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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Very Best of Frankenstein Government- 2014

It's kind of humbling to scroll through 6 years of archived blogs and to re-read some of the things you have written. Some projections/opinions of mine have been very wrong particularly any of those dealing with the stock market. There are other things- that clearly needed additional editing.

My top two all time blogs consist of a piece I had written on the death of CNBC Mark Haines who I really liked- and the other was a piece I wrote called the "Ten Reasons to Hate Huffington Post."

My very best blogs of 2014. They might not always represent my favorite writing- but people liked them. Here they are, month by month for 2014.

On changing our corporate biz structure:

The President trying to convince us to buy government debt:

The advantages of being black or poor:

Environmentalism, Cliven Bundy:

Making health insurance illegal is our ticket out!:

Getting Bergdahl's side of the story: (which has never happened)

Modern day snake oil salesmen:

The death of a very good friend:

Blaming Americans for hoarding money:

The rule of men rather than the rule of law:

Who was really responsible for Michael Brown's death:

Doctors kill 300 times more people than cops do:

Honorable mention, April, Wounded Knee:

I want to thank everyone who stopped by this year or who left a comment. I appreciate the time you expend here overcoming all of the bad grammar and convoluted thoughts. I wish all of you the very best and a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

How the Ferguson Fiasco Might Have Been Averted- The Sunday Collage

Mutual aid agreements and officer involved shooting protocols came about largely in the public sector as a result of events or incidents which were larger than any given jurisdiction's ability to mount an effective response. In fact, I haven't even heard them mentioned anywhere which includes a few of the police sites that I visit. They are effective tools and might have stopped the Ferguson riots altogether. It begs the large question- what good is training if law enforcement doesn't use it? What good is a protocol that has been proven to work if law enforcement agencies don't deploy them?

Today I'd like to talk a little bit about what went wrong in the Ferguson, Missouri officer involved shooting of Michael Brown, the subsequent riots, and the victim class. I'd also like to talk a little about disclosure and honesty from both sides. Could all of the rioting and subsequent fallout been preventable? Maybe.

But first two caveats. I have read hundreds of articles online, viewed several videos- mostly of Michael Brown and various press conferences gathered in the wake of the shooting. I am by no means an expert on the Michael Brown shooting nor do I have access to all of the innermost details of that event. Secondly, I intensely dislike armchair quarterbacks- having been one myself and quite often, and eventually realizing late in my career the pomposity of one who looks back at all of the flaws of any given event and cherry picks those flaws at their leisure while mulling things over ad infinitum- and then arrogantly pronounces what should have happened. Having said that- I do think it is possible to learn from our mistakes without throwing anyone under the bus.

So first, I'd like to introduce a video of Ferguson Police Chief, Tom Jackson. It is about ten minutes long. I have to tell you I got a little sick to my stomach remembering that kind of stress. Thank God, I didn't have anyone on our police department shoot anyone under similar circumstances. It was published on You Tube on Aug. 15 a full six days after the Brown shooting. I am not sure when the actual press conference took place- I just note this was published on the 15th.

In my 25 years of policing and education, I enrolled in an officer involved shooting class sometime in the mid-90's. Prior to that class which I think lasted 24 hours, I had no clue of the devastation that an officer involved shooting might wreak upon our community and I also had no idea about the immense scope of the subsequent investigation. In all, and it's been awhile, a shooting (one person, one event) such as the Michael Brown incident- would probably take a minimum of 20-24 officers and investigators by my estimation back then. In a town the size of Ferguson, Mo. pop. 21,000- according to the 2010 census- the proper investigation is simply not possible. The Ferguson City P.D. like any other law enforcement agency, cannot be allowed to conduct it's own investigations by design or by policy. They are compromised at the outset- they are involved. Any investigation they conduct regardless of the outcome will simply appear to be compromised and most likely would be- by friendly and sympathetic investigators hoping to clear one of their own. Indeed, this is still a problem even when enlisting outside and well trained investigators beyond the grasp of Ferguson and it's politics.

Many jurisdictions in the United States have emergency operation plans. EOP's for short. These are plans developed well in advance for likely and unlikely emergencies. They might range from large scale events involving multiple casualties, to weather related disasters and earthquakes, hazardous chemical leaks and spills, riots, anything where containment is necessary to prevent further damage or loss of life and where manpower requirements are calculated allocated prior to the incident. All personnel involved in the implementation of an EOPs plan should know their duties and responsibilities and be directed as an event unfolds. They should drill and practice and many do. The Federal Government has often targeted, directed, and financially encouraged municipalities to participate in this type of training so that everyone should know what the duties and responsibilities are of everyone from the command post on down.

Having said all of that- here are two caveats. You can prepare for 50 emergencies and the one you don't prepare for or are working on, perhaps the 51st EOPs plan- like flying hijacked planes into skyscrapers- is the one that unfolds. Secondly, no matter how much you prepare and drill, the actual event always deviates in size and scope. Unintended and unforeseen consequences arise. Having said all of that, it is far better to have a plan in place rather than nothing at all. Winging it becomes the playground of preventable and devastating consequences and career suicide. Not having a plan is not serving or protecting anyone. These are nothing more than mutual aid agreements and unfortunately I have always given credit for mutual aid agreements to the mattress backs. (Firefighters have been using them for eons and teasing them is a hobby of mine)

I think a drilled on plan for an officer involved shooting might have prevented many outcomes in Ferguson. I don't think Ferguson had one because the Chief doesn't mention it- all he says at the conference is that he called St. Louis County for help and then he complicated that by stating he had a long friendship with the Sheriff. People looking for impartial and unbiased investigations do not want to hear that.

Even an unpracticed plan would have been better.

Under an excellent plan, a supervisor immediately implements the officer involved shooting protocol upon arrival at the scene. His duties are caring for the injured parties, preserving and protecting evidence within the scene, identifying potential witnesses. (Note that I did not say interview them) Once the officer involved shooting protocol goes out- calls are made from dispatch to all of the participating agencies who send personnel for assignment. It is a tremendously labor intensive undertaking. Officers are assigned duties by a pre determined supervisor. For instance- two officers might be assigned to each ambulance for interviews and evidence gathering. Clothing, blood draws, gunshot residue, etc. Two might be assigned to the involved officer(s). Personnel may be assigned to photograph, sketch, measure, and gather scene evidence. Two may be assigned for any subsequent search warrants. Personnel are assigned to canvass the area. More personnel are needed to gather and record witness statements. Personnel are assigned to command post and press information duties. Using two officers helps preserve the integrity of each task and also provides an added measure of safety. Some protocols involve prosecuting attorneys offices and investigators, state police agencies, and the attorney generals office- in addition to participating county and city police departments.

Officer involved shooting protocols are an excellent tool. They provide integrity, sufficient manpower and safety, and the best outcome available. They also allow you to stand in front of a crowd of reporters with some measure of confidence that this is something you have planned for. Explaining the process would have been a HUGE asset. People might have thought at the very least that we have some measure of confidence that the investigation will be thorough, credible, and impartial rather than hearing the Chief wing it at a press conference. In fact, a Press Information Officer might have been designated to speak to the press and prevent errant statements. I am in awe that after 20 or 30 years of teaching agencies about officer involved shooting protocols- that agencies are still operating without them. Which brings me to another point. Honesty, disclosure, and fairness.

You have to address these things quickly. I don't believe the Chief did this in Ferguson and the whole situation spiraled out of control quickly. Riots began the following day. Had the Chief been on this with a sense of urgency- he might have prevented the riots the following day. Statements to the press must be reviewed for mistakes usually by attorneys- city and prosecutors according to the protocol. Why not have a plan and provide it to the press and all of the parties involved? Here -this is what we are going to do. Disclose the truth.

In the video you'll note over and over again- the Chief saying things like "I held the video as long as I could" or that he released the video of the store robbery because he had to as the result of freedom of information act requests. Why not just give it to the press as part of a press release?

In the video you will also see the Chief surrounded by up to ten- some muscled up- cops. I am not sure what that was all about. I don't think it helped matters any, however after 6 days of rioting and threats, it kind of gives you an idea of the mindset. That particular piece of choreography conveys a sense of  "us against them." I used to know old time cops that have tried to intimidate judges by showing up en masse to sentencings with similar displays. It is almost a show of force and it certainly doesn't conjure up goodwill. These types of tactics simply don't work. Support from your staff is fine- from a distance.

Could the Chief have delivered a much more effective statement? Of course. Is the Chief a polished speaker? No. I have to say I like him though- I got the feeling that he is a good guy and not a politician because he is very uncomfortable. Good cops are rarely political animals. They shun any sort of limelight where politicians often run to it. That's not to say that you can't be a gifted orator, politician, and straight shooting lawman but that combination in my experience has been quite rare or limited to elected officials rather than appointed ones.

