Joe Blow's picture
Joined: 2009-08-30
Columns on STR: 58
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Short bio:

Joe Blow is a privacy advocate with proven subspecialties in strategic planning.  Note: Pirate Poop is now a free newsletter, available by email only. Send all subscription requests to





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Columns by Joe Blow

The Invisible Pirate - Privacy Update
Joe Blow 2006-05-29 16:00
Exclusive to STR The eternal value of privacy by Bruce Schneier
Pirate Poop # 11
Joe Blow 2006-05-07 16:00
Exclusive to STR Selected poop follows; your mileage may vary. China Is Eating Our Lunch 'By creating demand for dollars, the steps should ease pressure for a further rise in the yuan generated by China's record trade surplus and investment inflows.'
The Cost of Living Is Cheap
Joe Blow 2006-04-30 16:00
Exclusive to STR The cost of living is cheap. How do I know this? The proof is everywhere, for those who will see it. Bag ladies prove it every day; so do the poor, homeless veterans, and street people of all ages. Many are living on the street by accident, others by choice, but somehow they still manage to survive for years, even in the harshest of climates. These people have no home, no food...
Pirate Poop #10
Joe Blow 2006-04-09 16:00
Exclusive to STR Here are some recent selected tidbits. Your mileage may vary. Workers Have Retirement 'Overconfidence' Americans' Rosy Retirement Outlook Full of Holes America's Pensions in Peril ' Or Gone
Pirate Poop #9
Joe Blow 2006-04-02 16:00
Exclusive to STR Gold Set to Become Even Scarcer
Pirate Poop #8
Joe Blow 2006-03-26 16:00
Exclusive to STR We the Sheep Must read essay for wannabe Pirates, if for no other reason than to remind you of what the alternative (remaining a sheep) requires. Palladium Maple Leaf
Pirate Poop #7
Joe Blow 2006-03-19 17:00
Exclusive to STR One Paycheck from Poverty The median family has about $3,800 in the bank, does not have a retirement account, has a home worth $160,000 with a mortgage of $95,000. No mutual funds, stocks or bonds populate their investment portfolios. They make (jointly) $43,000 and struggle to pay off their $2,200 in credit card debt. That means 50% of Americans are in worse shape than the...
Risk Management
Joe Blow 2006-03-16 17:00
Exclusive to STR "Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know." ~ Donald Rumsfeld ( February 12, 2003 )
Pirate Poop #6
Joe Blow 2006-03-12 17:00
Exclusive to STR How Much Does a Wheelbarrow Cost? Paraphrased questions from a reader, with my answers. Your mileage may vary. Q: Have you checked into Series I Savings Bonds?
Pirate Poop #5
Joe Blow 2006-03-05 17:00
Exclusive to STR Getting Started in Bullion
Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!
Joe Blow 2006-02-26 17:00
Exclusive to STR Paying Taxes on Gold Bullion Coins 'Q: Do I have to pay taxes if I sell my gold bullion coins for a profit? 'A: Yes, if you hold gold as an investment, and later sell it at a profit, you will have either a long-term or short-term taxable gain.'
Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!
Joe Blow 2006-02-23 17:00
Exclusive to STR My Wizard of Oz 2006 cast of characters includes: Lions (suspension of specie payments); Tigers (central banks); Bears (going off the gold standard); Munchkins (sheeple); Dorothy (you); Wicked Witch of the West (Federal Reserve); and the Wizard of Oz (Alan Greenspan). My contention: The U.S. has not been in recession for almost 200 years.
The Ultimate Stash?
Joe Blow 2006-02-14 17:00
Exclusive to STR Individual Pirates have individual needs and personal preferences, so the concept of an ultimate stash may be a bit of a stretch, but I'm going to give it a shot anyway. Your mileage may vary. Let's assume that you are planning to retire with a portfolio worth $300,000, of which 20% ($60,000 in cash) will be converted to precious metal coins. What would that stash look like?...
Pirate Poop
Joe Blow 2006-02-12 17:00
Exclusive to STR Marc Faber: Gold Will Outperform Market Gary North: Buy Silver or Gold? Alec Hogg: Why You Gotta Have Gold
Pirate Poop
Joe Blow 2006-02-05 17:00
