Remembering Thoreau who said…

May 23rd, 2013

A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of the masses of men.

Please keep arguing

May 20th, 2013

When Democrats and Republicans agree, I’m scared.

OK to be wrong sometimes

April 27th, 2013

Even people who are wrong often have a positive influence on other people, they often move things in the right direction or cause much needed course corrections. When the masses are going way off track, a little craziness might be worth listening to.

Self Fulfilling Cycle

April 21st, 2013

Most of America’s problems result from a government that is too large, while most American’s are looking to have their problems solved by adding more government.

How does one stop borrowing money?

April 21st, 2013

There are only 2 ways to stop borrowing money: a good way and a bad way. The good way is to stop asking for money. The bad way is to ask for money, only to have the lenders say no. We all know which method will stop the US Federal Government from borrowing money. See, I didn’t have to tell you, you already know!

Assuming the Chinese government is not stupid, they must be arranging their affairs to protect China from a failure to recover the investments they made in the US Federal Government. If they are able to arrange their affairs so as to minimize the damage that will be done by a US default, they then will most certainly stop wasting good money after bad and will stop lending the US money. Once they stop…

Who disobeys?

April 21st, 2013

For some interesting reading check out Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini, Copyrights 1984 – 2009. It’s full of insights from fascinating studies.

Many good people do not fear the government. Most probably believe that either their leaders won’t ever order armed personnel to harm them or that even if they are so ordered, those armed personnel will not follow those orders. This might be a good time to re-familiarize ourselves with the experiments done by Professor Stanley Milgram at Yale University. I think everyone reading this must be familiar with the well known story but if not you can google it. If your memory needs refreshing, Milgram asked test subjects (who did not know they were part of a psychological study) to give electrical shocks to other people, and at first the person receiving the shock was a willing participant. Of course no electrical shocks were actually being administered; the people being “shocked” were part of the study. The person conducting the test told the subject to gradually increase the voltage with each electrical shock. Despite cries of “stop”, “this is hurting me” and even “I have a heart condition and won’t make it” from the person being shocked, 65% of the subjects cranked the voltage to the highest level of 450 volts. All of the participants continued to 300 volts.

The results of Milgram’s study is such a horrible statement about human nature that it boggles the mind. I find it hard to accept or believe, but I’ve never heard the validity of this study challenged.

However many people are not aware of Prof. Milgram’s follow up studies. Prof. Milgram wanted to know why his subjects were so willing to provide a harmful electrical shock to a perfectly nice person who they hardly knew. Through his follow up experiments Milgram determined that the subjects were willing to inflict electrical shock on innocent people because of an obedience to authority which virtually all people have.

Milgram performed two simple follow up experiments. In one, he had the person receiving the electrical shock call out to the test subject that he was OK and they should continue, while the “authority figure” (person running the experiment) told the subject to stop. 100% of the subjects stopped the testing. They followed authority.

In the second follow up experiment, the authority figure”, (person in charge and running the test) was the one being submitted to the electrical shocks. When he told the subjects to stop, they stopped. Again they followed authority.

Remember now that this “authority” was someone they had just met, someone the test subjects knew virtually nothing about and someone they had no association with. In light of this it is hard to believe that armed personnel will not harm us if ordered to do so by the authority figures that they have been following for years, and who are responsible for their livelihoods and who they have an on-going relationship with. The experiments make this hard to believe, but we believe what we want to believe and we tell ourselves everything is OK while ignoring objective evidence. We make up excuses as to how things will work out. Similar experiments show that people almost always go along with a group, and once so ordered everyone knows what the group is dong.

We see leaders as parental type figures who will take care of us. How often have organized armed personnel disobeyed their orders? How often do armed personnel follow orders blindly?

If we are not going to strip our leaders of the power, we will have to just sit and hope that the leader never decides to harm us. Those are our 2 choices.

Tragedy makes good politics

April 18th, 2013

Today the President of the US, the Governor of MA and the Mayor of Boston used the marathon tragedy for political gain. None of them have any personal connection to any of the people who were injured or killed. None of them would give a dang about these people if they weren’t harmed in a way that brings news cameras. They stand up and speak at the memorial service for the victims as if they are concerned. Will any of the victims even be able to get a phone call through to them tomorrow? These 3 goof balls praise each other and spew useless rhetoric while and we clap for them. Shameful.

Saving us from ourselves

April 17th, 2013

Two bombs exploded during the marathon here in Boston creating a tragic incident. Now an area of approximately 20 square blocks is sealed off with the police blocking every entrance way. Cordoning off of crime scenes is routine. How can this be constitutional? People are now prevented by the government from access their own private property. Restaurants, apartments, retail stores all taken from us and now under government control. Are there any limits? Can they keep the area closed for weeks? Months? Can they go into any area and do whatever they want? Even if they are not exercising total authority at this moment and doing whatever they want now, that is not the point. The question is “Does anything prevent them from taking total control?”… and if not, isn’t it certain that one day they will? Perhaps if that day seems far enough off, we won’t worry about it. I believe that even when that day comes, government control of virtually everything will be seen as not only acceptable but necessary. In fact, isn’t it already so?