Last but not least. An officer shooting protocol provides the most level, impartial playing field for everyone involved. Especially the officers involved. Had a plan been in place- Darren Wilson might still have a job. He certainly would have been more defensible as every agency including the federal government launches attacks and civil litigation. The family of Michael Brown would also have received the best service available and that would also help them and a jury resolve this in a civil court room later on. By virtue of the fact that I don't think there was a protocol involved here- Darren Wilson got a raw deal. The officers on that department or any other agency absent a designed protocol might very well suffer the same fate or worse.

I got a little sick to my stomach as I reviewed clips regarding Ferguson. It brought back all of the stress and responsibility that get piled high on a a guy like Chief Jackson. Additionally, depending on the political scene in Ferguson I noted that the Mayor ran unopposed last election and is nowhere to be found. I think that's good. At least it shows a little support or the Mayor would be actively trying to dump the Chief to save face. I can tell you with relative certainty that next election- someone with an ax to grind will run and although I am impressed that the Chief has been able to hang onto his job thus far- I think his time is limited. That's the business. I hope I'm wrong.

Dorian Johnson's (with Michael Brown that day)  irresponsible, biased, and dishonest statements (most of which were contradicted by evidence or proven false) amounted to a man yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater. Johnson did a very real disservice and injustice to everyone involved. Conjuring up statements like Brown had his hands up when he was shot (proven false by three autopsies) or claiming that Officer Wilson told them to "get the fuck out of the street" are designed to inflame people and most likely- they are lies. Unfortunately Wilson had no means of defense at that point, the community will undoubtedly believe what they want to believe, and it's hard to say whether or not a good plan might have overcome the statements of an irresponsible witness given a microphone and seemingly unlimited face time in front of cameras. I viewed a number of Johnson statements on You Tube.

I found Johnson's statements quite predictable and sickening. I often wonder how people like Johnson sleep at night or whether or not they feel any sense of responsibility for anything that happened that day or in subsequent days. Probably not. At no time did I ever hear Johnson mention that bullying a store owner, stealing, walking down the middle of the street, or attacking cops, was any fault of theirs. Instead, Johnson would have us all believe that he is this innocent picked on bystander, and through no fault of his own, found himself in this horrible situation. That's all too common now days- I used to call this inability to self examine and accept responsibility- an epidemic. It is a type of dishonesty that enables us to blame everyone else for our poor decisions. I see it's still with us- causing riots. It's not a race issue, it never has been. It's a cultural problem that involves ego, dishonesty, and rationalization which hopes to attract sympathy by manipulating the emotions of others into believing we are victims. Johnson by all appearances, seems to be part of our national epidemic. Somehow we have to recognize this and take action before the entire fabric of our society is completely destroyed. One Ferguson at a time.

We must learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools.
-Martin Luther King

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Christmas Gift- The Sunday, err Wednesday, Collage

I am feeling a little more blessed than usual today. Maybe it's just that time of year.

I had only one wish back in 2007. If you want something bad enough, I think anything is possible. In 2007, I wanted the life I once had back. I wanted to live my life and enjoy it- just as I did as a child.

This week will mark the end of one more year with my inner family intact. Through a series of miracles, my mother and father are still here. We have been blessed.

Ya know, other bloggers and I write about all of the insanity in the world. I often wonder as I write, how do the other writers handle the world's insanity? Are they angry, bitter, outraged? I wish I knew more about them. I am in awe at how the world shapes us- we don't shape it. It hands us what it will and says, "What are you going to do about that?"

Sometimes we become bitter and angry, sometimes clearly frustrated. Sometimes we are confused and sometimes we wonder, who is in charge of this nuthouse? Sometimes we cry.

When everything is going well, we think, now that is the way life is supposed to be. That of course, is the great lie. That is the lie we tell ourselves. We only want what is good and we reject the bad. Unfortunately, you cannot have one without the other. It is a package deal. That was the gift I was given, it was Christmas 2007.

I had been sober a little over two months. I flew into Boise from New Orleans that Christmas and while everyone was drinking and laughing-I felt kind of miserable. Not self pity exactly, but just left out. It's part of sobriety actually. The ability to allow everyone to be just as drunk and disorderly as they want to be. That was a role that I had previously played. The day after Christmas Eve that year, Christmas morning, I received a phone call from my sponsor. He wanted to know what it had been like- Christmas Eve- and so I told him. He laughed at me. I would no longer be the orchestra leader, the loudest drunk in the family. You have been reassigned so get used to it.

Des was simply the hardest man I have ever known. There was an anger, an unrelenting anger that burned in Father Des which simply refused to allow anyone- one molecule of self pity and because he was a Priest I suppose- I just couldn't bring myself to lie to him. I always spilled my guts.

Des died five weeks later on Feb 6 in the middle of Wednesday Mass while in full view of the congregation. His death was exactly as it should have been. I see that now. Officially, they kept him on life support for one day.

Steve Jobs once said, you can't connect the dots going forward. All you can do is look back at your life and connect the dots that way. I can see all those dots now that I am 7 years removed.

Des taught me that I am not running the world and that nobody particularly cares what my opinion of that is. The world according to Des was full of opinions. I was just one more bum on the opinion bus.

The gift I was given Christmas '07, was complete and utter acceptance of everything in the world. I was no longer required to try and control the outcome of anything. I was no longer required to preach to people, to tell them that what they were doing- was right or wrong according to some strange and undisclosed set of expectations in my head. Just let everything in the world be. Let someone else run the place because you haven't been doing such a bang up job.

Today I am good with all things. In fact, I would come to embrace all of the bad things- because it is the bad things that shape us. The bankruptcy, divorce, illness, and death- all of it is quite necessary. These "bad" things are far more necessary than the good things- they challenge us emotionally. They challenge us physically. They challenge us spiritually. We don't learn anything from the good things because we think, that is the way life should always be. So the "good" is often taken for granted. We are quite accepting of all of the good things in our lives- yet we cry like babies and blame others anytime adversity strikes us. For some of us, like myself in 2007, the war drums inside my head were loud. Knocking myself out with a bottle of whisky was my only means of coping with all of that noise.

Today I practice acceptance although, I like to write about all of the tragedy and stupidity in the world. I don't get carried away. I like to think I practice my observations- in moderation. I also like to think that I am part of the fabric of the world. If good and bad are encouraged, embraced even- then I think it's ok to be the play by play guy. There must be a spot for us. I think we can discuss those things without going nuts.

I am grateful for everything that I have and I know I probably deserve far less. My gifts exceed my exertions here. I am grateful that I have a God of my understanding, a universal intelligence, that transcends some crazy punishing God that the world told me I had to buy into or spend eternity in hell. I realize now that all of that is nonsense. That any God must be a loving God or- he is not a God worth having. If I can manage to love a few people despite all of their flaws, I have great confidence that an all knowing God can do far better than that. I am no longer consumed with ridiculous fears.

You know God has a sense of humor. He created Republicans and Democrats. He saw that as necessary, like ticks and mosquitoes.

I have solutions today that I didn't have in '07. I don't run and hide anymore when things don't go according to the script in my head. I deal with them calmly, rationally, and I continue to live life and enjoy it. I even embrace all of those bad things because I understand now- how necessary all of that is. Figuring that out, accepting it, and applying the proper, healthy solution- worked out in advance- keeps the war drums from beating once again.

I want to thank all of my family and friends for stopping by. Des would never have read a single word on this blog. He would have been angry at me. He hated opinions. Sometimes, I giggle when I think of what he might have said to me had he still been alive and stumbled in here. Thank God for Des- the best Christmas gift I have ever received.

I sincerely hope that you all have a great Christmas and a happy New Year.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Cowards Keep Winning

Here's a piece about a public employee questioning publicly, why a white shooting victim doesn't get the same attention as black thug, Michael Brown.

For exercising her First Amendment rights- she was fired. Not the America I was guaranteed. Definitely worth the read.

Maybe Bernanke Was Right- The Sunday Collage

I wrote this on Saturday.

As this year comes to a close, I note that a lot of very intelligent people once again, seem to have been very wrong about the economy. Billionaire Eric Sprott's call for December 2100.00 gold seems to be the most outrageously stupid call- but he can be forgiven since he owns silver and gold funds and he is hopelessly jaded by his own desires to get people invested in his funds.

Perennial bears like Marc Faber and Peter Schiff were wrong again this year. Shorting any stock index in 2014 was a recipe for disaster. The "housing bubble" did not collapse. Nor has the stock or bond bubble.

