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Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

Deja Thursday – The Coalition of the Willing is Back in Business!

We're back in business baby!  

It's been 12 years since GW Bush first assembled the "Coalition of the Willing" in November of 2002 (a full year after we were attacked by 15 Saudi hijackers), to go after Osama Bin Laden, (who was hiding in Afghanistan) by attacking Iraq.  Interestingly, Bush only stole that phrase from Bill Clinton (what, you thought Bush had an original thought?), who first mentioned it in a 1994 interview

Now, in 2014, we're ready to go back to war – in Iraq (did we ever really leave?) – with another coalition of the willing staring most of the same players but this time, we have Germany on our side – so you know we're serious.  According to the WSJ, they've already spotted a training camp for Syrian rebels in Saudi Arabia and – oops, wait – that's being run by us – WE'RE arming and training Syrian rebels – what can go wrong?

ShiftingGround

Well, as they say, politics make strange Bedouin fellows and I guess we'll ignore the fact that the current ISIS rebels were the same people we armed and trained to fight Saddam 12 years ago.  While we're training and arming Syrians in Saudi Arabia, we'll be bombing their country as well.  Again, this is pretty much how we handled Iraq but hey – at least we're consistent!  

At PSW, we're consistent too.  While we love war as much as any other red-blooded Americans, we question this one as well – even when there's a Democrat in charge.  It's funny because, just the other day, I suggested that Congress, rather than rejecting the call for $40M to help combat Eblola (as they just did), could have scraped together that money by simply firing one less $1M Tomahawk missile each week.  I was wrong, and I apologize – it turns out they cost $1.41M each.  

This is, of course, great news for RTN, whose stock has already run up 13% in the past 30 days as the fear of peace flushes out of the stock price.  If you want to
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Monday Market Mayhem – Bombs Fly, Markets Fly – Why Not?

America F*ck Yeah!  

From Ferguson to Fallujah, America has spent the weekend kicking ass and taking names with the National Guard rushing in to put down the 99% in Missouri while in Mosul, we're bombing the Middle East's 99% off the dams and picking off the stragglers with high-tech drones – F*ck Yeah!  

That, combined with what we can politely call a non-escalation of tensions in the Ukraine has sent the price of oil tumbling by 0.75 this morning, good for $750 per contract from our Friday short (and now we're long at $94 on /CLV4 for October) - F*ck Yeah!  Index futures were up slightly in Asia but gathered steam in Europe and markets there are coming out of lunch up over 1% – even as the cease-fire in Gaza is about to end.  

Meanwhile, over in Hong Kong, we got a powerful lesson in numbers as the 1.3Bn population of China is able to overwhelm that Island's 7M people (0.5% of China's population) at will and that will was exercised this weekend as China staged "Pro-Beijing" rallies that protested the "Occupy Central" rallies the bottom 99% of Hong Kong had been staging.   Can anti-democracy rallies be far behind?  

The anti-Occupy Central campaign's focus on the impact of civil disobedience has appealed to the pragmatism of many Hong Kong people. While many support democracy, they also just want to live their lives and go to work unimpeded.  "We can't be optimistic at all—the pro-Beijing camp will control the entire list of candidates," said Joseph Cheng, a political-science professor and convener of the Alliance for True Democracy, a coalition of democratic parties supporting Occupy Central.

In short, while China did promise to give Hong Kong the right to vote – they never said they wouldn't stuff the ballot boxes or put up candidates that were nothing more than two different flavors of the same puppets.  "If we are buying fruit, don't give us three rotten oranges to choose from," one of the activists said.  Oh wait, that might have been our own election coverage – it's so hard to keep these totalitarian regimes straight

Still it's VICTORY…
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Monday Mayhem – Iraq Kicks it up a Notch

Iraq shiite militia

“A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Iraqi citizens are taking it to the streets to stop the Sunni Militant advance that has now moved on to 
Saadiya, a "city" of 20,000 people which leads the US media morons to conclude that they are just about to take Baghdad, a city of 5,672,513.  The MSM plays on American's complete lack of geographical knowledge and poor math skills to excuse the profiteering by their sponsors
(Banksters and Energy Companies) that has driven the price of oil in America up 7% this month – even though oil wasn't this high during most of the actual war in Iraq.  

iraqAnyone who actually knows anything about war knows that the ISIL doesn't have the men, equipment or supply lines to hold what they have now, let alone march on Baghdad, let alone move another 200 miles south towards the nation's oil fields – but that doesn't fit the story the media is spinning, so it doesn't get any play.  

