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Saturday, January 15, 2011

The War Is Over, You Lost

I originally started this blog for two reasons. I love to write and I was scared. I was scared shitless that our government thought absolutely nothing about STEALING our money and delivering it to those filthy bankers. Our country was too collectively stupefied to oppose those thieves.

If you remember correctly, Hank Paulson virtually asked for a blank check. He didn't even want any oversight. When Congress went ahead and delivered that trillion, I almost had a fucking heart attack. That solitary act violated every rule and principle I had ever been taught. (We now know that the FED gave those thieving bastards 9 TRILLION, several trillion to foreign banks!) That failing businesses must fail. That government cannot turn over tax payer money to private interests. And they certainly cannot compete with private businesses. They cannot buy private companies like GM and then compete against Ford. To this day, government has not prosecuted one thieving, lying banker. And that includes that scumbag Paulson.

In short, they broke every rule in the book. Corporate America owns government, top to bottom.

That was when I said- I had seen enough. Our government had lost all control. When I tried to talk with other people about this, they couldn't care less. They were busy with their self absorbed lifestyles, making beemer payments, smoking weed and watching Dancing With the Stars.

The elite delivered your wealth and your work product to themselves. They still have their penthouses and bonuses on Wall St. The elite did that and survived quite nicely. Aided by a a Frankenstein Government that they have created. How does my ass taste?

It's been over two years. The bankers still make millions, corporate America makes billions, the politicians line their own pockets, and Bernanke is stealing every last penny you have. The wealth transfer is nearly complete. And last night I stumbled onto this piece. A few people are starting to figure out that they got slipped a date rape drug and they are actually writing about it. All of this time and I thought I was the lone gunman lost in some black hole.

Excellent read. Eloquently written. Just like my stuff. *Sinister laugh.

Take This Thirty Second Political Quiz...

and see where you fall politically.

There are a number of issues absent. It still scored me accurately. Libertarian. Imagine that.

Resuscitating Critical Thought and Free Speech

I received an email this week from a professor in Wisconsin. It was a very nice letter in support of the "Dumbing Down of America." I had written that piece earlier in the week after a conversation with a California professor.

He said something in his email that made me pause. Something I take for granted. He thanked me for having the courage to write about things like an American educational system focused on greed and money rather than producing a competent product. A student that has actually learned and retained the material.

When I was a Police Chief, I didn't have "real" freedom of speech. What I had was some abomination. An illusion of free speech. I couldn't utter the truth- because the truth pisses people off. In a small town, uttering the truth will raise a lynch mob. A lynch mob that is not afraid to reach out to your boss and threaten to quit doing business with them until you are canned. I remember that nastiness- all too well.

I created a lynch mob anyway. Any time you stick up for your principles, you are sticking your neck out. It wasn't that I was stupid you see. I had simply decided what kind of man I was going to be. And I didn't give a shit if it cost me my job. Ultimately it did. I am ok with that. I chose that predictable path. (It's always nice to have a cushion of dough before you start uttering opinions)

There are other people who don't care what kind of people they are. They hide all of those insecurities and fears, the subjugate every thought and opinion, and they keep their mouths shut. Why? Because keeping their jobs, their paychecks, perhaps status is more important to them than telling the truth. They have a different set of priorities than a guy like me. They ridicule folks like me. Call us gunslingers and idiots. Of course, in return and in private, I called them ass kissers and pussies.

So is it better to be truthful or is it better to keep your mouth shut? It depends on two things. Your priorities and what kind of person you want to be. I want you to pause here. Conjure up a thought about somebody in your circle of friends. A person that you and your friends universally accept as a "great guy or gal." Because I am about to make a prediction. The person you will be thinking of will be someone who never utters bold opinions. They will be supporting listeners. They will always do what they are told to do. They get a long with a wide array of people because they have an internal drive that avoids conflict at all costs. They will never discuss politics or any subject that could potentially cause conflict. We label these people- great guys or gals- because they are safe and predictable. We know they will never utter harsh opinions. They will not argue when we extend our bold opinions. They will listen to and support us.

Imagine if you will, a world where there is no conflict. A world where there is no critical thought and no uttering of opinions. How productive would that world be? We'd be a nation of communistic zombies. There would be no justice. There would be no critical truth. There would be no improvement because the status quo would always remain status quo. We'd all just chant "Koom-By-Ya."

That world would suck for guys like me. A real yawner.