If one of our tenants living here in our apartment building commits a crime can my family and I be kept from our home indefinitely? When Obama spoke at Symphony Hall last summer I was prevented from entering my own home. When I asked the cop what he would arrest me for if I proceeded down the blocked off street, he said “Disobeying a police officer”. Perhaps if we are all in the same boat we don’t worry that the boat is sinking.

To me the sad thing is that no one is asking these questions. Are any news reporters addressing this? The old saying goes “If you don’t ask the right questions you will never get the right answers.” The constitution has gone from being the supreme law of the land, to a rough list of guiding principals, to a useless piece of paper that is ignored by practically all of us. Virtually everyone seems to think that since this is an emergency, or because it is serious, or for whatever reason, anything the “authorities” do is OK. Some investigation is probably nice and catching those responsible might be a good idea, but are there no limits? Are we willing to put unlimited resources into it and are we willing to give up any rights or substantial freedoms to try and catch bad guys?

Ben Franklin was correct: “Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither.” Looks like I deserve neither.

Only 2 ways to jobs

August 20th, 2012

There are only 2 ways anyone can get a job:
1) Go out and find a buyer for your wares or your services
2) Find a group of people who have already set up an on-going system where their wares or services are being sold and convince those people that you can be a valuable part of their team.

Method number 1 is very difficult, although people who have never tried it often think it is easy. Method number 2 is much easier and unfortunately the majority of voters can pretty much have their way while taking unfair advantage of those who used #1… until those people give up.

It costs nothing but…

August 20th, 2012

Sometimes the price you pay for your freedom is simply letting others have theirs.

More nonsense

May 13th, 2012

Now comes the day for Price Jorge to ask me stupid questions about his thieving client. Trite, predictable and boring, yet he thinks he is so clever. Asking about my website and this blog while he impresses only himself, all the while taking money from his client to pay to put his kids through college.

Let’s all be successful

September 11th, 2011

Freedom means anyone can be a success. It doesn’t mean everyone will be a success, and it sure as hell doesn’t mean everyone is entitled to success.

Minucia Monitoring

August 29th, 2011

Two things happened to me yesterday that demonstrate how far we have gone down the path of letting our government control virtually everything. I was at my tennis club. I was the first one to arrive that morning and I went to use the elevator which had been turned off from the previous night, as it is every night. I went to turn the elevator on by flipping the switch in the elevator and I found no switch there. It had been replaced by a key cylinder and now a key was necessary. An employee arrived at that time and told me that an inspection had been done by the city, and the key switch is now required by law. This is a private club, members only and not open to the public at large. It’s just as private as your own home, the club admits who it wants to admit just like you do in your home. The club doesn’t get any tax breaks or use any public funds. I wonder what the law says about who can have keys? Is it OK to give keys out to everyone who uses the elevator? Are keys only allowed to be given to licensed elevator operators?  Is it OK to leave a key hanging permanently in the elevator? How about just permanently welding the key in the lock, I wonder if that violates the law.  Why do we have to ask these questions and hire lawyers just to learn if it is OK to use our own elevator?

Later in the day I took my car in for service because an electrical component inside the gas tank needed to be replaced. I was told that I might want to run my tank down near empty because in accordance with the law once they take gas out of the tank they have to dispose of it, they can’t put it back in the tank. Here we are trying to conserve fuel and re-cycle what we can, then we pass a law that requires perfectly good gasoline to be thrown away.

I’m sure someone can find some instance where these laws make sense, and we can describe some scenario where laws like this will be helpful to someone. But these laws affect all of us all of the time and we are constantly paying the cost of enforcement for these laws, even if on some rare occasions they do some good for someone. If you have a dollar and you don’t want it to be stolen you might higher a security guard to watch it, but we’ve now come to where you’ve lost the choice and you’re forced to pay that security guard $1.10 to watch your dollar. At some point government becomes more expensive than it is worth. How do you know when you are there?… we’ll probably know when it is too late.

Aim high

August 10th, 2011

It might be a good goal just to be a little bit less of an idiot than 51% of the people on earth.

Just 1 hope

August 7th, 2011

There is one thing and one thing only that will give me hope for America’s future: tax refusal. If I see signs that people are refusing to pay taxes I will believe in a future. I’m not talking about tax protesting and I don’t care at all about about voting for someone who says they will lower our taxes. The government will live within its’ means and stop mishandling our resources if and when, and only if and when we no longer give our resources to them. Every time I hear people complain about the government spending too much and wasting too much I cringe. The government is us. We are doing it. We can stop it. We don’t need to talk about it.

Are you willing to stop? Do you have the guts? I don’t. I’m looking for a leader who is braver than I am.

The difference between S&P and a 4 year old

August 7th, 2011

Lots of people are upset that Standard & Poors (S&P) just announced they are downgrading the US federal governments credit rating from AAA to AA+. Politicians are claiming S&P got it wrong and made errors. According to S&P, it is not as certain that the US will pay its’ debts as it used to be. Why are people upset about this? Imagine for a moment that 3 weeks ago you were talking with a 4 year old and he told you that he didn’t think the federal government was going to pay its’ debts… would you have been upset? Of course not. Who cares what this 4 year old child thinks and says?… he doesn’t influence your investment policy. This is not a rhetorical question, it deserves consideration.

