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Thursday, September 3, 2015

I'll Put My Money On History

Ahhh, the pause that refreshes.

While on my break, I had some time to think.  Here are some semi-random thoughts:

1.  Diversity - We all know that this is a code word for affirmative action.  There aren't enough women or minorities in various businesses or industries, and it MUST be changed.


In essence, it's saying that regardless of skills, effort, ambition or qualifications, you must have a minimum number of blacks/Hispanics/Asians/women in your company.  The Party Line is that it will bring a new persepective to the company, and things will be all rainbows and unicorns.

That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

Hey, if it's such a great idea, why don't you start your own company with under/non-skilled employees and see how that works for you?  [queue chirping crickets]

Don't you idiots think that if skin color or personal plumbing were more important than skills for a successful business, it would have already been done?  
Diversity in the workplace is more important than skills in the workplace.

Read that out loud so you can hear how stupid it sounds.

And that's one of the big problems with our country right now.  The socialists - with their diversity and inclusiveness programs - never put their own money where their mouth is.  They take OUR money instead.  They are unwilling to risk their own capital on their Great Experiment, but they're damned quick to risk yours.

There are LOTS of rich socialists - Soros and the majority of rich Hollywood actors leap to mind.  Pony up a pile of your own money, and then walk away.  And when that money is gone, pony up another pile.  And another, and another.

They're "entitled" to it, aren't they?

As a side note, it's also a slap in the face of the minorities/women that are in these programs.  It is acknowledgement that you, as an individual, can't make it on your own.

Wipe your own ass, get some education, and grow a pair.  You're not a victim, you're just not willing to take the time to develop the skills needed to succeed.

2.  Going Cashless - It's raising its ugly head again.  I wrote about this last May (Buh-Bye Cash) - it is in all government's best interest to outlaw cash transactions.  Why?  Control and taxes.

France has now, once again, lowered the bar for cash transactions.  It's gone from 3000 euros to 1000 euros.  Soon enough, it will be zero.

They always justify it with the "common good" explanations - druggies and terrorists with their money laundering schemes. 

That's unadulterated crap.

If a transaction happens in cash, it can't be taxed, because it isn't in a database somewhere and The State doesn't know it happened.  Also, the various world entities such as our Federal Reserve Bank can't discourage savings (and encourage spending) by placing negative interest rates on deposit accounts.

Right now, if you're getting charged by the bank to hold your money (negative rates), you take it out in cash and hide it under the mattress.  If everything is electronic-only, you've got to spend the money or see it "die a death of a thousand cuts" - slowly frittering away to nothing as it sits in an account.

See, The State knows better than you on how you should manage your money.  Spend it, and sales happen.  When sales happen, they get their taxes.  All good!

What rational people do is to buy durable, trade-able goods.   Toilet paper, tools, guns, ammo, soap, dried foods, etc. 

And precious metals.  It's all about preservation of assets. 

Look to Venezuela, Greece and Argentina right now.  When you impose either capital controls (such as described above) or have hyper-inflation, tangible assets are your only safe haven.

Serious as a heart attack, get thee some precious metals, and practice, practice, practice your negotiating skills.  Go to garage sales, buy and sell on Craigslist, go to a farmer's market and haggle.  Get over your reluctance to negotiate.

Your future well being will depend upon it.

3.  Police murders - This recent spate of out-and-out executions of police officers is, I fear, just the start.  Years ago, when the obscene abuses perpetrated by some police officers - which were then swept under the rug - started coming to light, I noted that people were eventually going to push back, and it would be done violently.

I'm talking about things like brutal beatings for standing up for your rights, no-knock warrants, shootings, asset forfeitures, killing of yard dogs, arrests on trumped up charges, etc.  Now, with the widespread use of smartphone cameras, the formerly unquestioned word of the Boys In Blue that were abusing the citizens can be shown to be lies.

The abuse of Color of Authority was more widespread than we had thought.

Let's be clear:  I am in no way condoning or approving of these murders, I'm just saying that I saw this result coming from a mile away.

I've stated that the only way to head this off was for police chiefs and Sheriffs to quickly and very publicly discipline/fire/prosecute offending officers, instead of the usual "reassignment" or other non-punishment that was typically meted out.

I'm pleased to see that this punishment is happening with greater frequency, but I think it's too little, too late.

We've now got this bullshit, "Black Lives Matter" circle jerk, and it's stirring things up.  Not the non-PC "All Lives Matter," only black lives. 

I was listening to the radio this past week, and the host noted that in the US each year, about 100 blacks are killed by white police officers each year.  That includes everything - justifiable and non-justifiable.  Also each year, 5600 blacks kill other blacks.  A 56-to-1 ratio.  I'm going out on a limb here and guessing an incredibly low percentage of those were justifiable.

So I guess their slogan should be changed to, "Black Lives Matter Unless You're Also Black."

To emphasize the insanity of this movement, a black guy who calls himself, "King Nobel, Black Supremacy", posted this (watch the whole 3 minute video) [link] -
"It's open season on killing whites and police... and they better make some serious, serious changes... social changes... at this point, 'cuz it ain't lookin' good." 

As the Israelis do with the Muslims, I believe him.  When some group says they want to slaughter a group to which I'm a member - I take that seriously.

Their approach is taking our collective eye off the ball:  We've got a handful of bad cops that need to be dealt with quickly and publicly.

This psycho thinks that by making it "open season" on anyone or any group, the problem will go away.  Instead of going after the specific offenders - legally - I believe this "wipe 'em all out" approach will result in a similarly aggressive and violent response.

Got range time?  Got SecondCall Defense?

3B.  Social Justice - Is this the kind of social justice you're looking for, King Nobel?
Dr. Anderson’s instinct, he said, is that of a “social justice thinker” who is “evening the scales a little bit.” He said that the children he sees with academic problems are essentially “mismatched with their environment” — square pegs chafing the round holes of public education. Because their families can rarely afford behavior-based therapies like tutoring and family counseling, he said, medication becomes the most reliable and pragmatic way to redirect the student toward success.

“People who are getting A’s and B’s, I won’t give it to them,” he said. For some parents the pills provide great relief. Jacqueline Williams said she can’t thank Dr. Anderson enough for diagnosing A.D.H.D. in her children — Eric, 15; Chekiara, 14; and Shamya, 11 — and prescribing Concerta, a long-acting stimulant, for them all. She said each was having trouble listening to instructions and concentrating on schoolwork.

“My kids don’t want to take it, but I told them, ‘These are your grades when you’re taking it, this is when you don’t,’ and they understood,” Ms. Williams said, noting that Medicaid covers almost every penny of her doctor and prescription costs.

Holy shit.  Drug 'em up and get 'em in line.  Hey, and it's free, too.  Well, it's free to those getting the blow dart in the neck.  It's not free to the dwindling ranks of tax payers. 

I'll bet this works out as well as welfare and affirmative action have worked out.

New motto for Medicaid:  Building victims and dependents, one dose at a time...


So, what do all of these things have in common?  They are all about your personal freedom.  More precisely, they are rooted in some form of government using its power to restrict your freedoms.

