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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.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

I Don't Owe You Squat

Sorry for the hiatus.  Have a family member that had some serious surgery, and it has diverted my attention - considerably - from all other ventures.  Back on track... I believe!

I was working in my precious metals store earlier this week and the phone rang.  I was back in the office, and normally one of my employees would answer the phone.  Instead, I got a, "Hey boss, could you answer this call?"

I pick up the call, and it goes something like this:

Me:  Hi, how can I help you?

Them:  I want to speak to a supervisor.

M:  I'm the owner, what can I do for you?

T:  I want to lodge a complaint.  I called up yesterday, and got hung up on twice.  It was very rude.  I'm deaf and was just trying to get some information.

M:  OK, I'll see what I can do.  Tell me what happened.

T:  I am so pissed off.  I'm deaf and was trying to get some information.  I use a translator because I'm deaf, and your employee hung up on me twice.

M:  I understand that.  Tell me what happened.

T:  Well, I'm deaf, and I am just so insulted and pissed off that your employee hung up on me.  He was discriminating against me.

M:  (I can see where this is going).  I've heard you say that a number of times.  I'll take your information and speak with the employee who was on the floor yesterday.  Is there anything else I can do for you?

T:  Yes, I'm deaf and using a translator...

M:  Ma'am, I heard you.  I told you I'd speak with the employee.  Why did you call yesterday?  Let me see if I can answer that question.

T:  (Long pause).  Uhm, I wanted information about some Greek coins.

M:  Are they gold or silver?

T:  No.

M:  Well then, I'm not going to be able to help you.  We don't deal in ancient coins, and recent mintage Greek coins don't have much of a market here in the US, so we don't deal in them, either.  Does that answer your question?

T:  Well, I'm deaf, and pissed....

M:  Ma'am, what can I do for you now?

(This round-about went on for 10 minutes).

I finally get her off the phone, and the employee who was in the day before tells me what happened.  She called in, said she wanted information on some sort of paper money, not Greek coins.  When he told her we didn't do business in that type of currency, she said that actually, she wanted to conduct a survey about the TTY system.

TTY is a device - that is required on both ends of the "conversation" - that is used by deaf people to communicate using phone lines.  In my conversation with her, I could hear her "interpreter" whispering everything I said.  I'm guessing she was reading the whisperer's lips.

My employee told her we don't do surveys on the phone for anyone.  He kept telling her we didn't do surveys and was there any precious metals question he could answer.  She kept saying she just wanted to do the survey.

It resulted in the hang-up.  Twice.

I don't care if you're the Boy Scouts of America, the Mother Teresa Benevolent Society or some disabled person or organization.  Sorry, but I don't have the time to give you for your project, regardless of how worthy you believe it to be.

And that's the rub.  I am so sick and damned tired of people thinking they are owed something because they're "different".

Maybe they're deaf.  Or in a wheelchair.  Or black/Asian/Hispanic (non-white).  Or gender-questionable.  Or Muslim/Catholic/Protestant/Agnostic/Hindu.

Everyone has their own little niche in which to be a victim or oppressed or worthy, and they expect others to give their time and resources for their cause.

In my business setting, time is literally money.  If I or my employees take time away from buying or selling with a customer, or posting items on our Internet site, or shipping/receiving packages, I lose money.

This liberal/leftist/statist mind-set of knowing better than I on how to allocate my resources doesn't cut it.

"I just need a little bit of your time for this very worthy project."

Kiss my ass.  I'LL decide what I think are worthy projects.  I'LL decide where and when I spend my money.  I'LL decide where and when I give my time, because it's a finite resource.

Back to our deaf caller - She may have been born that way, or it may have occurred because of events out of her control.

Or, she may have gone to an AC/DC concert and blown out her own eardrums.

Honestly, I don't care.  She may indeed have a very worthy cause - in her eyes - but I allocate my limited resources as I see fit, and I won't be bullied or brow-beaten into giving some to her cause.

I don't have the ability to create money out of thin air like the federal government.  My money supply does indeed have a limit.


So, where does Chief send his money.  Glad you asked!

Most goes locally.  I'm a big believer in helping those in my community (so I won't go into details).

National charities are military veteran-focused.  It pisses me off to no end that we send men and women off to fight our battles, and the federal government then reneges on their promise to try and make them whole again when they come home broken (mentally or physically).

