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Saturday, October 20, 2012

"Believing Your Own Bullshit"--The Sunday Collage

Ok, it's only Saturday. You got me. In an hour or so, the big Walleye tournament starts. This is an event where a bunch of grown men with expensive boats blast off at full throttle in an insane attempt to catch fish larger than the other "grown" men. I will be there watching and supporting these morons and secretly rooting for my cousin Ronnie and his buddy, Jake. Only in America can somebody waste 100 grand on a truck, trailer, and a boat in order to catch a fish slightly bigger than other fisherman and think all of this is normal.

Earlier this morning, I read a Huffpo article on Benghazi. Those are the assassinations at our Libyan embassy that the Obama administration tried to cover up and lie about, murders that have somehow become a political football. I began to think about all of those lies and why people find it necessary to lie in general. This insightful commentary is only something you can find at Frankenstein Government. Still the best value on the web.

Telling the truth and accepting responsibility for one's actions can be incredibly difficult. We lie for any number of reasons, mostly to conceal our flaws and avoid punishment. This is a problem that we all share. In America, we are actually taught a great deal of dishonesty and we practice it. We have gotten pretty good at it.

Most of us are raised with standard reward and punishment themes. In many instances we cannot obtain a prize or reward by telling the truth. Telling the whole truth about ourselves, including the bad stuff, means we will be judged harshly and negatively we think. So we run around telling half truths about ourselves- that half that gets us what we want. This is an accepted practice that is seen as "common sense" or "showing good judgement" by many people.

This inability to tell the truth is actually a symptom of fear but I will bypass that subject for now.

So lying is an incredibly fraudulent practice but we are very adept at it. So much so, that we often forget that we are lying in the first place. In fact, we begin to believe our own bullshit.

This telling "half truths" is how we live our lives. Lying I believe, is always a sign of immaturity and  of poor judgment. Liars are just immature people who are living unconsciously. They are not bad people. They simply haven't been truthful with themselves.

I always love to say, "For everything I know, there was a time when I did not know it."

I cannot fully describe the personal courage that it takes- to tell the world that you are an idiot. In the workplace, this truth telling will not advance your career much. But people who tell the truth have overcome an obstacle. They have learned that telling the truth is always the mature and right thing to do. Immature people see truth telling- as foolish. They hide and conceal their flaws and very often-  they are critical of others. They want to avoid any discussion that makes them look bad or fails to advance their agenda. So one good story here and I am ready for the wrap up.

Years ago, I hired a cop with a serious drinking problem. One night, his girlfriend was in the bar dancing with some other guy who did something inappropriate. Our officer had been there drinking the whole night. So he was drunk. That might have been bad enough had he not gone on the dance floor and kicked this other guy's ass. That too, might have been bad enough except that the police were called and go figure- this inappropriate and now beat up guy was arrested and put in jail. I came to work briefed and prepared to let the guy in jail go. I also had to come to terms with the fact that maybe I shouldn't have hired this cop. Beyond that- I absolutely refused to lie or cover this up. I took my lumps. And when the press asked me, "So let's get this straight. Your officer was off duty and drunk. He beat some guy up. Then he called the cops, and had the guy arrested (probably illegally) after he committed battery on the guy in jail. Does that just about sum this up?"

I immediately got a headache behind my right eye. I said, "Yes, that pretty much captures the flavor of the incident." After that, everything that should have happened- happened.

People who are incapable of telling the truth lack maturity. They compound one mistake with another and another. They lack courage as well. It takes courage to tell the world you are an idiot.

If you are going to lead the greatest country in the world, you probably should have some measure of truthfulness, honesty, and personal courage. If you don't have those things, some of us are going to notice. And so we do.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go watch the grown men act like kids.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hunting With Molly and Heidi*Updated With Photo*Really

Every year, we gather up our shotguns and head for the Montana-North Dakota border. We stay at my cousin Ronnie's house in Williston. This is where we come to hunt pheasants each year.

