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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Of Economics And Charity

Been busy.  Sorry.  A friend noted how tanned I was getting.  Told him I was an unpaid Day Laborer for a bastard of a boss!  Will do a couple of posts - shortly, I hope - on our adventures towards self-sufficiency on our new property in Nevada.
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I've been giving a lot of thought to opening a business here in Northern Nevada.  My initial scratch-and-sniff market analysis shows that there could be a viable market for what I'm considering.

And no, it has nothing to do with precious metals or guns.  Shocking, right?!  No, it's a specialty (kind of) food product.  More later if something flies with this.

Anyways, as I was doing some research on others that have been successful with this type of venture, I ran across an article by Doug Casey.  He's a screaming libertarian (my kinda guy) - a self-made millionaire who absolutely HATES government interference in just about anything.

He was writing about charity, and how in most instances, private charity hurts the recipient.  I have long thought this.  Like government subsidies and programs, most private charity takes away the initiative of the recipient to better themselves.

Build a food bank that feeds the poor, and you've taken away their initiative to feed themselves.

Pay for someones college costs based upon their skin color, ethnic origins, sexual preference or anything other than achievement (such as scholastic or athletic excellence), and you've taken away their initiative to excel.

In my book, the only type of charities I even consider are those where some horrible unplanned or unforeseen event occurs.  Helping the parents of a kid born with some debilitating disease or condition, would be one example.  Things where there is no realistic ability of an individual to afford to pay for their circumstances.

Along those same lines, I give to injured veterans groups.  I'm ashamed of our government, and how it shirks its duty to take care of our vets who come back home, well, destroyed.  It's not the vets fault the government signed a contract with each and every one of them, then looked them in the eye and lied.

Being born poor in America is NOT one of those circumstance.  And that means anywhere in America under any economic circumstances  There is a path out, if you choose to take it.  If you don't make the right choice, don't expect me to pay for the world of hurt where you find yourself.

But Chief!  Think about the children!  No, YOU think about YOUR children, and about what YOU'RE going to do to feed and shelter them.

And to teach them about self-reliance and personal accomplishment to boot.

Some day, I'll tell the story of the shit-hole my wife grew up in, and what she did to turn it around.  Out of the 8 kids in her family, half made it, half didn't.  Two of the latter group are dead.  Their standing in life is one-hundred percent because of the choices each individual made while growing up in the exact same circumstances as his or her siblings.

So, getting back to the Doug Casey article, his point was that most large charitable donation are just for the egos of the givers.  Bill Gates and Warren Buffett get to do the cock-strut to show how they're helping a gajillion people live better lives.

In reality, they're taking away the incentive of those people to better themselves and build pride and self-worth through accomplishment.  They're nothing more than a beneficent, elitist socialist leader with a happy face sticker.

Instead, they should be trumpeting their success so that others will follow their example.  Their donation money should instead go towards making their business bigger, and better, so that more and more people can get jobs, learn skills and develop pride for their accomplishments,

And then it dawned on me that I could do the same, only on a smaller scale (to start!).

My initial direction in another business was to design it with no employees.  Use independent contractors to build whatever I couldn't build myself.  This has nothing to do with not liking people.  It has everything to do with government regulation.  Look at someone the wrong way, or not follow some inane regulation to the "T", and you get sued, you get to pay the "aggrieved" employee some money, and you get to pay a fine to one or more government agencies.

While this business model will still happen, the idea of a brick-and-mortar business that hires locally may give me the ability to develop another stream of income AND fulfill my desire to give folks the opportunity to develop life skills and a sense of accomplishment at the same time.

My very first job in high school was washing dishes in an Italian restaurant.  I was taught food preps during slow periods, and was a cook within 6 months, but my most important lesson was about getting an education.  I worked mostly with grown men in the kitchen.  While I'm sure they were making more money per hour than I was, even back in the late 1970's it couldn't have been much to live on.  From that first job, I knew I wanted more, and that I'd need an education to get that.

One of the men I worked with as a cook had a criminal record, but was trying to get going in the right direction.  My dad (a lieutenant in the Sheriff department) had actually gotten him the job at the restaurant.

Being able to do something along those lines holds some interest to me.  First jobs, new beginnings, career advancement as the business grows.

We'll see.  At first glance, it appears as though Nevada offers significantly fewer hurdles to getting a business up and running.  My worry is that since it has to do with food, the state and federal food police could make it economically unfeasible.  I hope I'm wrong.

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One of the businesses that is in my market niche (but outside of my local market!), had a version of this posted on their website.  Amen, brutha!

* You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
* You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
* You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
* You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
* You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
* You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
* You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
* You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
* You cannot build character and courage by destroying men's initiative and independence.
* You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.





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Copyright 2016 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. www.BisonRMA.com

Friday, October 7, 2016

Don't Kalifornicate Nevada - No On Nevada Question 1

When I moved to Nevada a couple of months ago, it was for two primary reasons:  Lower cost of living/taxes and their guns laws - or lack thereof.

In both respects, Nevada tends to treat its citizens as adults.  Unlike Kalifornia, where every time you want to scratch your ass you need a permit, in general, Nevada lets you go about your life with little interference.  In fact, when you do have interaction it is..... wait for it... pleasant. 

To date, whether it be our trip to the DMV, getting property tax information from the county, or figuring out the schedules for igniting our burn pile, state and local government employees have been astonishingly helpful.  They truly earn their pay.

It's been very refreshing.

Until now.