My latest foray has been with The Boot Campaign.  It's a newer charity.

Now, I normally only give to charities I've run through Charity Navigator to see how they spend their money.  Since The Boot Campaign is less than 7 years old, they aren't listed yet.  An employee of mine told me about it, and had some personal knowledge of their operations, so I gave.  YMMV.

Me and my Army boots

The other national charity I give to is Fisher House.  Every year, my morning radio station does a campaign for them, and they raise lots of money for this cause.

Why give to Fisher House, and not one of the others, such as Wounded Warrior Project?  Very simply, efficiency.

For every dollar you give to Fisher House, $0.95 goes to the helping vets and their families.  With Wounded Warrior, it's $0.57.  My personal threshold for costs other than "Program Expenses" is $0.15 or less.

Sorry, but I don't want over 40 cents of every dollar I donate going to commercials or administrative overhead.

See how that works?  As an individual, I can choose between options - discriminate - to make what I believe to be the best bang for my buck.

Gummint, and their statist lemmings, think they know best.  Hang up on their ass!

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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.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Chokepoint: Coming To A Biz Near You

Have you heard of Operation Chokepoint?  No?  It's this consumer protection cocoon designed to make you safe and sound from all of the bad businesses in your life.

You know, like these -

  • Ammunition Sales
  • Cable Box De-scramblers
  • Coin Dealers
  • Credit Card Schemes
  • Credit Repair Services
  • Dating Services
  • Debt Consolidation Scams
  • Drug Paraphernalia
  • Escort Services
  • Firearms Sales
  • Fireworks Sales
  • Get Rich Products
  • Government Grants
  • Home-Based Charities
  • Life-Time Guarantees
  • Life-Time Memberships
  • Lottery Sales
  • Mailing Lists/Personal Info
  • Money Transfer Networks
  • On-line Gambling
  • Payday Loans
  • Pharmaceutical Sales
  • Ponzi Schemes
  • Pornography
  • Pyramid-Type Sales
  • Racist Materials
  • Surveillance Equipment
  • Telemarketing
  • Tobacco Sales
  • Travel Clubs

Take a look at this video, and see where this bad boy is headed.  I'll wait....

For me - with the businesses I run - the coin dealers and gun-related businesses cause me some concern, obviously.  Back to those in a minute.

Look at some of these others.  Let's see, "Racist Materials".  I'm not a racist, you're probably not either, but isn't it my right to be one, and to buy or sell such materials?  You know, that whole First Amendment, "abridging the freedom of speech" prohibition on government?

Naw, shut 'em down!

Life-time memberships?  Like maybe an NRA Life Member, perhaps?  I'm guessing it wouldn't apply to the NAACP, or Democratic Socialists of America (note:  I'd posit that you can't get a lifetime membership to their youth program, the Young Democratic Socialists of America, 'cause, well, you will get old, right?).

The only one I agree with is the one on Ponzi schemes, but there's no way they're gonna shut down the Social Security Administration.  That's just crazy talk!

The ones that really matter are the ones that allow an individual to remain independent.  Money and guns being the key components.

What better way to force feed people to use electronic and approved forms of "cash" than to remove competing financial instruments?

Payday loans compete with banks.  Shut 'em down.  Precious metals allow you to hold a part of your personal assets "off the books".  How the hell can Nanny tax you or seize your assets if they don't know what you've got?!

With guns, well, even some of the dyed-in-the-wool liberals still believe the government can't simply ban guns, so you ban what makes them go bang, or the places you can buy them.

All better now.  Liberal nirvana is maintained.

As the video notes, the FDIC has issued statements saying they're backing off.  Yeah, right.

If you believe that, I've got Get Rich Government Grant Escort service to sell you.  ACT NOW and we'll throw in a tobacco store/fireworks shop (it's safe, we promise!).  BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!   Call in the next 17 minutes, and you'll get a Homebased Pornography Dating Service at no extra charge!

Supplies are limited...

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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, January 26, 2015

Getting Rubbed The Wrong Way

Before I start with my frothy rant, watch this -

We hear from police officers asking us to not, "Paint all of the good cops with the same brush as the bad cops."  On its face, I agree 100%.

Most of the LEOs I've come in contact with are good, honorable and just individuals.  No doubt.  The VAST majority.