No freedom to choose with whom you work or hire, no freedom to terminate bad government or private employees, no freedom to educate your children as you see fit, no freedom to spend your earned money as you see fit, and no freedom to keep the money you've earned.

It takes work, effort and planning, but if your assets are "above board" - in bank accounts, savings accounts, retirement accounts, trading accounts - they are all subject to seizure or control by a State entity.

As noted earlier, the Black Lives Matter bullshit is, well, bullshit.  But, it is but a symptom of a greater, socialist/control cancer that's in our country - and it's spreading quite rapidly.

It's ALWAYS about the money.

Once The State's, "Wizard Of Oz: lever-pulling eventually fails to keep the markets and financial systems in line, what do you think will be the result?

Once again, I direct you to Venezuela, Greece and Argentina for a preview of things to come.  State control of markets and financial systems has NEVER worked in the history of the world.  Every time it's been tried, it has failed.  Without exception.

Capital controls result in shortages of goods because The State won't allow money to flow out so goods can be purchased.  The shortages result in civil unrest, and the collapse of public safety. 

In short:  Those that have become dependent upon The State with their worthless Barry Bucks still want to eat.  Empty shelves and a full EBT card are not a good combination for people with no skills.  And then the shit hits the fan.

I could be wrong, but if I were a betting man, I'd be putting my money on history...

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Copyright 2015 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Welcome To The Book Burning!

 I've gotta tell ya, those Marxist/statists have this game down to a tee.  The whole, "Don't let a good emergency go to waste" philosophy.

It really helps the cause when you have the press corps slobbering all over themselves to cover these Marxist stories.

Watching their "Machine" kick into overdrive is a truly amazing thing.  Went from zero to warp speed in the blink of an eye.

So, what is the emergency du jour this time around?  You have one white, died-in-the-wool racist piece of crap shoot and kill a bunch of blacks in a church, and the statists fall all over themselves to shove through their agenda.

Obama originally - and predictably - took a swing at gun control before the bodies were even in the morgue.  If he had a lick of common sense, he'd have considered that if just one or two people from that church had guns on them when the racist started shooting, fewer congregation members would be dead.

But facts and logic get in the way of making an emotional appeal to the Bread and Circus crowd.

When that attack was snuffed out fairly quickly, there was this -

The little racist is photoed waving a Confederate flag.  With dizzying swiftness, all kinds of companies start banning anything with this flag on it.  Ebay and Amazon were the first I heard about.  Then Walmart and others followed the lemmings.  I saw that NASCAR was looking to ban it as well.

That will be interesting.

OK, so what's the rule?  If just one person is offended by something, it's got to be banned?  No, that can't be it, because there are LOTS of people offended by the whole gay marriage deal.  Their multicolored rainbow flag is still allowed at all of those stores, and also resulted in the White House being lit up like a Christmas tree.

That's the actual White House, all dolled up with colored lights.  I'm offended.  Burn all of the photos.

Maybe the rule is, these companies won't sell anything that has to do with racism.  No, wrong again.  I found hats, flags, books, buttons - all kinds of crap - from racist organizations such as the NAACP, The New Black Panther Party and The Nation of Islam.

If I thought listing all of these racist organizations would change a damned thing, I could take perhaps a half hour and find dozens more examples.

But it won't, so I won't.

But Chief, you ignorant slut, those organizations exist to combat racism!  How could you call them racist?

Seriously?  Those organizations don't combat racism, they are in existence to promote their own race.  Here's the definition of racist -
Showing or feeling discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or believing that a particular race is superior to another:

Let's take the NAACP, for instance.  Their name kind of says it all - National Association For The Advancement of Colored People.  Not ALL people, COLORED people.

MLK must be rolling in his grave right now.

Their website says this
In recent years, the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, has made great strides forward to advance its mission to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.
So, their lip-service says they work for all persons, but their "victories" speek otherwise.  The vast majority of them on the page linked above have to do with doing things for black people, not white, Hispanic or Asian people.

Their crowning racist achievement is The Image Awards -
The live two-hour Image Awards Show is broadcast on a national basis on the NBC Television Network in prime time.  The show recognizes and honors outstanding achievements and performances by people of color in the arts (motion pictures, television, recording and literature), as well as individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors.
No pigment, no honors.  Sounds racist to me. You are intentionally segregating the pool of possible honorees based upon the color of their skin.

Honestly, I don't give a damn if you're racist or not.  Bigoted or hateful.  No matter to me.  Build your club or association, and have at it.  I certainly won't have anything to do with you, but I'll truly fight for your right to do so.

Just don't try and come off as something you're not.  You're a racist organization.

And that's where I get rubbed the wrong way with this crap Walmart, Ebay, NASCAR, Amazon and the rest of the PC gang are pulling.

What I hear them saying is that some racism is OK, as long as it's the right kind of racism.

Kiss my ass, you racist bastards.

You're connecting the dots from an individual psycho, racist murderer who happened to have a Confederate flag in a picture, to implying that anyone with one of these flags is a racist.  And because most of them are Southerners - ALL Southerners must be racist.

That's a pretty broad - and financially risky - brush.  I'd suggest you stop digging in the hole you've found yourself.  That shit's gettin' deep.

Maybe try this:  Don't do a damned thing.

If I see a Nation Of Islam flag for sale on Amazon, I'll make the personal decision NOT to buy it.  You remember them, don't you?  The nice folks who advocate members to, "kill them all (whites)".

I don't need you ignorant, book-burning bastards to limit what I can or can't buy, read or consume.

Now, if you're so inclined, Amazon graciously offers them for sale.  Here's the link to buy one.   It's a fun, 3 foot by 5 foot "novelty" flag.

No matter that even the leftist Southern Poverty Law Center classifies them as a Hate Group.  It's just a novelty, right?

Of course, if you want to do another connect-the-dots game, why don't you try playing this one -

But Chief, but, but, but, that's different.....

Save it.

Save your ignorant, racist, electronic book-burning bullshit for some who can't steam up a mirror.  Apparently, Ebay, Amazon, Walmart and NASCAR have already hired them all up.

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Copyright 2015 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Get Off My Ass

Seriously, I've just got to shake my head in disbelief.  I see shit that our government does - local, state and federal - and I'm left numb.  Simply numb.

Here's an example:

These workers and unions just don't get it.

If the expenses of the business go up, the profit of the owner goes down.  You remember the owner - that's the man or woman who put their own personal money on the line to start the business.  If it goes tits-up, he or she will lose the time and money they invested in the company.

It's a risk they're willing to take.

They, and only they, should have the right to determine what they charge for their goods or services, and how much or how little they pay their employees.  If their employees don't think they're being paid enough, they are free to go find a job elsewhere.

Or start their own business with their own money.

But that's not how it works here in Marxist America.  After getting the permission of the government to open their business (via fees, licenses, permits, etc.), they are told what they can and cannot sell, and how much they must pay their employees via the minimum wage.