My favorite all time wrong call award this year- goes to Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens. Pickens on a CNBC interview a year or two ago was questioned about whether we would ever see a sub 2.00 gas price again. T. Boone Pickens said rather emphatically- that we never would.

Even Meredith Baxter and her appearance on 60 Minutes- have been proven wrong. A few municipalities have gone bankrupt- but her call for bond Armageddon in the municipal bond market has largely never materialized. In places like Detroit- it hardly took a rocket scientist to know they would default.

What do all of these people have in common- besides giant egos? Their judgment seems to be colored by their desires. Some like Schiff have had some success and apparently think moving forward that they have some valuable insight.

There comes a moment when eventually- you must confront the facts. The facts thus far have proven all of those people wrong. People with expensive degrees and valuable credentials. The only guy who appears to have gotten it right thus far- is Ben Bernanke and his minions.

So far, Ben has been right. Maybe we can print our way out of the mess that greedy bankers and politicians created in the years prior to 2008. And maybe, we just won't have to face the consequences. Indeed, they've had to manipulate the entire investing landscape. They've had to destroy alternative investments like gold and silver. They've destroyed any kind of savings return on CD's, savings accounts, and bonds.

Even as I speak, there is a guy on CNBC right now- saying that 2015 will be the year that this fraudulent market finally gets revealed. I have heard that very same speech in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Our debt, well in excess of 18 trillion with another 100 trillion coming due and payable, doesn't seem to matter. Inflation doesn't matter. Oil and other commodities have retreated all year.

This is what I know for sure. Let me describe it with an excellent metaphor.

If my most bitter enemy woke up every day and hopefully said, "This is the day that the lunatic writer at Frankenstein Government will perish. I am sure of it." Clearly that person would be wrong every day for years. Those would be the facts. However, one day that bitter enemy of mine will be on the mark. My life is finite and one day- my enemy will finally be proven right- if he doesn't die first.

Do you want to be wrong a few thousand times just so that you can be right once?

That's the dilemma. I am still on the side of history and the Austrians. The death of the US dollar will come just as surely as the death of every unbacked fiat currency does. The problem for all of us is trying to predict when that will happen. The best and most wise advice at this point- is to just keep your mouth shut and quietly take out a little insurance and hope to hell that the dollar doesn't implode while we are still living. I know it's going to happen- what I fear the most is- What will the US landscape look like after it does?

If you just keep your mouth shut- nobody will think you are a nutter like Schiff, Baxter, or Pickens.

For now, I am going to give Ben Bernanke his due. I am in awe that they have been able to pull this off and continue to do so. In the meantime, I just might take out a little more insurance in 2015 and pass it on to my loved ones if that day doesn't happen while I am still living on the top side. One day, alive or dead, I'll be right. Someone down the line will thank me.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Obama To Sell All Lines of Insurance!

Building on the broad success of Obamacare, Warren Buffett has convinced President Obama that instead of just force placing health insurance policies on everyone- the government should open a multi-line insurance company- and "sell" all lines of coverage.

One of the issues President Obama has yet to address- is how are millions of broke and newly minted Americans- going to arrive at their American jobs?

In Brownsville, Texas, Obama addressed a cheering audience telling them that he is sick of going to American cities and seeing Mexicans hunched over old, rear wheel drive beaters knowing full well that they are uninsured. "Just the other day, I saw a four tone Chevy dragging a muffler. We can't have this level of blight in America. This is not who we are."

Obama went on to say that most of those beaters don't have insurance because it's simply too expensive. "It's just not fair that there are people who are priced out." Obama's proposals would create a giant exchange where everyone who drives a car and makes at least 40k a year- would have to buy new Obama sanctioned policies. "Your coverage costs will remain the same Obama said with a grin- if you like your existing policies you can keep them- however all full coverage policies will now come with a standard 10,000 dollar deductible." "Drivers opting for expensive foreign models would pay a little extra" Obama added.

The excess money generated would then be used to give free liability insurance to anyone working at Walmart and anyone else who can't afford liability insurance.

When asked about drivers with habitual levels of traffic violations, Obama had this to say. "Most of the problems in this country have come about as a result of bored cops indiscriminately writing tickets to people. This is bullshit. Personally, I don't think a driver that smokes a little reefer or has a couple brews is that big of a risk. From now on, all drivers will no longer have to suffer from these levels of discrimination. No longer will people be denied coverage simply because they've had a few arrests or a couple traffic accidents. All people are entitled to auto insurance."

IRS agents would double as adjustors and Obama had plans to hire an additional 60,000 agents.

Spectators in Brownsville saw a beaming Warren Buffett ardently clapping as the President unveiled his new plan.

One of the spectators, a large boned black woman eating a gluten free croissant while wearing a scarf and sunglasses, asked about life insurance.

President Obama said that I am glad you asked that. Under my plan, no longer will people be discriminated against simply because they smoke a few cigs, or have unprotected sex with HIV infected partners, or are too old. Life insurance would be mandatory for all Americans- it's simply not fair that people die and leave their bills unpaid. This forces the rest of us to pick up the tab in increased costs. People without existing bills or who had heirs of dubious lineage might be exempt depending on what could be proven.

President Obama said multiple lines of property and casualty insurance would also become mandatory. In some instances, the President added, it may be simpler to just deposit your checks in escrow while the government removed what they wanted and returned the rest. Obama added that he felt confident that his new multi line insurance program was constitutional under the Commerce Clause and he didn't think there would be any legal problems. "There never is" he quipped.

Obama is wrapping up a 57 state tour as he stumps for his new insurance program. Tomorrow, Obama is scheduled to speak in Monterey, Ca near Pebble Beach.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Who Kills More Americans, Doctors or Cops?- The Sunday Collage

It's not even close. Of course you know the answer- but you may not realize the scope of it.

Earlier this week, I posted an article entitled "I Cop" on the libertarian website "The Daily Paul." My reason for doing this quite frankly, is that I am fed up with sites such as the DP who continually post every anti-cop piece of propaganda that they can get their hands on. It's like a hate filled vacuum where like minded souls congregate to find some common enemy. At the DP, it's cops.

So yea, I've been a member of the DP for nearly 4 years. I am not exaggerating when I say that I have read well over 200 various hate cop rants and videos posted there. I have read thousands of anti-cop comments posted beneath those articles and videos. I haven't posted one thing in defense of cops, which as you all know, I spent 25 years of my life doing. I'd like to think I didn't waste those years. My patience, as I waited for some modicum of moderation at the DP, finally ran out.

I caved in. It wasn't my best effort but I made my points. To call the subsequent comments to that piece vitriolic- is an understatement. I am not sure I can adequately describe it. I don't really want to drive any traffic to the DP so I am not going to link it and yesterday, I erased my post anyway. The comments, including a few of my own, were well north of 100. The commenters attacked virtually everything that I wrote including my style of writing and me personally. Despite all of's the good part...

I am glad I wrote it. Why? Because the commenters clearly believed they were not just entitled to say nasty things and cast aside any molecule of civility (except for a few) but it became clear to me that they actually believe cops are horrible human beings. What happened next was- I began to ask myself- how could all of those people have become so hopelessly jaded that they would stereotype an entire segment of our workforce based on the actions of a very few? Clearly they believed what they had posted. I am not here to question the veracity of what they believe- rather I am more interested in how and why they came to believe it. Like them, I hold similar beliefs about lawyers. So I am just as guilty of stereotyping a class of people as they are and therefore what is wrong with them must be wrong with me. An illustration is in order.

My father is an adamant, dyed in the wool, republican/conservative. The only news channel he will watch is Fox News. Feeding yourself a daily diet of all of the liberal deceptions, chicanery, and outright lies, will produce a profound sense of hatred. It is consumption in extremis. That is Fox's echo chamber. Huffington Post has the liberal echo chamber, Ace of Spades has the conservative echo chamber, and Zerohedge and "naked capitalism" have found their niche culling all of the deceptions and greed of Wall St and inevitably, the government. Their respective target audiences then become people who refuse to get both sides of the story. They are not interested in objectivity or fair play. They adamantly resist that. They are only interested in whatever pre-conceived and erroneous beliefs they hold and they migrate toward kindred spirits, people sharing the same beliefs. If an invader comes in, such as my foray onto the DP, they simply see you as an enemy troll and summarily isolate and out you- because they don't go to the DP for civility, rational thought, or to hear the other side of an issue that they have decided long ago. They don't go there to give equal time to the enemy camp. They go there for familiarity. They go there to get their emotional needs and beliefs fed and bolstered by people who hate cops like themselves.