Billionaire anti-gun zealot Michael Bloomberg and his group, "Wimpering Women Against Guns", or whatever it's called, were able to get a background check initiative (pdf) on the upcoming ballot.  As usual, they're painting this as a, "common sense" law that will keep guns out of the hands of the bad guys.

Also as usual, they're full of bullshit.  It will do little or nothing to keep felons from getting the guns they want.  On the surface, the marketing campaign for Question 1 says that all it wants to do is to close the notorious, "gun show loophole" - the ability of private parties to sell guns without a mandatory background check of the buyer.

But it goes much deeper.  It has the aforementioned background check provision, and another that is getting little to no coverage:  Limitations on to whom and when you can lend one of your guns.  If you lend your next door neighbor of the past 20 years a rifle to for target practice, you have just committed a gross misdemeanor, punishable up to 1 year in jail.  Do it again, and it's a felony, and you're going away for up to 5 years.

Or maybe you lend a pistol to your girlfriend who is going on an extended backpacking trip.  Or your cousin wants to go duck hunting, and you lend him a shotgun for a weekend.  Or you lend your co-worker - who you've known for 5 years - a hunting rifle for his vacation during deer season.

This law presumes citizens have no common sense, and someone in state government needs to start making some decisions for you.  Was there a recent rash of bad guys buying guns at gun shows or from private parties, and they're shooting up the joint?  Or do bad guys STILL get 99% of their guns illegally - by robbery, from other criminals or via strawman purchases?

Like Kalifornia, BOTH PROVISIONS of this new law would turn honest, decent Nevadans into felons - forfeiting their right to own firearms. 

Here are the FACTS - not the fascist propaganda - about Question 1:

1.  "...the right to keep and bear arms shall NOT BE INFRINGED."  It doesn't mention, "except when someone doesn't like guns," or "except when someone may use a gun illegally".  The second amendment is a guarantee of a God-given right to self-defense.  That is NOT negotiable!

2.  Depending on your source, gun show "crime guns" account for around 1% of bad guy guns.  A 2002 US Department of Justice report put it at 0.7% (pdf).  A 2006 report, also by the US Department of Justice puts it at 1% (down from 2% in 1997 - pdf). 

The source of the gun is not the problem.  The gun itself is not the problem.  The criminal is the problem. 

3.  Their retort is always, "If just one life is saved, it's worth the inconvenience."  Again, bullshit.  I reject the entire premise of this statement.  We don't write laws to save a single life.  We write laws to protect all of society.  This is a law looking for a problem to solve.  Restricting access to life-saving firearms in any way is criminal and unconstitutional. 

Does anyone in their right mind think that if this law is passed, it will stop a criminal from getting the gun they want?  Of course not.  He'll just go to his normal sources where 99% of the guns are bought by criminals. 

All it does is jeopardize the freedom of good citizens.

In Nevada, of the 169 murders committed in 2014, 94 of them were done with some sort of firearm.  That means that 0.65 people are killed by gun show or private party guns (0.7% DOJ stats for gun show purchases x 94 gun murders).  And they're going to write a law for this?!?!?!

Once again, depending on your source, guns in the hands of citizens are used between 235,000 and 2,500,000 times to stop an attack, almost all without firing a shot (bad guy sees gun, pisses pants, and runs).

Think about that:  At a minimum, we have nearly a quarter of a million armed citizens who don't get raped, beaten, robbed or killed, each and every year.

4.  The "Gun Show Loophole" is a strawman argument.  There's no there there.  The argument is that millions of guns are sold by private parties at gun shows each year where background checks don't happen, and criminals could buy guns there.  As the facts attest in number 2 above, this just doesn't happen with any kind of frequency.

More importantly, it mixes apples and oranges - Federal Firearms Licensses (FFL) vs. private citizens.  An FFL is licensed by the federal government to sell guns in-state and out-of-state.  Their business is to sell guns.  Anytime and anywhere they sell a gun, they have to follow the same rules, which in this case, includes performing a background check on the buyer.

In this new law, the "Unlicensed Person" is you and me - private citizens selling our private property.  Just as we're an unlicensed person when we sell our sporting equipment at a garage sale to another unlicensed person, our right to sell our private property without government interference is at stake here.  We're not in business to sell guns or sporting equipment, we're just selling our lawful private property.

Chief, holy crap!  How can you compare sporting equipment and guns?

Don't scoff at this example.  Bats, clubs and hammers kill more Americans each year than shotguns or rifles.  Should we be required to get a background check on someone who buys our used baseball equipment or our extra roofing hammer?  Why not?  It might save one life...

This sounds ludicrous, but remember, not too long ago, you could buy a gun from the Sears mail-order catalogue.  Ludicrous can become "common sense" in a very short period time.

We are not responsible for the actions of others.  If I sell you a gun, a hammer, a bat or a car, and you go out and kill someone with it, I'm not responsible, the object isn't responsible, YOU are responsible.

And another "feel good" or "at least we're doing SOMETHING" law isn't going to change the facts nor reduce the number of bad guys getting guns.  It will simply make more good citizens into criminals.




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Do you see what this type of language does to the psyche of free people?  You're "unlicensed" - you can't act without the permission of government.  This is a wholly repugnant and unacceptable concept.

This proposed law also includes an exemption for police.  What the hell?  Police officers are civilians, and those civilians work for us.  I know many people exclude police and fire fighters from the definition of civilian, but they're wrong.  The original and true definition has to do with the type of law under which you're judged - military or civilian.  Last time I check, police were judged under civilian law.

