Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Stock Strategy

My stock strategy is to buy on dips and to sell on peaks.

Unfortunately, my track record shows I have a difficult time telling "dips" from "cliffs" and telling peaks from low rising foothills just before the huge mountain rises.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


All I learned in school about the "McCarthy Era" is that Joseph McCarthy was a belligerent drunk and that extremely famous Hollywood-types were put on trial for their leftwing sympathy. (The number of people silenced by the Hollywood machine for having conservative views out numbers the number of people criticized for leftwing views is probably 100 to 1, but the fact that extremely famous Hollywood types would be censored for left-wing views in still horrific.)

Witness is a long and detailed book by Whittaker Chambers.

Mr. Chambers started his career as an organizer and propagandist for the Communist Party in the 1920s and later moved into the underground to organize cells for the Soviet Union to infiltrate and hopefully overthrow the US government.

He turned against Communism when he began to get a sense of the atrocities going on throughout the world in the name of Communism.

Chambers was really nothing more than a minor operative. The book was interesting in that it shows how deeply the Marxian radicalism had penetrated the US by the 1920s and 1930s.

Mr. Chambers felt that the effort to preserve the American experiment in self-rule had already failed by the 1930s and 1940s.

I found the book extremely depressing because I've been forced to give up my hope of finding people interested in free market health care reform.

If there is not a single person within 700 miles of Salt Lake City willing to give up an afternoon to discuss the most important issue of our day, then is there any hope?

I believe that the American experiment in self rule was one of the greatest achievements in mankind. It is sad that I know of no-one interested in the subject.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Salt Lake Baseball Story

As mentioned in the last post, I was the type of kid who would ride a bike out into tornado weather to play baseball for the team!

On moving to Utah, I immediately joined a local little league baseball team.

I was tenacious and went to every practice and every game.

Nor surprisingly, I did not get to play in the first year. I was the new kid and I figured I needed to prove myself in practice.

I was a good hitter and had a strong throw. I figured if I practiced harder than the other players, I would get to play.

I spent most of practice fielding the ball. Basically I would spend practice in the outfield catching the balls that I could and running to get the other balls. I had a strong and accurate throw. At other times I would run around the bases to give the infield practice. At hitting practice, I was on par with the other players.

Anyway, toward the end of the second year my dad came to a game. I was a bit embarrassed because, in over a year and a half I had never been at bat. Since the whole team showed up for the game, I was not anticipating playing that day.

I saw my dad talking to the coach. 

My team was way ahead by the eighth inning. The coach put me in at the bottom of the line up. It was unlikely that I would get a chance at bat, but we got several runs and the score was somewhat embarrassingly high in my team's favor.

Anyway, I finally got my turn at bat.

The play was absolutely inconsequential. But, when I went to bat, the coach gave me the signal to bunt.

In two years of play, the coach had never given the signal to bunt. The coach never demonstrated the bunt in practice. He had never called a bunt in a game.

From my perspective things were awful. Since we had never practiced the bunt, I wasn't sure how to do it.

It is not as if unpopular kids were born with an innate ability to bunt and that swinging the bat was a acquired skill.

Anyway, not knowing how to bunt I went against orders and decided to swing.

The first swing was a wild foul ball to the right. The second swing I connected with the ball and it went straight down the right baseline into the bushes. I thought it was inbounds, but the umpire called it a foul.

I hit a couple more fouls before finally striking out.

Between each of my swings, the coach gave the signal to bunt.

The gods of baseball did not ascend from heaven and fill my spirit with the magic knowledge of how one is to go about bunting. So I had no choice but to swing.

I could see the coach was furious, but if you don't teach the kids how to bunt, it is not reasonable to expect that they would know how to do it.

After I struck out, I explained to the coach that he never showed us how to bunt.

So, during the next practice, the coach singled me out in front of all the other players to give me a special lesson on bunting. The lesson was clear. If I had a chance at bat in the remaining games, I would be given the signal to bunt regardless of the strategic situation.

This information was not problematic in that I knew I would never have a chance at a bat. If I continued to play the coach would actually hurt the team by calling a bunt regardless of the strategic situation. My very presence on the team was bad for the team.

The lesson exhausted my tenacity and I didn't go to any more practices or games.

Okay, my baseball story is pathetic. My baseball story just doesn't have the ring that a baseball story should.

As I look back, I realize that the coach and team were LDS. I am decidedly not. That might have been a factor. I hope that wasn't the reason the coach never played me.