I understand all of that. I call Zerohedge my online therapist. I don't go to Zerohedge to read from authors that want to tell me that the FED is good, that stocks are undervalued, and that bankers are really great people- just a little misunderstood. I go there expecting to see like minded individuals ranting and raving about the same things that drive me nuts. Manipulated BLS figures, a GDP re-configured and massaged for maximum effect, a government so completely nuts that they have forgotten why we formed them in the first place.

The problem of course is that we as human beings lose perspective and engage in extremism. When we adamantly want to believe something we lose all sense of moderation. If our experiences have been bad, pretty soon we start believing all cops are bad or all lawyers are bad and we seek out our own kind. We want people to validate us. To agree with us.

Cognitive dissonance is not what any of us want. And when somebody offers up a big dose of that on a venue like the DP- they get bullied and ostracized en masse.

We tend to lose any sense of a moderate perspective. Deep down, we know those extreme beliefs we hold are probably bullshit. We desperately hang onto our beliefs, our truths, and we don't want any doubt that we are wrong to creep inside our skulls. My post on the DP was a very pure and perfect example of cognitive dissonance. It was something to behold. Which leads me back to the subject question- a question that virtually everyone here knows the answer to. However, you probably had no idea how disproportionate the answer really is.

So who kills more people each year? Doctors or cops?

Let's give the doctors every advantage. Let's remove people who would most likely die anyway, let's remove people who pick up secondary infections in the hospital. Let's reduce it to people who are killed as a direct result of a malpractice or negligence. They are called preventable, adverse events or PAE's.
The best, most highly trained and educated people in the United States are responsible for 210,000 deaths per year. Source,_Evidence_based_Estimate_of_Patient_Harms.2.aspx

How many people do cops kill each year? (Omitting traffic accidents, etc.)

Oddly enough, there is not one single database or source for that answer. I scoured the internet for a few hours before I came up with this answer. There were about 1100 shootings, and about 700 killed. (2011) Source

So doctors in the United States kill 300 times more people than law enforcement does- yet where is that outrage? Where are the videos of that on the DP?

Both professions are highly skilled, practiced professionals who try and prevent deaths- yet it appears neither profession is doing that well. Or are they?

Therein lies the truth. Doctors and cops are doing the very best that they can under extremely trying circumstances with a very diverse population with varying factors. At least doctors aren't working under the additional pressure of being killed themselves. So we find at the end of the day, it's not really a big conspiracy to execute American citizens as the extremists would have us believe.

It's just people doing what people do. Trying hard to do the right thing and failing sometimes. It's been going on forever. As the population increases and absent technological miracles- I don't see that changing anytime soon. The point being- you need to get used to it and accept it. That's the way it is.

In the meantime, I think the answer is consumption in moderation. A little critical thinking would be nice and maybe a little respect, discipline, and restraint. As I was mulling all of this over, and all of the bad experiences I have had with lawyers, I remembered this week how fair and decent my last lawyer was. He settled my divorce amicably and returned my 3000 dollar retainer. I know another attorney who fought a tremendous battle for indigent financial aid up until his client died needing a lifesaving operation that our county refused to fund. I know an attorney who works pro bono for people who are indigent and that would otherwise have no means to afford effective representation.

So the truth is, when I examine the extreme and often erroneous positions taken by DP readers, I must first examine my own extreme and erroneous positions. Maybe someday, I will consume things in moderation and seek to understand others first. I shall leave you with a parable I first heard from a State Police Colonel, now deceased, God rest his soul.

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life...

"A fight is going on inside me," the Chief said to his grandson.
"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

"One is evil - he is angry, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.

"The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

"This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
"Which wolf will win?"

The old chief simply replied,
"The one you feed."


Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Best Gold Piece You'll Read This Month

I stumbled onto this last night. Russia realizes that western bankers are manipulating and holding the price of gold artificially low- thus...

Putin is using gold and gold manipulation to short circuit the dollar by buying as much gold as possible. Western bankers are trapped and there is no way out until gold supplies are exhausted. I read it twice.

It makes you wonder if driving oil prices lower will slow Putin's gold buying down. Interesting.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Arguing With Atheists- The Sunday Collage

Sometime in the spring of 2008, I had one of several "aha" moments like the one I am about to describe. That moment would completely change the way I view the world, how I view others, and most importantly perhaps- how I view myself. I actually laugh a lot more because of the foolishness of it all.

Eckhardt Tolle's masterpiece, "A New Earth" can be a tough read. It isn't particularly challenging or complex- but I think for many people it is hard to comprehend and digest. I did it in 20 page increments because it was simply too difficult for me to read larger chunks and then try to assimilate the information.

I think there is a giant chasm or disconnect between people who say they've read something and people who actually comprehend what they've read. It is something I have noted in dramatic fashion over the course of my life.

A New Earth did several things for me. It allowed me to identify my false sense of self and recognize that I had one. It allowed me to finally accept the fact that Jesus really did exist and that most likely he wasn't simply an enlightened man as so many of my atheist friends believed. I also began to study and examine the crazy egos of the people around me. The people in my life at that moment- kind of served as the proving ground for Tolle's work.

Are people completely self centered and held hostage by a false sense of themselves, an ego? Do people always have to be right? Where does this false sense of ourselves, this facade and act that we present individually to others, where does it come from? For the purposes of today's rant, I'd like to focus on the effects of ego and give you a window into an ego at work.

In Boise, each day at 3 p.m. on FM 94.1, I listen to the Matt Slick show. Matt Slick is a sort of christian crusader. He takes a very strict view of the Bible and tends to interpret the Bible as literally as possible. His views on Christianity are completely confined to the world as he sees it. Matt practices the concept of exclusion- which is to say- unless you see things his way, you are excluded from the Kingdom of God or more simplistically- just wrong. Matt is very black and white. He tends to pretend that he is open minded about a few subjects but I don't really think that he is. During the show, he invites callers to call in. Many do. Some are atheists, some are believers, some are there to take a cheap shot. Some have genuine questions.

You have to listen to Matt to really get the flavor of who he is.

What I like about Matt is that he has the courage to take a stand. He says, "Here I am, take your best shot."
What happens next is great comedy. On Fridays, he reads hate mail harvested I suppose, from his website at

I actually enjoy it when the Mormons call in and Slick tells them they are just a cult founded by a false prophet. The LDS are another tribe of folks who adamantly think they are the chosen ones.

Matt often gets frustrated and ridicules others. This tendency really damages his credibility I think.

There are very few opportunities in any of our lives where we can make a positive and lasting change in anyone else. My experience has been mostly, that people and particularly adults, have made up their minds on a whole range of issues and rarely do those thought processes change. In fact, many folks practice "contempt prior to investigation." In other words, the jury is in. I decided I would be a democrat at age 18 and I don't care who runs, who distorts the issues, how badly the party platform changes- I will always be a democrat." The same is true of people who practice "cognitive dissonance." Here is a definition from wiki- In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.[1][2]

So people I think- strive to seek consistency in their lives while trying desperately to convince others that they are right.

This is the human ego at work. We argue, we fight, and when it's all over- absolutely nothing changes. It is a giant waste of time mostly- just cheap entertainment. A way to pass the time while pretending we are doing something useful. If we know in advance that we aren't going to change anyone's mind, why do we insist on attempting it? Don't people find their own solutions, or not, on their own time? Of course they do. They will do so with or without your "incredibly insightful" arguments. The very best that any of us can do, is plant a seed.

So what happened to me in the spring of '08?

I realized that all that I have ever been, is just a human being with an opinion. A crazy, ego driven human being that desperately wanted to think that I was better, smarter, faster, more intelligent than you. I came to believe that unfortunately- that was who I had been for 46 years. I also realized how incorrect and insane all of that behavior was. The resulting level of self awareness has allowed me to observe the same traits in others while not taking their inventory. It's a journey we are all taking and it's not my job to be anyone's tour guide. This is a self guided tour.

Here's where I am today.

I let the world be. I just try to keep my own voracious ego in check. I try to remain vigilant, grateful, humble and aware- without hurting or ridiculing others too much. I let Matt Slick, the atheists, and the Mormons entertain me a little while I drive around the Treasure Valley.

If you get a chance, you should tune into this show once. You'll get a kick out of it- not because you'll agree with everything Slick has to say- but you'll just sort of celebrate his right to say it. You can tune it in via your computer from anywhere (94.1) I think with a Wifi connection. I just use the old fashioned radio.

Here's the show's link- thanks to a savvy reader. 3pm - 4pm

I'd like to leave you with my favorite quote of all time. From an enlightened man, a couple hundred years ago. Chief Tecumseh.

"Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about his religion.
Respect others in their views and demand that they respect yours.
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.
Seek to make your life long and of service to your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend,
or even a stranger, if in a lonely place.
Show respect to all people, but grovel to none.
When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light,
for your life, for your strength.
Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools
and robs the spirit of its vision.
When your time comes to die,
be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death,
so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time
to live their lives over again in a different way.
Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home."