Are we upset because we believe S&P speaks the truth? Assuming we want to know the truth that makes no sense. Are we upset because many others will listen to S&P and that will lead to financial problems? Well then we are upset with those who listen to S&P. There are only two possibilities: S&P is right or they are wrong. If you believe S&P is right then should be be happy to be in the know. If you believe S&P is wrong then you are free to lend the federal government as much money as you like, and they’re happy to take it. The simple truth is that the financial situation of the federal government did not change one iota as a result of S&P’s announcement. They had the same amount of debt and income before the announcement as after. The realm of possible things that the federal government can do is the same now as it was before the announcement. What are we afraid of? S&P is merely an entity that provides their opinion, we are free to follow it or ignore it, just like the advice from the 4 year old child.

I believe we are afraid that S&P is right. I believe we know it intuitively. I’m not lending any money to the federal government, I believe they are a bad risk. Frankly, I believe they are criminals violating laws that have not yet been written.

Jobs suck!!

August 7th, 2011

We hear a lot today about how jobs are important. “It’s all about jobs”, “This economy has to get back on track with job creation” and similar statements are what the politicians and TV’s talking heads are telling us. We hear lots of talk about “good jobs” too. Let’s think about that for a minute… I mean really think about it. Imagine a person whose job is to go out each day and pick up rocks from a field. For some reason someone is paying this person to go out and do this. There are no plans to put up any buildings on this field, no intention to farm crops there, nothing of the sort. The work being done accomplishes nothing towards raising our standard of living. There is no product produced and no service rendered that improves anyone’s life.

Now imagine that there are a lot of people doing this. If someone suggests that expenses be cut thus putting these people out of “work”, the uproar will be loud. The screams of concern regarding “What are these people supposed to do?” will echo across the country. There is little concern for the fact that we are using valuable time, energy and resources for people to do things that produce no product or service that improves our standard of living. The focus goes entirely to the short term affect on the people who will be “out of work”. How about the long term affect? What would happen if these people were no longer paid to perform a task that does not produce any valuable product or service? They would have to go out and seek someone who was willing to pay them to provide a valuable product or perform a valuable service… and they would!!!! They are not nearly as helpless as we like to pretend they are. Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric, they are fully capable of doing so, virtually everyone has some capacity to provide something of value to society. They would do it by either one of two ways: knocking on doors and looking for people who can benefit from what they have to offer, or by convincing a team of people who are already set up and doing so that they can help by becoming part of the team.

If you have a way to get lots of products and services without expending any effort, you would of course choose to get them the easy way. While it may be impossible to get the products and services that are required for a good life without working for them, we certainly want them to be provided in the most efficient manner possible. Getting them for the least amount of work is what it’s all about. Hence the title of this article. It’s the products and services that make our lives better, not the job. The job is just usually a requirement to get the things we want. But this fact has become lost on our society. We automatically think that any “job” is good and the removal of anyone from any job is bad. I guess you are losing out on a big opportunity every time you wash the dishes… you should hire your neighbor to wash them for $10,000 and he will hire you to do his dishes for $10,000. Now you’ve both got “jobs”, the  economy is looking good, unemployment is down, it’s a winning scenario by the standards we use. Of course this strikes you immediately as silly nonsense (or so I hope) but is this how we think? Is the work of picking up rocks in the field a “good” job? Good for who?

If we make the above scenario a 3 way pass along: person A pays person B to do the dishes, person B pays Person C, and C pays A, it gets harder to see through it. Now if we make it a little more involved by having person A do the dishes for person B, B does the laundry for C and C vacuums the car of A, it can easily appear to be a thriving economic situation. But the truth is that this is no different than having each person do their own dishes, laundry and vacuuming. Swapping the people doing the work and passing money around as part of the process does not improve anything. Improvement comes in only one of two ways:

1) More efficient methods are used to produce the products and services that make our lives better

2) More people chip in to produce the products and services that make our lives better

We have become a joke

June 12th, 2011

Years ago when Dan Akroyd was on Saturday Night Live he frequently impersonated president Jimmy Carter. In one skit he claimed he had a plan to get the economy into good shape. The plan was to give each American citizen one million dollars. A joke at the time, now we have “stimulus packages” with the government giving away money under the guise of it being good for us.

In 1984 a movie called Footloose, staring Kevin Bacon, was about a town that had outlawed dancing. Intended as a silly and entertaining premise for a movie, at the time the idea of a town making it illegal to dance was unthinkable. Did you know that you can now be arrested for dancing in many public places such as the Jefferson Memorial? Here it is:

What used to be considered jokes and incidents for entertainment, and things that were considered impossible to happen in the US are now here with us.

Old babies taking care of young babies

June 12th, 2011

A TV commercial presently running stresses the need to keep Medicare payments flowing. Regarding the possibility of reducing government payouts, an elderly lady expresses panic and states “We didn’t prepare for this”.

She and the majority of her generation set up the current failing system and didn’t bother to do the math. They didn’t watch their “investment”. A generation misled themselves and believed their own lies.  They made promises to themselves that they can not now keep. Who was supposed to “prepare” them… the people from whom she now wants to take money so she can be supported with a lifestyle she believe she is entitled to?

Someone is going to suffer a lower standard of living… young or old?

Helped or harmed?

