Showing posts with label bad government. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bad government. Show all posts

Monday, January 4, 2016

Oregon Federal Wildlife Building Occupation

Our friend Knuckle Draggin (NSFW due to adult language and borderline close to [tasteful and beautiful] nudity) linked to a pretty good breakdown of this mess in Oregon. It explains the situation sufficiently that I am not inclined to make a redundant and at best equal but probably not better post. So I will share a couple brief thoughts instead.

Personally I can have some sympathy for and maybe even support support (morally or financially/ physically) a group that, even if imperfect and arguably wrong cough Cliven I don't pay to graze my cattle Bundy cough who have a dangerous situation forced on them. On the other hand if a group intentionally creates a dangerous it would be an uphill battle to convince me to be sympathetic if/ when the jack boot starts pushing on them.

Also what these people really want to accomplish is to me somewhat of a mystery. I doubt they have a realistic scenario where they can measurably succeed from this. At this time I think the best realistic case scenario for all those folks is walking away with significant legal complications and likely adult time out.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Speech by a friend of Cliven Bundy

Speech by a friend of Cliven Bundy:

I haven't been following this whole thing in Nevada too close. That being said I hope it does not get stupid.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Bank Depositors Please Read This

If you do not wish to read the entire article .. just read the info directly below... and you will understand that the US is way past bankrupt... there were more banks during the 30's depression than there are now.....
JPMorgan Chase - zombie bank
Total Assets: $1,947,794,000,000 (nearly 1.95 trillion dollars)
Total Exposure To Derivatives: $71,289,673,000,000 (more than 71 trillion dollars)
Citibank - zombie bank
Total Assets: $1,319,359,000,000 (a bit more than 1.3 trillion dollars)
Total Exposure To Derivatives: $60,398,289,000,000 (more than 60 trillion dollars)
Bank Of America - zombie bank
Total Assets: $1,429,737,000,000 (a bit more than 1.4 trillion dollars)
Total Exposure To Derivatives: $42,670,269,000,000 (more than 42 trillion dollars)
Goldman Sachs - zombie bank
Total Assets: $113,064,000,000 (just a shade over 113 billion dollars – yes, you read that correctly)
Total Exposure To Derivatives: $43,135,021,000,000 (more than 43 trillion dollars)

Too Big To Fail Banks Are Taking Over As Number Of U.S. Banks Falls To All-Time Record Low