The world needs supportive people. I like "good guys and gals." I like the emotional safety they provide. But the world also needs change agents. I'll use drug laws as my example. We have failed to achieve any measurable results except incarcerating 4 million people and creating a couple hundred thousand prison jobs. The war on drugs is lost. It's time to try something new. I can utter that shit because I consider it prima facia truth. And I will rigorously argue that the billions, perhaps trillions we have lost- not too mention the lives we have lost- are proof enough. And only the DEA gunslingers, the young indoctrinated cops, and politicians will argue. Because their livelihoods depend on the the continuation of this failed policy and belief system. In fact our entire judicial system, our nations police forces, our health care system, our entire prison system, are built on this failed premise. Legalizing and regulating dope, using the proceeds for education and rehab, would put a lot of people- millions of people- out of work. And just in case you were wondering- I hate dope. I don't even drink anymore.

The war on drugs is lost. What remains is the internal war between those that want the status quo policies continued and change agents like me that say screw that- it doesn't work. That's the real war. The people in power hate change. They have built rich lives on status quo and failed beliefs. They are just as compromised as I once was.

Could I have ever uttered that opinion as a Police Chief? Not a chance in hell. They would have had me strung up by sundown. I didn't have that kind of courage back then. I needed the paycheck. I was compromised.

So to bring this rant full circle and to a close, I understand the consequences of uttering the truth, a truth that is proven de facto true yet the opposition still calls it an opinion. I am in a position now to be able to do so. My income stream is dependable and does not rely on me kissing anyone's ass or playing nice. I understand a Professor in Wisconsin who understands that the system he now relies on for a paycheck is failing. The educational system where teaching and learning and passing those skills on- were once the priority. That system has now been replaced by greed, money, and a hierarchy that likes it that way. The priorities have changed. He cannot publicly criticize an educational system that buys his silence. He would look like a hypocrite. That's how I felt as a Police Chief. Here's your check, now shut up and play nice. 

I appreciate the courage it takes to utter the truth. The truth is inconvenient and out of vogue now days.
We nearly killed it. Maybe the younger crew can bring it back to life.

Friday, January 14, 2011

You Are What You Read

I just finished reading a "dollar collapse" piece which I might link at the bottom. The most interesting scrap of information in it was this statement. "If all American taxpayers were taxed at 100%, we could not pay off the national debt."

So why is the stock market booming? Why are things so status quo?

For those of you that have read what I've written, it's simple. The United States has the world's reserve currency. The dollar. The only thing keeping this whole bankrupt mess afloat is that we simply keep printing dollars. Nobody else can do that. Just us. But only for a little longer. The eurozone and their astronomical debt levels are helping prolong the life of the dollar. The price of commodities is getting worse.

For example, oil is priced in dollars. If you are a foreign country, you must exchange your currency for dollars or the equivalent amount of your currency. Have you ever wondered why Japan or France pays twice as much for gas than us? I'll bet you thought it was because we have plentiful reserves and they don't. Didn't you?

Do you think American businesses have to take dollars in exchange for goods or services? Nope. There is no law that requires this. What is going to happen when the world quits taking our currency? Did you know that Russia and China have already agreed to trade their currencies rather than the US dollar?

I have been steadily converting 1/4 of my cash to gold and silver. The coming dollar collapse is not a black swan event. It is going to happen. It is just a matter of when. If you think 1400 dollar gold and 30 dollar silver are outrageously priced now, wait until the dollar collapses. Commodities are going through the roof and if you think 1.6 billion Chinese driving cars might have an impact on where the supply of oil goes- just think who oil producing countries are going to sell it to. Do you think they will sell to China with a stable currency or do you think they will continue to take worthless US dollars from a bankrupt US?

I am what I read. I believe the dollar is going to collapse. Soon. Within the next couple of years. We simply can't pay our debts. I don't know about you but I don't make a habit of loaning money to bankrupt friends with no visible capacity to pay the loan back. If you do that, it is a gift rather than a loan. Who is going to buy our debt? Nobody, that's who. That's why the Federal Reserve is buying it. It's make believe. The only strategy to protect what little wealth you have left is by converting 1/4 to 1/3 of your free cash into precious metals or other valuable commodities. Consider foreign investments. If you believe that the dollar cannot collapse, for no other reason than it has never done so before, you are foolish. If you invest a portion of your money now, you will be insured against that collapse. The gains you make will offset the dollar losses you will experience.

I believe the US Treasury is broke and I also believe the Federal Reserve Bank has no reserves. All they have is a computer system that extends make believe currency to member banks who then in turn use this make believe money to buy stocks. No audit of the Federal Reserve has ever taken place. I want to link you to a ZeroHedge piece posted tonight. Apparently there is someone, other than myself, who believes precious metals might be the place to park your dough...while you still can.

