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Updated: 2018-01-17T14:20:29.210-07:00

 



How Does One Create Value?

2017-12-25T17:20:46.438-07:00

This Christmas morning I woke up asking myself the abstract question: "How does one create things of value?"

Millions of people engaged in gift swapping this morning. I suspect that very few of the gifts will have any enduring value. Memories created at Christmas might endure, but in our hectic world even that is questionable these days.

I actually ask this particular question thousands of times. Whenever I am working on a job, I ask myself multiple times if the work I am creating is of value to the customers.

When I create web sites and blog posts I ask if I am engaged in an activity that is creating something of value.

Most blog posts are just mindless punditry. IMHO, mindless punditry not only is a waste of time. Many people engaged in punditry do little more than create or amplify division. The creation of division is a net negative.

The current project I am working on focuses on the question about how one creates value and how one measures that value.

I decided to put off details about the project until after Christmas. For today, I simply wish to wish to throw these two questions to the wind:

  • How does one create value?
  • and how do we know if the things we are doing are creating value?

Merry Christmas All!

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Code Name: Investor's Museum

2017-12-21T23:24:51.655-07:00

I confess. The projects I've worked on haven't worked out very well.

Perhaps the ideas are too grand.

So I decided to try a new idea. This is an idea that can fit in a room or that can line a blank wall in a hotel.

The purpose of the idea is to raise awareness of the importance of ownership. I've given the project the working title of an "Investor's Museum."

The goal is to create a museum filled with interesting items. The items in the investor's museum are owned by people in the community and entrusted to the museum.

Imagine a room filled with interesting objects such as paintings, antique furniture, collectibles, historical artifacts and other items of interest. Each item would have a number and a QR code. Taking a picture of the QR code loads a page about the item. The page would have a description of the item, an appraisal value. The page would also include software that allows patrons to bid on the items. The bidding contract restricts the buyer from taking the item out of the museum. The buyer will place a new price on the item.

The investor's museum is a game. The museum creates a market where people can buy and sell art pieces in a controlled setting.

The information about the different items would be displayed on web pages. These pages should become a valuable reference tool for people who buy and sell antiques as the pages would give some clue as to how the price of artworks vary with time.

This particular project can be implemented without substantial cost. To get the program going, one would need a room in a shopping mall or shopping center. There is a great amount of vacated retail space on the market right now.

The items for the museum would come from the thousands of people who have interesting items in their attics and garages that they would be willing to sell for a good price.

The basic program for the web pages and bidding process is easy to write. The software that handles the money would be difficult.

I am not going into the full details of what the project is doing. The basic idea that I want to put forward in this first post is that the investor's museum would be a privately held museum. The items in the museum would be owned by the public at large. Each of the items would have appraisal and pricing information so that people can learn how the prices of antiques and artworks vary with time.

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Why I Stopped Blogging. BTW the Tax Reform Bill is Lame

2017-12-21T18:36:43.973-07:00

I've been writing blog posts. I've just stopped posting them.

People have become shrill. People don't seem interested in engaging in substantive debate. It is all about attacking enemies and diverting attention for the flaws of one's friends.

Anyway, the Trump administration is pretty much going as I feared. The left has gone berserk. To make things worse. The Trump Administration has not created any substantive legislation.

The GOP passed a tax reform bill, but the bill doesn't take the steps necessary to restore the small business sector of our economy.

It is better than nothing, but not much better.

The GOP's tax plan is a basic effort to flatten a tax. The mathematics of a flat tax is compelling. A flat tax reduces deductions allowing the government to lower the over all tax rate.

Deductions are created by powerful groups. A flat tax reduces the deductions used by powerful groups to maintain their wealth.

The problem with a flat tax is that powerful forces that created the deductions still exist. These groups will slowly weasel their way back into power and will recreate the jagged tax structure.

Tax flattening is only a temporary fix.

The GOP's tax reform is only a temporary fix.

I would love to go into a dissertation about how we could fix taxes and health care in ways that would lead to substantive changes in our society. Such a dissertation would involve a substantive debate about taxation and money. I fear that people in the conservative movement aren't up to such a discussion.

Anyway, I decided last night to work on a less substantive issue which I will announce in the next blog post.

(image)



Amazon's Next Battleground is Your Local Community

2017-11-29T16:59:25.843-07:00

The New York Post put out an article claiming that Amazon controls 44% of online sales. This is up from 38% in 2016.

Amazon is currently in the process of rolling out a nationwide distribution network and its own local delivery services.

I predict that this change will completely change the face both online and local marketing.

The change is forcing online marketers to examine their distribution channels and local merchants are suddenly in direct competition with the Internet jaugernaut.

Personally, I think this change will be good. It will force marketers and business leaders to start thinking about their local communities.

I should introduce myself. I created a thing called Community Color specifically so that I can follow the interaction between local communities and the internet at large.

The public site is a basic directory. However, I have been examining distribution chains and the over all effect of the Internet on communities.

Things have actually been bleak in the last few decades. Marketers have developed a tunnel vision where they see nothing but the internet. The local business communities have been falling apart.

Once vibrant towns are now simply rows of empty store fronts.

A huge number of malls have failed as well. There is a online community of "retail archeologists" who troll through failed malls photographing all the empty stalls.

Amazon is going to continue to dominate internet sales. I contend that the best hope of independent merchants hoping to survive the next wave of Amazon dominance is for merchants to step back from their computer screens and look at the towns in which they live.

