Radicalized Dane Kills With Bow and Arrow – Predicted In 2016, Jante’s Law and Europe’s Favorite Sport

I have relatives in Denmark. In my last visit, I got a lesson about how the Nordics were better because of Jante’s Law.

Definition:

Jante’s Law describes a set of cultural norms common in Nordic countries emphasizing collective well-being and group accomplishments, and disapproval of touting individual victories. 

The concept of the Law of Jante—Janteloven in Denmark, Jantelagen in Swedish, Jante laki in Finnish and Jantelögin in Icelandic—while it is simply a part of the cultural oxygen that everyone here breathes, was laid out in stark terms in a 1933 book called “A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks” written by Danish-Norwegian author Axel Sandemose.

In it, Sandemose satirically conjectures that Danes are so happy because their highest aspiration is to be average, and he mocks the fictionalized small town people from the village where he grew up.

People with low expectations always achieve them.

EUROPE’S FAVORITE SPORT

Of course we then got into the favorite sport of Europe. Some think it is Soccer/Football, but it really is America bashing. Wherever I go in Europe, that place is always better than in the USA, the food, the culture, the history or whatever. I get told this while they are wearing Levi’s, smoking Marlboro’s and drinking Coke. Because of Jante, life was better there.

When I’d had enough, I pointed out that there was this muslim problem in their country. They call them the new Danes. Those are the one’s not born there. They immigrated, but won’t assimilate, won’t speak the language (or if they do, not properly, the biggest sin to be discriminated against) and suck off the hind teat of social welfare. Since I pointed out the obvious, I got no push back.

PREDICTING THE BOW AND ARROW ATTACK

I got an earful about gun murders in the US and other problems we had. I was told how guns were outlawed in the Nordics so this wasn’t a problem in the hygge place.

I finally broke and said that human nature is not equal. Some are more naturally gifted intellectually, athletically and with more good or evil in their motivations.

My statement in 2016 was if you take away the guns, they’ll use a bow and arrow. If you take that away, they’ll use a knife. If you take that away, they’ll use a stick. People are not equal and that is behind America’s Exceptionalism. It’s also behind the hate of the attack yesterday.

I’ve never been popular with them, being the only real American they are related to. I decided to not make myself less popular, only because of respect for my wife and ended the conversation.

Within days, this happened in the UK, where guns are banned.

Murderer Waving Bloody Knife Offers Valid Critique of ...

Human nature doesn’t change. Love and hate don’t change either.

Yesterday, this happened:

OSLO—Several people were killed and others were injured by a man using a bow and arrows to carry out attacks in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg on Wednesday, local police said.

“The man has been apprehended … from the information we now have, this person carried out these actions alone,” police chief Oeyvind Aas told reporters.

“Several people have been injured and several are dead,” Aas said. He declined to comment on the number of casualties.

The attacker was a radicalized Dane who randomly shot at people. The reason will come out, but won’t be reported in the mainstream media (MSM).

I don’t think this guy was even a New Dane. The story says he was radicalized.

He randomly shot at people.

Look to the Gates of Vienna if you really want to find out what happened when it comes out.

SMH.

Mandatory Vaxx Law Hurting Employment, Some Are Striking Back – Pilots and ATC

Southwest Airlines cancelled 1400 flights yesterday. They blamed it on weather and other things. No other airlines cancelled flights because of weather. Air traffic controllers gave them the flying fickle finger of fate also and aren’t showing.

It just came out that 200 members of Congress used Ivermectin instead of the jab, hypocrites. Do as I say, not as I do.

From Social Media:

Facebook’s Big Tobacco Moment, And Congress Will Talk And Then Do Nothing

The Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security heard testimony Tuesday from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former employee of the tech giant. In a rare show of bipartisanship, a bloc of Republicans and Democrats joined together to demand action against the company.

Haugen, who used to work as a lead product manager for Facebook’s civic misinformation team, came before the Senate to discuss the company’s internal practices, with special emphasis placed on the ways that these practices disproportionately affect children.

Haugen explained, “I’m here today because I believe Facebook’s products harm children, stoke division, and weaken our democracy.”

She added, “I believe in the potential of Facebook, we can have social media we enjoy, that connects us without tearing apart our democracy, putting our children in danger, and sowing ethnic violence around the world. We can do better.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) observed during his opening remarks that predatory targeting and marketing practices by Facebook have “put profits ahead of people.”

The whistleblower said that during her time at the company, she often saw the company faced with a choice between “its own profits and our safety.” When these conflicts arose, Haugen said, the company “consistently resolve[d] these conflicts in favor of its own profits.”

Yes, but so does Congress and Facebook will just pay them off under the table and they’ll get their hands slapped. They will pontificate and then let it slide like they do with anything.

I’m surprised that it even got this far with as illiterate as Congress is about technology. Zuckerberg toys with them when he has to testify while the suits in Washington grill them with questions prepared by their assistants, but don’t have a clue regarding what they are talking about.

This also is likely to be a sideshow while they push their infrastructure pork bill to create socialism through when we aren’t looking.

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As you know if you look a few posts down, I loathe Facebook, but they act like they are above the law and certainly above congress, especially the group that is in there now. They are the biggest bunch of do nothings except cancel culture people and promote everything our country doesn’t stand for.

Expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed.

The Actual Covid Cure – Hint, It’s not the VAX

The Big Pharma are greedy for money from new medicines. Big Government is using Covid for the Re-Set with socialism and to take power and Bill Gates and the WHO want depopulation. Big Tech is covering simple and cheap solutions like this from everyone they can.

India said eff-you and gave everyone this and Ivermectin and have killed Covid off where it is used.

Wake up and stop the madness.

Dumbing Down Harvard, Again – And How They Went Woke

I wrote about the decline of the education you get there a while back and thought it would improve. I guessed wrong.

You can read about it in the link above, but the old boys club is wearing off. Their most recently famous alums actually were drop outs. They also did the best in life.

Now to the rest of the story.

Of course, there is the Covid madness. The supposedly smartest students have had to go to class online again because of……you guessed it:

“In recent days, we’ve seen a steady rise in breakthrough infections among our student population, despite high vaccination rates and frequent testing”

These idiots have bought into the false narrative, despite the growing evidence (Israel, UK and the opposite in Sweden) that the inoculation (if it were a vaccine it would have worked) is the panacea.

Harvard University states on its website that 95% of students and 96% of employees are vaccinated, and notes that “COVID-19 testing requirements remain in place for every member of the community who is authorized to be on campus this fall, including those who come to campus infrequently. The Dashboard data is relative to individuals, living both on and off campus, authorized to participate in Harvard’s COVID-19 screening.”

From the same article linked above:

Data from Israel reportedly showed earlier this month that “’fully vaccinated’” people are 27 times more likely to be infected and develop COVID-19 symptoms than unvaccinated people with natural immunity,” and “‘fully vaccinated’ people are 8 times more likely to be hospitalized from a ‘breakthrough’ infection.”

WHY THIS MATTERS

Building relationships to take into the business world is the big benefit of going to one of these antiquated halls of ignorance. Harvard creates the biggest “Old Boys Club (including girls)” because of their interaction in group projects and going out together.

This just nixed the big benefit other than bragging that you paid too much to say that you went there.

We already knew in the real business world that outside of NY and Massachusetts, anyone coming in with a degree from Harvard meant that they were going to be a drag on productivity. Some finally came around to what real life teaches you, but we still had to put up with their nonsense until they either left or realized how the world actually works.

CANCEL CULTURE

The students have shown an inability to understand sarcasm from one of their own, a Law Professor with some actually creditable certifications:

Adrian Vermeule, Harvard Law School Professor And Intellectual Iconoclast:

This story of cancel culture would be laughable were it not for the fact that it is so serious. It involves an attempt by four Harvard Law School student groups to interfere in the employment of, and damage the career of, Professor Adrian Vermeule.

This reflects an ongoing attempt by l******g students to purge academia of viewpoints that do not perfectly align with the social justice and Black Lives Matter orthodoxy. Much like during Mao’s Cultural Revolution, students lead the way in belittling and trying to damage dissident professors, with public shaming and institutional ritualized denunciations preferred methods of intimidation.

Here was his crime, tweeting this:

For example, as unsubstantiated allegations of widespread voter fraud spread following the election, Prof. Vermeule tweeted “ Lol the election isn’t over until Team Joe fixes up your ballot for you ” and “Kids, not sure if you knew this, but missing ballots have magical properties that make them visible only between midnight and 6am .” His post-election retweets included statements such as “ Even a Saddam Hussein had to make some pretence of not getting 100% of the vote in an Iraqi election … ‘Baghdad on the Delaware .’” And these examples only scratch the surface. Prof. Vermeule may try to play off his statements as a joke, but they amount to a pattern of promoting demonstrably false conspiracy theories. His statements are harmful to democracy and unbelievably divisive. To work at Harvard Law School is to be granted a platform and a level of legitimacy. Prof. Vermeule is abusing this platform in order to undermine democracy and delegitimize the results of the election.

Are you kidding me? This stuff is funny, and even if it’s not funny to some Harvard Law students.

The whole story is here, courtesy of Legal Insurrection, but in quick summary it shows how quick they are to jump to conclusions against their indoctrination and one sided beliefs.

WHY THIS MATTERS

An intelligent mind can entertain both sides of an argument without taking sides to fully understand the context. Whether or not they choose to side with one or the other would result from critical thinking and the ability to judge based on facts and history.

This current group of woke automatons rushes to judgement before the facts are known and worse, believe they are right because of where they are studying rather than being smart.

ENTRANCE EXAM DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MINORITIES

This takes two different paths. They reduce the entrance standards for some minorities who then can’t keep up. They are then stuck with a huge amount of debt and no benefit. They are having to take remedial courses and drop out of STEM studies.

Conversely, Harvard discriminates against those with the ability to qualify, but don’t have the proper heritage.

Here is what I’m referring to:

Adam Mortara, another attorney representing Students for Fair Admissions, accused Harvard of giving Asian-Americans significantly lower ratings for certain personal qualities, such as leadership and compassion, than other races, according to the Washington Post.

“Harvard has engaged in, and continues to engage in, intentional discrimination against Asian-Americans,” Mortara said.

A Harvard University dean testified that the school has different SAT score standards for prospective students based on factors such as race and sex — but insisted that the practice isn’t discriminatory, as a trial alleging racism against Asian-American applicants began this week.

The Ivy League school was sued in 2014 by the group Students for Fair Admissions, which claims that Asian-American students, despite top-notch academic records, had the lowest admission rate among any race.

He said Harvard sends recruitment letters to African-American, Native American and Hispanic high schoolers with mid-range SAT scores, around 1100 on math and verbal combined out of a possible 1600, CNN reported.

Asian-Americans only receive a recruitment letter if they score at least 250 points higher — 1350 for women, and 1380 for men.

This discrimination has now reached the Supreme Court.

Exerpt:

Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, now at the Supreme Court, has the potential to reshape the course of affirmative action in the United States — for the better.

The case positions a group of highly qualified Asian-American college applicants against the university to which they seek admission, Harvard. These applicants allege that Harvard has practiced longstanding admissions discrimination against them in favor of less-qualified minorities.

GOING WOKE

Being woke is a crime of idiocy. You shouldn’t expect that of an institution heralded (not anymore) for their intelligence and education. Harvard has managed to pull it off spectacularly.

Now, at the beginning of the third decade of the 21st century, ‘political correctness’ on campus is taken for granted. But what I experienced then was less the direct coercive tyranny of leftism than a pervasive culture of capitulation and pusillanimity, with everyone from administrators to deans and professors to students and even the campus police looking over his or her shoulder in fear of censure by others. The fear was only justified on the part of those being silenced: at one Harvard event, Ayaan Hirsi Ali required stricter security arrangements than did many heads of state.

The affirmative action that Harvard implemented required lying. Departments looking for the ‘best’ person to fill a position were obliged to demonstrate, not that they had conducted a fair and open search, but rather that they had interviewed an appropriate percentage of women and other ‘minorities’. Since individual merit and group diversity are contradictory goals, the entire process was corrupt irrespective of outcome. At one departmental meeting, when the chair asked us to supply arguments for a member’s candidacy for promotion, someone at the table hooted, ‘Why bother with all this? He’s Hispanic!’ I was the only one who laughed at this eruption of suppressed truth.

There is more at the link above, but political correctness claims another victim.

IN CONCLUSION BUT PROBABLY NOT

Those of us who have been in the real world know that real world experience trumps a diploma. Sure, it will get you in the door, but those with the ability to adapt, lead and have the above stated ability of critical thinking are the ones you want to keep.

If they keep up this idiocy, those outside of the Northeast (OK, California, Portland and Washington – both of them are just as woke and dumb) won’t want them if they intend on surviving.

Save your money unless you have a Wall Street connection ready. Everyone thinking alike and acting with the same wokeness is of little benefit to the concept of an ongoing concern of a business, a FASB standard.

Connecting The Dots On Covid, The Vaccine, Big Pharma and Control – Senator Malcolm Roberts

I’ve posted recently on Covid, the “vaccines”, Ivermectin and other pieces of evidence that expose what is really going on. I started looking into this when trying to understand the motives, the players and why the push for the vax instead of a cure. It was so that I could make my own decision on how to proceed with my healthcare and to live my life during this shit show.

I’ve discovered that I’m not alone and a lot of people are waking up to the fact that there is a lot of lying going on. None of it has our best interests in mind. They only care about tightening their grasp on our balls (figuratively speaking. Everyone should get this metaphor so cut any sexist crap).

In this video, Senator Roberts pretty well explains a lot of it in a short 2 minutes, it’s in English with sub-titles. Put aside your political bias on any side and think about your future and best interests. TPTB won’t.

I’m going to start the detective work of connecting the dots for you to try and get the facts to make your own decision, something anyone in control doesn’t want us doing. Government relies on us depending on them for their power. Once you think for yourself, no one has any control over you.

I Got What I Expected, China is Stalking Me

I’ve posted stuff on Covid (link here to some of my posts to make it easy on them), where I called it the China/Wuhan virus, all to point at the CCP and the MSM. I also have done a lot of gene editing posts about creating bio weapons and super soldiers, and highlighted how they have doped the athletes over the years.

I don’t single out just China. I’ve listed stuff a lot of other people or countries have done too.

My blog is insignificant compared to others who have massive audiences. I go after the Media a lot too. I worked with them for decades and know how much they lie and how biased reporting is. (Recent studies show they have about 12% trust in America).

The statistics show me who’s reading what, and all of a sudden I’m getting a lot of hits from them. They re-route through multiple servers, but I can see that too. I poked the dragon and they responded, from all over the world.

I can’t be cancelled off of fake book or Twitter, or most of social media either because I cancelled them first. It is a cesspool of hate and once you try to silence any group, you are no longer free or accurate. It just becomes propaganda and Josef Goebbels showed us what that leads to.

I’m shocked that they give a crap about a blog that now has topics that go all over the place, but not surprised that no stone is left unturned.

Maybe I should work on the Russians or the Iranians next. I could create all kinds of fun. I think those guys kill people with polonium though. I don’t want to die like that.

Perhaps they’ll get a kick out of all the Gorilla Glue screw ups instead.

Just Another Reason Why I Love That I Fired Facebook

“Free speech is not an absolute human right,” says Helle Thorning Schmidt, member of Facebook’s Oversight Board and former PM of Denmark. “It has to be balanced with other human rights.”

How does that translate to content moderation? It must strike a balance, find a middle. pic.twitter.com/E5reaQ2bnk— POLITICOEurope (@POLITICOEurope) July 15, 2021

The Facebook Oversight Board, which consists of 20 members from around the world, was created last year to help corporate executives to distance themselves from decisions considered to be politically.

———————————–

Seriously?

We’re told we have to use certain words to describe certain people (pronouns). I can’t keep them straight.

Anything that some people say is wrong and others are always right, based on arbitrary rules that benefit only the elite.

Who told them that they are the arbiters of what we can say? (They can’t for me as I deleted them).

Most of all, why are they trying to stop free speech? Usually it is because they have something to hide.

Why are people standing for this? Those that do are dumbasses.

I can say that my life is much better without it. I have a lot more time and most of the content is BS anyway. Now, if only certain things are allowed, you have a one sided discussion. Count me out.

It is funny that the Whitehouse is fighting with fake book over Covid content in a game of finger pointing. They always eat their own.

What is humorous to me is that I have Danish relatives. Live by Jante’s Law, die by the sword.

On This Day, 10 Years Ago…..A Momentous Occurrence Happened To Me…..

I retired and enjoyed the heck out of it. If you want to know what I did, go to about and about me.

I started planning for it when I was in my 30’s and knew it would be a long game to have enough. I listened to Larry Burkett of Crown Financial Services, a biblical based ministry that taught me to save and to live debt free. I posted about it a while back on how an average Joe can become a millionaire.

Was it hard?

You bet it was. There were a lot of sacrifices and a lot of learning about investing, managing money and faith in God. It turns out that we were blessed with an abundance of riches, only a small amount of which are financial.

We were alone.

Fortunately, my wife was on the same page. Heck, my Mom even taught me how to save as she lived through the depression. She could make anything last longer than possible. That woman sacrificed for us and I noticed. My siblings however never learned. Mom told me she taught each of us the same lessons, but said no one else listened to her.

I caught a lot of crap from my friends.

Working in the airline industry is very common for my family and friends. We have many pilots and flight attendants in that group.

One of them, with whom I went to school with since 7th grade, gave me a ton of grief when I was in my late 20’s. He was serving cokes for a living (flight attendant) and wasted 15 years of his life doing it. He was broke when he quit.

I spoke to him one Saturday when I was at work. He told me that he only worked 2 weeks a month and was off to Hawaii, rubbing it in my face that I had to work. When I hung up, I knew right then that I was making a short term sacrifice for long term gain. I would be retiring early while being financially safe and knew I would have to work hard. I said to myself that I would make it my goal and I’d be playing golf while he was working. He still is working today, and when he got to the real world I’d had 15 years of experience. I had owned my own business shortly after that conversation. FWIW, I played golf this week.

Did I get even with him?

I chose not to rub it in because the facts show our different outcomes. I’m glad I have mine.

Being an introvert, I don’t want to get into it anyway and he doesn’t want to talk much anymore. I don’t care what happens to others as I can’t control anything other than my destiny. I’m sorry he didn’t listen to me. He told me he resented that job for 13 of the 15 years he did it and hates his current job.

A theme and a pattern.

It wasn’t only my siblings and friends. When I sold my business and went to work for IBM, they were the same. When it came time for me to say goodbye, my house was paid off and we had saved. Almost no one could believe that I was pulling the plug that early. They thought it was some scandal that I had to quit and were very disappointed that the reason I retired was because I could. Most of them were keeping up with the Jones and didn’t save. I looked some of them up and they are still stuck working at the same job when I left.

At the end, IBM was a terrible place to work (see managing executive ego’s, the good, the bad and the ugly). I actually pulled the trigger a year early to get out of that hell hole. To a person, everyone said they wished that they could do what I did, get out. They were too far in debt to do so.

I turned down moving to New York to “climb the ladder” because living there sucks and I didn’t want to raise a family there. People told me when they moved to New York, they got to pay 30% more for everything, for less than I made. Again, I knew that I was making the right decision for my family not to go there to “get ahead” (behind would have been the actual case if I’d gone there).

My Father.

Dad worked until he was 70. Work defined his life. He was lost when he retired.

Working was only a means to an end for me. To be fair, I was fortunate enough to be highly successful and God decided that I should be compensated for it. That helped make it happen, but if you go back to my siblings, they earned more than me at times. They still work though as most of it was wasted on useless stuff.

Dad couldn’t understand my goals, but I had so much going on that work was interfering with my life, so I stopped. I never regretted it.

A lot of the IBM’rs died shortly after retiring because they had to work a long time. I saw that and knew I wanted to enjoy my life. Now, every day is Saturday for me.

I have enjoyed each day these last 10 years. Heck, I’m the president of the how to enjoy your retirement club. Never once did I think about going back because I didn’t have to.

If there is any lesson, it is in the post of how to become a millionaire.

Short term sacrifice for long term paradise.

What Is Amazon Prime Day Really Like?

I know they have free shipping, but there is always something else you want, not need and they put it in your face.

I’ve bought zilch this year. I realized that Amazon is discounting a lot of stuff to put their version of the products in your house.

Really, I don’t need more stuff and the deals aren’t that great anymore. There is also 2 million deals to sort through, most of which you could get for the same price by waiting and watching.

The Scientific Method, Why Science is Never Settled

Only Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity remains unchallenged. It’s the way it should be. If it weren’t, we’d have the science from 100’s of years ago.

Everything going on today should be challenged in thought as to whether it stacks up to actual science or political science.

I’m kind of looking at Fauci, the CDC, WHO and politicians here.

If they don’t agree, just follow the scientific method above and show why it is provable. The tactic now is censorship instead.

Sarcasm Tuesday, Green New Deal Cars Hit The Showrooms

I have no dog in this fight except I don’t want it to cost tax dollars for a boondoggle like Solyndra. I’m not sure it’s ready for prime time even with the most fervent people.

Based on this study, 75% of Americans aren’t willing to spend more than $50 right now. The current price tag of the GND is $93 trillion so they haven’t reached a compromise yet. YMMV

Freedom And Equality, Not The Same

The political rhetoric is about equality, but people are too different to be equal, at anything, even identical twins think differently. Equal opportunity to succeed is our best shot.

There is no magic bullet in life on Earth.

BTW, this is another censorship shot. I don’t think they like the real definition instead of theirs.

He lived through the ravages of Communism and wrote about it.

Why would anyone want that again?

Colleges Spreading Either Covid or Communism, More Censor Prodding

I’m in a major college town with multiple colleges. Having sent children to different ones, I was shocked at what they put into these mush heads. I couldn’t believe what I was told about how the world ran by these intellectual giants.

Not having to worry about work when you are tenured, then only hiring those like yourselves are ruining our education system.

College should be a place of debate and learning what others believe to educate yourself. Instead, it is an indoctrination center now, right out of the Frankfurt School to Columbia to the rest of the system.

At least the mush heads don’t have to listen to the professors political views while being online. A lot don’t attend or are checking Fakebook anyway.

Finally, as always, part of this post is to see what the censors are up to. I like to put things that have the right words they search for to keep them busy. They are fake book, socialism, censorship, indoctrination, Frankfurt School

They can’t get me on Facebook or Twitter anymore so any in your face gets done here. Let’s see if they are paying attention today.

Bacon and Bombings, Testing the Censors

I love bacon. It’s what I thought of when I saw this. Then of course, I recognized an opportunity to test out the censorship of WordPress.

I think a lot of the tech companies are loony about free speech and who is allowed to have it. That’s why I put stuff up that I know others will get mad about. It’s not about you honey, this is poking the dragon ever so slightly at first.

I self-censored Fake Book and Twitter so I can’t go after them, but then I’d have to be in that cesspool to get kicked out. I left that social media shithole behind to better my life. It worked.

How Is Freedom Safe, By Adlai Stevenson

“My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.”

It’s always been difficult to be unpopular. We learn this lesson in school. No one wants to be an outcast.

With the dreaded social media and their censors against only certain people and certain words that they don’t agree with, the visibility of this subject has leapfrogged past logic, reason and congeniality. You say the wrong thing to the wrong person and your head gets bitten off.

First, you have to care if what people say about you bothers you. I don’t give a flying fig anymore because if they like me they do. If they don’t, what they say probably isn’t going to phase me.

The real hero’s and leaders are those who will stand up against the sheep and go the other way, or lead the sheep. Oh, you are going to piss some people off, but they were probably just there to try and get in your way.