For those of you who'd like to see what you it is in real time. We owe more than 14 trillion. Note the bottom line. Every US taxpayer now owes over 1 million dollars. If that doesn't bother you just a little...go ahead and just send in your check now. Have them apply it to the principal.

Here's the lengthy piece supplied by my like minded brother.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Obama Now Using Tragedies For Political Expediency

I got a little upset when I read this article this morning.

Apparently President Obama has chosen to use the death of a child as a conduit for asking the nation to be patriotic and quit our "petty" bickering.

Obama focused on memories of the victims and the heroism of those who sprang to their aid after the gunfire. He steered clear of the political tit-for-tat that has consumed much of the dialogue since the massacre while acknowledging the "sharp polarization" that has gripped the country.
He reminded the audience that the third-grader's neighbor had brought Christina, a Little League player and newly elected student council member, to meet Giffords because of her budding interest in democracy.
"She saw all this through the eyes of a child, undimmed by the cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often just take for granted," he said. "I want to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it. I want America to be as good as she imagined it."

This young girl's death was tragic. It has nothing to do with politics.

Obama clearly doesn't know anything about leadership. His idea of leadership is, "just do what I want." And if you don't agree with me- you are wrong and you need to quit bickering about it.

The concept that has escaped President Obama is a basic one. The people you are leading will only rise to the level of your competency. You must set the example.

I would love to hear what Stephen Covey has to say about Obama's "leadership." I am going to guess that Dr. Covey might say he is underwhelmed and leave it at that. What Obama doesn't understand, and probably never will, is that you must set the example. If you want honesty then you must behave honestly. If you want transparency,  then you must be transparent. If you want hard work and commitment, then you should probably read health care bills and quit taking vacations every month. In the present case, if you want people to quit bickering then you must quit doing it yourself. Obama struggles with this, I think in large part, because he is such a narcissist that he truly believes he is smarter than everyone else. I truly believe that.

There are people that learn leadership concepts through trial and error. Since Obama has never really led anything- how would he know those principles of leadership? The sad truth is clearly he hasn't had the opportunity to learn them. He is left using the only tool that he has. Talking. He simply cannot grasp the fact that he is a poor model of leadership and so now he is willing to seize any available occasion to preach to us.

Yes President Obama, we are angry and we are polarized. Until you address the great grand theft that took place in this country we will continue to be angry. And whining and calling people unpatriotic if we disagree with you- is not something you should be talking about at memorial services. In fact, your rhetoric sounds a lot like the bickering you allege others are engaged in.

That Obama is suing the state of Arizona makes this all the more unbelievable. Our country is only as good as it's leadership. That conscious thought may never occur to this man. Two more years of some more vacations and maybe then we can get a leader who will restore the rule of law in this country and set an example. Until then I'm afraid, we will get more of this situational expediency.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Arizona Realtors Get the Gold, Lawyers and Car Salesmen Settle for Silver and Bronze

I have had a fantastic two weeks in Laughlin, Nv. Except for crooked realtors.

I've been here trying to find a house to buy. I am very near ground zero in the foreclosure crisis. I have seen well over one hundred homes in the Bullhead City/Fort Mojave area which is just across the river. Virtually every house I have seen is a a foreclosure. Short sales are a hideous pain in the ass due primarily to the banks. They just sit chilly on a full price offer. They are in no hurry to add to existing inventory. They can do this- thanks in no small part- to American taxpayers who backstopped their shitty balance sheets and replenished their reserves.

People, investors with cash have been buying a lot of homes down here. The ongoing transfer of wealth in America from the have nots to the haves- is in full bloom here.

Tonight I am getting ready to file a complaint with the Arizona Board of Realtors on a Bullhead City realtor. First a little background.

I have made a total of five offers on houses here in the past two weeks. Two of them have been three to five thousand over the asking price. I am still homeless. But the story I want to tell you happened over the weekend. It is priceless.

On Thursday, I stumbled onto a foreclosure that had just been placed on the market, that day. They had not even finished cleaning it up. It was in great shape- no holes in the walls, it was on a big lot, and it was owned by the bank. My realtor called the listing agent on Thursday afternoon and asked if there were any offers on the house. He said there were none. On Friday, we looked at the home in the afternoon. On Saturday morning, I made an offer 3k under the asking price which was emailed and faxed. On Monday, the listing agent informed my realtor that the home had been sold on Friday.

Let me tell you how this offer and answer shit works down here. Banks do no take the first offer they get nor do they answer right away. They wait until a bidding war erupts and then make more money. I am sure it is that way everywhere. What banks do not do, is sell homes to the first person who makes an offer. Unless I suppose it was so extraordinarily high that they couldn't refuse. But I doubt it. Quite honestly, I think this realtor has lied and banks don't know what the hell these guys are doing. They have hundreds of files on their desks.

