were instructed to only shoot at the sand-colored machines – the green-colored machines always shoot back and then chase us down.”

“Once that trickled down to my boys, who are out of Vicenza, Italy, and drive green-colored, camouflaged vehicles,” my friend said, “they were even more aggressive.”

Posted by Ted on 03/07/04 4:45 PM | Link

Spring at last!

Spring seems to be finally arriving in South Jersey. Karol's Crocuses are finally starting to bloom in full.  Here's a sample. They are very late this year. Typically we have Crocuses blooming about mid February or even earlier.

Posted by Ted on 03/07/04 2:21 PM | Link

Saturday, March 6, 2004

Another Letter to the Editor

I felt I had to make a statement so I sent another letter to the editor of the Press of Atlantic City. Here's what I said.

Same-sex marriage seems on the verge of becoming a fait accompli. Many are attempting to make-same sex marriage a civil rights issue.

It is NOT a civil rights issue.

Homosexuality is a behavior, not a type of person. Simon Levay, a self-proclaimed homosexual, concluded in his 1991 study, that people are not born homosexual. He found no homosexual gene.

As a society, we discriminate against behaviors all the time. A 1998 issue of Psychological Reports reported the average life expectancy of homosexuals is 20 to 30 years less than heterosexuals. Why would society encourage such self-destructive behavior?

To give legal recognition to same sex marriage degrades and devalues heterosexual marriage. How much would a Super Bowl ring be worth, if championship bowlers also received one?

Self-proclaimed homosexuals should not be discriminated against for civil rights and neither should they be issued marriage licenses.

Ted Armstrong

Posted by Ted on 03/06/04 8:38 PM | Link

Martha's Conviction

I’m a little concerned about how “fair” the jurors were to Martha Stewart in her recent conviction. What is troubling is this quote from one of the jurors.

"Maybe it's a victory for the little guy who loses money in the markets because of these types of transactions, the people who lose money in 401(k) plans. Maybe it might give the average guy a little more confident feeling that (he) can invest in the market and everything will be on the up and up."

Aside from the illogic of his statement, I always thought the jury’s job was to decide on the merits of the government's case. This fellow seems to feel it was his job to send a message and Martha was a convenient vehicle.

Was justice done here?

Posted by Ted on 03/06/04 7:32 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Friday, March 5, 2004

A soldier writes about leaving Iraq and entering Kuwait

The border between Iraq and Kuwait is marked by an anti-tank ditch and a berm, and a Kuwaiti flag at the point where the road crosses the berm. And that's all.

Just north of the berm, there's a little Iraqi town. I have no idea what the name of it is.

There were hundreds of children lining the road as we drove out, begging for food. Soldiers were throwing MRE's out of their humvees as we drove by.

Here and there, you'd see a veiled woman sitting by the side of the pocked and pitted, intermittently paved road.

The houses, though average by Iraqi standards, were fairly destitute by anything approaching western norms.

If the people had cars at all, they were practical wheels: a beat up pickup truck on its last legs. Not much more.

Five minutes south of the berm, in Kuwait, it looked for all the world like a posh Palm Springs highway.

Almost every vehicle you saw was a high-dollar SUV or Mercedes sedan.

The streets were well paved, and level. Streetsides were impeccably clean. Streetlamps worked.

And there were no children begging in the streets.

Both countries are blessed with a wealth of natural resources.

But only one had Saddam Hussein as a ruler for decades.
And only one had to struggle under more than a decade of sanctions--however porous they were.

Two hundred meters.

Jason Van Steenwyk

Posted by Ted on 03/05/04 8:15 PM | Link

My Daily Market Report

This is a tough market in which to make money. Since I trade in my IRA account, government regulations force me to only going long on stocks. I cannot short stocks. However, I AM allowed to trade options – go figure.

I had two stop-loss orders trigger today. I sold GP at a 7% profit and RIO at a 4.5% loss. Two buy orders kicked in. I bought CMC, again, at $31.12 and KCS at $11.20. As things stand now, my CMC has a 0.4% profit and my KCS is down 1%.

