Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Art Of Persuasion - Taken To The Next Level

Chances are you know someone who can easily persuade people, or who can sell ice to Eskimos. What is their secret?

Well, it could be a number of things, but almost certainly part of the secret lies in the actual words they choose. We are products of our environment. As such, one thing is absolutely certain - we rely upon our five senses to absorb info and learn. And the secret lies right there.

Some people rely most heavily on sight for inputting info. Others may rely most heavily on hearing (perhaps their eyesight is weak). Still others may depend heavily upon touch, smell, or taste. The point is, we are most easily swayed by our dominant sense. If you are sight oriented, you are more apt to believe what you see. If hearing oriented, you may place more importance on what you hear.

That brings us to one of the great secrets of effective communication. If you take a few moments making "small talk" with someone (as good salesmen do), take care to learn which sense seems to be dominant, based on their choice of words. For example, if the person uses phrases like, "I think that stinks", that may hint that smell is one of his more dominant senses. If you hear phrases like, "It sounds good" (hearing), or "It looks good"(sight), you have a clue as to how they absorb input.

Once you know how they assimilate information, you can use that sense to get them to listen to you more intently, and to better understand what you are saying. This can be very persuasive.

In my 35+ year career as a real estate investor, selling homes is often a priority. If I find that the buyer uses "sight" words, then I use sight-oriented info to help him buy. I highlight the beautiful view, for example. If he is hearing oriented, I might mention the sounds of the songbirds, rippling brook, etc. In this fashion, I am better able to capture his attention, and in doing so, persuade him to buy. If he uses a lot of "smell" words, I make sure there are cookies baking in the oven, or lots of flowers.

We all think, learn and communicate according to how we rely upon our senses for data input. You can use that to influence others. The more we rely upon a certain sense for absorbing information into our subconscious mind, the more importance we place on the language that calls that sense into play.

Whether you are selling real estate, or just trying to persuade your teen that smoking is bad, try connecting by using words and phrases the other person is most likely to relate to. In doing so, your power of persuasion can guide you to greater success in all aspects of your life.


How About A New Kind Of Alternative Minimum Tax?

This idea may sound crazy at first, but I would like you to at least think about this.

First, nearly 60 million WORKING people pay NO income taxes at all. None. They benefit just as much as the 60 million who do pay, but they get a free ride because they do not earn as much.

But just because they do not earn as much should not mean they pay NOTHING. If they have income, why should they not pay at least a token amount? And there are three very sound reasons why they should...

1) They would feel as though they are contributing to America, even if only in a token amount. This is good and healthy for a person's self-esteem. Remember the parable of the wealthy man who gave 10% of what he earned, and the poor woman who only gave two pieces? Jesus blessed the woman because, even though she was poor and could ill afford it, she gave all she could. Dignity and self-esteem is important.

2) By becoming taxpayers, those 60 million people will be vested in how Congress spends our money. As long as a person is not required to pay anything, they suddenly become eager to increase spending and entitlements - after all, it doesn't cost them a dime. If we want to control spending, we need to get more Americans interested in controlling it.

3) If every working person under 18 and not in college, with any income whatsoever were required to pay a mere $5 per week, that would come to a whopping $15 billion dollars a year going into the Treasury that could be used to pay down our debt. It is their debt, too. They need to pay SOMETHING. There is not a working person in America who can honestly say they cannot afford a mere $250 per year for all the benefits they get from living in this great country. Every worker could contribute that much simply by getting a second, part-time job for a few days each year. Heck, I make more than that just turning in cans and bottles to the recycling center!

Yes, there should be an Alternative Minimum Tax on the wealthy PROVIDED we stick with the current progressive tax code. But there should be an even more important AMT for EVERYONE. Every working American has an obligation to pay a share. Being poor is no excuse for being a deadbeat.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Selling Your Home In A Slow Market - Pass This On...

As housing sales begin to slow, sellers find it more difficult to attract any of the buyers that are still looking. Here are some ideas on how to attract buyers when others cannot.

1) Spruce up the first thing(s) a buyer sees - often the front entrance and driveway. This is their first impression - if it is not a good one, the showing will go downhill from there.

2) Have the place well-lit when being shown, and eliminate clutter, even if you must rent a storage unit to keep excess furnishings. Buyers like free space.

3) People buy because of the unseen things that attract them. Just before a showing, bake apple pie, or cookies, or brownies. The aroma pleases the senses, and triggers nostalgic memories that can help induce a buyer to buy. If you do not have time to bake, boil some water and drop in a couple cinnamon sticks.

4) Most Realtors simply mention the features of a property. But buyers do not buy features - they buy the benefits produced by features. Get a leg up on other sellers by promoting the benefits of owning your home. For example, if close to schools (feature), Mom can sleep late (benefit). If close to a lake or pond (feature), advertise lazy Saturdays fishing from the canoe that is included with the property (cost: about $300). The canoe becomes another perk.

I recently sold a home that had acres of lawn area. Now, most people do not look forward to mowing such an expanse, so the first thing I showed potential buyers was the shed - which housed a nice lawn tractor, power trimmer, garden cart and all the "toys" that make the yard work a cinch. When hubby saw those toys and heard I was "throwing them in" for free, he just could not control himself. I had him signed that same day. So, don't forget those little perks if you need help getting a property sold.

Finally - know exactly what you really need to get from the sale. If you become more aware of what the money will be used for, you will be in a position to offer better terms, increasing your chance of selling. For example, you may be planning on investing $20,000 of the proceeds into Treasuries or CD's. So, if necessary to cinch a buyer, you can offer to "carry back" $20,000 in a second mortgage. You'll get a better interest rate and still be able to invest the monthly payments you collect back into Treasuries. By carrying a second mortgage, you make it easier for the buyer to buy.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

CAP RATE - Investing In Multi-Units & Commercial Property

Most seasoned investors are familiar with how to determine value of an investment by its CAP RATE. But novices - and even a few "pros", are confused by this method. So, here it is in a thimble:

CAP RATE stands for Capitalization Rate - the rate at which an investment produces a return on investment. The higher the cap rate, the faster you get your investment back, and the richer you get. Simple, eh?

But just how do you figure CAP rate?

tep #1 - determine the annual NET rental income from the property (gross rents minus expenses, such as tax, insurance, maintenance etc.)

Step #2 - divide the net rent by the fair market value (FMV)

Let's say you find a complex with FMV of $250,000. You estimate net rents would come to $2,000/month, or $24,000/year. By dividing 24,000 by 250,000, you have a CAP RATE of 9.6%. If that is not good enough for you, then you must either get a lower price, increase rents, or walk away.

For most investors, a CAP rate of 10% is absolutely minimum, and many investors won't consider anything less than 12-15%.

More important, you can use this method to determine the maximum you should pay for a property, based on the CAP rate you need to get. For example, if you need to get a 10% CAP rate, and the net rent is $24,000 per year, you would divide 24,000 by 10% (24,000 x .10), which comes to $240,000 - the max you should pay to get a cap rate of 10%.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Foreclosures, Tax Liens and Slow Markets

If you have any real interest in real estate, you are well aware of all the bleak news stories about the increasing foreclosure rate, and slowing markets with dropping property values.

But is everything a dour as the media is telling us?

Let's put a few things in perspective. First, the foreclosure rate. Among the pending foreclosures, the rate has not changed on properties that were financed using traditional financing methods. Almost the entire increase in the foreclosure rate is based solely on properties that were financed using sub-prime loans and ARM's. In other words, had questionable loans not been made, the foreclosure rate would be stable. This would indicate that the foreclosure rate is artificially inflated.