Now I have been cursed with a highly vigilant mind honed to razor sharpness by 25 years of law enforcement. I know a deceptive and crooked statement when I hear one. And my bullshit meter hit the redline when I heard that statement. It simply flies in the face of what is in a bank's best interests and what I have experienced these past couple of weeks. Banks do not respond to offers quickly. I am still waiting to hear on an offer I made a week ago, nearly 10% over the asking price! I thought the law requires a broker to present all offers to a seller...but if you claim the home was sold in one day with the first offer...prior to my offer...then maybe you can get away with that shit. We'll see. I've learned over the years that any kind of justice comes on a slow boat from China.

So today, I put in another offer over the asking price on another house. This time the listing agent said, and I am quoting via email, "there is a deal in the works." What the fuck does that mean? The house isn't for sale? If that falls through then I guess he will present my offer to the seller. That these realtors are buying these foreclosures with friends and flipping them with a little work is hardly earth shattering. That I have been involved in two if these shady deals in one week is starting to piss me off just a bit.

I have no fondness for lawyers and car salesmen. I have shunned therapy and tranquilizers. After getting hosed on my last house (thanks in large measure to an owner who lied on the disclosure and a realtor who talked me out of the home inspection- we were all "friends" prior to the sale) and having lived through all of the shady shit that I have in the last two weeks...I am moving two Arizona realtors and one Idaho realtor into my top slot. This is a  sanctuary I reserve for lying, thieving, shysters. Gold medal types.

So tonight I am contemplating buying a house from a real live homeowner. It is not a foreclosure or a short sale so there is little opportunity for a "shysty" realtor to pull some scam. Yet. In the meantime, I have an online form to fill out for my latest gold medal winners.

Sheriff Dupnik and President Obama, Thank You for Your Worthless Opinions...Now Will You Please Go to Work?

I recently read a scathing piece about Sheriff Dupnik of Pima County, Arizona in the wake of the recent shooting. SixMeatBuffet is a funny blog and I read it frequently. Here is that post:

That piece had to do with Sheriff Dupnik blaming a vitriolic society for facilitating guys like Jared Loughner, the deranged Arizona killer, to do what they do. The Sheriff's comments were out of line, simplistic, and inaccurate. But what really caught my eye as I reviewed YouTube vids was what Sheriff Dupnik had to say about Arizona's immigration statute. I was amazed to hear him say that he was not going to enforce Arizona's new immigration law. He said it was "unneccessary." The Sheriff is also opposed to allowing folks to carry concealed weapons in Arizona.

The Sheriff clearly has a lefty lean. That's ok. If the voters in Pima County like him- and clearly they have for about 30 years- they can elect him.

The Sheriff also has the same right to voice his opinion just as any of us might. But what really frosts my ass about this guy is the same thing that has frosted my ass for years about politicians including small town and not so small town politicians. We don't hire lawmen for their fucking opinions. We hire them to enforce the law. I don't give two shits if Sheriff Dupnick hates every law on Arizona's books. It's his job to enforce those shitty laws or introduce legislation to change them. That's the procedure.

If politicians think a law sucks- get rid of it. That's their job.

Each and every lawman takes a sworn oath to uphold the laws of his jurisdiction and the state in which he or she polices in. No where in that oath does it say that you can pick and choose which laws to enforce. Nor does the oath say you can ignore laws that you find distasteful and unappealing.

I worked in a small town. There are many laws that I didn't like and as a libertarian you might guess which laws those are. But I make no apologies for enforcing them. Do I think smoking or selling pot should be illegal? No. Do I think laws ordering you to wear seat belts or helmets is intrusive and a government over reach? Of course. I enforced those laws despite my opinions about them.The point I am making here is that the world doesn't give a shit what my opinion is. I knew what I was hired to do. Nullifying existing statute by indifference was not part of the job description.

That's where guys like Sheriff Dupnick cross the line. The Sheriff whines about getting sued-pandering to the fears of taxpayers and voters. He opposes the immigration law because it is a political win-win for him. He can come off like a great guy- to both sides of the debate.