Friday, November 28, 2014

Who Really Killed Michael Brown?- The Sunday Collage*Updated with Video

Darren Wilson's turn came too early. Most of us get a little more time than he did.

Years ago, our police department was the first in our area to equip our officers with Tasers. I took a lot of shit for that decision from other area police departments most of which- had no crime and were run by liberal statists with liberal councils and liberal Mayors. Liberals always think they are smarter than you. That is a universal theme that is almost always true. That's been my observation.

At any rate, shortly after equipping and training the staff with Tasers (which includes getting shot with them) a couple of our officers responded to a disturbance call one night. Upon arriving, our 5'5, 115 pound, female police officer found herself on the sidewalk in front of the home. The lunatic suspect, a 6'1", 250 lb. wife beater and alcoholic I had known for many years, burst out the front door of his house while launching a profane assault and trying to intimidate our officer. As he approached her, he was warned to stop and chose instead to remain threatening, defiant, and he advanced forward- and thus he got nailed with the Taser. They say he screamed like a little baby.

That's why I love cops. They know there will be nasty confrontations in which they can be hurt or killed and yet- they choose the profession anyway. There's a sort of a childlike innocence about young cops that I used to see. They believe they are doing the right thing for their communities and they think that their communities will rally behind them when the shit hits the fan. Unfortunately, that's not always true. In fact it's not true at all. Mostly the old cops keep that to ourselves.

Have you ever noticed that when cops are killed that there are never any riots?

The reason that is- is because cops take responsibility for our career choices and our actions. And when we get killed- while usually NEVER breaking the law- nobody runs out and loots the local strip mall and burns it down claiming that they are doing so on our behalf because we are the "picked on" Irish. We conduct our funerals, we play our bagpipes, we fold our flags, and we try to carry on like decent human beings.

This ain't your grandparents' America.

We have become a nation of pussies. We don't teach taking responsibility for your own actions. We don't teach civics and the only civic duty most people think they need to do is vote for some candidate they never bothered learning anything about anyway. Instead we teach people to blame others. It's the teachers fault you can't pass, it's the cops fault you are in jail, it's the boss's fault that you are a half ass employee, it's your wife's fault you drink too much. People believe that shit. I hear it all the time.

Our culture pacifies, coddles, and enables the piss poor performance of people like Michael Brown and more importantly his parents. Therefore I submit that Officer Darren Wilson didn't kill Michael Brown.

What killed Michael Brown was a culture and a thought process that enabled Brown to behave like a thug. It started with a complete lack of parenting, oversight, and discipline. How do we know this? Because every criminal I have ever known- thousands- were lacking at least one or usually all three of those things. Parenting takes place long before you walk into a store and terrorize a clerk and steal a few things. Or walk down the middle of a street and obstruct traffic. Or attack a cop not once, but twice. Where were Brown's parents? Didn't they teach him basic operating instructions like it's not acceptable behavior to attack and terrorize people? Where was the judicial system? It's supposed to protect us from thugs like Brown, and it's supposed to "rehabilitate and protect Brown" from future criminal activity. Brown's psychopathic urges should have been addressed or arrested long before he met some cop on some street in Missouri.

(There's no way that I am going to believe this was Brown's first rodeo and run in with the law. Oddly, there is an absolute dearth and lack of reporting on Brown's criminal past from any media source and juvenile records are "discoverable" after death)

So it was that one day, this giant mess with it's multiple failures finally came calling and the duty of reining it all in fell on the shoulders of one 28 year old Ferguson, Mo. cop named Darren Wilson.

That's where the rubber meets the road. Because there really are bad people out there and some of them don't go easily into the good night. Some quite honestly have to be beaten and subdued, or hit with Tasers, some have to get shot and killed. You and I didn't invent the world, nor are we in charge of it, nor can we change the culture, nor can we tell people what to do. In the end, people make their decisions all by themselves and cops simply react to them.

We know this and so we send out our best and our brightest, weeding out the bad eggs, and sometimes that's not even good enough. And we tell these kid cops, use your best judgement and so they try and we hold our collective breath. It isn't a perfect system but it's the best we've managed to come up with and mostly it works. And the kid cops expect the law abiding and decent people in their communities to support them and have their back.

When the kid cops desperately need support and turn and look behind their backs, these men and women who we charge to protect us, what do the officers often see? Do they see a collective, unified group of law abiding and decent people protecting them? Nope. Mostly, all they see is blue sky and crickets.

Darren Wilson has discovered that the law abiding and decent folks abandon you quickly. Because they fear for themselves. They don't have your kind of courage Darren Wilson.

Michael Brown was born innocent with a good heart and assigned all of the same hope we have for our newborns. A lot of shit, mostly bad, probably happened to Michael Brown. Poor, ineffective, or absentee parenting. He was most likely indoctrinated into the current new way of thinking where you are never responsible for your own actions- your poor performance is always the fault of somebody else. There was probably a healthy dose of "hate whitey" from siblings, friends, maybe even his parents. Possibly some mental illness, drug use, those sorts of things. Probably some rap music with it's hate cops themes. Maybe some video games where you kill and splatter things.

We know Michael Brown lacked good parenting because we all know where good people come from. I think everything you need to know can be summed up in the reaction of Michael Brown's stepfather after the verdict returned.

McSpadden's husband, her son's stepfather, wrapped her in his arms before turning to the crowd, screaming: "Burn this bitch down."

Pretty much says it all doesn't it? Things tend to always makes sense when you look at them hard enough. That's who was raising Michael Brown. Here's the harsh truth and I cannot make apologies for it because if I do- I will compromise my message and gawd knows- there's no shortage of weasel language out here.

Michael Brown clearly never had any decent role models to latch onto. It certainly wasn't his step father or apparently a mother who married a man capable of rendering such a statement. Michael Brown was raised in a culture which blames anything but yourself for your own poor performance or the lowly perch you land on when you don't put in the effort. That isn't a race issue. That's just a shitty performance issue.

If Michael Brown's parents had been any other kind of human beings, maybe they would have supported our legal system instead... and it's obvious flaws which are not news to anyone, quit behaving like victims, and asked people not to riot, to remain calm, to be decent human beings and emotionally prepare themselves for the adverse outcome that they received. They had plenty of time to prepare.

You get the feeling they were raised just like Michael was. They had their chance and they blew it.  "Burn this bitch down." That was the best idea they could come up with.

Of course it makes sense now- now we can see inside Michael Brown.

And yes as a matter of fact, I am tired of treating these miscreants like grieving victims. You don't want me in charge of the world. In Brian's world, I am so heartless that I'd consider charging Michael Brown's parents with inciting a riot simply to send the message that we are tired of angry mobs terrorizing decent people. I'd like to be sympathetic but "burn this bitch down" is simply not an acceptable form of expressing one's grief months after an event has taken place. Of course, this is just fantasy. The good law abiding cowards that pretend to support our rule of law would all go missing the moment I invoked my Draconian measures. Crickets.

I'm not sure that Michael Brown ever stood much of a chance. It's a shame that the last batter in the bottom of the 9th inning has to take the blame for the loss- when it was really the whole team that failed long before Darren Wilson ever stepped up to the plate.

That's what old cops like me know. The real victim, Darren Wilson age 28, resigned today with hardly a whimper.

Fuck em Darren Wilson. Thank you for your service.

*Here's the one minute, uncut video of Michael Brown in the store. Thanks Nosewetter!

*Another update. Brown's blood levels of THC were twice the legally intoxicating amounts required in several states. He also had some pot on him- facts conveniently missing from the liberal narrative as reported to the sheep.

*Autopsy report released 12/08.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

What Was Your Very Best Day?

Last Sunday, one of the NFL pre-game shows did a feature on a man who decided to write and ask people, "What was your very best day and why?"

I love the question and I have been mulling it over all week. My best day happened the day after my very worst day. It was Oct. 10, 2007. So I thought I'd share it- I have before.

Midway through  2007, my life had become a mess. I had just put the ink on my divorce, submitted my resignation or "retired", and I was having serious medical issues. I was angry, confused, and drinking way too much. I was depressed. I had managed to piss off what few friends I had left. I had nobody. I had never felt loneliness like that. The following day was Oct. 10. I woke up with one of those headaches where you can feel your own pulse as it throbs in the back of your head.

Pissed off and depressed is no way to live your life.

