Saturday, October 29, 2005

Religion and Freedom


"He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression." - Thomas Paine

Stereotypes make thinking easier. Labels stop thought. I ask you to suspend your preconceived notions for a moment. I will list some of the hats I wear, but my definition of each is probably a lot different than yours.

I am a Christian.

I am a libertarian.

I am a businessman.

I am an educator.

Each of these hats normally alienates a few more people.

This post is about
religion and freedom, sadly these two are frequently seen as mutually exclusive. I have pulled a bit from one of my sites for the following. We all need to understand these general principles. I have some tough words for my fellow Christians here.

If we want freedom to worship and live our lives as we wish, then we can not restrict others rights to do the same without being hypocrites. We must bring sinners to Jesus, not seek to separate sinners from sin.

As long as no harm comes to others, as long as no harm comes to others rights to do as they wish, then we should not seek to control other's actions. There is no virtue in a forced action. If we do not want others controlling us, then we should respect liberty for all.

I perceive that a very limited form of government is most advantageous for spreading the gospel. The smaller the government, the more citizens are free to embrace anything they chose, the greater our freedom to preach as we are led. God's love is what we will use to draw the lost to him; we should not try to legislate our values.

Once anyone's values are legislated then controls will also be asserted against everyone, including us. Freedom must be for all to live, talk, and act as they wish; as long as they do not interrupt others rights to the same.

In a non restrictive environment of maximum liberty we will be able to move when and where God leads, without encountering government's restrictions.

To my fellow Christians, we can trust God. God will take care of all negatives that sincere people claim arise from freedom. We need both our liberty and an unfettered willingness to follow Jesus Christ.

Yes, God will still empower us if our liberty is lost. We should however avoid being the agents by which liberty is decayed.
This liberty applies to all speech, all educational institutions, all life styles, and all religions.

If we limit anyone, in the end we limit ourselves.
Our own efforts to be a political force are changing freedom of religion to a reaction of freedom from religion. It is far better to let politics decay and diminish itself.

"... And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works." - Claude Frederic Bastiat

Best to all,


PS There is a bit about
violence and religion here.


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Trans Union

Trans Union Credit Services.

Do you need a credit service, perhaps a monthly credit report, is your credit score important?

Maybe not.

Do you want
Trans Union credit reporting service? - probably not.

But the need depends on you.

Do you follow up on projects?

I have had a bunch of my personal data stolen while it was in someone else's hands. Happily it was easy to contact TransUnion and get a warning stuck on my credit report to double check any loan requests.

You can get one free credit report just for asking. That will give you a free credit score - and a list of all your credit information.

I have had no problems, - yet. Transunion got me a copy of my report, and the other two major credit company's reports, for free.

A monthly credit report service is available for about six bucks a month, but you would have to want to watch it and follow-up. I doubt many will do that, it would just get thrown away and they would be billed for it.

You know you best.

Knowing how bad identity theft can be, and how much some folks worry about it; you may want to contact Trans Union or one of the other credit services and consider their offers.


I am not part of the TransUnion credit and credit score services program. If you use affiliate marketing on your site, I notice they do have affiliate relationships available. I may check it out, someday.


Friday, October 28, 2005

It Is Your Money


No one cares more about your money than you.

Here is a cut and paste from one of my other sites.

This is not a "how I made a million in the market" story; nor is it an article that tells you how to make a million. This is a series of guidelines that tell you how to survive and make money in many different types of markets. Here you will find how others have found monetary success and how you can do the same. What worked for me with specific speculations twenty five years ago no longer works. What worked for me two years ago is not what will work this year. Markets change, asset groups that you invest in change, everything changes; except you.

All markets have many risks, all investments are speculation; there is just one key to making money in markets. This is a site that will tell you what doesn't change so you can prepare yourself. No one cares more about your property than you. You are the key to your personal success and prosperity!

Go here to read that 5 page article.

No one cares more about your money than you.

Learn to manage your own money.


Failure, I'm Feeling Lucky & Miserable Failure


Failure, I'm feeling lucky.

Way off topic. Just funny.

There has been a long running joke to type Failure into google and hit the I'm feeling lucky button.

There are so many failure links pointing to one page, google's I'm Feeling Lucky button directs responses there.

The Firefox start page with google does not have a I'm feeling lucky button, other google boxes lack it also. Folks are typing in Failure, I'm feeling lucky and getting nothing but strange pages.

Maybe now they will get to this failure, I'm feeling lucky page.