As noted by the New York Times (and pretty much no other paper) the goal of the ISIL is to provoke a civil war in Iraq and many of their clams of captured cities and Shi'ite executions are nothing but propaganda meant to incite riots.  As I said last week, if you follow the money, it trickles down from the $2Bn monthly windfall this unrest is giving NYMEX traders, not to mention the 90M barrels of Global oil sold each day for +$7 ($19Bn per month), 2M of which (+$420M per month) comes from Iraq itself.  

Despite all the unrest, our $107.50 oil short from Friday's post is still going strong at $107 this morning (up $500 per contract) and we're still shorting at the $107 line (those of us not so crazy as to leave shorts on over the weekend) as we're hoping to see some capitulation on the 154,000 contract that remain open (1,000…
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$500 Friday – Follow Philstockworld For Futures Fun!

Wheeeeee!

Our morning Alert to our Members (and Tweeted to our Followers) made over $500 already this morning.  How did you start your day?  

In just 5 minutes we made our first $250 (per contract) of the morning and then we got a chance to re-load at $107.50 at 3:50 where we shorted it again (also noted in our Live Member Chat Room) and second time was already a charm as we got a much nicer run – this time all the way down to $106.75 for a $750 PER CONTRACT gain.  

We're still shorting oil as it retests the $107 line and, if you read yesterday's post, you know why we are shorting oil already but this morning, if you want the late, authoritive word on the subject, the IEA just (7:58 EST) released a statement:

A lightning advance by jihadists across northern Iraq has rekindled concern on oil markets, but the IEA has cautioned that supplies from the leading exporter may not be at immediate risk.

In the past week militants have swept across northern Iraq and were closing in on the capital Baghdad, sparking fears that OPEC's number two producer could be hit and sending oil prices to their highest levels of the year.

'Concerning as the latest events in Iraq may be, they might not for now, if the conflict does not spread further, put additional Iraqi oil supplies immediately at risk,' the Paris-based International Energy Agency said on Friday, on a cautionary note in its monthly oil market report.

USO WEEKLYIn other words, exactly what I told you yesterday!  Of course, CNBC has not reported this news (so far, I'm only finding the report in Australia) – they are still busy mongering fear to
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Stock World Weekly 2-27-11

Here’s the latest edition of Stock World Weekly:  Irresistible Forces Meet Immovable Objects. - Ilene 

Excerpt:

On Saturday, February 27, the Security Council of the United Nations (UN) voted unanimously to institute sanctions on Libya, including travel bans and freezing the assets of Muammar al-Gaddafi and others associated with his regime. Protests have dragged into their twelfth day, and protestors refuse to yield in the face of utterly horrific retaliation by Gaddafi’s loyal forces. U.S. ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice said, “When atrocities are committed against innocents, the international community must act with one voice – and tonight it has.”  

The Telegraph reported over the weekend that Gaddafi apparently made good on his threats to trigger a civil war, using irregular forces largely composed of hired mercenaries to launch a counterattack against protesters. “Anywhere we go there is danger,” said one woman, a 28-year-old mother of four who asked not to be named. “All we want is food and fresh water for our children but it is impossible to find. Security is the only concern of the authorities.” 

An accurate report of the death toll is impossible to obtain at this time, but on Wednesday, Italy’s Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini said, “We believe that the estimates of about 1,000 are credible.” The situation in Libya has deteriorated since then. Multiple stories coming in from all over the country have cited dozens to hundreds of casualties in each city. It appears that Libya has slipped into the abyss of complete social breakdown and civil war.

This is just one example of the tide of popular unrest that has been unleashed in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s and other central banks’ inflationary policies. The chart below shows the U.S. Adjusted Monetary Base increasing from $1.75Tn in 2009, to $2.0Tn in 2010, and now nearing $2.3Tn, an increase of $300Bn in just two months! This represents an increase of 35% in less than 18 months. (The U.S. Monetary Base is the total amount of currency that is circulating in the hands of the public or in the commercial bank deposits held in reserves of member banks of the Federal Reserve System.)  

