Monday, January 30, 2006

Change Across The Political Spectrum

For those that want change, basically all of us, the good news is -- change is coming.

Only the bureaucrats won't like this.

If you want a way to speed change, and reverse the negative course of
the four bigs, This short article, Bureaucracy Tipping, may give you some ideas.

There is needed change in the wings. As the industrial society wanes and the information and miniaturization age waxes - bureaucracies will crumble.

You can do your part and achieve a measure of success by helping dismantle the archaic artifacts of centralized bureaucracy.

Technology is the tool, liberty is the goal.

Change is in the air.


Sunday, January 29, 2006

Big Government - Big Unions - Big Corporations - Big Education

These are the four bigs that run your life.

They think they own you.

Maybe they do.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." - Voltaire

If Voltaire was right you alone determine your liberty.

If you decide to own your own life your first step is to desire to be free.

You then must turn a critical eye toward those that claim your allegiance.

Governments, all political parties, all forced associations, your employers and educators. Ask yourself - "
Am I more dedicated to them than they are to me?"

Look behind the slogans and propaganda, are their actions for your benefit or theirs?

They scream of injustice and of your needing to support them. The support they seek is for them to stay well ahead of all those they claim to help.

Sometime in the future these institutions will shrink as technology empowers the people. That brings to mind a rule of finance.

If something is going to fall - it should be pushed.


Saturday, January 28, 2006

More & Better Definition For The Spek

Another split in the personality of A Sovereign Speculator.

As you may recall, A long time ago we split off the educational posts from what was then the Hitchhiker to the self directed learning journal for Bastiat Free University.

Not too long ago we split off most of the financial aspect of Hitchhiker, now renamed The Sovereign Speculator, to a new three times a week Speculation Rules.

We then moved our small business information updates to Small Business Motivation, Inspiration, & Perspiration that is updated weekdays.

We just started a new journal, Entrepreneurial Business E-Learning, where we have not yet established a frequency. This new weblog, or "blog," will concentrate on business owners and those of you that want to own a business. It will bounce around on subjects for a while, but it will find its voice soon.

Our other journal is seldom part of this business oriented crowd - that is the Junior Partner Ministries' Prayer Chapel. It is published Sunday and Wednesday every week - Lord willing. It is a quick read set up to assist those who are traveling with the feel of a home church prayer service.

This blog, A Sovereign Speculator, has its voice. This is the hen house where my opinions, guesses, and rants come home to roost. There is a bit of all the above blogs here - but with more attitude - and no schedule to keep.

Pick and choose, mix and match - there are enough blogs here for all. For a sample of that Spek attitude - pick a favorite posts link on the left.

Allan R. Wallace


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Free State Project - New Hampshire

New Hampshire's Free State Project is a different approach to the problems of a bloated central government than Vermont's Secessionist Movement.

New Hampshire shares Vermont's love of liberty, and their town meeting form of local government. This group is on the other side of the aisle from the Vermont secessionists (see prior post).

The Free State Project is an attempt to have 20,000 libertarians and anrcho-capitalists living together in one state. Together they hope to help mold a statewide example of the benefits of limited government.

Taxes and state government intrusion are already low in New Hampshire, as you would expect from a state with the motto Live Free Or Die.

The mascot of the Free State Project is the porcupine, a symbol of their "leave me alone" philosophy.

Maybe you are committed to living in the comfort of the United States - but want a return to government where an individual person has value.

The Free State Project in New Hampshire may be for you.

Solutions from the bottom up tend to be far more beneficial than change forced from the top down.

Allan R. Wallace


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Free Vermont & The World Wide Secessionist Movement

We have talked about technology empowered individuals creating devolutionary fractal trends.

Secession as contemplated in Alaska, Hawaii, Vermont, and Texas is a large scale, slower developing model, of smaller differentiating movements.

The monolithic nation states were spawned by the industrial age. Economies of scale allowed the overthrow of the vestiges of feudal allegiance. Diverse cultures and ethnicities were united under a single flag - Napoleon even set out to have his conquests all speak French.

A fractal is a pattern that is indistinguishable by scale. A spiral taken as a small section has the same relationship to its adjoining parts regardless of where the sample is taken. A rough fractal would be like the seacoast, broken and beaten by waves, indistinguishable by form whether measuring miles or meters.

With the opportunities supplied through technology individuals are defining their own life by their own expectations, not the crowds. This is happening quickly in developed societies at the personal level - latter marriage, religious conversions, home business, distance learning, etc.