But I've also run into my share of turds - most shockingly when one was a witness in a drug case in which I was a juror ("Losing Trust and Respect").

I have no idea what punishment, if any, was meted out to that "officer", but I'm guessing it was little to none.  You or I would have been arrested for perjury and jailed.

That's part of "the rub" with what's going on with all of the Ferguson, NY City, Oakland and other protests going on around the country.  People are getting sick and tired of seeing the law broken by LEOs and them getting little more than a slap on the wrist.

One set of laws and punishment for them, another set for us.

Ferguson, in my opinion, was a 100% justified shooting.  I can say with certainty, that if I were in the same circumstances, I would have done the exact same thing the LEO did.  Actually, I would have likely shot him BEFORE he punched me.

While the trumped-up "racist shooting" meme was full of crap, the deep, deep mistrust of many LEOs is not.

More and more, it's not just minorities that feel this way.


The second part of "the rub" has to do with what was in the video.  How the Supreme Court is blatantly and egregiously, disregarding and discarding the Constitution.

For a second, remember the primary purpose of the Constitution:  To LIMIT the power of government over the citizenry.

In every example given in the video, the Supreme Court has granted LEOs across the entire country a valid, "legal" excuse for performing unconstitutional acts.

To reiterate, acts which would land non-LEOs in jail.

Now, many LEOs may say, "Well, just because we're allowed to do it doesn't mean we WILL do it."

Sure.  Just like we were told the paramilitary SWAT teams wouldn't be used for anything other than hostage and active shooter situations.

That's a pile of crap, and everyone knows it.  It's human nature to "push the envelope" - to go right up to the line of what's acceptable.

Well, the line's apparently been erased.  All nice and legal like.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  All flavors of government had better get their shit together.  When you have crossed the line so far that regular, non-criminal, corn-fed, God-fearing, peace-loving Americans are saying you've gone too far, you've gone too far.

Look at the faces of those that are in these protests.

Retirees, Baby Boomers, Millennials, Gen-Xers.  White, black, brown and tan.  Men, women and children.  Rich, poor and middle class.

Kinda looks like America, don't it?  That's a whole lot of pissed off people.

I just don't think this will 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.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Gun Grabbers: THIS is why we have guns

I will just love to hear some feedback on this from the gun grabbers.

The situation:  Next door neighbor has spun out of control in the past.  The person who has been abused decides to set up a camera facing his front door just in case the crazed neighbor - once gain - kicks in his door.

Crazed neighbor spins out of control, and as you'll see, kicks in the door, WIELDING A MACHETE.

Thank God the guy in the apartment had the forethought to arm himself.  Otherwise, he and his girlfriend would have likely been HACKED TO DEATH.

I'm guessing that in the eyes of the gun grabbers, that would have been "acceptable losses" in their crusade to disarm all Americans.

I'm guessing the families of the two survivors have a different opinion.

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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, January 19, 2015

Gold's Wild Ride: Trend or Dead Cat Bounce?

 We're doing a lot of head-scratching - and fielding TONS of phone calls - in our precious metals shop over this recent surge in gold prices.  Since the close of business on January 2 (the first full day of trading this year), gold has surged $100 an ounce in a bit over two weeks (from $1172 on 1/2/15 to $1273 on 1/19/15).

On a percentage gain, silver has actually outperformed gold in this same time frame (8.6% for gold and 12.4% for silver).

Will it last?  Is this just a "dead cat bounce" and the market will crash again?  Are better days ahead for gold and silver?  Should I buy?  Should I sell?

I wish I knew.

The paper precious metals markets - shorts, longs, etc. - are wildly manipulated.  Last I saw, for every 1 ounce of physical silver, there were 92 paper contracts. 

In other words, if less than 1% of the paper contracts were held and demanded physical delivery, the silver commodity market would go up in a mushroom cloud.  The physical silver just isn't there to fill the contracts!

Here's what I do know - 

So what does this all mean? 

The governments of the world are on a tear to devalue their currencies, while at the same time, they are buying up gold like there's no tomorrow.

Their actions are screaming, "FIAT CURRENCY IS WORTHLESS!" and are buying the tangible assets.

Here in the US - at least for the time being - we've stopped our dollar-devaluing Quantitative Easing program, so the dollar should get stronger against the currencies of the world.  "Should" being the operative word.