As for the cooling market and dropping values...Last time I looked, although not good news for sellers, those conditions are great news for buyers and investors. What is wrong with that? In a hot market, which is great for sellers, the market is bad for buyers. So what is the difference?

The difference lies in which party, buyer or seller, is on top. For the investor, either market is good. In a seller's market, the investor can easily find a new buyer to sell to, at a higher price. And in a buyer's market, the investor can find bargains, making positive cash flow easier to achieve. Either way, investors win.

But there is one other difference between a buyer's and seller's market. In a seller's market, money moves faster. And people buy appliances, furnishings etc. for their new homes. This strengthens the economy, as businesses hire employees to produce more, and investors buy stock in growing companies. The reverse is true in a buyer's market, and that often hurts the economy.

And there is another boon to investors in today's slowing market. As costs increase for homeowners who used subprime funding, they often fall behind in their property taxes. This results in the county or state selling tax lien certificates on those properties, which usually provide investors with a better-than-average yield - and sometimes eventual ownership of the property. Some "gurus", such as John Beck, offer programs on tax lien investing. But beware - such gurus often hype the positive points and fail to tell you the other side. Before doing business with any guru, check them out with the Better Business Bureau.

Real estate, like any other part of our economic lives, fluctuates. But in the long term, it always goes up. That is because Mark Twain was correct - "If you must invest, invest in real estate. They just don't make it anymore." The population just keeps growing - it is expected to double over the next 40 years. But the amount of Earth (real estate) available to those people is not increasing - we got what we got and that's all there is.

And that is precisely why real estate investing is a very smart thing to get into. And of all the real estate courses available, "The Simple Man's Guide to Real Estate" is the most comprehensive, yet easiest to use, and it has the highest success rate of all the programs. If you have ever had an interest in real estate, now is perhaps the best time in 50 years to get started.


The Truth About Flipping Real Estate

There has been a lot written about flipping houses. Some say it is great way to make money. Some say it is very difficult. Some even claim it is illegal. So, just what is the truth?

First, let us begin by saying there are many different methods of flipping real estate, including "fix & flip", the double escrow, assigning, and various combinations. Technically speaking, almost any purchase and resale of a property is a "flip", even if the resale occurs years later. But for the purpose of this article, we will concentrate an "quick flips."

Let's take care of the "illegal" claims, first. Flipping houses, if done the way it was meant to be done, is completely legal. But it becomes illegal when unscrupulous investors, working with unscrupulous appraisers or lenders, conspire to defraud either buyers or lenders. This is done when an investor gets an appraiser or lender to over-value a property for the purpose of selling for a higher-than-market value, or for the purposes of getting a bigger mortgage so the investor can pocket more cash. For this reason, HUD issued a policy (not a law) that lenders who provide HUD/FHA or VA insured loans must include a "seasoning clause" in their mortgages, which can make some forms of flipping difficult by requiring a property be owned a period of time before it can be resold. This "seasoning clause" is only a requirement for HUD/FHA/VA insured mortgages, though many lenders have adopted it as policy (which can be negotiated out of the mortgage). But even HUD/FHA/VA seasoning clauses have exceptions, with the most important one being that the clause can be waived as long as the seller can show he is not selling for more than the legitimate market value. In short, the flipping is not what is illegal - what is illegal is the fraud that can be perpetrated when crooked people abuse flipping.

IntelliBiz strongly urges our own clients to always operate in an ethical fashion. Fraud is not necessary. Their program includes details on every legitimate method of flipping houses, and if you use the strategies in our program, not only will you be within the law, but you will profit immensely, and earn yourself a solid reputation as a good person to do business with.

Now, about it being difficult. People like John T Reed claim that in order to flip real estate, the investor must first buy the property and only then find a buyer to resell to. Let's put that falsehood to rest right now - if you will look at these online courthouse docs, you will see that you can, indeed, resell at a double escrow (both transactions occuring at the same time), without ever having to finance a single penny. Or, you may simply sell your purchase agreement to another investor prior to closing (called "assigning"), so you never need to finance anything because you are not actually buying any property.

The reality is that there are a number of ways to flip real estate. Some methods require financing - others do not. Some methods do not require cash or credit. And most methods are quite simple to do. If Mr. Reed were a true real estate investor worthy of writing about such matters, he would know that.

That said (and proven), let us consider other claims that flipping real estate is very difficult and time-consuming. Since the most difficult part is finding a suitable property, the rest of the transaction consists of negotiating the deal (no different from any other transaction), find a new buyer, then wait until closing when the closing agent takes care of everything else. Personally, we have never found laying on the beach, waiting for a closing, to be all that time-consuming or stressful.

Then there are the unfounded fears that for some unknown reason, your seller and/or your buyer will revolt at closing when they "discover" you are making a profit. We can only assume that the investors who have this fear feel it is necessary to keep it a secret that they are an investor. We do not advocate that. Again, we stress ethical conduct. Simply make sure your seller and your buyer are fully aware that you are an investor - it is nothing to be ashamed of! If they know this, they will obviously know, up front, that you must make a profit - you would not be in the deal, otherwise. At closing there will be no anger because they were not deceived. In over 35 years of doing this, we have not seen one case where closing did not complete because of such problems, because the problems never arose in the first place.

Yes, flipping real estate is a great way to make a lot of money in a short period of time. And it, like any other endeavor, can be stressful at times. It is not as easy as many "gurus" would have you believe, but it is not all that difficult, either. The secret lies in 1) knowing which properties lend themselves to flipping (IntelliBiz can show you how to find them), 2) being honest and up front, and 3) using the right contracts, specially designed for flipping, such as the ones in the Intellibiz contract software.

So, now you know that flipping houses is legal, relatively simple and requires no cash or credit. So, what are you waiting for? The future belongs to those who march boldly into it, armed with knowledge. And if you are currently a bit short on the knowledge aspect, that is easily remedied by visiting IntelliBiz.


Encroaching On Our Liberty

America - land of the free. Or so we are told. But is it really a free country?

At one time, it was. Citizens were free to pioneer, settle, farm, create, build - all without much government interference, as the Founding Fathers intended. And for almost two centuries, Americans could actually claim that they were a free people.

And then, with the presidency of Woodrow Wilson and then Franklin Delano Roosevelt came a new, liberal, socialist line of thinking. Government began encroaching on American liberties, restricting what we could and could not do.

Granted, the government has every right to restrict freedoms in areas that directly affect the health and general welfare of the general public. But when something has no obvious effect on the health and welfare of anyone else, does the government still have a right to interfere? The answer, according to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution is "NO".

Take zoning, for example. Zoning laws are, for the most part, unreasonable and in violation of our natural rights. While the government has an obligation to protect the citizenry, they have gone far beyond that. Zoning that prevents a property owner from causing loss to a neighbor is certainly laudable - we all need protection from those who would run a toxic dumpsite next door to our home.

But it is when zoning laws are written for political purposes that violate our rights that we must stand up and fight back, or gamble on losing ever more freedom.

Here is an example. I live in a tiny, rural farm community no one ever heard of, in Maine. My home has been a farmhouse for over 100 years, nestled on almost 15 acres of farmland. On the north border is woods, leading to another home. On the east is woods, leading to the local swimming hole. On the west is a large farm, raising beef. On the south is another personal residence.

For reasons that make no sense whatever, the zoning board decided to zone my little farm property, nestled in a rural area, as "commercial" property, but not those properties that surround mine. As such, I no longer have the same rights as a "regular" homeowner.

The people whose residences are zoned rural, or residential, can upgrade their homes simply by getting a building permit. They can add on, build a garage etc. But if a property is zoned commercial, you may not do those things without going before the zoning board and getting their permission, which is difficult, if not impossible to do.

