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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tuesday Scattershot

False sense of security...

7 Reasons the TSA Sucks (A Security Expert's Perspective)

One of the many reasons I don't fly any more is I'm not a big believer in "Security Theater" - lots of people in uniforms running around, barking orders, giving the impression that they're doing something important.

They're not doing spit, other than making people think they're going to be safe when boarding the plane.

A couple o' quotes:
Ben Gurion is probably the most threatened airport in the world. It has between 50 and 70 incidents every day. Nobody hears about those because we handle them.
The TSA treats each traveler the same because of some stupid idea that everything needs to be fair. Security needs to be done due to risk -- and risk means that in Israel we don't check luggage, we check people. And I'm not talking about racial profiling here; that's a product of poor training. Regardless of race or creed, people with bombs strapped to their body behave in similar ways.
At Ben Gurion Airport, we get travelers from their car to their gate in 25 minutes. When was the last time that happened to you in an American airport? Probably never, because a dozen 747s worth of cranky travelers can't take their shoes and coats off, pull their laptops out of their luggage, and queue up for pat downs without chaos.
Withdraw your consent.  Don't fly unless it's a life-or-death circumstance.  Literally.

2016 prediction.....

Hillary will be our next president.  The soft-heads will fall for the same heart-tugging crap they fell for when electing Obama simply because of the color of his skin.  A strong woman.  A dedicated woman.  A competent woman.  The first woman president.

Get used to it, 'cause it's gonna happen.

As a bonus for Hillary, she's part of the, "take from the rich, give to the poor via legislation" party.  You'll never get a Taker to vote for someone whose platform includes removing their subsidies and making them work for a living.

The NY Times is already clearing the Benghazi decks of the dead bodies.  Their "exhaustive" reporting failed to mention her name - even once - as the person ultimately responsible for what happens at our embassies.  Even this [link] CNN re-hash of the article fails to mention Hillary, only referring to "the State Department" or "the Administration".  All the names of the responsible persons removed.

Oversight?  Yeah, right.

Pope thoughts.... [btw, I'm Christian, but not Catholic]

When this new Pope was elected, I liked what I heard.  Frugal, common man, etc.  Paid for his hotel room while awaiting the outcome of the election.

He then fired some German Bishop who was a big spender, and stories started surfacing that he was sneaking out at night to help the poor.

Cool, right?

Well, yeah, but.... it's starting to seem like this is being orchestrated.  Like we're being played.  For instance, if he's sneaking out at night to feed the poor, how are we finding out about this?  Pope Paparazzi?

And what's all of this crap about evil capitalism and the greedy rich?  I'd like him to show me one poor guy that ever created a job.  Being poor isn't noble in and of itself.  It's an economic condition.  Your actions as an individual determine if you're a good person or a bad person.

If you want to be poor, more power to you.  But don't cast people who own companies and make money as these evil, blood sucking bastards.  Look at them as people who give others the ability to feed, clothe and house themselves, while making a buck for themselves.

Keepin' an eye out on this guy....

The Irony Police have been called....

I must not have been paying close attention, but I didn't realize that the big ship that's stuck in the ice down in Antarctica was there to continue the lie about.... global warming!
Passengers and crew who set off on an expedition to prove climate change are ringing in the new year in the same place where they have been for the past week: stuck in ice at the bottom of the world.
Remember, it's summer down there right now.

Most of  The Compliant Media has dropped all mention of the ship's primary task, and is now filling us with stories of them singing, and keeping their spirits up, and blah, blah, blah.

It appears they are now binge drinking to pass the time (what else are you going to do when your life's work just kicked you in the nuts?).  At least they'll have plenty of ice for their cocktails...

Starting a business pointers....

Guy Kawasaki: The Top 10 Mistakes of Entrepreneurs is a Youtube video by the former "Chief Evangelist" for Apple Computer.  While the video (about an hour and a half) is primarily focused on High Tech start ups, there are LOTS of take-aways for any kind of business.

