"The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale." --Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, January 21

I'd like to buy a newspaper.....That will be $1 Billion dollars Sir.

Something has been on my mind lately. I have discussed it almost daily with friends and colleagues. I have been trying to figure out a way to make what seems to be like a fourth-Sunday topic into something worth reading. So here goes....

I am extremely concerned about the amount of money our government is spending, printing and incentivizing. In history, this method has served no country well. Only hurt the long term interests of struggling nations. Forgive the coming ueber-simplified history lesson.

In post WWI Germany, the government found itself strapped with massive war debt. With no one willing to buy their country's debt, the government resorted to the equivalent of printing money. As the massive debt continued to increase, confidence in the governments ability to pay its obligations and already issued bonds begins to plummet. Consumer confidence was wiped out. The temptation of government to inflate increased.

Government did not want to upset the people with higher taxes, so it borrowed the war debt expecting the Allies to foot the bill after the war. When things didn't go as they thought, they monetized the debt. In reality, the equivalent of printing money. To compound things even worse, the German mark took a dive after the war reparations were announced and the new socialist party had promised multitudes of social welfare programs that over obligated an already strapped government. Confidence in the mark kept plummeting making the mark worth less and less and as it did, people started getting rid of their hoarded marks, flooding the market with massive amounts of money.

50 Million mark banknote from 1923

Caught in a Teufel's-Kreis the government, now dealing with a fully-employed and brutally underpaid workforce, had to deal with the poverty of a third world country. They kept printing money. Germany had 300 paper mills and 150 printing companies working night and day printing money as fast as they could. Most of the money was worthless by the time it was printed. Workers were paid three times a day because the the value of the money was usually worthless by the end of the day. Prices were doubling in a matter of hours. To illustrate, the price of a stamp in 1923 reached $50 Billion marks. Some of the results of these high prices and devaluation of the mark...
1. People's life savings were wiped out overnight
2. People were forced to sell personal belongings to eat
3. Food and clothing were the most valuable commodities
4. People burned German marks instead of firewood to heat their homes because it was cheaper than buying firewood.
5. The largest bill issued by the German government was $100 Trillion marks
6. Life Insurance policies became worthless

One of the main reasons that inflation grabbed hold so fast in 1922-23 in Germany was the velocity of money. Money flooded the market, the government kept printing money (if they kept printing money and inflating, the debt they had incurred was in effect, erased) and people's sole goal in life was to spend their money before it was worthless and eat their next meal. The government blamed everyone but themselves siting the stiff reparations of the Treaty of Versailles and the greedy speculators that bet against the mark. Life was horrible. The government was it's own worst enemy. Debt, spending and government interaction all contributed.

Allow me to indulge for a small moment.....I am not chicken little but I believe that our federal reserve can only pull so many rabbits out of the hat until the spaghetti doesn't stick to the wall. Ben Bernake has admitted repeatedly that the fed's rate cuts are not affecting the economy the way they should. Our national debt is $11 + Trillion, our entitlements for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are a giant ponzi scheme run by the government which hasn't even seen the start of the baby boomers. We have a newly elected liberal socialist government that has promised and over-promised our country things it can't begin to afford without borrowing from foreign countries. Our dollar has dropped against other currencies and other nations are not accepting our government issued treasuries as an iron-clad guarantee anymore. Consumer confidence is dropping and we are involved in 2 wars and a pretty strong recession. Conservative estimates peg the money that people are hoarding on the side lines in our current recession at $2-4 Trillion dollars. As we spend $750 Billion on bailouts, over a trillion on fiscal stimulus and hand out rebate checks to those who pay no taxes, we had better hope that our dollar is worth something and that China still wants to buy our treasuries because when our economy bounces back and people deploy this money into the markets, we will experience inflation. And not the normal kind. Do I think that we'll be burning money, no. Do I think we need to sell everything we have and buy gold? No. Do I think we should have the often counseled and responsible year's worth of food supply? Obviously. After examining the situation I don't think the Jimmy Carter era was a one hit wonder after all. Get out of debt and be responsibly prepared for inflation. We are a hankering for it people. What's that saying about history again?

Tuesday, January 20

Inauguration-What I Hope

An historic day.....a new president.....a few thoughts.

I hope Mr. Obama is successful. I hope he can inspire confidence in a nation of doubt. I hope he can do what he has promised for our country. I wish him well. I love this country. Because I love my country he will be my president. Regardless, of my opposing stance to most of his agenda, I will address him as President, I will acknowledge his presidency as valid and I will give him the benefit of the doubt as the democratically elected leader of the nation. I will not give any idea a free pass, but I believe deep down that he is a good man that means well for our country and will do his best to lead us. That is all we can ask of anyone in his office.