Exclusive to STR Here are some useful items that caught my Pirate eye this week. Enjoy! When the Taxman Freezes Your Bank Account Credit Agricole: Start Hoarding Gold Earth to sheeple'Hello?'Testing 1, 2, 3'Is anyone out there?
Pirate Poop
Joe Blow 2006-01-29 17:00
Exclusive to STR Readers from all over the world have expressed an interest in buying precious metals, obtaining a private stash, and all things Pirate. Several have asked me to make this a series of articles, a newsletter of sorts. While I don't need another job at the moment, I do have the time to collate some of my recent reading into a periodic compendium of Pirate Poop. If you would like to...
info_dude ?
Joe Blow 2006-01-23 17:00
Exclusive to STR As a dedicated Pirate and privacy advocate, I am always interested in ways to create an invisible business, along the lines of those recommended by J. J. Luna in his latest book, 'Work From Home at Any Age.'
Push the Blue Button
Joe Blow 2006-01-22 17:00
Exclusive to STR In the course of attempting to teach my high school students about the disastrous effects of inflation, I devised an easy way to explain it: push the blue button. This works for me, see what you think. Maybe you can use it with your own students or children. First, I explain to them the standard traits of money, including the two major differences between fiat currency and real...
Think Like a Pirate!
Joe Blow 2006-01-18 17:00
Exclusive to STR This is a follow-up piece to 'Strategic Self-Preservation.' It includes many of my replies to readers' questions and is tailored to those who are interested in buying gold or silver bullion coins as a part of their long-term financial plan, for the first time.
The Invisible Pirate - Big Brother on Steroids
Joe Blow 2006-01-14 17:00
Exclusive to STR You didn't learn this in high school and you won't learn it in any college. You also won't learn it from any popular self-help book. Even earning an MBA from Harvard Business School won't help you when it comes to strategic self-preservation, but I teach it to my public high school seniors.
The Perfect Storm
Joe Blow 2005-08-28 16:00
Everything seems to be coming along quite nicely. Iraq is now a civil war, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) is as good as over, New Orleans is about to be hit with a Category 5 hurricane, Louisiana and Mississippi were declared disaster areas in advance of the storm, and FEMA is on full alert. Even the Red Cross is leaving town.
The Invisible Pirate - Big Brother on Steroids
Joe Blow 2005-08-14 16:00
This edition covers digital IDs and an electronic monitoring system that will make your prescription history available nationally to thousands of strangers who will never be involved in your medical care in any way. If this isn't a recipe for abuse, unauthorized disclosure, and malfeasance, I don't know what is.
The Invisible Pirate - Anonymous/Secure E-Mail Services
Joe Blow 2005-08-09 16:00
This edition is a review of selected anonymous/secure email services offered by subscription. The good news is that there are plenty of these services available. The bad news is that most of them fall short when it comes to really protecting your privacy.
The Invisible Pirate - Privacy Tweaks for Firefox
Joe Blow 2005-08-08 16:00
This edition covers several methods of improving your privacy with Firefox. It includes selected extensions, a toolbar that you can use to manage your privacy, and it assumes that you are running Firefox with no privacy extensions installed. I also recommend checking for new Firefox extensions daily, either manually or by subscribing to the Firefox RSS feed. Install the following Firefox...
The Invisible Pirate - Tracking PCs
Joe Blow 2005-08-07 16:00
This edition covers two methods that Big Brother may soon be able to use to track any computer. The good news is that geospatial addressing is still on the drawing board and won't become a reality for most users for years. The bad news is that remote physical device fingerprinting may enable the feds to track your computer anywhere, no matter how or where you connect to the web, even if you use a...