As a friendly gesture:

If that is you, here is a link to the google page you need. Now, just type in Failure, and hit the I'm Feeling Lucky button under your entry.

Now type in Failure again, hit the google search button, and look at the first and second choices. - That is choice.

Now was that worth the effort?

I thought so. ;>}


P.S. What you have just seen is a propaganda "Google Bomb." A bunch of websites that hate the #1 choice linked to that site with the anchor text Miserable failure just so they could set this up. Supporters of the first replied with a bunch of links that set up the second choice as a miserable failure.

Those words, miserable failure, never appear on either site. Like most political extremism though, the propaganda was a miserable failure as only those that hate either target paid any attention to the silly stunt.

I have recently seen other such Google Bomb stunts being set up, I predict they will be a miserable failure also.


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Be a Venture Capitalist


Venture capitalism for the rest of us.

Help fund micro businesses around the world.

Click here.

Will it work. - Maybe.

Will it help, - yep, a whole bunch.

Investigate and consider.

The more capitalists, the more freedom in the world.

Or as C. F. Bastiat said "When goods do not cross borders, soldiers will."


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Best Teacher


Nobody cares more about your money than you.

Bill was surprised.

He and Jack had worked used car lots on the bad side of town since High School, about twenty years now.

But there was Jack, standing in front of a new car lot - in a three piece suit - on the good side of town.

Bill hadn't even been on this street in years. "Ok Jack, how did you get a job here?"

"It's not a job, I own the place; and howdy to you too."

Bill was really interested now, "ok, Howdy. - Now explain this one."

Jack looked around a bit and said rather quietly "Well a kid had an aunt that left him a lot of money, and all he knew about business he learned pushing a broom. He came to me and said it seemed I had a lot of experience and little money, he had a lot of money but no experience. - he wanted us to work together."

Jack then looked Bill in the eye and proclaimed. - "
Now he has the experience he wanted."

Bill then said "
and you have the money."


No one cares more about your money than you,
unless they intend to steal it.

"Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don't." - Pete Seeger

Learn to manage your money yourself.



Tuesday, October 25, 2005

dreampower unleashed


The new blog, dreampower, is getting a lot of my attention.

The Hitchhiker has always been mainly about observation. dreampower is about achievement.

One of my kiddos is starting a new business, so I am tossing in all the stories and ideas that might encourage her. Life can be a lot of fun, if we don't take it too seriously. Business and achievement can create pleasure also, along with other rewards.

Drop by and visit dreampower. If you are in the midst of starting a business, or considering starting a business, come along for the ride.




Friday, October 21, 2005

A Tale of Two Disneys


Just my observations.

The original Disneyland has changed, but the foundation laid by Walt remains.

Walt was fond of saying that Disneyland was a place he and his two daughters could enjoy together. Disneyland was, and in many areas still is, a reflection of Walt's personality. From the small town main street to the Fantasyland cartoonish dark rides you can feel the input of Walt Disney. There is a family man influence mixed with perceptive entertainment and business values.

Across the entry plaza is a reflection of another man.

Disney's California Adventure was created in Michael Eisner's image. There was a story in the company paper a few weeks before the opening about Michael coming to the construction site to pick the color of seat cushions for an attraction. DCA was built for Michael and his friends, to their tastes. It is a beautiful park, although it is also changing. DCA originally had a couple of major rides, lots of stores, and several wonderful and expensive restaurants. The opening day interviews with celebrities were very enthusiastic.

Unfortunately there are not enough millionaires to fill DCA on a daily basis, it was just not a good business. The great restaurants are gone, the stores are all plush toys and t-shirts, more rides are being added. It is still a beautiful park, filled with novel sculpture, great architecture, and lovely land and hardscaped open spaces.

If you want to visit a family theme park with a magic touch, go to Disneyland.

If you want to relax in an excellent outdoor kinetic art exhibit, visit DCA.

Or buy a ticket that's good for both, just don't expect the kids to spend all day with you at Eisnerland.


My incompetence in blogging


Tis back to straight "it sucks."

I've just thrown on a quick template change until I can find time to do some more serious surgery on this blog. While I like the Hitchhiker, it is close to the bottom of my priority list about now. But it is a great test platform, I learn by screwing things up here first. Those changes that actually work I might use elsewhere.

OOPs, that template had problems in IE also, I'll try again.

Things will probably get cluttered here before they get cleaned up, aren't you glad you offered to help me move? - When is the Pizza coming?

