RANT: One too many “departments”

Monday, July 30, 2007


The Good News Is Everywhere!
by Karen Kwiatkowski

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This disappointment in, fear of and disgust for our bloated government, its impositions, its arrogance, and its outrageous incompetence and criminality were once shared by only a few. Today it is shared by the majority of Americans who intuitively understand that government words are lies, government performance is a sham, and government agencies and bureaucrats are incompetent, lazy, and often criminal. We complain privately, we subterraneously share cartoons, we think back to how it once was, and forward, to how it might someday be.

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Well, it is humorous to see ordinary people gripe about the gooferment. Of course, I am always quick to either put a burr under their saddle or irritate the sore a little more. :-) I’ve been rubbed raw for several decades now.

Just on the surface, I like to ask people to explain why we need a “Department of Defense” and “Department of Homeland Security”. Doesn’t that sound like one too many “departments” to you? On Wall Street, there would one whole redundant hierarchy on the street looking for work. But, after all, this is the gooferment we are talking about.

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PRODUCTIVITY: A “good” decision is

Monday, July 30, 2007


Survival Planning–More Than Just Gear and a “To Do” List, by Ray

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Decision making is critical in determining what actions to take to move you closer to a particular sub-objective or your ultimate goal. All decisions are based on the probability of a favorable outcome, but that probability is rarely, if ever, 100%. Even a slam-dunk, no-brainer decision has some slight chance of failure. The validity of a choice can be measured as those choices with the highest probability of a positive outcome, but even those have a tangible risk of turning out badly, and thus not being ultimately “correct.” Poker players call it getting “cracked”, when a strong, high probability hand is still beaten by the luck of the draw. A decision maker should understand that no decision is guaranteed to produce a positive result. Setting the expectation for yourself that even well thought-out decisions will be 100% successful is the road to disappointment and frustration. This is because decisions have variable dimensions, most of which are beyond the average person’s ability to control or even be fully aware of. The validity of a given choice is a function of the available data, context, and time. A valid decision is the best one you can make, right now, with the available information. Five minutes (heck, 30 seconds) from now a different choice may be better. But realize you will never have perfect, complete, and timely data, and that’s assuming that no one else is actively interacting with the situation, changing it and invalidating your information, or actively generating/feeding disinformation in some form. You will bring some level of bias to you we interpret the given dataset, as do your information sources; this works against our being able to form the proper context for a decision. And all factors are in flux, changing constantly; and implementing a choice once made takes some measure of time, making the clock an enemy. A good decision making process has to exist in the here and now, and be forward looking. You must avoid self recrimination and the tendency to doubt after something bad has happened; past choices are in the past, and useful only for how they inform future decisions. Focus on your goal, and how you get from your present location/situation (the here and now) to there (your future goal.)

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Take wisdom where ever you find it.

I urge you to use the waterline standard. Above the water line, fail quickly. Below the waterline, take your time and make the best decision possible.

Now we have an additional meme here: A “good” decision is the best one you can make, right now, with the available information.

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MONEY: taxation distorts the individual’s finances

Monday, July 30, 2007


Thrift and Liberty
by Gil Guillory

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Taxes. Not only is taxation perhaps the most evil institution left on earth, now that chattel slavery is virtually extinct, taxation distorts the individual’s finances. We are all familiar with the social engineering in the US Federal Income Tax, with credits and deductions for all manner of activities the state officially encourages or discourages. But much worse is the attack on capital which the tax system represents. Consider: your wages are taxed, with what’s left, you invest in stocks of companies, the profits on the companies you invest in are taxed, with what’s left of that, the company pays you dividends or increases retained earnings, and then those dividends or capital gains are then taxed.

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We can’t even calculate the ax load we carrying. Taxes are buried inside everything.


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INTERESTING: Tom Snyder Dies At 71

Monday, July 30, 2007


Broadcaster Tom Snyder Dies At 71
His Smoke-Filled Interviews Were Late-Night Staple
POSTED: 6:14 am PDT July 30, 2007
UPDATED: 7:06 am PDT July 30, 2007

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SAN FRANCISCO — Talk show host Tom Snyder, whose smoke-filled interviews were a staple of late night television, has died after a struggle with leukemia. He was 71.

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That’s sad. I always like him. He was from what I call the “Johnny Carson – Pat Sajack” school of broadcasting. Just came across as a nice. never took himself too seriously and remembered his roots. I have no way of knowing if perception matched reality. But I’ll add his name to my “no I lay me down to sleep” list.

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