Truthfully, I looked at the lack of play as a challenge to overcome.

I figure that the primary point of athletics is exercise. In my book a game in which only a few players actually play is foolish. If you don't get a cardiovascular workout at a game, then the game is a waste of time.

After the baseball fiasco, I set about looking to create a new game.

Most team, and individual sports, are centered on competition. There is not a sport for people who like to exercise and have fun.

The sport I invented is called juggleball. The fun part of juggling is coordinating tosses with other players. My sport was a game in which people would meet at a baseball diamond. They would juggle run with a ball from base to base completing tosses. Whoever was best at completing tosses with other players would win.

The game is actually about running between bases and coordinating tosses with other teams. I withdrew the requirement that people know how to juggle to play the game. (Juggling is very easy).

I called the game juggleball. I registered the names and several years ago. Unfortunately, I still in Salt Lake. Utah is run by the LDS Church which prides itself on closed minded intolerance.

It is really hard to do anything in a society that treats everyone who does not belong to the political machine as a pariah.

I love to travel. If there was any group that wanted to run a fundraiser or a person who was willing to play hard and who wanted to become an millionaire in the field of sports and recreation, they could contact me.

Monday, May 20, 2013

My Tornado Story

I have a tornado story.

I lived in Pryor, Oklahoma in the mid 1970s when a tornado hit just outside town.

I was on a little league team at the time and I took little league quite seriously.

The tornado hit during one of our scheduled games. So, I road my bike to the park in the rain storm before the tornado. Several other players and assistant coaches were there. The people who could call of the game weren't.

Since no one could call off the game; We started playing.

It was really hard to throw the ball between bases. If you tried throwing the ball from second to third it would only make it half way. When trying to throw from home to first, the wind would catch the ball and carry it to right field. We rolled the ball instead of throwing ... which worked fine.

The pitcher had a hard time adjusting for the gale force winds ... walking most of the players.

Now, here is the best part: If you could even tap the ball; you'd have a home run. If you could connect solidly; you wouldn't just hit the ball out of the park. You would hit it out of the county.

The prospects of an easy home run was fun. But it was also problematic because we only had a few balls.

Anyway, while we were playing the game, a police officer showed up and asked why we were playing baseball in a tornado.

FWIW: I play by the rules even when the rules are not too my convenience.

We showed the officer the rulebook. The people who could call of the game stayed home because of the tornado warning. So we had no choice but to play.

I don't know how he derived his priorities, but the officer seemed to think that tornado sirens should trump little league rules. He took upon himself the authority to call off the game. This was okay with us because we had already lost several balls and didn't have money to buy new ones.

I was unable to ride my bike home because the roads had turned into streams. I road out the rest of the storm in the basement of a stranger.

During the next practice, the coaches told us the rules of the game were changed and that games were automatically cancelled in severe weather events.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Religion and Liberty

It is telling. When religion was used by the monarchy to support a totalitarian state, the intelligentsia gave full-hearted support to religion.

When a version of religion that supports liberty came into vogue, the intelligentsia turned violently against religion. In early 1800s, the intelligentsia created a radical anti-religion that attacks religion with the aim of restoring a totalitarian state.

This turn of events is telling, but not all that surprising.

The intelligentsia is simply a group of people who want to rule through their words. When a religion supports a top-down hierarchy, the intelligentsia supports religion. When people use religion to assert freedom, the intelligentsia attacks religion.

To the politically ambitious religiosity is simply a matter of expediency. Power mongers support religion when it consolidates power. They attack it when it brings freedom.

At any given time, there are groups who seek power through religion or through anti religion.

Unfortunately, discussions about religion are often dominated by people seek power through religion (or by attacking religion) and not by people seeking truth. People who use religion in their grub for power do great harm to society. And there is nothing more dangerous than a radicalized group bound by a belief system. (Radicalized religion and Radicalized anti-religion have the same effect).

I contend the problem is not that people have beliefs. The problem is with powerful organized groups seeking power.

The Judeo-Christian tradition is a tradition in which people seek freedom but continually fall back into the hands of rogues seeking to enslave the people. One of the most important segments in the Jewish tradition is the escape of slaves from Egypt.

Christianity rose in a society controlled by the top-heavy Roman Empire. Jesus taught his followers to concentrate on the sacred and to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. This tradition creates a distinction between the secular and sacred.