By Michael Snyder, on December 3rd, 2013
Lower East Manhattan - Photo by Eric KilbyThe too big to fail banks have a larger share of the U.S. banking industry than they have ever had before.  So if having banks that were too big to fail was a "problem" back in 2008, what is it today?  As you will read about below, the total number of banks in the United States has fallen to a brand new all-time record low and that means that the health of the too big to fail banks is now more critical to our economy than ever.  In 1985, there were more than 18,000 banks in the United States.  Today, there are only 6,891 left, and that number continues to drop every single year.  That means that more than 10,000 U.S. banks have gone out of existence since 1985.  Meanwhile, the too big to fail banks just keep on getting even bigger.  In fact, the six largest banks in the United States (JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley) have collectively gotten 37 percent larger over the past five years.  If even one of those banks collapses, it would be absolutely crippling to the U.S. economy.  If several of them were to collapse at the same time, it could potentially plunge us into an economic depression unlike anything that this nation has ever seen before.
Incredibly, there were actually more banks in existence back during the days of the Great Depression than there is today.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the federal government has been keeping track of the number of banks since 1934 and this year is the very first time that the number has fallen below 7,000...
The number of federally insured institutions nationwide shrank to 6,891 in the third quarter after this summer falling below 7,000 for the first time since federal regulators began keeping track in 1934, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
And the number of active bank branches all across America is falling too.  In fact, according to the FDIC the total number of bank branches in the United States fell by 3.2 percent between the end of 2009 and June 30th of this year.
Unfortunately, the closing of bank branches appears to be accelerating.  The number of bank branches in the U.S. declined by 390 during the third quarter of 2013 alone, and it is being projected that the number of bank branches in the U.S. could fall by as much as 40 percent over the next decade.
Can you guess where most of the bank branches are being closed?
If you guessed "poor neighborhoods" you would be correct.
According to Bloomberg, an astounding 93 percent of all bank branch closings since late 2008 have been in neighborhoods where incomes are below the national median household income...
Banks have shut 1,826 branches since late 2008, and 93 percent of closings were in postal codes where the household income is below the national median, according to census and federal banking data compiled by Bloomberg.
It turns out that opening up checking accounts and running ATM machines for poor people just isn't that profitable.  The executives at these big banks are very open about the fact that they "love affluent customers", and there is never a shortage of bank branches in wealthy neighborhoods.  But in many poor neighborhoods it is a very different story...
About 10 million U.S. households lack bank accounts, according to a study released in September by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. An additional 24 million are “underbanked,” using check-cashing services and other storefront businesses for financial transactions. The Bronx in New York City is the nation’s second most underbanked large county—behind Hidalgo County in Texas—with 48 percent of households either not having an account or relying on alternative financial providers, according to a report by the Corporation for Enterprise Development, an advocacy organization for lower-​income Americans.
And if you are waiting for a whole bunch of new banks to start up to serve these poor neighborhoods, you can just forget about it.  Because of a whole host of new rules and regulations that have been put on the backs of small banks over the past several years, it has become nearly impossible to start up a new bank in the United States.  In fact, only one new bank has been started in the United States in the last three years.
So the number of banks is going to continue to decline.  1,400 smaller banks have quietly disappeared from the U.S. banking industry over the past five years alone.  We are witnessing a consolidation of the banking industry in America that is absolutely unprecedented.
Just consider the following statistics.  These numbers come from a recent CNN article...
-The assets of the six largest banks in the United States have grown by 37 percent over the past five years.
-The U.S. banking system has 14.4 trillion dollars in total assets.  The six largest banks now account for 67 percent of those assets and all of the other banks account for only 33 percent of those assets.
-Approximately 1,400 smaller banks have disappeared over the past five years.
-JPMorgan Chase is roughly the size of the entire British economy.
-The four largest banks have more than a million employees combined.
-The five largest banks account for 42 percent of all loans in the United States.
-Bank of America accounts for about a third of all business loans all by itself.
-Wells Fargo accounts for about one quarter of all mortgage loans all by itself.
-About 12 percent of all cash in the United States is held in the vaults of JPMorgan Chase.
As you can see, without those banks we do not have a financial system.
Our entire economy is based on debt, and if those banks were to disappear the flow of credit would dry up almost completely.  Without those banks, we would rapidly enter an economic depression unlike anything that the United States has seen before.
It is kind of like a patient that has such an advanced case of cancer that if you try to kill the cancer you will inevitably also kill the patient.  That is essentially what our relationship with these big banks is like at this point.
Unfortunately, since the last financial crisis the too big to fail banks have become even more reckless.  Right now, four of the too big to fail banks each have total exposure to derivatives that is well in excess of 40 TRILLION dollars.
Keep in mind that U.S. GDP for the entire year of 2012 was just 15.7 trillion dollars and the U.S. national debt is just 17 trillion dollars.
So when you are talking about four banks that each have more than 40 trillion dollars of exposure to derivatives you are talking about an amount of money that is almost incomprehensible.
Posted below are the figures for the four banks that I am talking about.  I have written about this in the past, but in this article I have included the very latest updated numbers from the U.S. government.  I think that you will agree that these numbers are absolutely staggering…
JPMorgan Chase
Total Assets: $1,947,794,000,000 (nearly 1.95 trillion dollars)
Total Exposure To Derivatives: $71,289,673,000,000 (more than 71 trillion dollars)
Total Assets: $1,319,359,000,000 (a bit more than 1.3 trillion dollars)
Total Exposure To Derivatives: $60,398,289,000,000 (more than 60 trillion dollars)
Bank Of America
Total Assets: $1,429,737,000,000 (a bit more than 1.4 trillion dollars)
Total Exposure To Derivatives: $42,670,269,000,000 (more than 42 trillion dollars)
Goldman Sachs
Total Assets: $113,064,000,000 (just a shade over 113 billion dollars – yes, you read that correctly)
Total Exposure To Derivatives: $43,135,021,000,000 (more than 43 trillion dollars)
Please don't just gloss over those huge numbers.
Let them sink in for a moment.
Goldman Sachs has total assets worth approximately 113 billion dollars (billion with a little "b"), but they have more than 43 TRILLON dollars of total exposure to derivatives.
That means that the total exposure that Goldman Sachs has to derivatives contracts is more than 381 times greater than their total assets.
Most Americans do not understand that Wall Street has been transformed into the largest casino in the history of the world.  The big banks are being incredibly reckless with our money, and if they fail it will bring down the entire economy.
The biggest chunk of these derivatives contracts that Wall Street banks are gambling on is made up of interest rate derivatives.  According to the Bank for International Settlements, the global financial system has a total of 441 TRILLION dollars worth of exposure to interest rate derivatives.
When that Ponzi scheme finally comes crumbling down, there won't be enough money on the entire planet to fix it.
We had our warning back in 2008.
The too big to fail banks were in the headlines every single day and our politicians promised to fix the problem.
But instead of fixing it, the too big to fail banks are now 37 percent larger and our economy is more dependent on them than ever before.
And in their endless greed for even larger paychecks, they have become insanely reckless with all of our money.
Mark my words - there is going to be a derivatives crisis.
When it happens, we are going to see some of these too big to fail banks actually fail.
At that point, there will be absolutely no hope for the U.S. economy.
We willingly allowed the too big to fail banks to become the core of our economic system, and now we are all going to pay the price.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Federal Government Shutdown