It’s a little hard to tell, but it looks like my portfolio was up about ¾’s of a percent. I guess, given the current trading environment, it’s not too bad.

My IONA is sitting on an 11.7% gain and NKTR, in which I got a horrible fill yesterday, was up about 6.8% today.

Since I trade enough on Fidelity that they only charge me $8.00 per trade or $16.00 for a round trip, I figure anytime I make more than $16.00 on a trade, I’m money ahead.

Last night I put a buy order in for AMPH. It had a great breakout a couple of days ago and then fell back. I thought I saw a buy point so I put in an order at $12.25. I’m trying to learn from experience.

A couple of weeks ago, I bought ESMC. It had a very nice breakout. Then I was stopped out and I never went back to see how it was doing. Well, I missed a very nice move that I think I could have net a 50% or better profit on. I’d like to not make that mistake again.

Posted by Ted on 03/05/04 7:49 PM | Link

Thursday, March 4, 2004

My Daily Market Report

None of my stop loss orders triggered today. I had four buy orders kick in. I bought CHRD at $5.84, GGB at $23.23, GTI at $14.30, and NKTR at 22.08. My buy on NKTR was rather disappointing. My buy order on that stock was at $20.15. Didn’t the stock open at $21.80? By the time my order was processed, I was filled at $22.08 at 9:31 am this morning.

I placed stop loss orders on CHRD at $5.49, on GGB at $22.60 and NKTR at $21.32. I have two nicely winning trades in play – GP and IONA. I’m showing a 9.2% profit on GP and a 12.5% profit on IONA.

Look at ESMC and you’ll see one I missed. I owned this stock a week or so ago, but was stopped out. I should have kept an eye on it. I could have gone back in and made a 50% profit on it in three or four days.

Posted by Ted on 03/04/04 9:05 PM | Link

Wednesday, March 3, 2004

My Daily Market Report

It was another “interesting” day in the market. I had four stop-loss orders trigger today with the following results. I sold CMC with a 0.5% profit, ET with a 3.1% loss, FLSH with a 3% loss, and OPWV with a 4.3% loss.

Two buy orders kicked in. I bought RIO at $61.00 and IONA at $7.70. Tonight RIO sits at 3% down and IONA is currently up 7.3%. I’ll be putting some tight stops on them tonight.

Posted by Ted on 03/03/04 9:41 PM | Link

Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Marksmanship is important

Because of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, marksmanship is now a hot topic in the American armed forces. Not just in the army and marines, but also in the air force. The air force? Yes, as for the first time since Vietnam, air force personnel are in the line of fire. Air force drivers are behind the wheel of buses and trucks moving people and material up the MSR (Main Supply Route) from Kuwait to bases in Iraq. These Air force drivers got rudimentary training on M-16s in the basic, but not a lot thereafter. To reduce coalition casualties among drivers in Iraq, everyone driving up the MSR goes through a "combat shooting" course for drivers. A special shooting range was set up in Kuwait and army and air force personnel get to fire hundreds of rounds at targets. Lots of the shooting is done from the drivers seat, as the shooting range is set up to allow vehicles to come by and have the drivers return fire at the types of targets they would encounter (Iraqis firing at them from ambush positions.) Previously, few troops have ever been able to fire their weapon from inside a hummer or truck, so it's a new experience for everyone. But for those few troops who have later come under fire, the training has paid off.

Even standard marksmanship training for combat troops has been changed and intensified. One thing that has been learned in Iraq is that snipers, and accurate shooting in general, are key weapons in the kind of peacekeeping that goes on there. Snipers are essential because they can take down the bad guys with little risk of hitting nearby civilians. Each combat brigade has about three dozen snipers and works them hard. Snipers operate in two man teams (one to look around through binoculars for targets and the other guy to shoot) and often it takes hours of scouting and preparation to find the best spot from which to shoot (without being seen, and still having a good view of the surrounding area). The army's five week sniper school keeps expanding to supply the increasing number of trained snipers combat commanders are asking for. In addition to giving each infantry platoon at least one sniper team, brigade commanders like to have several other teams available for special missions (like staking out a large area at night for hostile Iraqis.)

