My Blog List

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.

Share this post! Click the Twitter, Facebook or Google+ icon below, and let your friends know!
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.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Precious Metals Conundrum

Interesting goings-on with gold, silver and platinum right now.

We saw spot prices drop big-time a couple of weeks ago after Japan said they were going to "kick it up a notch" with their flavor of Quantitative Easing.  It just so happened - entirely by coincidence, I'm sure - their announcement coincided with the Fed's notice that they were going to stop QE.

The result was an artificially stronger dollar (when compared to other world currencies), which resulted in lower precious metals prices.

Then the rush happened.

In my PM store, we essentially have no silver.  Both the US Mint and the Royal Canadian Mint have announced they're out of silver, and won't be producing any coinage for the rest of the year.  The major private mints are in the same predicament.  The only stuff available is that which is already in the pipeline.  And it ain't much.

My primary wholesale dealer has posted delivery dates of private mint silver going out into January 2015! 
If someone comes in to sell some, it's gone inside a matter of hours, usually sooner.  I've literally had customers queued up waiting to buy what the guy in front of them doesn't buy.

Gold sales are similar, but not quite as frantic.  Yet.

Since these spot price drops are a result of paper markets and not physical markets, the premiums on silver, in particular, have soared.  For the first time in the past 5 years (maybe ever), the premium per ounce on good old "junk silver" (Pre-1965 90% silver US coins) is higher than the premium on silver rounds.

Supply and demand, baby!  Unreal.

So, is now the time to buy?  That's really a tough one to answer.

The EU has announced that they are going to take another swing at the whole QE shell game.  If they do this, we'll see a drop in spot prices again, just like we saw with the Japanese QE.  The rub is, there still isn't any silver to buy!  The product that is available will have a migraine-inducing premium.

On top of all of this, a number of silver and gold mining companies have made rumblings of shutting down some of their mines.  At these spot prices, they lose money on every ounce produced.  Not a sound business plan.  So they'll wait out this paper vs physical war by idling production.

For me personally, I'm still buying gold and silver (when I can get it) - just like I do every month.  My gut says that we will see further lowering of spot prices because of the QE nonsense - how low, I don't know - but the lower spot prices will be temporary in nature. 

How temporary?  Again, I don't know.  I continue to believe that the spot price manipulation will eventually collapse under its own weight, and market economics will return to play.

When you have 92+ paper contracts for every 1 ounce of physical silver, you need less than 1% of the contract holders to demand physical delivery - as is their right - and the whole thing blows up.

Maybe that happens tomorrow, maybe next quarter, maybe in 5 years.  The folks in the Market Manipulation Syndicate (TM) have a vested interest in keeping commodity prices low.  And they have a whole lot of power and money behind them.

But economics always prevail.  Eventually.

If you're going to jump into the PM pool:

  • Don't go into debt to obtain PMs.  Bad economic choices lead to bad economic outcomes.

  • Understand that your PMs may lose "value" in the short run.  If you can't mentally bury the PMs in your backyard, don't buy them.  PMs are not a "get rich quick" investment.  They're a long-haul deal.

  • Have your bills paid, your cash emergency reserves funded, and some cushion for other unexpected events.

  • Get educated.  Understand what you're buying, and how to eventually sell it.

  • Go slowly, set a budget, and stick to it.  PLEASE don't go, "all in" with your first purchase.  That's a bad investment strategy, whether it be stocks, bonds or PMs.

Share this post! Click the Twitter, Facebook or Google+ icon below, and let your friends know!
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, November 8, 2014

I'm A 66 Percenter!

Still, as president, I have a unique responsibility to try and make this town work. So, to everyone who voted, I want you to know that I hear you. To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too.--President Obama 11/5/2014

I used to be a believer in our electoral system.  I fell for all of that pseudo-patriotic pablum.

One person, one vote.
People died for your right to vote.
It's your duty as an American.

I fell for their trap.  It's friggin' brilliant.

It's the belief that the people who are elected to office will fulfill their sworn pledge to uphold the Constitution.  More importantly, if they don't uphold their pledge, they can be removed, and someone of integrity and honor can replace them.

It sounds great on paper, but is an abysmal failure in practice.

I've been on this planet for over half a century now.  I've seen Democrats and Republicans in every federal office in this land.  They all say the same thing:  Vote for me, and I'll change the way things are run.

In they're voted, and nothing changes.  Not some of the time, all of the time.  The only difference between the Ds and the Rs is which special-interest group gets our largess.

Our vote does one thing, and one thing only:  It give legitimacy to the elected.  The people have spoken!

Stalin, Saddam Hussein, and that whack-job in North Korea all got 98+% of the "vote".  It's absurd on its face.

Here in America, the winner is usually in the mid- to upper-fifty percent range of the "popular vote". These are the people that actually got up and voted.

But, as Barry so accurately noted, last time around, two-thirds of those eligible to vote chose not to do so.