If the minimum wage isn't enough for the worker to have a "living wage", the government simply passes a law that says they must pay them more.

There is never any discussion that the employee doesn't have the skills commensurate with a $15 per hour salary.  No discussion that the burger-flippers chose to piss away their high school education.  No discussion that they couldn't resist getting pregnant.  No discussion that being educated and skilled ain't cool.

So it gets piled on the business owner.  Well, I'll tell you what, cupcake, this ain't gonna end well.

You see, that business owner went into business to make money, not support your poor decisions in life.  And he or she is going to either make that money, or close the business.

Either way, you're toast.  Higher costs spawn innovation. 

Around the developing world, they dig up potatoes by hand.  Here in the US, that's too expensive, so now machines do it.

By NOT hiring employees, you get the added benefits of not having to deal with so many HR problems.  A very good friend of mine has a successful business.  She has enough customers to hire more employees, but the laws are so damned twisted that she's "done the math" and sees it's not worth the grief.  You do one thing that's not 100% by the books, and you're open to lawsuits.

I'm not talking about unsafe work environments, or things like that.  I'm talking about the employee asking the employer to do a certain job, or to do it in a certain fashion, and it breaking some asinine worker law.

Down the road, the employee becomes disgruntled, and sues.  And wins most of the time, because the law was broken, after all - regardless of how stupid it may be.

So, you remove the employee from the picture, and the problem is solved.

We business owners then innovate.  We'll have our potatoes dug up by machines.  We'll have our burgers flipped by machines.  We'll have our cash dispensed by machines.  We'll have our gas pumps take the buyer's money, and let the buyer pump his own gas.  We'll have our phones answered by a "calling tree". 

We'll have our cars more and more made by machines.  We'll have our homes pre-fabbed in automated factories.  We'll have our packages delivered to our homes by flying drones. 

So instead of the government helping us to employ more people, they've created an environment that makes it too expensive for us to do so.


I pay THOUSANDS of dollars each year, and get nothing in return.  Why is the government involved in any way, shape or form when I want to open a business?  If I and the owner of the property come to terms about the store I want to open, why must I pay a licensing fee to the city and the state?

I get nothing for that money, and neither does the public.  If I do something wrong or harm someone with my product, does the public have the right to sue the city because they're the ones that "blessed" the opening of my store?

Of course not.

What the public gets is higher prices, to pay for those licensing fees from which neither of us benefit.

And that goes for any kind of business, even the food service business.  A restaurant must submit to various food and cleanliness inspections.  Yet somehow, every single year, we read of stories of bad food being ingested by people that bought from previously inspected processing plants, stores and restaurants!

Who gets sued?  The business that was certified as A-OK by the government.  So what good is the certification to anyone?

If I were King, I'd have one business law:  If you make or sell something, and it doesn't do or act as you've advertised, you can be held liable for damages.  If the business is sued, and the business wins, the accuser is liable for all costs for the business to defend itself.  Have a nice day!

The marketplace will be "The Decider" of what constitutes a "worthy" business, not some government bureaucrat.  These supposed, "consumer and employee protection laws" have gone too far.

The marketplace will be "The Decider" as to what is a fair wage, fair benefits and fair working conditions.

Here in California, starting July 1, the State has decided that I must now give my employees 1 hour of free time off for every 30 hours they work.  In essence, I'm being forced to give them a 3.33% raise.

Does the State consider the benefits my employees currently get?  A relaxed work environment, wholesale prices on precious metals, bonuses, flexible scheduling, food and refreshments?

Of course not.  Instead of a company offering time off as a benefit, it's now mandated.  So the business who used to offer it has now lost one of its enticements to work in their business.

"Hold on there Chief!  Don't you remember the horrible working conditions that existed at the turn of the previous century?  Unions, regulations and safety laws made America great!"

Bullshit.  Innovation, education and personal drive is what made America great.  The people that were having limbs chopped off in meat packing companies were largely uneducated immigrants.  Those business absolutely, positively were evil and took advantage of those people because they had no other choices.

But now, every person - legal or not - gets a free education.  If they choose to piss on that gift, I'm not going to shed a lot of tears over their lot in life.  And they don't need any personal drive, 'cause everything they need to live is provided for them.  That may sound harsh, but I don't care.  I will not be held responsible for their bad decisions.

Since the various layers of government disagree with my perspective, I've been left with only one choice:  I simply won't hire them.  Ever.

I know this story doesn't end well for anyone.  If more businesses act as my friend and I do, eventually there won't be anyone left that can afford to buy what I sell.

I'm good with that, as I'll shortly be picking up my marbles and taking them elsewhere.  Somewhere where the state and local governments aren't up my ass every two seconds, looking for ways to extort more money from my efforts.

Not surprisingly, my friend is doing the same.  Shocking, huh?

Coming along???

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Copyright 2015 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Well.... Not Really...

From a friend - so true, so true...

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Copyright 2015 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

Monday, June 1, 2015

When You Eliminate Risk, This Is What You Get

To many, I might be considered a "Right-Wing Tax Zealot".  You'd be wrong, as I am neither right-wing (I'm a small-L libertarian) nor a zealot (I don't think being principled makes you a zealot).

When it comes to taxes, I am VERY principled.  I believe that all taxes received must be used for services that are available to every single person inside of that taxing district (with regards to federal taxes, I support any tax that pays for any federally mandated - Constitutional - responsibility of the feds).

Police - check
Fire - check
Emergency medical via 911 - check
Water treatment - check
Schools - check
Parks - check
Public transportation - check
Public roadways - check
Public libraries - check

Every one of those things are equally accessible to any person in the tax district - even the schools.  If you want to enroll in 6th grade, you're legally here from another country or state, enroll and become educated.  Regardless of your age.  More power to you.

Where I will not faulter in my principles is when public funds are used and available only to defined segments within the taxing district.

WIC - denied - must be a poor woman and have a baby
Welfare - denied - must be poor
Health care - denied - must be poor
Public Housing/Section 8 - denied - must be poor
Disabled payment - denied - must be disabled (thru birth, accident or bad choices)

Chief, Chief, Chief - you cranky old man!  How can you literally take food out of the mouths of babies?  And a disabled person?  Are you just mean?!  You don't want to help some kid that's born with no legs?

I get this screed even from my truly right-wing friends.  My answer has never wavered:
These are things for private charity, not government programs.  Charity is voluntary, taxes are not.  Since I did not place any of these individuals in the circumstances in which they find themselves, I will not be responsible for their care.
 I truly, honest to God, believe that giving something to someone without strings attached does more harm than good.  I'm not talking about giving someone a birthday present or wedding gift.  I'm talking about something that makes their lives easier.

Why?  Because without the strings attached, doing so encourages more of the behavior that put them in their current situation where they're unable to care for themselves.

Give a man a fish, and he's looking to you for his fish tomorrow.  Make him struggle to learn how to fish, and he can now provide for himself.

This is no longer even a topic for debate.  We have 60 years of accumulated data in this country that the Marxist ideology of Government Humanitarianism simply does not work.  Not surprisingly, it encourages more people to draw on those programs.

