A patriarch protects his daughter

This. Patriarchy principles at their finest. Some see this oppression but those people are already lost so who cares what they say. It is a father’s role to protect his children and guide them to what is good. A wise father does not leave his daughter at the whim of her hormones to please those that care nothing for her for a temporary time until she is used up. If you see this as over controlling too bad that type of perspective is what has led our society off the moral cliff and dangerously close to a major societal reshaping. If a father does help his daughter build a strong character and screen out undesirable men from his young daughters life who will?

Life is full of choices and tradeoffs deciding to take one road may very well close off others that we would also like to have. If I never went to medical school I won’t be a legit doctor by the time I am 30. If bearing children is not a priority early in life that is each persons choice but choices have repercussions that must be accepted and factored in when making a decision. The myth that a woman can have her cake and eat it to is usually just that a myth.

Good fathers want the best for their daughters and want to protect them against what is ugly in society. This means speaking the truth and letting them know that even if society promotes this type of behavior it is not ok and not in their long term best interests. Our daughters need fatherly guidance and wisdom.

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Seth Macfarlane was funny at the Oscars

OscarsSeth Macfarlane is hilarious, edgy and willing to make fun of any group no matter how incorrect said group may think it is to make fun of them. He makes fun of himself too so he is not one of those tools who can sling mud but cries when it comes back in his direction. Anyone who has seen his shows or performances in the comedy central roasts knows this to be true. The Academy knew what they were getting when they signed him up unless somebody seriously ignored ever fact out there about him. All of the humorless twitter critics and blog detractors crying that he was over the line are complete and utter whiny babies. It is his art and what the academy signed up for when they signed him on the dotted line to be host master. They got what they paid for and should have expected if they would have done any research at all. Maybe what the Academy sought most was attention, Mission Accomplished…

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How to deal with a police stop

policestateThe police state continues to expand at alarming rates so it is important to know how you should respond when you find yourself dealing with the law. Here is some quality advice on what to do when you get pulled over by the police. My goal in this type of situation is to give myself the best chance to get a pass on whatever fine I might have coming my way by being respectful and making the cops job as easy as possible. This article provides that same type of philosophy and gives good tips on how to achieve that by putting the officer at ease and being polite throughout the stop. At the same time I am unwilling to submit to unlawful fishing expeditions hoping to find something unrelated to the stop. Refusing these type of searches is your duty as a lover of liberty. Make them get a warrant or be on your way. If you are harassed unlawfully take names and take to social media or the old school local newspaper to communicate the facts naming names along the way. Police have a job to do but you have a duty to preserve your liberty.

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Suffering fools not so gladly

Suffering Fools Not So Gladly

One of the things that annoys me about many of the blogs I read is that they often give excessive attention to fools and the garbage ideas they support. These blogs are high quality and are developing awesome content but they often cite fools and individuals responsible for our societal decay feeding the ego beast in the process. Do these individuals with bad ideas and black souls deserve all the attention? Attention that only serves to feed their egos, grow their audience and influence and give incentive to create the next generation of loud idiots with bad ideas? Attention is the opiate of choice for the attention seeking idiot.

Useful content and big ideas have stand alone power. They are no more convincing when sandwiched in between a fool’s perspective. We do ourselves a disservice by excessively mentioning famous idiots with bad ideas (especially those in the liberal man hating sector of society). Deny attention seekers their power source and their influence diminishes because many of them are in it for the notoriety and the potential financial windfall that could go with that.

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How to minimize financial damage if hyperinflation happens

moneypyramidsWe all manage our own personal finances and are forced to make sure the numbers add up. Spending more than we make on a regular basis is not a sustainable way for us to live as individuals so why would it work for governments? The US and a lot of the rest of the world are operating at unstable debt levels by manipulating the system borrowing more and more money at artificially manipulated low rates. This system has many implications primarily passing an unsustainable debt load on future generations to pay for those living today. But what happens if the cheap financing situation ends and China and other creditors start raising our rates to reflect the true risk picture on our ability to pay back what we are attempting to borrow. Minor changes to our interest rates have major implications to our ability to service the debt and keep the bubble going. The most likely method to pay back what we are borrowing in this type of situation would be to continue to print more dollars reducing their value and causing mass inflation in the process. I expect this scenario to play out at some point but probably not for at least a few years. While in the library with my kids I picked up two investing books that predict this type of scenario and offer advice on how to preserve your wealth if it does materialize.

Inflation Proof Your Portfolio: How to Protect Your Money from the Coming Government Hyperinflation (kindle version)

The author makes a strong case for future hyperinflation and a massively lower value of the US dollar based on unsustainable government spending and the eventual need to inflate the currency to pay the debt back with a dollar worth significantly less than it is today. Here are some tips I picked up from reading the book:

  • The author likes gold for stability and a store of value vs. inflation but acknowledges anyone just buying gold now is late to the party. Gold has had a huge run up but in times of hyperinflation people will reach for stability so buy gold on dips especially if you do not have any.
  • Silver is undervalued relative to its historical ratios to gold and looks to be a real good investment over the next 5 years. Load up on your silver.
  • If you own a home and are still not locked into a low fixed rate mortgage stop gambling and do so now rates will have to eventually go up.
  • Oil, farmland, food stocks, and gold mining stocks are good plays in this type of scenario. Farmland has had a big run up similar to gold but opportunities in other countries are attractive especially in South America.
  • Some people think 401k seizure is a big risk but the real way the government would seize your 401k is through massive inflation not outright theft.
  • Stay out of debt and invest wisely based on the long term trend. No one will be able to time it perfectly but invest according to the trend in incremental phases.