That whole popular vote badge of honor is beginning to carry the same gravitas as a "lower unemployment rate".  The calculation is irrelevant when the entire eligible population is not included.

The people have indeed spoken.  By greater and greater numbers they're not participating in the ruse.  By not voting, they're lessening the legitimacy of the elected.

Certainly, a large percentage of mid-term election non-voters is simply apathy.  They can't be bothered.

But in the last presidential election in 2012 - a hotly contested and emotional event - the trend was still down, and particularly disturbing to the politicians -
In swing or battleground states, [...] the average turnout in this year’s [2012] election was 62.7 percent of eligible voters. Across the rest of the nation, average turnout was 54.8 percent.
In most of America, about half of registered voters didn't vote.  Nearly 100 million eligible Americans decided not to play the game.

"But Chief, we're a Constitutional Republic.  If you don't vote, the Constitution can't be preserved."

Really?  A Constitutional Republic means that the country is republican (small R) in nature - the citizens vote in other people to represent them - and is guided and restrained by a legal document called a Constitution.

The elected can only act within the confines detailed in the legal document.  If the elected wish to change the scope of their powers and duties, the People must agree to these changes via the amendment process that is contained in the Constitution.

We've done it lots of times, and the process works.

If you think that's where we are - that our country is still a Constitutional Republic - here's what I want you to do:  I want you to take an hour, go on the Internet and find the names of every federal department, agency and service you can find.

There are a lot of them, so you won't find them all in an hour.  Stop at that point, though, or you'll go nuts.

Then take out a copy of the Constitution, and jot down the article or amendment that allows the existence of that department, agency or service.

Keep in mind that unless something is specifically granted in the Constitution, the federal government cannot do it.

The founders made this crystal clear with Amendment 10:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
So, let's take the Department of Education for example.  Is the federal government constitutionally empowered to have anything to do with education?  No.  Does anything in the Constitution prohibit a state from establishing a Department of Education?  No.

Only a state - if it so chooses - could have a DOE.  That means that the federal DOE is unconstitutional.

It's a $141,000,000,000 a year (that's 141 billion dollars) sucking hole.  An unconstitutional sucking hole.

And that's just one department.

It was established under Jimmy Carter - a Democrat - in 1979.

The tally -

Carter - Democrat
Reagan - Republican
Reagan - Republican
Bush - Republican
Clinton - Democrat
Clinton - Democrat
Bush - Republican
Bush - Republican
Obama - Democrat
Obama - Democrat

Hmm.  Looks pretty evenly split.  Both sides had the ability and opportunity to show their constitutional stripes and abolish this department.

It is perhaps the easiest, most grotesque, most obviously unconstitutional federal department we've got.  It's a "sitting duck" for elimination.

Yet there it sits.  For the last 35 years.

So, those of you who say we must vote to protect the Constitution and the country are delusional.  You too have fallen for the trap.

It's done.  Put a bow on it.  Say a prayer for its passing, 'cause it's gone.

It's time to deal with what we've got, not what we had.

History has shown us that as tyranny - uncontrolled and unaccountable government - grows, things like food, money, personal freedom and the ability to protect ourselves are used against us to control the population.

Dissidents are imprisoned.  Food is controlled by the State, as is the medium of financial exchange.  No one but government forces are allowed arms - and those are not used for self-defense, but for control of the population.

These tyrannical governments always end in one of two ways:  They simply crumble under their own weight (i.e., Roman Empire, USSR) or there is revolution (i.e., France, USA).  Usually a combination of both.

Take a couple of minutes and read this short summation on the fall of the Roman Empire.  Tell me you can't see the identical things happening here in America.

We're repeating history.  And not in a good way.

It always comes back to the basics:  Ensure food security, financial security, self-defense security.  Get these taken care of while the getting is good.

Store food, know how to grow/raise food, know how to forage, trap and hunt food.

Have cash, precious metals, barter goods and skills.

Have pistols, rifles, ammo, cleaning kits, pepper spray, stun guns.

Have all of these things, and have them in multiple locations.

Have back ups for your back ups.  Regardless of the situation - job loss, civil unrest, martial law, TEOTWAWKI - you need to assume you'll lose some of what you've got.  Plan for this.  This is what we "whacko preppers" do.

BTW, I do vote for my state and local officials and referendums.  Although, here in the Land of Fruits and Nuts - California - the state elections are moving along the lines of the federal elections.

For example, if you were an elected official - a state senator, no less - and were found guilty of 8 FELONIES, including perjury and fraud, how long would you expect to be in jail?

I'm guessing no one said, "90 minutes".

Yeah, 11 minutes per felony.  Must be nice.

Vote your conscience, not for "the lesser of two evils".  You'd still be voting for evil.

Share this post! Click the Twitter, Facebook or Google+ icon below, and let your friends know!
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.