Obesity is the Number 1 Problem Facing America Killing Over 300,000 a Year! – Ban Spoons! Enforce a “No Pie Zone” Over the USA!

“Obesity, Diabetes, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure costs this country more than $120 billion dollars each year.” – Michele Obama

It is well known that obesity is Americas number one killer today. Don’t believe me, just take a gander at a photo of Michelle Obama as she makes the quote above. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

“The spoons made me do it!”

Recently many people in the USA have been calling for a gun ban as we all know that inanimate objects (as well as God, dogs, voices in the head and Frank Zappa recordings) can and do control human actions. Guns are responsible for about 9,000 deaths in the US annually. Meanwhile obesity, er, I mean, spoons and forks, account for over 300,000 deaths. Where are our priorities?

Of course we need to ban all guns and ammo (as well as camoflage clothing, night vision glasses, camping equipment and Sterno lanterns). But, let’s get our house in order and set our priorities straight! We must fight back against the obesity epidemic by severely restricting spoons and all other types of silverware and table utensils.

The real problem with America today is obesity… Therefore I propose a federal ban on spoons as too many Americans eat far too much ice cream and sweets… I also propose enforcing a “No Pie Zone” over all major American cities.

I have pitched this idea and done so for absolutely free (no copyright claims to come from me as I do this for the greater good). I have also shown this idea to my intelligent friends on Facebook and asked for their opinions. I think you’ll find the following exchange of ideas to be quite refreshing and invigorating….

Let’s now put our heads together and find a way, a true way, in the American spirit of bi-partisanship in finding the best way to deal with this obesity scourge that is obviously caused by kitchen utensils.

I have a dream! Today spoons and forks, tomorrow ice cream cups and tabel cloths!

Let the discussion begin! Here’s how we tackle this obesity epidemic once and for all! Here are selected quotes from today’s distinguished panel!

Red Brown: You need to move incrementally–you can’t just throw this down all at once. First you need to make people register their spoons, and also restrict the capacity of spoons allowed. Once that becomes accepted, you can move towards limiting the number of spoons a person can have, and you can also restrict the movement or exchange of any spoons. Then, and this is the important part, you announce that there is a bill in the works to criminalize any and all silverware. Finally, you strike down all the provisions of this new bill except banning spoons of any type. You also move most of the old spoon restrictions over to forks. Everyone thinks they got off pretty well and gives up their spoons–easy as that!

Marc Abela: Since you don’t want to alarm everyone, first I suggest we increase taxes and add bureaucrats who will build a paper based federal spoon-registry list…. all spoons will need to have a serial number on them, and they will need to be registered and attached to a clearly identified owner…

Me: Good idea! I suggest a federal commission be created to study the feasibility of federally mandated studies studying registration of spoons. Perhaps we can implant chips in the spoons to make sure individuals are not sharing their spoons with other people in violation of section 23.10009234B of the “Freedom in Spoonerisms Act of 2013.” My only fear is that people will use loopholes to get around the laws and insist, for example, that those little plastic spoons you get at Starbucks for stirring coffee be exempt from all federal regulations and taxes.

Robert Gibson Hill: Make everyone eat with a coke-spoon.

Me: Harrumph! Are those Coke spoons under 16oz size?

Red Brown: Unfortunately, a huge black market, of illegal spoons from foreign countries and also locally made spoons, explodes into existence and the Feds create a new bureaucracy called the BATFU (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Utensils). This monstrosity consumes 1/10 of our federal budget and most of the employees are grossly-overweight. It doesn’t matter though because nobody but extremists and conspiracy theorists give a shit.

Me: “BATFU !?” I laughed so hard coffee came out of my nostrils on that one!!! Well, it’s all good on paper, but will it really work? Usually, as Ron Paul says, “Enforcing No Pie Zones” is an act of war under the Geneva Convention…..A precedes a full fledged military invasion (to seize spoons). Can the US afford such actions under the current economic environment? I think not… That is, unless, of course, the invasion pays for itself when we melt down those spoons and resale the metal to China (like the Iraq war was paid for by oil seized).