Interestingly , the only company I see that understands the threat Amazon local poses is Walmart. Walmart realizes that the real competition in the market is about distribution. They have started putting up little convenient pick up stations that let people order online and pick up locally.

(image)

As Amazon and Walmart turn their focus to their nationwide distribution channels, other merchants need to follow suit. Hopefully, this new focus on penetrating local markets will help curb the decline taking place in too many local communities.

(image)



An example of organic affiliate marketing

2017-11-19T09:56:49.279-07:00

Affiliate marketing is a mechanism that individuals can use to fund their web site.

During the Obama Administration, the FTC set out to destroy the affiliate marketing by requiring that web designers put a huge yellow block next to all affiliate link telling people not to click on the link.

The FTC's assumption is that affiliate marketing is just about money.

Guess what?

It isn't.

Affiliation is about relations between web sites.

There is a fun free site called ArtWanted.com. This site lets amateur artists share their work in a supportive environment. You can upload your creation and you will receive supportive comments along with advice from other artists.

ArtWanted has an affiliate program.

This is a free site. The chance of getting paid is next to nothing.

I joined the program and got the affiliate id so that the creators of the site can track inbound traffic. I've sent Artwanted about 50,000 hits. I like that I can log in and see that traffic. I really do not expect to receive compensation for the effort.

The FTC requires that I put a huge warning when I link to the program because their is a very remote possibility that I might make money.

But that's not what I am doing in this case. I simply wanted to track clicks. Here is the FTC Warning:
src="http://prog.communitycolor.com/ftc.php?m=494" width="100%">FTC Warning(image)



Another Day Wasted on FTC Compliance

2017-11-19T09:17:52.803-07:00

The FTC is one of those evil deep state entities that you hear about on right wing news stations.

During the Obama Administration, the FTC set out to destroy the affiliate industry by requiring that web sites put a huge warning next to all affiliate links warning the public that the link is an affiliate link.

The FTC warning is supposed to be bold and preferably has a yellow background. It is supposed to be positioned before the link occurs.

I am breaking the law. I put the FTC warning in the middle of the page. To limit the size of the FTC block, I use as font that is a step smaller than the main font.

I showed a page with my FTC warning.

Predictably, the person did not want to click on the link. This is predictable. There is a huge FTC warning telling the person not to click on the link.

The user typed the name of the business into the address bar. This brought up the google search page. The person then clicked on the Google ad for the merchant.

Because I am required to put an ugly FTC warning on my page, the traffic that I am generating is being credited to Google.

So, what I did yesterday is I updated the code for my FTC warning to include the direct URL for the merchant.

This way if a reader is horrified by the possibly that I might possibly benefit from a web page that I created, then they can click on the direct link. This will cut my site out of the commission chain.

This change took a full day to implement as I had to make sure I had the correct URL for the 400 affiliates that I currently list. It took all day to check 400 urls.

Here is the current FTC warning design. A site called Artwanted has an affiliate program. This is my affiliate link www.ArtWanted.com/?RID=10452 . The RID is a unique identifier for me. My FTC Warning has a link with out the id.

If you are a progressive and are incensed at the possibility that I might receive a financial return for creating a web page; you can indignantly click on the tag free link in the FTC warning. How cool is that?

src="http://prog.communitycolor.com/ftc.php?m=494" width="100%">FTC Warning(image)



FTC Requirement

2017-11-18T00:23:50.448-07:00

I've been reworking the FTC disclosures for affiliate links on my web sites. This has me feeling extremely depressed. The FTC disclaimer is a contrivance of the Obama Administration. The FTC Warning is supposed to be a big bold design element that goes at the top of any page with an affiliate link. The purpose of the FTC disclaimer discourage readers from reading the page or clicking link. The FTC site says the disclaimer must be in bold type with a yellow background to make it stand out. The fact that my government requires crap like this makes me sick. The FTC treats small merchants and independent web designers like criminals for trying to figure out ways to make independent web design profitable. Personally, I think that the affiliate paradigm has the potential to be the most honest form of advertising. This can be proven by looking at numbers. In 2009 there were tens of thousands of merchants offering a variety of products. One could find millions of things to sell in this market. People authentically engaged in this market look for the best bargains from the most reliable partners. In contrast lets look at an employee of a firm or an advertiser hired directly by a merchant. A person who is dependent on a single source is actually more likely to lie for that source. Don't you see the math? A person who is choosing between thousands of products from hundreds of sources is more likely to be honest when writing reviews than people who are hired directly to write ad copy for a single product. There is a great deal of dishonesty in the affiliate world. This dishonesty takes place a systemic level. For example, AdWare companies make programs which switch affiliate ids. SEO companies work to manipulate search engine results. Some affiliate networks engage in underhanded practices. The FTC requirements only affect the people who are engaged in above board affiliate marketing. The FTC regulations are treating the honest people in the industry like crooks while letting those engaged in systematic manipulation of the market run rampant with no checks. Anyway, since I am engaged in white hat marketing, I've been trying to follow the stupid FTC guidelines even though the guidelines dramatically undermine my business. So, the FTC guidelines say that I am supposed to put a huge FTC Warning on any page with an affiliate link. The code for my site would place an FTC warning in plain text. The problem with this design is that it has me repeating the same words on every page. To keep from repeating the same content, I decided to put the warning in an iframe. The problem with an iframe is that the iframe tag does scale correctly in all web browser. Below is my FTC warning in an iframe. I decided to break the rules. I am making the text of the warning one step smaller than the main page. src="http://prog.communitycolor.com/ftc.php" width="100%">FTC Warning The disclaimer warns people that the page has dangerous affiliate links that they should avoid using. It also tells them how to visit the site without triggering an affiliate id. A lot of people think that using a search engine engine instead of a link is safe. This just means that Google is credited with any sales while small sites get cut out. When I first first placed the FTC warning on my site, I saw an immediate 40% drop in income and I lost a huge portion of my web traffic because people felt that any web site bearing such a stern warning must be evil. The progressives I know would agree with FTC. Progressive hold that any attempt to fund web development through ecommerce is an act of evil. That I saw a forty percent drop in sales because of the FTC requirements just proves that I was misleading the public by making a web site with affiliate ads. [...]