Technically, that would force down the price of precious metals here in the US (since the dollar and precious metals generally go in opposite directions).

At least at this minute - despite all of these currency wars - the world seems to be regaining some sanity, with the price of precious metals going in the right direction, and getting closer to reflecting true market conditions (although it still has a LONG way to go, IMO).

So, I'll tell you what I've been telling my customers and callers:  I buy precious metals every month.  Some months, more than others.

I'm looking to buy some real estate in the medium-term future, and will definitely be selling some to finance the purchase.  As that time nears, I'll stick my finger in the wind, see which way it's blowing, and make my decision based upon the trends at the time.

If I personally needed cash within the next month, I'd probably be selling right now.  This recent upward trend may continue, but it may not.  I'd be banking the $100 per ounce jump we just got.  When you get greedy waiting for more "upside", you tend to get burned.

I am in PMs for the long haul. Market forces have always corrected manipulated markets in the past.  It will happen again.

I just don't know when.  No one does for sure.

Clear as mud, huh?

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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, January 7, 2015

Terrorists - Again - Didn't Get The Memo

 From the website of the French embassy in the US:
France has stringent regulations on firearms and ammunition. As a rule, firearms which have no legitimate sporting or recreational use are not permitted entry into France.
Yeah, how's that law working out for you?

Hmm.  Doesn't much look like a deer rifle or sporting clays shotgun.  Those little rascals broke French law!


This scenario could just have easily played out in a gun-restricted state like California, New York, Massachusetts, or Connecticut.

If a bad guy wants a gun, they'll get it.  Taking guns away from good citizens won't make them any safer, it just makes them more likely to end up dead.

Seriously, if you were a terrorist in America, where would you attack?  Just like with other criminals, you'd attack where you have the least likely chance of resistance.

These Islamic bastards knew with absolute certainty that not a single person in the offices of the magazine where they were attacking had a gun.  At worst, there may have been a knife for slicing their brie.

France, and its people, have chosen to make themselves vulnerable.  The states listed above - and a handful more - have done the same.

They willingly make themselves defenseless in the hopes that their "example" will somehow convince the bad guys that Guns Are Bad.  Gimme a hug!

So, what kind of example do you want to set?  One where the mindset of the populous is that of appeasement and helplessness, or one where bad guys get hit back hard.  Deadly hard.

Which do you think will keep you - and your whole community - safer?

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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, December 20, 2014

7 Shooting Incident Mistakes

Recently joint-published on

I'm a big adherent to the right to keep and bear arms. I live that belief every day, without exception. I believe that armed citizens are the best deterrent to armed bad guys. It's simple math: There are more of us than there are of them.

But for us good guys, gun ownership and usage comes with a heavier burden than that imposed upon the bad guys. Being honest citizens, we willingly submit ourselves to the American justice system.

If some bad guy breaks into our home, and we shoot him in self-defense, we don't drag the body into the backyard and bury it along with all of the evidence. No, we call the police, report the incident and subject ourselves and our actions to the scrutiny of the law.

And there's the rub. Voluntarily subjecting ourselves to legal scrutiny. Regardless of the legitimacy of our actions, we can end up being detained, prosecuted and convicted.

To add insult to injury, the cost of defending ourselves against the initial criminal complaint and the subsequent civil complaint can ruin you financially.

Most folks have heard of the case of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. I'm not going to go into the specifics of the case - that's for you to do if you wish. SecondCall Defense - an organization that provides, "Complete legal protection for armed self-defense" recently published an article titled, "7 Critical Lessons From America's Most Notorious Gun Owner".

Self-inflicted shooting incident mistakes can land you in prison.

Here is my take on these 7 shooting incident mistakes Zimmerman made (FYI - in a recent article, Zimmerman noted that his cost from the state of Florida alone - for paperwork requests, etc., amounted to more than $360,000) -

Don't Get Out of Your Car

The entirety of the case against Zimmerman was that he "pursued" or "stalked" Martin, not that he was a Neighborhood Watch participant, and was being a good citizen looking out for his community.

Any situation can be twisted in any way.

The lesson from this is to not to put yourself in the position of being perceived to be the aggressor in any way, shape or form. This includes initiating contact with your bad guy.

