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What an Actual Leader Would Say

acrualleader In the current deluge of wannabe leaders clamoring for attention and trying to convince us that they are the boss who should be applying rules to us, it strikes me that all of them are looking backward and none are looking forward. (I do not consider “My administration will give you more bennies” to be seriously forward-looking.) So, since none of this crowd is going to venture anywhere outside of their hermetically sealed status ...

I Am Not a Ferengi

ferengi Call me a businessman if you like; an entrepreneur, a capitalist even… but I am not a Ferengi, dedicated to grabbing as much of your money as I can, however I can. If that was all I wanted, I’d be exploiting Washington and Wall Street, or maybe I’d see if I could wriggle my way into central banking. And just in case some of you are not familiar with the term, the Ferengi are a fictional race of aliens in the Star Trek universe. ...

It’s 460 AD in Rome: This Won’t Be Fixed

Rome Another American election cycle is upon us, and large numbers of people are lining up to pour their time and money into the sewer of politics, to be lost forever. This system will not be fixed. Period. This is Rome in 460 AD. The rulers, as in Rome, are liars, mad, or drunk (these days, drugged)… or all three. The “fall of Rome,” of course, was far more complex than we learned in school, but through all the many years of ...

Why You Must Dump Microsoft NOW

Microsoft I’ve written about dumping Microsoft before – and I stand by those comments – but the newest outrage from Redmond forces me to it again. I don’t care how “inconvenient” you think it may be, you have to stop enriching Microsoft. NOW. Yes, I have serious issues with Apple too, but at least Wozniak and Jobs started out as real hackers. Gates was a political monopolist, and it still shows. What’s Happening ...

War Isn’t Actually Pointless

warpointless People often say that war is pointless, and it must be admitted that their argument is a good one: What was gained in Iraq and Afghanistan? Things there are just as bad today as when the Western armies rolled in. And the threat to the West seems no less. To what end were all those people killed, mutilated, and terrorized? What was the point of all the kingdom-versus-kingdom wars? Borders shifted left; borders shifted right; but the daily lives ...

Word Formulas Are the Wrong Path

formula Recently, an argument was made that libertarianism is okay with hate, since a word formula that libertarians like, the non-aggression principle, or “NAP”, didn’t exclude hate. Therefore, I’ve concluded that it’s a good time to address the subject of word formulas and rules. And I’ll begin by being explicit about this: Word formulas are the path to destruction. They are the wrong path. Word formulas are the province ...

How to Speak to the Brainwashed

brainwashed Last week, I posted an article entitled “Man Is Not Always Blind.” And quite understandably, I received comments from readers who disagreed. After all, when you are surrounded by people who wish to not see – who hate you for trying to make them see – it is natural to take that opinion. (And since the word is so often fitting, I will go with “brainwashed” to describe those who wish not to see.) But rather ...

Man Is Not Always Blind

manblind These words (which I picked up from Abraham Joshua Heschel) are true, even if it doesn’t seem like it. Humanity may be blind – willingly blind – for sickening lengths of time, but mankind is not always blind. Our present government/corporate culture – the loud, flashing, vapid cloud of distraction and fear that surrounds us – not only promotes blindness toward anything outside of itself, but requires this blindness ...

Who Will Be the Last to Crash?

lasttocrash This is the question that astute investors are forced to ask themselves these days. No reasonable person believes that a system of ever-expanding debt can resolve painlessly. It simply cannot happen… not, at least, until 2+2 stops equaling four. But the international money system, while deeply interconnected, can implode in sections. In fact, it’s highly unlikely that it will crash as a single unit. So, if you have significant moneys ...

We Need to Get Past Our Gurus

guru Two friends of mine have recently written articles on the subject of famous leaders, or gurus. I would like to add my hearty agreement to their messages. In particular, I want to stress that clinging to gurus makes things worse, not better. Following a guru is a downward path, not an upward path. Specialists: Healthy and Otherwise There is a serious difference between appreciating someone’s work and hanging on their every word and ...