After Shock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown (kindle)

The collective authors of this work are even more pessimistic than the first book mentioned above. They credit themselves with calling the housing bubble and think that this next bubble to come will be the bubble to end all bubbles (called bubblequake) . The reason for this is they predict several bubbles will pop at once including:

  • The government debt bubble
  • The dollar bubble
  • Real estate bubble (they think even now real estate is drastically overvalued)
  • Stock market bubble (strong arguments made that only Fed action and QE programs are keeping the market going)
  • Discretionary spending bubble
  • Student debt bubble

To preserve your wealth in this type of scenario they recommend getting out of the stock market, bonds (especially long durations), and real estate. The authors do not see China or other parts of the world as a big refuge either, they view them as connected to the broader bubble and no source of refuge when things go belly up. Instead keep your money very liquid and go with strong proven commodities such as gold and silver (they recommend physical ownership for at least a percentage of the holdings). Lastly, get out of adjustable rate debt as fast as possible, reduce your spending and stay in your job a little longer to build an extra safety net to weather the impending hard times.

I have to admit reading these books can get you worked up and potentially caught up in the fear if you do not have a plan. It is important to read them with a level head and remember no one can predict the future even if the long term scenarios presented are logical. I was tempted to get out of equities quickly after reading this but kept a balanced portfolio approach. If I would have reacted on emotion I would have missed January’s big run up but I am increasing my percentage of precious metals incrementally since I had no exposure to them before. I do sense unwarranted euphoria on Wall Street based on the recent performance so I am looking to get more liquid in stages. Happy and strategic investing in 2013!

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Interesting blog posts of January 2013

It may be time to give my RSS reader a hair cut, catching up on all of the quality reading is starting to be impossible. Just goes to show what kind of talent is routinely putting out must read posts. Here are some quality posts that caused me to read all the way to the end and beyond. Since I owe a debt of gratitude for all the info I acquire from it, I start with the death of RSS co-creator Aaron Swartz’ death A crusader who didn’t fully appreciate the desire of those in power to maintain the status quo and squash those that seek to upend the system. Deep lessons in here not the type of hope and change he signed on for.

I am a recent subscriber to the thewomanandthedragon blog and this post is pure quality. It is a woman’s responsibility to make sure that she is attracted to the man she chooses to marry. He is not responsible for her past and any indiscretions that may hurt her ability to pair bond with her husband. I especially love the blunt wisdom that even if she was not a Christian when these acts occurred it is her responsibility to atone for her past not his. The comments in this post are really deep too, a must read. Pastors that con unsuspecting dopes to man up in this type of situation are an embarrassment and will be held accountable.

Powerful article on gun control and where the real gun violence is happening. Making certain guns illegal will be no more successful than the whole farce of a war on drugs. Criminals find a way to break the law that is what makes them criminals. Will China care if we ban them when or black markets eagerly absorb supply?

A mom who gets what her son is up against. I think she would be able to do a beer summit and wax poetic with on some wise advice..

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Does it take a lot to please you?

bikeguyI was in the middle of having a quality father son day yesterday and we were running around creation doing errands and having some fun in between. Lots of junk food and hustle and bustle had me in that focused zone where you don’t slow down to appreciate the moment you are just working to get it done. A lot of us spend too much of our lives that way always in a hurry to the next hurry without fulling savoring the good times in the moment as they are occurring. Just as we were about to get into our car after the last stop I heard a voice call out. My first reaction has become to stay in the tunnel and not look up. After all its probably someone wanting something and I am spent after running around most of the day.

I decide to look up and see who is calling out and it is a 40ish age California looking hippy on a bike asking for 35 cents. Intrigued that he only asked for 35 cents when most would ask for money in general or a much higher amount I looked him in the eyes. Even though he was in need joy reflected back he reminded me of my son asking for ice cream money when he hears the siren in then neighborhood. I reached into my change holder and gave him 75 cents and he lit up like he won the lottery. He was very appreciative and joyfully rode off, his reaction left me wishing I gave more. Whether he was going off to get medicine, food or a beer it really doesn’t matter to me. Seeing someone so joyful over 75 cents was a good reminder that it is often the simple things in life that make us happy and once we reach a certain standard of living its just an endless quest for more. When I got back home I cracked a beer and a smile and hoped he might be doing the same.

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The power of creating

One of the traits that I am working to instill in my kids is the power of creating things. It could be art, building something, becoming better at a sport, developing a skill or actively learning something new from a book or hands on experimentation. What they create does not matter as much as the fact that they are becoming part of the creative process. Creation brings out the best in us because it makes us actively involved in what we are doing and builds useful skills in the process. Creating is paramount to developing yourself as a person and making yourself more capable today than you were yesterday.