I discovered all this when I decided to add a sunroom to our home. It would have been on the side of the house where the nearest property line was over 200 feet distant. A sunroom on my home, which has zero effect on anyone else in the entire world, could not be built because my rural farm was classified as "commercial", for no reason at all. The irony is that my property cannot even be used for commercial purposes - it is on a class IV road, and heavy trucks are not permitted during much of the year. So much for deliveries or shipping! Where is the "commercial" use?

So, I have to ask - if a "FREE" citizen is not allowed to build a sunroom on their home, even though it has no effect on the health and welfare of others, is that not an unreasonable encroachment on our liberty? Of course it is.

Frankly, I think it is high time the American People stood up and demanded to take back their country, and their liberties. Certainly, we must allow the government to regulate things that affect the general public, but otherwise "butt out" of our affairs.

A free man should not have to fight for permission to make a better home for his family, or to pave his driveway, or build a garage to protect his vehicles.Think about it, folks! Look around, and see what liberties have been taken from you. Isn't it strange that the very same progressives who cry out for "freedom of choice" when it comes to abortion - those same liberals tell us that "freedom of choice" does not extend to OTHER choices - it only the applies to the ones on their agenda. When it comes to abortion, they find a constitutional "freedom of choice". But when it comes to choosing what to do with our homes, or whether we wear a seatbelt, or anything else of personal importance, those same liberals tell us there is no constitutional "freedom of choice".

Simply put, liberal lawmakers want power over us - and they pass laws that over-regulate. And regulation equals lost freedom. That is what socialism is all about. Liberals are socialists. And socialism requires that we give up our personal freedoms, and have the government run our lives for us, from cradle to grave.

So, which is it? Is there a constitutional right to free choice, or not? If yes, liberals must be prevented from robbing us of our choices. If no, then Roe vs Wade must be overturned. Can't have it both ways!

But as long as the good people of this great nation choose to accept such encroachments, and not fight them, then the liberals will win, and the United Socialist States of America is not far off.


The Real Cost Of Taxes

A friend and I were discussing the extremely high taxes in Maine (Maine has the highest taxes per capita of any state). Normally, I try to avoid such discussions, particularly because they are such a sore spot with me. Typically, the states with the highest taxes have the least to show for it. They have bad roads, old bridges, few worthwhile services. It seems the more money the tax-and-spend crowd takes, they less we get for it. Just across the border, in New Hampshire, there are very few taxes. Yet NH has good roads, bridges, schools and many services.

Back to the point of this missive - the REAL cost of taxes. My friend said, "What's the big deal? You must make over $200,000 a year. What's $10,000 or so compared to that? It's nothing!"

Of course, I could have stopped him right there by saying, "OK, George, if $10,000 is nothing, how about paying it for me. After all, what's 'nothing' between friends?" But I opted for something more substantial.

I showed George how money, earning 10% per year, would double every 7 years. "So what", was his response. I then told him that if I were able to keep that $10,000, I could invest it, and double it every 7 years. In 28 years it would accumulate to $160,000. Multiply that by each year that Maine takes that $10K (28 years in this case), and before you know it, your family's future has been deprived of millions of dollars over time.

Let's say a person only earns $80K per year, and their state taxes them a paltry 5%. That person pays $4,000/year. If this begins at age 21 until retirement at 65, the state has taken a total of $176,000. That, alone, is a healthy sum. But if the taxpayer had invested that at an average return of 10%, that $176,000 would have grown to $1,770,370 in just the first 40 years.

That individual, paying his state $4,000 per year, loses close to two million dollars over the course of his working life.

And that, George, is the REAL cost of taxes. Every $1,000 a person pays in taxes is over $45,000 lost in 40 years. More important, this same thing goes for money a person spends today. For every $1000 you spend unnecessarily this year, your net worth could be decreasing by $45,000 over your working life. Buy a $5,000 snowmobile, it costs you $225,000 over your working life. Buy an $80,000 Mercedes instead of a $25,000 Ford, and it costs you almost 2.5 million. That certainly is one expensive set of wheels! Think about that the next time you are tempted to spend money unnecessarily...


Political Correctness - A Suicide Pact

Undercover agents arrested a Somali-born teenager, Mohamed Osman Mohamud while trying to blow up a van full of explosives at a crowded Christmas tree lighting ceremony in downtown Portland, Oregon

Late last month, Farooque Ahmed, 34, of Virginia was arrested and accused of casing Washington-area subway stations in what he thought was an al-Qaida plot to bomb and kill commuters.

And a year ago in another federal sting, 19-year-old Jordanian Hosam Smadi was arrested on charges he intended to bomb a downtown Dallas skyscraper

These are just three recent examples of many, many terrorist attempts (and some successful) that prove beyond any doubt whatever that the vast majority (like, 100%) of terrorists are young middle-eastern Arab muslims, and the majority are males.

So, exactly WHY are we not using effective profiling? We use profiling in all other "native" crimes, including rape, murder, child molesting, burglary etc.

If we continue to refuse to target those who are most likely to try and kill us, we are committing suicide. It is political correctness, invented and pushed by progressive liberals who do not like America, that will be responsible for any successful terrorist attack.

At airports, federal agents grope and scan innocent American grandmas and little children, under the pretense that they COULD be used by terrorists. But I contend that, to date, no 4 year old has been used in any terror attempt, but dark-skinned middle-eastern Arab muslims have been.

Our leaders, misguided or misled, have decided it is better to insult and abuse innocent Americans than to risk insulting or abusing the muslims intent on killing us.

I find it troubling that progressive liberals are quick to cry foul when we infringe on the supposed "rights" of terrorists held at Gitmo, but are also the first to insist that Americans forfeit their own rights at airports across the nation.

We have a great country here in America. But we do not have great leadership in our president or Congress. They allow a handful of progressives to dictate their course - a course designed long ago to bring America to its knees, in favor of a "one world" government. In a one-world government, NO nation would be allowed to be sovereign, more powerful or more wealthy than another. So, progressives believe America must be dismantled.

Are you going to sit back and let them do it? Or will you be outspoken, and work to remove all progressives from all public offices?

America is worth saving. But if YOU won't act to save her, who will?


Friday, November 26, 2010

The Little Ice Age (LIA)

I have written often on the period known as the "Little Ice Age" (LIA). And I brought up the fact that our current "warming period" is not only natural, but 2-3 degrees below the Earth's normal temperature.

According to Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" which caused so much angst and panic, if the Earth were to warm an average of 2-3 degrees it would be a catastrophe of epic proportions. Yet, 2-3 degrees higher temperature would simply be normal.

This evening I watched a documentary on the History channel about LIA. LIA began in the 14th century and did not end until roughly 1850. During that period, the Earth's average temperature was 4 degrees colder than the present average temperature. And that small amount caused havoc and death throughout the world - famines, plagues, crime, as food became scarce and disease-ridden rats came indoors to escape the cold.

But the real story is untold - that the period preceding the Little Ice Age, from about the 10th century to the 14th, the Earth's average temperature was about 3 degrees warmer than it is today. And during that "warming period" of 400 years, civilizations grew and propered like no other time in recorded history. The best wines were brewed in England and imported to France. But during LIA, that came to an end as grapes could not grow in the colder temps of England. To this day grapes cannot grow in England, which tells you the Earth's temperature is still cooler than it was 1000 years ago.

The very same climate that Gore and his followers claim would be devastating was a reality just 1000 years ago (and obviously not caused by Man or his SUV's), and Mankind actually thrived.

This is proven science, not conjecture, opinion or political hype designed to redistribute wealth. The Earth is still coming out of the 500 year LIA, so it is natural for it to be warming. And it will get warmer yet, barring any outside influence that might again cause another Big Chill. And there is nothing we can, or should do about it.