So laws like this help to reinforce at least 3 levels of citizenry:  Military, Super-Civilians (politicians, police, etc.) and us lowly proletariat citizens.  Ironically, in theory at least, the two levels above us are supposed to work for us.

I'm sick of it.

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Copyright 2016 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. www.BisonRMA.com

Monday, September 26, 2016

Playin' In The Dirt

This whole, "homesteading" gig is pretty cool.  A TON of work, but very cool.  I get up most mornings knowing I'm going to be physically working my ass off, and I love it.

Right now, I'm in major, "attack the deferred maintenance" list.  The previous home owners, to be blunt, didn't do shit to maintain this property for the past couple of years, at least.  And the way systems and "stuff" were configured, leaves me scratching my head.

For instance, we're in 4-season country.  While not as cold as much of the northern part of the US, our average temperature during the winter is below freezing, and we get into the teens overnight.  We actually have an 18" to 24" frost line, which is a new one for this former Kalifornian!

They installed a sprinkler system for the property - but didn't include a way to winterize the system by blowing out the lines to keep them from freezing over.  To add insult to injury, when the system was installed, they just tee'd it off of the supply line that goes out to the freezeless yard hydrant (these are hydrants that are designed to deliver water to horses/animals during the winter without freezing over).

So, in winter, when I turn off the water for the sprinkler system, I'll also be turning it off for the hydrant.  If I had animals - say, in our horse barn - I'd have to haul the water.

We're looking to add some animals next year, so that will need to be dug up and re-routed next spring.

Done So Far

> Added exterior surveillance system (thanks bro for running the cable)

> Added security system

> Started compost pile

> Cleared 1/4 acre of thorny SOB tumble weeds (1/4 acre to go).  Made a note on the calendar to have county spray next year (previous owners "forgot" to do it this year)

Before



After




> Drilled a half-dozen 3-hole ventilation groups in eves to get air into attic - absolutely NO airflow currently into attic

> Removed pine tree limbs and unknown species limbs from rubbing on roof - really, people?!

>  Pruned 4 of our cottonwood trees of the wild growth on the trunk up to 12 feet.

Before and after





Before and after







And, as you may have guessed from the "after" pictures, I've got a yard full of cottonwood leaves - compost bound....

>  Installed 2, 24 inch risers for septic system access (had to be dug up before each time it was pumped - at a cost of $85 per hole dug)

Before




After




Coming Up

>  Next week - rent a Bobcat, move a yard of gravel from one side of property to another, drag railroad ties piled on one side of property to be used as borders in backyard area, level area for planting beds, lay out first course of planting beds (will be raised beds), scrape final 1/4 acre of tumbleweeds.  Also, hire a tree trimmer to cut back and top a 35 ft cottonwood that is perilously close to back of house.  Terminate a heating duct that was not connected to anything when the previous owners installed a new heater 4 years ago (yes, they'd been warming the crawl space for 4 years).  Get chimney sweep out to clean chimney so we can use the awesome fireplace.

>  Mid-October - (or as soon as cool weather hits the Kalifornia foothills) Harvest and split oak firewood (dried deadwood) from relative's property.  Also, our well system is a bit jiggy.  We commonly get a "wet spot" right at the well head, and have gotten outright pooling one time.  Anyone with ideas, PLEASE CHIME IN. (And, no, the water isn't draining from some other surface area.)  There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason when this happens.  Stumped.



>  Late October - have our first legal burn.  Mostly the aforementioned tumble weeds and some tree trimmings.

>  November (or as soon as I can't do stuff outside any more) - get workshop in order (it's just storage now), reorganize prep foods (a total CF after the move), build a Murphy Bed for guests in wife's office

>  January - Prune both apples trees.  Doubt if they've ever been pruned.

>  Early April - if ground not frozen, run sprinkler system out to garden beds.

>  Also on the list - relocate a shed from right in front of our view of the Sierras to side of property (or tear it down and rebuild - which ever is cheaper), re-roof horse barn and turn into storage and saloon (a gamey man-cave of sorts), install new flooring in home (currently 2 different types of tile and the most ugly blue carpet you've ever seen).

Lastly, I've gotten a number of private emails about how I'm doing the "business in California, live in Nevada" gig.  It's working very nicely.  We've been able to hire two new employees and re-jigger the schedule to where me an my business partner have, shall we say, very favorable in-store hours.

When I do have to go in, here's what my commute looks like...

(From my dash-cam.  Sorry for the bug guts on the windshield...)








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Copyright 2016 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. www.BisonRMA.com

Monday, September 5, 2016

What's This Alt-Right Stuff?

So I'm hearing all of this buzz about the "Alt-Right".  A little snip here, a blurb there.  Suddenly, it's everywhere after Hillary goes off on Trump and his ties to the Alt-Right.

I'm thinkin', "If Hillary's soiling her Depends over this, I gotta get me a slice of that!"

So I go to site after site trying to get a clue as to what it is.  When the Tea Party came about, it was pretty clear cut - smaller government, less public spending, less intrusion into our lives by TPTB,

With this Alt Right, it's different.  Some truly were racist-based - spouting white racial supremacy like the NAACP does for blacks, and La Raza does for Latinos.

I'll take a pass, thank you very much.

Racial supremacy ideology is bull shit.  "I'm better than you because of the color of my skin."  Supremacy in life is dependent upon exploiting your natural God-given talents, and applying effort and actions.  

In broad strokes, each race has been given certain innate advantages - be they math, athletics, management, engineering, etc.  To deny this is as foolish as thinking that just because you're of a certain race, you'll be successful at a give task.  Waste those natural talents through lack of effort, and see how well you do in life.