Another revolt of a more peaceful nature took place in Ireland. The long-dominant Fianna Fail party was brutally rejected by Irish voters, taking just 15.1% of the vote and losing…
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The Road to World War III – The Global Banking Cartel Has One Card Left to Play

The Road to World War III – The Global Banking Cartel Has One Card Left to Play

By David DeGraw (h/t ZH)

The following is Part I to David DeGraw’s new book, “The Road Through 2012: Revolution or World War III.” This is the second installment to a new seven-part series that we will be posting throughout the next few weeks. You can read the introduction to the book here. To be notified via email of new postings from this series, subscribe here.

******

Editor’s Note: The following is Part I to David DeGraw’s new book, “The Road Through 2012: Revolution or World War III.” This is the second installment to a new seven-part series that we will be posting throughout the next few weeks. You can read the introduction to the book here. To be notified via email of new postings from this series, subscribe here.

I: Economic Imperial Operations

The Road to World War III - The Global Banking Cartel Has One Card Left to PlayWhen we analyze our current crisis, focusing on the past few years of economic activity blinds us to the history and context that are vital to understanding the root cause. What we have been experiencing is not the result of an unforeseen economic crash that appeared out of the blue with the collapse of the housing market. It was certainly not brought on by people who bought homes they couldn’t afford. To frame this crisis around a debate on economic theory misses the point entirely. To even blame it on greedy bankers,…
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Did 9/11 Really “Change Everything”?

Did 9/11 Really "Change Everything"?

Courtes of Washington’s Blog

[And see also Washington's 9-11 post if you missed it, here.]

We’ve been told that 9/11 changed everything.

Is it true?

Let’s look:

  • The Afghanistan war was planned before 9/11 (see this and this)
  • Cheney apparently even made Iraqi’s oil fields a national security priority before 9/11
  • Cheney dreamed of giving the White House the powers of a monarch long before 9/11
  • Cheney and Rumsfeld actively generated fake intelligence which exaggerated the threat from an enemy in order to justify huge amounts of military spending long before 9/11. And see this
  • Cheney and the rest of the neocons lamented - before 9/11 - that America could not truly project its power globally without the justification of a "new Pearl Harbor"
  • The decision to threaten to bomb Iran was made before 9/11
  • The government knew that terrorists could use planes as weapons — and had even run its own drills of planes being used as weapons against the World Trade Center and other U.S. high-profile buildings, using REAL airplanes — all before 9/11
  • The government heard the 9/11 plans from the hijackers’ own mouths before 9/11
  • It was known long before 9/11 that torture doesn’t work to produce accurate intelligence, but is an effective way to terrorize people

So did 9/11 really "change everything"? Or was it simply an excuse to implement existing plans? 


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Dick Cheney’s Oily Dream

Dick Cheney’s Oily Dream

Courtesy of Washington’s Blog

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is currently saying that Dick Cheney’s vision of policy towards the Middle East after 9/11 was to re-draw the map:

Vice-President Dick Cheney’s vision of completely redrawing the map of the Middle East following the 9/11 attacks is "not stupid," and is "possible over time," former British Prime Minister Tony Blair says.

In his new book, A Journey, the former Labour Party leader wrote that Cheney wanted a wholesale reorganization of the political map of the Middle East after 9/11. The vice president "would have worked through the whole lot, Iraq, Syria, Iran, dealing with all their surrogates in the course of it — Hezbollah, Hamas, etc," Blair wrote.

What does this mean?

Well, as I have repeatedly pointed out, the "war on terror" in the Middle East has nothing to do with combating terror, and everything to do with remaking that region’s geopolitical situation to America’s advantage.