Statues of Dead Democrats

2017-08-16T21:58:59.138-06:00

A century ago, Democrats erected several hundred statues of Confederate soldiers. Democrats also passed silly Jim Crow laws in an effort to hold minorities down.

Today we find Democrats forming angry mobs to tear down the statues.

Personally, I consider defacing public art on par with burning books. It is a distasteful act. I do make exception for public art that was intentionally designed to oppress people.

I would cheer the tearing down of Nazi art after WWII and the removal of public art after the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Removing the propaganda art of an oppressive regime is part of the healing that needs to take place.

The current wave of tearing down Confederate statues appears to be targeted at President Trump. This group Antifa seems to be actually engaged in intimidation. I linked a video made at one of the art destruction event. The MSM described this as a "peaceful demonstration." These people seem quiet angry. They kick the statue, spit on it and make obscene gestures.

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5uZXKOdTjQE" width="560">(image)



The Left/Right Split is the Problem

2017-08-14T11:12:54.869-06:00

The Left/Right Split was created by the enemies of liberty.The left reaches its ultimate expression with communism. The right reaches its ultimate expression with fascism.The fight that broke out in Charlottesville over the weekend was simply a clash between the ultimate expression of the left and right.The proof that Conservatism was created by enemies is straight forward: The ideology of Conservatism was created in the 1830s when the Tory Party changed its name. Conservatives in England still call themselves Tories. The name "conservative" comes from efforts to restore the monarchy after the French Revolution.The evolution of progressivism is contorted. Essentially, the monarchy funded the universities. The monarchy charged the universities with creating an ideology that framed the state as the engine of progress.The weird twist is this: The Kings of England were German. The Hanoverian Kings of England (King George I, II and III) were from Hanover, Germany. The Kings of England directly funded and constructed universities in Germany.The most radical left wing thought was written in German, then translated back into English. Hegel and Marx were creating a philosophy that would restore monarchist rule.Both the left and right came from the same source:The statement I am trying to make becomes clear if you ask the following question:Imagine that you were an extremely powerful king and you needed to control a nation that was demanding the right to vote.The easiest way to control the people is to create a false dichotomy in which you controlled both sides of the debate.The people would battle each other and get really angry, but the central authority will always win in the end. It is easy to do once you know how.This is exactly what we have going on in our nation at the moment: The two sides of the left/right split are becoming increasingly shrill. Both sides of the debate lead to a top-down society.This is clearly seen in the health care debate. PPACA (aka ObamaCare) was based on a plan from the Heritage Foundation and first enacted by Mitt Romney. The GOP campaigned for seven years that they would "Repeal and Replace" Obamacare. We find out that the replacement was just a watered down version of PPACA. We had seven years of a shrill non-debate that set neighbor against neighbor. At the end of the non-debate, the GOP leadership simply sought to replace ObamaCare with ObamaCare-lite.Both sides of the debate lead to the same end. Yet we see people becoming even more shrill.There was a street fight between the Alt-Right and Antifa in Charlottesville over statues to the Confederacy.I need to come back to my statement that the left/right split was created by the enemies of liberty.The party system that controls our government was not mentioned in the Constitution. For that matter, "The Federalist Papers" (which explored the arguments of the Constitution in detail) waxed philosophic against the evils of factions (aka political parties). Madison clearly saw factions (the party system) as one of the greatest threats to freedom.The left/right split which dominates political discourse was made by enemies of liberty. The ultimate expression of both sides of the debate is a totalitarian state.The left/right split leads to mindless conflict as we saw in the brawl between Alt-Right and Antifa in Charlottesville.We have to find a better way.I believe that we could find a better way if we did something radical. For example, it would be great if people took off their partisan filters and talked about health care.[...]



Reducing Benefits Does Not Reduce Costs

2017-07-14T15:36:04.812-06:00

Watching the GOP bungle the health care has been a painful experience.

As I suspected, Trump's trumpeted "Repeal and Replace" legislation is nothing more than ObamaCare with fewer benefits.

Reducing benefits might lower premiums, but it does not actually lower costs. Reducing benefits has no effect on the price of the benefits continue to receive. It simply means that people receive fewer benefits.

Health care providers are notorious about shifting costs. Imagine a hospital that provides service A and B and that TrumpCare no longer provides coverage for service B. The hospital is likely to shift costs from service B to service A increasing the cost of service A.

Trumpcare increases the tax deduction for Health Savings Accounts. The health savings accounts do not restore the free market. The HSA is simply a tax credit for the upper middle class. It does absolutely nothing to help provide health care for the people who actually need care.

TrumpCare is nothing more than ObamaCare-lite.