In fact, the imaginary company he uses in his example makes and sells dog food!

A couple of my favorites:

  • Scaling Too Soon - starting your business to handle a gazillion sales before you've made your first sale.  You dump all of this money, time and effort into building the Next Great Thing before you even know if the market will embrace your product as you hope.
  • Believing that Patents = Defensibility.  He drones on a bit about this - how by having a patent on some process or product will give you the ability to fight off a big company from stealing your idea.  He discusses how if Microsoft steals your shit, they'll keep you buried in legal limbo forever.  He then delivers a great gem:  The first to scale is the company that is defensible.  If the market truly has a ravenous appetite for your product, growing the business and building brand recognition, is what allows you to defend your turf, not some piece of paper.
  • It's trite, but true. "Under promise, over deliver".  Tell your customer that they'll have their shipment on Friday, but deliver it two days earlier on Wednesday.  Give them a repair estimate of $100, knowing it will likely only cost $75 - then only charge them $75.  You get the idea.   Every business and marketing book you'll read discusses this, but too few companies actually live by it.  The great ones - of any size - make this the core of their business process.

Be alert, safe and prosperous in 2014, my friends.

Copyright 2013 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, December 30, 2013

Of Flash-Bangs and Renewed Focus

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
--Mark Twain

This year, I focused on acquiring new skills.  I acquired 4 new ones - two legal,  two illegal yet Constitutional.  Unlike the soft-heads on Youtube, I won't be discussing the illegal yet Constitutional items.

On the legal side, I worked quite hard on my barter and negotiating skills.  In particular, convincing people that owned something I wanted, but at the moment, did not know they wanted to sell or trade that item (or service.)

In my Precious Metals business, I have folks coming to me to either buy or sell.  It takes no effort to guess that they want to do one or the other!  What I've worked on, and I think quite successfully, is probing folks - outside of the PM store, via Craigslist, garage sales, rummage sales - with the right types of questions to let them understand that they don't really need what they've got, and that they should sell or trade with me (yes, this is all covered in the book I'm writing that I discussed a few weeks ago.)

And it's all done honestly, ethically and honorably.  I'm a big believer in karma.  What goes around, comes around.  You may be able to "get over" on some folks, but it will eventually come back to bite you on the ass.  It's all about educating people that making the sale or trade will benefit them more than retaining the item in question.

The other legal item has been learning - or enhancing - the gathering of intelligence data.  I'll give one example, but this applies to any topic in which you want a better understanding of who is doing what, and why.

We're seeing this militarization of our domestic police forces.  It's not a matter of opinion, it's a fact.  At this point in time, it's a done-deal, so understanding how it happened is irrelevant.  What I want to know is how is this going to be used, and what types of events could trigger its widespread usage.  Perhaps most importantly, what can I do to eliminate or minimize my chances of being on the receiving end of its use?

For part of your intel gathering, a simple, partial step is to watch TV.  A great deal of intel is freely given on the numerous reality cop shows we are flooded with on TV nowadays.

These "elite units" (how can they ALL be elite units?) love seeing their mugs on TV, and they freely give you the "inside story" on how they prepare for and execute their (quite often) over-the-top raids.

Watch what they do.  Watch how they think.  Understand their weaknesses, their vanities, their tells.  Pay attention.

If you're the target of their affection, are they more inclined to set a non-violent trap by sending two officers or detectives to grab you as you pick up groceries, or are they more inclined to violently invade your home at 3am, with flash-bangs, smoke bombs and overwhelming numerical superiority?

Regardless of you alleged crime, you'll likely get the latter treatment.  Keepin' America safe, one joint roller at a time...

Hey, they've got the toys, and they want to play with them.

Want some areas in which to gather intelligence?

Precious metals:  If the ratio of ounces mined for silver and gold is 9:1 (9oz of silver mined for every 1oz of gold), why is the price ratio around 1:60?  Who would benefit by this imbalance?  How are they able to affect these supposedly "free markets".  Either gold is too high, silver is too low, or a little bit of both.