As I am writing this, the two great pheasant trackers, Molly and Heidi are laying on the bed with me. In fact- I just had to push Heidi's head off of my keyboard. Molly and Heidi are both German shorthairs. Even at the age of 2, they are already great pheasant hunters. We hunted with them last year after Ronnie's other two dogs met untimely deaths.

For those of you that have never had the pleasure of hunting with dogs, the only way I can describe these two dogs is like this. They are both about 45 pounds of pure energy and muscle. They have noses that can smell a mustard seed in Canada. They run like greyhounds. They have more energy than a tornado.  

As pups, we taught them to find "roosters." If you say the word "rooster" or "pretty bird" they will go berserk- whirling around and barking like possessed hound dogs. 

The maniacs are sleeping next to me now- after greeting each other and running around the house and fields like whirling dervishes for the last three hours. They are fun to watch and we knew the reunion would be hilarious. It was. 

Tomorrow, we will put the shock collars on the hounds and the fun will begin. You can't stop these dogs. All you can do is just try to contain them and slow them up a little bit. I will try to embed a photo or two- maybe of them locked up on a bird- and add it in here tomorrow. Unfortunately, I have more phone than brains right now and I can't get the camera to work.

I will try and update this post with "action" photos as the week progresses.

First action photo- Dogs, pops, me, pheasants-post mortem.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

If You Are a Libertarian Voting for Romney... aren't a libertarian. In fact you aren't even a Republican. You are a squish Republican and at worst a liberal because Romney is no party adherent. In fact, his positions on socialized health care and gun control put him squarely in the moonbat camp.

I am so sick of reading people all over the internet claiming to be libertarians yet voting for a squish.

I am going to sum this up. Please go to the libertarian site. If you agree with 90% of the platform positions, if you want government out of your life, then maybe you are a libertarian. If so, stand up and be counted. Be loyal.

Quit voting for elite bastards like Romney- that have nothing in common with you- simply because you think they are a lesser evil. Millions of people say, "gosh I am really a libertarian but my vote won't count unless I vote for the lesser evil"

I got a newsflash for you. Your vote hasn't counted for 24 years. We've had 24 years of horrible governance with the Federal government expanding and taking over our lives. If you want to expand their takeover some more- go ahead and sell us out. Tell me how Johnson has no chance while pulling the lever for Romney. Did your vote count? For what? Bush? Obama? Clinton?

This country will die while you continue to vote for the two choices the elite in this country give you every four years. They have rigged the game. They provide you with an illusion of choice. They don't give a shit who you vote for because they just want to maintain the status quo.

Romney is a banker. A leech. These are the same guys who bankrupted this country.

So you go ahead and pull the lever for Romney. But don't call yourself a libertarian. The libertarians, like me, will be voting libertarian. We know we can't win. That will continue until one day when millions of Americans wake up and think...maybe we can win. That will be the day when Americans quit voting for losers.

Vote well of not at all. A vote for the lesser evil is still a vote for evil.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Advice on Parking Lot Accidents

I'm not sure how many car accidents I have investigated in my life but I know that number is well north of a thousand or two.

The great thing about being a cop is that you tend to notice what damages property and sometimes injures and kills people. What types of driving behaviors are more prone to end in accidents. One of the driving behaviors that will get you into a wreck is hauling ass through a congested parking lot.

Now hauling ass on some vacant highway somewhere is actually pretty safe. Cops may score easy tickets in those locales and insurance companies may find that a great excuse to jack up premiums- but speed alone is no indication of the likelihood of you filing a claim. This is a point I love to argue.

Speed and reckless driving. Sure. Speed in a congested parking lot. Sure.

My gym is located in a heavily congested parking lot.

So yesterday, after washing my car, I went to the gym. There was only one available parking spot- directly in front of the entrance. I went in and ran my 3.2 miles and came back out. I began to slowly back out of my parking space but I cannot see to my left because the parked vehicles next to me are blocking my view and they are much taller. I can safely back out and still stay in my half of the two way traffic lanes unless of course some guy is hauling ass from behind the parked vehicles on my half of the parking area that I cannot see.