Look what's happened to the number of people on Social Security Disability payments.  Did some freak occurrence happen that suddenly crippled millions of Americans?  Or did it just get easier to be classified as disabled - and get paid for it?

Numbers in Thousands - Source:
In roughly 19 full years from 1996 to the end of 2014, the population grew by 21%.  During that same period (Jan 1996 to Dec 2014) the number of people getting Disability Payments grew by 113%.

Since virtually all safety statistics have improved over that time frame, one is left to surmise that this nearly 6-fold increase in disability recipients is the result of poor personal choices, easier qualification, or both.

I'm betting on both.

We've removed risk from society.  Without risk, there can be no negative result from your choices.  We lose innovation, and most importantly, we lose motivation.

You can do as you please, and not be worried about the negative consequences of your behavior.  Go ahead, eat yourself into a food coma each night.  Nanny will pick up the tab because you're a victim and not responsible for the fact you couldn't put down the Ben and Jerry's until the quart was empty.

Instead of having to change your behavior, you're classified as disabled, and get a check each month.

And that's what makes "Strings Attached" so important.  Private charities are more efficient and effective because they can set standards - they can discriminate between who gets their dollars and who doesn't.

They can say, "Young lady, we're going to help you feed your baby.  Regardless of the choices or circumstances that put you in this situation, we're willing to help you out.  Here are the rules:  No more kids until you get your diploma, and a job that pays enough for you to support yourself and your child.   It's that simple.   If you don't like the rules, go somewhere else.  We're not going to pay you to become a burden on society when there are people our limited dollars can really help".

Will some children die as a direct result of this policy?  Doubtful, but maybe.  I'd guess it would be no more than die in households that currently accept WIC and welfare.

What it WOULD do is establish consequences for your behavior.  Straighten your shit up, and we'll help.  Don't, and we won't.

Keep it up - spitting out kids you can't afford to raise - and we'll restrict your freedom because of the burden you're placing on society.  Yeah, we'll throw your ass in jail and take your kids.

By having multiple children you can't afford to raise, you're treating those kids like income-producing property.  Just like a person who tosses their unwanted couch on the lawn of a neighbor expecting them to clean it up, their behavior of dumping their unwanted children on society must have consequences as well.

You can make a similar case for any of the other "entitlements" in the "denied" category above.

Not only does government make the distinction between who does or does not benefit from taxes, they actually go out of their way to encourage people to remain dependent.  They've been VERY successful in their tireless efforts.

They get votes that way.  Lots of them.
What did taxpayers give to the 109,631,000 — the 35.4 percent of the nation — getting welfare benefits at the end of 2012? 
82,679,000 of the welfare-takers lived in households where people were on Medicaid, said the Census Bureau. 51,471,000 were in households on food stamps. 22,526,000 were in the Women, Infants and Children program. 20,355,000 were in household on Supplemental Security Income (ed. NOT Social Security - See Here). 13,267,000 lived in public housing or got housing subsidies. 5,442,000 got Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. 4,517,000 received other forms of federal cash assistance.
That's the evil beauty of Marxist dogma.  Government Humanitarianism seems like such a noble idea.  You take just a few dollars from lots of people, and you can save the world!

Except it never works that way.  Never.  It can't.  It's human nature to take the easiest path to a given goal.  

No multi-millionaire ever decided to triple the cost or amount of time it takes to bring a product or idea to market.  Economy Of Effort motivates you to innovate a quicker and better path.

If your government tells you that you're a victim, and you need nothing more in life than food, housing, clothing - and someone will give it to you at no cost or obligation - well HELL, who wouldn't take that deal?

Because of your choice to NOT avail yourself of a public education, you don't have the skills or knowledge to support yourself.  Your options are to get a market-driven minimum wage job and live in poverty, or don't get a job and get the same thing.

Generation after generation sees how the game works, and follow suit.  Instead of seeing the negative consequences of bad choices - dead of diabetes at 45, or 4 kids taken to Foster homes from a 22 year old brood sow - they see government checks.  Victim-hood pays.

By government encouraging this dependency/entitled/victim mindset, we end up with burger flippers demanding $15 an hour when the skills necessary to perform the task are worth $5 an hour.  Mandate that they must be paid that amount, and you remove the motivation of the flipper to better him or herself.

As an unintended consequence, you will motivate the business owner to innovate.  Suddenly, you could end up with a burger that is made with no human intervention other than the delivery guy who fills the bins with meat, tomatoes, pickles, buns and cheese - that were all prepared in an automated factory.

Oh wait.  Sorry.  They've already done it...

Coming To A Burger Joint Near You!

A hot, juicy burger that wasn't handled by some pre-syphilitic, entitled teen?  I'll take two.

You just keep pushing for that government-mandated $15 an hour "living wage", sport.  The more money you get (as opposed to earn) by raising the taxes or costs of the producers will result in fewer actual human jobs.

It's an old but accurate truism:  Subsidize behavior you want to encourage - Tax behavior you want to discourage.

Hey Mr. Marx!  How's that workin' out?  Ask Mr. Galt - he knows.

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Copyright 2015 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Get This Straight

Poached from Twitter.

Amen, brother.

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Copyright 2015 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Buh-Bye Cash

 A good friend of mine sent me an email about the recent flurry of articles on line about the demise of cash in America.

Since I was pondering a post on the subject, I'm going to just post his question and my response for your perusal (with some slight editing), with some final thoughts at the end.

Caution:  I swear a bit.  Actually, a lot less than I expected!

Q:  What's your take on the latest "fad" of the internet doomsayers regarding the outlawing of cash?  Any substance to that theory of which you are aware?

A:  Buckle up - this is gonna be bumpy (and windy).

I've long held that this will eventually happen. When? That's the tough part. Back in my banking days, the fed started this program called Check 21. It's plan was to do away with checks. The rationale was that checks were hard and expensive to process, and by doing away with them, the world would be a better place. Hey, you can buy everything you want with a debit card, so no problem, right?

The real reason is the ability to track - and tax - transactions.

Well, they figured out that checks couldn't quite go away just yet. You had transactions between individuals that didn't fit the mold. For individuals, it's either cash or checks (or Paypal now). So, Check 21 digitized the checks. They are no longer processed as before. They get scanned, and an electronic file - critical data and an image of the check - now replace the paper checks. As a business, you scan the checks, then destroy them. When you as an individual deposit your check at the bank, they scan it, then destroy it. Hell, when I get my check from the gold store, I take a picture with my cell phone using my [bank name] app, then shred the check!

So now there's an electronic trail. Money transferred from one person to another (or to a biz) and that info can be gleaned in a second. No forensic accountants digging thru boxes of checks and statements. Efficient for the tax collectors.

And then there's cash. Big gaping hole. Every government on earth understands that the "off the books" economy is enormous. With cash, there's no way to track it. And if you can't track it, you can't tax it.