For example, as I noted in January::

Starting right after 9/11 — at the latest — the goal has always been to create "regime change" and instability in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Lebanon; the goal was never really to destroy Al Qaeda. As American reporter Gareth Porter writes in Asia Times:

Three weeks after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld established an official military objective of not only removing the Saddam Hussein regime by force but overturning the regime in Iran, as well as in Syria and four other countries in the Middle East, according to a document quoted extensively in then-under secretary of defense for policy Douglas Feith’s recently published account of the Iraq war decisions. Feith’s account further indicates that this aggressive aim of remaking the map of the Middle East by military force and the threat of force was supported explicitly by the country’s top military leaders.
Feith’s book, War and Decision, released last month, provides excerpts of the paper Rumsfeld sent to President George W Bush on September 30, 2001, calling for the administration to focus not on taking down Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network but on the aim of establishing "new regimes" in a series of states
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General Wesley Clark, who commanded the North Atlantic


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The U.S. Can’t Fix the Economy But We Can Still Threaten People (So There)

The U.S. Can’t Fix the Economy But We Can Still Threaten People (So There)

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant  

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will probably not be coming to the U.S. any time soon.

Via the Telegraph:

"Today the Whitehouse put out a private briefing to reporters about Wikileaks and me and it quoted a section from an interview with me in Die Spiegel saying that I enjoy crushing ——--.

"Somehow the Whitehouse finds that offensive.

"In terms of returning to the United States I don’t know. Our sources advise from inside the US government that there were thoughts of whether I could be charged as a co-conspirator to espionage, which is serious.

"That doesn’t seem to be the thinking within the United States any more however there is the other possibility of being detained as a material witness and being kept either in confinement or not being allowed to leave the country until the Manning case is concluded."

You can implode our banking system all you want but don’t you dare mess with our 9 year long wars. 

In completely related news, the House just happened to give up $33 billion to both ongoing engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan

 


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Oil, Oil Everywhere

Oil, Oil Everywhere

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

Boat passes through heavily oiled marsh near Pass a Loutre, Louisiana

We’re now about a month into the BP Oil "blowout" incident in the Gulf.

We still don’t know exactly what caused the blowout, but that’s not the important factor from my point of view. 

We know that a gas "bolus" got into the drill pipe and expanded as it rose, and that was the proximate cause of the blast and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon.

What we don’t know is why the blowout preventer failed to close.

There have been several theories and claims, among them:

  • The Blowout Preventer’s hydraulic system has one or more leaks in it, and as such it couldn’t close.  If this is true then the question becomes who knew of the leak, if anyone, as it would have caused the preventer to fail routine tests.
     
  • There are also claims that the well failed a negative pressure test a few hours before the incident.  That would imply that there was a problem with the casing integrity (or the cement job done to lock it in place) and work continued without addressing this first.

Let me provide some context here: I live in the Florida Panhandle and in a "worst case scenario" the value of my home is likely to be destroyed.  On April 30th I wrote a piece called "Drill Baby Drill", and I stand behind it today, even with the increased knowledge we now have.

Gulf Coast Struggles With Oil Spill And Its Economic Costs

I want answers to the above two questions, and I want the firms and persons responsible for those two breaches of protocol and common sense (along with safety measures) tarred, feathered and bankrupted, in that order, with every penny they personally and corporately possess confiscated to perform whatever remediation we can.

What I do know is this: A deepwater rig like the Horizon costs about $500,000 per day to have on site and operate.  There was obviously a decision taken by someone that halting operations to pull and repair or replace the blowout preventer stack would cost millions (such an operation would result in significant downtime, of course, during which the rig would be sitting idle) and thus it was not done.

But this does not change my base view, which is that we have no valid alternative to drilling in the Gulf and elsewhere – indeed, everywhere we can find oil and gas.

What…
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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

Here's the Happy Thanksgiving Edition of Stock World Weekly!

Click on this link and sign in with your PSW user name and password. 

Picture via Pixabay.

...

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Zero Hedge

Pity the Sub-Genius

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tim Knight from Slope of Hope.

From the Slope of Hope: They say be careful what you wish for. And, as is often the case, "they" are right.

As a kid, I wished the world favored the smart. I was a smart kid, and it seemed like the world - at least my world - was dominated by bullies and airheads. Might made right, just like in the times of old. My high IQ and love of learning were no match for popular dolts, so a portion of my childhood was wasted just trying to disappear into the background.

Unknown to me at the time, much of the adult world operated the same way. It didn't take a ...



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Phil's Favorites

"Eagle Cam": Aerial View of London via Video Camera Attached to an Eagle

Courtesy of Mish.