What is likely to happen politically is that the party-line vote on TrumpCare will create a situation where the GOP now owns the failing ObamaCare system. The Democratic Party is likely to begin campaigning on Medicare for All (or whatever euphemism they come up with for national health care). Because the GOP sold its soul to pass TrumpCare, the Socialists will win and put the final nail into the American dream of a free society.

Sadly, there is verily little that anyone can do.

Those who try to stand up for actual free market reform will just be lumped in with the Trump bashers and their voices will be silenced.

Watching conservatives systematically destroy the opportunity for free market health care reform has been disenchanting. The conservative movement and the GOP have failed the American People.

Donald Trump's plan of curbing insurance premiums by reducing benefits might temporarily stabilize markets. The plan does not reduce prices. It simply reduces the care people receive. The plan does not provide a path toward a better future.(image)



A New Project - Tiny Houses for All

2017-05-22T12:09:48.668-06:00

In recent years, progressives have been pushing a really exciting new idea called "The Tiny House." The ideal tiny house is built from reclaimed materials (like all of those used shipping containers that come from China and sit around empty in American shipping yards ... because Americans no longer make anything).

One can place 6 tiny houses on the footprint of a standard bourgeois American house. The problem is the design of many tiny houses have chassis's so that the owners can move them around.

Sorry, but the act of moving a tiny house from place to place consumes fossil fuels. Fossil fuels which release greenhouse gases that cause global warming. So, while the tiny house movement is progressing our society in the left direction, I do not see it as a long term sustainable solution.

The biggest problem with tiny houses ... and this is something that every progressive American should think about. Is that tiny houses are owned by individuals. Individual ownership of housing weakens our collective identity impedes the progress toward a utopian future.

I am thinking that, for our society to progress to a higher level, we need to look beyond tiny houses toward an even greener and more sustainable future.

I am thinking of starting an even greener movement than the tiny house movement.

I will call this new movement ...

... drum role please ...

A tiny apartment.

A tiny apartment is a living space for a family of four in a container that is a little smaller than a studio apartment.

Again, I think it is great that we are building our tiny houses from those shipping containers that come from China, but, unfortunately, these containers have the same unsustainable characteristics of bourgeois housing: The containers have six sides.

My new tiny apartment idea will have structures that are twenty units wide and eight units high stacked back to back. One tiny apartment complex could have 160 units. If each unit held a family of 4, we could stuff 640 people in just one of these tiny apartment buildings.

The beauty of stacking the tiny apartments side by side is that the tiny apartments can have communal walls.

To emphasize the progressive nature of the tiny apartment, I was thinking we could give these projects a progressive name like Tenement to emphasize that the people in the projects are tenants not owners.

I just realized that there is a design flaw.

As a dedicated progressive, I believe that people must be regulated. Stacking up rectangular shipping crates means that some of the people in the tenements will have a side windows. That is not tolerable. To create a communal paradise, people must be regulated.

If only we had more communal ownership and greater regulation; we could progress society to perfection!

Anyway I am busily working on plans for your children's future. It involves housing everyone in deeply stacked tiny apartments in buildings called tenements in planned societies called "The Projects."

It's going to be great, I tell you. It is going to be great.

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Fat to CO2

2017-05-15T19:12:12.598-06:00

A disturbing Science Alert reports that over 80% of the mass of fat cells burned off by exercising is released through the lungs as Carbon Dioxide.

Carbon Dioxide is a green house.

A green house gas that can lead to Global Warming!!!

In light of this discover, I say we slap an 8.6 billion dollar tax on the dieting industry

... and we should make fun of skinny people because they obviously are releasing more than their fair share of green house gases.

(Note, I've been trained by the media to feel outrage whenever I hear the words "carbon dioxide." I've been conditioned to demand more taxes when I hear the words "global warming." Actually the article is interesting. The article simple asks: where does the weight go when people diet and exercise?)(image)



The Ryan Plan is Conservatism in Action

2017-05-05T14:58:12.150-06:00

Some people are upset that the GOP health care bill isn't "conservative" enough.

I am distraught because the bill actually is falling in line with classical "conservative" thought.

One can't use a charged term like "conservative" without defining it.

What is Conservatism?

That answer is obvious. Conservatism is the ideology of the Conservative Party.

The Conservative Party was created by King William IV in an effort to rebrand the Tory Party for electoral reforms of the 1830s. 180 years after the creation of the Conservative Party, Conservatives continue to call themselves "Tories."

The Tories, as you may recall from American History, were the people who fought against the US Founders during the Revolutionary War.

People who stand on the street corner are proudly declaring allegiance to an ideology that stretches back to the Revolutiony War. They are aligned with the people who fought against the US Founders!!!!!!!!

The goal of the Conservative Party was to conserve the social structure of the angient regime. The game is simple. One claims to support free markets to gain power, then one passes laws that favor the upper class to lower classes once in power.

Trump's health care reform law fits perfectly with Conservatism as King William IV first intended.

The Trump/Ryan Health Care Plan gives subsidies to rich insurance companies in the name of the working poor while stripping away the benefits and protections of Obama's plans.

The Trump/Ryan health plan is a massive give away to rich insurance companies at a cost to working Americans.

This fits perfectly within the 180 year tradition of Conservative Party ... in England.

Real free market health care reform is liberal. True free market health care reform would liberalize the health care market. It reduces barriers to entry and lower the cost of health care while enfranchising the people at large.

The problem we face today is that "conservatives" are dead set against the "liberal" reforms needed to restore a free market in health care.