June 5th, 2011

Most people will never receive enough help from the government to outweigh the damage that the government does. The best that most people can do is find a way to stop the government from harming them.

I promise for you?

May 31st, 2011

How can someone make a promise that someone else is obligated to keep? Sound crazy? Do you say it is impossible? Suppose I form a group and declare that you are part of the group, and as part of that group, you must pay any debts that the group decides to take on. Do you, like most people, believe it is wrong for our country to go deep into debt when that debt must be paid off by future generations? What is your reaction when you hear talk of the national debt and how we are saddling our children and grandchildren with an unbearable expense?

If you don’t believe that someone can take on debt that another must pay, then the need for our children to pay the national debt should not bother you. These kids did not borrow the money, they are not obligated to pay it back. Talk of social security being a “sacred promise” that “our government” must pay is equally absurd. Who made this promise?… the people who now want to collect social security made this promise to themselves, when they were younger. They did not watch the balance on account or the pending obligations and now they have a problem that they caused for themselves. How is that the problem of a 10 year old child who probably knows how to save his money and manage it better than these elders? Even this 10 year old would not try to go around spending money that his 2 year old brother would have to repay. Do our children have more common sense than our grandparents?

You’re responsible for my state of mind

May 24th, 2011

There are ads on TV now showing people saying things like “Don’t call me a nigger”, “Don’t call me a fag”, etc. Remember when kids were taught “Sticks and stones…” If you can’t finish that sentence, google it. We have become such a sensitive society that we believe what other people say has a tangible affect on us. I wonder if it is acceptable for someone to say these things in private where no one else can hear. Do we decide how words will affect us or is it beyond our control and we need others to say only things that won’t hurt our feelings?

A commonly heard phrase these days is “Words hurt”, which is the exact opposite of the old Sticks and Stones.

In 1937 Eleanor Roosevelt declared “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”. Now we’ve decided it goes something like this: “Everyone must take care not too make you feel inferior.”, or perhaps “If you feel inferior it is the fault of someone who insulted you”.

Bin Laden is alive!!!…

May 3rd, 2011

or he is dead. Those are the 2 possibilities and what difference does it make? Look around. See the productive people of our society going to work, providing products and services just like they always did. Would your day be any different if you had not heard any news about Osama Bin Laden? Are you going to have a different experience today if Bin Laden is dead than you will if he is alive. Who cares… and why? Be influenced by things that matter.

What we got, just like the founding fathers dreamed of

March 6th, 2011

Government of the idiots, by the idiots and for the idiots

Guilty at first sight

December 26th, 2010

Wouldn’t a courthouse be at the top of a list of places where you should be entitled to your rights? So why must you give up your right to bear arms when you walk into one?

Get a lawyer and run

December 17th, 2010

I’m always amazed when people claim that a person accused of a crime should be willing to stand trial because “If he is innocent then he has nothing to fear”. Nothing could be further from the truth. The prisons are full of innocent people. Many accused of murder have been exonerated based on DNA evidence. If someone can be found guilty of murder, imagine how easy it is for someone to be found guilty of a lesser crime. Many wondered why the parents of Jonbenet Ramsey hired lawyers right away… because they are sophisticated people and it is the right thing to do. Today a news commentator asked Julian Assange why he was fighting extradition to stand trial in another country. How about this for an answer: in a matter like this the government has nothing to lose and the accused has everything to lose and nothing to gain. The government should be forced to compensate people who are prosecuted and then found not guilty.

4th Grade Math

December 13th, 2010

Remember what a “percentage” is? Lots of people are talking these days about whether the “rich” should pay more in taxes. Then the discussion quickly turns to the question of whether or not the rich should pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes. Everyone seems to forget that because taxes are paid as a percentage of income, someone who makes more money already pays more in taxes. The percentage does not need to be raised. The method of using a percent already makes it “fair” in that those who earn more will pay more. That’s what a percentage is and that is how it works. One could make a good argument that everyone should pay the same amount of dollars as taxes; one could make a good argument that those who use more government services should pay more in taxes, and perhaps one could make a good argument that we should all pay the same percentage of taxes. The idea that some should pay a higher percentage in taxes is patently unfair.

Metrics without meaning

November 11th, 2010

Discussions regarding democrat vs. republican representatives are like arguing over which cars go faster: red ones or green ones. News people love to discuss congress in terms of democrats and republicans. You might as well lump them into categories such as “short” and “tall”, or light hair vs. dark hair. The 2 main political parties are virtually identical. They spend most of the money we have and a lot of money that we don’t.

What a shame

November 11th, 2010

In America anyone can become president… unfortunately.

Tale of 2 families

October 12th, 2010

Which family deserves help from the government:

Family #1: A husband and wife with 2 kids. The husband is highly paid and works in the field of “high finance”. He lives in a huge house in a beautiful neighborhood. He went to an ivy league school. His kids go to a fine private school. He and his wife both drive luxury cars. He has tens of thousands of dollars saved and invested. He has insurance to cover any losses including life insurance in the event of his death. The husband has passed away suddenly and unexpectedly.