Look how the feds stepped on their collective dicks with medical marijuana (and now the legalized variety). To show how big and bad they were, they made federally insured banks (yes, that means all banks) drop the bank accounts of the growers and sellers because MJ was a federally illegal substance. What happened? The pot clubs dealt in all cash. Fucking buckets of it!

The feds soon realized their actions had nipped in the bud (sorry) a great tax source. All that cash went underground. Hmm, I wonder how much of that was declared on tax returns.....

So, the law was changed so that banks with branches in states with legalized MJ could now accept deposits from the growers and sellers. Amazing, huh? Did it out of the goodness of their hearts.

I'm sure you've heard that a number of Euro countries have begun to restrict the value of items you can buy with cash without being reported. France or Spain or one of the other socialist havens dropped the amount from 5000 euros to 1000 euros. Something like that. Soon enough, it will be zero. The rationale will be to fight terrorists or some such horseshit, but it will happen. We've already got our official $10k reporting threshold which effectively limits purchases to under that amount. Hell, it's why we don't do those transactions in the gold store - I don't want to do the reporting paperwork. No other reason.

I guarantee you, these lower limits will happen here as well. For person to person transactions, we will get to the point of needing something like ApplePay or Paypal. Rub two phones together and transfer funds. The technology exists, they just need to keep up the pressure to gain widespread acceptance. They'll use fear ("Only drug dealers, criminals and crooks need cash! You don't want to help criminals, do you?"). They'll throw in a dash of patriotism ("Oh, and terrorists, too.").

Our only saving grace may be that since it's (the money) electronic and not physical, hackers will fuck with it. Hard. Look at bitcoin. That shit is amazingly secure. Trust me on this. Banks dream about this level of encryption. And it gets hit on a semi-regular basis. That's good for the feds, in that, since it's not part of the banking system, if you get robbed, YOU'RE screwed, and don't get your money back like you would from an insured bank.

The next step will be a change the laws on what types of transactions that can't legally be done with cash. They'll include guns and ammo, gold and silver. It's all so they can track who has what and in what quantity. Everyone who owns any of those things will need to so some sort of inventory each year. For gold and silver, I think my store be prohibited from buying or selling for cash within 10 years. Probably have to report who I buy from in the very near future. Could be sooner, depending who gets elected. The amounts will start on the high side - say $5000 or so - and will eventually include everything.

In one of those Euro socialist countries, ALL of your precious metals must already be inventoried and registered with The State. If you transport it, even across the street, without first getting permission, it can be seized!

PMs and cash threaten their control. They don't like that.

When the gold/silver laws raise their ugly head, you'll have two choices: Sell it before the law is enacted, or bury it and wait for sanity to resurface. It's a de facto confiscation. Last time, it took from 1933 until 1974 before you could legal possess gold.

So, to answer your question: Yes.
We saw the attempt to put a squeeze on the sellers of goods when ObamaCare was introduced.  They had a provision that required a business to do a 1099 report for any aggregate purchase of $600 or more, regardless of the source or reason.

It looked good on paper, but once word got out, businesses screamed bloody murder.  1099's are used by the IRS to track when individuals are paid $600 or more a year for services rendered.

With the ObamaCare scheme, ANY purchase from ANYONE - business or personal - had to be reported if it exceeded the $600 threshold.  So, I would have to report when I paid our gas bill, our newspaper ads, our internet service.  If I had a new vendor that sold me $100 in goods, I'd have to first gather all of their business information in anticipation of exceeding the $600 at sometime during the year.  Every time with every vendor.

The burden on small businesses would have be devastating, and it got repealed.

What I see happening is that any kind of business such as my gold store - where people have something of value that they want to sell - we'll have to gather their Social Security Number and report anything we pay them.  What the IRS will do is cross-reference that information to the person's tax return, and see if they reported their gain (or loss).

If not, the IRS will come calling.

"Hey, Mr. Smith, we see you sold some gold to Bob's Coin Shop.  We also see that you didn't report the income you received on your tax return.  What?  You don't have the receipts from when you originally bought the gold, so you don't know your 'basis'?  Sucks to be you!  That means your entire sale is considered profit.  Pay your tax and your penalties.  Have a nice day!"

If cash has been effectively outlawed - and everything must be done via some sort of electronic device - even sales of precious metals between individuals will be recorded.  No, individuals would not likely categorize the transaction as "gold buy", but with a record of the transaction being available, the basis for asking questions is there.

The taxing authorities would now have information on garage sales, lemonade stands, every Craigslist transaction, ANYTHING you pay for with cash.  You'll have no secrecy and no privacy.  And that's the way they like it.

Like all tax schemes, if my predictions come to fruition, it will create a black market.  I believe that trading in gold and silver, in particular, will continue, but it will all be off-the-books, just like buying bread or car tires in the former Soviet Union went unrecorded.

Barter and trade will become much more commonplace.  Get used to it, comrades.

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Copyright 2015 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Guns: Is THAT Premeditation?

Simultaneously Posted At

Anyone who owns a gun for self-defense has thought about the repercussions of having to use the gun to protect their life, or the life of another. I can think of few things that would be more of a emotional jolt than taking the life of another human being.

One of the things that would be worse would be my life being taken because I hadn't prepared for the situation.

We preppers plan. We look at the universe of events that could unfold, and we plan for them.

We put more time and effort into our preps for things we believe are more likely to happen, or which may have a significant, debilitating negative impact on our lives - regardless of the likelihood of the event coming to fruition.

Being killed by some random thug is high on the latter list. The places where I live and work aren't over-run with gun-toting, blood thirsty savages roaming the streets.

But dozens of people get mugged and murdered every day of every week here in America. It's a low probability event for you as an individual, but it's a real possibility.

So we plan. We prepare. We get ready.

We practice with our guns at the shooting range.

We buy memberships and insurance that will protect us if we shoot someone in self-defense.

We select ammunition that will most effectively stop the threat, and stop it quickly.

We learn advanced shooting techniques so we are more able to ensure we come out of the encounter alive.

Many people - the anti-gun crowd, much of government and most of the media in particular - will affix a special term to this kind of preparedness: Premeditation.

Why? Because they know it will scare many non-gun owners into thinking that anyone who uses a gun in self-defense is a cold-blooded killer. "Premeditated" is always coupled with "murder".

Let's first look at the definition of "premeditated" from Merriam-Webster online dictionary -
characterized by fully conscious willful intent and a measure of forethought and planning [premeditated murder]
The word-nerds even have it out for us! So, by definition, all prepping is premeditated. Especially when it comes to guns.

And that's a very good thing. We "gun nuts" genuinely want people to act responsibly with their guns. People are harmed when you do otherwise.

What follows is one video and links to two articles about guns - written by lawyers. In Texas.

"We Don't Dial 911"

The point about the signs influencing a jury is well-taken - especially in a "blue state" such as California, New York, etc.

My biggest problem is that you are advertising that you own guns. To me, it would be the same as posting a sign out front saying, "Don't bother robbing my house. My gold and silver are in a burglar-proof safe."

Not a single one of my neighbors knows I own a single gun - or own an ounce of silver. Publicizing your "stuff" is an invitation for trouble.