Another template change (that's three) and things are "just sucks normally" again.

I will be back with a post soon.



Monday, October 17, 2005

Quick OOPs and Firefox


If you are looking at this with MS Internet Explorer, it sucks.

Go To dreampower for an explanation.

Or find the Firefox button on the right side for a Firefox link, begin to see the internet the way it was written. Firefox is a free open source program.

We get nothing for this, you get a better browser.

Firefox - smarter, faster, better

And this site will suck less.



Saturday, October 15, 2005

Adventure Investment


For those of you that enjoy finance, here is a great opportunity. Jim Rogers of Investment Biker fame has created a course, The Foundations of Investment excellence, for the graduate program at Bastiat Free university. This course is based on books that inspired Rogers to become one of the most successful investors of our time, check it out.

As with all BFU courses, this one is self directed - there are no prerequisites.

On another note one of my kiddos is looking to start another business, I've started a new blog to encourage her. If you are working on a start-up, or are considering a new business, you may want to read along. Come share our journey at dreampower, capture your dreams.


Friday, October 14, 2005

Am I missing something?


I was blog surfing and found a post that amplified a point I was trying to make in a Bastiat Free University post called Privatized Government and Judge Judy. I had several comments, but none of my responses were as concise as this:

"I also buy a whisk broom from the campground store. It i’s $2.99; I hand the girl a $5 bill, she hands me back $2.01! I almost have a seizure. This is my first purchase of general merchandise in my entire life that didn'’t include a cut for leeches surrounding the state capitol. I stagger into the coffee shop where I sit down to let my head clear.

For comparison: My general-merchandise overall sales tax at a small town in the middle of New York state (Endicott, NY) was 8.5%. New York has a mystifying graduated income tax, which would be a minimum of 7.5% for me. So New Hampshire does not have an income tax, and it looks unlikely it will ever have an income tax. If a New Yorker (or Michiganian) moves to New Hampshire, he or she sees an instant, approximate 15% improvement in standard of living.

Am I missing something?"

Private solutions are more efficient than government, by a very wide margin. If you want the reasoning read the BFU post and the comments.

Sometimes simple things can be over explained. I plead guilty.



Saturday, October 08, 2005

Want a job? Need a job? Want a better job?


Be the fellow who carried a "Message to Garcia."

Written in 1899 by Elbert Hubbard

In all this Cuban business there is one man that stands out on the horizon of my memory like Mars at perihelion. When war broke out between Spain and the United States, it was very necessary to communicate quickly with the leader of the Insurgents. Garcia was somewhere in the mountain fastnesses of Cuba - no one knew where. No mail or telegraph could reach him. The President must secure his co-operation, and quickly.

What to do!

Someone said to the President, "There's a fellow by the name of Rowan who will find Garcia for you, if anybody can."

Rowan was sent for and given a letter to be delivered to Garcia. How "the fellow by the name of Rowan" took the letter, sealed it up in an oil-skin pouch, strapped it over his heart, in four days landed by night off the coast of Cuba from an open boat, disappeared into the jungle, and in three weeks came out on the other side of the island, having traversed a hostile country on foot, and having delivered his letter to Garcia, are things I have no special desire now to tell in detail.

The point I wish to make is this: McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia; Rowan took the letter and did not ask, "Where is he at?" By the Eternal! There is a man whose form should be cast in deathless bronze and the statue placed in every college in the land. It is not book-learning young men need, nor instruction about this or that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies; do the thing - "carry a message to Garcia!"

General Garcia is dead now, but there are other Garcias.

No man, who has endeavored to carry out an enterprise where many hands were needed, but has been well-nigh appalled at times by the imbecility of the average man - the inability or unwillingness to concentrate on a thing and do it. Slipshod assistance, foolish inattention, dowdy indifference, and half-hearted work seem to be the rule; and no man succeeds, unless by hook or crook, or threat, he forces or bribes other men to assist him; or mayhap, God in His goodness performs a miracle, and sends him an Angel of Light for an assistant. You, reader, put this matter to a test: You are sitting now in your office -six clerks are within your call. Summon any one and make this request: "Please look in the encyclopedia and make a brief memorandum for me concerning the life of Corregio."

Will the clerk quietly say, "Yes, sir," and go do the task?

On your life, he will not. He will look at you out of a fishy eye, and ask one or more of the following questions:

Who was he?

Which encyclopedia?

Where is the encyclopedia?

Was I hired for that?