I have said this before - nothing in nature remains stagnant. When the Earth is not warming it is cooling, and vice versa. When the Earth cools, Mankind suffers. When it warms, we thrive.

I say let it warm. After all, if we were to try to thwart the warming and a new LIA were to begin, the combined effect would be even more devastating than the last LIA.

So, what are the odds another LIA could be in our future? All it would take is a series of large volcanic eruptions over a short time, spewing enough ash into the atmosphere to block the sun for a few months, as happened when Mt Tambora erupted in 1815, causing what came to be known as "The Year Without A Summer" in 1816. That was just one volcano and it dropped the average mean temperature a full degree, bringing 5 feet of snow to the Northeast in July and August. Imagine several volcanoes...just look at Indonesia lately. It COULD happen. But here's the kicker - there are 8 Super Volanoes on this planet (Yellowstone is one). All it would take to start a true ice age is for just ONE of those to blow.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Truth Comes Out At Last

Now he tells us. Al Gore now says his support for corn-based ethanol subsidies while serving as vice president was a mistake that had more to do with his desire to cultivate farm votes in the 2000 presidential election than with what was good for the environment.

"It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for first-generation ethanol," Gore said at a green energy conference in Athens, Greece, according to Reuters . First generation refers to the most basic, energy-intensive process of converting corn to ethanol for use as a motor vehicle fuel additive.

"On reflection", Gore said the energy conversion ratios -- how much energy is produced in the process -- "are at best very small." "One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee," he said, "and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president."

I blogged years ago about this and those on the left said I was nuts. I have been blogging on it ever since. Now he admits it was not only a mistake, but purely political, to buy votes. And contrary to what he says, it was no "mistake". He boldly claims it was a calculated move to garner votes. Anything done intentionally is no mistake. So now I am wondering - how much longer will it be before he finally owns up to his most horrific mistake - his bogus docucrama about global warming? No time soon, I would guess, since he won awards from his celebrity groupies and so much of his wealth is at stake.

As a side note, federal ethanol subsidies reached $7.7 billion last year. The taxpayer pays that to steal corn from the food supply, which raises food prices. That means taxpayers get wholloped twice for the same foolish "mistake".


Monday, November 22, 2010

Skewed Priorities

A lot of folks seem to think it's OK for our own government to mistreat its citizens and violate their Constitutional rights in an attempt to make us safer in the air.

Those of us who disagree have valid reasons for disagreeing.

Let's begin with this - in an effort to NOT violate the rights or feelings of terrorists, our government violates the rights and disregards the feelings of its own citizens by the millions. In an effort to not treat terrorists with disrespect, our government disrespects its own citizenry. And in an effort to protect the American way of life - rights, freedoms, dignity and self-respect - the government TAKES AWAY our rights, freedoms, dignity and self-respect.

And in light of this, the government refuses to do the one thing that has proven capable of keeping us safer - profiling.

Yeah, I've heard it all before. We need to be careful about insulting our enemies.

What ticks me the most is that our soldiers fight and die so we can be free - and then we just turn around and give up those freedoms without so much as a whimper just because some cave-dweller has some of us peeing our pants in fear! I don't know which angers me more - the people trying to kill us, or the cowards who would give in to them so readily.

Political correctness has become a suicide pact. We KNOW who is trying to kill us, but we refuse to single them out for close inspection because we might hurt someone's precious little feelings. But in refusing to profile, the government is doing harm to every American who flies.

"We won't single out those who are trying to kill us. Instead, we will punish our own citizens. And if our citizens refuse to accept the punishment, we will arrest them."

How idiotic and dictatorial that is. Certainly not the mark of intelligence, nor the mark of a free country. Meanwhile the terrorists are laughing their asses off at our ignorance and foolishness.

Our own government is telling us to let our fears rule our lives. Have we become a nation of cowards? Since when was it a good thing to give up our hard-earned freedoms and rights in exchange for (a false perception of) security?

If the founding fathers had decided they should give up their rights and freedoms in exchange for security, they would never have gone to war with England and we would not be a free country. They knew what we are too spoiled to remember - nothing is more important than freedom and human rights. Not even life, itself. They were willing to die for freedom.

Political correctness, particularly in the area of national defense or security is absolutely irresponsible, assinine and insane.

We can molest our women and children with impunity and subject them to doses of radiation that is expected to kill 10 people a year, but is it wrong to single someone out for closer inspection because he fits the description of the perp? WE KNOW WHO IS TRYING TO KILL US. But rather than face him, we turn our back on him and molest our own children.

You would be outraged if the local police, knowing a serial killer was an ethnic male in his thirties with a full beard, were to NOT look for an ethnic male in his thirties with a full beard, and instead haul in grandma and three-year olds for a line-up. Just how stupid is our government? And just how stupid are we for allowing them to run amok in the name of security?

Here is a fact - you have 4 times more chance of becoming a saint (a 20 million-to-one shot) than of finding yourself on a plane with a bomber (an 81 million-to-one shot). Is that worthy of giving up your human rights? Your dignity? Is that reason enough to allow strangers to molest our women and children, or subject them to radiation?

If you honestly think it is a good thing to give up your rights and freedoms for security, then you are the fool and coward that Benjamin Franklin was talking about when he said "Those who would give up their liberty in exchange for security deserve neither."

I cannot take my family on a plane. Because I am a man. And no man worthy of the name would ever permit his wife and children to be fondled and groped by anyone, least of all srangers. Nor would a man worth his salt subject his loved ones to dangerous radiation that even the experts say will result in some deaths. They say it's "collateral damage."

Sorry - me and mine are not "collateral". We are human beings. Human beings with dignity and self-respect. And we plan on staying that way, no matter how hard the terrorists try to kill us.

To paraphrase a famous saying, "A brave man dies but once, but a coward dies every time he goes through airport security."

But the bigger question: WHY is our government doing this, even though they know these invasive procedures are ineffective and also unconstitutional? It's simple. Lookiaround at all the intrusions of government lately. The government is growing in power. And in order for one entity to gain power, another must lose power. And we, the people, are losing power. The government wants greater control over us, our lives, our health, our money - even what we eat. The only way they can get that power is if we give it to them by willingly giving up our rights and freedoms. The government learned long ago that if we are suitably frightened, we will give up those rights and freedoms. So, it is in the best interests of the government to keep us living in fear. The greater the fear, the more power they can take in the guise of "protecting" us.

We have met the enemy - and it is us. The government we created, then empowered, then ceded our rights and freedoms to.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Milton Friedman - The Man Who Knew Economics

Milton Friedman (July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006) was an American economist, statistician, a professor at the University of Chicago, and the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics. He was an economic advisor to U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Over time, many governments practiced his restatement of a political philosophy that extolled the virtues of a free market economic system with little intervention by government. As a professor of the Chicago School of Economics, based at the University of Chicago, he had great influence in determining the research agenda of the entire profession. "The Economist" described him as "the most influential economist of the second half of the 20th century…possibly of all of it".

Now as to why I invoke the name of this great economist.

I watched a video of this man, holding a pencil. He plainly stated that in this whole world there is not one man who could make that pencil. It took thousands of people - different nationalities, religions and goals. The rubber for the eraser comes from Indonesia; the wood shaft from Oregon; the graphite from South America. And yet they all came together, seamlessly, to create that pencil, and in so doing they were able to sell it for a nickel.

When asked how it was possible to do that, and still keep the price to 5 cents, Friedman simply said, "The government was not involved in it."

Friedman is noted as an economic genius - which probably explains how he won the Nobel Prize in economics. Yet many people still do not understand, nor accept his "trickle down" economics. But it is also noteworthy that none of his detractors ever won the Nobel Prize. Most have never even studied economics.