Carrying a "Statement Card"

A Statement Card is a card you carry around that gives you a "script" to follow if you're ever involved in a self-defense shooting. An excerpt from this article -
Q: I called my attorney here in Denver to ask him, and he said if the prosecutor ever found out I had contacted him before an incident, which I was doing at that moment, it could be interpreted as premeditation.

A: Great question. Having pre-printed cards to that effect do seem a little premeditated, in that each factual situation is different. These are certainly good and accurate things to say, but having them pre-printed on a card seems a little over the top. Additionally, the invocation of your rights should be made verbally in the case of an incident.
Let me be painfully clear: I do not care how "premeditated" it appears to anyone asking me questions about a self-defense shooting. SecondCall Defense has a "script" they suggest you use if you're involved in a shooting, regardless of how innocent you think you may be.

Unless you're a gun law attorney, call 911, follow the script, then call SecondCall Defense. Then prepare yourself to be arrested. You'll have bail money and an attorney in hours.

You may say the most innocent thing, and it can get you convicted. DO NOT risk your freedom (see "7 Shooting Incident Mistakes").

By the way, as the article notes, most police officers are instructed NOT to say anything for 72 hours after they are involved in a shooting. There's a reason for that. Follow their lead.

Does Your Ammo Choice Matter In Court?

Lots of concern out there about being in possession of ammo with, "greater stopping power". This gets back to the whole "premeditated" angle and the blood-thirsty image portrayed by the media and some prosecutors -
Based on comments in the blog, many Cheaper Than Dirt! readers who might be forced to defend themselves with a firearm worry about how the effectiveness of their ammunition may prejudice how they’re viewed by the courts.

Q: From a legal perspective, does it matter what ammunition I use in my handgun?

A: The short answer is, probably not. But for the purposes of this discussion, let me be very clear — we’re talking only about Texas law here. Unfortunately, not every state can be as reasonable as ours. Some ammo may or may not be legal for possession or use in other states, so be sure to check the local laws to make sure what you are carrying is legal.
The bottom line is, get the most effective ammo that is allowed in your state. If they don't allow effective ammo, move. Isn't your life worth that?

In all of my beginner and advanced pistol classes, I teach that you keep shooting until the threat has stopped. Then YOU MUST stop. Crappy ammo ends up with crappy results. And you may be harmed or dead if you're forced (or choose) to use ammo that will not stop your assailant.

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Copyright 2015 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Cultural Silos: Death of the American Melting Pot

This picture I found on Twitter is what set me off -

Lack of Diversity and too much White Privilege - the twin scourges of America.

Gawd, I hate that word.  Diversity.  It's right down there with Empowered on my list of most-hated words.

Diversity has morphed from a word meaning assortment or distinctiveness, to meaning Affirmative Action and preferential treatment.

All are included in this diversity-fest - unless you're white.  Doubly so if you're also male.

Some committee - usually chaired by the august Director of Diversity (yes, this position now exists in almost all large corporations and in all public and private colleges and universities) determines the proper ratio of whites to non-whites, and sets forth the hiring (or enrollment) standard for the foreseeable future.

Hiring, not based upon the education, experience or qualifications of the individual, but upon the color of their skin.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. 
The very people who worship the words and perspective of Martin Luther King, Jr., soil his legacy with their actions.

They don't want equality of opportunity, they want equality of outcome.  That can never happen.  Never.  Outcome is based upon the effort of the individual, not by being given a seat at the "big kids" table.

If you don't earn something - be it your job or your college placement or your housing - you will usually fritter it away.  You didn't have to put forth the effort to get that job, so you don't put forth the effort to keep that job.

This whole diversity sham is closely associated with White Privilege.  You know, the mythical belief that whites get everything handed to them.  Click the heels of our sensible shoes and wish upon a star, and a job magically appears.

At its core is the constant propaganda that you're not successful because you're not white, and whites are only successful because they are white.  They dress it up, but that's the slop they're selling.

It's Victimhood 101.

How sad.  How sad for blacks, browns, tans and all of the other hues, that the liberal-promoted "system" doesn't think they have the ability to succeed on their own.  And most of them play right along.

No, not "play along".  They actively participate and promote this "self-segregation" pity-party ideology.

They don't want to join America - and assimilate as every race and nationality has done before them - they actively work to separate themselves from being American, as though race or country of origin somehow grants them special powers and reverence.

 The added benefit of the diversity and privilege crutch is, they've built themselves a nice strawman "oppressor".  When you fail, you've got someone to blame other than yourself and the effort (or lack thereof) you put forth.

I swear, I'll never get it.

I've been down before.  At one time, I was jobless and literally days from losing our house (into which all of our money had been dumped).  Me, my wife and our two babies - on the street.

What did I do?  I must have misplaced my White Privilege card, because as I remember it, I worked for a temp agency during the days and in a warehouse making $5 an hour at nights.   Oh, and I dug trenches and built forms for a buddy on weekends for a concrete business.  I spent my free time scouring the want ads and hounding friends until I found another job.

Ahh, the benefits of White Privilege!

Why this sense of entitlement?  Why this rejection of American values?  Why would you leave your country of origin, and then try to recreate it here?  It sucked, remember?  That's why you came here.

Since their numbers now outweigh that of blacks, I fear Hispanics will follow them down the rabbit hole of state dependency.  They are a big enough voting block to get the attention of the politicians that will promise them the moon in exchange for their votes.

I pray they will see what has happened to American blacks since Affirmative Action was put in place 50 years ago, and step back from the cliff.  I'm not hopeful, as saying 'No' to free stuff is difficult.

Black Americans are my biggest area of confusion.  Clearly, the opportunity is here.  Our president is black!  There is no bigger or more important job in the world.  He obviously figured out the path to success.

Why can't massive numbers of blacks figure it out as well?  Why can't they replicate the success an even smaller minority group - Asians -  have had in America?

Asians from around the world have come here, seen the brass ring that is The American Dream, and grabbed it.  Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Indian, Pacific Islanders.

For God's Sake, the Vietnamese - the people that killed 50,000 Americans and who were generally despised when they came over as "Boat People" - are now one of the most successful demographics in America.  Not "non-white" demographics, ALL demographics.

There was just some young black high school kid on TV who was accepted by all 13 colleges where he applied, including all 8 Ivy League schools
"We are so proud of him," said his mother, Roseline Ekeh. "Hard work, dedication, prayer brought him to where he is today."

Born in Nigeria, Harold was eight years old when his parents brought the family to the United States.

"It was kind of difficult adjusting to the new environment and the new culture," he said. But he saw his parents working hard, "and I took their example and decided to apply myself."

He referenced that effort in his college essay, writing, "Like a tree, uprooted and replanted, I could have withered in a new country surrounded by people and languages I did not understand. Yet, I witnessed my parents persevere despite the potential to succumb. I faced my challenges with newfound zeal; I risked humiliation, spending my recesses talking to unfamiliar faces, ignoring their sarcastic remarks."
 His reasons for being successful jump out a bite you in the butt.

