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“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”  C. S. Lewis


Money Laundering and The Drug Trade: The Role of the Banks

“Long time observer of the Mexican drug war Bill Conroy comments that the deal cut with HSBC by the Department of Justice, ”should illuminate for all the great pretense of the drug war — no matter how hard US prosecutors, via the mainstream media, attempt to convince us otherwise. …And it should lead us to conclude, if we are honest with ourselves, that the so-called drug war is little more than one immense “drug deal.”

Money Laundering and The Drug Trade: The Role of the Banks.


Favorite quotes from yesteryear

“Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.”         Lord Acton 1834-1902
“At all times sincere friends of freedom have been rare”         Lord Acton 1834-1902
“Now, if congress and the courts had attempted to obey this amendment, as they were constitutionally bound to do, they would soon have found that they had really no lawmaking power whatever left to them; because they would have found that they could make no law at all, of their own invention that would not violate men’s natural rights.”             Lysander Spooner (1808-1887) on the 9th Amendment to the US Constitution

150 years ago, British historian Thomas Macaulay made this dire prediction for America, “Your civilization will be destroyed in the 20th century, as Rome was in the 5th century. But the huns and vandals which will destroy you will come from within, from your own institutions.”

How the Markets Really Work

From 2007 A very funny video from BrassChecktv.com Humourous Truth

Thomas Sowell “Socialism, in general, has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual cretin could ignore or evade it.”

I was recently sent this in an email and was struck by its simplicity and forthrightness I took the liberty of posting it in its entirety. There is much to be said about the wisdom that comes with age and sacrifice. Knowledge is no match for wisdom. Read and take it to heart. If you love America she needs all those who love her to take a stand to save her now more than ever. God Bless America!

Thomas Sowell (born June 30, 1930) is an American economist, social theorist, political philosopher, and author. A National Humanities Medal winner, he advocates laissez-faire economics and writes from a libertarian perspective He is currently a Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Sowell was born in North Carolina, but grew up in Harlem, New York. He dropped out of high school, and served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. He had received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in 1958 and a master’s degree from Columbia University in 1959. In 1968, he earned his doctorate degree in economics from the University of Chicago. Dr. Sowell has served on the faculties of several universities, including Cornell and University of California, Los Angeles, and worked for “think-tanks” such as the Urban Institute. Since 1980 he has worked at the Hoover Institution He is the author of more than 30 books

The following are quotations were attributed to  Dr. Sowell in the email I received:

“The current Occupy Wall Street movement is the best illustration to date of what President Barack Obama’s America looks like. It is an America where the lawless, unaccomplished, ignorant and incompetent rule. It is an America where those who have sacrificed nothing pillage and destroy the lives of those who have sacrificed greatly.

“It is an America where history is rewritten to honor dictators, murderers and thieves. It is an America where violence, racism, hatred, class warfare and murder are all promoted as acceptable means of overturning the American civil society.

“It is an America where humans have been degraded to the level of animals: defecating in public, having sex in public, devoid of basic hygiene. It is an America where the basic tenets of a civil society, including faith, family, a free press and individual rights, have been rejected. It is an America where our founding documents have been shredded and, with them, every person’s guaranteed liberties.

“It is an America where, ultimately, great suffering will come to the American people, but the rulers like Obama, Michelle Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, liberal college professors, union bosses and other loyal liberal/Communist Party members will live in opulent splendor.

“It is the America that Obama and the Democratic Party have created with the willing assistance of the American media, Hollywood , unions, universities, the Communist Party of America , the Black Panthers and numerous anti-American foreign entities.

“Barack Obama has brought more destruction upon this country in four years than any other event in the history of our nation, but it is just the beginning of what he and his comrades are capable of.

“The Occupy Wall Street movement is just another step in their plan for the annihilation of America.


Pre-tax v After Tax Retirement Savings

Well here it is  New Year! Where does the time go?

In a previous post I intimated that pre-tax 401k contributions may not be the best way to save for retirement. With the very real possibility that taxes will have increased significantly by the time those saving for retirement now begin to access those pre-tax funds they could end up paying more in taxes on the funds later than if they paid taxes on them now.

When the 401k first became popular in the 1980s the top marginal tax rate was around 70% compared to 40% today. Those that are accessing their 401ks now are paying a lower tax rate now than they would have paid at the time they were contributing to the plan. Now take today’s worker. They are contributing at today’s lower tax rates and not paying taxes on the funds when most agree that taxes are going up in the future. How much sense does it make to save the taxes now when you would pay 15-40% depending on your tax bracket, when you can build your retirement fund with after tax dollars now and avoid paying higher taxes on the funds when you retire? Experts agree there is a very real possibility that when those contributing now are 59 ½ or older and begin to access the funds they have not paid taxes on they will pay a higher tax rate on the withdrawals.

What is your sacred cow?

“Ask not what your country can do for you, but you can do for your country” JFK

What is your sacred cow and would you give it up if it would get your country out of financial trouble?

I am a real estate agent and one of the sacred cows of the real estate industry is the mortgage interest deduction. I live in a rural area so my real estate earnings have always been modest. I have never sold a home to someone that was buying a home for the mortgage interest deduction. Most of my buyers are buying to have a home for their families. What this tells me is that the mortgage interest deduction is only useful for those with higher incomes than the average family in America. Don’t get me wrong I am not a “tax the rich” person I am a “tax everyone equally” person. I personally have never used the mortgage interest deduction because the standard deduction has generally covered what my itemized deductions would be. I also hate itemizing though I do both to see which has the best outcome.

I am fast approaching retirement age and I would be willing to give up my social security if it meant that my children and grandchildren would not be spent into oblivion before they had a chance to make a life for themselves. That being said when I first got out of the Air Force in the early 80’s the top marginal tax rate was around 70% compared to about 40% now. The reason things seem tougher now is not the tax rates but the purchasing power of the dollar you earn when compared to 30 years ago. In that last statement is a whole other blog on why pre-tax 401k deductions are not the best move you can make. Stay tuned.

Too many want too much from those who run the printing presses and whose livelihood depends upon getting re-elected. What would you do if you were in that position? Do you have the character required to say no to all the hands that are out wanting this favor or that? How strong are your ethics? I believe it was D.L. Moody that said something like this “Do right do right till the stars fall from the sky do right” good character is shown when you do what it is right even when no one is looking. Is that the nature of your character? If not then I’d venture a guess that you would crank up the presses just like the current wielders of the printing press switch are instead of making the tough choices required to get America out of this current financial mess.

But I digress- I say the mortgage interest deduction is peanuts in the grand scheme of things but you have to start somewhere.

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Do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it. Collectivism is that evil. Stand boldly for individualism. Stand boldly for freedom.

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