The moral is don’t be a sheep. Fight (say to others, don’t hit them unless you are in Portland) for what you believe in and the hill you want to make your stand on.

Most of all, when you have made your decision, don’t let public opinion or popularity contests sway you. When you are right you are. If you are not sure, you probably aren’t.

Most people who get in your way are jealous or get their kicks by bringing others down instead of worrying about what they should be doing.

10 Companies That Exist today Who Actually Collaborated With Real Nazi’s, Not Woke Nazi’s

Hat tip to The News Punch, more here.

And just think, company’s 1 and 10 are trying to be the most woke right now. I get that it’s a long time ago, but memories are long.

I once had to deal with this issue at IBM. Naturally, the PR department did it’s best to sweep it under the rug in public, but behind the scenes it was a train wreck to not get it wrong. I remember thinking that what they said in public was morally wrong and couldn’t support it.

Evil is evil

10. Coca-Cola

hitler-cocacola

Coca-Cola was a major presence in Nazi Germany, even though officials in the Reich were said to believe the stuff was too frivolous for the German character. Nevertheless, the very American nature of the product (wealth, flashy dreams, etc.) appealed too much to the German public and the stuff was kept around. It wasn’t until 1942 that the company’s presence in the nation was seriously threatened.

Coca-Cola’s hundreds of bottling plants in Germany were naturally cut off from main American support when America entered World War II. But Max Keith, the representative of the company in Germany at the time, redubbed the product “Fanta” for Reich consumption. The bottling factories and processing plant were then used to provide Germany’s citizens a key element to keep their energy up to support the war effort: A supply of sugar above what the government rationed to them. After the war, Keith, in an amazing display of company loyalty, turned over the wartime profits to the parent company when the Allied armies arrived, when surely the gigantic amount of inevitable post-war confusion and complication would have allowed him to sneak off with it.

9. Metro Goldwyn Mayer

Prior to World War II, Germany had been one of America’s most important film markets (as implied in the above entry, Germans had a bit of an obsession with a heavily romanticized vision of America), and as such, American film studios were willing to bend over backward to appease the German government. Even Warner Brothers, who developed a reputation for being the most anti-Nazi of major studios at the time, ordered that the word “Jew” be taken out from their movies and invited Nazi dignitaries to visit their studio.

But the single greatest act of Nazi support was one done by MGM after the invasion of Poland in 1939. They donated prints of eleven of their films to the German Relief Effort after the war with Poland began. These bewildering dreams of maintaining a market in Germany only died off after France and Britain’s markets threatened to die out too in response to all this collusion with their enemy.

8. Chase Manhattan Bank

The Chase Manhattan Bank’s form of colluding with the Reich was particularly heinous. Because Carlos Niedermann, Chase’s representative in Paris, had very good personal relations with the Nazis, he agreed to their requests that the bank seize the assets of at least one hundred Parisian Jews that were considered especially worth pursuing by the Reich. This doubtless helped the Gestapo capture those people. Chase Manhattan was hardly alone in this, though. In 1998, the company was part of a suit demanding reparations from J. P. Morgan and Citibank for the millions of dollars stolen. In the end, the payouts were $200 a month. The survivors and descendants had to fight to not have large amounts of the payments eaten up by wire transfer fees.

7. Dow Chemical 

It’s not too much of a stretch for many people to imagine oil companies collaborating with evil people. We are used to the mental image of oil companies being willing to prop up evil dictators to have access to petroleum and similar atrocities. Dow Chemical was one of the companies that provided an insane amount materials for the Nazis, including not only raw materials but also American technological innovations in regards to oil refinery. The contributions were so extreme that it allowed the Nazis to forgo their previous quotas to accommodate the influx. This indicates the Nazis were taken by surprise in regard to how much material they received from these American companies! No wonder they were able to achieve the massive armament build-up that they did.

6. Brown Brothers Harriman

During the early 1930s, Fritz Thyssen ran a business that he used to help finance Adolf Hitler’s rise to power. Brown Brothers Harriman was a subsidiary company that he used as a base of American operations. This collusion is of particular note because it was integral to the basis of the claim that Prescott Bush, father of ex-President George Bush and of course grandfather of ex-President George W. Bush, supported the Third Reich. He was on the board of directors for BBH and in 1942, the company’s assets were seized by the federal government. Suspicions then arose that some assets were taken as part of the Bush family fortune. These, among other reasons, came to light in 2003 as part of the presidential campaign, and make it appear that the Bush family owed their fortune to Nazi activities. It really does seem like the sort of discovery an opposing campaign team would dream about making in regards to their opponent (not that it ultimately helped much).

5. Woolworth

In 1933, 1.25% of the company’s entire inventory came from Germany, but mostly it was in the form of trinkets, like Christmas decorations. At the time, even that led to protests in America because news was coming from Germany that the Reich was beginning its public persecution of the Jews. When Woolworth conceded to public pressure and removed the offending items from its stock, it caused protests over in Germany over the abuse of their “hospitality.”

What was significant about Woolworth’s interaction with the Nazis was a horrible thing that Woolworth did, that ultimately lent legitimacy to their notorious anti-semitism. Woolworth fired all of its Jewish employees. This won them the designation “Adefa Zeichen,” an award reserved for companies that were “pure Aryan.” Most likely Woolworth doesn’t advertise their products with that seal of approval.

4. Alcoa

Alcoa is now the third largest aluminum producer in the world. Back in 1941, it was much more powerful. It had a monopoly on aluminum in addition to owning a massive amount of America’s electricity production and other minerals. Before America declared war on Germany, it sent so much of its aluminum product over to Germany that the country made upwards of sixty percent more aluminum products than America. When the US’s involvement in the war began, there was a massive aluminum production shortage in America, in no small part because of Alcoa’s monopoly. Alcoa essentially sold the Axis powers much of the material to build their war machines and a reprieve from the American war machine.

3. Ford

When Hitler pays tribute to you in his biography and keeps a portrait of you in his office, it will be hard for you to claim that you did not have some connection to him. However, Henry Ford didn’t seem particularly inclined to distance his company or himself from the Nazis anyway, since he accepted Germany’s highest honor freely and never returned the award while Hitler was alive. He was a committee member of the America First Association which advocated America to stay out of World War II. In 1998, it came out that the Third Reich was providing Ford’s factory in Cologne with 1,200 Russian slaves, as a potential form of compensation

2. General Motors

Similar to their automotive rivals, General Motors was sued by Holocaust survivors for assisting the Nazi war machine. Beginning in 1935, GM built a factory in Berlin for the purpose of building “Blitz” trucks for the Wehrmacht. Ford began building similar trucks around the same time, but GM was the number one producer of the vehicles that were vital for the quick conquests of Poland, France, and much of the Soviet Union. Albert Speer, the minister of armaments and war production, claimed that the rubber GM supplied was the key to the ability of the Germans to wage war the way they did. Inevitably when America declared war on Germany, the Reich seized GM’s German production facilities.

Although neither Ford nor General Motors ever fully conceded that they had willingly participated in the use of slave labor, they both were massive contributors to a fund started in 2000 for Holocaust survivors.

1.IBM

In 1933, International Business Machines began providing Germany with punchcard machines that functioned as precursors to modern computers and databases. Documents have since been uncovered that show that as late as 1941, IBM was working in tandem with the Reich to liquidate Jews from Holland. IBM employees were training SS personnel how to use their machines to record the movement, sorting, and mass execution of large numbers of undesirables, at times right in the headquarters of death camps. These machines, however, remained IBM property at all times.

In 2002, IBM was sued by five gypsies to collect reparations because their parents had been killed during the Holocaust. After four years of legal discussion, the case was dismissed due to the statute of limitations.

Why It’s Good To Live In These Times

“We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities.” – Walt Kelly

Only a few generations ago, the average lifespan was about 40 years. People died from diseases that make Covid seem like a scratch.

More people have more chances to do good or get ahead in their own way than any other time in history.

I ask myself, why is there so much unrest and hate? It shouldn’t be that way. Your time is short and passes quickly. Not everyone needs to go down as a revolutionary. That is so much wasted effort out of the day.

My saying for today is look for something good instead of bad. No matter what, it will make at least that moment better.

Charles Barkley Finally Explains How Politicians Manipulate Racism

“Man, I think most white people and black people are great people,” Barkley said. “I really believe that in my heart, but I think our system is set up where our politicians, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats, are designed to make us not like each other so they can keep their grasp of money and power.”  “They divide and conquer. I truly believe in my heart most white people and black people are awesome people, but we’re so stupid following our politicians, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats, and their only job is, ‘Hey, let’s make these people not like each other. We don’t live in their neighborhoods, we all got money, let’s make the whites and blacks not like each other, let’s make rich people and poor people not like each other, let’s scramble the middle class. I truly believe that in my heart,” he said.

Charles Barkley speaking the truth pic.twitter.com/lt9jBldV2a— ET (@runBMC57) April 3, 2021

Today’s Self-Help Guide To Avoiding/Escaping Poverty

I post this to try and help someone who might listen. I paid attention as did a lot of people who didn’t wind up in poverty.

I’ve known others that didn’t make it. Without disclosing personal facts, you can just look at the graphic and know what happened to them.

I get that nothing is full proof, but this will help the majority I hope.

Why Not To Cancel (Culture) History

I first learned this when I visited Dachau, the concentration camp outside of Munich. It was a gloomy day and I could feel the pain and suffering that went on 70 years prior. It was a reminder of what men can do when led by the most cruel and deceiving of governments and leaders. They tried to ban a lot of things because they didn’t like them also.

I don’t have any connection to issues like the Civil War Statues, and didn’t think about them until they started tearing them down. I’m not defending either side here. I’m defending the side of history. If you aren’t proud of it, maybe you need to be reminded why not to do it again, rather than pretend it didn’t happen.

I’m sure it makes a snowflake feel better to tear down history, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

Our best lessons are those that come from mistakes.

How Covid Is Challenging Over-Population Myths With Sex

For decades, we’ve been told that the population of the earth is one of the causes of many of our problems and only by reducing it (Bill Gates) will we survive.

This is either something that is a global destruction issue (like the dinosaur extinction) or is just more climate scare tactics (yes, it is the same group claiming the death of the planet by weather also). Certainly history will be the judge but so far none of the climate extinction events have come true (such as from an Inconvenient Truth FWIW).

NOW WE HAVE THE TEST – SEX

One would think that if you were holed up with someone else, sooner or later it would lead to babies in 9 months. I get that there is birth control but we’ve seen that people are inconsistent and sooner or later it happens. Look at office sex. A lot of people wind up doing it with co-workers they’d never touch except for familiarity.

However, we find that this is not the case. People have stopped bumping uglies.

CBS obtained data from health departments in over two dozen states that shows “a 7% drop in births in December—nine months after the first lockdowns began.”

Research from the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., predicts that births may well be down 300,000 to 500,000 in 2021.

The prediction is based on a negative correlation between birth rates and the unemployment rate. Higher unemployment means fewer babies.

Brookings also notes, contrary to what the romantics thought would happen, that surveys of couples, particularly those with young children at home, report declines in sexual activity.

But these COVID-related hits to birth rates really attach to a trend of declining fertility rates in the U.S. that has been going on for years.

WHO ISN’T DOING THE DIRTY?

The U.S. fertility rate in 1900 was almost 4, more than double today’s rate. Please don’t tell me it was because times were so much more safe and certain over a century ago.

In a 2019 Pew Research survey, 16% said having children is essential for a man to have a fulfilling life. Twenty-two percent said it is essential for a woman to have a fulfilling life.

In the same survey, 57% said that “having a job or a career they enjoy” is essential for a man to have a fulfilling life. Forty-six percent said “having a job or career they enjoy” is essential for a woman to have a fulfilling life.

Regarding being married, 16% said it is essential for a man to have a fulfilling life, and 17% said it is essential for a woman to have one.

This data, I think, sheds light on why Americans are not having children. It’s not because times are so hard. Every time is challenging, and Americans are more comfortable and prosperous today than ever in history.

Maybe the Brookings scholars will be right about having 300,000 fewer births in the U.S. in 2021 because of COVID-19.

They get picked on for being losers, but the millennials and Gen-X,Y and now Z are not holding their own. There is a reason for a generation of Baby Boomers. They came home from war and got busy about life. Boomers had the hippie sex and love days so they held up their end of the deal.

Humor here: Maybe all the drugs that the Boomers did is why we have screwed up generations that follow. The boomers got out of the parents basements and for the most part never returned.

WHAT WE WILL FIND OUT ABOUT OVERPOPULATION

Now we will see if the over population alarmists are right (no) or are they full of it to try and get money (the usual reasons). With the younger generation just not doing it to the fill the needs of replenishing our population minimums it’s going to go down. We will then get to see if there is enough food (yes), land (yes) and will people kill the earth (no).

The population scare tactics crowd will not stop until they move onto the next scare to try to get us to part with part of our paychecks so that congress can waste it.

Judge for yourself. I think we have the technology to farm all the food we need and people haven’t been able to change the temperature more than a tenth or two (not even proven yet scientifically, no the science isn’t settled yet).

Here’s my advice. Get busy at getting busy. The planet is resilient. We need the kids and generations prior to ours survived actual million death events unlike Covid. The death count is so overstated and incorrectly calculated that by just correcting for actual Flu deaths would make what it is, less significant were it not an election year in 2020

A Warning From History About The Covid Relief Bill

No republic has long outlived the discovery by a majority of its people that they could vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. - Alexander Fraser Tytler

The government is to serve the people, not the other way around. Underneath the covers of the Covid bill (go research it, you won’t believe me even if I put the facts here, but they are in the bill) is kickback money that they have given organizations who will then contribute to the politicians.

It is a cycle that has made most in congress millionaires and fund their campaign chest for the next election.

I see it and I’m not a political operative. I hope your intelligence lets you connect the dots also. The facts and the history are there. Ruling classes for all of history vote themselves power and money and destroy nations.

About That Cancel Culture Thingy

I slip in things like China Virus, IRS is big brother and other words just to give the censors something to do. Sooner or later they’ll move the line and you won’t see me for 30 days or whatever the penalty is for using the wrong work or pronoun that I probably couldn’t keep straight.

They can’t ban me on Fake book or Twatter because I fired them first.

Today’s Most Ironic Head Line Of The Day

From the WSJ:

China Is Now Sending Twitter Users to Prison for Posts Most Chinese Can’t See

Two of the most restrictive groups censorship wise are going at each other here to ban information that was made to be published, go figure. Note: It refers to the CCP government, not the Chinese people.

Both are paranoid and neither are really helping anyone get better. My advice, leave both.

Celebrities Note That Celebrities Are Useless (and why)

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, it is clear that I loathe celebtards and sports stars who try to tell us how we should act or think. I’ve made it clear that they are people that pretend (a form of lying) and play kids games for money. I hope they make as much as possible and entertain us. I’ll take the distraction from politics any day. That’s where it ends though.

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT THEMSELVES NOW

“The Good Place” star Jameela Jamil seems to understand that her presence on the big stage doesn’t make her any more useful to society than autumn leaves. They’re neat to look at but in the end, are mostly useless and leave a big mess.

According to the Daily Wire, Jamil was asked if celebrities missed the mark during COVID-19 and the answer was a pretty enthusiastic yes. Apparently, Jamil says that once “The Good Place” is over she’s going to become a therapist:

Speaking with Angela Scanlon on the “Thanks a Million” podcast, “The Good Place” star noted that celebrities may well have been “exposed” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After being asked if “celebrities have been exposed,” Jamil replied: “Yeah. F**k ‘em. Just f**k ‘em all. F**k us all. We’re useless.”

“Sorry, no offense, but we’re crap,” she added. “I’ve always thought that we were crap, and so it’s been quite exciting to watch the rise of the people who are actually gonna make a real difference in this world.”

Jamil said that she might leave Hollywood altogether when she turns 40 to become an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapist.

“I want to leave TV when I’m 40 entirely and become an EMDR therapist,” she said. “And I might well f***ing do that. I might just go away and just become a therapist.’”

Ryan Reynolds is even funnier and joked in a video, celebrities are right up there with imaginary friends in terms of importance to the pandemic.

Leo DiCaprio and his ilk preach about global warming and then fly on their private jets to their yachts when flocking to the climate summit and emit a carbon footprint the sized of a city. I don’t want to hear hypocrisy.

Disclaimer: I am reading Grateful American by Gary Sinise, and what he does is exceptional for the veterans and those who serve. If more were like that, I and others like me might gain some respect for them as people. There have been others starting with Bob Hope and others who selflessly help others.

This is about the celebtards who believe the spew of the MSM, refuse to think critically and don’t have the proper respect for the fame they earned and how to pay it back or forward.

Wednesday Saying – Is The USA Dying?

It's interesting sometimes to read about the last days of past civilizations. It's hard not to notice during these readings that those last days were filled with completely irrational ideas and behaviors that could not be explained in any way outside of a mass collapse of reason. - David Horowitz

I’ve heard it said that governments based on a republic have an average life span of about 200 years throughout history. That means America is in overtime.

Other nations have been unable to unseat the USA as the de-facto world leader by force, so they are using the 5th column instead. Here is the definition of the 5th column -> Link to 5th column.

I have chosen to not be political, rather than observe patterns and history on this one.

Tuesday Sarcasm, It’s Celebtards Again, But With A New Twist On WTF?

I just read this headline.  I’m not sure if Jane Fonda is that isolated from reality or just that stupid.  Once again this is a person who is an actor trying to tell us those of us who have real lives what to do.  Here is the link to WUWT if you want to shake your head wondering how did these people get this way.

Jane Fonda: “If we don’t cut our fossil fuel emissions in half by 2030, … democracy … will become impossible.

Here is the irony that I just read after the above:

Sept. 6 (UPI) — A drastic temperature swing and a dose of early season snow will have residents from Montana to New Mexico wondering what month it is by Tuesday.

A storm is forecast to bring a mixture of rain and snow across the Intermountain West and the Plains Monday through Tuesday night, spreading precipitation from northern Montana to Texas.

Snow is forecast to begin falling in the northern Rockies of Montana and Wyoming on Monday, before extending southward through northeastern Utah, Colorado, and northern New Mexico into midweek.

This has nothing really to do about the climate for me because meteorologists can’t get the forecast right about tomorrow, let alone 2030.  It’s about how out of touch the idiots in Hollywood are.

Great Sayings – Why We Strive In Life, Not For Participation Trophies

“Don’t do what you want. Do what you don’t want. Do what you’re trained not to want. Do the things that scare you the most.” – Chuck Palahniuk, Author of “Fight Club”

 

The more difficult the struggle, the greater satisfaction from the accomplishment. That saying is from both my Mother and me.

No one gives a rats ass about a participation trophy.  We want to win.  To win you have to struggle, train, learn and fight for what you want.  Look at what athletes do to attain victory.  There is only one winner and second place is first loser.

There is only one CEO, but that person sacrificed along the way in time, travel and lack of attention to their family.

Dedication, training and commitment to any goal is necessary to achieve and succeed.

Overcoming what you are afraid of is and equal victory.  The sense of satisfaction we get from beating our demons is as great for some as is winning a competition or succeeding in life.  We were made to overcome obstacles in life and learn from that struggle.

Don’t give up or give in.  Relish the sweet sense of victory or vanquishing what held you back.

 

No going back, how Covid has changed us

Covid has changed our lives for good, and possibly/probably not for the better. Let’s take it by activity.

Travel

Here is some history. Flying used to be fun, economical and had good service. We used to like going on an airplane until some jag-off decided to try and light his shoe bomb on a plane.  Then another tried to blow up his underwear. We now have to queue in a long line  and I’m not all that sure that it’s stopped anyone other than the average Joe traveler. It hasn’t stopped the TSA from copping a feel on strangers.  The food sucks now and isn’t free anymore. Flying is more like the line for enlistment (including your prostate exam by the TSA) than to get on a plane.

With Covid, we can now add a temperature check, face masks and the the fear of catching anything from being in a tube for hours with little to no service.  The airports are petri dishes for bacteria.

Given the losses on travel companies and equipment manufacturers, it doesn’t bode well for the travel industry or the travelers.

Going to the office to work.

The requirement to be in person at work not as necessary as thought.

Before remote working, we had to be in the office or no one could be fully sure that you were earning your pay. Travel and working remotely eased that but there still are some bosses who didn’t trust their employees.   I had one piss-ant manager named R. Gorman when I worked at Thinkpad who didn’t trust anyone. He  sent a memo called rules of the road where you had to be in the office. All that got him was no trust or loyalty from the team. We were technologically equipped to work from anywhere and always did on business travel, but there still was some requirement to be in the office otherwise.

Employees want to be empowered to succeed. When that happens, they find ways to be creative and accomplish their goals. Conversely, when you treat them like school children, many will act that way. Just like with Ray, our productivity went down and the Ray jokes went up.

Now, no one can go in to work while we are socially distancing, and most jobs (non-manufacturing) are still getting done. It’s easy to reach anyone at anytime (too easy and too intrusive) but the oversight of said taskmasters is not needed. In a way, the people are now empowered and they still get the work done.  This one could be a benefit of Covid.

The downside is that a lot of empty buildings will lose their real estate value as there is no need to be in the office with the exception of essential workers.

How it affects the home

For us introverts, I thought it would be a time that we could cancel and/or avoid engagements until Zoom invaded our lives. Now even virtual happy hours are like a meeting. I’ve noticed that it’s hard to get privacy when kids and dogs are in the room or yelling in the background. Spouses or parents have been caught parading nude in front of the camera by accident.

When you meet in person, it’s easier to read body language and have someones attention. I tend to drift during Zoom meetings and have multiple devices that I often look at. I’ve noticed that I’m not alone.

Trouble for Introverts

Normally, we would be in pig heaven not to have to go to the office. In addition to the invasiveness of Zoom/Skype, we are stuck in the house with extroverts who won’t leave us alone. It’s like being trapped in hell. You want the quiet and the peace you got when the extrovert was in the office, instead your personal space is invaded and you can’t escape.

Schools

The school model is now exposed, especially at college level. No more extortion for dorms when you can do 90% online. College professors are no longer as essential. Recorded classes, especially at the 100 and 200 level are adequate. Online testing and submitting required homework is routinely done online even well before this virus.

It turns out that colleges are a Breathtakingly overpriced product.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/05/breathtakingly-overpriced-product-mike-rowe-says-covid-19-revealed-college-really/

According to Mike Rowe: “They’re gonna’ find big thinkers with easily accessible ideas who are exponentially more interesting than professors, and soon, I hope, our obscene love affair with credentialing is going to stop, and we’re going to pause in every imaginable way, and look at what is essential – not just in workers or in work, but in education, in food, in fun. Everything is going to be forced through a different filter,” he said.

Colleges will also be exposed on their sports programs. Sports are a bank fund that pays for a lot of other school expenses and is a recruiting tool for enrollment. The schools will now have to rely on actual academics as a draw for students instead of March Madness or Bowl season. Maybe the students will now get an education instead of an indoctrination to Marxism.

Conversely, this is a big positive as the cost of education has the opportunity to go down (but so far the colleges are still extorting the same ransom from parents). Room and board are a large part of the cost of an education. Combine that with the lack of a requirement for many classrooms and there is the road to cutting costs.

It is not in the best interest of the Major institutions to charge less, but the cat is out of the bag that you can get almost as much done online. I hope that the masses will overcome and help this opportunity for cost cutting.

For elementary, middle and high school, I think it will hurt our youth.  There is a need for hands on in basic learning and kids have the attention span of gnats.  Sometimes you need to snatch their asses back to attention when it’s learning time.