Red Brown: The BATFU is here to see you! They are now working with the DHS (Dept of Household Security) and need to see your kitchen. A no pie zone has been established between Wendy’s and Arby’s, where your neighborhood is.

Red Brown: It is illegal to have your own black market pie, but you can buy commercial pies–they just taste like shit and cost a lot. I have heard there is a pied pipeline, from Mexico, and you can get pies there–they all taste like cinnamon, though.

Me: I hear Hostess pies are still available down on Market & 5th street. Ask around….

Red Brown: ‘m cracking myself up just thinking about this–what a total folly it always is when the government sets out to help us by harming us.

Me: No! No! You are not adult and mature enough to understand the difference between a safety spoon and a dangerous one. Sure, sure, some people say spoons are a “Gateway utensil” that, later on in life, leads to even more over eating, but that hasn’t been proven in laboratory tests!

Me: Heads Up! They just made these illegal!

Read the description on this pocket monstrosity! It says, “Look like a big honkin’ swiss army knife, the Eatensil is designed for the kitchen. It combines seven tools which make eating easier—a spoon, fork, knife, pizza cutter, chopsticks, bottle opener and wooden chip fork—all in a Swiss Army Knife-type casing.” “The Eatensil”???? We’ve got to put a stop to this!!!!

Red Brown: Remember, food is bad. The last two letters are OD (outside diameter) as if it were some kind of sick joke. I used chop sticks the other night–they are the bolt action rifle of utensils, for sure. Easy to manufacture, though. How anyone could get fat with those damned things is beyond me…

Me: You are either with us or you’re with the delicatessen owners.

Marc Abela: Hahaha, thanks for the great (great) laugh. OK so, I’m ready when you are, my “but spoons DO help” poster should be ready in a few moments (for the moment all the crazy revolutionary rebels come shouting our way “spoons don’t feed people, people feed people!”).

Yep. Outlaw guns because guns cause gun crimes. Outlaw glass bottles at bars because glass bottles cause people to get their necks slashed. Outlaw kitchen knives because they stab people…

But remember to shout down those who don’t think that inanimate objects control people to do things they normally wouldn’t do. The evidence is there and the science is decided….

If anyone says “Spoons don’t feed people, people feed people” make sure you print this article and shove it down their throats….

Because everyone knows printing machines cause choking.

Ban Guns! Ban Kitchen Knifes! Ban Everything! Ban Freedom!

Here’s a final thought about guns and control and banning perfectly legal activities before the New Year. Actually, it’s not so much about guns per se, but about a philosophy. That is a philosophy of freedom.

Let’s see… What’s the most effective? Banning human behavior or banning butter knives? I know! Let’s ban gangs and drugs! How well has that worked out so far?

This ridiculous nonsense about banning guns is getting out of control. As my good friend Red Brown points out; Gun control will only serve to criminalize large numbers of citizens and give police more reasons to violate our privacy.”

Yep. Think about that.

If guns are made illegal then it will criminalize what law biding citizens do. 99.99% of all gun owners in the USA do not commit gun crimes. Why would we want to make their ownership of an inanimate object a crime?

Isn’t this similar to drug laws?

Think about it. Under a true philosophy of freedom, like Libertarianism, you are free to do as you wish as long as you don’t bother other people. You are free to own private property and to seek happiness.

The important part of private property that people need to understand is that the most basic private property is ownership of oneself. You own you. You know what’s best for you. I don’t and certainly the government doesn’t. I have no right to tell you what to do and how to live. You have no right to tell me what to do and how to live. Certainly the government does not either.

If you want to take drugs then are you hurting anyone? No! If two consenting adults want to have sex, is there a victim? No! If someone wants to gamble their money away, does that hurt you and me? No! If someone wants to have a gun on their own property does that hurt you or me? No!

Allow people to do with their private property as they wish as long as they do not hurt other people.

Also, think about this; the utter idea that an inanimate object like guns are the cause of gun crimes is incredible on the surface. I read an intelligent quote once. It said,

“If guns are responsible for gun crimes, then it follows the same logic that video cameras are responsible for child pornography.”