I heard and felt the crunch. My rear bumper wiped out the entire side of his Subaru.

Fortunately, he was a nice guy from the Congo. He actually had insurance. The problem was that it was expired by a couple of weeks. The other problem was that because he was so far left of center- there was simply no way to avoid him. It is a private parking lot- which means there are no traffic controls. You are left to war it out with the insurance company when getting in accidents here. Positioning in parking lots is everything. Insurance companies will look for any reason they can to assign fault to you and refuse to pay a claim. The cops don't really care either. I called one anyway.

I know it's private property. I know those poor over worked cops won't do a report. (of course that is bullshit) I have to tell the guy from the Congo they can't write a ticket here.

So for about 15 minutes I had to keep the parking lot blocked and field angry looks from those motorists who are too stupid to figure out what has happened (one guy honked the entire length of the lot as he drove around) and the other 1/2 who think you can just exchange information and move the cars. Because government encourages that- at your expense of course.

I had to tell one twenty something gym employee thank you after she informed me that we could just take a picture and move on. I must have had my idiot look on. This moving cars without calling the cops can be problematic. Insurance companies still assign fault even in parking lots. I have a 1000 dollar deductible. I know his insurance company will try to say that I am at fault as though somehow I can see thru the vehicles parked to my left and use my extra sensory perception to avoid the Subaru as it travels a couple of feet from our bumpers. Or that I hastily backed up without due caution. That will be their position because it always is.

So I have to report this and put up with all of the bullshit that goes along with it as his insurance company tries to weasel out of the claim, tries to assign fault with me and make me pay the deductible, or watch my rates go up because my x ray vision was not working.

So what use was calling the cops? You get a witness for free. You preserve your right to sue and bring some evidence with you (witness) in a future small claims action. The cop took no report. I have to tell you this. In my 25 years as a cop, I took every private property accident report and made one for people. It is easier for professionals to do this and it gives an uninvolved and unbiased view of what happened. It makes the claim easier to settle. The simple fact that police departments refuse to do this any longer is a dis-service. It only takes a couple of minutes. I could scratch a whole accident report like this out with a photo in five minutes flat.

Some wrecks are unavoidable. The only way to avoid this accident would have been to park somewhere else- like on a residential street nearby. The fact that this parking lot has a liquor store a few doors down from the gym doesn't make it any safer.

Be careful in parking lots. If you do get in a wreck, use your head. Don't just blindly go about exchanging information only to find out later that the other guy was uninsured and he has now fled for the Congo. Don't ever let another driver intimidate you into doing something that you don't want to do. If you feel pressured or suspicious, call the cops. Missing information, fake identification, cars that have not been re-registered after a sale- all of those things are possible. Don't move the cars if you can get away with that despite what new laws tell you. Take at least one picture if you can. Always commit the other guys plate to memory. One last story for the road.

Years ago, a witness watched as a vehicle backed into another and did some significant damage. The witness watched as the driver got out a piece of paper, wrote down a bunch of information, and slipped it under the wiper. An hour later, the owner of the damaged car showed up. He looked at the note. It read, "I am sorry that I struck your vehicle. I have no way of paying for it so I am leaving you this note."

The ruse worked. The witness failed to get a plate number or call police because it appeared like the offending driver was complying with the law and leaving his information. Sometimes, and especially when it comes to money and consequences, you simply cannot trust people to do the right thing. Bad guys can be pretty clever.

That's what 25 years of law enforcement taught me.

The Big Ego, The Anti-Robin Hood, and Gas Prices

I first saw this video on TF Metals. It is an excellent explanation of how the elite privatized profits and socialized losses. They have been doing this since the dawn of time. I guess those that forget history are doomed to repeat it.

I am also embedding this video which is an excellent explanation of why gas prices have remained high even though consumption is at 10 year lows. Once again, you have the anti-Robinhood to thank.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Free Market Experiment

John Stossel is well know as a libertarian. Stossel is also one of those whack jobs who thinks government is the problem and certainly not the solution. So was Ronald Reagan.