New paradigm for getting essential needs like groceries.

Essential services like cancer, emergency rooms are same, but will change. Non-essential Dr. visits are now handled over the phone or via video. Dr.’s can now dedicate more of their time to real emergencies or necessary in-person visits. A person using the Emergency Room for healthcare because they don’t have insurance is going to go way down.

There is no downtime for paperwork and other overhead that comes with any job, but that got handled off-line mostly anyway.

Rely on technology more, but the risk is that you can take down a society like the virus did. Beware of hackers though, where there is opportunity, there will be bad guys looking to make your day worse.

Shopping

Groceries have taken a turn for the better/worse/something different. Now that we went through the great toilet paper shortage and people have enough to wipe their asses for the next 5 years.   They can realize that a little planning can condense 5 shopping trips into one, or one delivery or pickup.

A lot converts have been made for grocery delivery. There are a few kinks that need to be worked out though. I’ve gotten stuff I didn’t order, but mostly I rarely get everything I wanted, even if I put in what the substitute would be product. There is no shopping for the store brand that is a whole lot cheaper.

We have gotten used to queuing a lot more now. It used to be the end of the world for some people who had to wait for more than one person to checkout. Now, we’re standing on X’s taped to the floor like kindergartners waiting to go potty.

As is the trend, online shopping has picked up and the downside is retail stores are less needed.  Again, this is a loss in real estate value and will leave a lot of square footage available.

So all in all, some of this is good, but a lot of it was unnecessary. If it wasn’t an election year or if there were different political leaders, a whole lot of people wouldn’t be losing there freaking minds over every little thing that they look for to be offended by.  HCQ would be over the counter like it is in a lot of countries and we wouldn’t be held hostage for masks as no one really seems to know whether it truly helps or hurts us yet.

I’ll remain optimistic that society will adapt.  I’m pessimistic that this is a political power opportunity to control the masses and we should beware.

Great Sayings – Self Survival By Governments, Innovation and Those In Charge, but are not True Leaders

Hat tip to Moonbattery

For politics, we need balance.  History shows that too much dominance by any side makes for lack of clear vision as leaders.  Their goal becomes being re-elected instead of serving the office they were elected to.  There are plenty of examples.

In Companies, being the solution to a problem is one business model, until the problem goes away then so do profits.

The better model is innovation.  Not that I find it that innovative, but look no further than the iPhone as an example.  Conversely, we are still stuck with Windows however and I find no real innovation there.  I left that platform as quickly as I could

Then of course there is Facebook, Twitter, Google and host of other platforms that haven’t really offered a solution other than sucking the time out of your day and providing a place to move along anarchy.

Look at the motives of the person trying to offer a solution.  Are they selling you a bill of goods, re-election or innovation?

Great Sayings – How To Succeed and Not Just Sit On Your Ass

It’s not just knowledge, succeeding is knowledge put into action.

 

There are a lot of smart people.  There are a lot of successful people that have lower IQ’s, but are smarter in life.  The difference is what they do with what they know.

The difference is putting yourself into action.  It’s also known as common sense.

I’ve worked with a lot of people who bitched that they never get ahead or that they are better/smarter/have been there longer/deserved it more than the person that got the promotion or the new position.  Almost always the person that got the prize was the one who took the chance and did the work.

Don’t sit on your ass.  Get out there and do something, then do more.  Rinse and repeat then watch the results.

There is too much history behind this to show that it works.  You don’t win every time, but that is why they play the game.  This one is called life.

Great Sayings – Thomas Jefferson On Protecting Ourselves

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” – Thomas Jefferson

Remember, I’m an observer of trends and have taken a position of waiting to see where I’ll fall on any subject until enough facts are in.

Milton Friedman said people are greedy and power hungry when answering who would you trust to have power for your government.  We’ve had a test run on what would happen with the struggle to re-open the country after the Wuhan/Covid virus. (here is a brief clip, but the entire discussion is there if you want to view it).  He refers to Einstein, Henry Ford and others accomplishing what they did and how.

Some governors have shut down their states, while others are trying to re-open.  It’s too early to see who is right, but the trend is leaning towards the virus dying down in both.

What does this have to do with the right to bear arms? It gives us the right to protect ourselves from our enemies.  At the time it was referring to the oppressive British, but when setting the boundaries of what was to become the greatest nation ever, it was to protect us from an oppressive US government or any other government for that matter.

As always, history will show the outcome.

The Ten Commandments Of Logic

  1. Thou shalt not attack the person’s character, but the argument. (Ad hominem)
  2. Thou shalt not misrepresent or exaggerate a person’s argument in order to make them easier to attack. (Straw man fallacy)
  3. Thou shalt not use small numbers to represent the whole.(Hasty generalizations)
  4. Thou shalt not argue thy position by assuming one of its premises is true. (Begging the question)
  5. Thou shalt not claim that because something occurred before, it must be the cause. (Post hoc/False cause)
  6. Thou shalt not reduce the argument down to two possibilities.(False dichotomy)
  7. Thou shalt not argue that because of our ignorance, claim must be true or false. (Ad ignorantum)
  8. Thou shalt not lay the burden of proof onto him that is questioning the claim. (Burden of proof reversal)
  9. Thou shalt not assume “this” follows “that” when it has no logical connection. (Non sequitir)
  10. Thou shalt not argue that because a premise is popular, therefore it must be true. (Bandwagon fallacy)

Try telling this to the Press, celebtards, sports stars who try to cram their opinion on those because they are good a games or career politicians.  They are the worst offenders.

Great Sayings – Daniel Patrick Moynihan on Opinion vs. Facts

Everyone has both.  Some choose one over the other.  Most mesh the two together.

The difficulty in this day of being barraged by social media and a 24/7/365 news hype cycle is that you can choose to go with your bias and only see one side of any story.  This is dangerous regardless of which side you view it from.

Don’t believe the scare tactics of the money hustlers who rush people into a position like sheep herders trying to corral the flock into group think.  The tactic is shame for not subjugating yourself to the PC position of the day.

It takes courage to step out and stand for what is right, especially in the start of a crisis or an event in time. This requires critical thinking as to discovery of the real facts and applying the necessary logic to come to the right conclusion.  It also can take time.  The media and politicians will try to rush us into judgement based on opinion.

As they said in Watergate, follow the money and you’ll usually see through those who are self-serving.

Most of all, don’t be a sheep.  Think for yourselves and don’t take anything you read online as gospel, except for the Gospel.

Sooner or later, time exposes the truth.  Whether you want to believe it or not is now up to you.

Black Friday Bingo in 2020 – Covid-19 Shopping Hazards

I’m thinking ahead here to what might happen on this next Black Friday sale.

As I type this, stores are just starting to open up from Covid-19.  There already was a fight in a parking lot as well as and ice cream store having to close it’s doors one day after opening because the patrons harassed the workers.

Black Friday is only 2 weeks before the presidential election, so a lot of folks should be ready to fight at the drop of a (MAGA) hat.  There is your political humor because it’s fair to make fun of both sides of politics.

There are plenty of documented cases of people fighting over sale items or the last widget in the electronics section in a normal year.

This is where this post goes to down the toilet.  I have an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other.

The angel side says hire extra security and let them in based on their arrival number and only let them in a few at a time.  This allows for social distancing and proper etiquette.  It doesn’t address cutting in line and fights outside, but my evil side is already thinking ahead.

The devil on the other shoulder says put a couple of jumbo TVs and other desirable stuff for $25 (and not available online) and let everyone in at once.  Then, sell the video on pay-per-view and see who the champion is.  The depravity of humans is bound to show it’s ugly face and it would be a sellout.  Watching the PPV would be better than the actual bargain.  You’ll get some Darwin award winners in this scenario.

I know that reality is somewhere in between these two, but it’s not lost on me that it will be different this year.  As I write down my thoughts, I’m wondering what store executives are planning given that a lot of stores make their profit numbers for the year in the last 2 months.  They already are so deep in the red that even holiday sales may not save them.

Times are changing and so will Black Friday this year.  I rarely buy pay-per-view on a real fight, but would consider this one.

Come back the last week in November and see if I’ve purchased the video of the fight, or if some clever marketing person has figured this out.

Covid-19, It’s Another Pearl Harbor – We’ve Been Through This Before And We Do It Best

Update:  On April 5th, the Surgeon General compared the Corona Virus to Pearl Harbor.

There are events in history that cause a divided nation to come together.

Some have been pandemics and others have been wars, but there are times defined by history that people put their selfishness aside and gather to do what is best.

As an example, I could pick the Spanish Flu, SARS, MERS, H1N1, Y2K, the Swine Flu, the Space Race to the Moon or any number of events, but I’m going to use Pearl Harbor.

I wasn’t there, but our nation was divided as to whether we should enter another World War or isolate ourselves and hope the problem would go away or others would solve it.  This all changed on December 7, 1941 when our country was forced into the events of the world.

We could have cowered to the attack and ask them not to do it again.  Neville Chamberlin tried to appease Hitler this way and it didn’t work out so well.

THE MIGHT OF THE USA

Admiral Yamamoto, the architect of Pearl Harbor knew that a surprise attack to take out our Navy was the only real chance for Japan to stop the USA so they they could expand their reach in the Pacific Rim.  After all, he had studied and lived in the USA and knew that our forces were depleted after WWI.  He also knew that he couldn’t attack us on our own soil.

What also turned out to be true was that if the attack didn’t work, that he would awaken the might of the greatest industrialized nation in the world and unite our country to defeat evil.

On December 8th 1941, men young and old were lined up to enlist to fight for our survival.  They knew that they would be leaving loved ones behind and there was a distinct possibility that they wouldn’t return alive.  They put their fears aside and were willing to fight for our survival and the future that we enjoy today.

Not long after, women went to work in the factories.  We had to ration rubber and metal for war supplies, but everyone did their part.

Companies changed their direction.  Auto makers went from making cars to building bombers.  Scientists invented new weapons to win, not to just survive and suffer.  Our nation came together as one because we had a cause to fight for.

After the war, the greatest achievements in technology, medicine and space exploration happened at a speed heretofore never accomplished.

WE’VE BEEN COMPLACENT AND DIVIDED

All of that progress created wealth, comfort and abundance and we lost our focus.  It’s no secret that we’ve been a divided country.  I’m not here to point fingers because there is enough of that going on through the tradional news and social media.  All of it has a bias one way or the other and it has been pulling us apart.

We haven’t had a common enemy to rally against since the downfall of the Soviet Union.  Instead, we’ve been feeding on ourselves instead of pulling together.  There is a strain of hatred for what we have been that defies the achievements that built our country.  I have read celebtards and sports figures that say we have never been great.  This just proves that they have no appreciation for the sacrifice and achievements that gave them the fame and fortune to preach from their soapboxes.  It also denies our ability to do it again.

We as humans need a cause to believe in and to fight for, whether we are handed or invent it ourselves.  Conversely, politicians have been poisoning us with their desire for power and control.  They have been playing a game of capture the flag on their own islands and haven’t put the good of the country and the people first.  They have been building their power base by taking away our freedom through regulation.

Our government was set up with a system of checks and balances to ensure that no one had the power like the monarchy who we defeated to become what we are.  We now potentially suffer from what the history of the world has suffered from since the beginning of time.  That is the selfishness, greed and desire for power that has aflicted man since the expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

There also has been a faction for globalization that has tried to deplete our greatness by moving manufacturing offshore to the point that we could be held hostage for medical supplies.  Our spirit of nationalization has been tested by the border fight and ideology fueled by hate of the President.  It has ratcheted up these last few years in a power struggle because there was no enemy other than from within.

We have been eating ourselves instead of fighting together.

THE CORONA/COVID-19/CHINA/WUHAN/WHATEVER VIRUS

We now have a new Pearl Harbor.  We have been attacked by a new enemy who ambushed us again.  It is time for us to realize that we have a fight on our hands  Opportunity for success or failure knocks at the door of the fate of our country.

To do that, we need to go back to the spirit of 1941.  It was the people who came together in both the public and private sector, not the control of the Government that helped us save ourselves.

We can go back to being the humans that have struggle to fight against, rally together and overcome (both the virus and the overbearance of the governement regulations).

THE SILVER LINING

There is a great opportunity if we do the same as our forefathers.  Manufacturing in America again can help us right ourselves to help reunite our country and help other countries as we’ve done before.

We are beginning to see the automakers making ventilators, factories starting to make facemasks and other birth pains of our possible re-emergance to self-sustainment.  It can be done.

Before you manufacture in the USA instead of cheap labor offshore, there needs to be a construction boom to prepare production facilities.  After that, the job creation of made in in America is limitless, profitable and will help us help ourselves and others if they want it.

We already have become energy independent by producing enough oil so as to not be dependent on countries who hate us.

Our pharmacuticals are all made offshore by countries that have threatened to cut us off.  We need to do the same in the drug industry to continue our trend of independence and strength.  Through this can we help the rest of the world and save our nation from being held hostage for needed medical supplies and energy.

Most of all, we need fix our goverment and make them serve us instead of us serving them.  Companies and individuals need to be let loose to invent, design and create to defeat this latest Pearl Harbor instead of being told when and what we can or can’t do.  It’s time to limit their power and continue the greatness that history proves is inside of us.

Nobody Cares About Celebrities Opinions, Or For Celebrities For That Matter

This post was inspired by Candace who states:


Actors are people who are famous for being able to imitate and to pretend.  This does not qualify them for NASA, Weather Condition determination or basically anything else.  They are something to look at, listen to on-screen and forget.  Rinse and repeat.

They used to be respected more when they cared for their country, their fans and people in general.  Social media, fame and fortune have convinced them that someone actually cares what they think.  There have been some who actually contributed to the betterment of the world, but most of them were in the WWII class.

These days, they seem to have a delusion that their opinion on politics, climate change, gender identity, what to eat and anything else would actually matter to someone outside of Hollywood.  They are a part of the do as I say, not as I do crowd.  In fact they are the president of the club.

TRAIN WRECK

The basic nature of people is that they care about people who think like they do or conversely, are looking for a train wreck.  Celebrities and now many sports figures fit into these categories.

Last night, the Emmy’s were a train wreck, at least in ratings by reaching an all time low in viewership.

People are tired of them pontificating about anything or their pet cause, even if it is noble.  Shut up and act and don’t tell us what to do.  Most of us who live real lives are smarter and have more common sense.

SPORTS ALSO

The overpaid sports stars are now getting into the act by trying to inform us on how we are to act with respect to our personal patriotism.  Again, shut up and play the game.  They are entertainment for us to distract us from daily life at best.  We don’t care about your personal vendetta’s that you thrust upon us because somehow your millions don’t make up for your perceived injustice.

How do I know this?  The NFL is now worried about dwindling numbers both at the stadiums and the TV numbers.  Go to the link and find one team who can’t even sell out a 27,000 seat stadium.

Some of the athletes think that we care what they think because they can play a kids game.

I read this at Diogenes Middle Finger and found it enlightening on the subject as he called out the assholiness of LeBron James.  BTW, you should follow DMF, a blog I read daily and recommend it.

It’s not as if we’re talking about some of the real heroes in sports of my youth, here. The Lebron James’ of the world did not have to struggle, and in the process, advance the character and quality of American Life by their example, like some of my childhood heroes did. Lebron James is no Hank Aaron, suffering death threats for being good enough to threaten a cherished record, or being a — maybe THE — visible symbol of the pernicious, past influence of racism.

James wouldn’t be judged worthy to hold Muhammad Ali’s jockstrap, on his best day. He certainly couldn’t make you think about a common humanity, couldn’t be a universal symbol of hope, like Ali did and was.

Jim Brown would run Lebron James over and trample him into the dirt, demanding respect. Just respect. James will never have the grace, the quiet dignity, or garner the universal love, of a Gayle Sayers.

In fact, James is most likely the visible symbol of the moral decay and decadence of the Modern Athlete, and symptomatic of the greater trend in society wherein people who obviously couldn’t find their own asses with both hands and a road map consistently have microphones shoved in their faces with an expectation that they will — as if by magic — make some profound statement that will occupy the intellect and nourish the soul.

VOTING WITH OUR WALLETS

The net of it is that movie sales are declining, there are fewer attendees in sports and the only people who care about actors are other actors, and I’ll bet they don’t like each other that much either.

WHEN CELEBTARDS ARE BETTER NOT TALKING BECAUSE THEY DON’T THINK

Barbra Streisand should just stick to singing, or retiring.

Update:  The 2018 Oscars were last night.  They went on about #MeToo, yet it was their ilk that were the worst offenders of moral debauchery.  Instead, they chose to reduce their likeability and their relevance by again making it political.  I wonder how they justify in their minds that the rest of the country actually cares what they think about anything (except millineals who believe anything and eat Tide pods). Jennifer Lawrence, with her 8th grade education is going to save democracy while she is taking a year off from acting.

 

 

 

The most relevant tweet of the event was this one:

What Is the Hierarchy of Identity Politics?

The 2008 and 2012 election showed that a coalition of minorities was the winning formula.  As for 2016, not so much.

With all the minority identity groups out there vying for political power, social media control, fund raising and media presence; how do they stack up when they compete for hierarchy?  At some point, when the power and money is being doled out, the queue is determined by some order.  Who are these groups and how do they vie for power?

Author disclaimer: I have no dog in this hunt.  I am a pattern watcher and try to learn from them.  Human nature is hard to understand and explain due to it’s ever changing allies and favored group status depending on circumstances.  I was watching the groups at the last election and wondered how you coalesce a group of disparate people with conflicting causes as a voter block.

Who are they?

While this isn’t a comprehensive list and I am not discriminating as I just Googled it, the last election revealed the groups of Black Lives Matter (BLM), LGBTQ (apologies if I omitted a letter), Islam (including ISIS), socialists, Antifa, environmentalists and feminists.  They each compete for their cause and have usually selected an enemy with whom they are opposed to, but are now conflicting with each other in the power grab.  They for the most part have an ideological position (some more than others) and garner the lion’s share of media attention.

What happens when the identity groups who desire to command the headlines conflict for attention and finances?

 

Before the haters come out, I write this post because of my position that one of the characteristics of a higher IQ is the ability to argue from multiple positions on a subject. I will proceed with this post from that premise.

I also am merely an observer of trends. The consolidating power of the above listed groups is becoming a relevant discussion regardless of where you source your information. I’ve excluded the typical mainstream media as sources of information on both sides as their coverage is either too conservative or liberal.  Their inherent bias excludes them from this conversation.  I also excluded Hollywood and celebrities since they have a limited integration with the real world and often spout declarations for others which they do not adhere to.  When you get to the heart of their talent, they pretend to be others and to take their opinions seriously is difficult at best.

Here are non-comprehensive, yet representative examples of identity group disagreements.

BLM vs. LGBTQ

I first noticed this when BLM shut down a gay pride parade.

These are two significant voter populations when added together.

What surprised me that it was during the last election cycle and both groups made up a voting block for the same candidate.  From said article:

BLM held Toronto Pride hostage, unless their demands, which included excluding police from the parade, were immediately met.

(Pride parades typically have contingents of LGBT cops and firefighters, and booths set up by the local LGBT officers’ group at the accompanying street festival.)

Judging by their success in forcing Toronto Pride to capitulate, I suspect we’ll see Black Lives Matter groups protesting more Pride parades in the future. And as a longtime national and international LGBT rights activist, I have a problem with that.

In my internet search for protests, it seems that BLM also protested and shut down Bernie Sanders and Hillary whom they supported.  It goes without saying that they all protested Trump, but that is not the point of my curiosity as I assumed this was a given.  This alone is surprising since both are a part of the coalition of voters candidates need to be elected per the aforementioned 2008/2012/2016 campaigns.

ISLAM vs. Feminists and LGBTQ

I later observed the Muslim and ISIS positions that women are treated poorly and that homosexuals were declared wrong and being executed. On a side point, they also considered most pets as unclean and black dogs should be killed (animal cruelty), which brings in the animal rights group, but they don’t be as significant as the other groups currently.  Apparently, women don’t have the same rights as men and must be subservient.

Then there is the recent Linda Sansour dust up revealing this dichotomy:

  • What the West needs to know is that in the Muslim world, jihad is considered more important than women, family happiness and life itself. If we are told, as Linda Sarsour said, that Islam stands for peace and justice, what we are not told is that “peace” in Islam will come only after the whole world has converted to Islam, and that “justice” means law under Sharia: whatever is inside Sharia is “justice;” whatever is not in Sharia is not “justice.”
  • Rebelling against Sharia is, sadly, for the Muslim woman, unthinkable. How can a healthy and normal feminist movement develop under an Islamic legal system that can flog, stone and behead women? That is why Sarsour’s jihadist kind of feminism is no heroic kind of feminism but the only feminism a Muslim woman can practice that will give her a degree of respect, acceptance, and even preferential treatment over other women. In Islam, that is the only kind of feminism allowed to develop.

It further goes on to say:

Sarsour apparently identifies as a feminist. Sarsour’s kind of feminism, however, embraces the most oppressive legal system, especially for women: Islamic religious law, Sharia. Sarsour’s feminism is supposedly for empowering women, but it twists logic in a way similar to how Muslim preachers do when they claim that beating one’s wife is a husband’s way of honoring her.

Here is the dichotomy:

Pro-Sharia feminism is a perverted kind of feminism that could not care less about the well-being of oppressed Muslim women. Sarsour’s logic concerning women does not differ much from that of Suad Saleh, an Egyptian female Islamic cleric, who recently justified on Egyptian TV the doctrine of intentional humiliation and rape of captured women in Islam. Saleh said, “One of the purposes of raping captured enemy women and young girls was to humiliate and disgrace them and that is permissible under Islamic law.” There was not even a peep in Egypt’s civil society about such a statement.

On 7/25/17 a direct conflict happened when this occurred: An Oakland Muslim plotted to attack a gay club in San Francisco and talked about killing thousands of innocents on behalf of ISIS.

Finally, there is this non-sequitur that I can’t fathom:

“Feminist” Muslim women calling beatings by their husbands a “blessing from Allah”!

Who wants a beating?

ISLAM (ISIS) vs. Antifa

I don’t fully understand this one.  It has the trappings of a sibling quarrel at best.  ISIS is claiming that Antifa has culturally appropriated their uniforms, that being their black flag and terrorist tactics. 

Here are some details:

Based on this proof, we hereby request that the UNHRC’s CESCR begin an immediate investigation into this matter, and, if you concur that ANTIFA is culturally appropriating ISIS, that you use all means at your disposal to put a stop to it. You could start by visiting this ANTIFA website, which contains links to many of its affiliates throughout the world.

Sincerely,

ISIS High Command

PS: You might mention to the ANTIFA punks that in quite a few aspects, we are at war with the very same people, organizations and ideas, and, in fact, Western civilization itself. So, if you could arrange a sit-down over tea with us, and them, it might serve all of our interests, and provide a holistic, inclusive resolution to our complaint.

Islam appears to have support from the media and the left side of the political sphere as does the other listed minorities claiming status.  One can see the obvious conflicts.

Socialists

It appeared that quite a bit of traction was gained by the Bernie Sanders crowd.  It seemed to have enough momentum to be a winning group within its’ primary. Somehow, it was defeated by a political machine by what is being revealed as suspicious activities.