As you move up through families, local groups, large organizations, and up to nation states the process slows, but is still apparent.

The information and miniaturization age will be defined by individuals working in association with small fluid groups - the Netcohort. This age has already arrived for numbers of information workers.

The technological future will deflate and disassemble the large bureaucracies, the marching drum has just started beating.

Most countries are now varying degrees of totalitarian, although some are happily more disorganized than others. The future should offer greater liberty.

Assets such as your resolve, knowledge, reputation, adaptability, and your willingness to contribute are easily able to move with you.

This group of Vermont citizens sounds left of green, but that may be one of the benefits of the new network society.

There will be many smaller countries competing for productive citizens; we will be able to chose a country that matches us.

Consider the current choice between socialist Sweden or capitalist Singapore -- but with hundreds more choices.

King's pawn to King four.


Saturday, January 21, 2006

A Speculator's Speculation - Blackberry 8700C

This speculation is for fun, not for investment.

Blackberry is in a patent infringement law suit. For current status check your Google news (stock - RIMM).

Some seem to feel it is a frivolous and nuisance law suit by a company without products against Blackberry and Research In Motion or RIM.

Depending on your take the lawsuit will be thrown out, a settlement will happen, or only government approved people - all bureaucrats most likely - will stay connected.

Make your decision.

A side effect is folks have slowed down on purchasing a Blackberry so there are some very tempting deals being thrown about right now.

At Amazon you can get the normally $499.99 list price Blackberry 8700C, and get paid a penny to take it. It does require a Cingular service contract of at least $39.99.

Purchase price of the Blackberry 8700C, and several other Blackberry models have been reduced to $149.99, and there is an Amazon rebate of $150.00.

If you or your company want the best in hand held communications technology, you have until 25 January 2006 to act. If you read this after that date, still click through on the link - if the lawsuit is not settled there will probably be a new offer made.

Worst case is the Blackberry gets cut off - and then there may be more offers to get you back. Best case you make a penny and get the best quality, $499.99 communications device for the cost of monthly service.

Google that news, or - click here - for the Blackberry 8700c offer, then google the news.

A small speculation, a wonderful handful of technology.


Friday, January 20, 2006

Socialism is paid for by taxes

All those government programs are paid for by taxes.

If not now,then our kids and grandkids will pay them. A program like food stamps gives about 1/3 of the money received to the poor, the rest feeds the bureaucracy.

Bureaucrats vote, almost all of them. Those that receive government hand-outs vote. If those two groups are 20% of those that can vote - with only half of the citizens voting - that is 40% of votes will be made to support socialism - before we vote.

It ain't goin' away. (soon)

I received this in the free email from the Daily Reckoning - see if you can spot the tax invented in 1913 that is not on this list. (I'll disclose it in the comments section below)

*** Isn't this amazing? writes reader Frank Sobkowiak, from a
mountain top in beautiful corner of North Eastern Pennsylvania. He forwarded
this e-mail to us in response to our renewed interest in dismantling the

“This is a list of the various ways in which citizens of the U S of A are taxed:

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
Capital Gains Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Court Fines (indirect taxes)
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel permit tax
Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon)
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax Interest expense (tax on the money)
Inventory tax IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Local Income Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Septic Permit Tax
Service Charge Taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Taxes (Truckers)
Sales Taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Road Toll Booth Taxes
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone federal excise tax
Telephone federal universal service fee tax
Telephone federal, state and
local surcharge taxes
Telephone minimum usage surcharge tax
Telephone recurring and non-recurring charges tax
Telephone state and local tax
Telephone usage charge tax
Toll Bridge Taxes
Toll Tunnel Taxes
Traffic Fines (indirect taxation)
Trailer Registration Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

COMMENTS: Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago and our nation
the most prosperous in the world, had absolutely no national debt, had
largest middle class in the world and only one parent had to work to
support the family.

What the hell happened?

The USA founding fathers rebelled over taxes of a few percent. Let the camel stick his nose under the edge of the tent, and soon he will move in. We are at the point now where we have become slaves to the camel.

A nation formed of, by and for the bureaucrats.


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Let's Play Monopoly

A Monopoly game figures into a couple of interesting posts.

From the Ludwig Von Mises site is an exploration of where the
Monopoly game misses the mark compared to a real economy. Are kid's learning the right lessons?

Much lighter fare, yet still with some interesting points is the Scott Pettersen story of his sister's gift to his daughter. The gift was a fine socialist game,
Our Town, where players are penalized for not sacrificing themselves to community interests. (it is a bit unreal to have the government bail people out of troubles without taking half of the players' money.)