Any-hoooo, I found a site that came thiiiiiisssssss close to getting me to say I was an Alt-Right.  Literally right up to the end.

Here are their criteria -

People Are Different.  Amen to that, brother!  The America I want actually celebrates and encourages that belief.  We all get an equal bite at the apple, but our effort and talents are what separate the wheat from the chaff.

The Left wants us to believe we're all the same, thus we should all have the same outcome in life.  This is Socialism/Communism 101.  We're NOT THE SAME!  Our efforts are what differentiate us.

Our World Is Tribal.  Oh hell yes.  There is a huge difference between when a racial tribe discriminates against another racial tribe simply because of the color of their skin, and when a racial tribe wants to primarily associate with their own tribe.

This tribal association is primal.  You doubt that?  Go to any prison in America and see how the races choose to associate.

Again, the Left wants to force feed racial integration.  How's that working out?  It's not.  People will choose with whom they will associate, government mandates be damned.

Ironically, it is the Left that plays the Identity Politics game - telling each different tribe what they'll do just for that tribe.

Now, for a stir of the racial pot, most races seem to play well with others.  The biggest exception is blacks.  In the big picture, they clash with everyone else.

Why?  Here's something to consider:  Normative Commons.  I'd never heard about it until a few weeks ago, but it's an idea worth considering (the article is long, but well worth your time).
Black males are notoriously prone to violent crime. 6-7% of the population in the US is composed of black males, yet they make up 50% or more of the perpetrators of violent crime, depending on the crime. In 85% of inter-racial violence between whites and blacks, the black is the aggressor.
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Not every black person is a violent criminal and I am not trying to claim that. However, a much larger percentage of the black population is composed of violent criminals than any other racial group. So how should a rational person respond to this undeniable fact?
So, is acknowledging that blacks in general are more prone to violence a racist statement, or is it a recognition of reality?  For me, it's the latter.  Call me a racist if you will, and I'll tell you to pull your head out of your ass.  Now we're even.

Our (the white) Tribe Is Being Suppressed.  Far fetched?  Try starting up the National Association for the Advancement of White People, or the United Caucasian College Fund, or the White Panthers and see how long it takes for you to be labeled as a hate group.  Hell, the phrase, "ALL Lives Matter" got trashed as racist, simply because it included whites.

Kiss my ass.  Now, I don't play identity politics, but I won't be shamed because of my race - I had no choice in the matter!  And as I've noted before, how could anyone be PROUD of their race?  What did they DO to become black, white or brown?  Nothing.  It's nothing more than an excuse of a personal failure when someone has to pull out their Race Card.

If you've been discriminated against because of your race (or gender or whatever), DO SOMETHING and sue the bastard.  Otherwise, stop your whining and shut the hell up.

Men Are Not Women and Women Are Not Men.  I'll now give you reason to call me a sexist in addition to being a racist.

Genetically, and thus historically, men provided primary sustenance and security, and women gave birth to, and nurtured the children, and provided secondary sustenance.  Up until the late 1950's, women weren't prohibited from having a career, and men weren't prohibited from raising the kids, but it wasn't the norm.

Since this change in roles - where everyone works and families (if they exist) don't have as many kids - we've seen a general true economic decline in America.  When I say "true economic decline", I'm talking about the country as a whole.  On the surface, everyone is fat and happy, but it's all funded by debt.  And debt kills.

No?  That big ol' pile of National Debt, if divvied up between all 330 million people in this country, would result in a bill of over $60,000.  Each.  Every man, woman and child.  Cash and credit card payment not accepted - sorry!

As more and more people belly up to the Social Security, Disability, Welfare, et al, bar, AND fewer tax payers are being born to American women, more money must be borrowed and more tax payers must be introduced from outside of the system.

Both political parties understand that the socialist state that is now America can't continue to exist - let alone thrive - if we don't import more bodies.  The problem lies with the standards for admission being lessened or ignored.

It's gotten to the point where if you can steam a mirror, you're allowed in.  The idea of  "assimilation" - becoming American and embracing OUR culture - is racist, nasty and just not discussed in polite company.

It's a joke.  When voting material are required to be printed in a language other than English - and speaking English is a requirement for citizenship - you know you're in trouble.

This was a long way around to the Unintended Consequences punchline.  Everyone working sounds like a great idea.  Like it or not, in practice, it's helped (but is NOT solely responsible) for undercutting The American Way Of Life.

Alt-Righters are pissed.

Freedom Is A Responsibility And Not A Right.  This is HUGE.  Government can't make you free.  In fact, history has shown that it usually attempts to restrict your rights to serve ITS needs.  Your right to benefit fully from your labor, or the guaranteed natural right to protect your life and property, come first to mind.

The Rule Of Law - the idea that all laws are applied equally to all people - is a core concept of American life.  When we see the elites being treated differently, it is incumbent on us take responsibility to change the system, by force if necessary.  Hell, that's how this country was founded (American civics is also a requirement for citizenship - what a joke that is).

See, "Animal Farm" (video, 1+ hour and worth every second) and the phrase of, "Some animals are more equal than others."

If We Must Be A Democratic Society, The Franchise Should Be Limited.  This is perhaps the key concept that has led to the demise of the American way of life.  It was summed up nicely by Benjamin Franklin -
When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.
In my opinion, the only people that should be able to vote on tax matters are those that would be required to pay the tax.  Anyone who buys stuff should be able to vote on sales taxes.  Car taxes voted on my car owners, property taxes by property owners, income taxes by those that earn income.

If there's not enough money to go around, cut some of the programs that are "going around".

