National Presidential Caucus

Back in October, I wrote about the Florida Primary Mess and the National Presidential Caucus. Well, today is National Presidential Caucus day and there aren’t a lot that are organized. My wife and I talked about organizing one for our home town, but there were too many things going on, and she is on the road up to New Hampshire to canvas for John Edwards this weekend.

We did have an event that was close to the caucuses being imagined. The Advancing the Dialog Presidential Proxy Debate had all the trappings of the caucuses, bright people presenting their views about the candidates they support. The one thing that it lacked was the actual caucusing at the end and any sort of tallying to see who won.

In New Jersey, they are having their own Presidential Caucus this evening. It looks like a great event. If you’re in New Jersey, you should try to make it.

Many DFA groups held caucuses or strawpolls at their monthly meetings. John Edwards won the Democracy for NEW YORK CITY Caucus. In the discussion there, it is mentioned that he also won in the Oakland, CA and Austin, TX caucuses or strawpolls.

Clinton won a strawpoll at a local fundraising dinner in North Coast, CA. As I commented about the Presidential Proxy Debate here in Connecticut as well as in my earlier post about the National Presidential Caucus, these sort of events, I believe, return us to the sort of democracy that is essential our country, a democracy where everyone participates, instead of simply a democracy where people watch a few ads, listen to a few soundbites and go to voting booths as uninformed voters.

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Chris Angle declares candidacy

Yesterday, Chris Angle, 58, of Redding, filed forms with the Federal Election Commission to run for Congress in the 4th Congressional District. Chris will be running as a Libertarian candidate. Chris is a Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA) and in 2004 filed for a patent for a ‘Process for incorporation of exchange traded portfolios (a.k.a. exchange traded funds) into life insurance or annuity policies with an optional principal protection feature’.

His website should be up in about a week and I am expecting to receive a copy of his platform shortly. I spoke briefly with Chris this afternoon and congratulated him on his decision to run. While I traditionally vote for Democrats and for that matter, no longer even live in the fourth congressional district, I was glad to welcome Chris to the race. Our democracy is made stronger by a lively, spirited and respectful debate. I hope that Chris will bring that to the 4th CD race.

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Establishing Trust in the Second Life Financial Markets

A key commodity necessary for the smooth functioning of any market is trust. The less trust, the greater the difficulties. In Second Life, where we only know people by the pseudonyms of their avatars, where we don’t know if someone has an alternative avatar, and where recourse is much less than in other aspects of life, trust is all the more necessary.

Unfortunately, between various scandals, fraud and stupid mistakes, the financial institutions of Second Life are not highly trusted. In order to address this, people banded together to create the Second Life Exchange Commission. It is a noble idea, that so far, has failed to live up to its promise.

IPOs in Second Life

Last night on the Atlas Virtual Capital group in Second Life, there was a lively discussion about various IPOs in the Second Life stock markets. What leads to a successful IPO? What role should the exchange take, and many other topics. I thought this would be a worthwhile subject to explore a little bit.

As I write this, there are fourteen companies that have IPOs going on in Second Life, a fifteenth just completed its IPO. Over the past week, at least L$ 1.2 million have been invested in IPOs. So, what do we know about these companies and the exchanges they are listed on?

ACE has four companies in IPO, including KAU, the company whose IPO just closed. Nearly L$ 800,000 of the money invested into IPOs were done on ACE. The biggest was WJUV Radio, which accounted for nearly 60% of the IPO shares bought. KAU brought in L$ 200,000, which accounted for about 25% of ACE’s IPO volume.

The second largest player in the IPO market over the past week was VSTEX. Over L$ 250,000 was invested in IPOs through VSTEX. BNF is the company that raised the most on VSTEX, bringing in over L$ 83,000.

The World Stock Exchange (WSE) has three companies in IPO right now. Between them, they’ve raised just under L$ 140,000. The vast majority of it coming for Fund Second Life (FSL) which raised over L$ 100,000 over the past week.

The International Stock Exchange (ISE) has only one IPO, VLADA. Over the past week, they brought in around L$ 42,000.

The Second Life Capital Exchange (SLCapEx) does not currently have any IPOs underway.

Beyond all of this, there are various private placements which take place, as well as people making deposits in banks, and so on. Clearly, financial services are an important sector of the Second Life economy. However, there is a lot more that needs to be understood about these companies, which I hope to explore over the coming days.

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OpenID and other stuff

As I visit various blogs as part of Wordless Wednesday, I find some of them are highlighting that the draft version of blogger now supports OpenID. That is very cool. I’m a big supporter of OpenID. People with OpenIDs can login and comment on my blog using OpenID. A lot of people have OpenID already without even knowing it.

If you use AOL, your OpenID is http://openid.aol.com/screenname If you use Vox, your OpenID is http://username.vox.com If you use Livejournal, your OpenID is http://username.livejournal.com If you use hosted WordPress, your OpenID is http://username.wordpress.com If you use Yahoo! you can use http://idproxy.net to have it authenticate with your Yahoo! id. You can also set up your own OpenIDs at http://myopenid.com and http://claimid.com

One of the things that is great about http://claimid.com is that if you have many OpenID enabled accounts, like I do, you can link them all together with ClaimID. So, if you have an account that supports OpenID, sign in and say hello. If is also worth noting that you can set up your own blog to support OpenID by adding a few lines to your blog template, so I regularly use Orient Lodge as my OpenID.

In other technology related stuff, as I listened to the NPR Presidential Debate streaming yesterday online, I got the blow-by-blow recapping of the debate by Andy Carvin on Twitter. I even pointed people having problems with the stream to Andy’s Twitters. It was also through Twitter that I learned of Marc Orchant’s Massive Coronary. Our prayers go out to Marc and I keep my eye on Twitter for updates. On a happier note, it is great to participate, even peripherally, in the celebration on Hanukkah via people’s post on Twitter and their blogs. In many ways, it feels like we only have enough oil to keep for another day, but just as the oil lasted for eight days, I hold on to my faith that the Lord will provide and all of us will make it through our various trials. Happy Hanukkah everyone.

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