There was another one that said, “We don’t blame cars for drunk driving. Why do we blame guns for gun crimes?”

Anyway, the philosophical point is that we cannot curtail people’s freedom. Like I wrote, the vast majority of gun owners do not commit gun crimes, why do people want to outlaw what they do? By what right do people think they can do so? And, finally, is anyone so daft that they think if they outlaw guns that criminals and Bloods and Crips and other gangs are going to suddenly become good boys and girls and turn in their weapons?


The biggest problem with this banning and registration (control) of weapons (or any behavior for that matter) is that we start down a very slippery slope. First registration, then more curtailments, then banning of some arms, then wider restrictions; finally a total ban. Don’t think so? Well history proves that I am right…

Oh, and for you folks who think that the citizenry should be unarmed and only the government should have weapons, well, 20th century history shows you where you are completely wrong about that. Governments killed over 200 million citizens in the last 100 years… Watch the video below for proof….

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”Edmond Burke

History of Gun Control:

You think this is a big joke? You think this is stupid? Really? Read on:

British Doctors Call For a Ban on Kitchen Knives to End Stabbings:

“A team from West Middlesex University Hospital said violent crime is on the increase – and kitchen knives are used in as many as half of all stabbings. They argued many assaults are committed impulsively, prompted by alcohol and drugs, and a kitchen knife often makes an all too available weapon.

They consulted 10 top chefs from around the UK, and found such knives have little practical value in the kitchen. None of the chefs felt such knives were essential, since the point of a short blade was just as useful when a sharp end was needed.

The researchers say legislation to ban the sale of long pointed knives would be a key step in the fight against violent crime. “We suggest that banning the sale of long pointed knives is a sensible and practical measure that would have this effect.”

There is also a humorous quote at the start of the article. It says,

“The good news is that if we ever do get that assault rifle ban, followed by a handgun ban, followed by a ban of anything that can shoot bullets, the “Banners” will still have a banner year of banning all the other ways with which people kill other people.”

Yeah. When will the stupidity ever end? Not soon. Now a woman wants to end beer glasses because her husband was killed by a broken beer glass in a bar brawl. You can’t make this stuff up!

Campaign to ban glass from pubs goes to Downing Street

“A widow whose husband died after being stabbed in the neck with a glass bottle is taking her campaign to ban glass from pubs and clubs to Downing Street. Philip Sherriff who was from Preston was attacked at a London nightclub on a night out in April. Tomorrow she’s going to London to lobby the Government to change the law. Philip Sherriff Credit: ITV Granada His wife, Jane, says his death was totally preventable and has launched the campaign in his memory. She said: “I don’t want anyone to go through what we’ve gone through, the devastation has been enormous.”

Will the idiocy end in 2013? Nope. Remember when Politically Correct language was fringe? I do. Now it’s everywhere. This banning all sorts of behaviors (because you are too childish to be able to handle a butter knife or spill your drink) will only get worse.

Have a Happy New Year…

A Weak Yen Will Destroy Japan

The clowns in the LDP think a weak yen will rescue Japan’s faltering economy by making exports cheaper… Sounds good… That is, if there anyone to buy Japanese goods.

China and Japan are in a row over islands. Boom! Down goes exports to Japan’s biggest trading partner. Please refer to the NY Times article, “Japan Trade Suffers as China Ties Deteriorate“:

“Shipments to China, which is Japan’s biggest trading partner, tumbled 14.1 per cent as demand dropped for Japan-branded products…”

Also refer to Japanese Car Sales Plunge Amid China Rage.

Europe is in no condition to be big spenders on anything as Euro states are already in deep recession.

The USA isn’t in good shape either as it is in recession as well and Japanese cars aren’t selling well due to Fukushima and other issues.

Gee? So what will a weak yen certainly buy for Japan? Answer: How about a 10% increase across the board on energy imports?