Our federal government partially shut down today. Something like 800,000 'non essential' employees are being furloughed for the duration. On the plus side for me they passed a resolution to continue to pay the military. Personally I don't care much about that. We save so missing a check or three isn't a huge deal. At the same time a lot of soldiers are young, do not make much money and are not the best at handling money. They are a missed paycheck away from financial disaster. I am certainly thankful that Private Snuffy who is currently trying not to get killed in Afghanistan doesn't have the additional worry about his wife being able to feed the kid(s), keep the lights on and pay the rent.

Honestly this whole shutdown thing is ridiculous. Our elected representatives are too worried about partisan bickering, talking points and propelling themselves to the next level and nowhere near sufficiently worried about how to fix our financial problems and run the darn country. I fear the gap between the two sides is ever growing and becoming more angrily entrenched. It feels more and more like the run up to the Civil War every month. Honestly I am beyond frustrated with the whole thing.

More and more I'm listening to rock music instead of the news while driving to and from work. At least it doesn't make me angry. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bad Laws: A Conversation On Real Solutions

We freedom loving Americans often find ourselves in situations where we are met with laws we deem arbitrary, overly restrictive, pointless, designed to produce revenues for the government or whatever. We will just call these bad laws. So what is a person to do. Far too often the answer is to yell, scream or whine about it. The mean government is picking on me, blah blah blah. While a good tantrum rant releases tension it is not usually productive in terms of actually fixing the problem. Today I want to talk about potential solutions for those who are bored of simply complaining and actually want to change the situation.

[Far too many reading this only love their own freedoms. Though in fairness that is somewhat natural. You don't hear me yelling all the about home schooling or raw milk being over regulated to death. The simple reason is that I'm pretty ambivalent on both of these topics. A better way might be to say the significant issue is everyone wants to protect or create whatever freedoms they want while simultaneously being able to use governmental forces to control others doing things they do not like. The raw milk producing home schooling family believes they know best what should be allowed to happen in far away's bedrooms and lives so they try to control them. The other people who have never seen a milk cow, let alone a small family dairy believe they know better than the people whose family has been there for a hundred years. The real answer is that none of them know much about the other's lives and they all need to leave each other alone. Freedom for me means freedom for thee. So stop being a jerk who whines about rules that limit them whilst simultaneously trying to rule other peoples lives. End tangent.]

So there is a law we do not like. Fundamentally I see two broad options.