Family #2: A husband and wife with 2 kids. The husband and wife both work at menial jobs. They have no education beyond high school because they have had to work their entire lives to make ends meet. They live in a rented house that is rundown. The kids go to public school. They have a used automobile that constantly needs repair. They have no money saved. They have no life insurance. The husband has passed away suddenly and unexpectedly.

Do you think you know which family should get money from the government? Then add just two more facts: The husband from family number 1 worked in the top floor of the World Trade Center and died on September 11th. The husband from family number 2 also died on September 11th, but he was killed while walking down the dirt road he lives on when a drunk driver hit him. Why does family number 1 get money from a government sponsored victims fund and family number 2 does not? They get it simply because we are aware of the plight of family number 1 and it was all over the news… yet we know that families like family number 2 are out there, don’t we?

American’s make their decisions with 96% emotion, 2% guess work, 1% logic and 1% common sense.

BC Brains

May 1st, 2010

The argument for intelligent design ends with the fact that no living creature has wheels. Was god not as smart as a caveman?

Never lose money

December 13th, 2009

The government can easily ensure that no one ever loses money in the stock market by doing any of the following 3 things:

1) If someone sells a stock at a loss the government should send them a check to cover the loss

2) It should be illegal to sell a stock for less than it was purchased for

3) The government should control prices of stocks and thus can set them to be higher but never lower

Use it and lose it

October 21st, 2009

By the time Americans realize that the government will not provide them with what they want and what was promised, the military will be so large and so few Americans will have guns that there will be nothing that can be done about it.

Competitive money

August 17th, 2009

The dollar is losing, and will continue to lose value because it has no competition. We have made it illegal for anyone but the government to produce “money” so there are no competitive forces. Of course people can’t be allowed to produce counterfeit money, but the law should restrict people from copying US dollars, not from producing their own lines of credit, as it presently does.  Why not have private individuals, or a company, or any private entity, be allowed to provide credit and conduct commerce with that credit? Why can’t someone working for a company be paid with credits from that company and then use those credits to purchase products from that company? If this were allowed then companies would make joint arrangements for credits to be shared between companies and then the workers could purchase products from many companies.

If private creditors produce their own currencies then the value of those currencies will be determined by whether people decided they have real valuer or not. It’s a paradigm shift, but if you think about it you realize that there is no need for the government to be the sole producer and controller of “money”. In fact, the reason why the dollar is losing value is because of the government. The things you own are not changing in value, and your time invested in labor does not become less valuable due to financial conditions… the government is simply driving your dollars towards worthlessness from a lack of competition.

Finance vs. commerce

August 17th, 2009

A good commercial system is what is important. A system that promotes and encourages efficient production of goods and services will provide us with a high standard of living. The purpose of a financial system is to support the commercial system. Money and finance are just a way to store value and help wealth be passed around in order to allow commerce to occur efficiently. This notion that we can solve our problems by tweaking, messing with, changing or completely overhauling the financial system is a fallacy. Finding a place to keep your money, such as a bank, is easy. The search for an investment is never difficult. The  hard part is producing wealth in the first place.

Figuring out how to make yourself valuable to others so that they will voluntarily reward you is tough. Can you produce a product or service that people want? If not, can you convince a group who is already doing that to let you join them? That is the hard part and that is where the effort should be placed. If we take care of commerce, then finance will take care of itself.

Free speech train leaving now

August 13th, 2009

We always knew the 1st amendment would be the last to go. It’s the one most people know about. Obama has now violated it at least three times.

A doctor in DC has posted advertisements in DC subway stations with a picture of a young girl and the caption says: “President Obama’s daughters get healthy lunches, why can’t I?” The doctor is running an organization that wants better lunches in public schools. The White House lawyers contacted him and told him to take the posters down. Fortunately he has refused.

A company making 2 dolls with the same names as Obama’s daughters also got a call from these lawyers and they changed the names of the dolls.

The truly sad part is that most people think the young girls need to be protected, so they see no problem with this. After all, what about the little girls right to privacy? People don’t even know that any right to privacy, like all of the rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, are supposed to enforced by restrictions on government, not by refusing to allow citizens to express themselves. The irony is that these citizens are in fact having their right to privacy violated while most other citizens think they are violating someone else’s right to privacy.

Of course when Obama takes the girls out on stage before cheering crowds, he doesn’t care about their privacy. As long as it’s positive, it’s fine for us to talk about Obama’s friends and relatives and he parades them around as if they were little trophies. But say something that might make them upset… Why doesn’t someone point out the opportunity for Obama to talk to his daughters and explain to them that they are in a high profiile position and that has good and bad sides to it? Why doesn’t Obama explain to his daughters about sticks and stones? That’s what you and I have to do if someone is saying things our kids don’t like.

This exercising of special privilege power is disgusting, but virtually no Americans are disgusted.

Of course the White House attacks on conservative talk radio are well known.

America, it was a nice idea while it lasted.

Lynch Madoff

August 4th, 2009

How did we go from having Peter Lynch as the hero of Wall St, to Bernie Madoff? How did a man who was admired and followed for his thorough research of the companies he invested in become replaced by a man who would not even tell his clients what he was doing? We have lost our minds.

Sophistication overuns the basics

August 3rd, 2009

Some things are simple. Discussing them in a sophisticated way does not make them any less simple. Fancy words and theories do not transform a simple principle into a complicated study. Just because an advanced college degree is available for a certain subject does not mean that the principles governing that subject are involved.