From Forbes Magazines, please refer to: Japan’s Energy Dependence

Data from the Energy Data and Modeling Center (EDMC), Institute of Energy Economics, Japan, for 2008 published in the APEC Energy Overview (2010), paint a stark picture of Japan’s energy vulnerability:

– Of total primary energy supply (508,327 kiloton of oil equivalent (ktoe)), 85 percent (433,725 ktoe) was imported. The breakdown of primary energy was coal 23 percent, oil 44 percent, gas 17 percent, and other 17 percent.

–For final energy consumption in ktoe, the industrial sector took 45 percent; the transport sector 24 percent; and other sectors 31 percent. By type of energy: coal 11 percent, oil 53 percent, gas 9 percent, and electricity and other 28 percent.

Don’t forget that these are 2008 figures – three years before the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster. Things have gotten much worse since then. Now take all that imported oil and natural gas (and coal) and jack up the price 10%… What do you get?

Couple that sum with the 2% inflation rate targeted by the new government of Shinzo Abe and you get a collapse of the Japanese economy.

2013 is not going to be pretty for the Japanese economy.

Sexy Japanese Songstress Gets Rave Reviews on Yahoo!

Wow! I knew blogging was quick and I’ve beaten regular press many times in the past, but this time I beat Yahoo! by a day (well, 17 hours to be exact) Allow me to, once again, pat myself on the back! … My blog post was entitled Female Japanese Jazz Musician Breaking into Italy and the West… That was posted at 4:30 am on Dec. 13. Yahoo! Japan comes out with this marvelous article later that day, on the Headlines section no less! This is a Google translation, but you get the idea

Debut party debut in Omotesando Julie, in collaboration Italy Sun

(Julie) was unveiled at a party, Omotesando, Tokyo rookie female singer Julie debut project in collaboration with Japan and Italy.  Born in California in 1984. Longing to glam rock, he grew up watching, such as rock musical “rocky horror picture show” since I was in elementary school. Decisions debut demo tape who sang “All That Jazz” has caught the eye of the participants.

Debut album with “BLACK SUIT & WHITE TIE” in 2012. In the summer of the same year, a joint project of the creators of the original Italian and Japanese producers, a new start shooting short films and music recording of the new EP in Italy. This time, EP album “J” was released in the new December 11.  

Julie the day of the unveiling of the release party was held | packed audience in an effort to catch a glimpse of Julie, the “JAPAN MADE IN ITALY FEATURING JULIE”, we show a high degree of attention of the project.  

At the party, we introduce a new approach in the form produced by a team of Japanese and Italian creators of Japan and Italy, Japanese singer debut artists that adorn the first, of this Julie.  

Rather than the concept then was produced greeted by art director working on creative high brand in Europe, the TOP creator “Enrico Ciccu” of Italy, called “PV” traditional idea “Music Short Film”, reach more people video and making of the project took the form to, music short film “Johnny Guitar” Track of the EP album “J” is a new shot in Italy will showcase the first time in the whole world, the audience gathered painting uniformly I had been eye-catching finish of highly artistic short films and music-term project.  

And, Julie finally appeared for the fun part. Such as “Johnny Guitar” “Black Sheep” has been included on the EP album “J” new, Julie was greeted with great applause, singing nine songs. Show a great climax, the venue has many guests visiting from abroad, the stage of about 40 minutes was never a big applause and cheers ringing.  Future projects ahead of Julie to Europe and North America, we are disseminating the whole world. Is scheduled to continue to expand the approach to the music industry that was completely different from the conventional in the future. (: Yuki Takeda Editor)

See her video, “Johnny Guitar” here:

Congrats to Julie, Japan’s newest star in Italy!

See Julie’s Lookalization trailer here:

Female Japanese Jazz Musician Breaking into Italy and the West

Recently, I have been writing a lot about reasons why I think today’s Japan is in the dumps both economically and spiritually. Please refer to “Japan’s Mojo No Go No Mo!” or: Non-Genki Corporate Japan Culture Ver. 2012:

In my opinion, one of the big problems with today’s Japan and the economy in general is the lack of “Genki” in todays corporate Japan. I think it is well agreed upon that mood is a very important factor in the market economy. And when mood is bad, how can people be positive? It’s like Japan is under a curse or something.