We can recognize that a rule is stupid but it is in fact the law so it has all those  nasty consequences. Since we do not want problems we will begrudgingly follow the arbitrary and stupid law most of the time. A good example of this is the fact that I do not on a regular basis physically assault people in public. At least once a week there is somebody I really want to smack around, if just because I am in a bad mood. My restraint comes not from fear of them but from not wanting to get arrested for assault then go through all that BS.

The other option is to accept that the rule has consequences but decide we simply do not care and are willing to take the risk of sometime being caught and potentially facing those consequences for the benefit of breaking the rule. We all know, or might even be, the person who drives over the speed limit on their way to and from work. Knowing where cops hang out on the route they rightly figure the odds of getting caught on any day are low. When intermittently busted they probably figure after the 100 times of getting away being caught once isn't a huge deal and it's just a fine anyway.

Which way I lean between these two varies on a case by case basis. First in my mind is the severity of the consequences should I be caught. A minor traffic ticket isn't a big deal so maybe it's worth doing 68 or 70 in a 65. The other obvious variable is the risk of being discovered. Let's say I lived alone and enjoyed a recreational substance that is currently in a murky legal status. If I produced it myself, only for myself, without the need for obvious precursor chemicals, etc and enjoyed said substance exclusively at home the odds of being discovered are very low. Though the penalties would be far higher than speeding a but the odds of being discovered are so low the law would probably not get in my way.

Aside from obeying or ignoring what can we do to get around these bad laws?
-Change them. Most levels of government in America have some way a normal citizen can, obviously with enough support, change, add or remove laws. The mechanics can be complicated and obviously a majority of voters is generally needed but it can be done.

-Change who is in charge. Don't like the dog catcher being a jerk, convince voters you will do better, take his job then do it better. Think the Sheriff (they matter A LOT) is not pro gun, push for a trusted member of the community to fill the position.

Changing and circumventing are probably most effective at lower levels of city and county then to a lesser degree the state level. City and county politics (at least outside big areas) are such a snooze few people participate and not many more pay attention or vote. An active campaign with half a decent point that gets normal people excited about an idea/ candidate stands a decent chance of success.

-Circumvent them. Figure out a similar way to meet the same end result without violating the law. This admittedly tends to work best when those who wrote the laws are ignorant on the topic. Guns are a good example here, after the .50BMG banning silliness it took a day or so for .499 rifles and ammo to start popping up. Ban that and .498 would only take 2 days. You get the idea. This has also been shown painfully clear in the area of financial and banking laws. A law is passed that says banks should not do X so they do Y which has the same end result.

-Vote with your feet. Do the research, travel to check it out then move to where you would prefer to be based on a variety of factors. In particular within the US we are seeing some very disparaging situations in terms of firearm and financial freedom develop over time. This makes strategic relocation worth considering. Instead of griping about California's gun laws move to Arizona, Nevada or Oregon all of whom are far more accommodating to gun owners and shooters.

Edited to include:

2 glaring omissions were made in the options which needed to be added for a full discussion.

-Legal Challenge. Find a law you think can be overturned for whatever reason (Unconstitutional seems to be the most common) then look for some schmoe who broke said law or was harmed by it and sue. Keep going until the law is changed or you have exhausted all appeals. This was a staple of business for all manner of leftists for decades and has recently been adopted by Team FREEFOR. The MacDonald case is a good example of this. The downside of this method is need for extensive free legal support or a deep pocketed backer to pay the bills.

-Resistance. The issue with government is that sooner or later everything is backed by force. Break all but the most minor rule and you will face the consequences or eventually men with guns will show up to take you away. You can run, comply or fight. If you fight somebody is going to be seriously injured. Should you get away all sorts of people will be after you. They might burn down your house with the family inside, shoot your wife in the head or who knows what else. Bottom line it doesn't end well.

Now if someone is trying to take your children to a reeducation camp or your newly hated ethnic group is bring rounded up for cleansing by all means take out as many key individuals of the regime as you can culminating in a blaze of glory. On the other hand it's probably better to just pay the traffic fines, follow city ordinances about building, pay your taxes, etc all then go home for dinner followed by a drink and bed.