I remember thinking that I had spent a lifetime solving everyone else's problems and I knew nobody was gonna come and rescue me. I had the top down on my car and I was driving 90 MPH or so towards Vegas when it struck me. It was obvious. I had always been the problem. I also realized then- that I did not have any sort of spiritual solution or way to fix my life. I needed repairs. At that moment, I became humble and teachable. I did a lot of emotional work and resolved a lot of issues during the following two years. I built a pretty good foundation. Today I don't quantify the successes in my life by how much money I make, what kind of job I have, or how busy I can keep myself. I don't use those old yardsticks. I haven't had 10 bad days in 7 years.

October 10, 2007 was my very best day although it didn't start off with much promise- and it would take me years to realize the significance of that day.

What was your very best day and why? I'd absolutely love to hear that. That is the stuff that interests me.

So if you feel so inclined and have a few extra minutes (You can always use the anonymous feature if you'd like) I'd love to read what your best day was. I hope you'll share it with us.

Happy Thanksgiving!!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cosby Accusers Now Up to 19

Remember when Cosby played a gynecologist on the "Cosby Show?"

Apparently he takes his roles seriously- including the dispensation of drugs.

The list of victims now numbers 19. Here's a complete rundown of the dates, ages, names, and allegations of all 19. You'll note a familiar theme.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Gold Market and A Logical Explanation

This is a FG exclusive.

As most of you know, I follow the gold market. I have some interests and investments. Because of this,  I have noted something crazy in the gold markets which is worthy of passing on.

Here's the quick summary. I'm not going to post links, because I would have to embed 10 or 12 so you are just going to have to take my word that what I say is generally accurate.

In mid 2011, Venezuela demanded that 160 tons of gold be repatriated and it was. The corresponding gold price dropped from 1900 levels to 1500 dollar levels.

In Oct. of 2012, Germany demanded that their gold be repatriated. Although they asked for 300 tons from the United States- we could not deliver. In fact, all Germany managed to get back was 5 tons and Germany said the gold it received was not the same gold that it had delivered decades ago. The corresponding price in gold dropped from 1500-1600 levels to 1200 dollar levels.

I think Germany might have embarrassed the US.

In Jan of 2013, just 3 months later and probably less, the Dutch secretly requested and received 122 tons of their gold which was returned to them from the US and delivered to the Netherlands. Unlike the Germans, the Dutch kept their request from being made public.

In Feb of 2014, the Ukraine (which we are defending) airlifted all of it's gold and traded it for US dollars. That was about 33 tons.

Oddly, throughout all of this- with worldwide debt levels and currency printing increasing rapidly in every industrialized country- gold has somehow found itself in a 3 and a 1/2 bear market. At a time when the demand for gold has never been higher, with increasing debt levels and stealth inflation, gold inexplicably is worth 700 bucks less than it was in 2011. I think there is an explanation.

With worldwide debt levels increasing and money printing going on in every industrialized nation except the Eurozone, gold market players correctly went out and bought gold- hedging against the inflation that would occur as result of all of that. The momentum players piled in- driving the price of gold to 1900. When no inflation materialized, the gold market collapsed. That's not to say that JP Morgan and other bullion center banks did not manipulate gold lower in order to deliver it to the countries that wanted it. In fact, I am sure they did.

All of that money printing and QE was unprecedented. People expected inflation to immediately ignite and it did not. Currently it is just smoldering.

I consider gold's run to 1900 in 2011, a slightly overbought level. However, I believe that the true value of gold with all of the rising debt levels and QE programs going on since then is probably around 2200. I believe the true value of silver should be around 60. Remember this is priced against a bankrupt currency which has no value.

I think we are in the eye of the hurricane. We are in the midst of commodity deflation with a wildly overvalued and inflated stock market. When we leave the eye of the hurricane and the world realizes all of their paper investments are worthless and the stock market bubble bursts- you will see the greatest rush into precious metals that has ever been seen. I believe the rise in those markets will be unprecedented.

It is only a question of when. The chart, one last time.

chart1 This one chart shows exactly how undervalued gold is right now…

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Anyone Want To Trade Places With Bill Cosby?- The Sunday Collage

In the law enforcement world, it is often said that rape is the most under reported serious crime. Oddly, rape also happens to be one of the most "over reported" false accusations. Sorting those two things out can cost you a career. I know that to be true.

In a moment, I'm going to tell you a bizarre tale.

Yesterday, I heard a couple lamenting about the woes of Bill Cosby while eating breakfast in the booth next to mine. They were talking about the 16 or so current rape allegations now leveled against Bill Cosby. Bill it seems, likes to dispense with the frivolities of monogamy, courtship, dating, and sexual consent- choosing instead to have sex with unconscious women. The man and woman eating next to me, a couple about my age, probably grew up as I did- thinking that Bill Cosby was the perfect American success story. A role model and a hero. In fact, I heard the gal in the booth say, "the whole thing just makes me sick to my stomach, I feel sorry for his wife."

How Cosby was able to keep this a secret for so long does not really surprise me. Cosby has always played the part of a funny, level headed, child loving man. He has been harsh on the free shit army, many of them black, on more than one occasion. So he gained traction with a lot of hard working folks. The "Cosby Show" was a wildly popular sitcom that ran for 8 years. Cosby was so well respected and credible that anyone coming forward with a rape allegation against him would have been ridiculed and scorned unmercifully- while Bill would have escaped unscathed. That's just a sad fact. So one of the rape victims asks, "Why didn't anyone believe me? Well because it was Bill Cosby- American icon and legend, that's why.

So at least 16 women and probably many more, kept their mouths shut for decades. Even now, Bill Cosby's wife Camille said she is standing with her husband.

What are the chances Bill Cosby is innocent? I'd say slim and none. In fact, there is simply no way of defending yourself against that many accusers. At some point, and that point usually involves several victims- there is an exchange of information and a similar modus operandi begins to emerge. Remember these victims span great time and distances. They did not know each other or collaborate. Cosby's m.o. it seems, is one where he likes to drug his victims. That probably helped keep all of this quiet.

The only thing he's got going for him, the only path of plausible deniability- is the fact that none of the women apparently submitted themselves for examination and evidence collection. No blue dresses. For now, it just buys him a little extra time. Cosby's fate is sealed. His will be the same outcome as Jerry Sandusky with all of his victims who also were unknown to each other for a very long time.  Maybe a cop somewhere will actually try to put together a case.

Catholic priests, coaches, teachers, Tiger Woods, Bill Cosby. Role models. Credible people.

So what's the common denominator? People fail. People have been screwing up and failing since Adam and Eve- and Cain and Abel. You'd think we would have figured it out by now and a lot of it has to do with sex.

People have risked their lives, careers, families, and reputations over sex. Deviant sex. Sex with boys, underage girls, rape scenarios, fetishes, multiple partners, hookers, bondage, it's all pretty insane when you stop to think about it. Will Cosby go to prison? That's an interesting question and it really depends on the statute of limitations or whether he has committed rapes more recently. My guess is- is that he probably has.
And how do you come clean? It's pretty hard to throw yourself under the bus and tell the world you are a celebrity rapist.

I've had my share of odd ball rape reports and sex crimes. I pulled this one from my memory banks because it was pretty wild and worth telling here.

Many years ago, I had a young gal (16 yrs) report that she had been raped. She devised this giant fib, wherein she stated she was kidnapped by three men and raped in the back of a pickup truck and thrown out into a muddy field. The whole story came apart when none of the allegations were confirmed by facts because police try to collect evidence. There was no evidence to collect. No tire tracks in the mud, no mud on her, no witnesses, no evidence in the sex crimes collection we performed. No nothing. Eventually her story came apart and she confessed that she had made it all up. Here's the weird part. She told me that she just wanted to see if her father cared about her. I thought that was very sad. I actually cried a little in the patrol car that night as I listened to her. I just let the whole matter drop.

I wished that I could tell you that I was some fantastic, insightful shrink and a genius- but alas I am not. I wished I would have known then what I know now.

Four or five years later, this girl's mother came forward to tell me that her daughter had been raped repeatedly by her uncle and that this had been going on for several years- during the time of the previous rape allegation. Wow. That sent my brain reeling. She was a juvenile and that meant that anything that he did sexually with her was a felony. Gawd knows how many counts. I found the uncle, a man I had personally known for many years, and I arranged an interview. He had moved to a place about 70 miles away from the city I worked in. In my infinite wisdom, I decided to meet this man at his place. I took a squad car with no other back up to his rural farm. Soon after my arrival at his place, not only did the uncle confess to his crimes with his niece but he did so in stunning detail- insisting on telling me all of this in front of his wife. His wife's reaction was roughly equivalent to an atomic bomb going off. She was screaming and absolutely outraged. I instantly realized that I, great brainiac that I am, had made a terrible mistake and I would be a liar if I didn't tell you- that I thought there was a decent chance I was going to have to shoot my way out of this place. I had arranged not to arrest the uncle (who I did not consider a flight risk) in exchange for his confession. Needless to say, I didn't stick around to get any of the lurid details on paper. I had tape and I fled. I think the uncle did 3-5 years for his crimes.