Our standard of living in this country is determined by the products we produce and the services we provide. If we produce lots of nice products that improve our lives and if people are out performing valuable services that make people lives better, we will have a high standard of living. If we don’t… we wont. It’s just that simple.

We can pretend that things such as “sophisticated” tax policies, adjustments to interest rates, “stimulating” the economy, creating more money, creating less money, voting for certain people or whatever else we want to believe will improve our standard of living but the single most important thing is to have policies which give each person an incentive to build products or provide services that improve our standard of living. Contrary to current popular belief, the free market is the best way to achieve this incentive.

You lose some… you lose some

August 1st, 2009

Imagine a man who moves into your neighborhood and he lives on $10,000 per day. Every single day this guy goes out and spends $10,000. He is living the high life and we all envy him. How wonderful to be like that. Everyday it’s new cars, trips all over the world with big groups of friends, huge fancy parties… we all want that life. Now imagine that you take a look just one level deeper behind the scenes. You discover that this man had one million dollars when he moved into the neighborhood and he has no income whatsoever. You do a little analysis and you realize something that no one else realizes. This man is soon going to run out of money and everything will change. His $1,000,000 will run out in exactly 100 days at the rate he is spending.

There are 2 courses of action this man can take. He could realize that he will run out of money in 100 days and cut back on his spending. He could take steps to ensure his future and preserve his wealth. Or he could just continue spending $10,000 per day.

If he continues to spend $10,000 per day he will run out of money on a particular instant. On day 100 he will be spending $10,000 and everything will appear wonderful when he goes to bed that night. When he wakes up the next morning he will have nothing and his good life will be over. A gradual loss of wealth and resources does not cause a corresponding decline in the rate of spending. A self correction can only be the result of an analysis and a conscious effort. The correction requires self control and a willingness to “do without” today in order to preserve the future.

America is analogous to the man spending $10,000 per day. Our situation is even worse because we have blown all of our resources and built up excessive debt. When the time comes that our access to resources runs out it will be sudden and dramatic. It is probably too late to prevent it but that is a mute point anyway. Perhaps we could change it by forcing our government to stop taxing us to death and stop wasting resources, but that is not going to happen. All you can do now as an individual is try to prepare yourself as best you can for the inevitable.

We like to fool ourselves into thinking that it won’t, or at least may not, happen. We tell ourselves that the government and its’ finances are too complicated for us to understand… the experts in government are aware and keeping things in check… or it’s different when you’re talking about an entire nation or a government. But tangible reality always takes over as the controlling factor. When the resources are gone they will be gone. From where and from whom will you get the products and services that are required to support a decent life style?

Would you buy a used car from your government?

August 1st, 2009

This country put a man on the moon in about ten years.  JFK declared it in 1960, and Armstrong put footprints in the Lunar dust in ‘69. If we were just starting now, it’d take ten years before they even broke ground on the launching pad, with the environmentalists fighting to block it, and Congressmen fighting to get it built in their home district.

Our government is incompetent.  They don’t seem to be able to do anything well any more.  The Federal government are the folks who bring you the IRS, the Postal Service, the Katrina rescue, and the war in Iraq.  Have they done such a great job with those that you think they’re ready to take on bigger projects?

Before you vote to put the government in charge of your health care, you might want to look at some of the health care operations that they already run:  Medicare, Medicaid, and all medical care for military veterans.  Are all of those in great shape?  Has the government demonstrated such mastery of these health care agencies that you want them to take over all the rest?  Do you also want them to be in charge of the car companies, the oil companies, the banks, Wall Street, and home mortgages?

Rich or poor Ted?

August 1st, 2009

Last weeks Newsweek magazine featured Ted Kennedy being worshiped for his tireless promotion of government run health care. (’The Cause of My Life’, July 27, 2009) In that article Kennedy refers to the US as “the richest country in the world”. Yet he voted for the bailout packages because the country is in serious financial trouble. Which is it?… actually it is both. The people are going poor but the government has more and more of our resources. It’s sad and dangerous.

The power to keep the power

August 1st, 2009

The goal of the US Constitution was NOT to keep “the people” in power over the government. The goal of the Constitution and the individual liberties that used to be guaranteed by the Bill of Rights was to make sure the people always had the power to maintain power over the government. US citizens have not yet lost power over the government but they have lost the power to hold on to power over the government. Thus it is only a matter of time before the government exercises its’ power over US citizens and US citizens are powerless to stop it. One group is large, well organized and well armed. The other is not, but has a “right to vote”. Who are you betting on?

We’re not prejudiced… Obama is!

July 31st, 2009

If you look closely at the words people use you can gain insights into what they really mean.  The word “prejudice” deserves a close look.  We all know what “pre-” means; and the “-judice” part is obviously related to the word “judge,” as shown by other words such as “judicial” and “judiciary.”  So the real meaning of “prejudice”  is to pre-judge:  to make a decision about the rightness or wrongness of something before you have all the facts.

Suppose you ask a friend what he thinks about a dispute between two people and your friend replies:  “well, I don’t know all the facts, but clearly, Joe acted stupidly.”  That’s prejudice.  No textbook could give a clearer example.