He has two parents who instilled in him a sense of dedication to task - perseverance.
He didn't use the excuse of being "different" (uncool, perhaps?) to hold him back.
He worked his ass off.
He was born in another country.

Very similar to the background of many Asian households.  And all of these attributes, aside from the country of origin, can be replicated by anyone in America.

People used to strive - hell, they used to die - to become an American.  You left "the homeland" and embraced the promise of America.  That melting pot where the cultures of the world became one great nation.

Sure, each big city had an Italian district, a "Little Puerto Rico" or a Japantown, but everyone was most proud about being an American.  You always remembered your heritage, but you embraced the new culture.

Now, we're Cuban-Americans, African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Mexican-Americans.  A country of special interest groups pandered to by politicians and race-baiters.  We base our pride not upon our own accomplishments, but upon the color of our skin or country of origin.

Two things, by the way - skin color and country of origin - over which we have no control. Yet they're encouraged to be proud of these things.  Why?

We've become a country of cultural silos - each with separate agendas and interests that just happen to share the same plot of dirt. 

They all preach collective ideology, yet actively cling to genetic segregation.  They protest for "economic justice" for all, but are unwilling to work to improve their economic status.  It's easier to fling "racist!" towards any who question their motives, and most of their targets cower under the onslaught.

The race-baiters and America-haters are winning.  When a country self-segregates, it eventually disintegrates.

History tells us this is not going to end well.

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Copyright 2015 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Capital And Other Controls

 There are times I just want to scream.  I see overt, unconstitutional controls, I wave my arms in the air, and few seem to notice.  I realize, though, that it's just the old, "tree falling in the forest" deal.  No one hears it.  Or maybe they do, but they just don't give a damn.

Hey, they still have food, clothes, a roof over their head, maybe a couple of bucks in the bank or on their EBT card, and a car to get to work when work is available.

The wheels are coming off the cart, and no one cares, 'cause the cart is still moving, regardless of how wobbly and unsteady the ride.

Simply stated, government is nothing but control - sometimes for good, sometimes not.  We want government to control murderers and thieves, but not to control what drug or unpasteurized food others choose to put in their bodies.

Real freedom is the freedom of choice.  To act, speak, buy, sell, hoard or ingest as the individual chooses.  As long as that choice doesn't infringe on the rights of others, back the hell off.
The man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap. - Ayn Rand
 Government doesn't see it that way.  They want control for the sake of control - it's the "service" they sell.  Personal freedom is in direct conflict with any form of government.  If you're free to act as you wish, you don't need government to control and regulate your actions and their outcomes.

If you don't need big government, well, they go out of business.  That is contrary to any economic or sociological model.  All "beings" want to grow and thrive.  Government is no different.

The go-to ploy - the marketing pitch - used to convince you of the need for government control is your safety.  And it works nearly every time.

Here is a perfect example:  The recent German passenger jet that played lawn dart with the French Aps.

It was a horrible event.  Horrible.  150 people are dead because of the apparent choice of the co-pilot to commandeer the plane and crash it.

In every single news outlet - right wing, left wing, TV, radio, print, online - it doesn't matter - everyone of them is calling for government "to do something".  These range from mandatory mental health checks of all pilots, to mandatory "two persons in cockpit at all times" to .... there are dozens and dozens of suggestions.

They're all "flingin' poo" to see what sticks.

Soon, we'll see the FAA testifying in Congress, and lots of Congresscritters harumph-harumphing, and promises of safety in the skies.

And we're then going to spend butt-loads of money to make you safer - or at least make you think you're safer -  and you'll gladly pay the bill.

Hey folks, the skies are about the safest place you can be.

Any guess how many planes and people are in the air, right this second?  8,000-13,000 planes holding half a million peopleEvery day, 8+ million people go airborne, with over 3.3 billion people flying every year (yeah, that's equivalent to about half of the world population).

Each day, over 100,000 planes take off and land around the world.  Over one hundred thousand flights a day.

What kind of death and destruction is wrought upon passengers each year?  Around the world between 500 and 1500 people die from plane crashes.  Not per day, but per year.  The two worst years (1972 and 1985) there were about 2300 deaths.  In the entire world!

We're going to spend tens of billions of dollars to save how many US citizens from the horrors of airline travel??!!  A couple of hundred, maybe?

Some perspective:  If there are 2300 deaths for every 3.3 billion fliers each year, that means you, as an individual, have a 1 in 1,435,000 chance of dying each time you fly.

Some other ways you might kill yourself (stuff lots of people do):

Driving in Car - 1 in 6,700
Dancing at A Party - 1 in 100,000
Bicycling - 1 in 140,845
Swimming - 1 in 1,000,000
Jogging and running - 1 in 1,000,000
Snow Skiing - 1 in 1,400,000
Flying - 1 in 1,435,000

OK?  You are 10 TIMES more likely to die while out on your bicycle than while flying.  So put on your big-boy bike shorts and stop whining.

The streets are running red with the blood of bicyclists!  Where is Congress on this devastating destroyer of lives?  Think of the children!

Do you wring your hands every time you jump on your Schwinn?  Well maybe you should, 'cause it's a death trap!

At least when compared to flying.

OK, back to my rant.  Statistics and logic can be so... dull.

Before I move on, keep one thing in mind:  There is nothing you can do to change what follows below.  It's done, and it's going to get worse.  Government ain't done growing.  Not for a second.

What you can do, is plan and act RIGHT THIS DAMNED MINUTE to minimize the impact.  That's the key.  Get out in front of what we know is going to happen.  Zig before they zag.

Capital Controls

There was a recent flurry of online articles about CTRs (Currency Transaction Reports).  Most people think/thought that if you took out $10,000 in cash from your bank account, you got flagged via a CTR.  These articles bleat that the dollar amount had dropped to $5000 or so.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but the number is much lower than that, and has been for a long time.  It's all about "out of pattern" withdrawals.  For instance, if you always do everything with your debit card, then out of the blue you ask for $1000 in 20's from your bank, TAG, you're it!  You've acted outside of your normal patterns.  Most likely, you triggered a SAR (Suspicious Activity Report).

Disturbing, huh?

Under the guise of safety and anti-terrorism, laws for all of this surveillance of your spending patterns were passed, and passed again and again.  And you thought it was A-OK.  "Lose a little freedom to keep 'Merica safe"

In the same vein, some Euro country (France?) just passed a law that you can't make cash payments in excess of 1000 euro (now equal to about $1070).

Next on the hit parade for controls will be precious metals - gold and silver primarily.  Right now, there are few restrictions on how and when you can buy and sell them.

I absolutely guarantee you that will be changing in the next few years.  Precious metals - like physical cash - are "off the books" assets.  If government doesn't know you have them, they certainly can't know how you're spending them.

More importantly, they can't seize them ('cause they don't know you own them) if they don't like something you're doing.

In that same Euro country, you now need permission to transport your precious metals inside the borders of the country!  Not crossing a border, but crossing the street.

See how that works?  If you own the gold, but bought it for cash, you must now declare your ownership.  If you don't, it's contraband, and can be legally seized.