I have embedded this video. Detailed in this video are plans to develop a true free market city in Honduras. Great stuff. There is even a quote from the polymath, Thomas Jefferson, my hero.

The big bonus comes at the end when the developer admits that he was once a liberal who thought government was the solution until he actually learned something about economics.

Pay attention Billy Moonbat. I may go to Honduras.

Gold, Silver, and the Last Battleground

I opened a new brokerage account a few weeks ago. It's time to get ready to protect what assets you have. I'll explain why by way of metaphor.

In many respects, the citizen/consumers of this country are prey animals. Government with it's many levels, the corporate oligarchy, the health care monopoly, the bankers and their fiat currency are predators willing to steal from you in ways you don't even understand.

You can't get away from them. They know that.

Here's the metaphor. Sooner or later, the prey have to go to the watering hole. Waiting nearby are the predators. The predators goal is to strip you of all of the money that they can. Government taxes. Businesses gouge for minimal services and goods. If you are in need of medical services- the health care monopoly will steal you blind, in many cases margins well in excess of 1000%, especially if you are well insured. Health care charges with respect to the level of care provided have no basis in reality any more. I paid 200 dollars last month to talk to my doctor for ten minutes on a routine office visit. I'd love to make 1200 dollars an hour to bullshit. There are no limits to excessive charges, no laws, no regulations where money is concerned. And then there are the bankers. The bankers will steal your wealth by counterfeiting, inflating, and offering nothing for your deposits. Those are a few of the big predators lurking at the water hole.

We have to have water. They know that.

I understand the predatory nature of business in this country. Gone are the days of customer service and fair profit margins. They have been replaced by predatory practices, price fixing, monopolies, and a government that lies and misleads- that sees nothing wrong with seizing all of your money. The elite managed to escape the confiscation of their wealth and now our country is broke.

The day of reckoning is finally here. Somebody is going to have to fix this economic mess. Personally and mathematically, I don't think they can. I love how the elite, the bastards who benefitted the most, are now coming forward with offers to pay more in taxes. Like Warren Buffett. How magnanimous, after they've robbed us blind with their crony congressmen. Then there's the next crop of politicians.

Paul Ryan is a hoot. He comes off like this brilliant accountant- this genius with an actual plan who is going to find 6 trillion in tax cuts- and all those greedy stakeholders are gonna let Romney and Ryan have their way with them. Bet me. It will be a war zone.

Selling optimism is easy for a country starving for some. That's how we got the guy in the White House in the first place. Let me add something. Whipping Obama and Biden in a few debates is almost like teasing animals in the zoo. Hardly something to be proud of.

Finding tax cuts is one thing. Implementing them is another. But most importantly- you are going to have to find a spare 17 trillion to pay off what we already owe. And then you have to find a way to stem a few hundred trillion in entitlements coming due as the big demographic hits the liability side of the ledger.

With 50 million jobs lost or farmed overseas? Got math?

If you choose to stay in the United States, all that's left to you and your vanishing wealth- are investments to hedge losses inflicted by the predators- if you can. Invest outside the United States. Precious metals. Commodities. This isn't an option. You will either do this or go broke- that's the future. The people who do not hedge all of the mounting losses that they are going to sustain as the predators strip away their wealth are going to find themselves with a third world standard of living.

This isn't going to get better. This is going to get far worse.

I started buying gold and silver when I realized that the game is over. By that I mean the government's only course of action is to counterfeit and inflate away the currency. I think rather than confiscate gold and silver- the government will attempt to impose extraordinary taxes on the sale of it to keep people mired in their worthless and inflated currency. Clearly, the Supreme Court has no problem allowing the government to seize our assets. So people will simply quit paying taxes and reporting sales. An irrelevant government, straining to maintain power and control, will fail. There will be growing unrest and civil disobedience. There will be hyperinflation and then ultimately we will default. The U.S.A will lose it's reserve currency status.

We are in the last battle of an economic war that probably started in the mid 60's. I don't think I am being too dramatic.