Christ did not seek political power. Nor did he seek acclaim in the top-heavy church of his day. He followed the path of being with the people and being crucified with common thieves to bring the hope of salvation to all men.

The classical liberal interpretation of the Judeo-Christian tradition is that God created man. Man created the state. God is something that transcends the state. This is in contrast to religious traditions that attempt to make the state divine.

The classical liberal interpretation of monotheism falls along the line that there is a one God and one truth. Imperfect man has at most only a faint glimpse of the truth.

Prior to the US Revolution, the monarchy had nurtured a carefully framed version of Christianity which supported the top-heavy social structure known as feudalism. The kings and lords were on the top. The serfs on the bottom. Intellectuals pushed an ideal called the Divine Right of Kings. This ideal claimed that monarchy arose from a covenant established by God in Ancient Israel. Intellectuals praised the Leviathan and spat on the people.

Although all were forced into a common religion, many princes at the top were Machiavellian. Machiavelli taught that the prince should appear religious without actually being religious.

The US Founders were seeking liberty. They successfully challenged the Divine Right of Kings, the corrupt feudal social order and Machiavellian duplicity of the prince.

The US Founders had a classical education and learned classical logic. When they looked at the Christian tradition, they rediscovered the liberating aspects of Christianity and ran with those aspects of the religion.

The Founders created a society with freedom of religion and a limited secular government.

A society that puts constraints on governance while leaving religion unrestrained is in keeping with the Christian tradition which sought a separation of the secular and sacred. Creating a system with limited government and unlimited religion is not anti-religious.

It bears repeating: The Founders sought to create a limited government while trying to free the mind.

Placing limits on government while removing constraints on religious thought is a pro-religious action.

The classical liberal view of Christianity created a major conflict for intellectuals who prefer the social hierarchy of the monarchy.

The actions of the founders led to a fierce reaction.

It bears note that the first reactionary conservatives in the United States were the royalists who preferred to top-heavy social structure of the monarchy to the wild and open society created by the US Founders.

I hate using the word "conservative" because it immediately begs the question which version of conservatism. The first conservatives in America were the royalists who fought against the US Founders.

In the left/right split that dominates American politics came from the French Revolution.

The conservative on the right sought to preserve the social structure of the ancient regime while the radical left sought a radical change in the social order.

In my opinion both the left and right of the French Revolution were rogues.

Back to the intellectual history.

It just so happens that the Kings of England were German. The Hanoverian Kings of England funded the German University System. The German University System became the incubator for a new radical philosophy.

The goal of the reactionary movement funded by the Kings of England in the German University System was to reframe the top-heavy social structure of the monarchy as modern and progressive.

It is not just happenstance that German philosophers put Europe on the road to serfdom. They were paid by the kings to reframe the monarchy as progressive.

Hegel (1770-1831) provides the best example of this modern reactionary thinking.

In response to classical liberal use of logic to justify liberty, Hegel created a paradox riddled modern logic in which freedom was slavery and slavery freedom.

To revive the ideals of the Divine Right of Kings, Hegel created a new philosophy of history. The philosophy of history presented a fantastical conflict driven version of history in which the German State (and its German monarchs) were destined to rise as central players on the world stage.

Hegel's Philosophy of History was essentially creating a new race-based religion with the Aryan race as the master race.

Hegel was hugely popular in the United States. During the early 1800s, people were hungry for the exciting new modern philosophies from Europe.

The defenders of slavery in the South relished Hegel's arguments that freedom was slavery and slavery freedom. Others Hegelians pushed fantastical racial histories. In the United States, Hegelians made absurd claims like the idea that Blacks were descendants of Cain (justifying slavery). Others made claims that the Native Americans were the lost tribes of Israel (justifying the theft of their lands).

The first generation of Hegelians were trying to create a new world founded on a racially based version of history. The tradition created a radicalized racism.

The first generation of Hegelians sought to create radicalized versions of history and new radicalized religions. A left-leaning group came to be in the following generation. The Hegelian Left is often called Young Hegelians.

A young Hegelians named Ludwig Andreas von Feuerbach (1804-1872) realized that one could use radicalized anti-religion in the same fashion as radicalized religion. Radicalized anti-religion is as much a faith as religion. Pursuing anti-religion, one creates a compelling world view.

Marx took this direction.

So, the Hegelian tradition includes both the creation of new religions and the creation anti-religions in the effort to re-establish the top-heavy social structure of the monarchy.