There Will Never Be Enough Good Jobs Again

goodjob It’s over. Except for a short moment or a wild and self-exhausting governmental mandate (both of which are doubtful), there will never again be enough “good jobs” to go around. That model is gone and we need to root it out of our imaginations. Sure, there will be some good jobs, but nowhere near enough. About half of the Western world is already on the dole in one form or another. 93 million Americans lack a decent job and ...

Please Do NOT Support a Candidate

candidate ANY candidate. Here’s something I wrote in my subscription newsletter a few months back: I’ve watched people work for political progress since the 1960s. Back then, I saw decent, well-meaning people struggling to eliminate war, financial insecurity, welfare, racial animus, and police brutality. Fifty years later, their children and grandchildren are spending oceans of energy fighting… war, financial insecurity, welfare, racial ...

At Eight Years Old We Learned to Torture

bullying Sometimes their faces pop up in my mind and I shudder. I don’t want to recall their suffering but I also can’t pretend it never happened. They were tormented, day after day, and for extended periods. I can only hope and pray that they recovered. I am torn over using their names; I wouldn’t want to drag them back to their sufferings, but at the same time, their suffering mattered, and I don’t want to devalue them by blotting ...

The Price of Freedom™

freedom Somehow, and I had no idea how, I found myself face to face with a man I first mistook as a mobile home salesman. But he wasn’t trying to sell me a double-wide; he was trying to sell me a gaudy package labeled Freedom™. He stood in front of me, smiling too much and waiting for me to comment on the beauty of his product. “Tell me about this Freedom of yours,” I finally squeezed out. “And why does it have the trademark ...

Coming for Your Accounts: Solutions

planB After running last week’s article (They’re Coming for Your Accounts), we received a number of questions about how to actually protect oneself. So, this week I’d like to address that subject. First Words I need to make an important point before I proceed, however: I am not involved in the financial industry, and I do not know the many rules that apply to IRAs, 401(k)s, and so on. So, please understand that I’m speaking in rough terms and that ...

They’re Coming for Your Accounts

debt Nearly all of us grew up thinking that we registered ourselves to prove that we were safe and responsible. We advertised our services as “registered” or “licensed,” and we never thought about it beyond that point. After all, that was the way things were done, and we knew that it would help our customers trust us. There is, however, another side to registration, one that’s about to bite a lot of decent people… and hard. What Is Registration, ...

We Have Undervalued Ourselves

undervalued Growing up, I heard lots of complaints from parents and teachers about children being conceited, proud, and arrogant. Looking back, it seems to me that most of these complaints were related to a failure to obey. We did have one or two kids who were arrogant jerks, but the rest of us received the same comments they did. But whatever motivated the adults of my youth, they were mostly wrong – it’s not our overvaluation of ourselves that is the ...

Switching Scripts

script Almost all of us were raised to follow a more or less uniform script through our lives. Sometimes it was specifically taught to us, and other times we just absorbed it by watching others. But regardless of how we were trained, there are two primary problems with following this script: Following a script is unbecoming to a thinking being and leads in bad directions. Such scripts reflect what worked a generation ago, and yesterday is gone. We all ...

They We Just Don’t Get It

chess I got an email from a reader a few days ago, asking about something we’ve all faced. Here’s a snip: It gets a little lonely sometimes. At times I feel a little resentful, sometimes just plain angry that so few people know or care to know about economics and/or philosophy when they are so important. I’m sympathetic, of course, having felt similarly more than once. But, as I often say, perspective is key. We’ve all complained ...

Yes, the Iraq War Was All for Nothing

Iraq As stories circulated of Iraqi cities falling to Sunni militia groups, I was struck by the words of Former Marine Staff Sgt. Keith Widaman, who spent a tour in Iraq: “When I left in April 2009, I said, ‘In five years there’ll be a civil war.’” Mr. Widaman was right, as we’ve all seen over the past few days, and the “high officials” were wrong. The result – and I say this with sympathy for the dead, injured, and traumatized ...