I agree with some of the points that Sheriff Dupnick makes. I am fine with his freedom to express those opinions. But Sheriff Dupnick crosses the line when he flat out says he won't enforce existing law. We call that dereliction of duty. A violation of his oath of office. He doesn't possess the contractual right to  tell his employers (residents) that he is not going to do the job he was hired to do. And God help those Tucson residents if they are going to re-elect people that refuse to enforce or obey laws. If we are going to do that- let's just give Arizona back to the Mexican government. The 9th circuit court has already ruled that it is illegal to require proof of citizenship prior to voting. The Federal Government's indifference- and it's refusal to protect our borders- is probably reason enough to impeach Obama. I'm not kidding. The President functions as the head of the executive branch- law enforcement and commander-in-chief. Is Obama derelict with regard to enforcing immigration? I think so. Did Obama take an oath? Yea, I think he did. Was part of that oath swearing to uphold the laws of this country?

The Pima County Sheriff and the President both have a lot in common. They both think they are above the law and that enforcing that law is just a suggestion and open to their idealistic interpretations and politically motivated opinions. They apparently neglect or have forgotten what they were elected to do in the first place.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Dumbing Down of America

I had to switch hotels here in beautiful Laughlin, Nevada. I got a hotel with running water and no internet. Geezus. This is the Tropicana Express. The biggest hotel in town. So I am writing from the Starbucks in the Aquarius Hotel...bunch of old farts in here on computers...

I got in a lively discussion with a college professor while playing poker the other night. At the end of the night I had a few of his chips and a moral victory.

Years ago, I met a guy I would call pure genius- in Kansas City. He was a hotel desk clerk. He was working three jobs to finish school, get a divorce, and fight for custody of his son. Genius it seems, is no better at judging character than "ungenius."  Without connectivity, I might not be able to tell you what he told me. This guy was a polymath. He could speak four languages, especially adept at French, and he had two doctorate degrees in math and education. It was what he told me...that fueled my moral victory on Saturday night.

In a nutshell, my genius friend told me that in America our education system is woefully fucked. He began his argument- that any government run monopoly is surely doomed to failure. That public education in the United States has no interest in putting out a quality product. It is far more interested in politics and teaching down to the least viable student. Intelligent kids, he said, should be allowed to progress as fast as possible. He said that our educational system as it exists actually discriminates against intelligent people. It holds them back. They become hostages to the least intelligent people. That made a lot of sense. Intelligent kids are bored stiff sitting in a class where they have grasped the concepts being taught and are ready to move on.

He home schooled his son. He said, back then, he believed his son would score 1500 on the SAT. His son was twelve.

In China, they discriminate the opposite way. Intelligent kids are screened early and moved quickly ahead. The heart stopping part of his argument came next. (This conversation occurred in 2000.) He stated that China, within 20 years, would have a complete intellectual monopoly on the world. Their system enhances genius and rewards it. China accepts the reality that some people are simply brighter and more capable of being taught than other children and they were exploiting that truth. They were churning out engineers, scientists, and doctors at an exponential rate. They were also exploiting a 2 billion person pool of potential genius. Nearly eight times our population.

Look what has happened since then.

In America, we focus on socialistic education. On being politically correct. We waste time trying to teach to kids that can't or won't learn various things. We teach worthless crap that students have no interest in. We focus on money and greed. We also focus on obtaining a degree to land a high paying job. Degrees that cost a lot of money and line everyone's pockets. Institutions benefit, professors benefit, banks and lenders benefit, and our students get hosed. So do those students' future clients and customers. He said that the "credentialing" of our population was the greatest scam that has ever occurred in this country. He said nobody really cares whether or not you retained any part of your education just as long as you could point to some degree on the wall. He also said that he expected internet garnered educations to explode. Again he said, that would be a failed system. It was ripe for cheating. People would do anything to advance themselves. To obtain some degree they could put on a resume'. The motive was simply money and status. We no longer really care whether you know the material you were taught just as long as some diploma or degree leads us to that assumption.

We currently have one half trillion dollars in student loan defaults- and it is climbing. We have a structural problem. No jobs for those degrees. You can't pay 200k in school loan debt making 15 bucks an hour.

I have never forgotten the ten days I spent at that hotel- talking to a genius. He had devised a system of education that worked. He was going to take it to France. He said in America, trying to change a politically driven government monopoly- was useless. So he learned French and he was hitting the road that fall when the custody battle would be complete. With his son.

They say stupidity is the inability to learn from your mistakes. Accepting that America's educational system is superior is one of those mistakes.

The professor won a few skirmish lines the other night. Particularly his points on exposing young people to different ideas and the concepts of a well rounded education. I accepted those losses. At the end of the night though, I think I won the war. I explained to the professor that we were both products of a government run monopoly and the reality that we don't know what a system like China's, or perhaps France's, is capable of achieving. Those countries focus on producing brilliant people, rather than wasting time on underachievers. Guys like us simply lack that perspective. We may be too dumb to realize the difference. After all, we went to school in America.