The US revolution occurred at the end of the Classical Era. The US founders were Christians with a classical education. They applied classical thought to the question of liberty and came up with a unique system that was different from philosophical thought in Europe.

In philosophy, the term "modern" refers to philosophies that developed in the wake of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) and Hegel (1770-1831). We are three centuries into the modern era.

Modern philosophies swept through the United States in the early 1800s. Modern philosophy created insipid versions of racism and nationalism.

Modern philosophy emphasizes conflict over creation. With modern philosophy, differences are magnified until they become irreconcilable. The founders hoped that reason could eventually overcome slavery. Modern philosophy, however, magnified the conflict creating Civil War.

IMHO, the problems we face today are the result of the ugly reactionary modern philosophies that emerged in Europe after the US revolution.

The problems actually started on the right. The first conservatives were royalists who sought to conserve the social structure of the monarchy; However, the problem became more entrenched and is more problematic on the left. Radicalized anti-religion is more destructive than radical religion.

The dialectical center is as corrupt as the radical left and reactionary right.

The problem the modern world faces is not just religion v. anti-religion. The problem the world faces comes form the new dialectical tradition that has come into vogue as reactionaries sought to reframe the monarchy as progressive.

The new philosophy seeks to change society through action and reaction. The problem comes at us from all sides. It comes in the form of radicalized religion and radicalized anti-religion.

The philosophy perpetuates itself through projection. The groups involved in the dialectical process tend to project the worst parts of their philosophy onto their enemies.

Karl Popper (the intellectual founder of Soros's Open Society movement) wrote a massive two tome work in which he projected all the faults of the modern era on his political enemies (the right). He failed to see that his own group suffers each and every one of the problems he addresses.

Glenn Beck saw the radicalization of the left. His reaction was to jump into the most radical religion he could find. Glenn Beck repeats the pattern of George Soros.

Now, unfortunately, we cannot overcome this system of radicalization simply by jumping into partisan groups or radicalized religion. In order to restore the American experiment in self-rule, people need to dig deeper and rediscover the classical liberal tradition that led the Founders in the revolution and their attempt to preserve their experiment in self rule with a Constitution.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Magic Clowns and Sock Puppets

Imagine that I told you I believe in Jesus.

You might approve and say my beliefs are well and good.

Now, imagine that I told you that Jesus was a magic clown who slept under my bed and told me to diddle little girls.

I hope you would be horrified.

Now, imagine that I took my beliefs a step further and said that Jesus was a sock puppet that I kept in the closet. Imagine that I claimed that authority to feed whatever words I desired into the mouth of the puppet, and that these words would be doctrine.

I hope that the reader will see that my feeding words into my sock puppet is counter to the Christian tradition.

What if I gathered a group of adherents who I duped into holding my word as the word of God. Are these people duped into serving my quest for power Christians? Does the fact that I have adherents make my heresies Christian doctrine?

I would hope not.

If the term "Christianity" includes any and everything ever said in the name of Christ, then the term is meaningless.

BTW: I've never bought into the idea that if a group incorporates the symbols "Jesus Christ" into their logo that their words become the definitive words of Christ. This is true even if the group has a tall building and huge marketing budget and repeats their message on prime time TV.

NOTE: People who lie, cheat and deceive exist in every aspect of life. You will find quacks in medicine, frauds in financing.. Millions of false claims have been made in the name of science. To avoid profanities, I do not even wish to mention where statistics fall in the scale of lying.

Traditionally, religion is supposed to encompass our highest thoughts.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Talking Points

In New Think there is a poisonous belief that one can create a new reality through a systematic framing of issues with talking points.

In the perverse world of politics, the talking points are the substance, while the substance is incidental.

The idea is strongest on the left (eg, Chomsky and Lakoff). It is also common on the Right. Notably, Bill O'Reilly calls his monologue the "Talking Point Memo." Fox News will often develop a common set of talking points through its 24 hour reporting cycle.

It is not surprising to see partisans matching the strategy of their enemy.

Come on. Fox News hires people from journalist schools where they are taught how to use talking points in propaganda. They then practice what they learned in school in their profession.

This is the way that it is supposed to work.

If we are upset with our vacuous political system, then we should blame the schools that trained journalists and political scientists to engage in this style of debate.

I watched Jay Carney (the White House Press Secretary) talk about the Benghazi Talking Points and felt sick at the sad state of discourse in America.