If you already understand the trickle down theory, you are likely a left-brain thinker (so it is also likely you are a conservative or Libertarian). For the rest of you, I hope I can put it in simple terms, because if we are ever to get out of the mess we are in, and stay out, people need to understand the concept.

No, the trickle-down theory did not get us into this mess. Neither did the free market or capitalism. Every time - EVERY time - the economy shifts even a little, the government, in its infinite arrogance and stupidity, steps in. The FED meddles with interest rates, or prints more Benjamins. Congress passes more regulations. And more regulatory agencies are created. Frankly, the only time in the last 50 years that we relied heavily on free markets, capitalism and trickle-down economics was during Reagan's presidency, where he used it to reduce 20% interest rates, 10.3% unemployment rates and runaway inflation. And it worked. Those who say it did not are either being dishonest or ignorant.

Some say trickle-down did not work because the economy did not STAY healthy. But again, that is because after Reagan, government again began meddling in the economy.

Trickle-down economics is like anything else - left alone, it will move onward and seek its own level. But when the government puts up dams to regulate it, then it is no longer Trickle-Down. And that is what we have had for most of the last 50 years - government building dams. And now we have a government that is actually trying to PUMP the economy with trickle-up economics. That's no different from trying to make water flow uphill - while you can force it to do so, it only comes at great expense and wasted energy - only to have it flow back down again.

So, here it is in a nutshell. Left unhampered, no economy can even begin except at the top. Poor people do not have the money, assets or education to fire up an economy. If, for example you experiment with a new economy in a vacuum, where you have people but no business, no products, you have stagnation. If you give money to the people, they cannot spend it on products - there are none.

It is only when some enterprising individual creates a product or service that the people can finally become consumers. But the PRODUCTS must come first - else, there is nothing to consume. If the products and services must come first, then that is where the flow of money must begin.

Someone starts a business and produces a product by investing money into it. Investing in a facility, inventory, marketing, shipping, and, of course, employees. And the money begins trickling down - from the owner, to the vendors and employees, to the allowances of the employees children. Money flows. And it flows back up as consumers buy more products, which creates bigger demand, so the business owner must buy more inventory and hire more people. And more money trickles down.

That is the ONLY way an economy can grow. If you doubt that even for a moment, try starting a small "family economy" from scratch without providing any products or services first. Or try starting up a store with nothing on the shelves, hoping that consumers will bring you their money, and you can then use their money to buy products for your shelves. Good luck with that!

If you don't have products or services already available, no one can or will buy them.

Now understand the second most important fact of Trickle-Down. Every business has one goal - to make a bigger profit each year. If you are not growing, you are dying. Period. Growth requires the investing of more money. In order to invest more money, you need to EARN more money - and be able to keep it.

But when government decides that class warfare makes good politics, they play the masses against the "rich". This results in punishing the rich with ever-increasing taxes while reducing taxes for everyone else. They think this is good for the country. But it will destroy the nation. Every government regulation, every manipulationof interest rates, every printing of more money as debt is another log in the dam, slowing the economy.

And every dollar of tax imposed against a business is another dollar the business cannot invest. Don't think for a moment that those extra tax dollars you take from the rich are coming out of their "lifestyle" expenses. No, they come out of investment capital. If given a choice between giving up the yacht and giving up an employee, human nature says the employee will be the loser. So, taxing the rich only makes things worse, not better. Besides, every tax is always passed on to the people below, in higher prices. Even you pass on your taxes by demanding raises to adjust for the increases in your taxes. So then your employer, to pay for your raise to pay your taxes must now jack up the cost of his products, and consumers pay your taxes - and the business owners taxes. Taxes, like money (or water, or seweage or anything else) flows downhill. That is why the poor are poor, and why they stay poor. If you raise taxes on the rich, the poor will be the only ones to suffer.

When you take from the rich, they cannot invest in growth. Jobs are not created. Products are not made available. Demand begins to outstrip supply, and prices rise. And a recession (or depression) is the result.

But many on the left say, "We'll give that money to the poor. They will spend it and that will fuel growth." But what will they spend it ON, if products are not being made? If jobs are not available for continued prosperity? And if they do spend it on products that are going up in price, why would the business owner reinvest it for growth if he knows the government is just going to take it away?

Look, folks - Friedman knew there was more to an economy than the flow of money. There is human nature, human needs, greed and more. They all work together, like all those people that make a five-cent pencil. And the minute government gets involved in any way, it throws everything out of balance.

What we need is a government that, as Reagan so aptly put it, just gets the heck out of our way.

Yes, there will be winners and losers - and liberals don't like anything that includes losing. They think everyone should win. But that is not reality. It is not natural. And it simply cannot work. It cannot work because of human nature, needs, greed etc.

Face it - if you were assured of having everything everyone else had, regardless of whether or not you earn it, why would you work harder or smarter than the next guy? Why would you risk everything to start a business if you could not get anything out of it because it all gets shared with "the community of Man?" You would not. And that is why communal living (communism, socialism etc.) does not work. And that is precisely why "social justice" is a travesty against nature and God. We are obligated to help ease the suffering of our neighbor, but we are not obligated to raise him up to our own level. That is for him to do, if it will be done at all. Charity is good. Social justice is bad.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Shedding Light On Light

Did you know...

A can of light tuna cannot include more than .12 milligrams of mercury because it is so toxic, causing cancer, birth defects and other reproductive damage. Yet the new "CFL" (compact fluorescent lightbulbs) the government REQUIRES we use by 2012 each contain 35 times more mercury than that can of tuna! Each bulb! With 20 such bulbs in the average home, that comes to 700 times the level determined to be dangerous.

In fact, those new lightbulbs are so dangerous that the EPA has set procedures that should be used in the event you accidentally break one. For example...

1) all living things must vacate the room, open windows and air it out for at least 15 minutes (even on a sub-zero January day)

2) pieces must be placed into a glass jar with a metal lid, or in a sealed plastic bag. Vacuum the area, and place the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag

3) any clothing that comes in contact with the broken pieces or dust from it should be thrown away, NOT washed, as washing can contaminate sewage (does the phrase "contaminate sewage" seem a bit surreal?)

4) pieces and vacuum bags should only be disposed of at a hazardous waste site

In one instance a person who broke such a bulb was told by her state EPA requiired cleanup performed by professional hazardous material cleanup contractor - at a cost of several thousand dollars.

Yet, the government, in its need for ever-increasing domination over its subjects - I mean citizens - has passed a law requiring all bulbs be of the CFL variety beginning in 2012. They REQUIRE us to risk our homes, our lives simply because they say it is better for the environment.

But the facts say just the opposite - they are far worse for the environment. The toxicity is only the tip of the iceberg, even though that, alone, will eventually result in tons of extremely toxic mercury to be released into the environment as bulbs burn out or break. But there is also the simple fact that it takes at least four times more fossil fuels to create a CFL than a regular incandescent bulb. The CFL also requires up to eight times more glass, which can only be made through excessive heat - from fossil fuels.

Then there is the fossil fuel burned when you have to drive 40 miles round trip to dispose of used bulbs at a hazardous waste site. (The average person lives 20 miles from a HW site)

And then there is the cost - each CFL costs a great deal more than its incandescent counterpart. All that extra money spent by consumers on CFL's that we really do not need will remove that much money from the consumer arena.

I have written on this subject several times over the last few years. And finally SOME people are beginning to pay attention. Unfortunately, unless enough of us (you) contact your newly elected congressmen and tell them to reverse this law as being a travesty - unless you do that, the law will take effect and we will all be at risk.