Anyway, if you are upset with the Republican Health Care Plan, you should realize that the Ryan plan is Conservatism (as in Tory) in action. Ryan is simply proving that Conservatives that took control of the GOP are Conservatives in the strain of King William IV and that Barry Goldwater style of Conservatism was nothing more than a fancy of a few out of touch intellectuals.

The Ryan/Trump plan does not restore liberty. The Ryan/Trump Plan is Toryism in action.(image)



Steel is Recyclable

2017-04-22T14:23:36.877-06:00

Steel (or at least the iron in steel) is recyclable.

Iron is magnetic. Most landfills pass our waste stream under electromagnets and we capture and reclaim a huge portion of waste iron.

Currently the Trump Administration is seeking to impose tariffs and restrictions on imported steel claiming that that steel is a strategic commodity that we need to protect for national security.


I say that, because iron is so easily recycled, it is actually in our nation's strategic interest to import steel.

All of the steel things that we import help our nation build up a strategic reserve.

If there is an international crisis that suddenly requires a great deal of steel, we can easily recycle the huge steel reserve that we imported.

Let's say we had a conflict with China. All of the steel that China exported in times of peace is steel they no longer have and that we have in reserve.

As for iron and coal reserves in the ground, we are in a better strategic position if we leave our resources in the ground and let China overdevelop their reserves.

If we have a national crisis that suddenly requires a great deal of steel, our nation can easily ramp up steel and coal production. The huge amount of recyclable metal that we have in our nation plus the ability to ramp up undeveloped reserves puts us in a better position than a false market where we use tariffs to block steel imports and consume our natural iron reserves in times of peace.(image)



Paul Ryan Continues the 180 Year Tradition of Conservatism

2017-03-09T10:49:26.707-07:00

Conservatism is an ideology crafted by King William IV in an effort to rebrand the Tory Party for electoral reforms of 1860. Members of the Conservative Party continue to call themselves Tories.The goal of Conservatism is to conserve the top-down social structure of the ancient regime in an age of political change. Conservatives of 1830s crafted a very simple strategy: Conservatives use free market rhetoric to gain power. Once in power, they pass legislation that gives the ruling elite an economic advantage over the people at large. This creates the illusion that the existing social order is somehow the natural social order.The conservative play book has not changed in 180 years.The Health Care proposal by Paul Ryan, Tom Price and Donal Trump is keeping with the age old methodology of Conservatism.The GOP plan keeps those parts of the plan the feed economic centralization while reducing the taxes and subsidies the plan included to make PPACA appear progressive.I agree with Paul Ryan. The GOP's health care plan fits the 180 year tradition of Conservatism.The top-down health care reform pushed by Paul Ryan is conservatism in action.Paul Ryan is using the exact same playbook the Tories used when King William IV rebranded the Tory Party as "Conservative."(For those of you who don't know history. King William IV was the younger son of King George III. The Tories were the people the US Founders fought against during the American Revolution. Conservatism is an ideology crafted by the enemies of the United States.)Conservatism is an inherently disingenuous ideology. One uses free market rhetoric to gain power, then passes top down legislation once in power.The problem with the Conservative methodology is that people, like me, who believe in the American tradition of free and fair economics are systematically cut out of the process.The millions of people who fell for Conservative rhetoric feel duped.They feel duped, because they were duped.There's a large number of people who've been calling themselves "conservative" because they like the ideals of freedom and they are caught by surprise that their conservatives leaders are essentially seeking to conserve the core structure of Obamacare.I have no idea how to break the political impasse between those who believe conservative rhetoric and those who employ the methodology of conservatism.The people who claim that Paul Ryan isn't conservative enough because his health care plan is essentially "Obamacare Lite" are wrong.Paul Ryan's actions are 100% in keeping with the 180 year tradition that Conservatives have followed since the Tories chose to re-name their party the Conservative Party.Conservatives who keep with the tradition of the Tory Party are the most conservative of all the conservatives.Conservatives use free market rhetoric to get in power, and enact top-down legislation that gives the upper class an advantage over the people.This is what King George III wanted. This is what King George's youngest son wanted. This is what the Tories wanted.Paul Ryan is not only a conservative. He is pure bred conservative in the great tradition of the Tory Movement.Sadly, the only way for America to restore its liberal traditions is for people to realize that "Conservatism" is as corrupt an ideology as "progressivism" and I fear that few people in the GOP are willing to make that connection.[...]



People Invest Forward

2017-02-16T19:47:44.991-07:00

Smart investors invest according to what they think will happen. They do not invest in what has already happened.

It is likely that Donald Trump will attempt to stimulate with a tax cut.

When Bush passed his tax cut, he gave everyone a refund check.

The problem with the refund check is that checks have to be financed with debt spending.

A better approach is simply to pass some spending cuts that take place this year and a tax cut that starts next year.

Smart investors will start making their investing decisions based on the tax cut that will come in the future.

We don't need to engage in the debt financing of refund checks.(image)



On Russian Interference in US Politics

2016-12-18T16:35:33.899-07:00

Conservatives have long complained about Russian interference in US Politics and culture. There is substantial proof that the Soviets infiltrated parts of the US government and that many people in Hollywood were working as Soviet agents.

Whenever Conservatives tries to talk about this history, progressives jump out of the woodwork and screech the label "McCarthyism."

In this light it is amusing watching Obama lecturing conservatives about the dangers that might ensue from Russian interference in US politics.

It appears that Obama is trying to delegitimize an election which did not go his way.

Anyway, I believe that there has been a long history of nefarious groups trying to influence US politics. David Horowitz does some great work tracing the various networks currently in play.