Actually, everywhere I’ve looked recently, I’ve seen many people who seem tired and disillusioned. Perhaps the coming elections in Japan contribute to the sour mood. I’m not sure…. But to look at who people get to choose from, I could understand their depression.

Wow! What a sad state of affairs!

But the other day, I saw something that really made my heart sing and think, for the first time in a long time, “Wow! Here’s some Japanese people who are really going for it and trying to sell their product, not only in Japan but around the world!” I went to a live jazz performance of a new artist named Julie.

It was a refreshing evening. It made my heart sing to hear REALLY top quality world-class performers doing music with style.

Julie on Facebook here

And I was so impressed with what I saw. And what really surprised me the most was this came from the Japanese music industry. That is a shocker! The Japanese music industry is synonymous with bland corporate crap and a distinct lack of imagination.

For decades, Japanese musicians have tried to break into the USA but have consistently (and predictably) failed. The list is long. Multi-million selling superstars in Japan who couldn’t giveaway their records in the west: Seiko Matsuda, Utada Hikaru, Chage and Aska and Ayumi Hamasaki… They all failed… and that’s even with a massive promotional budget and spending in the millions on advertising.

Of course they failed, though.

Just as companies in the west must adapt their products to Japan, so the Japanese must adapt their products to the west. Why the Japanese used Japanese producers, staff and management to sell in the USA is a question that I have always wondered about.

But the other night, I saw something that made me think, “Wow! Japan still has a chance. She still has people with big dreams and people who are trying for the world stage.

Meet Jazz singer Julie. Her latest EP (now on sale on Amazon) is a refreshing break from the typical pop music scene. Julie does Jazz and in the traditional mode. The EP has been released in Italy and was produced, directed, recorded, engineered, mastered by an Italian film director. The video was also shot on location in Italy. And one can tell immediately that this is not a Japanese production.

This is world class quality. Watch it for yourself and see:

It’s really nice to see a Japanese artist trying to make it in the west…. Especially when they recruit people from the west to make it happen. Good luck!

Here’s more information about Julie and this video:

JULIE born in California and raised in Japan. She is a jazz singer with Hotei Tomoyasu’s company (He played for the queen of England for her 50th Jubilee). Julie comes from a very musical family and has been around musicians and famous people all her life. She is a very big David Bowie fan. Her favorite movie is the Rocky Horror Picture Show. She speaks perfect Japanese and English.

DAVIDE SARDO Born and raised in Cagliari, Italy, Davide Sardo is a musician and sound designer. He is a classically trained double bassist and electric bassist. He plays several other instruments, as he sees fit for his productions. His activity is split in music scoring, audio production and sound design for theatre shows and short movies, and doing post sound (edit, sound design) for multimedia products, video and cinema. As a side activity he plays in a progressive rock band and produces his own electronic music. Davide is now Music producer and Chief sound designer at Welcome to my Mondo, the company he founded with Enrico and Piero.

ENRICO CICCU After graduating in History of Arts and taking a master in Visual Marketing, Enrico was hired as Adobe beta tester and started to work as art director all around Italy, for big companies such as Benetton, Wind, H3G, Tim, and Luxottica. Enrico’s dream was to run his own company in his home town, land of sun and sea, so he came back to Sardinia where he started his first creative agency and he began teachING digital animation in a local graphic and comics school. He was hired as channel designer for Tiscali IP-television, where he worked for almost 2 years developing his skills in animation, web design and graphics. At the end of this project, together with a group of colleagues, he created a collaborative team of young professionals who won the prize for the Best Italian Web Design in 2010 thanks to its Japanese-inspired design. Enrico is now Art director at Welcome to my Mondo. Japan was always in his heart, and now his dream comes true: signing a joint venture with a Japanese partner to lookalize and promote Japanese artists, brands and goods in Europe.