Nevertheless, a discussion of the socialism movement by Ross Wolf summarizes some of my points:

Ross Wolfe argues in The Charnel House, the identity politics that arose in the 1960s, ‘70s and ’80s developed in reaction to the identity politics of actually-existing socialism itself:

The various forms of identity politics associated with the “new social movements” coming out of the New Left during the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s (feminism, black nationalism, gay pride) were themselves a reaction, perhaps understandable, to the miserable failure of working-class identity politics associated with Stalinism coming out of the Old Left during the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s (socialist and mainstream labor movements). Working-class identity politics — admittedly avant la lettre — was based on a crude, reductionist understanding of politics that urged socialists and union organizers to stay vigilant and keep on the lookout for “alien class elements.” Any and every form of ideological deviation was thought to be traceable to a bourgeois or petit-bourgeois upbringing. One’s political position was thought to flow automatically and mechanically from one’s social position, i.e. from one’s background as a member of a given class within capitalist society.

Questions I Have

If you are courting one group, how do you avoid alienating another group if there is acrimony?  At some point you step on the wrong toes.

If there is limited money, how does the donor decide who gets it without upsetting other groups?

How do you herd this group of cats to vote together when trying to win an election?  It worked twice, but failed recently and there is finger pointing as to why.

What is Racist?

In Seattle, they can’t clean the sidewalks with pressure washers because it could be racist.

Council member Larry Gossett said he didn’t like the idea of power-washing the sidewalks because it brought back images of the use of hoses against civil-rights activists.

It seems that non-black people using gifs are being racist also.  I don’t understand this one though.

Finally, who wins this victim’s game?

I found this, which is someone else’s answer and not necessarily my view, but it seems to apply here:

The criteria used to judge that is two-fold: the perceived grievance and victimhood status of the group (more = better), and the amount of room within it for ideological and political pluralism (more = worse).

So I guess you have out victim everyone else.  By doing so, it disrupts the coalition of identities required by one of the political parties to win elections.  I suppose it is a popularity contest to win the money and the status.

My final observation is that human nature is the constant here.  People are selfish enough to grab power and money when possible.  Most do not have the ability to argue from multiple positions on the same subject and are ideologues for their cause.

This alone is going to make a coalition such as the one that voted in the president in 2008 difficult.  Being a female wasn’t enough of a victim status in the 2016 election.

These are things I ponder as we wind our way down the path of being a country.

 

How The Income Inequality Jihad Will Likely Hurt the Poor

The brilliant John Hawkins presents the facts about this subject.  It is to be the 2014 top priority from our executive branch.  Readers should evaluate the facts and judge for yourself if this is good for the country or not.  Park your ideology at the door (regardless of its source) and think through the argument.  Your beliefs are yours, just make sure to check with history to see what information it supports

The truth is that income inequality is of minimal importance in a nation like America, where so many people already move between classes, where the poor are doing so much better than they used to, and where our poor already do so well compared to the rest of the world. “Among children from families in the bottom fifth of the income distribution, 84 percent of those who go on to get a college degree will escape the bottom fifth, and 19 percent will make it all the way to the top fifth.” During the Great Depression, more than 60% of Americans were living below the poverty line. Over the last 50 years, that number has generally ranged between 12%-15% — and even that dramatically overstates the number of poor Americans because it doesn’t take into account government assistance that’s being paid out. On top of all that, liberals get so angry when people point out that more than 80% of poor Americans have cell phones, televisions and refrigerators while “most Americans living below the official poverty line also own a motor vehicle and have more living space than the average European.” Yet, they don’t take into account the fact that almost half of the world’s population still lives on less than $2.50 a day. In other words, if you are poor, you can live better and have more opportunity to advance in America than you will anywhere else. That’s why immigrants all across the world still want to come to this country.

1) The higher the government mandated minimum wage/living wage, the more people it prices out of jobs: When you force businesses to pay people more than they can return in value with their work, companies tend to respond either by hiring better quality people, replacing the jobs with automation, moving the posts overseas or by looking for opportunities to get rid of the positions entirely. The higher the wages and benefits the government insists on, the more stagnant it makes the labor market for the people who need to build their skills the most. If your goal were to deliberately put as many young, unskilled single mothers out of work as possible, the best politically feasible way to do it would be to jack the minimum wage up into the stratosphere.

2) It emphasizes making people more comfortable, not helping them succeed: There is no shame in taking any honest job, but you’re not supposed to make a living pressing the button that drops the fries into the grease at McDonald’s. If you work long enough at an entry-level job to worry about raising the minimum wage, you’re failing your family, your society and yourself. Instead of encouraging minimum skill workers to demand that the government force businesses to give them more money than they’re currently worth, we should be encouraging people to build their skills and move up, move on or start their own business. Want poor people to be eligible for more education or training? Want to give them micro-loans? Want to make it easier for them to create small businesses? Those are policies that make poor Americans more valuable. That’s good for them and the country. On the other hand, trying to redistribute income ultimately brings everyone down, especially the poor Americans who lose their drive after becoming dependent on it.

3) The more government becomes involved, the more it stagnates the economy: As John F. Kennedy said, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” The stronger the economy is, the more jobs it creates and the more everyone — poor, middle-class, or rich — benefits. How do you make the economy stronger? You keep the government small, taxes low, and regulations light. That’s a proven formula that has worked time and time again. On the other hand, if you want to constipate the economy, you make the government bigger, increase taxes and pour on the regulations. How did that latter set of “solutions” work out for Detroit?

4) The more the government focuses on income inequality, the harder it is to get ahead: As Thomas Sowell likes to say, “There are no solutions; there are only trade-offs.” You can see this very clearly with Obamacare, where a few people are getting subsidized care, while tens of millions more are losing their health care and paying considerably more to make up for it. It works the same way with income inequality. Want to make Wal-Mart pay all its employees twice as much? Then that means all the poor Americans who shop at Wal-Mart will have to spend more of their limited incomes to pay for it. Want to give more tax dollars to the poor? Then the rich and middle class will have to pay more in taxes. So, the moment that poor American is making enough money to get into the middle class, he’s hit with a bigger tax bill that makes it harder for him to ever get ahead. In other words, the more resources we put into “helping” the poor, the harder we ultimately make it for those very same people to ever permanently escape poverty and live the American Dream.

5) It ignores the real causes of poverty: The real causes of lasting poverty in America are not greed, the rich, racism, America being “unfair,” or any of the other excuses that you hear so often. Instead, the harsh truth that so many people don’t want to hear is that if you stay poor in America, it’s usually because you made bad life choices. Via Walter Williams, here’s what you have to do in order to avoid poverty in America.

“Complete high school; get a job, any kind of a job; get married before having children; and be a law-abiding citizen. Among both black and white Americans so described, the poverty rate is in the single digits.”

Instead of lying to destitute Americans and telling them that the rich became wealthy by stealing the money that the poor never had in the first place, why not tell people the truth? Yes, it might make some poor Americans feel bad, but do you think welfare, food stamps, and living in a housing project do wonders for people’s moods?

What Alexis de Tocqueville Said About America, The USA

It is interesting to think of what he observed in the mid 1800’s vs. the country we have in 2014.  Here are his comments based on a visit:

Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that stuck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things.

In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of Freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country.

Religion in America…must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom; it facilitates the use of it. Indeed, it is in this same point -of -view that the inhabitants of the United States themselves look upon religious belief.

I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion—for who can search the human heart?  But I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of cities or a party, but it belongs to the whole nation and to every rank of society.

The sects that exist in the United States are innumerable. They all differ in respect to the worship which is due to the Creator; but they all agree in respect to the duties which are due from man to man.

Each sect adores the Deity in its own peculiar manner, but all sects preach the same moral law in the name of God.

Moreover, all sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity and Christian morality is everywhere the same.

In the United States the sovereign authority is religions…there is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility and its conformity to human nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.

In the United States, if a political character attacks a sect [denomination], this may not prevent even the partisans of that very sect, from supporting him; but if he attacks all the sects together [Christianity], everyone abandons him and remains alone.

I do not question that the great austerity of manners that is observable in the United States arises, in the first instance, from religious faith…its influence over the mind of woman is supreme, and women are the protectors of morals. There is certainly no country in the world where the tie of marriage is more respected than in America or where conjugal happiness is more highly or worthily appreciated.

In the United States, the influence of religion is not confined to the manners, but it extends to the intelligence of the people…

Christianity, therefore, reigns without obstacle, by universal consent; the consequence is, as I have before observed, that every principle of the moral world is fixed and determinate…

I sought for the key of greatness and genius of America in her harbors…; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and the institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution.

Not until I went into the chutes of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.

America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.

The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom.

The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.

Christianity is the companion of liberty in all of its conflicts–the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims.

They brought with them…a form of Christianity, which I cannot better describe than by styling it in a democratic and republican religion…From the earliest settlement of the emigrants, politics and religion contracted an alliance which has never been dissolved.

The Christian nations of our age seem to me to present a most alarming spectacle; the impulse which is bearing them along is so strong that it cannot be stopped, but is not yet so rapid that it cannot be guided; their fate is in their hands; yet a little while and it may be no longer.

Read the rest of this PolitiChicks.tv article here: http://politichicks.tv/column/2014-alexis-de-tocqueville-esque-year-restoration/#5ulfUJKsDb9hcb3G.99

The Next Financial Crisis Worse than 2008? Which Politician Will Expose it?

I have always been warned of the great wealth transfer from the middle and lower class to the wealthiest.  I first thought it would be through the devaluation, then revaluation of gold, but I didn’t realize that it was engineered through Washington programs, financial crisis, stock compensation and accounting tricks.

I have been reading and found this.  Attribution is below and comments should consider this if you get upset, especially if you lose your shirt.  Here are some excerpts:

Corporate earnings reports for the fourth quarter are pretty much in the books. The deception, falsification, accounting manipulation, and propaganda utilized by mega-corporations and their compliant corporate media mouthpieces has been outrageously blatant. It reeks of desperation as the Wall Street shysters attempt to extract the last dollar from their muppet clients before this house of cards collapses.”

“The previous all-time high in stock buybacks occurred in 2008 at the previous peak. That brilliant strategy led to 50% shareholder losses in a matter of months. No Board of Directors fired any CEO for these disastrous strategic blunders. These cowardly ego maniacs didn’t buy back any stock in 2009 and 2010 when they could have made a killing with valuations at decade lows. After the stock market recovered by 100%, these stooges then began borrowing and buying. It has now reached another all-time high crescendo.

Dividends and stock buybacks in 2015 topped $1 trillion for the first time according to S&P Capital IQ Global Markets Intelligence. As CEOs have borrowed billions to buyback their inflated overvalued stock, they have put the long-term sustainability of their firms at extreme risk.”

The 2008 Wall Street created financial crisis will look like a walk in the park compared to what’s coming down the pike now. We now have a bond bubble, stock bubble, housing bubble, commercial real estate bubble and central banker confidence bubble all poised to pop simultaneously. The negative interest rate and banning of cash schemes will be dead on arrival, driving a stake into the heart of the Fed vampire.”

Even the billionaire oligarch crony capitalist Warren Buffett addressed this despicably flagrant flaunting of basic accounting principles to mislead shareholders in his annual letter last week:

It has become common for managers to tell their owners to ignore certain expense items that are all too real. “Stock-based compensation” is the most egregious example. The very name says it all: “compensation.” If compensation isn’t an expense, what is it? And, if real and recurring expenses don’t belong in the calculation of earnings, where in the world do they belong?

Wall Street analysts often play their part in this charade, too, parroting the phony, compensation-ignoring “earnings” figures fed them by managements. Maybe the offending analysts don’t know any better. Or maybe they fear losing “access” to management. Or maybe they are cynical, telling themselves that since everyone else is playing the game, why shouldn’t they go along with it. Whatever their reasoning, these analysts are guilty of propagating misleading numbers that can deceive investors…. When CEOs or investment bankers tout pre-depreciation figures such as EBITDA as a valuation guide, watch their noses lengthen while they speak.

Buffett’s words are borne out in the chart below. Based on fake reported earnings per share, the profits of the S&P 500 mega-corporations were essentially flat between 2014 and 2015. Using real GAAP results, earnings per share plunged by 12.7%, the largest decline since the memorable year of 2008. Despite persistent inquiry it is virtually impossible for a Wall Street outsider to gain access to the actual GAAP net income numbers for all S&P 500 companies. With almost $500 billion of shares bought back in 2015, the true decline in earnings is closer to 15%.”

I do not support any politician in my blog.  I’m generally not happy with any of the current crop.  One is called out in the following paragraph that causes problems with Wall Street….

The establishment is aghast that Donald Trump is storming towards the presidency. They are blind to the fact their unconcealed felonious actions rise to the level of treason in the eyes of average hard working Americans. The fabric of this country is being torn asunder by a contemptible class of corporate fascists, ego maniacal bankers, shadowy billionaires, and media titans. They have reaped billions of profits since 2009 as the Fed and politicians in D.C. rolled out “solutions” designed to enrich them. They are confident their failures will be shifted to the American people again. The American people may have a different opinion this time. Pitchforks and torches are being readied.”

I found this article from The Burning Platform which was entitled the Great Corporate Earnings Fraud.

Where Have You Gone Al Gore? #climatechange and #globalwarming Are Calling You On the Day You Predicted The Doom of the Earth

al gore doomsday clockIn the song Mrs. Robinson is a line that states, Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?  I wondered the same about Al Gore.  He went from front page man on global warming to I don’t hear anything about him anymore on #AGW.  I wondered where he went and why?

It’s ironic that the biggest snow storm to ever hit NYC on the weekend of his predicted destruction instead of the Statue of Liberty being under water.

al gore effect

There is a famous statement that goes: Where your treasure is, so will your heart will be also.  I thought his heart was with global warming, but he’s no where to be found, so I looked for what his treasure was. If it wasn’t really global warming, what was it?

He enrolled in Divinity school so it appeared that he was looking for his treasure from God, but he didn’t finish his degree either.  So what has he been chasing his whole life, really?

The rest of this post is merely an observation based on his actions throughout the years.  Some will disagree, others will identify and most won’t care.  No judgement is being passed, merely a commentary on the general state of man with the public record as documentation.

If you disagree or want to get into an ideological debate, please see the comments policy on the right.

Note from Investors Business Daily on the end of the earth:

According to Anthony Watts, one of the most trusted sources on Climate issues, “While preening at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2006 during the premiere of his An Inconvenient Truth fib-umentary, Gore made his grand declaration. The former vice president said, in the words of the AP reporter taking down his story, that unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within the next 10 years, the world will reach a point of no return.” In Gore’s own words, he claimed we were in “a true planetary emergency.”

Further on December 13, 2009, he predicted that the Arctic would be ice free in 5 years.  

10 years later, there has been no measurable change in the Arctic ice.  As with most of the climate predictions, it was based on prediction models.  Anyone who has watched the weather knows that it is rarely right 5 days from now, let alone 5 years from now, yet he sold this snake oil and it was drunk by many or used as a political tool.

HIS EARLY TREASURE

It is common knowledge that he was funded by coal and tobacco, but people repent and so I supposed this was the case also.  As of the latest search, he still hasn’t sold his fortune in Occidental stock and dividends he receives.  It is nebulous as to whether he has or not, so we’ll give him a pass on it, although he’s  earned $500,000 from zinc royalties (which causes environmental issues to produce) as of the last documented tax return that is public. Perhaps it is a legal reason that prevents him from selling this asset.  Armand Hammer, the head of Occidental was well known for his communist ties to the Soviet Union was close to the Gore family.

There is also the Elk Hills case that allowed oil pipelines to run, ensuring a stream of money to both the Hammer’s and the Gores.

Nevertheless, it appears that before global warming, it was MONEY that was more important than anything else.  In the overall realm of things, climate issues appear to have only been a means to the end, or his treasure and not the end itself.

Most of what is below are documents from Climate Scientists or court records.  I don’t challenge the views on climate on either side as minds are already made up.  My thesis is that he was after money more than protecting the planet.

THE PATH OF HIS POLITICAL CAREER

He of course was a Senator and a Vice President for which he should be commended for serving his country.

It sticks in the craw of the Gore acolytes who generally are Bush 43 haters, that he lost.  No matter how many times the media recounted the votes in Florida, Bush still won every recount.  This signaled the end of his political career, but it wasn’t the treasure he was really seeking.

One thing that dogged him was that he had a low net worth compared with the other politicians who were his compatriots.  I point to the fact that he wasn’t an astute investor given the fore-knowledge congress has of bills that affect corporations.  They are not subject to insider trading laws, so just by being there any idiot should increase their wealth at an exponential rate as almost all have done.

AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH

statue-of-liberty-is-drowning-c

This film got a lot of play despite blatant errors which were discovered in court, but then Hollywood rarely gets the truth right and a politician making a movie sort of dooms it’s necessity for truth from the beginning.  It did finally start the ball rolling  for his money making from global warming, a cause he had pushed uphill for years.

free nobel peace prize

He also won a Nobel Peace Prize.  They soon after gave one to a President who had accomplished nothing up to that point.

On January 25th, 2006, while at the Sundance film festival screening “An Inconvenient Truth”, Al Gore said this as chronicled in an article by CBS News:

The former vice president came to town for the premiere of “An Inconvenient Truth,” a documentary chronicling what has become his crusade since losing the 2000 presidential election: Educating the masses that global warming is about to toast our ecology and our way of life.

Gore has been saying it for decades, since a college class in the 1960s convinced him that greenhouse gases from oil, coal and other carbon emissions were trapping the sun’s heat in the atmosphere, resulting in a glacial meltdown that could flood much of the planet.

Americans have been hearing it for decades, wavering between belief and skepticism that it all may just be a natural part of Earth’s cyclical warming and cooling phases.

And politicians and corporations have been ignoring the issue for decades, to the point that unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within the next 10 years, the world will reach a point of no return, Gore said.

He sees the situation as “a true planetary emergency.”

“If you accept the truth of that, then nothing else really matters that much,” Gore said in an interview with The Associated Press. “We have to organize quickly to come up with a coherent and really strong response, and that’s what I’m devoting myself to.”

al-gore-fire-300x222Nothing gets lost now thanks to the internet which he invented.

Unfortunately, here are 9 proven lies of the movie regarding the settled science based on a computer model.  The court ruled:

“Al Gore is the principal prophet of doom in the global warming debate, and the 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth is his gospel to true believers. But Gore has misled them.”

Two years ago, British High Court Justice Michael Burton characterized Gore’s film as “alarmism and exaggeration in support of his political thesis.” The court, responding said the film was “one-sided” and could not be shown in British schools unless it contained guidelines to balance Gore’s attempt at “political indoctrination.”  This is the antithesis of the scientific method which requires independent proving of a hypothesis to be true science.

Here is how the 97% of scientists agreeing that global warming was caused by men was derived. 

Since then, he’s reiterated 8 facts of climate doom that never happened, never got close and are now past their sell by date.

Some of these are the decline of Arctic ice (there was a huge re-freeze in 2015), the decline of polar bears and the rising sea level.  I was called a flat-earther for questioning the rising tides by a believer in the global warming religion, Tim O’reilly.  When I asked for any proof, I received the statement that climate science is hard.

What is hard is for the weatherman to get the forecast right next week.  How in the world can you predict 10 years from now?  The answer of course has proven to be quite obvious.  If you go to the link starting with since (above) Tim, you’ll see that this is bunk. I’ve started to look at the climate change worshipers as the real flat-earther’s now.  They seem to be equally as wrong.

HE WAS PROTECTED BY THE MEDIA

The Press Protected His Cause nevertheless as errors weren’t generally reported, and despite trying to kick start the alternative energy sector, most companies didn’t succeed in the free market economy, rather used government subsidies and regulation to survive.  He was wise to benefit from the government backing, increasing his fortune.

money-down-toilet

Al was the nameplate for global warming until that name got tarnished.  It morphed to climate change and whatever name that didn’t lose PR favor, but it was still the same gaia cause and Al was the figurehead.  It didn’t matter what he said as he had the media covering for him on this initiative.

What did the media decide what to cover and what not to cover?

 

 

 

Unfortunately, he predicted the “end of the planet or that we would reach the point of no return” on January 25, 2016.

As it turns out, it is cooler now than on the day he received his Nobel prize.

 

THE FINAL FRONTIER, HOW HE FOUND HIS HEART’S TREASURE

He started a TV channel, sat on the board of Apple (for which he benefited handsomely) and other money making ventures.  While it did nothing to affect Climate change issues to speak of, this appears to be the treasure he was really seeking.  He sold Current TV to Al-Jazeera, an oil funded carbon spewing country  for hundreds of millions, and that was the antithesis of what he was preaching to the warmers.  Al-Jazeera has closed doors on this project in 2016 having not been able to gain an audience in the US.  Again, the media was mostly silent, he was one of theirs.

Al jazeeraPhoto courtesy of DMF.

In selling the network to the huge oil producing carbon emitters, he Found the treasure he sought, but sold Out his followers in a big way.  It doesn’t matter because what is done, is done.  His record is there for history to judge.  He is a rich man and now he is seeking ways to release his inner chakra, too bad for Tipper.  Name calling for anyone who challenges the “settled science” has been the norm, but it turns out that they are the real flat earthers as they love to call anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

SO WHAT WAS THE REAL TREASURE IN HIS HEART?

Here is where we get to the answer.  He was after the money, that was where his treasure really was, gathering wealth.  The reason we haven’t heard from him is he is rich and got people to buy into what he was selling.  He has big houses with carbon footprints of cities.  He flies on private jets to conferences and stays in huge suites.

You can see images of his massive mansions here.

al-gores-home-in-nashville algoreshome

He got his real treasure which was the dollar, and is riding happily into the sunset a very rich man.

Just like the Mayan calendar in 2012, the earth didn’t end or drown, but we won’t hear anything on Al flying in private jets either.  It seems he is the biggest flat Earther of all.

Update 8/3/17:He recently traveled 3000 miles on a carbon spewing plane for the promotion of his new movie to tell people that they should reduce carbon emissions.  It was at that conference that it was revealed that one of his houses emits 34 times the carbon emissions of a regular house.

Maybe the delusional devotees  who have bought into the weather lie include Tim O’Reilly, who could only tell me that climate science is difficult when he couldn’t explain why the oceans aren’t rising when I asked him.  Perhaps he will look past his devotion to this Gaia worship and see the facts, although I don’t expect him to admit both the error in judgement and the fact that he has completely shelved science for ideology.  Other devotees like Tom Raftery at GreenMonk have gone out of business because they couldn’t make enough money (bilk companies) or get enough government subsidies.  James Governor who helped found Greenmonk told me that he would “save” the planet or make money trying. None of these new Flat-Earthers can explain why it is cooler now than when Al received the Nobel Prize.

They have bought into the lie that Al was peddling and should have invested with him since he was after the money and would do or say whatever he needed to do to achieve it.  James in fact never either saved the world or got rich trying.

This was years before Al Gore’s revelation that he was just after the money, so it seems that the climate changers are really just greedy.  That makes them the real “Flat-Earthers”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a recent protest by the Climate change supporters:

al gore prostesters

Why the Apple Watch Is Not The Product That Will Save Apple

Apple has prided itself on cutting edge products.  Their mantra is to create great products that we didn’t know we needed.  It worked for the iPod, IPhone and iPad.  Now there are rumors about the iWatch.  Guess what, they are going to miss the boat on this as they have overlooked what we do and do not need.

Who are the biggest consumers of new technology?

First it is the early adopters, they’ll buy anything.  That is a small percentage of the population though, maybe 15% at the most and that is being generous. 

They will likely be the bulk of the iWatch consumers.  Here are the others:

Dilberts who need to have the most gadgets.

dilbert stuff

Some workout people who for while will think this is cool.  This groups purchasing power will wear off as you can tell by the proliferation of watch style monitoring devices being purchased, but then discarded.  It is not the killer app.

