Monthly Archives: January 2010

Quote of the week

From Seth Godin’s blog today

You don’t have to like competition in order to understand that it exists. Your fair share isn’t going to be yours unless you give the public a reason to pick you.


Pay attention, now.

I’ve already suggested you plan to pay for your own health care.  This weeks good news notwithstanding, Congress is a big fan of taking control of things, and healthcare is one of those things they are after.  Might not be this year, but it might be in your lifetime.  If I’m wrong, you’ll be sitting on a pile of money later in life, not a bad thing.

Well, maybe not a bad thing.

Ron Holland suggests you also prepare for the government to take control of your 401k.  I heard a bit about this, but didn’t have a chance to blog about it, so I’ll just give you what Ron said:

Each year, the government will put $600 into a Guaranteed Retirement Account for you and every other working person in America. If $600 amounts to more than 5% of your annual compensation (if you earn more than $12,000) you will be required to contribute 5% of your total annual compensation to the GRA. The Feds will promise to pay a 3% “inflation adjusted return” on each GRA, based on the government’s Consumer Price Index. When you retire, you receive a portion of the account each month. Then — get this — when you die, your heirs receive only 50% of what’s in your GRA. The rest goes to Uncle Sam. Remember, this is the good news!

Next…

Following the introduction of Guaranteed Retirement Accounts, the next step will be to cap the tax deduction for annual contributions to existing private retirement plans at 5,000. (Many Americans will support this, given the hostility to the well-publicized Wall Street mega-bonuses and retirement plans.) Next will be a tax on every retirement plan’s income, to provide an immediate flow of revenue to the Feds. Finally, there would be a prohibition on buying any non-U.S. investment for any retirement plan.

He goes on to describe the scenarios required to get something like this into law (a significant event like a terrorist attack), and how it would be implemented.  Given there was serious talk of this kind of action in the news, I wouldn’t be too quick to write the idea off as just a conspiracy theory.

I’m not saying you should stop using a 401k, but I am saying you might want to plan your retirement using a variety of tools, not just a 401k.  I certainly do.


Quiet! The men are talking.

Senator Specter with a poor choice of words, at best.

It’s kinda entertaining to watch these folks self destruct.

Of course, nothing happened to Harry Reid, so this will blow over too, I’m sure.


Lots of people don’t trust the government!

A recent poll shows 20% of the population may not fill out the Census form this year.  Of those, about 25% say it’s because they don’t trust the government.

Asked why they were unlikely to participate, more than half said it was because they were too busy, not interested or weren’t familiar with the census. One-fourth cited distrust of government or concerns about privacy.

Nearly one-third said they believe the data could be used to locate illegal immigrants or said they weren’t certain if it could. Census director Robert Groves has repeatedly said the information would be kept confidential.

While the theme of this article focuses on those who won’t comply because they are unaware of the census, I think it’s important to note how many people don’t trust the government.  I happen to think this is a good thing, perhaps as more people hold this view, we’ll be better off.

They also don’t address those of us who will answer the question “how many people live in your house”, which is the one the Constitution says the government can ask me, but will not answer any additional questions (like age, sex, race, or how many toilets.)  I’d like to know that, as I’m one of those people.


A pretty good week for Liberty

First, the Democrats lose their supermajority in the Senate (in Massachusetts, no less!) which will effectively kill the awful health care reform bills and hopefully cap and trade.  There’s talk of trying to get heath care passed via attaching it to a spending bill, but I think lots of Democrats in the House and Senate realize that could be political suicide.  Remember, it didn’t pass by much in the House, and there are lots of Senators looking at being Changed ™ this fall if they don’t pay attention to their constituents.

Second, the ruling I’ve been waiting for:  SCOTUS rules most of McCain-Feingold is unconstitutional.  (The tone of this news story is just fantastic.  Good thing there’s no bias.)  It was obvious to me that the rights to free speech was not affected by the right to assemble, and that an assembly of people has just as much right to free speech as an individual.  Alas, Congress and our former decider in chief decided to ignore the document.

It’s pretty nice to be posting something about getting some freedom back.  Hopefully sometime soon I’ll be posting that the State of Maryland has decided I should be allowed to purchase a legal product from another state and have it shipped to my house, although given the power of the liquor distributors, I’m not holding my breath.


A Good Question

Don Boudreaux asks it.

Questions for Ms. Pelosi.  If the citizens of Massachusetts are able, without any further legislation from Congress, to foist on themselves the kind of government-directed health-care that Ms. Pelosi alleges the rest of the country desires, what’s stopping people across America from doing in each of their states what the people of Massachusetts have already done in that state?  Why does Congress have to act at all?

I’m pretty sure it’s because we’re all stupid and helpless.


Another Training Update: No Training

My wrist is probably at 80%, good enough to train, but not perfect.  My ankle is 90%, no worries there.  I planned to get back on schedule today, but after a week out of town for work, then a weekend with a couple of late nights, my sleep is all screwed up.  I’m trying to get back to my normal wake time (5am), but that meant a night of little sleep last night.

I’m driving back and forth to Philly for the next three days, so I think I’ll be back on my sleep schedule and feeling good by Friday.


A future with no butter?

Preposterous?  Impossible?

The idea is at least taken seriously enough to make the news in the UK.  Certainly the government will have the power to tell you what you can and can not eat once healthcare is fully government controlled, in the name of cutting costs or saving the children.

Me, I’m stocking up on incandescent light bulbs and butter as we speak.

Link via The Agitator


A fitting end to the season

After the disappointment of a 20-3 loss to Indianapolis, the Ravens’ season ends on a fitting note. There’s not much to say about the game yesterday; they got beat. It looked like they left the kick ass team in New England.

This game was much like the season, which was a tale of two teams.  The great team, the one that beat the Chargers, came back from down 17 points to lose by 2 against the Vikings, whooped the Broncos, and then dismantled the Patriots; versus the one that lost to the Bengals twice, the one that showed up flat against the Packers on Monday night, and the one that traveled to Indianapolis.

All in all, it’s a great year when the team makes the playoffs, and this is a remarkable achievement for a young coach and a young quarterback to go two years in a row.  But, we had very high expectations, and they weren’t met.

I guess that’s why they play the games.

Next year will be interesting.  Certainly there won’t be the same level of preseason expectations, as there will be a lot of uncertainty.  Derrick Mason probably retires.  Ed Reed said he might be done (and I think he is).  There’s a no cap season coming, and a lot of free agents on the team.  There’s a lot of potential with Flacco and Rice, and solid depth at linebacker.  So the Ravens may look much different in 2010.  I’m looking forward to it.


Great night out with new friends

Sometimes I wonder how it became that I’m able to make the aquaintance of so many interesting and engaging people.  I know a big part of it is my wife, who, as a Realtor, is involved in very personal transactions with folks who are often moving to our area, and for that, I’m really thankful.  However, we’ve also been meeting folks via social media, and that’s a new and very cool dynamic.

Anyway, J and I  scheduled a night out for us and 6 friends.  D and R, who are our next door neighbors; M, who is a very compelling person, an entrepreneur and pilot, friend of D and R, and now us; L, who works for Jerry Edward’s Chefs Expressions, and her mate D, who works for the Everyman Theatre (I got the ‘e’ in the right place); and J, who is moving to the Baltimore area from CT in the next few months, we met her via Twitter.

We started with some wine, cheese, and conversation at our house in Canton. Continue reading


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