That being said, I hope one more thing-For people to understand that this great country is not in need of fixing. Her heroes and martyrs have built her and continue the fight for freedom in our behalf. America provides a purpose for which our government operates. That purpose is to advance the nations citizens to a personal level of responsibility and civility. Our country herself is not broken. Our country is strong. Our country is not in need of repair. Our people are. Our people have made the mistakes that have us where we are today. Our people have judged incorrectly and we have made for ourselves the series of consequences as a result of our actions. Our great country stands only as a benefactor for us. When we improve ourselves, we will once again see a smiling nation. She is only waiting.

Friday, January 16

Avoid Costly Repairs

We were watching TV when a commercial came on for Doug Smith Dodge. Car dealerships must be pretty hard up for slogans or selling points. The new selling point that they have come up with is this...."Avoid costly repairs of your old truck, save $14,500 on a new one!" Are you kidding me? Avoid a costly repair and spend $35,000 instead on a new truck!? I wonder why they can't sell any cars.? It's okay, they could always get some more bailout money. I guess.
Korean Car Companies like Hyundai are offering specials like their "Assurance Program" that states if you buy a new car from them and you lose your job, you can bring your car back. Now this is desperate marketing people. Oh course they'd buy your car back at about half what you paid. Idiots.

Thursday, January 15

Racism is so 19th Century!

With the upcoming inauguration of Obama, it seems as if our country is obsessed with the subject of race again. In the media, I have heard several ludicrous stories just in the past few days that lead me to believe that racism and it's ugly head are here to stay for as long as there is an America.

A traditional Alabama-based group of women will be marching in the inaugural parade in their southern style ball dresses reminiscent of "Gone with the Wind" The leader of the Alabama NAACP is outraged that they are allowed to be in the parade sighting his disgust based on the outfits the women wear saying they remind him of a plantation and the days of slavery.

When discussing the appointment of the next Senator from Illinois, Harry Ried requested that the nominee not be one of three black men but rather one of two white women. This was not widely reported in the press. If anyone but a democrat would have made the same request, he would have been hung out to dry by the nation's race hustlers. And when Ronald Burris went to be confirmed the new Junior Senator from Illinois and was turned away, he immediately drew out the race card accusing the democratic leadership of being racist. It worked. Within a day the democrats were so scared, they agreed to seat him.

Black Preachers have gathered in Salt Lake City to protest Robert Redford and his Sundance film festival because he is opposed to oil drilling near national parks in Utah. They claim he is a racist for not supporting the drilling for oil because he hates poor black people that will not be able to afford to heat their homes.

The National Press seems to be obsessed that there are not more Black college football coaches in the NCAA.

Black leaders declare that the election of Barack Obama is but a down payment for America's history of racism.

A state of emergency had to be declared in Washington DC by President Bush to acquire more funding for the inauguration of Obama. More security is needed. Federal officials cited a considerable amount of chatter from lunatic racist groups in causing a disruption of the inauguration of America's first black president. The inauguration will cost an estimated $150 Million dollars to stage.

I have a strong opinion on all of these issues...of which I am not going to share in this post. My purpose is to start a discussion about why we as Americans discuss race so much when we all (well I hope we all) claim that we don't think race matters. We claim it is the character of a man that qualifies him for the job. It is not the color of one's skin that makes him better or worse than another. After Obama got elected, I naively hoped that America would begin to heal it's racial wounds-that we could move past the finger pointing and the distrust between races. We don't need to forget about racism and slavery but we don't need to nitpick each other in every facet of our lives and accuse others of suppressing, offending or degrading each other. There is plenty of racism in America. I readily admit that. The problem is racism has not been definitively defined. My opinion is this-Racism is the hatred of someone because of the color of their skin. There are white racist and there are black racists. White racism ranges from the closet white racists to the vocal, militant white supremacist. So does black racism. Many of the "civil rights activists" are so caught up in blaming others and victimizing themselves and their race that they hate those who they think have wronged them. By definition, they hate because of the color of one's skin. Fortunate for them, they have America's awful history and the holy cloak of civil rights to hide under to shield themselves from any criticism. This is not the civil rights movement of Dr. King. Blacks are not denied the right to do anything in today's America. Sadly, that's hard to admit for an organization that's sole purpose is to find racism and squash it dead. There will always be racism as long as it is sought.

What outrage would there be if the was a cable TV station to rival BET (Black Entertainment Network) called the WET (White Entertainment Network)? Or if there was an organization called the NAAWP? Or an awards show for white actors only? How about an all white college?Seems to me if race doesn't matter, then why the division and double standard?

It has been 150 years since slavery. Whites don't owe black people an apology because their ancestors were slaves. My ancestors had nothing to do with slavery but if it helps, I am sorry that your great great great great great grandparents were slaves. Sincerely. Now let's move on. I hope the day will come when we can stop pointing fingers, accusing each other and live our lives together in a way that has nothing to do with what race we were born. We are all children of God, he loves us all the same and it is only we who keep holding ourselves back.