Yeah, I know, racist, sexist and elitist.  Bite me.

"But, but, but Chief!  Think of the children!"  I do.  My children.  Your kids are your responsibility.  People - kids and adults alike - that "fall through the cracks" will be helped by private charities.  They ALWAYS have been.

It's amazing how many people are able to find a job when they don't have a free meal ticket available from government services.

Along these lines, we've got our representatives out there representing us.  We see that all they do is vote to increase our various taxes and levies, and spend, spend, spend.  Think about it:  We give them the power to tax AND to spend.  What the hell is wrong with us?  That's like putting a cocaine addict in charge of production AND distribution.  It won't end well.

I don't know how to even propose it, but my new state of Nevada uses part-time representatives.  They meet every other year for 4 months.

That's it.

Unless there is a special session ordered by the governor or 2/3 of the legislature, if it's not done in 120 days, it ain't gettin' done.

They get a salary for the first 60 days of their session, and get a per diem for every day they are working, including days after the legislative session while they're doing state work.

My state representative is a retired law enforcement officer and business owner.  He happens to live in my new city.  My state senator is a rancher in the "off season" of government.

No full-time, line-your-pockets state legislature.  Quite different from my former home state of Kalifornia, where - much like the federal government - you go in middle class, and come out rich.  Funny how that works, huh?

How do we do this on the federal level?  I know, I know, it's a bigger kettle of fish, but for God's sake, the way we're doing it now just isn't working.  It'll never change, but it could be changed in YOUR state.....

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And then there's this:

Jewish elites are opposed to our entire program.  Ya lost me there, boys.  It sounds like the Race Baiter's from the other side.

If this is a core belief of the Alt-Right, count me out.

And I've got to say, when reading a number of the comments on the article, there was a lot of crap on racial purity.

I'm good with the over all nationalistic message most of these sites support.  It's why they (and I) support Trump's, "Make America Great Again" message.

But when you start with the "keep the races pure" bullshit, you lose me.  I judge you - and choose to associate with you - by your actions, not something over which you have no control, like your race.



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Copyright 2016 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. www.BisonRMA.com

Saturday, August 6, 2016

He's Alive!

Well, it's happened:  I'm free at last!  I am now a Nevadan (damn, it feels good to say that).  Escrow closed about 3 weeks ago, and we've been busier than hell trying to get stuff to our liking.  It will take (I'd guess) 6 months to get the home up to snuff, and likely 2 years for the property/land, but it will all be a labor of love.  I genuinely look forward to the challenge and reward.

While I have only moved about 3 hours to the east, it's a world of difference.  That is not hyperbole.  The difference in face to face interactions, as well as public interactions (i.e., driving) between Kalifornia and Nevada is striking.

Oh Lord, I'm an idiot for taking so long to do this!

Anyways, more tales and perspective to come.  It's interesting to now live in an "up for grabs" political state.  I can tell you that here in Northern Nevada, every person I've encountered is libertarian/conservative.  I guess part of the Reno crowd as well as Vegas makes up the liberal/socialist contingent.  I can tell you that I will be working and spending my political dollars like a crazed banshee to ensure my new home state doesn't go like its sad, sad neighbor to the west.

I'll be back soon with some stories of the whole process.  See ya in a bit.

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Copyright 2016 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. www.BisonRMA.com

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Time To Run And Hide and Confiscate

Seriously, sorry for the dearth of posts.  Explanation below.

First, though, I want to address the stupid bastards with regards to this morning's Muslim terrorist shooting in Orlando.

There will obviously be calls for weapons bans from The Usual Suspects, including the need for Common Sense Gun Controls like detailed background checks to protect us from all of the evil that is out there.

1.  Background checks WERE conducted on this guy.  In fact, he had the super-duper background check you need for a "G" class permit - the one that is required for private investigators, private security (you know, for the big-wigs who want to take your guns, but employ "hired guns" for themselves) and repossession folks.

In short, this bastard was thoroughly vetted, yet this still happened.  Why's that?  Because he was a crazy, Muslim fanatic that thinks gays should be wiped from the face of the earth.

GOING THROUGH A BACKGROUND CHECK ACCOMPLISHED EXACTLY NOTHING, other than keeping a civil servant employed by the licensing fees, and giving the soft-heads in our society the warm and fuzzy feeling that accompanies, "at least we did something".  These people make me want to puke.

2.  There will be calls for banning "Assault Weapons" and/or their ammo (why are they called "patrol rifles" when they are fully automatic and held in the hands of police officers?).

Exhibit 1:  Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.  These guns are banned in France yet somehow the Muslim fanatics got their hands on them.

Exhibit 2:  Bataclan Theater massacre in Paris.  These guns are banned in France yet somehow the Muslim fanatics got their hands on them.

Exhibit 3:  Inland Regional Center massacre in San Bernardino.  These illegally altered, fully-automatic guns are banned in the US yet somehow the Muslim fanatics got their hands on them.

Do I need to continue or do you get the point?  I could add the daily news reports of Muslim suicide bombers blowing up scores of people around the world.  I haven't checked the facts, but I'd lay good money that every single one of those countries has laws against building bombs and blowing them up in public.

How's that working out?

Banning weapons and ammo only makes it easier for the bad guys to kill the good guys.  Period.

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So, how do we respond?

Get ready for the onslaught from the Liberal Media, and respond.  Respond forcefully, clear-eyed and often.  Use facts AND passion.

These bastards (the gun-grabbing, liberal politicians and their media Quislings) are going to do a full-court press with this one.  Guns and dead gays - this is going to be a field day for them.