M-16s for the infantry have increasingly been equipped with telescopic and night sights. Soldiers have gotten enough practice with these sights on realistic firing ranges to greatly increase their ability to hit targets day and night. In Iraq, the ability of soldiers to fire individual shots very accurately has led to a disillusioned Iraqi resistance and very few civilians hit by accident. While the troops who have gone through the sniper school learn a lot about finding a good shooting position and not being seen, many non-sniper troops are excellent shots with the new equipment and extensive live fire training. As a result, combat commanders can take their troops into situations that would have previously resulted in many casualties from enemy fire. Now, with many troops delivering rapid and accurate fire, the enemy rarely gets a chance to fire effectively. The combination of more rifle range time and better sights has produced a much more lethal infantry force. The marines, it should be said, always put a lot of emphasis on marksmanship, so the army is sort of catching up. The Iraqis resistance is increasingly reluctant to shoot it out with American troops. The word gets around that once the Americans start shooting back, they rarely miss.

Posted by Ted on 03/02/04 10:00 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Bush Congratulates Kerry

Kerry took a call from President Bush in the White House. Sources with the Bush campaign told MSNBC-TV that Bush congratulated Kerry on winning the nomination and said he looked forward to a spirited fall campaign.

A Democratic source told MSNBC that Kerry, who was surprised by the call, thanked the president and responded that he hoped “we can have a real debate on the issues, and I hope we will both serve our country the best we can.”

Posted by Ted on 03/02/04 9:50 PM | Link

Public displays of Piety

I’ve always been a little uncomfortable of open displays of religiousness and here’s my basis for that feeling.

"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Matthew 6:1-8

On the other hand, Jesus also said this.

Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”

Luke 9:23-26

Posted by Ted on 03/02/04 9:46 PM | Link

Ted's Dad reviews The Passion

We saw the Passion. It's pretty rough going. I don't know nor does any one else know if the suffering Jesus endured was that brutal. The language is in Aramaic so the conversation is posted in English on the bottom of the picture. My opinion, I think any one that believes in the biblical history should take it in and decide for themselves.

Up front it's not for entertainment. I believe the motive behind the picture is to make a statement and I think it did.

When Barbara Walters interviewed Mel Gibson he would answer her questions in Aramaic.

If you think it sounds like something you would like to see, Let us know your thoughts.

Ted's Dad

In response
Karol and I will likely go, but I'm not looking forward to it.


Posted by Ted on 03/02/04 9:06 PM | Link

My Market Report for Today

There was lots of action for me in the market today. Most of it was not good. I had three buy orders kick in, ET, FLSH, and OPWV. All three closed well below my buy points. I also had five stop loss orders trigger sales. They were AMPH with a 4.7% profit, DY with a 0.7% loss, HAR with a 0.2% loss, KCS with a 0.6% loss, NRD with a 2.4% profit and SFY with a 1.3% profit.

The only real winner I had today was GP. It continued to plow new ground. It was up 1.3%.

Posted by Ted on 03/02/04 8:42 PM | Link

Monday, March 1, 2004

My Market Report for Today

I had eight buy orders trigger today. In general, it was a very good day. Only one purchase wound up in negative territory for the day. As a result, my current trades ended up 2.6% for the day. I’m down to 70% cash.

The buy orders that kicked in today were AMPH, CMC, DOCC, DY, HAR, KCS, NRD, and SFY. I’m going to go over the 30-minuted intraday graphs on each one and set tight stops for each one.

One that got away was EPEX. It was up 15% on massive volume today. I looked at it last night and, for some reason, passed it by.

So far, my new strategy is working well. Instead of swinging for the fence, I’m only looking to make some base hits. With enough base hits, I should score some runs.

Posted by Ted on 03/01/04 7:53 PM | Link