Ain't it grand when you get to write, enforce and profit from the laws?

Bottom line:  If you can control the ways money can be used, you can control the holder of that money.  Good guys are guilty until proven innocent.

The Other Controls

We have Gun Control - where only good citizens are controlled - since bad guys don't obey the laws.  Your ability to defend yourself from ANY type of threat is chipped away.  The latest tactic with the attempted ban on "armor piercing" ammo reeks of the movie, Minority Report.  They seem to have the ability to know you're going to use your ammo for dirty deeds before you do.  Oh, and the ban WILL happen.  Mark my words.  Good guys are guilty until proven innocent.

We have Travel Controls, where you're presumed to be a terrorist - and treated as such - for no other reason than you want to travel on public transportation.  What started in the airports is now evident in train and bus stations, and even with roving "VIPR Squads" on the roadways.  Good guys are guilty until proven innocent.

We've got a couple of new-ish controls coming into play.  I say new-ish because they've been around for a while, but they're really working to get to the front of the line.

The first is Thought Control (for lack of a better term - if there's already a phrase for this, lemme know).  No, I'm not talking about some 3-letter agency beaming mind-control waves into your home or car.  It is our reaction to the knowledge that everything we're doing is being recorded somewhere.

The whole, "metadata" collection thing.

[For an absolutely fantastic article on the whole metadata gig - what it is and how it's actually a bigger threat to personal privacy than detailed data collection - see this article, NSA Doesn't Need to Spy On Your Calls To Learn Your Secrets, from Wired Magazine]

We all do things differently on the Internet and on phone calls because, "Someone might be listening."  You know you do it.  You don't key in a phrase on Google for how to build a bomb - even though you have no intentions of ever making a bomb.  Intellectual curiosity is gonna have to be put on hold.

You know that search will be saved forever, and if you should ever, EVER be arrested for anything, you just know they'll slap down a stack of papers on top of the interrogation room table and ask, "So.  Why would an innocent person ever do a search for how to make a bomb?"

"But, but, but...."

Because at sometime in the future, your private, innocent search or phone call might be unveiled for all the world to see, you change your behavior.  Your thoughts are not allowed to go, "down that road."  Your curiosity is left unsatisfied.  You comply through perceived threat.

They win again.

This last item seems to be coming to full bloom just as spring has sprung.  Speech Control - the idea that offensive, but non-threatening speech, must be muted.  What is most disturbing to me is that this movement towards censorship is flourishing in the very centers where freedom of thought and speech should be flourishing - our universities.

They are redefining what "threatening" means.  Historically, threatening speech meant that a reasonable person would believe that the verbal threat could become physical in nature.

"If I find out you were with my daughter, I'm going to kill you!" would be an example.  The legal term is "fighting words".

Now you're threatened if the words make you feel uncomfortable or "unsafe".
The offender was the free-speech advocate Wendy Kaminer, who had been arguing against the use of the euphemism “the n-word” when teaching American history or “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” In the uproar that followed, the Student Government Association wrote a letter declaring that “if Smith [College] is unsafe for one student, it is unsafe for all students.
Believe me when I say that no one actually feels unsafe when there are discussions on racism or  sexual assault (as was a major part of the article - read the whole thing - it's amazing).  No one is raping or beating anyone.

The sole purpose of "feeling safe" is to control what others say and to whom they say it.  It is used to silence debate and to give the outward appearance of solidarity.  If you can control what a person says, you can control their actions and their ability to progress and succeed in life.

Just ask the "climate deniers" how their careers are progressing.

Accept The Challenge

Capital Controls - hide some of your assets, with the understanding that you may never have the ability to spend them yourself.  Remember the gold confiscation scheme of 1933 (under the guise of Trading With The Enemy)?  I'm here to tell you that our elders understood that eventually, gold would be legal again.

In direct defiance of federal law and the treat of fines and imprisonment, they did not turn in their gold for worthless fiat currency.  How do I know this?  Because every day in my precious metals store, I buy and sell pre-1933 US gold.  It took until the 1970's for gold to be "legal" again.

Prepare to do the same for your grandkids or great grand kids.  Sanity eventually re-emerges.

Gun Control - hide some of your guns and ammo.  Statists understand that eventually, the people wake up, and push back against tyranny.  It happens every time.  The only time the challenge is successful is when force is applied.

Every dictator this world has seen has attempted - and most have succeeded - to disarm the people before applying the heavy screws.  Don't fall for the propaganda, and keep your mouth shut about the numbers and the location of your arms.

Travel Controls - seriously a tough one.  I haven't flown in an airplane in over 10 years.  I'll only do so for (literally) life and death reasons.  But I will be doing a good deal of travel by road in the coming years.

I need some help with that one (comments, please!).

Thought Control - Use TOR or a paid VPN service to help anonymize your internet traffic.  Use a search engine other than Google, Bing or Yahoo for your searches (I use StartPage - It submits a search to Google, so you get their power, but Google doesn't know YOU did the search).  Encrypt everything you've got, and use strong passphrases (see here for some great ideas).

I'm seriously considering getting a "non-smart phone" that is only used for calls.  My current device contains everything about everyone I know or with whom I have contact.  That means Google knows the information as well (it's an Android device).

Speech Control - I have fun with this one.  Since I now own my own businesses, I don't have to play the corporate Political Correctness game.  If someone says something stupid - and I believe they are saying it to control the conversation - I lay into them.

With glee.

Have I lost customers over this?  Oh hell yes.  A couple of years back, I had a gun class where (ironically) some anti-gun pablum was being slung, and I addressed it clear-eyed and forcefully.  I let them say their piece, and then tore them a new one with facts and logic.

They left the class (without a refund) and blasted me on a rating site with a bunch of lies.

Some others from the class saw the ratings and wrote their own - in my favor.  I surely lost some anti-gun future customers, but I made some long-term friends in trade.

I'll take that any day of the week!

The bottom line:  Stay alert, and be adaptive.  It's the only way we'll survive.

I'll leave you with this, which was written in 1969.  See any similarities to today, some 45+ years later? - 
[The hippies] were told that love - indiscriminate love for one's fellow man - is the highest virtue, and they obeyed. They were told that the merging of one's self with a herd, tribe, or community is the noblest way for a man to live, and they obeyed. There isn't a philosophical idea of today's establishment which they have not accepted, which they do not share. When they discovered this philosophy did not work, because in fact it cannot work, the hippies had neither the wit nor the courage to challenge it. They found, instead, an outlet for their impotent frustration by accusing their elders of hypocrisy, as if hypocrisy were the only obstacle to the realization of their dreams. And, left blindly, helplessly lobotomized in the face of an inexplicable reality that is not amenable to their feelings, they have no recourse but the shouting of obscenities at anything that frustrates their whims; at man, or at the rainy sky, indiscriminately, with no concept of the difference. It is typical of today's culture that the proponents of seething, raging hostility are taken as advocates of love.

--Ayn Rand, Apollo and Dionysus

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Copyright 2015 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.