The problem for predators like Bill Cosby is that they don't ever think that they are going to get caught. They get away with their crimes for so long- that they begin to think they can deflect anything. What Cosby stands accused of is incredibly embarrassing and horrific and he knows it.

What Bill knows right now- is that it is his turn to walk the plank.

What I don't think he will do is tell the truth and confess. It would take a bigger set of balls than almost anyone possesses- to do that and suffer the criminal consequences not to mention the damage to his family and finances. Cosby is 77. Arranging some sort of civil compromise involving money seems possible except for those victims who will refuse it.

So the standoff will continue sans some tangible evidence arriving. Who knows what is out there lurking for Bill? I found this today, a friend of Cosby's snitching him off.

Personally I don't know how guys like Cosby sleep at night. I'll tell you this much. No matter how bad your life gets- it can't get any worse than Bill Cosby's life. Somewhere out there, you just know Tiger Woods is breathing a sigh of relief and saying, "Thank God I'm not Bill Cosby."

Me too.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Best Joke of the Week

An Italian doctor says: "In Italy, medicine is so advanced that when we cut off a man's testicles and transplant  them on another man, in only 6 weeks he is looking for work."

The Dutch doctor says: "That's nothing. In Holland when we take part of a brain and put it in another man, he begins looking for work in as little as 4 weeks."

The Canadian doctor says: "Gentlemen, we can take half a heart from a man, put it in another's chest, and in 2 weeks he is looking for work."

The American doctor laughs: "You have nothing on us."

"Five years ago, we took a man with no brains, no heart, and no balls and made him President. Now, the whole country is looking for work!"

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Banksy Was Here

Imma gonna plaster this together and hope it sticks.

Six months ago, I did not know who "Banksy" was. I still don't. Neither do the millions who follow his art. My sister made me aware of what he did.

Banksy is a shadowy graffiti artist who's work is so excellent- that people stop and stare at it anywhere they find it. Banksy will use any venue that strikes him. As I write this, I am watching "Banksy Does New York."

Banksy's work is fantastic and it always makes a statement. Nobody says "fuck you" to established rules any better than Banksy does. You got to love a guy who disses on the "Freedom Tower" (built where the world trade center buildings were) and says it belongs in Canada.

Most of Banksy's work gets painted over and destroyed. It is after all, against the law.

So today, rather than read another hateful government rant, take a spin through Banksy's world. Here's a great place to start.

One Of The More Memorable Quotes By Banksy
“People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you. You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.
F*ck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.
You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.”

Banksy took one of those vastly over produced paintings we see everywhere, stuck a nazi in it, and donated it during his trip to New York. It was sold at auction for over 600k- the proceeds went to a homeless shelter. He called it the "Banality of the Banality of Evil." He signed the piece right above the original artist.

 Auction of <b>Banksy</b>’s ‘<b>The Banality</b> of <b>the Banality of Evil</b> ...

Good stuff. I only wish I could write half as effectively as Banksy draws. I have always liked the idea of working for free and making peoples' lives a little easier.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Gold: Try To Explain This Chart....

...because I can't.

Three years ago, with national debt levels rising, gold inexplicably went into free fall. Some three years later gold is still dragging the bottom of its range near 1200. It has been a three year bear market. With national debt levels at 17.9 trillion, I don't even think there's a little old lady in Kansas that believes we can pay this debt off.

The only two ways this debt ever gets paid off? Default or a hyperinflationary event.

For gapers only.

chart1 This one chart shows exactly how undervalued gold is right now…

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Jonathan Gruber, Nominee for the Asshole Hall of Fame*Updated- The Sunday Collage

Oh, how I try. Week after week I think- I will write something nice and uplifting. And then along comes a guy like Jonathan Gruber.

I've met a lot of people in my life. Motorists, crime victims, drug addicts and alcoholics. I've worked with hundreds of cops, school district employees, merchants, and various members of special interest groups. I've played in golf tournaments, poker tournaments, and softball tournaments. Hell, I've probably dated at least 50 women. I've known thousands of people.

And in all of my 53 years, there are probably only two people who I would feel quite comfortable knowing and describing as assholes. So getting into the FG Hall of Fame is no easy task.

Assholes, by my definition, have to possess the following qualities. They have to be completely self absorbed and self centered. When an issue arises, they will always do what is in their best interests- they are not concerned with anyone else's interests although they may pretend to care about others. Assholes genuinely believe they are better or smarter than other people. Their egos are so dominant that the sense of personal superiority that they possess- will simply leak out in their speech and deeds. At no time does an asshole possess any sense of humility or luck. In fact, assholes often believe they are members of some entitled, superior class of people. Rarely do they express gratitude for anything or even simple luck, rather they attribute their success to their vast intelligence and uncanny decision making. Now if all of that sounds bad, and it surely is, that still won't get you to the FG promised land of assholes. The piece de resistance, or crowning quality wherein I feel comfortable declaring any given person an asshole- is that they must purposefully deceive others and then belittle them. Rather than tell the truth or help people understand something- they deceive people in order to take advantage of them. This attribute satisfies my requirements for the Asshole Hall of Fame.

It's been a long time since my last Asshole Hall of Fame induction ceremony so I suppose I was over due. I found a worthy nominee this week. His name is Jonathan Gruber. Gruber is one of the architects and facilitators of Obamacare. In fact, he helped write the bill. Gruber has recently come under a lot of fire for calling people stupid and admittedly taking advantage of them on several levels and now confessing those sins publicly. Absolutely shameless. You must read this piece before you get the full sense of what a real asshole is.

There is a misconception in this country, generally among professions and people that exploit others, that somehow duping people or taking advantage of them is acceptable and intelligent. Or something to celebrate.

I have seen people who believe this and even laugh about it. Personally, I think that it's kind of sick.

I spent all week researching Jonathan Gruber, M.I.T. economist and watching his videos. Gruber received 300k from the government and then set about the task of promoting the ACA without telling anyone that he was being paid by the government to do so. Instead, he pretended to be some independent source of credible information having been the architect of Romneycare in Massachusetts. Because of his credentials, the government was more than happy to spend our tax dollars to enlist his impressive resume. 

Under controversies, in his Wiki bio, comes the following:

In November 2014, a series of videos emerged of Gruber speaking about the ACA at different events, from 2010 to 2013, in ways that proved to be controversial. Many of the videos show him talking about ways in which he felt the ACA was misleadingly crafted and/or marketed in order to get the bill passed, while in some of the videos he specifically refers to American voters as ill-informed or "stupid." In the first, most widely-publicized video taken at a panel discussion about the ACA at the University of Pennsylvania in October 2013, Gruber said the bill was deliberately written "in a tortured way" to disguise the fact that it creates a system by which "healthy people pay in and sick people get money." He said this obfuscation was needed due to "the stupidity of the American voter" in ensuring the bill's passage. Gruber said the bill's inherent "lack of transparency is a huge political advantage" in selling it.[23] The comments caused significant controversy.[24][25][26][27][28] In two subsequent videos, Gruber was shown talking about the decision (which he attributed to John Kerry) to have the bill tax insurance companies instead of patients, which he called fundamentally the same thing economically but more palatable politically. In one video, he stated that "the American people are too stupid to understand the difference" between the two approaches, while in the other he said that the switch worked due to "the lack of economic understanding of the American voter."[29] In another video, taken in 2010, Gruber expressed doubts that the ACA would significantly reduce health care costs, though he noted that lowering costs played a major part in the way the bill was promoted.[30]

One other thing I'd like to add about the ACA that most people are unaware of. Your government, with your health or tax dollars (depending on whose definition we use) promised to backstop health insurance companies so that they would not suffer any catastrophic losses under the ACA.  That way, with just a little math and some actuaries- they could come up with a pretty good idea of what their profit margins would eventually look like thanks mostly to you and I. Source here.

I would like to refocus on Jonathan Gruber. Gruber was essentially paid by the government to advocate for Obamacare and to keep his mouth shut regarding his paid status. Source. (I know its HP, pls read the link) He facilitated the ACA 's passage while misleading and deceiving millions of us. Gruber who had every opportunity to inform the public of what was actually in that bill and failed to do so, referred to us as ill informed or stupid voters. Thanks in no small measure to liars like himself.