An eagle got an impressive birds-eye-view of London this week, flying over the city's most iconic landmarks using a Sony HDR-AZ1VR Action Cam attached to its back.



Link if video does not play: Action Cam Footage Shows Eagle Flying Over City of London

The BBC reports Eagle With Camera Flies Over London
An eagle with a camera attached has flown across London and offered a new perspective on some of the capital's best-known landmarks.

The footage was recorded over a week by an Imperial Eagle called Darchan.

The animal has been brought to London from the French Alps by The Freedom Project to mark the 50th anniversary of the International Union for Conservation of ...



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Market Shadows

Official Moves in the Market Shadows' Virtual Portfolio

By Ilene 

I officially bought 250 shares of EZCH at $18.76 and sold 300 shares of IGT at $17.09 in Market Shadows' Virtual Portfolio yesterday (Fri. 11-21).

Click here for Thursday's post where I was thinking about buying EZCH. After further reading, I decided to add it to the virtual portfolio and to sell IGT and several other stocks, which we'll be saying goodbye to next week.

Notes

1. th...



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Chart School

The Big Four Economic Indicators: Real Retail Sales

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Note from dshort: With yesterday's release of the Consumer Price Index for October, I've updated Real Retail Sales for October.

Official recession calls are the responsibility of the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee, which is understandably vague about the specific indicators on which they base their decisions. This committee statement is about as close as they get to identifying their method.

There is, however, a general belief that there are four big indicators that the committee weighs heavily in their cycle identification process. They are:

  • Industrial Production
  • Real Personal Income (excluding Transfer Payments)
  • Nonfarm Employment
  • Real Retail Sales
  • ...

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    All About Trends

    Mid-Day Update

    Reminder: David is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

    Click here for the full report.




    To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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    OpTrader

    Swing trading portfolio - week of November 17th, 2014

    Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

     

    This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

    We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

    Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

    To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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    Sabrient

    Sector Detector: Investors make up new rules for their new market paradigm

    Reminder: Sabrient is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

    Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

    By Scott Martindale

    Investors in U.S. equities seem to have embraced a new market paradigm in which upside spikes come more swiftly than the downside selloffs. Remember when it used to be the other way around? When fear was stronger than greed? The market is consolidating its gains off the early-October V-bottom reversal, and no one seems to be in any hurry to unload shares this time around, with the holidays rapidly approaching and all. After all, there are bright blue skies directly overhead giving hope and respite from the early freeze blanketing the country.

    In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer...



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    Digital Currencies

    Ukraine Central Bank Bans Bitcoin "To Protect Citizens" From Financing Terrorism

    If you would have supposed that Ukraine had enough problems to make banning bitcoins a backburner issue, you'd have been wrong. The rationale, "to protect consumers' rights" makes little to no sense... The other one, "to keep money in the country" makes more sense. 

    Ukraine Central Bank Bans Bitcoin "To Protect Citizens" From Financing Terrorism

    Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

    The Hryvnia has collapsed to new record lows near 15/USD this morning. The Central Bank and bankers "agreed to keep UAH at 15-16/USD" but are &qu...



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    Option Review

    Yamana Gold call options sink

    Yamana Gold call options sink

    By Andrew Wilkinson at Interactive Brokers

    A four-year low for the spot price of gold has had a devastating impact on Yamana Gold (Ticker: AUY), with shares in the name down at the lowest price in six years. Some option traders were especially keen to sell premium and appear to see few signs of a lasting rebound within the next five months. The price of gold suffered again Wednesday as the dollar strengthened and stock prices advanced. The post price of gold fell to $1145 adding further pain to share prices of gold miners. Shares in Yamana Gold tumbled to $3.62 and the lowest price since 2008 as call option sellers used the April expiration contract to write premium at the $5.00 strike. That strike is now 38% above the price of the stock. Premium writers took in around 16-cents per contract o...



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    Pharmboy

    Biotechs & Bubbles

    Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

    Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely.  From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.

    First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices.  Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment.  Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer.  For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...



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    Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

    "Hello PSW Members –

    This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at jennifersurovy@yahoo.com with any questions.

    Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts.  After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.)  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.

    http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

    Thank you for you time!




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