Some aspects of the debate are amusing. For example, the Obama Administration did not want to come out and attack the motives of the attackers in Benghazi by calling them "terrorists." However, much of Jay Carney's presentation was about attacking the motives of the whistle-blowers in the Benghazi case.

Anyway, one thing that is really intriguing about the debate is that the talking points are the focus of the debate.

Our politicians have been trained to put a great deal of weight into the talking points.

In the perverse world of politics, the talking points are the substance.

The fact that the Obama Adminstration was more engaged in spinning the talking points than in the substantive matter of protecting diplomats is a good sign that administration is off track.

Now, this method of partisan positioning has consequences.

I want to harken back to the health care debate. The health care debate followed the same pattern as the Benghazi attack.

The health care debate was driven by partisan positioning and talking points. The result of this process is that Congress ended up passing a horrific bill that neither the politicians nor the public understood.

If you waste time watching this Benghazi hearing, I ask that you pay attention to the underlying issue of talking points. Our ruling class has been trained to see the talking points as the substantive.

If all the talking points about the spinning of the talking points makes you want to scream; please do. After screaming, I hope question new think in which we are trained to value the spinning of talking points higher than true substantive debate..

Monday, May 06, 2013

The Root of All Evil

We've been indoctrinated to hate profit.

Profit simply means that one gets more out of something than put in. I say the indoctrination is wrong and that there is a moral imperative to seek profit.

We if choose to put a resource into production, the thing created from the resource should be greater than the resource.

The problems in the world do not result from people seeking profit. Problems result when people seek to dominate others. If I seek profit by dominating others, then I am effectively denying these others their ability to thrive.

If I were to profit by denying my neighbors the ability to profit, then my actions would create a net loss. 

Politics is the art of seeking advantage over others. Politicians love to push the theme that profit is the root of all evil because it deflects guilt from their profession.

The evils in the world result not from individuals seeking to optimize their resources, but by people who seek advantage over others (politics).

Lovers of freedom need to challenge the false claim that "money is the root of all evils." Money is simply a tool people use to quantify the costs of resources.

Politics is the true root of all evil. The evils in human society result for the desire to dominate others (politics).

So, while it is true that a people who seeks to profit from politics do great harm to society, the fault lies with means of gaining profit (politics) and not with profit itself.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

The Moral Imperative of Profit

We are trained in our left leaning schools to hate profit.

I know many people (most working  for the church or the state) who go all buggy-eyed whenever the term "profit" comes up in. [public schools and non-profits are part of a new secular church]

These people have developed some sort of delusion in which profit is the source of all evil.

It is the opposite is true.

Profit simply means that one gets more out of something than put in.

If a worker takes a lump of material, applies labor and turns the material into something of value; the worker has created profit.

In contrast, people who consume more than they produce create loss.

I contend that there is a moral imperative to create profit.
People should aspire to produce more than they consume.

In contrast, those who consume more than they produce are a burden on society.

The problem is not profit. The problem is that many people in the world seek power.

I've noticed through the years that the people who are most adamant in attacking profit are people who are seeking power either for themselves or for a partisan group that they support.

It is not uncommon for people who are committing social injustice to use the term "social justice" in a pathetic attempts to justify their grub for power.

More injustice is done in this world by self-annointed judges who seek to impose justice on their enemy than by any other group.

For example. Behind most genocides in history, you will find groups of people who made pretenses to social justice before committing acts of injustice.

Because man is imperfect, the human drive to impose justice is a leading cause of injustice.

The term "profit" simply means that the return from an investment was greater than the item invested.

I believe that there is a moral imperative to seek profit in our business actions. If we choose to chop down a tree, the thing we create from the wood should be greater than the tree; otherwise the action is waste.

Money is simply a tool that people use to quantify the costs associated with the investment of time and resources. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using money to help quantify decisions.

The evil in the world does not come from the process of rationally investing resources so that the return on the resources invested is greater than the resources invested.

Evil in the world is more likely to come in the form of power-mongers who seek to deny their fellow man their proper share of the profits created through our actions.

In conclusion, I beseech the reader to seek profit in their life. Profit means producing more than one consumes. Profit means that you've done more good for the world than harm.

I also admonish the reader to be skeptical of the pundits who denounce profit in the name of social justice.

Those who seek to impose social justice on their enemies are often motivated by a desire for power and are prone to bring the world more injustice than good.

Profit is not the root of all evil. The Root of All Evil Is ...