If you see a bad guy in your backyard, get a gun, load it, disengage the safety, and call the police. Don't do a "sweep" of your backyard and shoot the guy. You were not in imminent threat of physical harm or loss of life while you were in your home and the bad guy was in the backyard - which is the standard for self-defense in most states.

Someone trespassing on your property is not legal grounds for lethal defense in most states. Like it or not, that's the law. Think before you act.

How will it look when you're on trial for murder and the family of the "good boy, with such a bright future, who had his life tragically extinguished" is weeping in the gallery as you testify?

Don't Rely On Cheap Equipment

I guess Zimmerman fumbled with a cheap flashlight. I don't recall that being an issue.

The point is well taken, though. When your life is on the line, don't expect junk to perform like premium equipment.

Don't Take Your Eyes Off The Threat

Amen to that!

An aggressor is always looking for a point of vulnerability or a moment of weakness. You averting your eyes from the potential threat - even for a second - is the opening they're looking for.

Arm yourself (but don't brandish your weapon) back up, keep moving, locate cover, but NEVER lose eye contact with your aggressor.

Zimmerman erred by allowing Martin to sucker punch him from behind - and this mistake could have easily cost Zimmerman his life.

A related "rule" is to not allow your aggressor to enter your personal "safety zone". If they are within arm's length, you've made a huge mistake allowing them in that close.

Educate yourself regarding your "reactionary gap" - sufficient distance for you to be able to stop injury or to save your life. Seriously, this is something your need to consider and incorporate into your self-defense plans.

Don't Assume Police Are Your Friends

As a law abiding citizen, the police are not your enemy, but you certainly should not assume they're your friends. They're doing a job.

They are investigating a death or serious injury, and you're the one who is unharmed, and has a gun in his hand.

Obviously, that is the goal of self-defense, but someone is dead or injured, and the police gather evidence for the county prosecutors. They gather ALL evidence, including physical evidence at the scene and statements made by any witnesses and by you.

That takes us to the next rule -

Don't Forget To Assert Your Fifth Amendment Right

Other than calling the police to report the shooting, and to request medical service for the bad guy, you need to keep quiet. It doesn't matter how justified the shooting may have been.

It is incredibly easy to say something that can be twisted and shredded - and used against you - at your trial.

Think about how "pumped" you would be after a shooting: An unknown assailant entered your home, threatened your life and forced you to defend yourself. Your heart will be pumping a mile-a-minute, and the adrenaline will be gushing into your bloodstream.

As a result of recent court cases, you are now required to verbally assert your fifth amendment right to silence. They can actually use a simple refusal to speak as an admission of guilt against you in court!

"Officer, I refuse to answer based upon my fifth amendment rights under the United States Constitution."

Once you do this, you must expect to be arrested. Get this in your head right now! Do not speak with anyone until you have spoken with an attorney that specializes in self-defense.

Don't Give Interviews Without Your Attorney

Do you see a theme here?

We non-attorneys have little knowledge of what can be damning self-incrimination. We cannot be compelled to make a statement, but if we voluntarily do so - say to reporters and cameras - our recorded statements can be used against us.

If you fall for the, "If you're not guilty, you should have no problem speaking with the police," garbage, you are sadly misinformed and naive.

This is doubly so in anti-gun states such as California, New York, Massachusetts, etc. Prosecutors in those states want to make examples of gun owners. It's as simple as that.

Don't help them ruin your life.

Don't Be Surprised If A Civil Suit Comes Next

It's the American Way, right? Everyone looks to make another buck.

I've never understood how this works, though. You've got a guy like OJ Simpson who is found not guilty (BTW, I think he was guilty as all hell, but I wasn't on the jury). The Brown family was then able to successfully sue him in civil court and win damages.

How can that be? Not guilty in one court, and guilty in another - all concerning the same incident.

I'd bet top dollar that the police officer in Ferguson will be facing a similar civil trial. It's going to be huge dollars.

Plain and simple, you have to assume it will happen if you're involved in a self-defense shooting.

Yes, SecondCall offers protection for this - up to Unlimited spending for your defense.


I can think of few things more horrible than taking the life of another human being - even the life of a dirt-bag threatening my life. It's unsettling, to say the least.

But if it comes down to the life of a good guy versus the life of a bad guy, I will not hesitate to exercise my right to self-defense. Not ever.