Suppose you call your friend out on this; and instead of apologizing, he tries to weasel out by saying, “I’m sorry if anyone got the impression I was judging Joe, just because I called him and all his co-workers stupid.”  This is a person who has an ego problem; he can’t admit a mistake.  Would you want such a person to be in charge of how your money is spent, what kind of car you can buy, or what kind of health care you can get?

Republicans are pretty bad in many ways but when they get caught with their hand in the cookie jar, they often do the right thing.  They usually admit what they did, apologize publicly, and often step down from their office.  Democrats, on the other hand, tend to deny everything, and fight tooth and nail to hold on to power.  The clearest example I can think of is Nixon compared to Clinton.  Another good one is the cases of Congressmen Mark Foley (R) and Gerry Studds (D), both of whom were found to be involved in sexual shenanigans with under-age Congressional pages.  Foley stepped down at once; Studds remained in office for years, even though he actually had sex with the boys, whereas Foley just exchanged racy text messages.

Any politician can be a great guy when things are going well; the real test of character is how they behave when they’re in trouble. An important quality for a President is honesty and morals.  There’s no one on the planet who has more power to cover up their mistakes and bad behavior.   Please keep that in mind between now and the next election.

From My Dad

June 25th, 2009

We are between Barack and a hard place

Saving or hoarding?

June 12th, 2009

The economy and the government systems we have relied on for a long time are about to collapse. I predict it will happen in less than 3 years. Those who want to “hope” along with Obama will reap the benefits of their hope. I think you are better off preparing yourself. Keep food, water, gasoline, and the ability to maintain your lifestyle as best you can. Some call it hoarding and say it is bad. Just refer to it in your head as savings if that’s what it takes to make you feel better. “Savings” has been traditionally thought of as applying only to money. But why do you save money?… so you can get things later. Pretty soon your money will be worthless so you are simply jumping over the “money” step and saving the items rather than the money.

Kennedy revisited

June 7th, 2009

Ask not what you can do for your country… ask what is your country doing to you?

Almost there

June 7th, 2009

Everything will be wonderful soon. I’ve run the numbers and done the calculations. We only need 4 more laws and a 3% increase in taxes for everything to be just right.

Enough is enough?

June 6th, 2009

Is it possible to have too much government? Of course. Can taxes be too high? Obviously. Is there such a thing as too much power for politicians? Silly question. These are the most important questions that people should be asking themselves, but hardly anyone ever does.  If we know that taxes can be too high, then the next obvious question is “How high is too high”? We must ask “How big can the government get before it is too big? Just because these questions are somewhat subjective does not mean they should be ignored. We can not conclude an exact dividing line between enough and too much. There is no way to nail down a number and conclude that a tax rate of 69% is acceptable and 70% is too high. No way to know that having any more than 38% of the population work for government is too many. Yet since we know that it is possible to have too much government and taxes that are too high, we must ask our selves to estimate, as best we can, where these points are.

Easy to get ahead

June 3rd, 2009

A society is in trouble when the easiest way to get ahead is to join forces with the government… to wear the mask that makes us anonymous and allows us to avoid face to face confrontation with the people who we force to support us against their will.

Money for your money

May 31st, 2009

The FDIC makes sure you won’t lose your money; but no one makes sure that your money won’t lose its’ money.

Freedom assurance

May 22nd, 2009

The best way to ensure your freedom is to protect the freedoms of those around you.

On beyond trillions

May 20th, 2009

Millions, billions, trillions… what comes next? What do we call 1000 trillion? I don’t know, but I know how we will find out. References to government spending will soon need to make use of this word.

No crash… no problem?

May 20th, 2009

A car heading towards the cliff at 100 mph should give me a good indication of what is about to happen. I don’t need to see the smashed up car full of dead people at the bottom of the cliff to know that the car was moving in the wrong direction. Those who say we should wait and see how the massive spending by Obama and his congress turns out before we judge these actions are simply buying into the “hope” nonesense. If more spending improves things then why limit more spending to bad times? Can’t things always be better, no matter how good they are? Why not just continually increase spending as much as possible?

Instant regulation

May 8th, 2009

One minute ago there was no such thing, now someone has invented it, in one minute the government will be regulating it.

Selfish Freedom

May 5th, 2009

Arguments for freedom and capitalism based on how these things are good for the economy always make me cringe a little. How about freedom just for freedoms sake? Where is the appreciation for just being free without regard to how it might otherwise be good for us?

Because of hope, there is no hope

April 30th, 2009

Tomorrow I am going to win the lottery. I know this because I purchased a lottery ticket and I am hopeful that I will win.  Sound silly? Why is that any sillier than believing that things will be fine regarding our  economy as long as, or because, we are hopeful? Are Obama’s actions going to give us good results because we are hopeful? It seems that things have gotten so bad that subconciously most of society knows that our bad actions will have negative consequences, so we have resorted to “being hopeful”. Confidence, positive thinking, hope… these things do not put the effects of our actions on hold. Think what you want but what happens will happen regardless of what we are thinking. Excessive spending and a lack of efficient production will cause us to run low on resources and no amount of hope will change that.

Gun up

April 19th, 2009

The best way to make sure you never need a gun is to have a gun and make sure everyone knows it.