These games are more similar than opposite; just as today's Democrats and Republicans are both on the similar totalitarian end of the scale, rather than on the liberty end.

It makes me wonder what
Clue says about the criminal justice system.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Economic System Change

I saw a quote on economic system change, but I don't know where I saw it, or who said it.

The gist was we have finished the battle between Austrian Economics and Keynesian Economics, and have entered the war of Keynesian Economics versus Socialist Economics. The implication was Keynes won the first battle, Socialism will win the war.

I disagree.

We are currently at a transitional fractal point between ages, and on shorter measures peaks in eras of good times. The ascendancy of both socialism and Keynes are probably over.

Socialism owes its modern application to Marx and Engels reacting to imbalances in an emergent industrial age. The industrial age is ending. The problems of the industrial age have mitigated over the decades, but socialists gained power. The feel good thought of stealing from those that have more than you, to give it to those poorer than you, was quite attractive.

Limits exist to this approach in the emerging information age; information is transportable, hence extortion as a means of theft will be limited.

Another limit is those who in the recent past embraced socialism were the educated middle class of the industrial era.

These educators and their pupils are seen as rich by 95% of the world. They are more than willing to steal from capitalists for redistribution, but if you want to take their perks and salary for the poor - they will fight.

"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery." - Winston Churchill

As an aside this has created the strange bedfellows of big unions and anti-globalists. The unions looking to protect their privileged status by fighting jobs for foreign poor - the anti-globalists fighting for greater privilege for foreign poor. Together they stage demonstrations against offshore sourcing by corporations.

Back on topic.

We are at the peak of several business cycles (an Austrian Economics concept) of varying dimension. These cycles have been extended artificially by government interventions, and will cause a great deal of pain when they turn down. Financial bubbles have even been mentioned in the main stream press, and they present an interesting picture of where we are.

Normally in a standard business cycle the bubble inflates and deflates, then does it again. With government intervention the deflations are avoided by constant artificial inflation. Eventually the bubble will explode.

There are several bubbles, of different sizes, nested inside each other. The inflating is continuing, the burst may be far worse than the sum of the deflations avoided.

Inevitable is not the same as immediate, I do not know when a greater depression may start, but it could be sooner rather than latter.

A depression will require Keynes to surpass socialism to preserve society. As we exit the depression the information age should gain traction, shrinking those governments that survive.
An information society will continue to cause the implosion of bureaucracies, accelerating the trend toward privatization.

This is a whole bunch of "what ifs."

My guess is probably as good as anyone else's.

So is yours.

Which economic system do you see as winner?


Saturday, January 14, 2006

Entrepreneurship and Education - Start Your Business First

What and how much education is required to be an entrepreneur?

You are probably aware of the College of Entrepreneurship at Bastiat Free University.

You may have read or heard us talk about the concept of
start your business first; - then start learning. You learn fast and sometimes hard with your own business. The learning will be more relevant for you as an entrepreneur than a standard business school education.

Start your business first will also be cheaper than a standard business education. Figure up the costs of four + years of your life, deferred earnings, forced to take non-applicable classes, and of course books, tuition, fees, fees, and fees.

Your first and second business may fail, keep going. If you keep learning you will find success eventually, and you will find that success for yourself. Rediscover the pleasures of self directed learning - start your business first.

What will be important are the people that you develop in your network. What they will value in you is integrity, adaptability, knowledge, and action. Notice a diploma is not part of the mix.

At Bastiat Free University you can register and monitor classes for free. If you decide to acquire a degree latter, BFU will be there to help.

In today's world a degree has become a personal marketing tool - it is no longer evidence of learning. Instead a diploma is evidence of bureaucratic compliance.

Here also is a site I recently discovered that may offer some assistance in learning, check out The Foundation Of Entrepreneurship. It looks like a news aggregatior and resource site for entrepreneurs. I'll probably add a post on them once I've checked them out.

For now:

Start Your Business First!


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Rantless in Orange County

Feelin' good - down right content in fact.

Sure political pole cats and their mendacious mouthpieces are still lying on both sides of the aisle.

I'm enjoying life, so I don't want to soil my mind for a day or three.

If you want to know what is wrong in America, and a potential fix look here.

A friend and I were talking last night about how easy it is to string regrets like a chain around your neck. Many carry such a burden, displaying it to everyone they meet.

I coulda, I shoulda, just a wee bit more - or less - an' I woulda....