Who won’t by buying them?

Almost everyone else and the biggest problem is the group that has the largest digital footprint:

The generation of 18- to 34-year-olds, known as Millennials, are an increasingly influential group that impacts many aspects of the American lifestyle, including fashion, technology and entertainment, according to the upcoming 2013 Digital Marketer Report from Experian Marketing Services. The report looks at key segments of the consumer landscape, including millennials, who provide a major opportunity for marketers to reach consumers via mobile. Millennials spend 14 percent more time engaged with their mobile devices in an average week than their generational peers.

Guess what?  They don’t wear watches for the most part, they keep time on their phone.  They want a phone with a bigger screen, better input capabilities and easy access to social media.  An iWatch doesn’t fit this model.  This will continue for the rest of their lives (likely) and with the younger generation.

They also have to pick which device they are going to buy as student debt is at an all time high.  If you need an iPhone to work the watch, no money left for beer or video games.

Digital Currency

What is the biggest attraction for Facebook and most social media?  It is the sharing of pictures.  Why did Instagram get bought for 1 Billion dollars?  Why is snapchat gaining ground and Twitter adding video to their photo capabilities?  With the grandparents getting onto Facebook, the youngsters are using other apps like Instagram to share their lives with their friends.  While you can see a picture, it is small.

So why are they doing it?  Because they need the buzz or the next great thing.  Will they do it anyway?  Of course, Samsung already has one announced and Apple copies and tries to make it better

I’m not saying watches are dead, who doesn’t want a Rolex for example, it’s just that the impact of an Apple Watch isn’t going to be the $100 jump in the stock price that earlier products were.

Great Sayings With Meaning, and Some Trivia Also

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” (Sign hanging in Einstein’s office at Princeton)

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie

Robert Frost – “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”

arrêtez de ramer, tu attaques la falaise. (You can stop rowing now, you’re on the beach)

It is easy to lose one’s perspective in a mass of details. – Bible Study Fellowship

Failure is but a paragraph in the book of each human life. It is the pages that follow that ultimately define us

Laurence J. Peter – “An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today.”

“Racing is Life.  Everything before and after is just waiting.” Steve McQueen from the movie LeMans

Albert Einstein open original article “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former

Joseph Heller -“The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he’s on.”

Sidney J. Harris – “A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past, he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future.”

Abba Eban-“History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.”

When you win, say nothing, when you lose, say less. -Paul Brown

You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them. -Michael Jordan

Every game is an opportunity to measure yourself against your own potential. -Bud Wilkinson

Excellence is not a singular act but a habit. You are what you do repeatedly. -Shaquille O’Neal

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” Winston Churchill, as quoted in The New American Newspeak Dictionary (2005) by Adrian Krieg, p. 96

 Rudeness is a weak person’s imitation of strength

Oscar Wilde

“What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

Losers quit when they’re tired. Winners quit when they’ve won

370H-SSV-0773H  – read upside down

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race [is] not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so [are] the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.– Ecclesiastes 9:11,12 —

“Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.”  – John Kenneth Galbraith

If guns kill people, then pens misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, forks make you fat, and TVs make you watch porn.

Listen to people.  If they are worth talking to, they are worth listening to first.

You can’t change what happens to you in life.  All you can change is how you deal with it.

I think I’m emotionally constipated because I haven’t given a Rats Rump in days.

Liberalism: Moochers electing looters to steal from producers

Political Correctness –  A term used by whiny wussies that need stuff sugar coated

“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” -Albert Einstein

“I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.” Abraham Lincoln

  • “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” Elmer Davis
  • “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.”  John F. Kennedy
  • “Sure I wave the American flag. Do you know a better flag to wave? Sure I love my country with all her faults. I’m not ashamed of that, never have been, never will be.”  John Wayne
  • “We must always remember that America is a great nation today not because of what government did for people but because of what people did for themselves and for one another.” Richard Nixon
  • “There is no limit to the greatness of America!” George W. Bush
  • “Liberals become indignant when you question their patriotism, but simultaneously work overtime to give terrorists a cushion for the next attack and laugh at dumb Americans who love their country and hate the enemy.” Ann Coulter
  • “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” Nathan Hale
  • “Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” Adlai E. Stevenson
  • “One, if you attack my integrity, I will defend myself. If you attack my patriotism, I will defend myself. If you come after my family, I will counter-attack viciously, I will destroy you.” Scott Ritter
  • “The American patriots of today continue the tradition of the long line of patriots before them, by helping to promote liberty and freedom around the world.” John Linder
  • “Patriotism is easy to understand in America. It means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.” Calvin Coolidge
  • “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.” Theodore Roosevelt
  • “You cannot spill a drop of American blood without spilling the blood of the whole world…. We are not a nation, so much as a world.” Herman Melville

A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within – Ariel Durant

“Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.”  – George Eliot

But isn’t it always that way with liberals? The only time they seem to make any sense at all is when they’re drunk or you are.

-Burt Prelutsky

Ya gotta be tough if your gonna be stupid.

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of crap by the clean end.”


Laurence J. Peteropen

“Against logic there is no armor like ignorance.”

“Never judge a book by its movie.”

“Liberals are very broadminded: they are always willing to give careful consideration to both sides of the same side.”

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom
If the phone doesn’t ring, it’s me – Jimmy Buffett
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” – Thomas Jefferson
Pain is only temporary, victory is forever -Jeremy H. WinningLaurence J. Peter – “Competence, like truth, beauty and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder.”

Ronald Reagan – “The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

Douglas Adams – “Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”

Ronald Reagan – “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”

Mark Twain – “Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

Frank Zappa – “Communism doesn’t work because people like to own stuff.”

Peter Drucker – “So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.”

Michael Crichton – “Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.”

Thomas Sowell – “Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.”

Vince Lombardi – “If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score?”

Ronald Reagan – “Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.”

“Thanking Obama for killing Osama bin Laden is like going into McDonald’s and thanking Clown Ronald McDonald for the hamburger. The person cooking the burger should get the credit, not the Clown. It was the intelligence gained by the previous administration that found him.”

And you sir are weak! Unwilling and unable to look evil in the eye and deal with it!  – Jack Bauer

“If one does not fail at times, then one has not challenged himself.” -Ferdinand Porsche

Improving Your Credit Score, Continuing Personal Financial Principles

 

This came from Christian Personal Finance, but is in my theme of taking control of your personal finances and helping yourself to use your money wisely and understand successful financial principles.  These days you need to take control of your economic situation and not rely on the government to take care of you as they will take your money in taxes at any chance they can.

If your credit score has fallen recently, due to a missed payment or two, or perhaps you have too much credit outstanding, there are some simple ways you can improve on your credit score that will get it back on the right track. Doing a combination of several of these could see your credit score rise significantly in just the next few months – and that goes for your credit score at each credit repository.

If you’d like to check your credit score,
click to get your credit score for free.

1. Pay your bills on time from now on.

This may sound beyond obvious, but if you have any late payments in the past year or two, they’re having a disproportionately negative impact on your credit score. You can’t fix this overnight, but the best strategy going forward is to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

One of the more fortunate aspects of credit scores is that the older negative information gets, the less impact it has. This is why it is so critical that you put any negative credit situations into your past as soon as possible. If you have a late payment that you made three months ago, you may not be able to do anything about that now, but if you make your payments on time for the next nine months, you’ll put that late payment one year into your past. By then, your credit scores should once again begin to rise. But this will happen only if there are no delinquencies in the future.

2. Take a time out on credit.

The credit scoring models favor older, established debt. Conversely, they take a dimmer view of new debt. For this reason, if you’re looking to improve your credit scores, it will help to avoid applying for and accepting new loans. This will be even more important if you have taken a new loan or two in the very recent past.

This will help your credit scores on two fronts. First, any time you apply for credit, your credit report will show a credit inquiry. While credit inquiries do not have a big impact on your credit score, the one they have is definitely negative. If you apply for credit with several lenders over a space of one or two months, the combined impact could be more significant. By not applying for new credit, you will not be adding new inquiries to your credit report.

The second of course is that any time you take a new loan, you receive a negative hit on your credit reports because of the lack of payment experience. You’ll avoid this hit by not taking any new loans.

3. Pay off small balance accounts.

Another factor the credit scoring models consider is the number of loans you have outstanding. In general, a person with three outstanding loans will have a better credit score that someone who has ten outstanding loans.

For this reason, you might want to pay off some of your loans starting with the smallest. If you have seven loans outstanding, and you can pay off three of them with combined balances of $1,000, you will have reduced the number of loans with outstanding balances down to four.

While this may not cause your credit scores to rise by a hundred points, it could cause a smaller increase but one that will happen pretty quickly. This is one of the best ways to get upside action on your credit scores in short order.

4. Pay down a few debts.

This one is big time, and is usually referred to as credit utilization. The credit repositories measure the percentage of outstanding debt against your amount of available credit. If you have $15,000 in outstanding balances on open credit lines of $20,000, your credit utilization is 75% (or $15,000 divided by $20,000).

For comparison sake, credit repositories generally consider a credit utilization of 80% or greater to be a negative. Less than 80% is considered a positive. It is of course a matter of degree; the lower the credit utilization, the more positive the impact on your credit scores. The higher the credit utilization, the greater the negative impact will be.

Credit utilization is considered one of the best predictors of debtor default. This is why it carries such a heavy impact on your credit scores. And even if your credit scores are good despite a high credit utilization, a lender may still make a decision not to extend a loan to you.

In order to improve on this critical metric it is important that you pay your loans down to a level in which they will be at least below 80% of available credit. You should try to get each loan account down below this percentage, as well as for the combination of all of your loan accounts. This is another strategy that can improve your credit scores pretty quickly – by lowering your credit utilization, you lower your risk of default according to the credit scoring models.

5. Check your credit report for errors.

You should review your credit report at least annually to look for errors. Many contain errors that have a negative impact on your credit scores. For example, you could have loan accounts included in your credit report that are not yours. This will increase the amount of debt that you’re carrying, and lower your credit scores.

Worse is if you have derogatory credit that is either not yours, or is reported in error. Unfortunately, when you have derogatory credit, the responsibility to clear it up rests completely upon you – even if the entry is in error. You’ll have to contact the creditor to ask them to correct the information reported. Usually, in order to do that, you’ll have to present some sort of tangible evidence that what the creditor reported was in fact an error. If you don’t have this evidence, the creditor will probably not remove the information.

Once any errors are corrected, you’ll have to specifically request that the creditor remove the derogatory information from your credit report. You should also obtain written confirmation that the entry was an error from the creditor. Just in case the creditor doesn’t get around to reporting the corrected information to the credit repositories, you will then have written evidence to do it yourself.

6. Pay off any collections, charge-offs or other past due amounts.

If you have any outstanding obligations – even if they’re well in the past – they will still be having a negative affect on your credit scores as long as they are showing up in your credit report. Make arrangements to pay them off, and make sure that you get a letter of confirmation from the creditor. The creditor should report this information to the credit repositories, but once again, if they don’t you will have to do it yourself.

Never assume that outstanding balances don’t matter because they’re five or six years old. Paying them off is another way to provide a quick lift to your credit scores, especially if you’re paying off more than one.

Take as many of these steps as you can, and you should be able improve all of your credit scores in just a few months, if not sooner.

If you need additional help improving your credit score you can hire a credit repair company like CreditRepair.com or Lexington Law.

 

How Much Income Tax Warren Buffet Pays

Despite his request to pay more taxes and that the rich do not do their fair share, it appears that Mr. Buffet has reduced his tax burden.  While you read the story below, consider if there is a double standard.

From Thomas Stanley, Ph.D.

Warren Buffett is the best of the best at transforming income into wealth.    How did he do it?  Wise investing, you say.  Combine this with his reputation for having enormous integrity and his well publicized frugal lifestyle.  When it comes to consumption he seems to possess traditional midwestern values.  In spite of his substantial wealth he lives in a relatively modest home and drives American makes of cars.  Ah , but there is something else.  As I stated in The Millionaire Next Door,

Millionaires know that the more they spend, the more income they must realize.  The more they realize, the more they must allocate for income taxes.  So . . . adhere to an important rule:  To build wealth, minimize your realized (taxable) income and maximize your unrealized income (wealth/capital appreciation without a cash flow).

You may recall from an earlier blog that the typical millionaire next door has a realized income that is equivalent to only 8.2% of his wealth [median].  But Mr. Buffett is much better at miniziming his income as a function of net worth.  According to the 2012 Forbes 400 list, Mr. Buffett has a net worth of $46 billion.  CNN Money reported that “his taxable income was $39,814,784” in 2010.  That is the equivalent of only 0.087% of his net worth! Translated, the typical millionaire next door’s percentage of realized income to his net worth (8.2%) is nearly 95 times higher than Mr. Buffett’s (8.2%/0.087%).

Also consider something else in this equation:  income tax as a function of net worth.  The typical millionaire next door pays the equivalent of approximately 2% (median) of his net worth in income tax annually.  But here again Mr. Buffett is far, far better in minimizing his income tax.  According to Reuter’s, “[Warren Buffett] paid only $6.9 million in federal income taxes in 2010.”

In a nominal sense, $6.9 million in income tax might appear to be a significant amount of money.  But look at Mr. Buffett’s tax bill as a function of his net worth, that is $6.9 million as a percentage of his $46 billion in wealth.  At this rate he is paying the equivalent of only 0.015% of his net worth.  Compare this with the 2% paid by the millionaire next door.  This rate is more than 133 times greater than Mr. Buffett’s.  In fact, if Mr. Buffett was taxed at the same rate (2%) he would owe the Treasury Department $920,000,000 or nearly $1 billion.  You might say that it is unAmerican not to pay your fair share.  But Mr. Buffett gets special dispensation regarding this topic.  Why?  He has pledged to leave the vast majority of his estate to noble causes.  And according to Forbes, he has already demonstrated considerable generosity.  “He gave $1.5 billion to the Gates Foundation in July, bringing his total giving to $17.5 billion. . . in August he pledged $3 billion of stock to his children’s foundations.

Who is more likely to do an efficient job distributing money from your estate, the government or enlightened eleemosynary organizations?  You know the answer and apparently so does Mr. Buffett.

How Warren Buffet Can Fix the Debt and Deficit Problem in 5 Minutes

It’s worth your read and is worth doing.  We should press for this:

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:

“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.

The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971 – before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year or less to become the law of the land – all because of public pressure.

Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to SHARE this on Facebook or forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.

In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.

Congressional Reform Act of 2012

1. No Tenure / No Pension.

A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they’re out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social
Security.

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.
Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and
participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 12/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women.

Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in
Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers
envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their
term(s), then go home and back to work.

If each person SHARES this on Facebook or contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive the message. Don’t you think it’s time?

THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!

The Critical Factors Driving Up American Healthcare Costs vs. Other Countries

Why can’t the US get it right vs. other countries?  It is explained below.  Most of all, our politicians have gotten in the way of actual healthcare.  We need to get rid of them first, although that is not the nature of this article, but the crux of how we got where we are.

Check out the one where other countries deal with their population that smokes way more than the US does….need I say more?

By Samuel Metz

The Bipartisan Policy Report titled “What is Driving US Health Care Spending? America’s Unsustainable Health Care Cost Growth” issued in September lists seven factors increasing American health care costs. The “fiscal cliff” debates include many of these arguments.

While these factors do indeed play roles in American health care, almost all are at work in other industrialized countries, all of whom provide better care to more people for half what we spend. Good intentions aside, the report overlooks critical (and dysfunctional) characteristics of American health care and instead distracts itself with factors never mastered by any country (including ours).

The report was prepared under the direction of former Senate majority leaders Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), former Senator Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and former Congressional Budget Office Director Dr. Alice Rivlin. With such participants, the report certainly qualifies as bipartisan, but unfortunately the final product does not qualify as accurate.

Here are the seven factors. They are largely irrelevant in our quest for better care at less cost.

1. Many industrialized countries pay providers on a fee-for-service basis, seemingly rewarding more care rather than better care. Yet their costs are lower and their citizens are healthier.

2. Other countries face aging populations with higher smoking rates and more chronic illnesses than we have. Yet their costs are lower and their citizens are healthier.

3. Other countries face patient demands for the latest therapies. Yet their costs are lower and their citizens are healthier.

4. Other countries do not financially penalize patients seeking care. Yet their costs are lower and their citizens are healthier.

5. Other countries provide patients with no more information about complex health decisions than we do. Yet their costs are lower and their health results are better.

6. Many hospital systems in other countries dominate their markets. Yet their costs are lower and their citizens are healthier.

7. The one exception making us unique is our malpractice costs. Yet defensive medicine costs $55 billion annually, just 0.2% of our $2.6 trillion health care spending.

Thus we face the same challenges every country faces. But American costs are increasing faster and are already twice as high. What are these other countries doing differently? They apply three characteristics missing from American health care:

  • Everyone is included without discrimination against the sick. Unlike other countries, Americans encourage private insurance companies to insure only healthy patients, leaving sicker patients to government programs, charities, or no care at all.
  • Patients can seek care without financial penalty. We are unique in using high deductibles and co-pays to discourage patients from primary care. Although patients in other countries see their physicians more frequently and spend more days in the hospital than we do, their costs are less and their citizens are healthier.
  • Financing is provided exclusively by publicly accountable, transparent, not-for-profit agencies. Although providers make a profit in many countries, we are the only nation in which financing agencies make a profit.

No country, including ours, has ever resolved the Bipartisan Policy Report factors. Yet our health care costs are the world’s highest. Although the report is bipartisan, it misses the critical factors driving up American health care costs. And unfortunately so does the Affordable Care Act, another valiant but futile effort at addressing our health care crisis. If the US wants a health care system that provides better care to more people for less money, we should take our lessons from countries already doing so, not from think tanks speculating on economic theories never applied successfully anywhere.

Successful systems around the world can teach us proven methods of containing costs while providing better care, but if only we choose to learn from them. These policy makers chose to ignore these lessons. The rest of us should not.

The State of Our Next Generation

A discussion on presidential qualifications at Purdue recently produced the following discussion on who was qualified to be president.  I hold most colleges in the same esteem as this one, except for Ivy League schools and UC-Berkley which are worse.

You, who worry about Democrats versus Republicans–relax, here is our real problem.

In a Purdue University classroom, they were discussing the qualifications to be President of the United States .

It was pretty simple. The candidate must be a natural
born citizen of at least 35 years of age.

However, one girl, in the class immediately started in on how unfair was the requirement to be a natural born citizen. In short, her opinion was that this requirement prevented many capable individuals from becoming president. The class was taking it in and letting her rant, and many jaws hit the floor when she wrapped up her argument by stating “What makes a natural born citizen any more qualified to lead this country than one born by C-section?”

Yep, these are the same kinds of 18-year-olds that are now voting in our elections!

And they walk among us and they reproduce !!!

You, who worry about Democrats versus Republicans–relax, here is our real problem.

Yep, these are the same kinds of 18-year-olds that are now voting in our elections! And who voted for our current President and Congress who continue to fail Americans every time they attempt anything at this point

France Rejects 75% Tax on Millionaires (Socialism fails again)

Once again, the rich like their money.  Once again, Socialism doesn’t work because growing an economy is the way out of a deficit rather than taxing your way out.  So Hollande’s premise during his campaign, like in the US is a facade.

As Frank Zappa said: Communism doesn’t work because people like to own stuff.

Margaret Thatcher noted that socialism doesn’t work because sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.

Read the whole article here:

France’s Constitutional Council on Saturday rejected a 75 percent upper income tax rate to be introduced in 2013 in a setback to Socialist President Francois Hollande’s push to make the rich contribute more to cutting the public deficit.

The Council ruled that the planned 75 percent tax on annual income above 1 million euros ($1.32 million) – a flagship measure of Hollande’s election campaign – was unfair in the way it would be applied to different households.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the government would redraft the upper tax rate proposal to answer the Council’s concerns and resubmit it in a new budget law, meaning Saturday’s decision could only amount to a temporary political blow.

While the tax plan was largely symbolic and would only have affected a few thousand people, it has infuriated high earners in France, prompting some such as actor Gerard Depardieu to flee abroad. The message it sent also shocked entrepreneurs and foreign investors, who accuse Hollande of being anti-business.

Fiscal Cliff Put Into Perspective of a Household Income

Lesson #1:
U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
* Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000
Let’s now remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget using the
Same numbers:
* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent: $38,200
* New debt on the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
* Total budget cuts so far: $385.00
Easier to understand ??…….OK now,
Lesson #2:
Here’s another way to look at the Debt Ceiling:
Let’s say, You come home from work and find
There has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood….
And your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings.
What do you think you should do ……
Raise the ceilings, or remove the sewage?

World’s Most Emotional Countries and Why

emotional-map2This is not my data, rather a Bloomberg study. What I can’t figure out is how the US is so emotional except for the political discord recently (the article below says they are happy).  I much more expected it from the Latin countries.

According to Bloomberg, the source of this map, here are the real reasons:

Singapore is the least emotional country in the world. ”Singaporeans recognize they have a problem,” Bloomberg Businessweek writes of the country’s “emotional deficit,” citing a culture in which schools “discourage students from thinking of themselves as individuals.” They also point to low work satisfaction, competitiveness, and the urban experience: “Staying emotionally neutral could be a way of coping with the stress of urban life in a place where 82 percent of the population lives in government-built housing.”

The Philippines is the world’s most emotional country. It’s not even close; the heavily Catholic, Southeast Asian nation, a former colony of Spain and the U.S., scores well above second-ranked El Salvador.

Post-Soviet countries are consistently among the most stoic. Other than Singapore (and, for some reason, Madagascar and Nepal), the least emotional countries in the world are all former members of the Soviet Union. They are also the greatest consumers of cigarettes and alcohol. This could be what you call and chicken-or-egg problem: if the two trends are related, which one came first? Europe appears almost like a gradient here, with emotions increasing as you move West.  (their emotions are sedated)

People in the Americas are just exuberant. Every nation on the North and South American continents ranked highly on the survey. Americans and Canadians are both among the 15 most emotional countries in the world, as well as ten Latin countries. The only non-American countries in the top 15, other than the Philippines, are the Arab nations of Oman and Bahrain, both of which rank very highly. (they have it good there)

English- and Spanish-speaking societies tend to be highly emotional and happy. Though the Anglophone nations of the world retain deep cultural links, it’s not clear if Spain’s emotional depth has anything to do with Latin America’s. According to Gallup, “Latin America leads the world when it comes to positive emotions, with Panama, Paraguay, and Venezuela at the top of that list.” Yes, even Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela is apparently filled with happy people. (they have to say that or be imprisoned)

Africans are generally stoic, with some significant exceptions. The continent is among the world’s least emotional, though there is wide variation, which serves as a non-definitive but interesting reminder of Africa’s cultural diversity. Each could be its own captivating case study. It’s possible that South Africa’s high rating has to do with its cultural ties to Western Europe, for example, and Nigeria’s may have to do with the recent protest movement in the south and sectarian violence in the north.  (life is tough for them, they cope)

The Middle East is not happy. Gallup notes, “Negative emotions are highest in the Middle East and North Africa, with Iraq, Bahrain, and the Palestinian Territories leading the world in negative daily experiences.” Still, that doesn’t quite fully explain the high emotions in the Levant and on the Arabian peninsula, compared to the lower emotions in Libya, Algeria, and Morocco. Perhaps this hints at how people in these countries are being affected by the still-ongoing political turmoil of the Arab Spring.  (they are rife with terrorists who brim with hate)

What am I missing? Every color-coded national boundary here tells a story. Why is Haiti so bereft of emotion compared to its neighbors? Why is Angola so heavy with feeling? Leave your thoughts in the comments or reach me on social media. (Haiti was founded on voodoo so they believe in the devil).