Here’s the “Making of Lookalization” teaser:

“Japan’s Mojo No Go No Mo!” or: Non-Genki Corporate Japan Culture Ver. 2012

There’s lots of reasons why the Japanese economy is in the crapper. For a brief rant on that and a few reasons why see: Japan is Collapsing.

But besides the usual suspects in Japan’s economic mess, there is another, more subtle player in action here that I think many people have missed. And that is that today’s Japanese Corporate environment is not “Genki” at all anymore.

What does “Genki” mean? According to “Genki” means, “Genki” is a fantastic Japanese word that means “fun”, “lively”, “energetic”, “full of life.”

This being Genki is important. It is like Feng Shui! Feng Shui says, in a nutshell, that if your business or life is to be positive, energetic and lively, then don’t have things like dead plants at the front door; don’t have dirt and filth around; keep it clean. Great ideas and things are nor borne from dirt and filth; they are born from cleanliness… After all, they do also say, in the west. that “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” (read more at: Feng Shui means, “Make More Money!”)

In my opinion, one of the big problems with today’s Japan and the economy in general is the lack of “Genki” in todays corporate Japan. I think it is well agreed upon that mood is a very important factor in the market economy. And when mood is bad, how can people be positive? It’s like Japan is under a curse or something.

It didn’t used to be this way…. In the 80s, it was an entirely different ballgame…. In the 80s, the Japanese were Gung-ho as hell. Sometimes it was a bit scary…. I remember those days when people felt that, besides going the extra 150 miles, they had to dress and act like they were going those extra miles too… There was a director at a radio station who showed up for work every morning in a three-piece suit! What the hell for? At the station, no one outside was going to see him. It was just us four or five people and we were all in jeans and T-Shirts.

I asked him why he dressed like that and he told me that it was to “Show the world that I am ready to take over!” He really did say that. He was the Zeitgeist of the Japan of the mid-80s.

Today? Guys like him seem long gone.

Let me tell you how it is today. Let me tell you about a place I go to work at once a week…

I work at a company that is full of the most un-Genki, unfriendly people, you could ever have the “pleasure” of meeting.

I always walk in with a big smile and say “Hi!” and “Hello!” to everyone. Even to people I don’t even know! Doing that makes me feel good. And you know what they say, “When you feel good, you look good.”

When Mike Rogers walks into that company, everyone knows it. The people there always laugh and smile when I come in… Perhaps some people think I am a brash and ostentatious foreigner… But, generally speaking, I know people there like me. I like to think of myself and one of the “fun” people who gets things done and does a top-quality professional job doing so – and doing that while having fun.

The other day I had some fresh Tuna Fish Jerky from my friend David and I walked into the office and gave out 40 packs to all the staff.

When I walked in, the atmosphere was quiet and solemn. I don’t to give too many details about this particular company but I can tell you that they are involved in the entertainment business. Get it? They are supposed to be entertaining people but the place is like a funeral.

I shouted “Merry Christmas!” and started throwing packs of Tuna Jerky (the stuff is awesomely delicious) onto everyone’s desk. They all smiled brightly. Then, I went into the next room and did the same. It was fun.

That’s what it is like when I, and a few other people, go there. Other times? When new people walk in, no one even greets them and says, Welcome!” It’s like a funeral parlor; dead, lifeless and grim.

It didn’t used to be that way… Like I said, in the 80s, Japanese companies were like beehives; the atmosphere was often electric and buzzing with excitement. Now? Walking into far too many Japanese companies is like walking into the office to get your drivers licence: Dark, damp, and dusty.

What happened?

I remember offices in the eighties when anyone would walk through the front door all the employees would stand up and say, “Ohayou Gozaimasu!” They all did that. Sure, most of the staff probably didn’t want to do so, but the boss made them do it. The boss made them act Genki. The boss created that corporate culture….

Where are those bosses today?

Now, at so many companies, when you walk in, not a single person looks at you and says a word.

It’s a sad state of affairs and one, I think, that has to be fixed before this country can be Genki both spiritually and economically again. Until then, like I said, “Japan’s Mojo no go no mo!”