McCarthy was a loudmouth drunk. There were people in his era, like Whitaker Chambers, who provided interesting information on cold war spying by the soviets in the Cold War.

As for Wikileaks, the reports I've heard indicate the leaks came from a disgruntle Democrat.

I dislike that the Trump campaign leaned so heavily on Wikileaks.
 
I dislike that the release of the Access Hollywood Tapes was timed to help Hillary. Had those tapes been released during the GOP primary, it is likely that Trump would have lost the primary.

Yep, there are many things I dislike, but this game where Obama only complains about outside influence when it hurts his partisan cause comes off as pathetic.(image)



Small Business Saturday Post

2016-11-26T15:03:47.621-07:00

Small Business Saturday is a marketing gimmick dreamt up by American Express. The primary purpose of Small Business Saturday is to get the American Express Brand in front of consumers and to encourage small shops to accept American Express Cards, despite the fact that the premium is higher than other payment methods. The focal point of Small Business Saturday is the Shop Small advertising program by American Express which includes Small Shop Guides for America's largest cities. The site for the event says: "Only qualifying American Express Card accepting small merchants will be featured on the map. Please." This excludes most small business. Big media loves to push Small Business Saturdays. The name just resonates in the brain. Tweeting about small busness saturday makes a media outlet feel all comfy and progressive. I like Small Business Saturday because the idea is so full of contradictions that it borders on the humorous. First of all, anyone who regularly works with small businesses know that a huge number of small business owners prefer to do business during the weekdays and not on the weekends. If you actually want to do business directly with the owner of a small business; your best bet is to march into the small business on some nondescript Tuesday. Most family owned business owners prefer spending holiday weekends with family. The event is, from the ground up, a gimmick dreamt up by marketers from big business and follows big business type thinking. The multimedia campaign around the gimmick is big marketing to the core. My Contribution to Small Business A decade ago, I realized that small business was getting the shaft in the digital age. My small contribution to small business was to make small directories for small towns. The goal of the effort was to raise community awareness and promote locally focussed web development. My small effort has sent tens of millions of hits to small businesses, blogs, community organizations, churches, artists and charities.The Community Color sites have small directories for select towns in the Mountain West (Utah, Colorado, etc.). There were more directories in Idaho, Oregon and Montana. I gave those sites away; So, I only have a few left.I get a couple million pages views each month.The original idea of the directories was that I would link to all of the web sites I could find in a given town for free. The directory would also include affiliate links for big businesses with a local presences. The big affiliate programs would pay for local services. My affiliate income completely dried up a few years back. Currently I get about $25 for every 100,000 page views on the site. That is a CPC rate of 25¢ per thousand impressions. My earnings per clicks (EPC) is about 1 penny per click. I've been experimenting with the idea of selling ads directly to local small businesses for $25 for 100,000 page impressions. I haven't received any orders yet. Anyway, I was thinking about making a big push on Small Business Saturday to sell the advertising, but a voice inside my brain is yelling: "Are you nuts? The people who would make the purchasing decision like this aren't working on Saturday. Here is the announcement that I am selling ads at a rate of $25.00 per 100,000 page views. You can order the ads on my Park City Site. This is the only site on my new server. The ads will go live on all the sites as I port them to the new server.[...]



The Cautionary Tale of George Walker Bush

2016-11-23T13:27:21.796-07:00

George Walker Bush was a center right candidate pushing an ideology called "compassionate conservatism."

After his election Bush began moving left toward the center. GW Bush moved so far left that he past the center.

The result of Bush's leftward swing was that American ended up with a Republican administration that dramatically expanded the Federal role in health care and education. Bush engaged in unprecedented deficit spending and got America mired in two foreign wars.

During the Bush Administration, the Democratic Party turned radically left. Bush's left of center administration opened up an opportunity for the radical left to take over.

The Tea Party of 2009 wasn't just unhappy with Obama. It was unhappy with GW Bush who's left of center administration turned our country into a mess.

Donald Trump is a center-right populist who is moving left to maintain his popularity.

The left wing reaction to Trump is even more shrill than the reaction to Bush. What we are likely to see happen is that Trump will continue to move left to maintain his popularity. His center-right candidacy will become a center-left administration.

The really bad news is that Trump will, most likely, be replaced by another far left administration.

This stupidity that we see is due largely to a partisan ideology called "conservatism." Unless the GOP address the inherent flaws of conservatism, our nation is doomed forever to follow the letward progression seen in the Bush/Obama years. We can't handle much more of it.(image)



The Cautionary Tale of George Walker Bush

2016-11-23T13:21:17.933-07:00

George Walker Bush was a center right candidate pushing an ideology called "compassionate conservatism."

After his election Bush began moving left toward the center. GW Bush moved so far left that he past the center.

The result of Bush's leftward swing is that American ended up with a Republican administration that dramatically expanded the Federal role in health care and education. Bush engaged in unprecedented deficit spending and got America mired into two foreign wars.

During the Bush Administration, the Democratic Party turned radically left. Bush's left of center administration opened up an opportunity for leftwing radicals to dramatically shift our nation to the left.

The Tea Party of 2009 wasn't just unhappy with Obama. It was unhappy with Bush who's left of center administration turned our country into a mess.

Donald Trump is a center-right populist who is moving left to maintain his popularity.

The left wing reaction to Trump is even more shril than the reaction to Bush. What we are likely to see happen is the Trump administration will keep moving left until it is a center-left administration.

The bad news is that Trump will, most likely, be replaced by another far left administration.