Regrets are in the past, facts cannot be changed by swimming in sorrows. Although the picture of that heavy chain of regrets dragging you to the bottom may be accurate.

After my friend left I realized as a Christian I have a great promise:
All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.

In prayer I took my past,
the past is part of everything, and turned it over to God.

Today I am content.

Life is like a great chess board.

The problem for me alone is the pieces all have free will. I can think many moves ahead against a single opponent and do fine. In life each piece can and does follow their own changing set of moves, or sits and won't be moved.

God is both smarter and wiser than I am; and he loves me more than I love myself. If he has worked all things together for my good, I would be silly to continue to worry about the past.

God is my chess master, looking at the board as it is, and making moves to win.

Jesus took my half finished game of life, filled with self deterministic pieces, and developed a winning strategy. As play continues, he will guide with appropriate changes to that strategy.

I am continuing to move toward the future, but I am not burdened with the past.

I am content.


Monday, January 09, 2006

Prepare for Change

The western world is fading.

They are busy spending their inheritance on wars and the technology of control. They steal money from children by creating debt beyond their generation's ability to pay - and this is just the nation states.

The western people mimic their governments, buying SUVs and overpriced housing, destroying their savings and equity; while inflation, taxes, and conspicuous consumption pull them under water.

There will be a reckoning.

We at some point will not be able to convince those around the world who save money we are a reasonable risk. The west is headed for a greater depression, we just don't know when.

It may have already started.

These posts are usually light and informative; this is dark and real.

Prepare for the change that will come with depression - emotional, moral, and capital change.

Life is not Linear.


Saturday, January 07, 2006

New Media vs. Main Stream Media

There is a battle brewing between the entrenched main stream media and a blitzkrieg of new media.

Main stream media is putting on the uncomfortable battle armor of blog warriors while their feet are stuck in clay around a big city desk.

Hugh Hewitt has an article on those that want to retain the power of media even as technology empowered individuals disperse their information sources.

Of particular interest to me was one quote of big media defender Hitzik:

"Hewitt in his blog ceded the tooth-gnashing duties to one Carol Platt Liebau, who evidently harbors a deep-seated distaste for improved roads, schools, hospitals, public safety, etc. "

This ploy was answered over 150 years ago:

"Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain." - C. F. Bastiat

The war between new media and main stream media is on. Hewitt even takes a guess on the strategy for the next few campaigns.

Read Hewitt's article, it will add one more piece to the puzzle that is media change.


Friday, January 06, 2006

Hyperspace Hyperdrive - interstellar!

A sci-fi Hyperspace, Interstellar, interdimensional Hyperdrive may become a fact.

I was surfing and found this at The Scotsman. I have no idea what site provided the link.

The premise is based on research in the 1950s by Burkhard Heim.

Rather than thrust pushing a space craft, you use a magnet to project a gravity well in front of it to pull you on your interdimensional journey.

Or something like that, details are a bit scarce.

Think of the gravity equivalent of a moon, mere feet in front of your ship, pulling you Through dimensions and back again. Hopefully.

We should have an answer of sorts within a decade or two. A scientist says 5 years, but he is looking for funding. The US government seems to be involved also.

An interstellar hyperdrive craft slipping through hyperspace to visit other solar systems on an interdimensional sightseeing tour. And you might be on board.

Take the 5 years and double it for science optimism, then double it again for government involvement. Twenty years and we should have a proposal, an excuse, or silence.

All we need for encouragement is a group of scientists to say it is too dangerous and it will never work. - Then I will know we have a chance.

I remember the story of Fulton and the steamship he invented. Everyone said it would never work. On the great day he was to test it his sister came on board full of confidence.

"It will never go," she said. "It will never go," she repeated.

The fire was lit, the boiler developed pressure and "
Fulton's Folly" moved - upriver.

Fulton's sister kept her confidence "It will never stop!" she shouted, "It will never stop!"


Thursday, January 05, 2006

PETA, Served Raw, Not Fit For Human Consumption

PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Penn and Teller get raw about
PETA. PETA is a reasonable target, PETA attacks people verbally and PETA supports physical attacks on people. In the popular media PETA gets free publicity but no investigation.

I'll Call Penn and Teller's video,
PETA Served Raw.

This over the top reaction to
PETA is not suitable for the sensitive or for children; but they probably don't read what I write anyway.

You may not agree, but if you are a
PETA supporter you will want to investigate this. If you are humane and honest, you may choose to change your mind about supporting PETA; you can remain a Vegan.

PETA Served Raw!

If you are a parent, you may want to see what
PETA is teaching in public schools. Look at the kids faces as they listen.