What WON'T happen, is they won't tie it 100% to Muslim fanatics.  The target of their ire will be the tool of their murders, not the murderers themselves.

Push back HARD on this!  "These guns are illegal around most of the world, yet these massacres still happen.  Why is that?  What's the common denominator in all of these acts?"

They will deflect with their answers ("The body count would not have been so high if these guns were illegal").  Bring the discussion back on track ("You have no way of knowing that.  Dozens have recently been killed with bombings in Turkey.  Bombs are illegal, yet they are still detonated.  The issue is the murderer, not the tool he used.").

Adapt and respond.

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What do we do to protect ourselves?

As noted by The Great And Powerful Remus, stay away from crowds.  Serious as a heart attack.  This is the single most effective way of keeping yourself away from a mass shooting.  Stay away from the masses!

If you were a Muslim fanatic, where would you hit to do the most damage?  I dunno, maybe a nightclub full of sinners (gay or straight).  Or a sports stadium.  Or the church full of the non-believers.  Or a shopping mall.  Or a school full of non-believer kids.  Or a movie theater.

Now, for me, this is easily accomplished.  I no longer attend sporting events (I refuse to voluntarily submit to any sort of search to watch a ball game in person - that's insane).  My clubbing days are WAY behind me (just celebrated wedding anniversary number 30 - woo hoo!).  My kids are grown men, so no worries about schools, I buy most things online (except for the important things), I have pay-per-view  for movies and I've never been a church-going guy (don't you DARE tell me how to speak with God!).

When I must go to malls or grocery stores or restaurants, I'm always armed.  No exceptions.  I refuse to allow the unconstitutional laws of this state and country to put my life at risk.  Not gonna happen.

I understand there are risks in that approach, but my life is more important to me than being "law abiding".  My choice, and I make it clear-eyed.

I encourage you to do a similar self-assessment, and make your own choices.

But, but, but Chief, if you stop doing all of these things, the Muslim fanatics win!  Sorry to break it to you, but they've already won.  As soon as the horrific USA PATRIOT Act was signed into law, they won.

Instead of Bush exhorting the nation to "buck up", "stand tall", "never take a step backwards", he cowered and handed to key of freedom to the Deep State.  Instead of, "There is nothing to fear, but fear itself", we got the DHS, TSA, VIPR squads and the whole lot.

We're encouraged to be weak and timid and compliant.  Just what the Muslim fanatics wanted.  Mission Accomplished.

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OK, the reason for my lengthy absence:  I'm finally gonna be OUTTA HERE!  We're moving from the liberal cesspool known as the SF Bay Area, and moving to Nevada.  Getting through all of the selection process, making the offer, doing inspections, et al, has been incredibly time-consuming.  So cut me some slack!

If all goes as planned, I'll be a Nevada resident in late July/early August.  The house we're buying faces the Eastern Sierras, so I'll be able to see the dust cloud when California finally implodes to the west of us.  The beer is on me if you want a seat.

I WILL still be an owner of the precious metals store.  I may touch on how that will happen at a later date.

Even though our current town is semi-rural (we do $300-$400 million a year in agriculture) our new COUNTY in Nevada has 10,000 fewer people.  Me likee!

The only drawback to this location is its proximity to Reno.  While we're over an hour away, Reno is an illegal alien haven - yep, a "sanctuary city".  Even more disturbing, is that it has been chosen as one of the upcoming relocation endpoints for a batch of "refugees".

To say that my county and Reno are polar opposites would be an understatement.  But that can change quickly.  California went from giving this country Ronald Reagan, to evacuating its collective bowels and producing Jerry Brown, Diane Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer.

This happened amazingly fast - literally during my adult years.  I can say that I will do all that is in my power to ensure it doesn't happen in my new home and region.

So, for a while, posting may still be light.  I'll eventually finish up the final segment for the Multiple Sources of Income series, as I think it's an important topic.

And if a rant presents itself, well....



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Copyright 2016 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. www.BisonRMA.com

Friday, May 13, 2016

That's Some Funny Shit Right There

I haven't died, just been busier than a Hillary organizer trying to find people to fill the seats at her "riveting" speeches.

A good friend sent this to me, and I laughed my ass off.... then cried.  Probably overly stereotypical, but damn, it's close.




Leaving for a fishing trip, will finish up the series of articles for the online income streams late next week, and then dabble in the offline realm.

Fish on!


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Copyright 2016 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. www.BisonRMA.com

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Historic Day and More On Multiple Income Streams

First a little note:  This was originally intended on being published on April 19th.  Well, life interceded in my plans, and it's getting posted today.  Still, I want to publish the "preamble" of sorts.
In my opinion, today is the single most important day in American history.  On this day in 1775, "The shot heard 'round the world" was fired in Lexington, Massachusetts, and the American Revolution was on!   They made it official in July of the following year.
Tyrants should take note that the line in the sand that was crossed was over gun control.  The British were on their way to abscond with the the patriot's weapons in Concord.  The line was drawn in the first place over taxes, thievery, brutish behavior, and the destruction of the inalienable rights of the citizens. 
I'm just sayin'....
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In the last post, I talked a bit about using ebay as an additional income stream.  Follow some rules, and you can have a nice chunk o' cashflow each year.

Today, I want to address royalties.  What exactly am I talking about?

Well, royalties are payments for something that you do once, and get paid when other people use or gain benefit from whatever it is that you produced.

A common item is royalties for actors and musicians.  Act in a movie or TV show, or write or record a song, and you get paid a little bit of money any time your work is seen or heard.