This stupidity that we see is due largely to a partisan ideology called "conservatism." Unless the GOP address the inherent flaws of conservatism, our nation is doomed forever to follow the letward progression seen in the Bush and Obama administrations.(image)



On The Future of Conservatism

2016-11-23T12:08:35.940-07:00

Some blogs have posed an interesting question: What will happen to Conservatism under Donald Trump? American Conservatism is based on a coalition formed by Sir Winston Churchill between the English Conservative Party and Liberals in the fight against Hitler. The Conservative coalition encourages its members to use free market rhetoric when the party is in the minority. But it never actually does anything to advance the cause of liberty when it is in the majority. Trump appears to me to be a right of center populist who likes to make deals and has very little interest in advancing the ideals of liberty. My guess is that, over the next couple of years, we will see the people who voice the ideals of liberty marginalized. The country will move leftward and Trump seeks to make deals. As for Conservatism, I suspect that "conservatism" will return closer to its historic roots. The problem with this scenario is that the roots of conservatism do not lay in the American Revolution, but lay with the English reaction to the revolution. I am sorry, but I have to repeat the history of Conservatism. Roots of ConservatismConservatism is a strange beast. It is a partisan ideology that was created back in the 1830s with the creation of the Conservative Party under King William IV. Prior to the 1830s, the King selected the Prime Minister. Many of the electoral districts in England (boroughs) had sparse population and were control by powerful Tory families. Electoral reforms included redistricting and a radical idea that the Parliament would choose the Prime Minister. Electoral reforms meant that the ruling coalition of the Tories would fail. King William IV appointed Sir Robert Peel as Prime Minister and charged Peel with creating a ruling coalition around the dwindling remains of the Tories. This ruling coalition called itself the "Conservative Party." The party drew its name from efforts to restore the French Monarchy after the Napoleonic Wars. Members of the Conservative Party still affectionately call themselves "Tories." The Tories as you may recall from American History were the people who fought against the US Founders. BTW, when you climb on a fence and proudly declare yourself a "conservative," you are part of a great intellectual tradition that reaches back to the people who fought against the US Founders. The hated opposition of the Conservatives was a liberal group called Whigs. The Whigs included people like George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, etc.. King William blamed the Whigs for the loss of the colonies and the break up of the empire. A fundamental aspect of Conservatism from its inception is that liberals are dangerous thinkers whose naive belief in liberty lead to the break up of nations. Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel was stuck with the difficult task of creating a party that would appeal to the people while "conserving" the social structure of the monarchy. So, he created an ideology designed to conserve the social order and the supremacy of the Anglican Church (the state run church of Great Britain). Robert Peel emphasized law and order. Robert Peel created the "bobbies." His coalition used free market rhetoric but supported centralized financial institutions and passed regulations that gave the insiders an advantage. The prime example of "Conservatism in Action" is a set of regulations and taxes called "The Corn Laws." The Corn Laws were designed to give rich English Lords a monopoly on growing traditional cash crops. The Irish Peasants were forced to subsist on an[...]



On Trump's Seeking Guidance from Romney

2016-11-19T12:38:55.588-07:00

Local news, here in Utah, reports that Donald Trump is on a pilgrimage today to seek counsel from Mitt Romney, as if Mitt Romney were some sort of Jedi Master because of his religion. It will be a fun meeting. During the election, Mormons, including Romney, heaped derision on Trump then stomped off to vote from some Mormon guy who had worked for the CIA and Goldman Sachs (two entities that are even scarier than the LDS Church). After the election, Mormons appear to have become even more insufferable and less tolerant. I made a few post election attempts to suggest people should talk about free market health care reform. Attempts to talk about issues are being put down even more abruptly than before the election. Anyway, as I write, Trump is making a pilgrimage to a golf course Trump owns in New Jersey to seek wisdom from Mitt Romney. The scuttlebutt is that any less than than an offering of the position of Secretary of State to Romney will be taken as an affront. Personally, I see the fact that Trump is meeting with a person who attacked his character during the election shows indicates that Trump just might have more character than the caricatures that Mormons built in the mind about the president elect. If you want to see character assassination, you should read: Neal Silvester's piece on Trump in Silvester compares Trump to a fictional King Noah of the Book of Mormon. As I consider Free Market Health Care Reform to be a primary concern, I hope the LDS influence on the national stage diminishes in the upcoming year. Mormons played a prominent role in the current health care fiasco. Senator Harry Reid was the primary architect of Obamacare in the Senate. Obamacare was based on a plan developed by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts. Governor Huntsman and Governor Herbert are ardent supporters of the basic structure of the plan. Former Governor Mike Leavitt is the head of companies that implement the plan. The LDS Church holds that Health Care Policy was revealed to Joseph Smith in a form initially called "The Book of Commandments" but renamed to "The Doctrine and Covenants." Belows is the text concerning health care drawn from The Institution for Religious Research. 25 Thou knowest my laws, they are given in my scriptures, he that sinneth and repenth not, shall be cast out.26 If thou lovest me, thou shat serve me and keep all of my commandments; and behold, thou shalt consecrate all thy properties, that which thou hast unto me, with a covenant and deed which cannot be broken; and they shall be laid before the bishop of my church, and two of the elders, such as he shall appoint and set apart for that purpose.27 And it shall come to pass, that the bishop of my church, after that he has received the properties of my church, that it can not be taken from the church, he shall appoint every man a steward over his own property, or that which he has received, in as much as is sufficient for himself and family:28 And the residue shall be kept to administer to him who has not, that every man may receive according as he stands in need:29 And the residue shall be kept in my storehouse, to administer the poor and needy, as shall be appointed to the elders of the church and the bishop; and for the purpose of purchasing lands, and the building up of the New Jerusalem, which is hereafter to be revealed; that my covenant people may be gathered in one, in the day that I shall come to my temple. This commandment (which is theoretically on par with the Ten Commandments) states that p[...]