But you MUST think out your various responses to various situations. In my precious metals shop, we discuss - on a regular basis - how we will react to different types of aggression and threat.

My wife and I do the same for our home.

Plan, anticipate, train. Then do it all over again. And again.

Chief Instructor is an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor. He is a recruiter for the SecondCall Defense membership program. He proudly, and unapologetically supports both organizations. He receives compensation if you take a firearms instruction class from his company, or if you purchase a membership from SecondCall Defense through this website (please do so!).
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Copyright 2014 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, December 6, 2014

Death By Fiat

Most people will tell you that they think laws are in place to keep you safe.  They're kind of right.

Written laws originated to protect the citizens from violence, theft and to secure the sanctity of business transactions (not surprising - taxes were levied based upon amounts traded, grown or built).  The act and the punishment were spelled out for all to see.  Not much else was covered by the laws.

America was similar  -
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

We started out with a single piece of paper that directed the government to protect us from violence and invasion, run a court system and pretty much leave us be (that's the Blessings of Liberty part).

Oh, how we've strayed.  I heard this quote during the week -
Every law is a point of conflict between the citizens and the government.

Amen, brother.  Most laws now direct us how to live, what and how to buy, and attempt to persuade or command our actions.

Think about something as seemingly innocuous as building codes.  They're there to protect you, right?  So says they government official getting paid to enforce the laws written by other government officials.

Why should anyone be able to tell me what and how I can build on my own property?  Unless I've agreed to certain standards (via Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions when I buy the property) who has the right to tell me I can't make a home out of mud and grass, river rocks or 2x4's to MY specifications?

When I go to sell my property, the buyer inspects the property and structures and determines their value.  If I misrepresent the quality of the structures, I get sued by the new owner for theft (fraud).

The buyer and I are the parties in the transaction, not the government.  Yet they granted themselves the right to tell me how to act.

If I try to build my structure to my standards and .GOV finds out, they'll fine me for non-compliance.  If I don't pay and comply, they'll come and tear down the structure.  If I defend my property, I'll be killed by government employees.

Look what recently happened in Seattle.  They passed a law making it illegal to have more than 10% of your garbage be, "compostable material" - fruit, vegetables, paper.  Someone is actually paid to monitor compliance.

The law "protects the environment".  Bullshit.  It protects and builds government paychecks.

Like the zoning laws, some bureaucrat knows better than you on how you should behave.  You have no choice in the matter.

Don't comply, you get fined.  Don't pay and comply - and resist - you can get dead.

And that brings us to New York City.  The spawning ground for the, "We Know Better Than You" crowd.

A man is selling cigarettes one at a time.  In what is stupefying, even for New York, that, too is - amazingly - against the law.

NYC knows better than you.  You see, if you can't buy smokes one at a time, you'll quit smoking.  They're doing it for you!  You're too stupid to see the light, so it gets shoved up your ass.  You'll then be happy and healthy and a contributing member of NYC society.

Apparently many don't agree with this line of thinking, as many people sell these one-off cigarettes. They even have a name:  Loosies. The seller in question had actually been harassed, detained and arrested numerous times for doing this.

But he chose not to comply - in fact he chose to resist.  He resisted against the enforcers of a law designed to regulate the actions and decisions of the supposedly free people of New York.  Actions and decisions which would not infringe on the rights of any other New Yorker.

And now he'd dead.

The law was the reason for his death, the police officer was just the weapon.  He was a victim of the Nanny State in the truest sense of the word.

Living in California, I have many such similar opportunities to not comply with "the law".  And I do so every day.

Would I resist if I were caught not complying?  I guess it would depend on which law I was blowing off.

I have no desire to die, but I also have no desire to live like a caged, brain-addled pet.  Let's hope it never gets to that point.

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Copyright 2014 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, November 28, 2014

The War On Men

Let me say right up front, this post isn't about being a victim.  In fact it's the exact opposite. 

It's a cold bucket of water to the face of men (and the women who love and support them) to wake the hell up and to start pushing back - on a regular, consistent basis - when ideology like that which follows, is published or broadcast.

It's the slippery slope, the camel nose under the tent,  or the thin edge of the wedge.  Do not let this stand unchallenged.