You've also got things like inventions.  Patent a better mousetrap, license the rights to your design, and you get paid for every mousetrap that is produced.

An insurance salesman gets a royalty commission each year when you re-up your policy.

Work once, get paid for a lifetime.

I recently read an article where they discussed how Don McLean gets paid over $300,000 a year for writing and recording "American Pie" in 1971!

So, you may be thinking, "Chief, holy crap!  I'm no song writer or inventor.  You're barking up the wrong tree on this one".

Maybe.  Maybe not.  If that's your attitude, go change the oil in the french fry cooker.

You've just got to come up with a better - or more efficient - mousetrap.

Technology today allows anyone with a laptop, some inexpensive software, a camera and a website to become a "media mogul".  If you can teach someone how to do something better, faster and cheaper, you might have a winner.

Lots of people have Youtube channels on a million different topics.  You can actually make some pretty scary money with a hot Youtube channel,   You can make upwards of $100,000 per year, but you need to put out 20 videos a week!

That sounds too much like work to me!

In that model, you're giving away your content, and getting paid by advertisers.  Think "broadcast TV".  You need constant fresh content to keep the viewers coming back for more.

What I'm talking about is spending some quality time developing quality content that people are willing to pay for once.  More along the lines of producing a great movie or printing a book, as opposed to a weekly sitcom.

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So you've got to have a niche - your special skill or knowledge that can be taught to others - for a price.

You can get paid in two ways.  First, if you've got a site set up that includes a merchant processing account for payments (stupid easy these days), since you are the writer (who usually only gets the royalties from sales) AND the publisher, you get paid for both jobs.  But, as the publisher, you're also responsible for all advertising and operating expenses.

The second way is you can subscribe to services like Clickbank where other websites advertise your product, and they get a large chunk of the sales proceeds.  Since they're paying for the advertising and use of their site (and traffic count) they will many times be paid up to 75% of the sale, and you get the 25% royalty.  Not a bad gig - the folks that sign up to sell your stuff can reach millions of potential customers.

I'll be doing both on my next project.  I've been on the "get paid for having their product on your site" side of the equation, and it works very well.

OK, your product has got to fill one or more of these human needs and desires (obviously more is better):
  1. Save me time or effort (efficiency)
  2. Make or save me money (monetary gain)
  3. Make me safe and secure (safety)
  4. Make me cool or more desirable to others (vanity)
  5. Teach me a skill or craft (how-to)
  6. Explain something to me in detail (educate)
  7. Titillate me (vice)
Before you get started with your epic training or how-to video series or book, check out the marketplace.  Here's what you want to find:

1.  Is there competition?  I hope so - this is a good thing.  It is very rare that you're going to be the sole subject master on a product or idea that also has a market you can make a buck on.  For instance, you may want to teach people how to make beer.  There are lots of sites and experts on this topic - which indicates a healthy potential market.  The question is, what do you bring to the table that makes your technique different enough for people to pay for it?

2.  Is it legal?  While this type of subject usually has a disclaimer on the materials stating, "for educational purposes only", you may be leaving yourself open for some scratchin' and sniffin' by the authorities.  If you've got a way to save people taxes that is a wee bit iffy, you might be OK.  Teach them how to make an explosive device from household goods, and there WILL be a knock on your door!

3.  Is it ethical?  Obviously, that's a personal call.  I've stated before that products and services about safety, money and vice will always find a market.  Do you want to sell porn?  It makes tons of money, but I'd never even consider it.  Teach someone how to grow better marijuana?  Oh hell yes!  I don't smoke weed (I've tried it AND inhaled, and it absolutely sucks!) but I believe that morally, you have the right to put whatever you want in your own body.  I own me!  Others disagree.  Check your own moral compass.

4.  Along the lines of the competition question, is anyone else making money doing something similar to what you want to do?  Using our beer making example, if I do an online search for, "beer making videos", I get a butt-load of free info, and a smattering of paid sites.  I clicked a couple of them and I can see what they're selling and how they're pricing their items.  Are any of these sites doing exactly what you're doing?  Do you have a way to spin (market) YOUR offering to get people to buy YOUR product?

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Finally, you must make your product difficult to copy - as in "burning another copy" and giving it to your friends.  While it is impossible to stop all copying, you can make it much more difficult.

With printed material, you have two options:

Hardcover book
Kindle e-book

If you expect to make any kind of money, you can't do it with a PDF formatted book.  Yes, it's the easiest to make, and also the easiest to copy.  I can buy one copy, and send an email to a thousand of my closest friends with it as an attachment.

Hardcover books make producing copies much more difficult and expensive.  Kindle and similar readers have copy protect safeguards that I've yet to find a way around (and I've tried!).

Publishing books on Amazon is very easy, you just have to work to make sure the formatting is done well.  There are tons of helpful sites that can walk you through how to do this.

With video material, you also have two options:

DVD
Subscription Online videos

With DVDs, you must ensure the Copy Protection has been added to the disc to thwart copying.  Obviously, it can still be copied - by shooting a video from the video showing on the TV set - but the quality is crappy, and it's a pain in the butt.

With the online videos, you set up a password protected site, and disable the "copy" function.  Again, people can get around that by sharing passwords, or doing copies of the screen like with DVDs,  All you can do is to make it more difficult for them.

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My final thoughts on this subject will be on marketing.  Through a lot of trial, error and mis-spent money, I've got somewhat of a clue as to what works and what doesn't.  I'll share those thoughts in the next post.