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage?

This goes with my series of “How and average Joe can become a Millionaire”.

I am not the author, but this is one of the most important financial decisions you’ll make (the other is tithing) The whole article can be found here:

One of my good friends, “Judge Rob,” is a local, elected judge who also owns a small family business. Judge Rob paraphrased Warren Buffett when we were discussing mortgages over a recent breakfast, saying, “If I knew where I was going to live for the next decade or so, I would buy a house with a long-term mortgage.” The idea is that a mortgage is a good hedge against inflation because you pay it off with much cheaper dollars down the road.

Today, many pundits point to low interest rates and encourage people to borrow as much as they can while interest rates are low. While they do have a good point, deciding when to pay off my own mortgage caused a great deal of conflict between the logical and emotional parts of my brain.

In the early days of black-and-white television, much of the programming was old, silent movies. Who can forget the little old widow, confronted by the evil, rich banker, who licked his chops at the opportunity to throw her out as her mortgage payment came due? As the deadline got closer, the piano would bang louder and faster, and somehow Widow Nell would make her payment in the nick of time. Was I programmed by my generation’s version of Sesame Street?

There’s Something to Being “Old School”

I spent a good bit of my breakfast with Judge Rob in “Yes, but!” mode. Here’s why.

When I was contemplating paying off my mortgage, I spoke with a CPA who also happened to be a financial advisor recommended by a good friend. I explained that I was self-employed, so my income fluctuated, and my mortgage was my largest monthly bill. I suggested that there could be some emotional benefit to paying it off. Less stress perhaps?

He insisted that I could invest and out-earn the cost of my first mortgage. He pooh-poohed the idea of paying it off to calm my nerves, and kept repeating that I could easily invest my money and earn more after taxes than the cost of the first mortgage.

When I asked if his mortgage was paid off, he responded with, “Oh, hell yes!” I was flabbergasted. How could he advise me to do one thing when he’d done the exact opposite? He explained that his wife was from Germany – the old school where you pay your bills, don’t borrow money, and stay out of debt.

Then I asked him, “Once you paid off your mortgage, did you sleep better at night?” He pondered a bit and said, “Yeah, I guess I did. I no longer worried about it. No matter how bad things got, we would still have a roof over our heads.”

When I asked Vedran Vuk, our senior research analyst, about when to pay off a first mortgage, he made some excellent points. First, you should no longer view your house as an investment that’s going to rapidly appreciate as it did in the past. A house is a home, and you should look at it that way. Second, right now a mortgage can make sense from an investment perspective. If you can borrow money at 3.5%, invest it, and earn a guaranteed higher return on it, you’ll come out ahead.

The real question becomes: where can you find a guaranteed greater return, even with the low mortgage rates available today? The government is committed to keeping interest rates artificially low for the foreseeable future. Yields on CDs and high-quality bonds are pathetic.

I just checked my brokerage account, and the longest CD they have available is a five-year CD paying 1.15%. A 30-year Treasury bond will pay 2.8%. Neither holds any appeal for me, particularly if I were investing with borrowed money.

If you’ve found an investment that’s a lead-pipe cinch – one that’s absolutely, positively going to pay off – and a low mortgage rate, you may want to roll the dice. However, I want to add one more note of caution.

The upcoming issue of Money Forever‘s premium subscription, which we’re releasing on December 18, takes an in-depth look at reverse mortgages, one of the most controversial ways to help fund your retirement. Our team will explain reverse mortgages in easily understood terms, highlight pitfalls to avoid, and explain how a reverse mortgage is a good way for some (but not all) folks to fund their retirement and maintain their lifestyle.

Before obtaining a reverse mortgage you must go through HUD counseling. While researching our upcoming report, I came across a study of over 20,000 people who had been through HUD counseling between September 2010 and November 2010. A few statistics really jumped off the page!

In 2000, the average age of people receiving reverse mortgages was 73 years old. By November 2010, the average age had dropped to 71.5, and it’s continuing to decline. In other words, retirees are tapping into their home equity at an increasingly younger age, many because they have no other choice.

It was also interesting to learn why these folks wanted a reverse mortgage. In the 70-and-older group, 38% still had mortgage debt. Seventy-one percent owed 25% or more on the current value of their home, and 33% had a mortgage in excess of 50% of the value of their home. Many wanted a reverse mortgage because they could not service their existing debt. A reverse mortgage is based on the net equity in your home. If their homes were paid for, meaning no huge house payment, perhaps they could have put off the reverse mortgage for a few more years. The older the applicant, the higher monthly payment they receive.

I wonder how many of these folks lost money betting on their lead-pipe cinch investment because they had been nudged along by their CPA.

My point is simple. For most baby boomers and retirees, their home is their largest asset. You don’t want to live like the little old widow in a black-and-white film, worrying about getting thrown out of your home, particularly if you’re no longer working.

Nevertheless, if you had a mortgage with a 3.5% interest rate and we were still living in a world where a top-quality bond or CD would pay you 5% or more, it could make sense to take advantage of it. But that’s not the world of today.

Ideally, you would pay off your mortgage and then use the money you’d been setting aside for payments to build a nice portfolio. For many folks, home equity is like a security blanket – and a potential source of income for when they may really need it.

The Judge’s Word Isn’t Always Law

As I left our breakfast meeting, I shared a few parting comments with Judge Rob. The mortgage conundrum has both financial and emotional factors. Paying off your mortgage is a milestone; it really does change your life. I certainly sleep better, and my blood pressure probably dropped ten points. It was the point when my wife and I actually started accumulating true wealth.

Once I paid off my mortgage, I never looked back.

Economy Signs in the USA and EU that WE ARE IN DECLINE, PROTECT YOURSELVES

Two disturbing articles came my way.  I watch the economy and look for trends.  I found two that are similar because of political policies, yet would be so easy to fix if the respective governments would stop spending, handing out money to those who don’t deserve it, stop handing to themselves and stop the regulations.

We are headed into a depression and it appears that is what the governments want.  History shows they can control a distressed population more easily than a productive, self-reliant successful one…so the preponderance of evidence shows it is intentional.

You’ve been warned, get out of debt, get a strong cash position, stock up on supplies (they are much cheaper now before inflation) and do everything you can to be self reliant rather than convenient.  This is against all the pundits who want you to buy into this is just a phase, just like right about 1926.

Here they are.

THE USA

Link to the full article here:

#1 According to the World Bank, U.S. GDP accounted for 31.8 percent of all global economic activity in 2001.  That number dropped to 21.6 percent in 2011.  That is not just a decline – that is a freefall.  Just check out the chart in this article.

#2 According to The Economist, the United States was the best place in the world to be born into back in 1988.  Today, the United States is only tied for 16th place.

#3 The United States has fallen in the global economic competitiveness rankings compiled by the World Economic Forum for four years in a row.

#4 According to the Wall Street Journal, of the 40 biggest publicly traded corporate spenders, half of them plan to reduce capital expenditures in coming months.

#5 More than three times as many new homes were sold in the United States in 2005 as will be sold in 2012.

#6 America once had the greatest manufacturing cities on the face of the earth.  Now many of our formerly great manufacturing cities have degenerated into festering hellholes.  For example, the city of Detroit is on the verge of financial collapse, and one state lawmaker is now saying that “dissolving Detroit” should be looked at as an option.

#7 In 2007, the unemployment rate for the 20 to 29 age bracket was about 6.5 percent.  Today, the unemployment rate for that same age group is about 13 percent.

#8 Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs.  Today, less than 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.

#9 If you can believe it, approximately one out of every four American workers makes 10 dollars an hour or less.

#10 Sadly, 60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.

#11 Median household income in America has fallen for four consecutive years.  Overall, it has declined by over $4000 during that time span.

#12 The U.S. trade deficit with China during 2011 was 28 times larger than it was back in 1990.

#13 Incredibly, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been shut down since 2001.  During 2010, manufacturing facilities were shutting down at the rate of 23 per day.  How can anyone say that “things are getting better” when our economic infrastructure is being absolutely gutted?

#14 Back in early 2005, the average price of a gallon of gasoline was less than 2 dollars a gallon.  During 2012, the average price of a gallon of gasoline has been $3.63.

#15 In 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance.  Today, only 55.1 percent are covered by employment-based health insurance.

#16 As I have written about previously, 61 percent of all Americans were “middle income” back in 1971 according to the Pew Research Center.  Today, only 51 percent of all Americans are “middle income”.

#17 There are now 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing.  That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.

#18 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate for children living in the United States is about 22 percent.

#19 Back in 1983, the bottom 95 percent of all income earners in the United States had 62 cents of debt for every dollar that they earned.  By 2007, that figure had soared to $1.48.

#20 Total home mortgage debt in the United States is now about 5 times larger than it was just 20 years ago.

#21 Total credit card debt in the United States is now more than 8 times larger than it was just 30 years ago.

#22 The value of the U.S. dollar has declined by more than 96 percent since the Federal Reserve was first created.

#23 According to one survey, 29 percent of all Americans in the 25 to 34 year old age bracket are still living with their parents.

#24 Back in 1950, 78 percent of all households in the United States contained a married couple.  Today, that number has declined to 48 percent.

#25 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that receives direct monetary benefits from the federal government.  Back in 1983, less than a third of all Americans lived in a home that received direct monetary benefits from the federal government.

#26 In 1980, government transfer payments accounted for just 11.7 percent of all income.  Today, government transfer payments account for more than 18 percent of all income.

#27 In November 2008, 30.8 million Americans were on food stamps.  Today, 47.1 million Americans are on food stamps.

#28 Right now, one out of every four American children is on food stamps.

#29 As I wrote about the other day, according to one calculation the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”

#30 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid, and things are about to get a whole lot worse.  It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.

#31 In 2001, the U.S. national debt was less than 6 trillion dollars.  Today, it is over 16 trillion dollars and it is increasing by more than 100 million dollars every single hour.

#32 The U.S. national debt is now more than 23 times larger than it was when Jimmy Carter became president.

#33 According to a PBS report from earlier this year, U.S. households that make $13,000 or less per year spend 9 percent of their incomes on lottery tickets.  Could that possibly be accurate?  Are people really that foolish?

#34 As the U.S. economy has declined, the American people have been downing more antidepressants and other prescription drugs than ever before.  In fact, the American people spent 60 billion dollars more on prescription drugs in 2010 than they did in 2005.

THE EUROPEAN UNION

Link to the full article here:

The following are 11 facts that show that Europe is heading into an economic depression…

1. The economies of 17 out of the 27 countries in the EU have contracted for at least two consecutive quarters.

2. Unemployment in the eurozone has hit a brand new all-time record high of 11.7 percent.

3. The unemployment rate in Portugal is now up to 16.3 percent.  A year ago it was just 13.7 percent.

4. The unemployment rate in Greece is now up to 25.4 percent.  A year ago it was just 18.4 percent.

5. The unemployment rate in Spain has hit a brand new all-time record high of 26.2 percent.  How much higher can it possibly go?  This is already higher than the unemployment rate in the United States ever reached during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

6. Youth unemployment levels in both Greece and Spain are rapidly approaching the 60 percent level.

7. Earlier this month, Moody’s stripped France of its AAA credit rating, and wealthy individuals are leaving France in droves as the socialists implement plans to raise taxes to very high levels on the rich.

8. Industrial production is collapsing all over Europe.  Just check out these numbers…

You don’t have to be an economic genius to understand that the perpetual uncertainty over the Eurozone’s future has led to a widespread freeze on industrial investment and development. Industrial production is collapsing at an accelerating rate, falling 7% year-on-year in Spain and Greece, 4.8% in Italy, and 2.1% in France.

9. There are even trouble signs in the “stable” economies in Europe.  In Germany, factory orders in September were down 3.3 percent from the month before, and retail sales in October declined 2.8 percent from the previous month.

10. The debt of the Greek government is now projected to hit 189 percent of GDP by the end of this year.

11. The Greek economy has shrunk by more than 7 percent this year, and it is being projected that the Greek economy will contract by another 4.5 percent in 2013.

But sometimes you can’t really get a feel for how bad things really are over there just from the raw economic numbers.

Many people that are living through these depression-like conditions are totally giving in to despair.  Just check out the following example from an RT article from earlier this year…

A 61-year-old Greek pensioner has hung himself from a tree in a public park after succumbing to the pressure of crushing debt. A note in his pocket indicates he is merely the latest in a rash of economic crisis-induced suicides.

The pensioner’s lifeless body was found dangling by an attendant in a public park not far from his home in the suburb of Nikaia, Athens. The attendant also found a suicide note in the man’s pocket, The Athens news reports.

The man, identifying himself as Alexandros, said he was a man of few vices who “worked all day.”  However, he blamed himself from committing one “horrendous crime”: becoming a professional at the age of 40 and plunging himself into debt. He referred to himself as a 61-year-old idiot who had to pay, hoping his grandchildren would not be born in Greece, as the country’s prospects were so bleak.

The State of Healthcare Firsthand, From the Doctor

I went to a hospital today to have a procedure done.  When the nurse apologized for the quantity of paperwork, I casually mentioned that things might become more complicated with Obamacare.
I was not ready for the answer.  Actually, being in a very socially liberal city and healthcare system, I thought I was going to hear support for the program.  I instead was told how government has corrupted the system, made it worse for both Doctors and patients and other horror stories.  I replied that the government has not helped healthcare in a long time to which the nurse responded that the decline of morals in our culture was the beginning of the problem.  How correct this nurse was.

Next, I met with the Doctor to go over what the procedure was going to entail.  I again mentioned whether the healthcare system was affecting his job.  Again I received a surprise answer.

The doctor told me of his passion for his practice all of his life.  He then told me that what is being done to us by Washington has him considering getting out.  He was honorable enough to not practice if he couldn’t do his best.  It was a John Galt conversation.  There are others like this doctor.  I’ve found that if you are contemplating your retirement in your mind, you are already in the process of retiring.

To a person, the hospital staff admitted that Washington and the damage they have done and are doing to our healthcare system makes it worse for patients and providers.  This is not a partisan statement for the record.

Let me point out that this was a highly successful practice with state of the art equipment and professional personnel making these perspicacious comments to me.

It was  clear that they wanted to help people and do their job, but our own government is in the way.  It seems obvious that they have overstepped their role in making sure that medicine is safe and lawful.

If I hadn’t heard it from the horse’s mouth, I wouldn’t have known.  I did go in looking for a cure, but I left with a dose of information.  It is easy to conclude that we need to fix or excise Washington from the healthcare system and put it back in the hands of the doctors.

Here is another story by a Doctor in a completely different area of the country from me that I read by chance on the same day as my procedure.

After 18 years in private practice, many good, some not, I am making a very big change.  I am leaving my practice.

No, this isn’t my ironic way of saying that I am going to change the way I see my practice; I am really quitting my job.  The stresses and pressures of our current health care system become heavier, and heavier, making it increasingly difficult to practice medicine in a way that I feel my patients deserve.  The rebellious innovator (who adopted EMR 16 years ago) in me looked for “outside the box” solutions to my problem, and found one that I think is worth the risk.  I will be starting a solo practice that does not file insurance, instead taking a monthly “subscription” fee, which gives patients access to me.

I must confess that there are still a lot of details I need to work out, and plan on sharing the process of working these details with colleagues, consultants, and most importantly, my future patients.

Here are my main frustrations with the health care system that drove me to this big change:

  1. I don’t feel like I can offer the level of care I want for my patients.  I am far too busy during the day to slow down and give people the time they deserve.  I have over 3000 patients in my practice, and most of them only come to me when there are problems, which bothers me because I’d rather work with them to prevent the problems in the first place.
  2. There’s a disconnect between my business and my mission.  I want to be a good doctor, but I also want to pay for my kids’ college tuition (and maybe get the windshield on the car fixed).  But the only way to make enough money is to see more patients in my office, making it hard to spend time with people in the office, or to handle problems on the phone.  I have done my best to walk the line between good care and good business, but I’ve grown weary under the burden of having to make this choice patient after patient.  Why is it that I would make more money if I was a bad doctor?  Why am I penalized for caring?
  3. The increased burden of non-patient issues added to the already difficult situation.  I have to comply with E/M coding for all of my notes.  I have to comply with “Meaningful Use” criteria for my EMR.  I have to practice defensive medicine to avoid lawsuits.  I have more and more paperwork, more drug formulary problems, more patients frustrated with consultants, and less time to do it all.  My previous post about burnout was a prelude to this one; it was time to do something about my burn out: to drop out.

Here are some things that are not reasons for my big change:

  1. I am not angry with my partners.  I have been frustrated that they didn’t see things as I did, but I realize that they are not restless for change like I am.  They do believe in me (and are doing their best to help me on this new venture), but they don’t want to ride shotgun while I drive to a location yet undisclosed.
  2. I am not upset about the ACA (Obamacare).  In truth, the changes primary care has seen have been more positive than negative.  The ACA also favors the type of practice I am planning on building, allowing businesses to contract directly with direct care practices along with a high-deductible insurance to meet the requirement to provide insurance.  Now, if I did think the government could fix healthcare I would probably not be making the changes I am.  But it’s the overall dysfunctional nature of Washington that quenches my hope for significant change, not the ACA.

What will my practice look like?  Here are the cornerstones on which I hope to build a new kind of practice.

  1. I want the cost to be reasonable.  Direct Care practices generally charge between $50 and $100 per patient per month for full access.  I don’t want to limit my care to the wealthy.  I want my practice to be part of a solution that will be able to expand around the country (as it has been doing).
  2. I want to keep my patient volume manageable.  I will limit the number of patients I have (1000 being the maximum, at the present time).  I want to go home each day feeling that I’ve done what I can to help all of my patients to be healthy.
  3. I want to keep people away from health care.  As strange as this may sound, the goal of most people is to spend less time dealing with their health, not more. I don’t want to make people wait in my office, I don’t want them to go to the ER when they don’t need to.  I also don’t want them going to specialists who don’t know why they were sent, getting duplicate tests they don’t need, being put on medications that don’t help, or getting sick from illnesses they were afraid to address.  I will use phones, online forms, text messages, house calls, or whatever other means I can use to keep people as people, not health care consumers.
  4. People need access to me.  I want them to be able to call me, text me, or send an email when they have questions, not afraid that I will withhold an answer and force them to come in to see me.  If someone is thinking about going to the ER, they should be able to see what I think.  Preventing a single ER visit will save thousands of dollars, and many unnecessary tests.
  5. Patients should own their medical records.  It is ridiculous (and horrible) how we treat patient records as the property of doctors and hospitals.  It’s like a bank saying they own your money, and will give you access to it for a fee.  I should be asking my patients for access to their records, not the reverse!  This means that patients will be maintaining these records, and I am working on a way to give incentive to do so.  Why should I always have to ask for people information to update my records, when I could just look at theirs?
  6. I want this to be a project built as a cooperative between me and my patients.  Do they have better ideas on how to do things?  They should tell me what works and what does not.  Perhaps I can meet my diabetics at a grocery store and have a dietician talk about buying food.  Perhaps I can bring a child psychologist in to talk about parenting.  I don’t know, and I don’t want to answer those questions until I hear from my patients.

This is the first of a whole bunch of posts on this subject.  My hope is that the dialog started by my big change (and those of other doctors) will have bigger effects on the whole health care scene.  Even if it doesn’t, however, I plan on having a practice where I can take better care of my patients while not getting burned out in the process.

Is this scary?  Heck yeah, it’s terrifying in many ways.  But the relief to be changing from being a nail, constantly pounded by an unreasonable system, to a hammer is enormous.

France’s Rich Jumping Ship To Switzerland. The Effect of Raising Taxes

THE CAUSE – VIA USA TODAY

Recently elected President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government introduced France’s 2013 budget with steep tax increases on the rich that include a 75% tax rate on those earning more than $1.28 million for two years and a new 45% rate for revenues of more than $193,000. Higher taxes on businesses are proposed as well.

THE RESULT

“In the north, we are hearing that more and more people are preparing to leave the country,” said Sebastien Huyghe, a conservative UMP lawmaker. “This autumn, a number of people may make their arrangements.

“The 75% tax will not fill the country’s coffers; instead, it sends a strong signal that will both scare away those who have the means to create jobs, and prevent others from coming and investing in France,” he said.

Economists and analysts say the super-tax is more symbolic than effective, saying it would affect only 2,000 to 3,000 French households while adding little to state revenue.

“From a strictly budgetary and economic point of view, the impact will be marginal, but the Socialists expect a political effect, and they are right,” said Thierry Pech, editor-in-chief of Alternative Économiques monthly magazine. “There is a deep resentment (by the public) against the ultra-rich, one that could feed populism.”

Many French say these super-rich must contribute more, and those seeking tax exile betray the very country that gave them the savoir-faire that led to their international success, a sort of French version of the “You didn’t build that” claim that President Obama leveled against successful businesspeople in America.

“Has (Arnault) thought about all the help he has received from French investors and from the French state itself to make it where he is now?” asks French taxpayer Olivier Weber in Paris.

Last year, 16 business tycoons and other holders of French fortunes wrote an open letter in the French weekly magazine Le Nouvel Observateur with the title “Tax us!”, saying that after benefiting from the “French model,” they were willing to pay more in times of crisis. But that was before a super-tax.

Many of them have changed their minds, such as Jean-Paul Agon, the chief executive of L’Oréal, the biggest cosmetics company in the world.

“If there is such a new tax rule, it’s going to be very, very difficult to attract talent to work in France, almost impossible at a certain level,” he told The Financial Times.

Even Stéphane Richard, CEO of telecom company Orange , who is close to the Socialist party, is worried about the “accumulation” of taxes and the impact on the French economy.

“I’m worried that we start by taxing the rich, and that’s it,” he told French daily Le Monde. “It’s one thing to call on economic patriotism, it’s another to organize a looting (of the rich) that will turn on the tax exile machine.”

Some French shrug their shoulders with typical Gallic distaste

“It’s normal to pay your taxes — it’s important — it means you belong to a community,” said Christine Templier, 38.

IS THE USA GOING DOWN THIS PATH?

Share the wealth has been the mantra of the current government.   Current policies emulate France, Greece and the PIIGS.  Based on our tax system, we certainly seem to be headed in the direction of not having enough taxpayers to pay for the entitlements.

It is said that the 1% need to pay more.  In fact, if you confiscated 100% of their wealth, it wouldn’t make a dent in the deficit.  It causes division and class warfare.  It clearly defies the history of success where “a rising tide raises all boats”. 

SO WHAT IS THE ANSWER?

Besides the obvious of spending less, which congress does not have the ability on either side to do, grow the base of taxpayers and more revenue will come in.  JFK and Reagan (and other Presidents) proved this so we have history to support this.  In fact, the largest year of tax revenue ever by the government was 2007.   There are far more complex economic theories, but increase a tax base who are not afraid to spend more, and tax revenue will rise.

CONCLUSION

I don’t think Zuckerberg, Gates and Buffet will leave America if they raise taxes, but many are leaving California (at 2000 per week).  If you look at history, we can do more by having an economy that is growing for everyone.  By not singling out a specific group, we get the rising tide and an economy shift with more jobs and more tax revenue.

As for the rich French, many are now in Switzerland. 

Maybe there will be a lesson in here for them and they can get their tax base back.

How Warren Buffet Ends The Deficit in 5 Minutes

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling …

“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC.  “You just pass a law that says that any time there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.”

The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months and 8 days to be ratified!  Why?

Simple!  The people demanded it.

That was in 1971 – before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year or less to become the law of the land – all because of public pressure.  Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.  In three days, most people in The United States of America

will have this message.