I do not mean to imply this list is all inclusive but it should give a framework from which you can problem solve to actually do something about these problems. As always thoughts are welcome.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Thoughts On Insurgencies #8: Fundamentals of a Successful Insurgencies 101

It became apparent to me after a discussion with an invisible that I needed to take a step back in this series. Sometimes I am guilty of forgetting that most folks here have not spent a good portion of their live training for or being personally involved in an insurgency. We should discuss the fundamentals of a successful insurgency.

I am not saying that every insurgency must have each of these elements or it will not be successful. There are a certainly examples out there which do not fit every criteria but most tend to fit them if loosely. In no particular order.

Obviously some group or subset of a state needs to be unhappy with the current governmental system. Not just kinda unhappy but enough so to fight a war they may well die in. Taking a step back it isn't so much that there need to be people willing to take up arms but conditions that lead to people being willing to take up arms.

Some of these people will be active fighters. For every active fighter there are a few supporters or axillary types helping make things work.  These folks are involved to varying degrees. Some are full time intel, logistics or C2 types filling your conventional staff functions. Others may be a farmer who gives an old cow to feed some fighters or a Grandma with a big house who loves to feed and look after a bunch of teenage and early 20 something boys. For every person who actively aids insurgents they need a bunch of people who just keep quiet. The neighbor who sees something and goes about his business or the apathetic local cop who doesn't search for insurgents very hard.

For an insurgency to build from an initial nucleus to a group that has a real chance the government has to have problems. Maybe it is a backwards corrupt nepotistic regime, maybe it is an aging dysfunctional empire, maybe the economy is toast or the government is distracted by war. The reason for this is that functional governments can eventually use the stick and or carrot to decrease the total amount of people willing to take up arms. Eventually this makes insurgencies peter out until an 'acceptable level of violence' which varies from place to place. There are bombings and high amounts of murders in a lot of places but that is just normal.

Some sort of a safe haven is very helpful for insurgents. This safe haven is very important for insurgents to train, rest and plan and conduct a variety of logistical efforts. These safe havens can be due to political boundaries the insurgents can cross that the opposing force is unable to cross at least in a widespread regular way. Vietnam as well as the Pakistan/ Afghanistan border are good examples of this. Other times a safe haven can be due to an area's isolation in terms of rough geography, lack of improved all weather roads and low population densities. Areas outside aside from the AF/PAK border in Afghanistan fall into this category. The longtime Philippine insurgency  and the FARK in the jungles of Columbia are also examples.

Without this safe haven motivated governments can eventually wear down an insurgent group or at least prevent them from regrouping, recovering and training. This means they are not healing up injured fighters or training new ones which makes it hard to build numbers and win. Some sort of a (relative) safe haven is just about impossible for insurgents to do without.

Outside assistance is very important. It is cool to think about a bunch of guys running to the hinter boonies with rifles and fighting the big mean government but it is just not that simple. To keep things going insurgents need money, weapons, ammunition, food, medicine and often outside training. Admittedly money can handle most of those problems if the insurgents can get enough of it. For a long time during the good old Cold War a group could pretty much bet on assistance from whichever side didn't have a relationship with the regime they are trying to topple. Since the Cold War has ended it has become a lot more dicey but wide open. Islamic groups can get solid funding from various Gulf State groups. Other folks may have relationships that work for various reasons.

Those are the big ones that come to mind based on my formal and informal education on the topic as well as real world experiences. As always input is welcome but please try to keep it on topic. I hope that some of you get something out of this post.

Have a nice day,

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Random Thoughts # Whatever

To rehash a valid topic. It is very difficult to substantially change your current spending patterns unless there is some sort of event forcing you to do so. Most folks like what they spend their money on. [Or if you are married at least one partner does; you might think it is fine to ditch the wife's pet cable tv and hobbies and she might think you could cut back on beer and smokes and preps but I digress] It really sucks to stop doing things you like to do and adjust your lifestyle downward so most folks won't do it if they have a choice, heck a lot of folks won't do it if they really don't have a choice.
The thing is that it is much easier to make intentional choices about new money because you are not used to having it. Money that has not been part of your operating budget, be it additional income or a windfall, is a great opportunity to make good choices. We have hit on this before talking about becoming debt free. The short rehashing is that I got promoted and started making significantly (for us anyway) more money. If memory serves me correctly we put about 85% of this new money toward becoming debt free. Between this and what we were paying before we were making adiditional payment of about 200% a month. We did this for right around a year and got it paid off, instead of making minimum payments for two extra years.