Imagine the average home with 20 of these CFL's burns down, the bulbs burst and now there is 80 milligrams of extremely toxic mercury in that area..

And heaven forbid that such a bulb should break in your home and your child becomes exposed before you even know a bulb has broken. I mention this because I recall our daughter, aged 1 1/2 accidentally knocked over a lamp and broke the bulb while we were in another room. Thank God it was not a CFL.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Why The Ghailani Trial Outrages Many

The accused Terrorist, Ghailani, was charged with 234 murders. He was only convicted of conspiracy to blow up a building.

Those on the left say that's OK because the guy is still going to prison, so justice was done.

Most disagree, and here is why - justice was NOT done. No one was convicted of murdering those 234 people. Their families have no closure. How would you feel if someone stole a car, ran over your child, and was only convicted of car theft?

More important, we have now sent a clear message to terrorists that they can murder hundreds of people with impunity - the courts will not find them guilty.



There are 49,315 commercial flights daily, throughout the world.

Since September 11, 2001, there have been 162 million commercial flights.

Of that, there have been (2) known attempts by terrorists to bomb a plane - both thwarted without scanners or pat-downs.

This equates to one attempt for every 81,000,000 flights.

Which in turn indicates a probability of finding yourself in a plane with a bomber to be 1 in 81,000,000.

That is four times less likely than becoming a saint , which is a 20,000,000-1 shot.

And you are 40 times more likely to be struck by lightning, 80 times more likely to get elected president and 80 times more likely of getting killed by a part falling off an airplane.

Now tell me - why are we willing to give up our rights, our dignity and our self-respect by subjecting ourselves to very invasive procedures just to get on a plane? You are more likely to die in a car crash with a Cadillac Escalade at 2:00 in the morning, but no one molests you before getting into your car.

The government has gone too far - and is in violation of several laws and the constitution. We all know the risks involved. If a person has been so frightened by the terrorists that they fear being blown up on a plane, then they should not be flying.

As Franklin so aptly put it, "Those who would give up their liberty for security deserve neither." If we are going to live in fear, the terrorists have already won.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Fairy Tale Of "Safe Scanners"

Today the government worked feverishly, ahead of the holiday travel season, to asure us that the scanners at the airports are safe - that the radiation they emit is "miniscule".

First, let me remind you this is the same government that assured our soldiers that Agent Orange was "safe", and that the air quality at ground zero was "safe". We are now spending billions for medical treatment for those poor souls who believed the government's assurances of safety. That said...

NO amount of radiation is safe. Radiation accumulates in the body. That, alone, is cause for serious concern.

These scanners scan the entire body - a very large area. Per square inch the amount of radiation may be small, but collectively, not so much. Consider...

You dentist uses radiation to x-ray an area the size of a silver dollar. Just enough to penetrate cheek and gums. But have you noticed that it is SO safe that even with such a small amount, you must wear a lead flack jacket, and the dentist must, by law, LEAVE THE ROOM!

That's how "safe" it is.

But here is the REAL safety hazard - by using scanners and pat-downs - neither of which provides very much security - we give up our RIGHTS, our FREEDOM and our DIGNITY. And once you give up all those things that America stands for, and is built upon, the terrorists have already won. And that is the ultimate in being UN-safe - giving up who we are.


Think About This

Imagine if you will that you have managed to save up a bunch of $100 bills for your retirement. You worked hard for them.

Then the government comes to you and says, "We are going to render all those bills worthless because it is in the best interest of the nation. you may as well put them in the shredder. They are no longer any good at all." And you lose everything.

But then the government prints NEW money. No, they do not replace what you have - you cannot trade your $100 bills in for a new $20 bill. Nope. You are still out of luck. All the new money - the money that you really paid for - is slated to go to someone else.

In short, the government stole your money and gave it to someone else.

And that, my friend, is what just happened with GM - Government Motors. Last year the government took it over. People who invested their money into shares were told their shares were being taken away, without remuneration. This, by the way, is in direct violation of the Constitution that says if the government wants something you own, they must pay a fair price for it. But that aside, the fact remains that stockholders lost their stock - it was arbitrarily taken away.

And today, the government has authorized the sale of millions of NEW shares of GM. All the money you invested in GM is now being given to other people.

This should go down in history as the greatest scam of all time. It makes Bernie Madoff look like a kindergartener.

And it begs the question - what idiot would buy ANY GM shares this time? What makes anyone think what happened to you won't happen to them?

As much as it pains me to say it, our government has become our enemy. No, not our country - our GOVERNMENT. The Constitution guarantees, in writing, that we shall have a REPUBLICAN FORM OF GOVERNMENT. A Republic. Not a democracy. There is an important difference. The founders had rejected a democracy because in a democracy the majority, and not the collection of individuals, rule. Which means in a democracy, the majority have the power to take away YOUR rights if they see fit. In the Old West it was called "mob rule", responsible for lynching a lot of innocent people.

In a Republic, each of us is an individual "boss" of ourselves. No one, and no group, can usurp our individual rights or power. And the only purpose of government is to make that possible. The government is the tent that keeps the rain off while we go about our business.

In a Republic, the government could not take over GM. They could not render your shares worthless by decree. The free market would rule, which is what creates strength through competition. If GM can no longer compete, they need to go down, just like the Mom & Pop store on the corner. It is called "survival of the fittest". If only the strong survive, we will all be stronger for it. If the weak survive, we all become weaker. We are only as strong as the weakest link.

Whenever you take from the strong and give to the weak, you are not strengthening the weak - they are still weak, but with your stuff. By taking from the strong and giving to the weak, you only serve to weaken the strong. And that is never a good idea, because only the strong will survive.

That is the entire premise of the parable in the Bible about the Talents of Gold. Nothing you can do will make the weak strong. And the strongest need to be strengthened, not weakened.

Some may argue that sounds cold and uncompassionate. But that is not so. It is nature. It is survival. It is as it should be. As it must be. Because no matter what we do, the weak will still fall to the wayside. We see this with 3rd and 4th generation welfare families. In spite of the trillions spent on welfare in the last 50 years, the same families are still poor and on welfare. It did them no good, while it did the rest of us great harm by robbing us of our strength. We are making Sampson's of the strong, and Delilah's of the weak.

To get back to GM - the government has given the "GM Delilah" the shears to cut Sampson's hair. And now they are setting up a whole new bunch of Sampson's (i.e. sheep) to shear.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Terrorists Have Already Won

It was the intent of the terrorists to kill (which they did). But even more important is the true intent of terrorism - to terrorize to the point of forcing us to give up our liberty to government intrusion. To disrupt.

Go to any airport today, and you will see the TSA committing felonies against all innocent travelers, all in the name of "security". They fondle both adults and children in a way that is considered sexual assault if anyone else were to do it. They take picture scans of your body - considered invasion of privacy and even pornography if anyone else were to do it.

We have been forced to give up our liberty - even our dignity - all because of terrorism. They have won.

The irony is that all these blatant attacks on us by our own government does not make us secure - it simply provides an illusion of security. The "underwear bomber" and others still get through. They simply devise new ways.

We would be far better off to use the system the Israeli's have. They have the most secure airlines in the world, and it is accomplished without any invasive government mandates. But our morons in government are too "politically correct" to use their system. They would rather punish us, the honest citizenry, than offend those who would kill us.

The terrorists have already won...


Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Purpose Of Government

It is rare that I loan this space to the writings of another. But I ran across this piece and was so struck by its simple truth that I just had to share it with you.

"The principle purpose of government is to provide the optimal conditions through which human beings can acquire their most important necessities -- the highest of which is dignity.
While governments provide many essentials for their citizens, from law and order to social services, from good roads to education, the one human essential that government cannot provide is human dignity.