Healthcare:  We have the largest influx of people in the history of the country (Baby Boomers) moving into the Socialist Security and Medicare systems over the next twenty years or so.  It will crush these systems.  Why would it make sense to design Obamacare to push more people, more quickly into this system (due to being poor)?  Who would benefit by this massive socialist move?  When it collapses, how will the government pay for these benefits for which they've made promises?

Yes.  There is a relationship between the two items...

I'm going to do a bit of a format change for this site in 2014.  I'm going to pull back from every post being a long, detailed novella, and hit you with more short-and-sweet insights and how-to's.  I want to post more often, and writing a book every time I post just drags things out, and usually ends up meaning the post doesn't get posted.  I've got well over a dozen half-done posts just sitting there in blogger purgatory.

I'll still do the longer posts when it's about something that has legs.  How-to instructions, or broad societal trends, or financial stuff.  I'll hit you short-and-sweet with the more topical, current events stuff.

We'll see how that works out.

Have a safe, healthy and prosperous 2014!

Copyright 2013 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, December 18, 2013

I Want My Reparations, Too

Crap like this just burns my ass.  I swear, my brain feels like it's going to explode every time I see a story about "diversity" and "social justice" and "white privilege" and all of this media guilt over the color of your skin.... if it's white.

Some student at Sacramento State University decided she was going to be "edgy" and put up an art exhibit.  About lynching.  White people.
An African-American student at Sacramento State University is under fire for her recent work of art – which consisted of “lynching” two white men from a tree on the northern California campus.
We all know how this would be portrayed in the media had it been a white student being "edgy" with blacks being lynched.  It would be top-of-the-fold New York Times fodder.  MSNBC would be airing segments on, "Racism In America".  The Today Show would have segments on, "How to be a sensitive white guy".

I can just see the spittle flying from Sharpton's pie hole as he made an impassioned plea for justice, and diversity training and, well, some money to right this wrong.  It's always, "Show me the money" with Sharpton.

Well, you know what?  I'm going to belly up to the money bar as well.  I want reparations for an insufferable mental anguish that blacks just can't understand.  They can't feel what I feel because they're not white.  They don't know the shame and injustice and the horrible historic burden that's been placed around the neck of me and my people for hundreds of years.

You see, I'm part Irish.  Clark, to be precise.  And my ancestors were brought to America - as slaves - by the tens of thousands.  Men, women, children.  It didn't matter.

What has so deeply and permanently scarred my very soul is that... I can barely bring myself to repeat the horrors.... is that my people were treated worse than, and valued less than other slaves.
African slaves were very expensive during the late 1600s (50 Sterling). Irish slaves came cheap (no more than 5 Sterling). If a planter whipped or branded or beat an Irish slave to death, it was never a crime. A death was a monetary setback, but far cheaper than killing a more expensive African.
The value of the life of my ancestors was almost nothing.  Not even a crime if you killed them.  My peeps were the bottom of the slave barrel.

Gimme some money to feel better about myself and to soothe the injustices I must bear.

Seriously.  What were the words used by the black student at Sac State?  "...[B]ring to light social injustices and the issue of inequality that impacts me and my community as a whole,”

Whatever.  Just give me some money.  You want inequality?  How about being valued at one-tenth the value of other slaves?  My peeps - as slaves - were treated worse than any other class of slave, and if there's a pecking order when the reparation checks start flowing, I'm at the front of the line.  My ancestors were bigger victims, so I get money first.

I want money for college just because of my race.  I want money to buy a house just because of my race.  I want money for whatever the hell I want, for the pure and simple reason of the color of my skin, and the plight of my long-dead ancestors.

And this injustice continued into the 20th century - well past the end of the Civil War.


Of course, this is a big, steaming pile of crap.  Just like it is for blacks.  If you want to act like a victim, think like a victim and whine like a victim, well, guess what you'll be?  A ward of the state, looking for hand-outs at every turn, and pointing your finger everywhere but towards your own chest when assigning blame for your shortcomings.