It's crap like this that I'm talking about (from an article titled, "The New York City Subway Is Taking a Stand Against Ridiculous Male Privilege") - 
The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) announced on Monday that a new campaign addressing courtesy on public transportation will come into effect by January. One of the targeted behaviors is "man-spreading" — the act of spreading one's legs so far apart that other passengers are forced to squish their own together.

Or, if you prefer a more nuanced description, one of the most infuriating and outright ridiculous display of male privilege and machismo in existence today. As Mic's Derrick Clifton succinctly put it, "Hey, bro, you're not that well-endowed."
Wow, where to begin?  From the city that gave us laws against feeding the homeless, large sodas and the liberal/progressive approach to policing that involves deeming the color of your skin as probable cause for a search, we now have this.

Squish your nuts or go to jail.  Or better said, "If you can't sit like a woman, we'll make you one."

Notice the technique used in the last sentence up there in the article?  Get one of the privileged men to agree with the law, and toss in a pinch of humiliation for good measure.

Straight out of Alinsky's,  Rules For Radicals -
“Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.
Get a couple of guys fighting over the size of their junk, and the man-haters shriek with glee.

The real issue - the government actually dictating how you may now sit - becomes an afterthought, and the law stands.

I guess in NYC, if you're a black guy that works at an ad hoc soup kitchen who's on a bus holding a Big Gulp between your legs, you can be tazered on the spot.  Hey, connect the dots.


Here's the headline:

Male TV presenter wears same suit for a year – does anyone notice?  

And the sub-head:

Australian TV anchor Karl Stefanovic has been wearing the same blue suit to make a point about the ways in which his female colleagues are judged. What we learned hardly came as a surprise – but it can’t be said enough

When you read the headline and sub-head, who is the victim and who is the sexist?  The female host is the victim, because she's apparently being unfairly "judged".  And since a man got away with Fashion Murder, men and the whole "male privalege" gig were the aggressors, the judges and the sexists.

When I was in banking - for the entire period I was in management (27 of my 31 years) - I wore 3 suits to work.  A black one, a gray one and a blue one.  In dim lighting, they all looked the same color. 

I think back in the 1980's I had a brown one. 

Each day I'd rotate between the suits, so two days a week, I'd wear the same colored suit (on Monday and Thursday, and on Tuesday and Friday).

I wore a white shirt every day, and owned perhaps a dozen ties.  I'd mix and match the ties with the suits.

I never - not once - got a visit from the Fashion Police for my violation of the dressing laws.

The women, though, were another story.  If a woman dared to wear the same thing within a 2 or 3 week period, she got derided.  A snicker here, a disapproving glance there.  And the occasional backhanded compliment.

"I absolutely loved the shoes you wore with that same outfit last week!"

The derision was always, without exception, by other women.

I swear on all that is Holy to me, I NEVER thought more or less of the capabilities of a woman because of what she was wearing.  I can say with high confidence that other men felt the same way.

Why?  Because I didn't give a shit.  As long as you were wearing "business attire" I could not have cared less if it was from Nordstom's or Walmart, if you wore it yesterday or the day before that, or if the shoes clashed or not.

Apparently, just as blacks can't be racist, women can't be sexist.  Everyone knows that all racism is only directed towards blacks by non-blacks, and all sexism is only directed towards women by non-women, right?

So, who does that leave - by default - as the sexists?  Men.

I had to look hard to find a single online article that suggested that the Fashion Police and their heavy-handed approach is made up overwhelmingly by women.

In the article linked above, the last half of the very last paragraph of the article touches on this -
According to Wilkinson, most of the emails commenting on her on-air sartorial decisions have come from women. “I don’t know how we’ve got into that space,” she said on Today. 
Most of the emails?  I'd guess ALL of the emails.  Seriously, can you see a man taking the time to write an email that says, "Girl, those shoes just DID NOT work with that pantsuit you wore on Thursday!"
It’s not too hard to figure out: in a toxic climate, where a woman’s appearance is often deemed the only noteworthy thing about her, it is inevitable that the harshest critics may also be women. 
What "toxic climate" would that be?  That women trash other women's appearance?  Why is it "inevitable" that the worst critics would be women?  If that's true, then why isn't THAT the focus of your article?

Because it doesn't further the male-privilege, women-victim ideology.
Unlearning sexist behaviour is a job for us all, men and women alike.
There ya go - save the last sentence in a victimhood-promoting article to throw men into the mix of a clearly women-only issue.