 1. No Tenure/No Pension

A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they’re out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all other Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.

Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 12/1/12.

The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women.

Congress made all these contracts for themselves.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.

The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days

for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message.

Don’t you think it’s time?

The Guarantee of Hyperinflation

Economist John Williams of Watchdog.com describes why we will suffer from hyperinflation that will begin no later than 2014 and why.

Open ended QE will cause treasury debt which leads to long range insolvancy of the US Government.  If they had to report income under GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles)  rules, we are losing $5 trillion annually.   Taking 100% of peoples income would still not pay for this debt.

We are broke.

Government has been kicking the bucket down the road and the result will be inflation.

The global loss of confidence in the dollar happened with the raising of the debt ceiling last year.

The Fed’s primary goal is to keep the banking system solvent.  They haven’t done anything to stimulate the economy.

More evidence that inflation is just around the corner from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Milton Friedman Would have been 100, Still One Of The Best Economists Ever

Economists have either followed Friedman or Keynes for Economic Theory over the last century.  Keynes is being used currently and you can judge the results for yourself.  For me, it does not seem to work, nor has history shown it to have worked  for any of the presidents who have based their administration on Keynesian theory anywhere in the world.

I quote one of the best authors of our generation on economics for this article.

From Dr. Thomas Sowell

If Milton Friedman were alive today — and there was never a time when he was more needed — he would be one hundred years old. He was born on July 31, 1912. But Professor Friedman’s death at age 94 deprived the nation of one of those rare thinkers who had both genius and common sense.

Most people would not be able to understand the complex economic analysis that won him a Nobel Prize, but people with no knowledge of economics had no trouble understanding his popular books like “Free to Choose” or the TV series of the same name.

In being able to express himself at both the highest level of his profession and also at a level that the average person could readily understand, Milton Friedman was like the economist whose theories and persona were most different from his own — John Maynard Keynes.

Like many, if not most, people who became prominent as opponents of the left, Professor Friedman began on the left. Decades later, looking back at a statement of his own from his early years, he said: “The most striking feature of this statement is how thoroughly Keynesian it is.” No one converted Milton Friedman, either in economics or in his views on social policy. His own research, analysis and experience converted him.

As a professor, he did not attempt to convert students to his political views. I made no secret of the fact that I was a Marxist when I was a student in Professor Friedman’s course, but he made no effort to change my views. He once said that anybody who was easily converted was not worth converting.

I was still a Marxist after taking Professor Friedman’s class. Working as an economist in the government converted me.

What Milton Friedman is best known for as an economist was his opposition to Keynesian economics, which had largely swept the economics profession on both sides of the Atlantic, with the notable exception of the University of Chicago, where Friedman was both trained as a student and later taught.

In the heyday of Keynesian economics, many economists believed that inflationary government policies could reduce unemployment, and early empirical data seemed to support that view. The inference was that the government could make careful trade-offs between inflation and unemployment, and thus “fine tune” the economy.

Milton Friedman challenged this view with both facts and analysis. He showed that the relationship between inflation and unemployment held only in the short run, when the inflation was unexpected. But, after everyone got used to inflation, unemployment could be just as high with high inflation as it had been with low inflation.

When both unemployment and inflation rose at the same time in the 1970s — “stagflation,” as it was called — the idea of the government “fine tuning” the economy faded away. There are still some die-hard Keynesians today who keep insisting that the government’s “stimulus” spending would have worked, if only it was bigger and lasted longer.

This is one of those heads-I-win-and-tails-you-lose arguments. Even if the government spends itself into bankruptcy and the economy still does not recover, Keynesians can always say that it would have worked if only the government had spent more.

Although Milton Friedman became someone regarded as a conservative icon, he considered himself a liberal in the original sense of the word — someone who believes in the liberty of the individual, free of government intrusions. Far from trying to conserve things as they are, he wrote a book titled “Tyranny of the Status Quo.”

Milton Friedman proposed radical changes in policies and institution ranging from the public schools to the Federal Reserve. It is liberals who want to conserve and expand the welfare state.

As a student of Professor Friedman back in 1960, I was struck by two things — his tough grading standards and the fact that he had a black secretary. This was years before affirmative action. People on the left exhibit blacks as mascots. But I never heard Milton Friedman say that he had a black secretary, though she was with him for decades. Both his grading standards and his refusal to try to be politically correct increased my respect for him.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is www.tsowell.com.

He also wrote this:

When both unemployment and inflation rose at the same time in the 1970s —”stagflation,” as it was called — the idea of the government “fine tuning” the economy faded away. There are still some die-hard Keynesians today who keep insisting that the government’s “stimulus” spending would have worked, if only it was bigger and lasted longer.

This is one of those heads-I-win-and-tails-you-lose arguments. Even if the government spends itself into bankruptcy and the economy still does not recover, Keynesians can always say that it would have worked if only the government had spent more.

Although Milton Friedman became someone regarded as a conservative icon, he considered himself a liberal in the original sense of the word — someone who believes in the liberty of the individual, free of government intrusions. Far from trying to conserve things as they are, he wrote a book titled “Tyranny of the Status Quo.”

Milton Friedman proposed radical changes in policies and institutions ranging from the public schools to the Federal Reserve. It is liberals who want to conserve and expand the welfare state.

As a student of Professor Friedman back in 1960, I was struck by two things — his tough grading standards and the fact that he had a black secretary. This was years before affirmative action. People on the left exhibit blacks as mascots. But I never heard Milton Friedman say that he had a black secretary, though she was with him for decades. Both his grading standards and his refusal to try to be politically correct increased my respect for him.

A true leader who built a business by standing for what he believed in. Now he is being discriminated against by those against discrimination. Hated by those who say they are against hate.

Mr. Cathy goes about the success of Chick-Fil-A and serves, hires and buys from those who say they hate what he believes in. Who is the hypocrite?

UPDATE: Cathy sticks to his guns.  

As you can see, he is not picking on any group, rather is giving to what he believes in.  Just because you aren’t a politically correct lemming doesn’t make you against something, it is your right to have an opinion.  He can run his company the way he so desires.  Those who believe otherwise to make a statement by starting their own business and supporting their desired group, rather than trying to change everyone else.

For many months now, Chick-­‐fil-­‐A’s corporate giving has been mischaracterized. And while our sincere intent has been to remain out of this political and social debate, events from Chicago this week have once again resulted in questions around our giving. For that reason, we want to provide some context and clarity around who we are, what we believe and our priorities in relation to corporate giving.

A part of our corporate commitment is to be responsible stewards of all that God has entrusted to us. Because of this commitment, Chick-­‐fil-­‐A’s giving heritage is focused on programs that educate youth, strengthen families and enrich marriages, and support communities. We will continue to focus our giving in those areas. Our intent is not to support political or social agendas.

As we have stated, the Chick-­‐fil-­‐A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators.

 

 

Crown Financial Ministries

Political correctness has made us a nation tolerant only of “one-legged opinions,” a friend of mine recently observed. We take a stand on a hot issue, but only on one leg at a time, shifting when necessary so as not to offend the beliefs of others—but never standing solidly on two feet.

Like a modern day parable, the story of a lone, courageous businessman has taught us what it means to be guided by truth, rather than political fad.

Dan Cathy is the Chief Operating Officer of Chick-fil-A, a privately owned chain of quick service restaurants with annual sales of $4 billion. The company is ranked the 10th fastest growing retailer in the country, although Chick-fil-A restaurants close their doors every Sunday, the best sales day of the week for those in this business sector.

Cathy recently expressed his belief that marriage is the union of a man and…

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How An Average Joe Can Be A Millionaire By Doing Simple Principles

Notice that I didn’t use the words becoming rich.  Having a full life, belief in God, friends, family or a passion for doing something is rich.  Becoming a millionaire is about money.

Next, this subject has been addressed by the more knowledgeable than I, but I’m going to talk to the average Joe like me, which is the likely reader here.

Finally, I don’t claim to know it all, nor do I claim to be in any financial category.  I do observe trends and try to learn from them.  Hopefully I’m eating my own dogfood.

HOW IT IS DONE

It is simple math.  You either make money or spend less, or a combination of the two.  I realize that we have a burdensome government, a tough economy and a next to impossible IRS tax code.  In fact the real unemployment number is not what you read in the main stream media, but the U6 rate which as of this writing is 14.5%.

For the purposes of becoming a millionaire, we will assume employment.  That means get a job instead of living on entitlements, because that will disqualify you from this discussion.

Sure it is easy to have received Facebook stock or have invented Facebook, but the average millionaire doesn’t have that at their discretion.

USE YOUR MONEY TO MAKE MONEY

This means compounding what you have in ways other than just putting it in the bank.  I had a roommate who was a stockbroker and he told me many stories of secretaries making minimum wage who came to him at retirement with 7 figure 401K accounts.  They saved in a way that maximized the return on their investment.  This usually involves a company match and some diversification.  It also assumes that you take risk when you are younger and seek advice or study investing voraciously as it is a mystery to most….despite the fact that everyone thinks they know about it.

Part of your diversification also means not putting everything in the stock market.  As an example, real estate has just undergone a busted bubble (thanks to the Community Reinvestment Act which never should have been enacted), but it means there are properties to be had for a song right now and are ripe for the picking.  They will grow and become more valuable.  My advice is no different from what you’d expect.  Start out small and work your way up.  That process allows you to learn about what value really is, and compound your earnings into larger investments that have bigger payoffs.

There are many other ways, but the concept is the same, save and invest wisely by starting small and growing your profits and portfolio.  You must also study and read or you could throw your money down the drain if you think you know everything.  It also involves patience.  If you recall the story from my roommate, it was saving and investing over a lifetime

HOW TO LEARN

There are articles ad-infinitum to read about the aforementioned.  The other way is to talk to people who have done this.  I suggest that you start with Dave Ramsey or Crown Financial Ministries if you are starting out (or are in trouble, or anywhere in between).  It is a tried and true method of handling you money.

Who you talk to also matters.  There are people who talk in $10’s of thousands, $100’s of thousands, millions or Zuckerberg’s and Gates’.  I suggest you seek out those who are in the highest category possible as you need to think big in making and investing.  I don’t have coffee with Warren Buffet, but his advice is readily available.

Find those who are successful and ask them how they did it.  I’m betting that you’ll find there is no secret code or magic key, they just worked at it and kept their long-term goals of financial independence in mind, and kept check over their human nature.

SAVE YOUR MONEY

The other side of the equation is savings.  In other words you need to spend less and when you do, spend wisely.  Of the people I worked with at my last job, many were high salaried executives who were in debt because they had a keeping up with (or passing) the Jones mentality.  This was especially true of those in the New York area for some reason (but demographics shouldn’t really matter).  They had big houses with unfurnished rooms because they were house poor.  Living within your means is important which is my next segue.

NEED VS. WANT

Including the basics of food, clothing and shelter, one has to look at the way one buys things.  Most buy what they want rather than what they need.  If you adopt the buy it tomorrow instead of now mentality, you likely will realize that you don’t really want it as badly as you think.

There is the adequacy (not delusions of adequacy ;-)) vs. luxury mentality also.  A Casio, Timex or Seiko watch tell as good of time as does a Rolex, so unless you have money to burn, why are you buying the Rolex?  This applies to cars, clothes or virtually any tangible item.  Ask yourself, self do I need this/do I need to have the very best/am I showing off or would what I can really afford what I have?  I have relatives who have to have the very best, but have wasted as much money as I’ve earned on things to show off.

My son said that some people need to wear their paycheck.  You can see them coming down the road in cars that are raised with shiny rims and a 24 thousand watt stereo.  Others have to order the best wine, food and show off at restaurants (my brother-in-law).

Back to the person who knows this better than most, here is a story about expensive car drivers:

But what if Ranger Rich is like many people who define rich in terms of income instead of net worth? Certainly many drivers feel the need to display their socioeconomic achievements by acquiring prestige makes of motor vehicles.  They may think that those who are successful in generating high incomes drive luxury brands.  And correspondingly drivers of more common makes have dull normal income credentials.  But the hard data suggest that the level of prestige of a car and the income of its driver are not anywhere near being perfect correlates. In fact, many drivers of luxury makes have neither the levels of income nor net worth which would qualify them as high economic achievers.

Along these lines, Joann Muller, writing for Forbes.com, poses “what the rich people really drive.” She defines rich people in terms of income, not net worth.

. . . the richest people were the most likely to buy luxury brands [39% for people with household income above $250,000 vs. 8% for those people who earn less than $100,000 a year].

. . .61% of people who earn $250,000 or more aren’t buying luxury brands at all.

Her analysis indicates that those households with high incomes are more likely to drive luxury cars.  But just because someone is driving a luxury brand it does not necessarily mean that the driver has a high income or a high net worth, for that matter.

Further, here is a story about how the average millionaire deals with car buying.

You have to spend on things that will appreciate, not sparkle.  Again, my relatives are the worst offenders who have overspent on toys, baubles, cars and anything else they can waste their money on.  It baffles me.  When they bought real estate, they over paid, over leveraged and bought for show instead of ROI.

DEBT AND LEVERAGE

This gets most people in trouble.  If you can’t pay off your credit card each month, you effectively are paying more for what you bought (because of the interest).  Compounding works for debt in the same way as it does for savings.  It is the accumulation that is the issue.  I’m not just picking on credit cards, anything can be substituted here.  If you saved first, you could buy it for less and your want will likely decrease.

For housing, it used to be that you had to put at least 10% down, but due to the above mentioned CRA (can you tell I loathe that legislation?) one could buy a house they couldn’t afford because they were told they qualified for it…. with no money down.  You were PLAYED for a fool on this.  Living below your means is the best policy.

If you care to splurge on something, it’s OK….just don’t borrow.

The same can be said for leverage.  I’ll stay on housing here.  Banks will always want you to buy more as the more you borrow, the richer they get.  Typically one is paying at least 3 times the amount for a big-ticket item buy leveraging which brings me to my next segue.

PAY OFF YOUR HOUSE

The wisest know that man can not serve two masters.  When you have a huge mortgage hanging over your head, it is your boss/master/slave driver/keep you up at night worry/cause of divorce or many other calamities.  The bank won’t be calling on you to take your home away nor will you have to file bankruptcy (again, my relatives).

Besides owning a house within or below your means, paying it off early is the best way to get out of debt and improve your cash flow.  Take out a mortgage less than 30 years, pay more than the minimum and do everything you can to pay it off early.

Forget the argument that it is a tax deduction.  Congress is aiming at trying to take that away as I type.  Also, any money you get back on taxes is just an interest free loan to the government at your expense.

By doing this, for most people it will likely be one of the best long-term financial decisions they can make.

CONTROL YOUR DESTINY

Note: I am quoting Dr. Thomas Stanley here.  It is better told than I could say it, but it clearly is the moral to the story and what I would have said:

In The Millionaire Next Door I quoted the words of a corporate sales professional, a millionaire whom I interviewed.  He like other self made millionaires said that he had a “go to hell fund. . . just in case my employer suggests (insists) that I leave Austin for corporate headquarters in Rottenchester.”  He never had to leave Austin and he added, “PTL.”  In other words, [the millionaires next door] have accumulated enough wealth to live without working for ten or more years.

I was reminded of these words of wisdom after reviewing an email from Ms. F who currently resides in a lovely community in the Southern United States:

I went to my local library this morning, hoping to borrow The Millionaire Next Door. However, the only available book was in Spanish, so I borrowed “Millionaire Women Next Door” instead. By the time I completed the second paragraph on page 8, I had collapsed in a fit of “craughter” – simultaneously crying and laughing at my sad truth. My newest work assignment is no less than 8,200 miles, 18 hours of flying time and 12 time zones away from everyone who means the most to me in this world. Simply put, the situation stinks, but I had convinced myself that it was necessary to pay the bills. Suffice it to say that I have renewed by concerted efforts to become a cultivator of wealth, and I plan to share my transformation with you soon. Thank you for creating this compilation of evidence-based encouragement!

What precipitated Ms. F “crying and laughing?”  Consider the words from Millionaire Women Next Door:

Aren’t you growing tired of being among the ranks of hunter-gatherers?  Do you enjoy your hyper consumption lifestyle so much that you must fly out of town every week to earn a paycheck to pay your bills?  . . . begin making the transformation to a cultivator of wealth.   Think about that the next time you are ten thousand miles from home, surrounded by strangers, and flying in dreadful weather.   It is up to you.  Do you want to spend your life as a hunter and gatherer of income, earning a million mileage points?  . . . those financially indpendent folks. . . .  They make their own decisions about their next destination.  Right now, you and your career are essentially corporate property.  Neither one of you has the luxury of self-determination.

I also stated that:

The [millionaire business] women profiled herein will not tolerate such an existence.  They are free.  They are cultivators of wealth and satisfied with life.  They are in control of their own destiny.

INCOME AS A PERCENTAGE OF WEALTH

More from Frank Stanley, their income is only 8.2% of their wealth:

People who believe that they will never become wealthy generally fulfill this hypothesis.  I explained to Brit, who was once a member of the ultimate income statement affluent club, that he has an excellent chance of becoming a millionaire next door type and that the typical millionaire next door is 57 years old.  The Bible states that those with faith and hope can achieve a great deal.  Even those with faith the size of a grain of mustard seed will likely reach their intended goals.

The will and discipline that this couple demonstrated in paying off its considerable debt is telling.  The same determination can be used in setting aside at least 15% of their income for savings and investing.

What should you anticipate as a typical member of the millionaire next door fraternity?  One, given the calculation via the Wealth Equation, actual net worth exceeds its expected value by a factor of 2 or more.  Two, the market value of the home is less than 20% of net worth.  Three, debt totals the equivalent of less than 5% of net worth.  Four, annual income tax is the equivalent of about 2% of net worth.  Five, total annual realized income is approximately 8.2% of net worth [median], or the equivalent of $8.20 of income for about every $100 of wealth.

This $8.20 figure from my own research is fairly congruent with the findings of other researchers.  For example, three scholars employed by the Treasury Department, Johnson, Raub and Newcomb, compared the wealth characteristics of millionaires via 36,352 federal estate returns who passed away in 2007 with the incomes of these decedents when they were living.  Those millionaires who were married and under the age of 70 [like the large majority of the millionaire next door types that I have surveyed] realized the equivalent of $8.45 for every $100 of their net worth.  This figure is within approximately 3% of the dollar figure ($8.20) that was determined from my surveys.

IN CONCLUSION

There is no conclusion, just work and keep your long term goal in mind.  I may talk later about other basic ideas that contribute to this like paying cash instead of credit (briefly mentioned here), couponing, buying the store brand instead of the premium name brand and other tricks.  Nevertheless, adhering to the above puts you well on your way to being the average Joe millionaire.

My relatives laughed at me all my life for watching what I spent, how I lived and called me a skinflint.  I knew that I had a long term plan for financial security.  Today, at retirement age, they work just to keep up.  Who’s laughing now?

Facebook Overnight Millionaires and Employee Turnover

chatango Pictures, Images and Photos

Update: As predicted, the brain drain has begun with executives leaving and others questioning Zuckerberg’s leadership ability.

As we all know, Facebook will go public in a huge IPO.  This will create many mega-millionaires overnight who work there.

I wonder what the drain in human intellectual property will be when they don’t have to work like maniacs anymore.

WHY PEOPLE WORK

Most people work only because they get paid.  A common cliche is that work is a 4 letter word.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t put up with the job they have, proven by frequent job shifts over a lifetime.  They leave for a better opportunity, or a bigger paycheck.  My observation (not scientific) is that if the paycheck wasn’t a part of the deal, the job wouldn’t get done.

Then there are a few who really like to work like my Dad.  His life was his work (HVAC engineer) and he loved it.  My uncle was a pilot who also loved his job.  Both regretted their retirement.

Finally, there are a few who love what they do because it is their passion.  It has been said that if you do what you really love, it isn’t work.  These are usually the most successful people.

MILLIONAIRE HEAVEN

When Facebook goes public and there will be a group of people created who are the overnight millionaires, many will move on.  Some of them are the creative minds behind what has made the company the success it has been.  Sure you can hire more programmers and throw options at them, but they are in the category of working for a paycheck.  Many won’t have the need (some the desire) to work.  I watched many friends I had at Amazon become millionaires and quit.  They went on to do what they wanted to because they sold stock and had the money to do so.

The people that lived and breathed the Facebook that we know it have and hold the history and the reason that it is what it is today.  That knowledge can’t be replaced.

What will be the brain drain at Facebook?  I’m sure there are loyal employees who will stay.  The executives will likely stay because they already are rich and at that point it is a matter of power, not money.  Others, I’m not so sure.

WILL THEY SELL

You bet they will.  There is already a lot of insider selling:

Insiders and early Facebook investors are taking advantage of increasing investor demand and selling more of their stock in the company’s initial public offering, the company said Wednesday.

Facebook said in a regulatory filing that 84 million shares, worth up to $3.2 billion, are being added to what’s shaping up to be the decade’s hottest IPO.

Facebook’s stock is expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market on Friday under the ticker symbol “FB”.

The entire increase comes from insiders and early investors, so the company won’t benefit from the additional sales.

The biggest increases come from investment firms DST Global and Tiger Global. Goldman Sachs is doubling the number of shares it is selling. Facebook board members Peter Thiel and James Breyer are also selling more shares.

Even the Motley Fool is predicting investors will get burned.

Facebook’s IPO: A Quick Way to Go Broke
Facebook’s IPO will create at least 1,000 millionaires, estimates The Wall Street Journal. Founder Mark Zuckerberg is cashing out $1 billion worth of shares. But most investors who buy shares will get burned…

REASONS TO SELL

Recently, it was stated that Facebook could be a passing fad.  This fact is not lost on those looking to make a killing.

If you recall Palm, Friendster, Sony Walkmans and other technologies, or beanie babies and tickle me Elmo’s, fads come and go quickly.  As Qui-Gon Jin said: There is always a bigger fish.  This means the next bigger and better Social Network or better idea is already being worked on.  Innovation drives technology and history has proven it…..ask 3com, Wang, Digital or many others.

We already know that they economy is still in a recession and cash is king.  If this IPO is anything like Groupon, it will trend high, then the price will go down and people want the most bang for their buck.  I know I’d dump it all and diversify by day 2.  I can’t comment as to whether I’d quit as I don’t know the culture, but I’ve worked for paranoid owners before and I know that it is a tough environment.  Zuckerberg has publicly stated that it’s good to be paranoid.  If that was the case, this is the time to bail.

It’s no secret that Facebook is not fully baked on their mobile strategy or execution yet either.  That is a pretty large faux pas.

Worst of all, millions are choosing to not be on Facebook or are just saying no to it.  Many of these are in the high wealth category.

Compound that with the fact that Google is killing Facebook in advertising revenue with Facebook even facing declining revenue:

A comparison of the two companies from WordStream, a search marketing management company, suggests that Facebook is a much less effective ad medium than Google. (The caveat here is that WordStream is, obviously, rather more dependent on Google than Facebook as a medium.)

So how much brain drain and personnel IP will leave?  Time will tell, but I’m sure there are a lot of folks contemplating this issue as I write.  The pressure of work, making a killing on stock or losing a fortune takes its toll on the workers.

I had a lot of friends at Cisco when they were flying high in the market.  While others played solitaire at the other technology companies, Cisco employees spent half their day watching the stock price to see how high it would go and calculate how rich they were.  The problem was that they weren’t vested.  I hope that Zuckerberg and lawyers are smart enough to make their employee options at least 3-5 years before they are fully vested to keep the best and brightest there.  Still, some might be mailing it in until year 3 while dreaming of being rich.