It’s just me

March 30th, 2009

Americans can no longer afford to underwrite a government that does not work. A condition of quasi-permanent crisis stretching across generations has distorted our Constitution with near disastrous results. To imagine at this juncture that installing some fresh face in the white house, transferring the control of congress from one party to the other, or embarking upon yet another effort to fix the national security apparatus will make much of a difference is to ignore decades of experience.

If you think this is just another one of my rants, think again. The title of this posting: “It’s just me” was a lie. The paragraph above was written by Andrew J. Bacevich in his book “The Limits of Power”. He is a retired US Army colonel and has been published in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic Monthly. He has a sound reputation and credibility. He is the “anti-me”.

The good old days of welfare

March 5th, 2009

Remember how nice it was when we were upset about welfare going to the poor little black girl in the ghetto? Don’t you wish it was still like that? Now there is so much welfare dolled out to so many people that the tiny portion that goes to the truly poor people hardly matters. Isn’t it welfare any time the government gives money to any person or business? What does it matter if we call it medicare, social security, or anything else?  A rose by any other name… I find it disturbing that any welfare is dolled out without consideration to where it came from and the person who originally earned the money. Why is no thought given and no mention made of the damage that is always done to the people who are forced to “give”. But IF we are going to have welfare it should at least go to poor people.

Larger group – different rules?

March 3rd, 2009

Imagine 10 people living on an island. How would they survive? Obviously they would have to be productive. They would have to hunt or grow food. They would have to build and maintain homes if they wanted a decent standard of living. Now imagine that one of those 10 people claims he has a way for them to all improve their lives. He claims they have a sluggish economy and he can make things better. How does he propose to do this? He points to a tree and explains: we are going to use the leaves from this tree as money. Each leaf will be one dollar. We will do all of our business in dollar-leaves from now on. I am going to pull 1000 leaves off of this tree for each person on the island! Thus now we all have leaf money to buy the things we need and our economic problems are solved. We will all have a higher standard of living!

The other 9 people on the island would most likely conclude that they should end their misery by ending the goof ball with the dopey idea. Why provide him with some of the results of their hard work when all he wants to do is pull worthless leaves off of trees?

Now let’s suppose we make the group 20 people rather than 10, has anything fundamentally changed? Will their problems now be solved by using leaves as money? How about if the group is 100 people? 100,000 people? So why is it that if we make the group 200 million people and call the man with the leaf idea Barack Obama, we all believe it?

Still a prejudiced nation

January 23rd, 2009

We are still showing prejudice in a big way. It may be a little better to be prejudiced in favor of a minority than to be against them or to want to harm them, but it is  prejudice nonetheless. Why are so many people talking about this black president? Colin Powell once said we should stop talking about color and then we would truly have conquered prejudice. He was right. If we ever really believe that color does not matter we will no longer mention it. When we  discuss the capabilities of people we never mention if they are well tanned by the sun or pale skinned.  We don’t mention it because it is not relevant. What is the relevance of Obama’s black skin?

Haven’t we had enough women and minorities in powerful government positions to learn that they will abuse their power to harm us just like overweight middle aged white guys? Janet Reno ordered the shootings of innocent children at Waco.  New York’s Mayor Dinkens ran a police force that arrested prostitutes and people who chose to use drugs. Alberto Gonzalez. Condoleeza Rice. The list goes on and on.

We are literally “pre-judging” Obama when we assume he is likely to do a good job because of “what he is”.

It’s time to stop thinking that things will improve just because we have all races and colors represented in government.  It’s time to realize that the question is not what color these people are. The question is not who they are at all. The question is how much power should we give them. Right now, we are giving them far too much.


January 22nd, 2009

This blog is launched just as Obama starts to ruin our nation. The American people are celebrating this Obamanation with glee just because it represents “change”. George Bush is out. Wonderful. Celebrate for 15 minutes and now you will start despising Obama more than you did Bush. Bush screwed up foreign affairs big-time. Wait til we see what it is like to have our domestic affairs screwed up big-time. It’s coming for sure. No one bothers to recall when Newt Gingrich and a swarm of republicans were swept into office with the “Contract for America” and lots of the usual rhetoric and nonsene. There was a reason the democrats were thrown out and the republicans were swept in. The reason, plain and simple, is that the democrats screw things up. Yes, I know, the republicans screw things up too and I am not a republican. The republican’s party platform is repulsive. The question here is whether we should be elated about having Obama in office.

Contrary to what many people like to think, hope will not change anything.  The rules of cause and effect have not been put on hold. Things will either happen or they will not happen and while “hope” may make some people feel good, it does not change things in the tangible world.  Actions change things. A man strapped into a guillotine with the blade on the way down may be hopeful. In fact the way human psychology works, he probably would be hopeful. But unless something happens to stop the blade from coming down, he is going to die. A person can buy a lottery ticket and might be absolutely certain that he will win. Do you think he will? By the same token a person might be completely distraught and believe that a particular situation is destined for great peril, and yet good things might happen. The simple truth is that these thoughts are just signals floating around in our brains and things in the real world do not change, either for good or for bad, because of them. Things change because of cause and effect.

Be hopeful if it makes you feel good, but things will not change because of our hopes. Get real.