I've never heard how blacks in America explain the Vietnamese.  They came here, literally with only the clothes on their backs, and now, as a demographic unit, kick ass and take names.

Leave that, "historical injustice" crap at the front door.  We had just lost 50,000 Americans to Vietnamese guns.  In 1979, we took in over 800,000 refugees.  They weren't exactly the favorite nationality of Americans at the time.  This history was recent, and many Americans had loved ones that had been killed by the Vietnamese.

The Vietnamese dug in, worked like crazy, and carved out a very comfortable niche in our society.  If you go down to Silicon Valley today, you'll see more Vietnamese stores and restaurants than any other type.

They own the joint.  All done in about a generation.  Truly a, "rags to riches" American success story.  They saw the opportunity, and took it.

I believe their demographic exceeds white demographics in almost all categories.  Does this make me whine and bitch and moan about, "getting my fair share"?  Hell no.

I go and get it myself.  I - a person with slaves in my family tree - choose to not let something that happened hundreds of years ago, affect my life today.  Why would I?  Why would anyone?
There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs-partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.--Booker T. Washington

I wonder if our Sac State student ever heard that quote in class.  I'm guessing not.

Copyright 2013 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, December 16, 2013

Arapahoe High vs Sandy Hook Elementary

Before I get into it, a quick refresher on the facts of guns in America:

1.  Restrictive access gun laws in America do NOTHING but restrict the rights and abilities of the GOOD citizens in this country.  The criminals don't give a damn about any law, and are unhindered in their use of any weapon that helps them in their criminal deeds.  This has always been, and always will be.

2.  The only way to stop a criminal with a gun is to put a good guy with a gun between the criminal and the innocents.

3.  Gun Free Zones do nothing more than attract criminals to commit their deeds at these Zones because they know they will have little or no resistance for their crime.

Most have heard of the shooting by the mentally disturbed student at Arapahoe High School in Colorado.  Some kid's sanity went sideways, and he started shooting up the school - hitting one innocent girl in the head.
"His intent was evil, and his evil intent was to harm multiple individuals," Robinson said about Pierson, whose entrance into the school was documented on security cameras, as was the bulk of the one minute, 20 seconds of violence that ensued.
Holy crap.  This kid had a shotgun with a bandoleer full of shells, a machete and a number of Molotov Cocktails to rain some terror down on the heads of anyone that got in his way.  It appears he was looking for some librarian who had punished him in some way.

He had the means and the opportunity to make this a horrific, bloody scene.  Instead, his terror campaign only lasted about 80 seconds.  What gives?  How is it possible that 364 days earlier, at Sandy Hook Elementary School, 26 students and teachers were killed?

What's different between the two incidents, other than the strikingly different outcomes?

Arapahoe High School had someone with a gun onsite.
The rampage might have resulted in many more casualties had it not been for the quick response of a deputy sheriff who was working as a school resource officer at the school, Robinson said. 
Once he learned of the threat, he ran -- accompanied by an unarmed school security officer and two administrators -- from the cafeteria to the library, Robinson said. "It's a fairly long hallway, but the deputy sheriff got there very quickly." 
The deputy was yelling for people to get down and identified himself as a county deputy sheriff, Robinson said. "We know for a fact that the shooter knew that the deputy was in the immediate area and, while the deputy was containing the shooter, the shooter took his own life."
If I may be so bold as to editorialize, as soon as the Gun Free Zone was no longer free of (other) guns, he folded like a house of cards, AND NO OTHER PEOPLE WERE HARMED FROM THAT POINT FORWARD.

Both incidents - Arapahoe High and Sandy Hook Elementary - had lone gunmen bent on death and destruction.  At Sandy Hook, the teachers and kids were slaughtered like sheep, until people with guns showed up.  At Arapahoe, they were already there, and only one kid was harmed.