Now go on!  Get crankin' on that next idea that will slay the world!

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Copyright 2016 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. www.BisonRMA.com

Monday, April 18, 2016

Multiple Streams Of Income

Been hip deep in a mess o' mess, but it's done.  I'll write an article sometime in the future about the pluses and minuses of business partners.  I had two of them.  Thank God I had a good one I love working with, and we're going to move our precious metals business forward.  Again.

Speaking of money, I've written often about the concept of multiple streams of income.  You must always assume one or more of your income streams will go dry (like getting fired or laid off from your job).  The monthly bills don't give a damn about that.  They still want to get paid.

My household currently has 4 income streams.  One of them could independently pay for all of our monthly bills.  The second one would come close by itself.  It would be tight, but we'd make it.  The other two are in their infancy, but each has the ability in the future to cover our bills.

And that's the idea:  Every income stream pays ALL of your bills.  The beauty of this is, if some of them are churning money that you don't need to spend, you roll it back into other investments to provide yet another stream of income.

A couple of ideas for ya....

Ebay.  People bitch and moan about the fees between them and Paypal, but if you look closely, where else could you get a national audience to sell your stuff for such a low cost?

Here's a tip:  To save yourself some tax dollars, DO NOT set up your site as a business site.  If you do, you WILL get lower seller fees (usually) but you'll also get an IRS 1099 form at the end of the year.  Pay up, bitches!

If you set it up as a personal site, AND you don't sell more than 200 items totaling $20,000 a year (verify this for yourself first on the ebay and Paypal sites), you don't get the 1099 (for now).

Tax free cashflow, boys and girls.

Ebay/Paypal will nick you for about 13% of your sales in their various fees, and obviously, since you're not a business, you can't have any business expenses, including the Cost of Goods sold.  You're selling your personal stuff.  So, you need to make sure you're selling items with sufficient profit margin to make the math work for you.

Lastly, with regards to the 1099 rules, the $20,000 is a hard and fast number.  Cross over it, and you're 1099'd.  You have a bit more flexibility on the item count.  The 200 is for the number of sales/auctions that are completed.

For instance, if you're selling knives, sell them in a bundle of 6 knives (1 sale), not one at a time (6 sales).  You'll also save a butt-load on shipping as well by bundling your sale items.

If you're new to selling on ebay, start slowly.  The payments from your first few sales are held in a "pending" status for a couple of weeks while ebay monitors your performance.

And make sure there is a market for what you're thinking of selling!  Again, let's say you want to sell hunting knives.  Enter "hunting knives" into the search box at the top of the page.  You'll get a listing of everything on ebay that meets that criteria.  Don't get happy just yet on the riches you'll be making.

Click the "Advanced" link at the top of the page.  You'll be taken to a page with a bunch of check boxes.  Check the one that says, "Sold Listings" and hit the search button.

You'll now get a listing of hunting knives that actually sold, and what they sold for.  That's all that matters.  People can ask a million dollars for a knife, but if buyers will only pay 10 bucks, that's your market price.  Check out the ones that are similar to the style you're going to sell.  If the math works, get at it.

Do the successful sellers charge for shipping or not?  What are the key words and page styles used by the sellers with lots of positive feedback scores?  Copy the successful stores - businesses and private alike.  Don't reinvent the wheel.

If the math doesn't work, find something else to sell.

One last thing about ebay:  If a dispute occurs over an item, their default position is to side with the buyer.  As a seller, you need to make sure your description and pictures accurately depict the items being sold.  If not, the buyer can weasel out of the deal, and in certain circumstances, you can be forced to refund their cost to ship it back to you!

Seriously, don't sugar coat the condition of the items you're selling.  It'll bite you in the butt.

Tomorrow, I've got a post lined up on a new income stream I'm working on:  Royalties.  Yeah, they're not just for movie and TV stars any more!



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Copyright 2016 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. www.BisonRMA.com

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A New American Creed

I ran across this and wanted to share it:
An American's Creed
I do not choose to be a common man.  It is my right to be uncommon - if I can.
I seek opportunity - not security.  I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me.
I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed.
I refuse to barter incentive for a dole.
I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence;  the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of Utopia.
I will not trade my freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout.
I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat.
It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations, and to face the world boldly and say, "This I have done."
All this is what it means to be an American.
Ready for the kicker?  This was written by a liberal in the 1950's, Dean Alfange.  He ran for Governor of New York, splitting the liberal vote, which got Thomas Dewey elected.

Think times have changed a bit?  Here's my take on the rally cry of the current crop of liberals and socialists.

A New American Creed
I choose to submit.  I do as I'm told.
I choose to obey my Keepers unquestioned;  I will capitulate on demand.
I seek gray acquiescence over vibrant originality; consensus over principle.  I want only for the grace of my Keepers.
I tremble at conflict unless directed by my Keepers.  I neither seek nor encourage individuality.   I long for the warm embrace of conformity.
I lower my head, lower my gaze, lower my voice lest I incur the wrath of my Keepers.
I gladly cast aside my dignity and know not the meaning of shame.  I will comply, and I will be fed - this is all I know.
I gladly trade my freedom for the asylum of my Keeper's cage.  I offer my soul for my safety.
It is my place to submit; to surrender myself as demanded; to vilify and denigrate the creations of others, and to meekly ask, "How may I serve you now, My Keeper?"
This I teach my children.  All this is what it now means to be an American.

Maybe a bit harsh.

Maybe not.  We're well along this road as a nation.


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Copyright 2016 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 Accept The Challenge. http://bisonrma.blogspot.com