"The very premise of dignity is something acquired through personal effort. Dignity is the human aura that comes through self-reliance. Its underlying premise is independence. A dependent life is a fundamentally undignified life. Self-respect is earned through the sweat of one's brow. An heir to a great fortune may travel the high seas in a hundred-foot yacht and soar through the air in a Gulfstream V. But he will remain fundamentally bereft of dignity so long as he is living on someone else's dime.

"The effort to recapture the dignity that springs from self-reliance is what the tea party, at its core, is all about.

"America's rapid rise to the forefront of global economic power was not an accident but the direct result of the cultivation of a fierce individualism and a rugged self-reliance on the part of its citizenry.

"For all its flaws, capitalism fosters an independence that promotes dignity, while socialism creates a reliance that subverts self-esteem. Yes, government must provide a safety net for a rainy day. But only self-reliance creates a sunny life.

"The tea party is far from perfect. But in emphasizing self-reliance, it taps into a hidden human desire to live a life crowned with self-esteem."

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach


Friday, November 12, 2010

Social Justice - Right or Wrong?

Folks on the left, including the current Obama administration, and now many churches are espousing the importance of "social justice" - to take from the "haves" and give to the "have nots". And they tell us it is "the Christian thing to do."

But is it?

There are numerous places in the Bible that tell us it is absolutely wrong to participate in "social justice" EXCEPT where it is the individual who, by his own choice, is charitable to another. It can never be by force, nor should it ever benefit the unworthy.

In Luke, Jesus offers the parable of the farmer, which clearly states we should only sow our seed on fertile ground, not on barren or thorny ground. In other words, only to those who are worthy. For it is also said that "The Lord helps those who help themselves." This would indicate that the Lord does not help those who do not help themselves - and neither should we.

But perhaps the most compelling Biblical passage that tells us that "social justice" is unChristian is the parable of the bags of gold, recited here:

MATTHEW 25:14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ "

The moral of the story, of course, is that those who EARN MORE are ENTITLED TO MORE, and should be blessed, while those who do not shall suffer God's wrath. It is the way of the world. The "haves" should be blessed with more because they have earned it. And the "have nots" have exactly what they deserve.

However, if any individual chooses to be charitable to the "have nots", then that individual has earned God's blessing. But the "have nots" are not so blessed.

Social justice - it is as un-Christian as anything could possibly be. And the reason is as simple as nature - survival of the species, which is God's intent. The species will survive as long as it remains strong. To remain strong, the weak are not supposed to survive, as survival of the weak will weaken the species. When we take from the strong and give to the weak, we do not strengthen the weak - we only weaken the strong.

Case in point - you have $100 and the next guy has nothing. Someone takes $50 from you and gives it to the guy who has nothing. You are now poorer - weaker. And the guy who had nothing will blow his $50 (if he knew how to handle money he would not have been broke - see the parable, above), and the weak is still weak.

So, all that has been accomplished is to weaken the strong, which is contrary to nature and survival of the species.

And that is what the parable of the bags of gold was all about.


Getting Our House In Order

The United States has a serious problem of financial instability. It is caused, in part, by the simple fact that we no longer manufacture very much, export even less, and import huge amounts from China, who keeps its currency devalued so we are not able to compete with their prices.

And that fills WalMart's (and most other Big Box stores) shelves. And we get cheap products, which saves us money so we can buy more cheap products.

And all of this leads to a loss of American jobs as Chinese manufacturer's rule - because they make products so cheaply.

And this, in turn, is destroying our entire economy. So, what can we do?

Actually, getting back on the right path and building a strong economy is quite simple. Unfortunately, we as consumers, and therefore our leaders who must depend on consumers to get elected - well, neither has the backbone necessary to make the changes that are necessary.

Here is what should be done:

1) Place a 25% tax on any and all imports from China until they stop manipulating their currency

2) Apply that tax income toward paying off our debt to China - pay them off with their own money

3) Reduce corporate income tax rates in America to 15% - the same as China, so American business will have more incentive to stay in America

4) Reduce the power of unions that strangle businesses with ever-increasing benefit costs. Place limits on benefits, which will permit American businesses to compete more effectively.

That is what is needed, and it would not cost our government a dime.

But they will never do it, because we, the people, are addicted to "stuff". And as long as China can produce "stuff" cheaply, we can all have a lot of "stuff".

The consumer does not want to pay a fair price for goods. They demand bargain prices. So Congress will never do what is necessary because our leaders want to get re-elected.

The only way we will straighten out this mess is if we, the people, tell our leaders that we WANT them to do this, even if it hurts us a bit. Maybe we won't have as many toys and games, but that is not a bad thing. On the other hand, a bankrupt, weakened nation that can no longer protect us from our enemies is, indeed, a VERY bad thing.

Come January when the new Congress takes over, call your Representatives and Senators and tell them that they need to do this even though you recognize it will hurt your own pocketbook for awhile. Remind them that it is their job to protect us - even from ourselves.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The California "Missile" Controversy

Now we have the "experts" telling us the "missile" that was videotaped off the coast of California is an airplane. Perhaps. But I think not, and here's why...

1) An airplane's trajectory is not that erratic. The trajectory of a missile is, however, erratic by design due to its guidance system.

2) All commercial and military aircraft have transponders that "talk" to radar stations, telling them exactly where they are in the airspace. And there are (11) radar stations within range of this sighting. Yet, the authorities cannot tell us the flight number of that "airplane".

3) The famous, and obsolete, B-52 is the only aircraft with a large contrail starting at the plane's engines - all others have a narrow contrail that only widens as atmospheric conditions dissipate the trail. No B-52's were reported in the area by the military.

4) Marcos Caceres, senior space agency expert is also convinced it to be a missile. And he knows missiles.

5) Exactly 11 months ago to the day, another video, nearly identical, was taken off the coast of California in the same area. It, too, was never identified by authorities.

I really hate to think that some entity other than our military is experimenting with missiles within 35 miles of our coast...

And I REALLY hate to think they could do it without our government having any clue...


Our Youths Do Not Know The Word

Being somewhat older than many folks, I can remember a fair amount of American history - either through personal experience, or the teachings from the personal experiences of my parents - which goes back to the 19th century!

And it is clear that throughout American history - and even world history - there have always been "hard times". Just since the birth of our nation, when George Washington and his army suffered at Valley Forge; Washington D.C. was burned by the British in the War of 1812; over 100 patriotic Americans were slaughtered at the Alamo; millions died and tens of thousands maimed in the Civil War; WWI, the Great Depression; WWII, the Korean Conflict; Viet Nam; --- and through it all, Americans who lived through those trials learned the meaning of a very important word - SACRIFICE.

My parents sacrificed everything to get through the Great Depression. During WWII, families across America were unable to get sugar for their coffee, or tires for their cars. My mom sacrificed her life to insure her children could grow up in a better world. My dad had to quit college and work in a sweat shop to support his family in the other depression of 1920.

But todays youths do not know the meaning of the word "sacrifice". They have been raised to believe everything should just "come" to them; that they are entitled. We have seen it in the riots of Greece, France and now the UK, as youths believe they should get a free ride at the expense of others, and demand that it continue.

Todays youths have no desire - or intention - of sacrificing anything.

And that is where we, as a society, have gone wrong. We allowed them, even encouraged them to believe in entitlements.


Don't Feed The Bears - Part II

Awhile back I wrote an article about why the signs in state and federal parks say "Don't Feed The Bears". If you feed bears, they begin to think they are entitled to the food, and when you no longer have any to give, they attack YOU.