Why is it so difficult for the gun grabbers to do this math?  It doesn't matter if those good guy guns are held by the police, or, as was the case only a few days before Sandy Hook, by a private citizen with a concealed carry permit (Funny, isn't it, how the press plays it up when a private citizen goes nuts and shoots people, but not when a private citizen acts to prevent or minimize these shooting incidents.  Yeah.  Funny.)

How many more kids and adults have got to die in Gun Free Zones before they get it?  More guns will save more lives.  It's simple math.  It's not conjecture, it's fact.  If the grabbers have another suggestion, I'm all ears.  But that suggestion MUST NOT include disarming people who are willing and able to save lives.

No more.  Enough have died as a result of their failed experiment.  Their "reasonable gun laws" have led to nothing but death and misery.

Copyright 2013 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Your Revocation Of Consent

If you destroy a free market, you create a black market. 
– Winston Churchill

I'm in the process of putting together a book on making money - part of my whole, "Multiple streams of income" philosophy.  In the introduction of the book, I discuss the concept of real money, how it gives you flexibility to buy what you want, how it's a compact store of wealth, etc.  Money is a good thing.  It only becomes that evil root when you earn money simply for the sake of earning money.

I segue into non-traditional economies - the main focus of the book - and rhetorically ask the question, "If money is so great, why would I want to take a step backwards to barter, trade and the like?"  The answer is taxation and regulation.

A snippet:
Now, you need government permission (and are required to pay fees for the privilege of obtaining that permission) to start a business, to buy or sell goods and services, to add a room to your home, to talk on the phone, to heat your home, to watch cable TV, to use the Internet, to own a dog, to drive a car, to catch a fish, to have a lemonade stand, to get married, to smoke a cigarette, to cross a toll bridge, to hunt a deer, to make alcohol, to have a garage sale, to float your boat. It never ends.

All of these things reduce the value of your labors. Look at your pay check, and see how much, "comes off the top" - 10% to 30%. Look at your sales receipt when you buy something, and see how much more you are required to pay for the privileged of buying that product - 6% to 10%.
Some taxes are hidden. The next time you buy gasoline, look at the pump, and it will tell you how much tax is added to each and every gallon of gas you put in your car. Look at your cell phone bill, utility bill, water bill, garbage bill, mortgage payment - almost any bill. Taxes and government fees abound. 
Economists estimate that in 2013, the average American will pay 59.7% of their income to some sort of government tax, fee or fine. That means you are working 7 months out of every year to pay for government.

If you earn $20 per hour, government gets $11.94 and you get $8.06. Nice, huh?
I'm peppering the book with subject-applicable quotes, and was surfin' the web looking for Founding Father quotes regarding their intent when constructing our nation and its Constitution.   No way was it their original intent to have this suffocating level of government.  My go-to guy for this kind of information is James Madison - considered The Father Of The Constitution.

Once again, he did not disappoint.

It seems that in 1793, as a result of a slave revolt in Haiti, shiploads of French citizens looking for sanctuary - and money - were dumped on our shores by the French navy.

During the Third Congress in 1794, the US treasury was being asked to appropriate money for these folks, and Madison was having none of it -
I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.
Love it.  But I wanted some context.  The statist bastards nowadays will take a Madison quote out of context, and use it to support their point of view.  I want none of that.  I want to know what was going on at the time - what was the debate?  I found something called, "The Annals of Congress".  "The Annals were not published contemporaneously, but were compiled between 1834 and 1856, using the best records available, primarily newspaper accounts." of each of the first 18 sessions of Congress.
Mr. Madison wished to relieve the sufferers, but was afraid of establishing a dangerous precedent, which might hereafter be perverted to the countenance of purposes very different from those of charity. He acknowledged, for his own part, that he could not undertake to lay his finger on that article in the Federal Constitution which granted a right of Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.  And if they broke the line laid down before them, for the direction of their conduct, it was impossible to say what lengths they might go, or to what extremities this practice might be carried.
Wow.  Checking in with the Constitution to determine if a proposal was, uhm, constitutional, regardless of how good it feels.  What a concept.  Then asking, in essence, "If we start down this road, will it ever end?"