Don't you mean Bismarck?

What's the matter with Charlie doing it?

Is he dead?

Is there any hurry?

Shan't I bring you the book and let you look it up yourself?

What do you want to know for?

And I will lay you ten to one that after you have answered the questions, and explained how to find the information, and why you want it, the clerk will go off and get one of the other clerks to help him find Corregio - and then come back and tell you there is no such man. Of course I may lose my bet, but according to the Law of Average, I will not.

Now if you are wise you will not bother to explain to your "assistant" that Corregio is indexed under the C's, not in the K's, but you will smile sweetly and say, "Never mind," and go look it up yourself.

And this incapacity for independent action, this moral stupidity, this infirmity of the will, this unwillingness to cheerfully catch hold and lift, are the things that put socialism so far into the future. (and now so far into the past. BFU ed.) If men will not act for themselves, what will they do when the benefit of their effort is for all? A first mate with knotted club seems necessary; and the dread of getting "the bounce" Saturday night holds many a worker in his place.

Advertise for a stenographer, and nine times out of ten those who apply can neither spell nor punctuate - and do not think it necessary to.

Can such a one write a letter to Garcia?

"You see that bookkeeper," said the foreman to me in a large factory.

"Yes, what about him?"

"Well, he's a fine accountant, but if I'd send him to town on an errand, he might accomplish the errand all right, and, on the other hand, might stop at four saloons on the way, and when he got to Main Street, would forget what he had been sent for."

Can such a man be entrusted to carry a message to Garcia?

We have recently been hearing much maudlin sympathy expressed for the "down-trodden denizen of the sweat shop" and the "homeless wanderer searching for honest employment," and with it all often go many hard words for the men in power.

Nothing is said about the employer who grows old before his time in a vain attempt to get frowsy ne'er-do-wells to do intelligent work; and his long patient striving with "help" that does nothing but loaf when his back is turned. In every store and factory there is a constant weeding-out process going on. The employer is constantly sending away "help" that have shown their incapacity to further the interests of the business, and others are being taken on. No matter how good times are, this sorting continues, only if times are hard and work is scarce, this sorting is done finer - but out and forever out, the incompetent and unworthy go. It is the survival of the fittest. Self-interest prompts every employer to keep the best-those who can carry a message to Garcia.

I know one man of really brilliant parts who has not the ability to manage a business of his own, and yet who is absolutely worthless to anyone else, because he carries with him constantly the insane suspicion that his employer is oppressing, or intending to oppress, him. He can not give orders, and he will not receive them. Should a message be given him to take to Garcia, his answer would probably be, "Take it yourself."

Tonight this man walks the streets looking for work, the wind whistling through his threadbare coat. No one who knows him dare employ him, for he is a regular firebrand of discontent. He is impervious to reason, and the only thing that can impress him is the toe of a thick-soled No. 9 boot.

Of course I know that one so morally deformed is no less to be pitied than a physical cripple; but in your pitying, let us drop a tear, too, for the men who are striving to carry on a great enterprise, whose working hours are not limited by the whistle, and whose hair is fast turning white through the struggle to hold the line in dowdy indifference, slipshod imbecility, and the heartless ingratitude which, but for their enterprise, would be both hungry and homeless.

Have I put the matter too strongly? Possibly I have; but when all the world has gone a-slumming I wish to speak a word of sympathy for the man who succeeds - the man who, against great odds, has directed the efforts of others, and, having succeeded, finds there's nothing in it: nothing but bare board and clothes.

I have carried a dinner-pail and worked for a day's wages, and I have also been an employer of labor, and I know there is something to be said on both sides. There is no excellence, per se, in poverty; rags are no recommendation; and all employers are not rapacious and high-handed, any more than all poor men are virtuous.

My heart goes out to the man who does his work when the "boss" is away, as well as when he is home. And the man who, when given a letter for Garcia, quietly takes the missive, without asking any idiotic questions, and with no lurking intention of chucking it into the nearest sewer, or of doing aught else but deliver it; never gets "laid off," nor has to go on strike for higher wages. Civilization is one long anxious search for just such individuals. Anything such a man asks will be granted; his kind is so rare that no employer can afford to let him go. He is wanted every city, town, and village - in every office, shop, store and factory. The world cries out for such; he is needed, and needed badly - the man who can carry a message to Garcia.


Monday, October 03, 2005

It is Your Money!


When you go out looking for a financial consultant there is one rule that stands above all others.