If the author really, truly wanted to focus the article where the problem lies, her headline would have read -

Listen Up, Ladies - Stop This Fashion Police Assault On Other Women

The sub-head would have read -

Seriously.  It makes us look weak and stupid and shallow, instead of strong and capable.  Stop it now.

Sure, that'll happen right away.  I just checked with the weather station in Hades, and the forecast for the foreseeable future is hot 'n toasty...


And then there are the boys.  You know, "little men" that must be neutered and groomed to be nice little girls.

Boys point their finger like a gun, and say, "bang bang".  The school administration goes into an uproar, killer-drones are put on high alert, the boys are labeled a terrorist wannabes, and promptly medicated for the rest of their lives.

Just as disgusting is the treatment they receive from the largely female teaching corps of the government schools.
We extend the analysis of early-emerging gender differences in academic achievement to include both (objective) test scores and (subjective) teacher assessments…we show that the grades awarded by teachers are not aligned with test scores, with the disparities in grading exceeding those in testing outcomes and uniformly favoring girls, and that the misalignment of grades and test scores can be linked to gender differences in non-cognitive development.

…Boys in all racial categories across all subject areas are not represented in grade distributions where their test scores would predict. Even those boys who perform equally as well as girls on reading, math and science tests are nevertheless graded less favorably by their teachers.
Why is that?  Why would boys who get the same scores as a girl get a lower grade?
Despite having higher scores on standardized tests, boys get lower grades than girls. Why? Because teachers are basing grades at least partly on classroom behavior, and the standards are very much geared to female norms.
Translation?  The little boys are acting like little boys, and NOT like little girls.  And that's just not acceptable.
Another interesting finding was that boys who adhere to female norms on non-cognitive skills were not penalized. Effectively, the more female behavior was rewarded with a grade “bonus” for males.

The implications of this are obvious. Masculinity, even normal maleness, is being punished in schools from a very young age. Only the most female-acting boys are rewarded with a fair assessment. Cornwell notes that this practice may permanently affect a boy’s educational prospects.
Of course it will affect their educational prospects.  That's the plan.  Fewer mean, nasty, gross, aggressive boys will be able to obtain advanced degrees and training, so there are fewer similarly-disgusting eligible men to compete with women for advanced paying jobs.

Victimhood pays well.

So what to do?

Ignoring this - not addressing the unfair and unequal treatment - has got to stop.  This is just like the "mission creep" we saw with building a welfare state.  Don't pay attention, and you now have half the nation getting money from The State.

The difference between us and the male-haters is that we don't want special treatment for boys and men.  We don't have hate and loathing for someone based upon their gender. That would be stupid.

We don't want a "helping hand" or a "leg up" or a "special dispensation".  That would be admitting we don't have the ability to compete on a truly level playing field.

What we need to do is to fight the good fight when we see it.  If we see a story of a boy or man being blamed for being a boy or a man, write a letter or make a phone call.  Do it now.

If we see a local story in a government school where a boy has been mistreated for being a boy, go to the school board meeting and make a stink.  And bring some friends.

If we see a story where the local supervisors or council members are considering a man-bashing law such as the seating requirement on buses, go to the next meeting and make a stink.  And bring some friends.

Use technology to reach larger groups.  Forward links to articles showing the abuses to your friends.  This is one of the easiest ways to "spread the word".  If the subject comes up, your friends are now "armed" to deflect the "we're just victims" assault that will follow. 

The bottom line is, we must become active about this.  Don't be brow-beaten and guilt-tripped for being male. 

If we've learned one thing, it's that once a law becomes enacted, it's rarely reversed.  The statists and their minions just keep coming back for more.

Look at Obamacare.  They've now admit they lied, hid facts, and fudged numbers.  It doesn't matter now, because nothing will change.  The key is to not allow a bad law, practice or regulation to become enacted.

Understand their tactics.  They will paint themselves as victims in one way or another.  Who can hate a victim, right?  Point out that they're not victims, they're in stations of authority, and are abusing their power.  Flip the conversation around to THEM being the aggressor and bully.

Use their own tactics ON THEM.  Again, from Alinsky -
“Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.
Never let up.

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Copyright 2014 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.