The point of the article had to do with the rioting and attacks in Greece, France and other socialist nations that provide entitlements they can no longer afford to give. The folks, mostly youngsters who have never known self-reliance and believe entitlements really are something they are ENTITLED to are angry at being told the entitlements will shrink, or even disappear. The bears attack.

Well, now it has hit what was once a bastion of capitalism that has, in recent decades, become rather socialist - the United Kingdom. Today, youngsters who have never known anything but entitlements have been told the entitlements will be shrinking, and university tuitions will be going up, have begun rioting. Over 50,000 stormed buildings that house many businesses and tore them apart. They say it is only the beginning.

It is pathetic - young people insisting that taxes be raised on OTHER people just so they can continue to get free benefits.

Wake up, America. You are looking at your own future if you continue on the road of entitlements. It ALWAYS ends badly. No exceptions. The reason is as Margaret Thatcher once said, that sooner or later you run out of other people's money to give away. More and more people decide it is easier to accept the dole than to actually work hard to support themselves. Eventually you have more people collecting than are paying in. And that can only result in bankruptcy.

Currently in America, 49% of all working Americans pay ZERO taxes to support our system. We are only 1% away from the point of diminishing returns, with more people collecting than paying.

We are feeding the bears. And someday, there will not be enough food for them all. And that is when America will cease being the great, powerful, wealthy nation it once was.

Is that what you want for YOUR children?

Certainly, as a society we should help those who cannot help themselves. But there should be no ENTITLEMENTS to it. It should never be seen as a "right". Charity is not a right. And it should never, ever be extended to anyone who simply refuses to support themselves, or those who make poor choices. It should only be extended to those who CANNOT support themselves because of severe physical or mental incapacity.

Those who WILL not support themselves can and should starve. When they get hungry enough, they will work.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Relief For Joint Pain?

A lot of folks - especially older folks - find themselves afflicted with joint pain. Personally, I have been fortunate enough to escape that, but my dear wife has suffered for over 15 years. We tried everything the doctor could toss at us - no help.

As I studied the issue, I discovered that yucca is a natural and outstanding, safe supplement that is thought to promote symptom relief similar to steroid medications with none of the side effects and has many uses including for the joints, skin, and digestion. Yucca is given internally for joint health and digestion but must be diluted before being administered because it is quite bitter.

I thought we would try it. I surfed around and found the strongest I could find - an extract called YUCCA INTENSIVE. But it was $15 for a 2 oz bottle (with eyedropper - one drop per 10-12 pounds of body weight). Then I found out that the exact same product, made by the same folks is also packaged for pets, and sold at 1800petmeds. I checked it out and, though it was still $15, Petmeds offers a $5 off instant online coupon - just type WEBC5 in the coupon box.

Anyway, to make a long story still long, we tried it. Robin puts 12 drops a day in her coffee. And within 5 days the pain was gone for the first time in years. As a side note, she doesn't get indigestion anymore, either.

So, I though I would pass this along. I can't guarantee it will work for everyone, but it worked for Robin. If you do try it, I would be interested in hearing the results you have.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lookin' Out For Ya

As I predicted months ago, the Fed announced that it intends to print ANOTHER $600 billion to monetize the debt. Monetizing the debt reduces the value of our money. Also as predicted months ago, the price of gold has skyrocketed. Within 30 minutes of the Fed's announcement, the price of gold jumped another $40 an ounce. Now approaching $1400 per troy ounce.

The good news for America, and the bad news for those who hold onto gold too long, I suspect the new Republican congress will shoot down this atrocity early next year and cut spending. If they do (and they should), the price of gold will drop immediately. If they do not, you can hang onto your gold awhile longer.

Me? I'll sell my gold after the first of the year and take my (huge) profits. If Congress does not do the right thing, I can always buy it back. And if they DO manage to do the right thing, and the price drops, I can buy back at a bargain price. In either case, I will have already pocketed a buncha bucks.

Just so you know...


STOP Already!

So, in an interview today, Alan Colmes said he and others on the left think that the people voted for conservatives because they want to move more to the left...he said "the voters just do not understand the issues."

Is he insane?

Would he have expected Bush to move more to the right when America voted Democrats into Congress in '06, on the basis that "the voters just don't understand."?

The government is supposed to act in accord with the will of the people. If the people wanted to move to the left, they would have VOTED that way and more Democrats would have been elected.

Geesh, Alan...you and your ilk need to understand that we vote for a reason. Stop trying to subvert the election process, and government.

As Obama said to the Republicans two years ago, "We won." Get over it and let's move on.


He Still Does Not Get It

Today President Obama, scheduled to meet with Congressional leaders said "The people have sent a message...", and then went on to describe what he sees as "the message".

He said the message is simply to focus on jobs, don't waste so much money and change the tone in Washington.

Wishful thinking, Mr. President. Not only is that NOT the message, but you apparently choose to ignore all those who told you EXACTLY what their message is. So, in case you missed it, here it is again...

The folks want SMALLER GOVERNMENT. They want to CUT SPENDING. They want to INCREASE PERSONAL FREEDOM from government intrusion so they can grow.

The people know that such things will empower the people and result in growth and jobs.

In short, Mr President - and all establishment politicians who just don't "get it" - it is really very simple...

YOUR job is to keep the nation safe from its enemies, and provide for the general welfare (not individual welfare) of the nation as a whole, and then just GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY! The people will do the rest, as they always have.

Yes, there will be winners and losers - but that is how it SHOULD be. No one can win unless someone else loses. And if no one wins, we cannot grow or prosper as a nation. You simply stagnate.

If you have ever played poker, you know what I'm saying.

Washington, wake up and smell the Tea. Make America a friendly and safe place for business, and then just get out of our way.

It really is as simple as that - and does not require trillions of spending or debt.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Self-Employment Opp VIII

Self-Employment Idea #8


You have seen those magazines dedicated to Want Ads. There are even online ones, like Craig's list. But did you know you could make a lot of money from them?

I know a young man who found an old Honda 450 for sale for $100. He also found another ad where a person was looking for such a motorcyle. He called the guy and said he would sell him a 450 Honda for $400. The deal was made - and so was a $300 profit?

He began picking up all sorts of things from the FREE ITEMS section, then selling them at yard sales, or trading "up" for something of greater value. Just for kicks, he decided to see if he could trade a $10 item for a $5,000 item. He started with a used TV he got for $10, traded that for something worth $20, and so on. It took 8 months, but the man ended up with a $7,000 Harley Davidson - and it only cost him $10.

Think about it. Look for all the bargains, then trade up, or mark them up and sell at your yard sale. And don't forget to look for more bargains at other people's yard sales...


Monday, November 1, 2010

Self-Employment Opp # VI & VII


If you are a married man with some handyman skills, have your wife rent you out to other wives whose husbands are not so handy - or just too busy to take care of those tasks on the 'To-Do" list.

I do recommend that wives whose husbands may have a roaming eye may want to find other ways of putting hubby to work.

Bye-Bye Junk

Everyone collects junk. Most of us would rather be rid of it. In the attic, garage, basement - it can even be found in some yards and barns.

If you have access to a truck (or have a friend with a truck who is willing to partner) you can provide the much needed service of junk removal. This pays in several ways.

First, you get paid to clean up someone's garage or attic or whatever. Anything metal can go to the recycler - metals can pay anywhere from pennies to dollars a pound, depending on the metal. Copper and brass often goes for up to a dollar or more a pound, while aluminum can run about 30 cents. Any metal can be sold - even old batteries can net you about $5 each.

Meanwhile, it will not be unusual to end up with a barn full of good, useable items that you can yard sale for even more money. And I have even seen junkers get antiques and valuable collectibles among the junk.

If you like treasure hunting, this might just be what the doctor ordered.