I guess we all know the answer to that question.  I wonder how the folks living under King George's rule would have reacted to nearly 60% of their labor being taken by government.

I don't need to wonder at all.


As with any taxing or economic-control scheme, there is a threshold of pain the taxpayers will endure.  People will pay for roads, and local police, and the military, and the court system.

Many are FINALLY questioning their continued mandatory financial support for militarized police departments, secret security courts, "legal" checkpoints, "authorized" eavesdropping, "policy compliant" body cavity searches, "economic justice" cash transfers, and monarchy-like Executive Orders.

These all sound a lot like mid-1700's America - with a 21st century paint job.

People - slowly - have begun to withdraw their support and consent.  They simply won't play the "Pay Up" game any more.  They're actively looking for ways to bypass the standard economy.  They'll hire a guy from the Home Depot parking lot to clean their yard instead of hiring a government-approved contractor that's got to charge double the amount to pay for his government approval.  For skilled trades, they'll speak to their friends to get a referral for a plumber, auto repairman, electrician, small engine mechanic, house painter, roofer or sheet-rocker that does jobs, "on the side".

Instead of hiring, "a friend of a friend" sporadically, it's their first option.

They'll do for themselves.  They'll build their own guns in garage workshops instead of going through the onerous and intrusive state and federal gauntlet required to own a gun.  They'll brew their own hooch on the back porch instead of paying inflated prices due to unseen alcohol tax stamps and labeling requirements.

They'll grow their own vegetables and raise their own chickens instead of buying "fresh" food affixed with government stamps of approval.  They'll reload their own ammo instead of becoming a victim of government ammunition dictates which can leave their ammo store shelves bare.  They'll preserve their surplus food for later consumption instead of buying government approved food that contains "acceptable levels" of bug and rodent parts.

Every time they do this, they know that, in addition to saving themselves some money, they are simultaneously starving the beast of government.  If the government has less food to stamp, fewer guns to approve and less liquor to regulate, they'll have to increase the tax on all of those things.  Government won't shrink, it will simply increase its cost.

This action will incent more folks to join the non-traditional economy.  It always goes this way.  Taxation and regulation reduce consumption... but not demand.

They, too, may join the ranks of the Skilled Tradesmen offering their goods and services, "under the table".  Perhaps when they build that gun, brew that hooch, or raise and preserve that food, they'll make a little bit extra - and realize the full rewards of their efforts from selling their goods and services.

Once they get this taste of economic freedom, they'll get very resentful.  Resentful for how long they've accepted what was dished out.

My personal epiphany came in 2008.   A group of us flew to Las Vegas for my oldest son's 21st birthday.  On our way home from Vegas, I had a vantage point in the airport that looked down at the neat lines of the nice, compliant, oh-so-sheepish people obediently consenting to the waiver of their fourth amendment rights.  It looked like a dairy with all of the compliant cows queuing up to have their teats pulled.

And I saw I was one of them.  Well, No mas, baby.  No mas.  I haven't flown since.

I've revoked my consent.  Unless it's literally a life-or-death situation, I will not fly.  I will not take a bus or train for the same reason, as the TSA is now managing the security for those modes of transportation as well.

My consent revocation - in the big picture of things - isn't diddly squat.  I'm just one guy.  But I now first look for goods or services "under the table".  My norm has become using barter and trade.  I literally "shop" at garage sales, bazaars and Craigslist every single week.

Now, if we all did this - or at least more of us - things might change.  Us "makers" would continue to prosper, but the "takers" would flounder.  There would still be enough tax flow to pay for legitimate government, but much would need to be pared back.  Obviously, voting for this change to happen won't do a damned thing.  Only our direct, individual action can have any impact.

The choice is yours.  You've still got time, but the clock's tickin'....

Copyright 2013 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.