Bloggers endorsing John Edwards

Many of you know that I have been a strong supporter of John Edwards since I saw him speak at Yale back in October 2005. Today, numerous bloggers are announcing their endorsement of John Edwards and I am glad to add my name to the list.

These bloggers include:
David Mizner at MyDD

Perry Dorrell at Brains & Eggs

The Texas Clover Leaf

TXSharon at Blue Daze

Refinish69 at Doing My Part For The Left

Vince at Capitol Annex

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Further coverage of the Avery Doninger Case

Rick Green at The Hartford Courant writes a good analysis of the Avery Doninger case entitled, Ruling On Blog Rant Troubling.

These days, the vulgarities are found in IMs, e-mails, voice mails and blog postings that bounce around cyberspace, a realm that extends far beyond the classroom.

And now it may well be the government's business what your kid writes in some out-of-the-way blog, even if it's done in your home.

Scott H. Greenfeld, Esq. has a long, well thought out post about the case at Simple Justice: Student Speech Slides Further Downhill. It is hard to pick out the best quote from his entry, there are so many of them. Please, stop by and read his whole post. For a quote that gives you a good flavor of it:

Avery used the weapons that all true Americans should use, the power of thought and ideas as disseminated through word and deed. We don't have to like her choice of words, but we can't dismiss them because we would have preferred other words.

Norm Pattis at Crime and Federalism touches on the broader issues in Blogger Beware.

In it, he writes,

In the meantime, the Doninger case raises interesting questions. If a lawyer, for example, criticizes a judge on a blog page, and even calls for his resignation, as was done here recently, is the lawyer subject to discipline?

And of course, Andy Thibault at Cool Justice continues to explore many aspects of the case from Freedom of Information issues to taxpayer issues. Of particular note is his entry, Travesty.

I will continue to cover this as the case continues and I would encourage everyone to do what they can to help cover the costs of defending freedom of speech. If you have a blog, please consider adding the fundraising widget.

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SLCapEx Director Graph

SLCapEx Director Graph, originally uploaded by Aldon.

This is a graph showing the relationships between directors and selected companies traded on the Second Life Capital Exchange.

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Meltdown in SLCapEx Trading Firms?

During my recent trading in the Second Life Capital Exchange (SLCAP), three stocks have particularly caught my attention, AIG, BNT and DGD. The three stocks are closely tied to trading activity here and each have seen interesting activity.

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Trading in Second Life

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been actively trading on the stock exchanges of Second Life and it seems as if this style of trading has broad implications for capital markets for small businesses.

Second Life is a three dimensional virtual world. Like other such worlds its own currency, yet unlike other such worlds, Second Life goes beyond the goal oriented game paradigm and allows users, often referred to as ‘residents’, to create whatever they can imagine and program.

One thing that has been imagined and programmed is stock exchanges. In a previous entry, I have provided a brief history of some of the Second Life Stock Exchanges. Theses exchanges, for the most part, are dependent on the Linden Dollar, the currency of Second Life.

The Linden Dollar is a fairly stable currency. There is an active exchange between Lindens and U.S. Dollars. Currently, they are trading around 265 Linden Dollars to U.S. Dollar and fifty to sixty million Linden dollars are exchanged each day.

Every resident receives fifty Linden dollars each week that they are active in Second Life. This money can be used for a variety of purposes. Some are basic to the functioning of Second Life. For example creating a new group, or uploading an image into Second Life costs Linden Dollars. Linden Dollars are also used for buying, selling, and renting property and objects in Second Life. Performers at live music events often have a tip jar where listeners can contribute to Linden dollars. Charities often hold fundraisers where people contribute Linden dollars. Others have used Linden dollars for things like gambling and virtual prostitution.

I have contributed to performers and charities in Second Life. I have bought objects that allow me to post to blogs on the web from inside of Second Life. I even bought a car from Toyota in Second Life. I have also stored money in a bank, the collapse of which brought me into the world of Second Life Trading.

Ginko Financial had ATMs around Second Life where you could deposit your Linden Dollars. They were returning a high rate of interest, approximately 44% annually. I placed a small amount of my free Linden dollars in Ginko Financial and when they collapsed , Ginko Financial’s deposits where transferred into Ginko Perpetual Bonds (GPB) which are traded on the World Stock Exchange (WSE).

Over the past month, I’ve executed over 150 trades on various Second Life Stock Exchanges for a total of over 12,000 Linden Dollars. I’ve earned over 1,200 Linden Dollars after spending over 150 Linden Dollars in commissions. Translated into U.S. dollars, my average trade was for thirty cents.

While the fifty cents in U.S. Dollars that I’ve spent on commissions isn’t a lot, if enough people trade, this can add up to a reasonable amount of money. Likewise, the four dollars in U.S. currency that I’ve earned isn’t something I can make a living off of, it is something that I can use to enhance my experiences in Second Life.

As I’ve researched the different companies that I’ve invested in, I find that they have capitalizations in U.S. dollars ranging from $500 to over $300,000. This can be a tad misleading, since many of the companies have significant insider holdings. Excluding the insider holdings, these capitalizations drop to the range of $300 to $26,000.

Many years ago, a friend of mine learned trading by trading pennies with an experienced Wall Street trader. The pennies that he lost were miniscule compared to the value of the education that he received trading. Likewise, the stock exchanges of Second Life provide an extremely valuable environment for individuals to trade and learn from the experience.

Years ago, my wife worked on setting up a brewpub. The brewpub’s capitalization was in the range of $200,000. It was a painful and onerous process recruiting investors. Some of this was because the minimum investment was in the hundreds of dollars and there was no active secondary market. Raising capital would have been orders of magnitude easier if individuals could easily have invested five dollars here and there, perhaps even at a bar, and been able to get out of those trades with similar ease.

Building upon the current trading environments of Second Life could provide valuable resources both for educators as well as for the small business community. It is time to take this trading to the next level.

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