The average Joe won’t get rich anyway because here are the people who have made the money:

My final comment on the greatest brain drain comes in the form of 2 people, Paul Allan and Steve Wozniak.  They got out and went on to different lives, but I’m not sure they still held the passion they had while building their company’s.

Life Isn’t Fair, So What is New? Why Are We Trying To Kill The American Dream?

After reading an article by one of the top economists we should listen to, it occurred to me that life isn’t fair, but that alone is fair.

An excerpt from the article starts us off:

Some years ago, for example, there was a big outcry that various mental tests used for college admissions or for employment were biased and “unfair” to many individuals or groups. Fortunately there was one voice of sanity– David Riesman, I believe– who said: “The tests are not unfair. LIFE is unfair and the tests measure the results.”

If by “fair” you mean everyone having the same odds for achieving success, then life has never been anywhere close to being fair, anywhere or at any time. If you stop and think about it (however old-fashioned that may seem), it is hard even to conceive of how life could possibly be fair in that sense.

Even within the same family, among children born to the same parents and raised under the same roof, the first-borns on average have higher IQs than their brothers and sisters, and usually achieve more in life.

Unfairness is often blamed on somebody, even if only on “society.” But whose fault is it if you were not the first born? Since some groups have more children than others, a higher percentage of the next generation will be first-borns in groups that have smaller families, so such groups have an advantage over other groups.

TRYING TO EQUALIZE THE RESULTS HAS LESS CHANCE OF SUCCESS THAN CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT TO SUCCEED

I propose that Life isn’t fair, now get over it and try harder.   The American dream is to work hard, be successful and get ahead.  We shouldn’t kill that dream which is what is being proposed for those making over $250,000.  Further, it was said that “cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.  it will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.  By the swat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

Some are richer, some are born into more prosperity than others, some are smarter, some have more ambition….the list goes on forever.

Here are two good examples of those that exemplify that some have it easier than others, just for being born into the right family.

To try and make it otherwise is usually a result of envy or jealousy of others success.  There is no way to legislate tenacity to succeed, one’s ability vs. others, familial or environmental factors and many other causes.  Some have more and do better than others, GET OVER IT.

We live in a country where people have come to because of the American Dream defined as:

The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, an upward social mobility achieved through hard work. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.[1] The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the United States Declaration of Independence which proclaims that “all men are created equal” and that they are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights” including “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”[2]

Any effort to equalize things by wealth redistribution is socialistic and doomed to failure.  I beg for someone to show me an example of where communism or socialism has succeeded.  Ask Greece, the USSR, most European countries….

Why?

Margaret Thatcher once said that ‘The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money’?
Frank Zappa said “Communism doesn’t work because people like to own stuff.”

TO TRY AND MAKE IT EQUAL ALWAYS FAILS

There has been some talk during regarding those who make over a certain amount should give more, also called redistribution.  This is directly from the mouth of a famous person in history:

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need (or needs) is a slogan popularized by Karl Marx in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program.

Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.
Thomas Sowell

Politicians love to say things like, “We’re just asking everyone to pay their fair share.” But government is not about asking. It is about telling. The difference is fundamental. It is the difference between making love and being raped, between working for a living and being a slave. The Internal Revenue service is not asking anybody to do anything. It confiscates your assets and puts you behind bars if you don’t pay.
Instituting wealth re-distribution, taxing folks who make over $250,000 and then waxing poetically that it is “fair” is no more than an attempt to kill the American Dream.  I have a belief however that folks will find a way around it, the disadvantaged will still want to come here for success and
Governments aren’t invested with moral qualities; only people are. This basic understanding of the world is one of the distinctions between the progressives/socialists and conservatives.

A free market will create big differences in wealth. That wealth disparity is simply a byproduct of freedom — vastly diverse individuals competing to serve consumers will arrive at vastly diverse outcomes.

That disparity is not unfair — if it results from free exchange.

The free market (which, sadly, America doesn’t have) is fair. It also produces better outcomes. Even “losers” do pretty well.

A more astute observer than Moore might show how unfair government intervention is. Licenses, taxes, regulations and corporate subsidies make it harder for the average worker to start his own business, to go from being a “little guy” to being an independent owner of means of production. Most new businesses fail, but running your own business is the best route to prosperity and — surveys suggest — happiness, too.

So the conclusion is that Life isn’t fair and there will be some Warren Buffetts, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerbergs that get richer and they should.   If the Government would stay out of the free market, more would prosper.  A rising tide floats all boats
Nikki Newman and Mark Ehrnstein have plenty in common. They both work at Whole Foods’ headquarters, and they share a passion for the Earth-friendly, healthy and egalitarian values the company espouses.Ask them why they work at Whole Foods, and you get a lot of the same answers.Ask them about their paychecks, though, and you get two different stories.

Newman, the receptionist at the company’s corporate offices, has worked for Whole Foods for six years and now makes about $17 an hour. She lives comfortably in a rented duplex, but she admitted money can get tight on occasion – like the time her dog needed a surprise $750 worth of dental care.

Ehrnstein, on the other hand, is Whole Foods’ global vice president for team member services, a position that pays him a six-figure annual salary. He and his wife, Renee, have worked more than 30 years combined at Whole Foods. They own a 3,151-square-foot home, according to Travis County Central Appraisal District records.

“I feel very grateful to be in the role I’m in, but most of all I feel grateful to work for a company that aligns with my values,” Ehrnstein said. “I feel connections with our team members in that sense. But certainly, the compensation affords different opportunities.”

This is not the stereotypical story of the gap between rich and poor. Few would criticize the wage disparity between Newman and Ehrnstein given their tenures and responsibilities at the company. Plus, the gap from top to bottom is much narrower at Whole Foods than other large grocers because it pays higher entry-level wages and caps executive pay at 19 times the salary of its lowest-paid employee.

To which I say so what.  The higher up in the company they are or the more responsibility one has, the more they should earn.  Their actions will bear the legal responsibility and shape the course and success of the company. 

I don’t give a rats rump that someone has the chance to make more than me.  We should have the opportunity to make the most money we can possibly make without the government restricting that chance.  That is why we compete, innovate, work and strive for success.  I say screw the idea of socialism because that is what makes America great.  We compete to be the best and try to out do the other guy.  It’s how we (the US) beat the Soviet’s to the Moon, *(humans) invented cars, trains, planes, computers, telephones, cellphones and is also the reason there is Apple, Facebook, Ford, steel, iPads and every other success that has been invented.  We have the cure for polio, vaccines and advancements in medicine that socialized societies would never have had the incentive to create.

The planet Neptune has never been seen by anyone looking at the night sky through just their own eyes. So distant is it from the sun that the light it reflects toward the Earth is so faint that the planet is effectively invisible in the darkness of night. And yet, the outermost large planet of our solar system was discovered by astronomers who knew exactly where to look….

Following William Herschel‘s discovery of Uranus in 1781, the world’s astronomers went to work to observe and describe the seventh planet of the solar system, taking detailed measurements of its trajectory in space.Illustration of the Pull of a More Distant Planet Forty years later, French astronomer Alexis Bouvard published detailed tables describing Uranus’ orbit about the sun. More than that however, his tables incorporated the lessons learned about planetary orbits from Johannes Kepler and Sir Isaac Newton to chart the path Uranus would follow into the future.

But then, something strange happened. Significant discrepancies between Bouvard’s projected path for Uranus and its actual orbit began to be observed – irregularities that were not observed in the tables he had created to describe the orbital paths of the planets Jupiter and Saturn using the same methods. Soon, observations and detailed measurements confirmed that Uranus was moving along a path that was not described by Bouvard’s careful calculations.

These irregularities led Bouvard to hypothesize that an as yet unseen eighth planet in the solar system might be responsible for what he and other astronomers were observing.

Voyager 2 Image of Neptune, emphasizing the 'Great Dark Spot' Over twenty years later, astronomer Urbain Le Verrier was working on the problem, taking a unique approach to resolving it.

What made Le Verrier’s work unique is that he applied the math developed by Sir Isaac Newton to describe the gravitational attraction between two bodies to solve the problem. Here, he used Newton’s theory to anticipate where an as yet unknown, but more distant planet also orbiting the sun would have to be to create the effects observed upon the position of the planet Uranus in its orbit.

Le Verrier completed his calculations regarding the position of the hypothetical eighth planet on 1 June 1846. A little over three months later, on 23 September 1846, the planet Neptune was observed for the first time at almost exactly the position in space where Le Verrier predicted it would be, confirming Newton’s gravitational theory in the process.

We’re going to do something similar today to explain why household income inequality in the United States has increased over time, even though there has been no change in individual income inequality.

From Darkness to Discovery

Our first chart below is based on data taken from the U.S. Census’ data [Excel spreadsheet] on the inflation-adjusted median and mean income for all Americans from 1947 through 2010, which we’ve presented in terms of constant 2010 U.S. dollars. For reference, we’ve also indicated the NBER’s official periods of recession in the U.S. during this period with the shaded red vertical bands on the chart:

U.S. Individuals Real Median Income with Recessions from 1947 through 2010

Next, we took the U.S. Census’ breakdown of inflation-adjusted median income for both men and women for each of these years [Excel spreadsheet] and used the math that applies to log-normal distributions to construct the combined median income that applies to individuals. Our results are shown in the chart below, along with the actual median incomes reported by the U.S. Census so we can compare our calculated results with them:

U.S. Individuals Real Median Income by Sex with Recessions from 1947 through 2010

As you can see, our calculated results in creating a weighted median from the subsets of median income data for men and women are very close to the actual real median income numbers for all individuals. Here, because per capita income has been demonstrated to follow a log-normal distribution, we are able to use this math to either combine or extract subsets of data that have never been officially presented.

As an aside, we achieved the results above by treating the reported median income data the way we might calculate a weighted average. The beauty of the log-normal distribution math is that we can do this with medians, which we ordinarily could not do otherwise.

In the chart above, you can see the effect of the changing composition of the U.S. workforce, as the relative share of women earning incomes in the United States has increased since 1947. In 1947, the median income for individuals is much closer to the median income for men than it is for women. By 2010 however, we see that the median income for individuals is about halfway in between the median incomes for men and for women, reflecting that nearly equal share that both sexes now have among all individual income earners in the U.S.

Extracting The Unseen

The U.S. Census Bureau provides the median income data for individuals (or persons), men and women. It also reports median income data for both male and female wage or salary earners [Excel spreadsheet], whom we’ll simply describe as Working Men and Working Women.

Using the math we demonstrated above with this data, we can extract the median incomes for two categories of people for whom the U.S. Census has never reported median incomes: men and women with incomes who do not earn wages or salaries, or as we’ll describe them from now on, Non-Working Men and Non-Working Women! Today, we’re putting what we found for all U.S. individual income earners together for the first time:

U.S. Individuals Real Median Income by Sex and Working Status with Recessions from 1947 through 2010

Constructing Households

Now, let’s combine our median income earners into two-person households, pairing working men and women, working men and non-working women, non-working men and working women and finally non-working men and non-working women. We’ve shown our results below, along with the U.S. Census’ official median income for U.S. households:

U.S. Couples Median Real Income with Recessions, 1947-2010

Well, look at that! The households formed by our single-wage and salary income earning couples from 1947 through 2010 closely parallels the actual real median income for U.S. households with a working man and non-working woman over that time (except for the years 1974 through 1977, where there seems to be an anomaly in the Census’ data for working men – and here, the actual median splits the difference!) Also keeping in mind that the actual median household income might include the income contributions of additional people (say individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 who might be working part time at minimum wage jobs while also attending school and living at home with their parents), which likely accounts for the difference between the two, we’ve pretty much just demonstrated that we can successfully model basic U.S. households using just the data that applies for U.S. individuals.

But wait! What about single person households? Our next chart throws them into the mix as well!

U.S. Households Median Real Income with Recessions, 1947-2010

Using the figures for 2010, we approximated the income percentiles for each of our single and two-person median income earning households. The table below reveals our results (our model should put each approximated percentile within 0.2 of the actual percentile!):

Household Type 2010 Median Income Approximate Income Percentile
Working Men and Working Women $64,075 61.4
Working Men and Non-Working Women $50,026 50.7
Working Women and Non-Working Men $49,344 50.1
Non-Working Men and Women $35,295 36.7
Working Men Only $37,102 38.6
Working Women Only $26,973 27.7
Non-Working Men Only $22,371 22.4
Non-Working Women Only $12,924 11.5

It occurs to us that all we would need to increase the income inequality among households in the United States is to increase the nation’s percentage of single person households among all households. That would work by increasing the number of households at the lower end of the income spectrum, even though it would have absolutely no effect upon the measured income inequality for individuals. The U.S. Census Bureau shows the change in the number of single person households since 1960:

U.S. Census Bureau: Percent of Single Person Households, 1960-2011

Here’s the U.S. Census Bureau’s Gini index measure of the amount of income equality among U.S. households for the years from 1947 through 2010:

Phil Wendt's Studio: Figure 1. Gini Index of Income Dispersion, 1947-2010

And here is the Gini index measure of the amount of income equality among U.S. individuals for the years from 1947 through 2005 (the data since 2005 is presented here – it’s similar to all that recorded since 1960 in the chart below):

The relevant data in the chart above is the Gini measure indicated with the hollow circles, which is based on the “fine”, or more detailed, income bins reported by the U.S. Census in its annual Current Population Survey. The other data in the chart, indicated by solid diamonds, represents income distribution data reported by the U.S. Census in larger, or more “coarse” income bins, which are less detailed and are therefore a much less accurate measure of the nation’s level of income inequality in any given year.

Intersections and Connections

Looking at where all the data in these three charts intersect and overlap, What we find is that since 1960, the level of income inequality for U.S. individuals as measured by the “fine” Gini index is nearly constant, but has increased significantly for U.S. households. What has changed over that time is the composition of U.S. households, with a steady increase in the percentage of single person households.

Without a corresponding increase in the measured income inequality for U.S. individuals, the increase in the measured income inequality for U.S. households has been almost entirely driven by the increase in the number of single person households over time.

So income inequality among U.S. households isn’t increasing because the rich are getting richer. That means that policies intended to right this situation by going after the rich in the name of “fairness” are guaranteed to fail, because the real cause of the increase in income inequality among U.S. households over time is something that cannot be fixed by such actions.

If only the people pushing such policies could see that….

Self Help Healthcare

I checked in with KevinMD for this piece of helpful information.  The free market will produce a better product than the government will ever be able to handle.  Capitalism always provides competition which drives DOWN prices and drives UP services.

f you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.
-Lord Kelvin

Asking science to explain life and vital matters is equivalent to asking a grammarian to explain poetry.
-Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Of course the quantified self movement with its self-tracking, body hacking, and data-driven life started in San Francisco when Gary Wolf started the Quantified Self blog in 2007. By 2012, there were regular meetings in 50 cities and a European and American conference. Most of us do not keep track of our moods, our blood pressure, how many drinks we have, or our sleep patterns every day. Most of us probably prefer the Taleb to the Lord Kelvin quotation when it comes to living our daily lives. And yet there are an increasing number of early adopters who are dedicated members of the quantified self movement.

 

They are an eclectic mix of early adopters, fitness freaks, technology evangelists, personal-development junkies, hackers, and patients suffering from a wide variety of health problems. What they share is a belief that gathering and analysing data about their everyday activities can help them improve their lives.

According to Wolf four technologic advances made the quantified self movement possible:

First, electronic sensors got smaller and better. Second, people started carrying powerful computing devices, typically disguised as mobile phones. Third, social media made it seem normal to share everything. And fourth, we began to get an inkling of the rise of a global superintelligence known as the cloud.

An investment banker who had trouble falling asleep worried that his concentration level at work was suffering. Using a headband manufactured by Zeo, he monitored his sleep quantity and quality, and he also recorded data about his diet, supplements, exercise, and alcohol consumption. By adjusting his alcohol intake and taking magnesium supplements, he has increased his sleeping by an hour and a half from the start of the experiment.

A California teacher used CureTogether, an online health website, to study her insomnia and found that tryptophan improved both her sleep and concentration. As an experiment, she stopped the tryptophan and continued to sleep well, but her ability to concentrate suffered. The teacher discovered a way to increase her concentration while curing her insomnia. Her experience illustrates a phenomenon that Wolf has noticed: “For many self-trackers, the goal is unknown … they believe their numbers hold secrets that they can’t afford to ignore, including answers to questions they have not yet thought to ask.”

Employers are becoming interested in this approach in connection with their company sponsored wellness programs. Suggested experiments include using the Jawbone UP wristband to see if different amounts of sleep affect work performance such as sales or using the HeartMath emWave2 to monitor pulse rates for determining what parts of the workday are most stressful.

Stephen Wolfram recently wrote a blog illustrating just how extensive these personal analytics experiments in self-awareness could become when coupled with sophisticated technologies. Wolfram shares graphs of his “third of a million emails I’ve sent since 1989” and his more than 100 million keystrokes he has typed.

Anyone interested in understanding just how far reaching this approach may become in the future should examine the 23 pages of projects being conducted by the MIT Media Center. My favorites from this fascinating list include automatic stress recognition in real-life settings where call center employees were monitored for one week of their regular work; an emotional-social intelligence toolkit to help autism patients learn about nonverbal communication in a natural, social context by wearing affective technologies; and mobile health interventions for drug addiction and PTSD where wearable, wireless biosensors detect specific physiological states and then perform automatic interventions in the form of text/images plus sound files and social networking elements.

It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of all this new technology and to start crafting sentences about how the quantified self movement will “transform” and “revolutionize” health care and spawn wildly successful new technology companies.

Jackie Fenn’s “hype cycle” concept has identified the common pattern of enthusiasm for a new technology that leads to the Peak of Inflated Expectations, disappointment that results in the Trough of Disillusionment and gradual success over time that concludes in the Slope of Enlightenment and the Plateau of Productivity. Fenn’s book, Mastering the Hype Cycle: How to Choose the Right Innovation at the Right Time can help all of us realize that not all new technologies becomes killer applications.

Jay Parkinson, MD has also written a blog that made me pause before rushing out to invest in quantified self companies or predict the widespread adoption of this approach by all patients. Parkinson divides patients into three groups. The first group is the young, active person who defines health as “not having to think about it until they get sick or hurt themselves.” The second group is the newly diagnosed patient with a chronic illness that will affect the rest of their lives. After a six month period of time coming to terms with their illness, Parkinson believes this group moves closer and closer to group one who do not have to think about their disease. The third group are the chronically ill who have to think about their disability every day. Parkinson concludes that “it’s almost impossible to build a viable social media business that focuses on health. It’s the wrong tool for the problem at hand.”

The quantified self movement should be closely monitored by all interested in the future of the American health care delivery system. The potential to improve the life of patients with chronic diseases is clearly apparent; whether most people will use the increasingly sophisticated tools being developed is open to debate.

Court Weighs Heavy on Health Costs

From the Raleigh WRAL sometimes news.

WASHINGTON — Death, taxes and now health insurance? Having a medical plan or else paying a fine is about to become another certainty of American life, unless the Supreme Court says no.

People are split over the wisdom of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, but they are nearly united against its requirement that everybody have insurance. The mandate is intensely unpopular even though more than 8 in 10 people in the United States already are covered by workplace plans or government programs such as Medicare. When the insurance obligation kicks in, not even two years from now, most people won’t need to worry or buy anything new.

Nonetheless, Americans don’t like being told how to spend their money, not even if it would help solve the problem of the nation’s more than 50 million uninsured.

Can the government really tell us what to buy?

Federal judges have come down on both sides of the question, leaving it to the Supreme Court to sort out. The justices are allotting an unusually long period, six hours over three days, in sessions that started Monday, to hear arguments challenging the law’s constitutionality.

Their ruling, expected in June, is shaping up as a historic moment in the century-long quest by reformers to provide affordable health care for all.

Many critics and supporters alike see the insurance requirement as the linchpin of Obama’s health care law: Take away the mandate and the wheels fall off.

Politically it was a wobbly construction from the start. It seems half of Washington has flip-flopped over mandating insurance.

One critic dismissed the idea this way: “If things were that easy, I could mandate everybody to buy a house and that would solve the problem of homelessness.” That was Obama as a presidential candidate, who was against health insurance mandates before he was for them.

Once elected, Obama decided a mandate could work as part of a plan that helps keep premiums down and assists those who can’t afford them.

To hear Republicans rail against this attack on personal freedom, you’d never know the idea came from them.

Its model was a Massachusetts law signed

Why I Bought an iPhone Vs. Any Google Device

It took me this long to finally buy an iPhone.  I waited until the right carrier had it (AT&T is a diversity nightmare), then my current provider didn’t have international covered because of CDMA.  So when that all came online, I then had to wait for an upgrade time so that I wouldn’t pay an arm/leg/firstborn.  It wasn’t a feature to feature comparison, 3G or 4G or any other techie issue that caused it.  It was because I know Google, have worked with Eric Schmidt  and believe they are evil about their intentions with our data, public or private.

Before any hate mail comes in that Apple does it too, I turn off location services when I leave the house and can confuse them enough that tracking me doesn’t me do them any good….not that anyone would/should care.  I’m a statistic to them and so be it.

Disclaimer:  I’ve had an iPod since 1994 (rotary wheel version) and have an iPad and iPod before I bought the phone, but I worked with/against Google and have met Eric Schmidt at a partner conference.  I don’t trust Google nor do I trust Schmidt as I heard what they are up to.  Basically the same thing as Pinky and the Brain are after, take over the world.

I and I believe they are sincere.  Apple developers are trying to build an ad base to compete against the world/Google, but I can turn them off…..Google follows me, my house, what I buy and everything else…..then are all too happy to share it with those I don’t want them knowing I exist.

In the quest for data analytics, companies have sold their soul.  Google and IBM are at the top of this data list, closely followed by Oracle, only closely in this case as they are hampered by a leader who holds them back from becoming a great (or modern) company.

OPEN SOURCE VS. PROPRIETARY.

Most analyst’s I talk to have Android so that they can practice what they preach, it’s an open world.  Well open source doesn’t work as well and smooth as IOS, so I don’t give a rat’s rump about this.  I just want it to work and for me not to have to fix or code one more device.  Most open systems require tinkering far too often.  So I’m calling BS on that argument.  I’m a consumer with too much going on to have a device that doesn’t work every time and easily.

SECURITY

It appears that Smartphones are now being attacked by malware and theft.  I know of 2 so far on IOS, but Android seems to be up 90%, so it looks like Apps on this OS are easier to break into.  This was not my initial decision point, but has skyrocketed to my list of concerns within a short period of time.

MY PREVIOUS SMARTPHONE

I had one of the newest Blackberry’s and in one word of advice for those who are considering buying it….don’t.  The interface is archaic compared to IOS and I got it because of a corporate policy that stuck me with a device that was hard to use.  I had to take it the phone store to set up the special things I wanted (I have about 7 email addresses and many special things related to what I do, and BTW I set them up myself on the iPhone) and have set up phones and computers for 31 years….before things were easy so I know how to reverse engineer without instructions

One thing I liked about Google was that 3 executives owned 8 corporate jets.  God Bless Capitalism.  I think IBM has a whole fleet of jets for the executives also so they “don’t” have to fly commercial.  Too inconvenient I guess.  It’s the same for most corporations.

Anyway I bought the iPhone.

BTW, I’ll never buy another Windows/Microsoft product again now that I work for myself.  They can only treat me this poorly (since Windows was released) for so long before I vote with my own money like I did here….

It looks like I’m not the only one.  ZDNet wrote this a few days after I wrote about my travails.