I was recently reminded that folks who choose to make stupid decisions, in this case financially, will do so even if their situation is improving. It is really hard to outearn stupid financial choices if you increase your poor decision making when more money comes in.
Awhile I saw a review on Survival blog of Grip Pods. They are a pretty cool piece of gear. Basically it is a forward vertical grip that, if you hit a button on the top, has a bipod that pops out. I have one of these things. Slaps right onto a standard rail. They are pretty darn tough. I have seen a few break but that doesn't mean anything. If you gave every enlisted Infantrymen (Not NCO's, or O's) each a brick and a bowling ball a bunch would get broken and it doesn't mean they are not sturdy objects, just that Infantrymen break things like nobody else. These things aren't beefy enough to use during buddy rushes and whatnot like the bipod on a machine gun, though I have seen those break too. It looks like they cost between $80-100ish. More than about $110ish would definitely be overpaying. If you like to run a strait vertical grip and think a bipod might be handy sometimes it is worth looking into. If they are worth it I would say maybe (didn't pay for mine;). A quick search of the web says vertical foregrips from names I recognized tend to be $50-80ish. Another 20-30 bucks for that foregrip to have a bipod isn't a bad deal really.

Over the past year I have been shocked and saddened by things public officials I grew up trusting have done. In any case the amount of times I have thought "I would do something terrible to that person" have been on the rise. Maybe it is a change in the news cycle or particularly the democratization of information via the web and particularly the drudge report, I don't know. I get that in any bunch there are always a few bad apples. If you have enough bad apples there is always something bad going on. (Example, an Infantry Battalion has somewhere around 700 soldiers, depending on its configuration, of that probably 450-500 are young men between 18 and 23ish. Prime age to drink way too much and do stupid things. On any given weekend at least one will get into a fight, another will use drugs, and another will commit some other crime. Almost always at least one of them will get caught. So saying that a Battalion has a problem because every weekend somebody gets in trouble is while accurate, misleading. Saying that 1 in 700 soldiers got arrested looks very different.] That being said it seems like these sort of events are on the rise.
This saddens me and means I need to relook how different groups may act in various circumstances. It is worth noting that local conditions matter the most. Look at your local laws, culture and recent events. These should tell the tale. I hate to rain on the tin foil hat folks conspiracy theories; however the odds of your local deputy sheriff/ policemen/ dog cater/ zoning inspector/ health department getting into your business are far higher than a SWAT team from a federal alphabet agency taking down the door at 3 am. The importance of living in a place that doesn't suck may not be possible to overrate.
Anyway that is about all I can think

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pic Post

What you get sometimes when I have to work late.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Quote of the Day

"The difference between the TEA Partiers and OWS isn't the politics, it's about 30 years of work history."
-American Mercenary 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Opinion: Instead of Occupying Detroit, Will Lefties Take Responsibility For It?

Link here

Government is amazing because it manages to convince people that it's inability to function is a reason we should give it more power. How in the heck does that make any sense. If your cousin messes up the sidedish they are supposed to bring time after time do you then ask them to bring the turkey to thanksgiving? If an employee does not do his job is he promoted? If a business fails to meet your expectations do you increase your dealings with them? No, typically people who fail to meet expectations are given more supervision, different or fewer responsabilities. Why should government be any different?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday Ramblings: What Have You Been Thinking About This Week?

It has been an interesting weekend. We're all pretty thrown off staying up at all hours and sleep randomly. Going to bed when the sun is coming up and drinking coffee in the early afternoon or in the middle of the night. Sometimes the meals I eat match up with my schedule and other times they match up with the time of day. The combination makes me feel kinda out of it and like I'm slightly drunk all the time. Yesterday I woke up and immediately had dinner. This morning at 6am Miley was having a beer. Half the time I can't tell you what day it is let alone if it is AM or PM.