The rich and elite own the equity markets in this country. Truly they do. All of the accumulated wealth of this country beyond real estate- that which hasn't been offshored- is sitting in U.S. equity and commodity markets. Bonds are dead money. They can only go one way from here. The elite, the non elite and simply wealthy, and that part of the middle class that have retirement savings- own U.S. equity markets. The vast majority of Americans no longer have any skin in that game. They were forced out in the implosion of 2008. So this I think, is the last battleground.

On one hand you have the owners- hopelessly and desperately invested in a market that cannot go up because there are no new buyers. The old would be buyers are unemployed, dwindling, retiring, dying. Foreign workers cannot buy stocks or invest anything with their dollar an hour Foxconn incomes. Discretionary income is being eaten up by inflation, gas prices, food prices, rising taxes everywhere. The owners of this stock market are doing everything to keep US equity markets alive but the patient is dying. How long can this market cling to life?

It reminds me of an old alcoholic. He smokes, he drinks, he eats poorly and lays around. He has high blood pressure, respiratory problems, poor liver function, and some gout. Maybe sleep apnea and a few other ailments. You think, how long can this guy keep living like that?

The answer is- for years. You are amazed that he can live this long. But sometime, well before average life expectancy, he dies. The actuaries know that. We know that. Here's an excellent piece on ZH which summarizes the fate of countries once their debt exceeds 90% of their GDP. Like ours.

That's why I'm in. I am going to spend my last fiat currency on precious metals, gold and silver miners, maybe some doomsday stocks, shorts and put options, and some personal preparation. Ultimately, I expect to see the market completely collapse. I see that as inevitable and consistent with a governmental course of action that embraced socializing losses, enriching elites with trillions under the auspices of stimulus, off shoring and eliminating American jobs for fifteen years, ignoring the rule of law, pretending the whole thing didn't matter, and now trying to plot a solution with the same type of statist idiots who landed us here in the first place.

Call me a girly man but I'm probably not going to follow that kind of plan into battle.

5000 Miles In Nine Days

We made it home last night. Our whirlwind trip looked something like Idaho-Utah-Colorado-New Mexico-Texas-Louisiana-Mississippi-Arkansas-Missouri-Iowa-South Dakota-Wyoming-Montana- and home.

The cheapest gas along the way was Roswell, New Mexico at 3.34. It was 3.59 virtually everywhere else.

I used to have a hard and fast travel rule. If I could drive there in one day- I would not fly. I can break that rule now that I am retired and I have time. Driving to Louisiana was made possible by the comfortable 40 MPG Hyundai Elantra which is still covered with bugs and road slime as it sits in my driveway.

Beating the airlines out of 1300 bucks and the TSA tax is always nice.

Local governments discovered a way to screw non residents years ago. Since tax weary and vigilant citizens were tired of being taxed to death- politicians came up with local taxes primarily targeting hotels and rentals cars. This way they can gouge the shit out of non citizens- tax payers who don't have the ability to vote because they are non residents. Taxing tourists is the quintessential definition of "taxation without representation."

Just for shits and giggles- I'm gonna throw in this rental car tax table.

State and local taxes are truly out of control. We did not stay any where- where taxes on our hotel room were less than double digits, except Butte, Mt. which checked in at 7%. The high hotel was 16.75% in San Antonio. Three nights in New Orleans at the Ambassador was supposed to be 267.00. After taxes it was 301.00. (Parking was an extra 28 bucks a day) New Orleans levies a 9.75 tax on everything else. With the items we bought (meals, groceries, and souvenirs) we easily paid over 100 dollars in taxes just in New Orleans.

All of those taxes- oddly enough- cannot be written off on the taxes we file each year. Like gas taxes.

Traveling during this time of the year is gorgeous. Fall colors are beautiful. But it's good to be back home where I can at least avoid paying hotel taxes in lieu of property taxes and sleep in my own bed. Driving 5000 miles in 9 days was probably a little bit more than I care to do anymore. I am sore after being cramped up in a car for all of that time.

I gotta get the car serviced again today. I laugh when the technicians change my oil and rotate the tires two weeks apart. Didn't we just do this car?