INTERESTING: Cellphone carrier as a granfalloon

What’s Good for a Business Can Be Hard on Friends
Doug McSchooler for The New York Times
Published: August 4, 2007

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But what was set up as a purely business strategy is having an unintentional social effect. It is dividing the people who share informal bonds and bringing together those who have formal networks of cellphone “friends.”

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Not that anyone cares, but I’m on Verizon. :-)

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MONEY:Social Security: Does it pay to delay?

Social Security: Does it pay to delay?
July 23, 2007

I thought you might be interested in this information I found on®.

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The first members of the baby boom generation are about to reach another milestone. People born in 1946—the beginning of the boom—will turn 62 next year, making them eligible for early retirement benefits from Social Security.
For more information

Having paid into the federal program for decades, many baby boomers will find the prospect of tapping their benefits appealing. But this may be a situation that calls for delayed gratification.

Taking Social Security at age 62 involves a significant trade-off: In exchange for getting your payments before “full retirement age,” you’ll see your benefits permanently reduced.

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Social Security Insurance — it’s none of those things — is such a scam.

The article correctly cites to delay if you can and your guesstimate of your life expectancy.

The article ignores that: the congresscritters can change the game at any time (like the did when they made it taxable); the dollar is not a store of value (hence the number that they cite are devalued by inflation); and the catastrophic effect of your death on your wealth (guessing wrong about you life expectancy deprives your heirs for the fruit of your labor).

The article begs the question of why anyone would be in a scam that provides such a significant negative return. It’s estimated to be a negative 2% per year.

It also fails to factor the TEOTWAWKI arguments that might end the scam. Social Security Insurance is a Ponzi scam that is racist, intergenerational war, unconstitutional, and unsustainable. It transfers money from poor minority men to rich white women. It pits the old against the young by saddling them with the bills later. No where in the Constitution is the gooferement empowered to do all these things. And, like most Ponzi schemes, it collapses when it runs out of suckers.

So, my take is that you should cash out as soon as you can. Too many unavoidable risks. A dollar now invested in gold might be worth far more than an empty promise later.


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update: There’s a Part 2 here: that’s where the surprise is.

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RANT: Gambling with our lives

August 04, 2007
Gambling with our lives
By Bob Weir

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Although the husband survived, his family perished in the fire. The demented murderers, Joshua Komisarjevsky, 26 and Steven Hayes, 44, were apprehended after they crashed their getaway vehicle, the Petits’ car, into three police cruisers. They are each being held on $15 million bond.

This is another example of the lack of security we have in a justice system with no teeth. Already, correction officials have taken to the airwaves to say it’s not the fault of prosecutors or judges because there is not enough room in our prisons, hence, non-violent offenders often do little time. Are you as tired as I am of hearing that the dregs of society must be put back on the street because there are no vacancies at the justice motel? Well, how many times does a person have to be arrested before it becomes clear that he is a tragedy waiting to occur? Burglary is a serious felony, yet these 2 home-invaders, turned rapist-murderers, were nabbed more than 20 times each, yet, those who are paid to keep us safe, didn’t see them as enough of a threat to hold onto them.

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I guess if we stopped the phony “war on drugs” and pardoned all non-violent drug offenders, then the gooferment could keep the violent thugs in jail where they belong.

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TECH SERVICE: Store Your Files Online

5 Simple Ways to Store Your Files Online
Published by Stan Schroeder
July 12th, 2007

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When it comes to online backup of your data, there’s probably more options than in any other web 2.0 space


DropBoks is the king of simplicity. Open the page and you’ll immediately know what to do, as the whole service consists of an upload form and a file listing. Your account has 1 GB of storage space, and individual files can be max. 50 MB in size. Another nice thing about DropBoks is that it’s not only free, it also has no ads whatsoever – it’s fully donation-supported.

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Why? Security? Simplicity?

Have to think more about this.

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TEST: Google video

Money, Banking and the Federal Reserve

41 min 25 sec – Jun 1, 1996
Average rating:   (735 ratings)
Description: Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson understood “The Monster”. But to most Americans today, Federal Reserve is just a name on the dollar bill. They have no idea of what the central bank does to the economy, or to their own economic lives; of how and why it was founded and operates; or of the sound money and banking that could end the statism, inflation, and business cycles that the Fed generates. Dedicated to Murray N. Rothbard, steeped in American history and Austrian economics, and featuring Ron Paul, Joseph Salerno, Hans Hoppe, and Lew Rockwell, this extraordinary new film is the clearest, most compelling explanation ever offered of the Fed, and why curbing it must be our first priority. Alan Greenspan is not, we’re told, happy about this 42-minute blockbuster. Watch it, and you’ll understand why. This is economics and history as they are meant to be: fascinating, informative, and motivating. This movie could change America.

PRODUCTIVITY: ready for self-employment — you ARE self employed — even if you don’t know it

Aug 04, 2007
Are you ready for self-employment?

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One of the first things you discover when you shift from being an employee to being self-employed, is that your time is no longer structured. All of the reminders and nudges you used to get from your boss and co-workers now come from your own mind as it races to keep track of the obligations you have inadvertently stacked up for yourself.

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I’d make the observation that even if you are “working for the man”, as our Japanese friends call it “salaryman”, in today’s economy, you are “working for yourself”. While it may not look like it, you are. You have to be burning the candle at five ends, just as if you were working for yourself.

Whether you are satisfying a Customer in your own business, or you are satisfying a Colleague in someone else’s, it’s really just semantics. You need to be:

  • delivering value to Customers or Colleagues;
  • publicizing what you’ve accomplished without being a blowhard;
  • anticipating your current Customer’s needs;
  • maintaining your personal productivity in your “guild”;
  • preparing for any shift or change in your “guild”; and
  • managing ruthlessly your personal finances.

Let’s dive into the weeds, just a tad.

  1. You retain value for yourself, regardless of whose business it is, by unleashing value in far bigger multiples that what you “cost”.
  2. You must ensure that your “Customers” understand the value you create. And, you have to do it with panache.
  3. You have to anticipate what your “Customers” need, want, and will want. In some respects, it’s hard because your Customers may not know what they need or appreciate you “looking out” for them.
  4. You have to be continually improving your skill set. Last year’s records become today’s standards.
  5. You can be achieving and anticipating, but if your guild shifts, you can’t allow yourself to be made obsolete. CICS systems programmers who missed the memo about Client Server computing. Blacksmiths have to shift to be car mechanics.
  6. You are only assured of the last check you cashed. Your “burn rate” must not exceed your “earn rate”. Personally, my AT&T golden handshake became a decade later my seed money for my own business. Ruthlessly, you must have a cash reserve appropriate for how long it will take you to shift from “burning” to “earning”.

So, imho, it really doesn’t matter if your in your own biz, or not. Regardless if you know it or not, you are.

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