Post Election Post

2016-11-09T19:47:59.428-07:00

I believe that the people matter more than the president.

I did not support Trump because I am scared of the way that the left will react to a Trump presidency.

Trump is a billionaire with a boisterous voice.

Since modern education is based on images and themes instead of logic or insight, the left can use the flamboyent image of Trump to project all of the evils of the world on the GOP.

Trump is a billionaire who likes to build things. The fear I have is that the left will build a reaction to Trump so deep that it ushers in a radical left wing government.

I had been reconsiled to a Clinton victory with a hope that Democrats might finally realize that their party and ideology is the primary source of much of the corruption we se in this world.

A Trump presidency will create huge challenges for defenders of liberty.

Trump is a populist who likes to build things and is not into protecting liberty per se.

As I said at the beginning of this post. I believe that the people matter more than the president.

People who want to defend liberty need walk a razor's edge these next years. The goal should be to force discussions of liberty while distancing the cause of liberty from excesses that might be done by a populist president.

It is a difficult challenge, but not impossible.

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The Mormon Candidate Takes Utah

2016-11-09T15:08:15.061-07:00

I can't believe it. Mormons did vote for the Mormon Guy. This table from Google shows the Utah Vote with 75% of the votes counted. The Mormon Guy got 21% of the vote. 21% is phenomenal for a candidate who had no possible chance of winning the election. Utah VoteCandidatePartyPctVoteDonald Trump Republican 46% 360,634 Hillary Clinton Democratic 28% 217,820 Evan McMullin Mormon 21% 160,801 Gary Johnson Libertarian 3% 25,096 Jill Stein Green 0.7% 5,295 Yesterday I linked to an article by Neal Silvester on why Mormons voted against Trump and for a political operative from Goldman Sach whose only qualification is that he is a member of the LDS Church. The article is a great example of Mormon-think in action.Silvester starts with a with a standard sales pitch for Mormonism. The pitch includes a claim that Mormons are somehow victims of great persecution.Silvester whines that non-Mormons project false images on Mormons.He then spends twenty pages projecting images from the Book of Mormon onto Donald Trump. Silvester's thesis is: "men like Donald Trump are everywhere in the Book of Mormon;" therefore I can take any negative image from the Book of Mormon and project the image onto Trump. (Mormons pull this type of crap routinely.).Silvester says idiotic things like Trump seeks to persecute Muslims because Trump is worried about the current wave of immigrants from Syria who many suspect of being infiltrated by ISIS. Silvester accuses Trump of adultery and accuses him of promoting whoredoms among priests because Trump once owned the Miss Universe Pageant. (This from a state that brought the world "princess pageants"). Silvester complains that Trump builds tall buildings. This is supposed to be sinful because some fictional Nephite King built a tall building on temple grounds. (Mormons built a tall building on Temple Grounds).Silvester's post has page after page where he throws invective from the Book of Mormon at Trump. The article had me rolling on the floor with laughter. Before reading the article, I want to point out: The Book of Mormon was written in the 1800s. It is based on a speculative idea that Native Americans descended from the lost tribes of Israel. Joseph Smith claimed that a group of Israelites called "The Nephites" came to the new world on a submarine. The Nephites were a "white and delightsome" people. The Nephites kept doing sinful things. After each episode, God would curse the people he didn't like and turn them brown. The idea is similar to the "The Mark of Cain." The "Mark of Cane" idea states that God turned the descendents of Cain black and doomed African Americans to be the slaves of the white people. Realizing that everyone was supposed to have died in the Great Flood, Brigham Young said blacks were descendent of someother person who did great evil. Anyway, the Book of Mormon conflict ends with an extermination war where the "white and delightsome" Nephites are slaughtered by the dark and loathsome Lamanites. The "proof" for of the Book of Mormon is the observation that Native Americans have darker skin than European settlers.I've heard Mormons called Barack Obama "the antichrist" based on the observation that Obama has dark skin. Anyway, Silvester's page on why Mormons voted against Trump is quite amusing. It provides insight into a strange think called "Mormon think." PS: Apparently the Mormon candidate Evan McMullin has called for Mormons to leave the Republican Party (Washington Po[...]



Silvester on Trump

2016-11-08T20:15:07.189-07:00

I admit. The thing that most interests me this election is whether or not the Mormons will vote for Evan McMullin.

McMullin is a candidate who worked for Goldman Sachs and the CIA. His only real qualification for the presidency is that he is Mormon.

While you are watching the election returns, you might enjoy reading a piece by Neal Silvester on why Mormons are voting for McMullin.

The article is a perfect example of projection. Silvestre starts by pulling the victim card and claims that Mormons are persecuted and the subject of deep prejudice by people who don't know their history.

He then spends twenty pages projecting the nastiest images possible on Trump and Trump's followers based on his reading of the Book of Mormon.

I found the article hilarious because I've encountered numerous Mormons who use the exact same form of arguments. They lead in with false claims that Mormons are deeply misunderstood and persecuted people. They then start projecting stories from the Book of Mormon on the people around them.

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