Small Physical Silver Bars Disappearing From Dealers in Tokyo!

Several pieces of news have really gotten me worried about the Japanese (world) economy (again). The biggest one was reported in Proof Again Japan IS (Has?) Collapsing – Bank of Japan Posts ¥233 Billion Loss – Red Ink on Balance Sheet Hits ¥156 Trillion! From articles like this, I have been getting a ton of direct mail from folks asking me where they should buy physical silver and gold in Tokyo.

I saw this gold teapot in the window at a metals dealer near Ueno… ¥2,300,000!!! (that’s about $27887.00!!! Sales tax would come to another ¥139,385 ($1690)! Grand total of: ¥2,928,085 (about $35507.73 USD)!!! No, thanks, honey. The instant coffee is good enough for me!

Good question.

I have also been reading in many places that while the price of silver continually fluctuates up and down and that the performance of silver prices in 2012 have been disappointing, the real story is that those price fluctuations are paper silver, not physical silver. The real story, or so I have read, is the difficulty of obtaining physical silver from dealers.

With that, I have been noticing the tightening of the rules for buying silver. One of the big red flags for me was Australia’s Perth Mint listing standard one-ounce silver rounds as often being sold out and no longer offering delivery to foreign countries. I also noticed that the US Mint lists this year’s silver as sold out.

I have been recommending to my friend that he buy only silver or gold bars from reputable company with a good name. If something bad happens, then you’ll want an easily recognized and trusted name so that you won’t have a hard time selling your metals if you must. Tanaka is about as good as you can get in Japan. Last week I went with a friend to Tanaka Precious Metals to investigate the status of the market availablity of silver. What I found was a shock.

The last time I was at Tanaka over a year ago, they sold silver bars in sizes from 25, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 gram bars. A 1000 grams is a kilogram. After that, they sold only 30 kilogram bars (that’s a hefty piece of metal!)

When I arrived at Tanaka Precious Metals, they were packed with customers – selling metals! But they had a notice up saying that they no longer sold bars of silver in any size under 30 kilograms!

There were no longer small bars that the regular folks (like you or me) can but. The 30 kilogram bars are for industrial use and corporate investors. Sure. A 30-kilogram bar of silver costs about ¥2,790,000 (about $34,000 USD!)

My friend only wanted a 1000 gram bar (about $1000)… So we called around.

The results blew my mind. After calling five dealers, we only found ONE Tanaka marked bar in all of Tokyo. I took him over there and he bought it. It was the last one.

I asked the clerk about the situation and she told me that it is still relatively easy to obtain shiny silver rounds as those carry a high premium price over spot, but standard bars are getting harder and harder to obtain.

That’s points, my friends, to something going on here.

Some folks say that gold and silver prices are in a bubble. That’s doubtful. Why? From what I witnessed, regular folks were selling off yet the dealers had no stock.

What’s going to happen when Japan’s currency crisis really hits and those people who are selling all of a sudden turn around and realize that they need to have those 50, 100 gram bars and they can’t?

We are living in interesting times. Scary.


PS: Reader Ron in Ibaraki asked me the best place to store precious metals. Well, Ron, if you have a good built-into-the floor safe and total alarm system built into your home or office, then I would say that is the best place… (Yeah, I know. I know. “Who has one of those!?”) So may I recommend what I do? Try the small (never-heard-of) local Savings and Loans. I use Kosan Shintaku Ginko(興産信託銀行). My bank is NEVER crowded. They have been in business for over 90 years. They are not a part of the Japanese banking giants so they are not in serious debt and close to fialing. Also, since they are small and unknown (virtually) if there is a bank rush, I know that I can just leisurely walk over there and get my money. Even on payday I have never had to wait in line (not like the 30 minute waits you have at a Japanese Mega-Bank!) If you go to Kosan, tell them, “Mike sent me!”

PPS: I like Ishifuku for buying small bars of gold… But forget them for silver. Their silver markup is waaaay too high. Their silver bar was priced almost 10% higher than the Tanaka that my friend bought at a different dealer than Tanaka.