Instead of feeling the extreme shame that any of us with a conscience might feel- Gruber does not. Gruber apparently gleans some measure of delight from duping and deceiving "stupid" taxpayers like me. And he doesn't even really take responsibility for writing this bill. For years I have scoured the internet trying to figure out the names of the people who actually wrote the ACA to no avail. Gruber is as close as I have ever come to an actual suspect.

There is no honor in misleading people and then calling them stupid. 

By every measure, Jonathan Gruber hit the jackpot. He was born with exceptional intelligence and the money or means to attend M.I.T. and Harvard. He made all the right connections and wound up with a resume and credentials that have allowed him to glean hundreds of thousands in tax payer money, a nice salary, a nice job, and some pretty good health insurance I'll bet. 

Instead of waking up each morning and giving thanks for hitting the birth lottery, Jonathan Gruber wakes up every day with a sense of entitlement. Rather than educating people- he chose to dupe them instead and now calls them stupid. His efforts will cost me thousands of dollars and will certainly muck up my health care. For all of that, Mr. Gruber does not show a sense of remorse or shame. Instead he celebrates his accomplishments like stealing an old lady's purse is a noble pursuit.

We all decide what kind of men we are going to be. I've spent my life trying to help others. I will not get any 6 figure government checks for "consulting" but I'll sleep well at night knowing that I didn't deceive anyone while stealing their money and calling them stupid. To hear Gruber talk, none of that matters- he doesn't even mention it. I find everything about Jonathan Gruber to be reprehensible and...

...we didn't use words like reprehensible when I was a kid growing up in Montana.

Instead, we just called people like Gruber, "assholes." I think that pretty much captures it. Nobody says, "When I grow up I want to be an asshole!" Some people it seems- are just over achievers. Welcome to the FG Asshole Hall of Fame, Jon. It's a small but special group and you certainly earned your spot in here.   

*Update. President Obama is now claiming Gruber had nothing to do with the ACA. All of those lies and confusion are a perfect example of why people are "stupid." It's impossible to tell the true from the false- primarily when delivered by non credible, proven liars. I still tend to believe Gruber- only because I don't have a 7 year proven track record of lying from him like I do with Obama- maybe the greatest liar to ever work a shift in Washington. Link:

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Second World America- The Sunday Collage

(This was last week's piece. I didn't like it but I have posted it today in a Frankenstein Government two for one sale!)

I've had a pretty interesting week which ended with last week's giant, Friday stock market rally brought on by Japan's announcement that they were going to further debase their currency and buy one half a trillion worth of American equities. More or less. So the bankers decided to front run those eventual purchases by the Japanese- by buying on Friday. The QE shit show that never ends.

I read a snarky Forbes piece about what a great deal Obamacare is this morning. It sure is- as long as you are subsidized by taxpayers. Unsubsidized people like myself are faced with 8000 dollars worth of annual insurance costs which approximate my mortgage or about 17% of my after tax income. (500 x12 mo with a 2k deductible)

On to the topic du jour.

When I was a child and later a young man, there was a sense of optimism in our lives. I knew and my friends knew- that if you worked hard and made wise decisions you could accumulate a small fortune and have a good life. We took for granted that our system of laws protected us. Who thought that laws actually protected our way of life- the kids of the 60s and 70s?

Do today's kids think like that?

Several weeks ago, I had a reader write and ask that I write a little bit about the damage inflicted upon us by lawyers and lawyer legislators. It goes something like this. Legislators, state and federal, are forever creating new laws. All this new law gets implemented and then the fallout takes place. In our system many of us assume that good laws are kept and that bad laws are somehow thrown out.

Lawyers create laws, they steward the law, and they make legal decisions regarding the law. If they adhere to simple principles regarding the law- such as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights- then things would work fine. When lawyers deviate from freedom guided principles and begin to authorize let's say- politically motivated laws or laws designed to unreasonably seize citizen assets- then the system starts to break down.

In a nutshell, it's really hard to support any person, groups of persons, or any other institution which is seizing or really- just simply stealing your assets through the force of bad law. People who extort money from others used to be called thieves. These days we refer to them as government.

Even the most staunch libertarian like myself believes in the necessity of government for the safety and protection of our citizens. I am more than happy to pay taxes and fund our national defense (not offense) for agencies like the FCC and the FDA, and any number of other alphabet agencies that protect our citizens.

Where I get crazy is when government starts stealing my money for home loans, student loans, TARP programs, cell phones, medical insurance, bond interest, or any number of other programs ranging from ridiculous grants to farm subsidies where farmers are paid not to grow crops. All of this garbage has nothing to do with the PRIMARY job description of government. The safety and protection of our citizens.

Or more succinctly from Publius Huldah- a true constitutional scholar- comes the following:

The parallel in our Constitution is that the Constitution is the Supreme Law which the civil authorities are to obey. Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary defines “constitution”:

“…In free states, the constitution is paramount to the statutes or laws enacted by the legislature, limiting and controlling its power; and in the United States, the legislature is created, and its powers designated, by the constitution.”

So our Constitution is the Standard by which the validity of all Acts of Congress, all acts of the Executive Branch, all judicial opinions, and all Treaties is measured and judged (Art. VI, cl. 2).

So law comes from a higher source than the civil authorities. The “Rule of Law” prevails when the civil authorities obey that higher Law – be it God’s Law or our Constitution.

So how do all of these bad laws come about and stay? Could it be as simple as legislators who create law and who are often lawyers, lawyers who steward these laws once created, and judges who are lawyers and make decisions regarding these laws?

Of course. Let me give you one little example.

Lawyers blew it and I do in fact lay the blame at their doorstep. In fact, in a very simplistic way, John Roberts of  the Supreme Court while casting the tie breaking vote could have ended Obamacare dead in it's tracks. Instead, Roberts threw out any rationale regarding the 4th amendment and authorized the greatest asset seizure and forfeiture in American history. Say that again. The greatest asset forfeiture in American history.

What did Roberts, a lawyer and judge, steal from me?

Roberts stole my liberty and freedom to choose how to live and direct  my life. He seized my work product without due process and apparently suspended the 4th amendment- which is supposed to protect me against unreasonable seizure. In short, Roberts stole my freedom, my rights as a human being, and ultimately my money. I don't see things any differently than if my government ordered me to buy satellite television because my participation would allegedly keep the costs of TV watching down for everyone else. Roberts could have stopped all of this stupid shit. But he didn't because he is a fallible, human being who's credentials far exceed his common sense.

When I was a child, that law would have never been written- let alone passed and upheld by a room full of Harvard jurists. Not in my wildest dreams have I ever seen a finer example of socialism in a country that once detested socialism as the graveyard of dead republics.

In a few months I am going to have to file my taxes and I am completely angered by the fact that I must pay a penalty for a service that I didn't want, didn't ask for, and can't afford anyway. This, in the land of the free.
What a joke that is. It didn't use to be that way.

I suppose that's how a great republic declines. It abandons the concepts and principles that once made it great. It's an entirely odd concept to think that embracing freedom, capitalism, and a rule of law meant everyone participated on a level playing field maintained by our country's jurists.

Today we embrace statism, socialism, and we ignore the rule of law- choosing to let mob rule democracy decide who can keep what. Our jurists are largely missing now, their bad decisions now setting bad judicial precedent which will form a foundation for the laws that will surely follow. Soon the mob will find ways to take more and more wealth from the people who possess it- making it a criminal act to possess something they want- like Russian wheat farmers under Stalin.

Why would anyone produce anything if they knew they would have to surrender it to the state? Isn't that the essence of socialism or communism?

You can't keep seizing the assets of our hard workers and give them to the non workers. This is how you take a well run country that embraced the concepts of freedom, the rule of law, and ruin it. By stealing the property of hard working and innovative Americans and delivering it to couch potatoes and deadbeats by passing terrible law- you most assuredly will steal the motivation of the best and brightest in America.

That's why today, we have become "also rans." In virtually any category, from birth to death rates to tax rates- we have dropped dramatically. We no longer sit at the top of anything except the amount of money we spend on our military and our 18 trillion dollar debt. And our costs for health care. I laugh when people still maintain that we have the best health care (certainly the most expensive and wasteful, we win that hands down) and I run across those statements from time to time. Let's just say the World Health Organization disagrees.

The laws of this country violate the tenets of the 4th amendment which was designed to prevent unreasonable searches and most importantly- seizures. Those unreasonable seizures are destroying our way of life. They cannot be allowed to continue or we most assuredly will become a second world country. The truth is- we have probably already arrived at that destination.

As a child I never thought I'd live to see these days. We took our way of life for granted back then and they stole it from us. Sometimes when people steal your shit- you have to steal it back. Sometimes a lot of people get jailed and a lot more get killed. History teaches that lesson over and over again. You'd think at some point- we'd pay attention.