As a taxpayer and parent you may want to consider separation of school and state.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Next 50 Years; There is Huge Change Ahead

Adhocracy, the Netcohort, disintermediation, and the world.

Alvin Toffler was right on the big picture. C. F. Bastiat was right on process. I am going to take some wild guesses.

The next 50 years will prove that life is not linear. Big surprises wait around each corner, huge disruptions will explode on the scene as the industrial age unravels.

Technology is empowering the individual causing the massive centralized bureaucracies to first shrink, and then implode. The future will belong to the Netcohort, knowledge workers interacting in small flexible teams. It is not a utopia, but it may be reality. If a free form association is allowed to develop all will profit, some will profit immensely.

If force is applied to bleed the Netcohort, they will move, they have very little fixed capital to hold hostage. If they are bled around the world, a possible balkanization of technology and a worsening of life styles for all may result.

It is on this fragile platform built of my myopic conceits that I will project the future. Don't say you weren't warned, of my exceptional fallibility, and of these possible scenarios.

2015) We will still be enduring or just emerging from the greater depression. Technology will get the traction to make massive changes in social structures. Government functions will be privatized, or done away with. Large unwieldy corporations will be eviscerated by netcohort teams that have carved out the profitable niches, leaving the ruling and bloated behemoths of our age to rot.

2025) Democracy as a system of government starts to recede. Socialism and its "rob everyone above average and give it to the government elites" mentality passes as the industrial era that gave it the power of extortion withers.

2035) Another wave of new technologies once again changes the face of the world. The last of the remaining large nation states begin to dissolve. Minnesota and a few contiguous states, tired of giving 50% of their income for projects in CA or NY, join with a Canadian province or two, and create a new small government country. California is joined with Mexico on very favorable terms; Hawaii and Alaska go there own ways, and Europe long ago gave up on the Brussels bureaucracy.

2045) A world that we would not understand today has grown up among us. Long life techniques have changed social interactions dramatically.

2055) You have to be kidding. I don't know what will happen tomorrow, I can't even start to guess this far out. Ok, one small guess - the world will be very different, but good times will once again reign in a late summer Kondratiev cycle. Maybe.

Any prediction that suggests things will just go on as they have is very unlikely to hold up very long. There will be lots of unforeseen events to use as an excuse for missing "the projection."

My excuse is I don't predict - I guess - wildly.


Monday, January 02, 2006

Book Review - "Beautiful Pictures" by Robert R. Prechter Jr.

Beautiful Pictures from the Gallery of Phinance.

That would be
technical phinance to be specific.

Beautiful Pictures serves two purposes.

First it is a beautiful book that will look terrific sitting on your coffee table - if you are a trader that is quite the bonus.

Second this book is full of well presented and valuable information.

Prechter's years of experience have given him the humility of knowledge. You can tell he knows and loves what he is presenting; but he also knows he has just scratched the surface of what he hopes will become the new millennium's newest science.

Here is a quote from the introduction: "We discover that the 'roughness' in the stock market -- its supposed 'irregularity' -- may be an artifact of insufficient observation."

The difficult math has been done by Prechter, leaving all your brain cells to deal with the concepts presented.

I think we can divide the second purpose of Beautiful Pictures into two parts, Robert Prechter as tutor and Robert Prechter as resource.

I have not yet finished the book, but I have already learned a great deal, and renewed a great deal of knowledge I had forgotten. I use many forms of analysis, Elliot Wave theory has been in my tool chest for years. Many times an Elliott Wave pattern will jump out at you, screaming for a trade, that I do try to notice.

There are many intricacies of Elliot Wave that I do not use, but with the elegance that is a mathematical structure this book presents them in attractive form.

That is the resource value of the book. Once finished it will reside on a shelf by my computers, along with a select few books. Beautiful Pictures will be used. As I see patterns developing in markets, I reach for these books to sharpen my eye as to what the tape is saying.

That is a good summation of the book.

Beautiful Pictures is pleasing to the eye of the novice - and it is training for the eye of the experienced.


Christmas In The Trenches

Sung to the strains of Christmas In Kilarney.

This is one you will want to both enjoy and reflect on. It's a few days late, but I just found it on:

Leprechauns speak out!

A few days late for a song about a short truce almost a century ago is not too bad. Read the Leprechaun, and if you wish, afterwards you can peruse a pertinent read from my Tsunami Hitchhiker favorite posts of the year past.

A blessed year and an independent mind to all.

And may the wind be at your back.


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