"No one cares more about your money than you do, unless he plans to steal it." - Allan Wallace

It therefore pays, if possible, to manage your money yourself.

We now shift to the southern US.

In Nawlins they thought the government cared about them and would care for them. Or if you want political balance, think about Andrew. Same slow response, same "price gouging."

Just a bit latter, look at Texas. A hurricane coming, they took care of themselves. They left early, took 3 days food and water, and did much better. Some of it was from lessons learned watching Katrina, some of it was the inherent individualism of Texans.

The key here is; depending on the government is like letting someone in another city pick who will manage your money. They either won't care, or they will care about their commissions first, or they may just take the whole bank roll.

America used to work this way, prior to the last depression. Neighbors helped neighbors if there was a problem, people helped people. As we let the government take our responsibility to care, we lost more than control. We have allowed ourselves to be robbed by handing our money and responsibility to those that think of themselves first.

"Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone." - C. F. Bastiat

I read last week that 28% of the money allocated to food stamps gets to the poor. Now we all know the government "tweaks" the numbers and has for decades. Let us assume the person I read had "tweaked" the numbers some himself. I think you can assume the real number would show more than half of the money taken from you for food stamps is for supporting the bureaucracy. It is this way throughout your government.

Would you invest in a mutual fund that charged 50% of assets as management fees?

"A reflection of ourself hides the view through the window." - Allan R. Wallace

More than half your income goes to government; Feds, state, local, fees, property, gas, sales taxes, and on, and on. The companies you work for are taxed before it even reaches you for matching taxes, other taxes, and the costs of ridiculous regulations.

For all of your money, you get the pleasures of the DMV, FEMA, and the single ruling DemocratRepublican party.

Next time you hear about sports and movie stars that got ripped off by their money managers don't laugh.

You hire thieves every pay day.


Saturday, October 01, 2005

Technocracy or Netcohort Society


when we talk of Netcohort and a Netcohort Society Are we discussing a techocracy?

Probably not.

With the Netcohort we are describing the new upper middle class of the emerging information driven society.

As the guilds of the middle age were replaced by the more vibrant middle class of the industrial revolution so today's middle class is now being replaced by the Small and nimble teams of the Netcohort. Constant learning and personal integrity are the hallmarks of successful netcohort individuals and groups. Information technology teams are aligning in a fluid way with other teams in what may become a Netcohort Society.

With the Netcohort Society we are describing a society dominated by the new upper middle class knowledge worker.

With the inception of the industrial age the moribund trade guilds were doomed by increasing economies of scale. This new age also contributed to the creation of a skilled middle class worker. We have entered a similar period, in reverse. The middle class is now doomed as technology and robotics replace repetitious manual tasks. This time large institutions propelled into existence by industrial age centralization will die or morph into the smaller, more efficient networks demanded by the information age.

The emerging information and miniaturization age will create a replacement for the middle class: customer centric knowledge workers attuned to each clients specific needs. This new netcohort will exist in a reputation based society dominated by those that continually learn, communicate, and accomplish. An existing netcohort contingent already works as small protean associations within the transformational structure of the rising information based society.

Technocracy to H. G. Wells definition, a society run by the technological elite is a possibility. A technocracy where everything is run by a super computer is highly unlikely. A supercomputer in our lifetime will have human programmers, and would then fit under the first definition.

What we envision is a more fluid environment. Governments will still exist, although on a smaller and weaker basis. The small teams of netcohort individuals will join and separate for specific projects, and create wealth wherever they develop ideas. We would expect nations, or perhaps city states, to bid for their presence much as Ireland has used tax incentives to lure industry.

"By virtue of exchange, one man's prosperity is beneficial to all others." - Bastiat

This netcohort is exemplified by technology developers that carry their wealth in their heads. If they have a good reputation for integrity, knowledge, adaptability, and creativity they are wanted for many projects. Just as these knowledge workers can state their terms to corporations now, in the future temporary netcohort teams will be able to shape parts of their world.

If that is a technocracy, it may very well happen.

If Poland knows they can have a silicon valley tomorrow, do you think they will make a very good offer to a team of tech heavy weights?

(Do you think any degrees these netcohort heavy weights have or don't have will make a difference? Will they care if Bill Gates finished his degree?)


P. S. I'm willing to set up the 50 year no tax / minimal bureaucracy zone if a country wants to start today. Better than a zone would be a whole country. Better than 50 years would be a permanent libertarian constitution. Why wait for someone else to be first?


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