Contrast the active engaging power you feel when you are in the creative process vs. the process of being a consumer. When you passively consume something someone else has created the experience is very different from the process of creation. We become passive and start to lack motivation. Life becomes a little too easy and we stop challenging ourselves. We become satisfied with the status quo and the personal growth starts to stagnate. It is all too easy to fall into that rut especially if you have been putting in long days at work and feel drained at the end of the day. Fight through it and create anyway it will make you feel like a kid again.

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Reflections on a wise father’s advice

I have been reading with interest the comment’s in response to my post 20 Things a Mother should tell her son – A Wise Father’s Rebuttal First thing you may notice is that I do not censor the critical comments because I enjoy seeing opposite perspectives and the open dialogue/debate around ideas and do not take easily take offense. I am not vested in these ideas being right but they are based on pragmatic observation of how life works, the current dynamic between the sexes that exists today and what men need to do not to end up roadkill in that scenario. The comments from men support the basic philosophy because they have observed many of these same dynamics at play and have adjusted accordingly. Pragmatism is doing what works even if you wished it didn’t work that way. I will advise my son that he has a duty to protect his own interests this is not selfishness but a smart approach to dealing with the world he has to live in. A practicing Christian should at most have difficulties with recommendation #2 and it presents quite a dilemma for that traditional position. It basically forces the decision between a life a celibacy, hitting the proverbial lucky lottery by finding a loyal virgin wife, or making adjustments based on the times we live in.

I recognize that women are not going to interpret this advice based on how it will profit a son but instead with a woman’s perspective on how would this affect her if implemented. Some other comments:

There is some truth to this; however I’m sorry you couldn’t think up this stuff on your own. It seems very competitive.

This was my favorite comment. I admit that a lot of the philosophy for the 20 points was a collection of various sources but the compilation was original and a fair rebuttal to the original post.

Women regularly initiate divorce for no other reason other than a lack of happiness?’ Really?
Due to the high cost of divorce in terms of financial loss, abandonment by friends and family, having to do most of the emotional damage control for the children, and being treated like a pariah by the ‘stable citizens of society’, do you really think that most woman would do this on the basis of a “Oh SIGH – I just don’t feel very fulfilled” mentality? How about resentment at it’s limit after years of verbal, mental, or physical abuse/thoughtless behaviour/simple infantile neglect of the relationship and the piece de resistance, having an affair because a man hasn’t got the backbone to face the issues with his wife, open his heart to her, and have the courage to try and save his marriage.

This commenter sounds like they may have more traditional grounds for divorce such as adultery or legitimate physical abuse but the prevalence of no fault divorce filings and real life observation leads me to conclude that whimsical divorce is on the rise and that the well being of the children is rarely considered by the women who initiate frivolous no fault divorce.

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House of Cards Book Review

Man for the Ages Book Review #2

Book: House of Cards

Author: William D. Cohan

Why I choose this book?
Wall Street fascinates me and the global credit crisis events were the most perilous too our economy and well being since the Great Depression so I wanted to get a deeper understanding of the events and people involved.

Summary:
This book was long but one of those books that you can’t put down until your done. The author did a great job of bringing out the personalities involved with the crisis and giving the lowdown on Bear Stearns, the culture of the company and the key players who ran the show there. Bear Sterns had a rich financial history but got done in due to arrogance, over-leveraging, and a bet the shop on sub prime mortgages strategy.

Personal Lessons I learned from reading the book:

  • Leverage is powerful and can make or break you from a net wealth perspective. This is not a new observation but was reinforced as the major takeaway from the book.
  • Finance 101 but duration needs to match funding timing horizons. Bear Stearns was heavily reliant on day to day rolling financing that was never a problem until it was. Reputation/confidence is essential in this line of work and once the sharks smell blood in the water and there is even a hint that you are in trouble it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. It ties back to the wisdom that people will always lend you money until you really need it and then the funding dries up.
  • Never listen to Jim Cramer he is an ass clown who recommended Bear Stearns on a dip and is rarely correct. Props to him for getting rich on his sideshow but if you listen to him for investment advice you deserve what you get
  • Acting arrogant and going against the status quo can come back to bite you big time. Bear refused to participate in the bailout of Long Term Capital Management when the rest of Wall Street participated. This along with their arrogant attitude labelled them as outsiders which helped them thrive up to the time when they needed help. That help was no where to be found and they were not invited to the big decisions because they had neglected politics a game that Goldman Sachs and others had perfected.
  • Bear Stearns went from a market value of billions to being worth $2 a share in a few weeks. They would have been acquired for that very price if a legal screw up did not force their acquirers to up their ante to $10 per share. The mighty can fall quick but lawyers will make money either way even if they screw up.

Other Topics I want to learn more about after reading this book

  • Was planning to subscribe to Bennett Sedacca’s blog since he was credited as predicting the Lehman/Bear Sterns problems ahead of time. In doing so I learned he died at the young age of 49 due to a fall related brain injury. Just a little suspicious..
  • Going to read a book about Goldman Sachs these guys run things and have the political connections which result in real lasting clout.
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