Talked with Stephen for awhile yesterday.  He is doing a lot better which makes me really happy. Had some interesting conversation about life, guns and the economy. He sends me lots of interesting emails and I do my best to read them. We talked about precious metals some. Concluded that it might not be a bad time to sell gold if you plan to anywhere in the near future. However if you are still buying PM's silver still shows some opportunity. Personally I am staying away from gold and instead buying silver.

One interesting thing about interacting with people who come to something from a different angle is that sometimes they can expose you to a cool new piece of gear or way of doing things. For example after handling my Glock 19 when I was down there he really wanted one and recently got it. If there has been a person who wasn't happy with the Glock 19 I haven't met them.

Also I got to talk to my friend Ryan (lawyer type) which was cool. He is well. Getting ready to do all kinds of huge things. We had an interesting conversation about politics and such. It might be interesting how this upcoming election goes. During it and beyond we are both cautiously optimistic that the Tea Party will do some good stuff. He is excited that they may well win some stuff in this election. I think it is good that if nothing else they are shaking up the GOP and conservative base in general which is good.

Ryan (lawyer type) said something that really resonated with me. He said more or less that he was seriously concerned about the state of our nation and was just going to stop stressing it and just get his stuff in order. I had a similar realization some time ago and it has brought me a lot of peace.  I can watch the news now and usually not freak out. My stress level and probably blood pressure are at much more reasonable levels. Instead of worrying about this or that which may be or is happening I am putting mental time and energy into preparing my family. Instead of stressing this bill or that amendment I think about how to meet this goal or increase that capability. I suggest this sort of perspective to everyone.

Personally I am really tired of this whole crony capitalism thing. It breeds corruption, kickbacks and nepotism by rewarding connections far more than sound business practices. After some reflection I think I prefer welfare type socialism though it should go without saying that I dislike both. At least somebody can (incorrectly) think they are actually helping PEOPLE. Ya know the kind of people with connections who often move seamlessly between slightly above mid level political appointments and cushy advising/ consulting/ VP of nothing type jobs in business. Hook up GE or some hedge fund while you are working for .gov then get a highly paid job not doing much of anything for them afterwords. I don't like the idea of forcibly taking hard earned money from people and giving it to nonproductive members of society; however giving somebody welfare (social security, "disability insurance", mortgage interest deductions, "earned" income credit, etc) just makes me shake my head. Conversely rewarding a group of businesses who screwed our entire economy makes me want to throw up.

We got a bunch of formula today even though Wifey is breast feeding. It is good to have options and a backup plan. Other than that I did a lot of reading on various preparedness and financial stuff. It doesn't really seem worthwhile to do "What did you do to prepare this week" but I figured I'd mention what has been going on. Life is kinda busy for me but I hope you are still doing good stuff. If you want to tell me what you've been up to I would love to hear it.

Now that Walker has been born Wifey is officially a stay a home mom. We don't plan for her to go back to work (though if a good part time work from home opportunity arose...) until our last kid, we're planning on two, goes to Kindergarten. For us this is a very put your money where your mouth is kind of thing. We believe and research agrees that young children do better if Momma is at home with them.

Having a stay at home parent  is one of those things that is simple if not easy. To do it you just need to live on what one of the parents makes. This may well mean decreasing your lifestyle and probably means you've got to give up on keeping up with the neighbors. We would rather have Wifey taking care of our kid then a brand new BMW. Her being able to hang out with, take care of and teach Walker is more important then brand new furniture, expensive electronics and a closet full of designer clothes.

I've got a couple interesting posts coming up for next week. Hopefully you folks will enjoy them.

Interesting news article: Oregon Faces Cold Hard Reality.  Here is a teaser "Borrowing money to cover operating expenses is just plain stupid."

What have you been thinking about this week?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy Cost of Government Day

Aug. 19 marks this year's "Cost of Government Day." The date, calculated by the Americans for Tax Reform, signals when the average American finishes paying off his or her respective share of federal, state and local taxes, and the cost of implementing government regulations. This year, that means a whopping 231 days -- or almost 2/3 of the year -- are spent paying to keep the country going.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

quote of the day

"People in the establishment tend to fail upward"
-Chris Hayes

Not going to say I agree with most of what this guys says but this quote is disturbingly true.
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