Tuesday, January 13

True or False? Share your prediction for 2009!

Bad Financial Predictions of 2008-(Be careful where you get your news.)

The average year-end 2008 prediction for the S&P 500 made by 9 Wall Street equity strategists on 1/02/08 was 1612, a forecast that called for a gain of +10% for the year. Instead, the S&P 500 finished 2008 at 903, down 37% on a total return basis (source: USA Today).

Russian oil executive Alexei Miller predicted in June 2008 that the price of oil would reach $250 a barrel in 2009. Oil closed last Friday at $40.83 a barrel (source: Financial Times).

In a 5/17/07 speech in Chicago, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said that Federal Reserve officials "believe the effect of the troubles in the subprime sector on the broader housing market will likely be limited, and we do not expect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system" (source: Federal Reserve).

At a symposium in Jackson Hole, WY on 8/31/07, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said that "it is not the responsibility of the Federal Reserve – nor would it be appropriate – to protect lenders and investors from the consequences of their financial decisions" (source: Federal Reserve).

A survey of 112 US money managers released on 11/05/07 predicted the outcome of the November 2008 presidential election. 61% of the managers believed Hillary Clinton would win the White House. Taking 2nd place in the poll was Rudy Giuliani with 15% of the vote (source: Barron’s).

In a 5/16/08 speech in Washington, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said "we are closer to the end of the market turmoil than the beginning. Looking forward, I expect the financial markets will be driven less by the recent turmoil and more by the recovery of the housing sector" (source: Treasury Department).

An article questioning Bernie Madoff’s investment strategy (titled "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell") appeared in print on 5/07/01, 7 ½ years before his Ponzi scheme was discovered. When asked about the investment policy that he utilized, Madoff replied "it’s a proprietary strategy and I can’t go into it in great detail" (source: Barron’s).

So who are the real experts if our experts seem to know no better than the next guy? I would like to ask my readers to make some predictions on the comments of this post and in a year we will see how many were accurate. And don't worry about being wrong...taxpayers pay big salaries to guys that are wrong apparently a lot.

Comment away......!

Sunday, January 11

Watch out they spit!

Why doesn't this surprise me?!?!?!?!

All gutted, tagged and in transport!

30-06 rifle with Leupold Scope- $650 dollars

Out of State Elk License -$600 dollars

Gas to drive from New York -$700 dollars

Taking a Trophy Montana Llama- Priceless...............

Wednesday, January 7

Kirk's Bank Holding Company Charter Effective 01/08/09

I have to get something off my chest. It probably doesn't bother anyone else or even matter in the end it just drives me crazy every time I hear it and I am going to expose it for what it is.

Have you ever heard the commercials advertising a savings account or CD that end by saying something like "Our account pays 9 times the national savings average"....?

Since the national savings average commonly dips below 0%, when Americans spend more than they make, I don't see how this claim has much clout. Also, why in the world does it matter that the interest rate on their accounts pays x-amount times the national savings average? They are completely unrelated in almost every way. It's like saying "our cars get twice the gas mileage of the average snow blower."

It is absolutely, without question deceptive advertising. They know when the average person who hears that commercial thinks, "Hey, that account pays 9 times more than others." It is a swindle people.

Let me do the math for them

-0.5% x (any amount deposited)= 0% (0% APR) ----I will also be accepting deposits effective tomorrow.


What an apt comparison! I laughed as I read this realizing how true it really is.

"Bernard Madoff, who stands accused of bilking sophisticated investors out of $50 billion, is reported to have told two of his executives that his business was 'a giant Ponzi scheme.' Politicians go on and on about Wall Street 'greed' and 'irresponsibility.' But Madoff's scam was small compared to Ponzi schemes the government itself runs: Social Security and Medicare. In reality, our money, rather than being invested and kept in an actual 'trust fund,' is immediately given to current retirees in Social Security benefits or to their healthcare providers in Medicare benefits. The government's promise to pay for your retirement pension and medical care is just a promise. And a lie." --John Stossel

Tuesday, January 6


As of late our President-Elect Obama has, in my opinion been missing in action.

Hamas has been launching rockets from civilian-dense neighborhoods on Israel inciting a ground offensive of the Gaza strip to route out the terrorists. Hundreds of people have been killed and no end in sight. Demonstrations against Israel have popped up around the country (especially in San Fran Freako) protesting Israel's defense of itself. If Israel was dropping bombs on Palestine and the Palestinians defended themselves, the media and pot-head freakiziods would be calling for the US to condemn Israel's actions and send in billions to help the poor Arabs. Since Israel is our strongest, if not only real ally in the middle east, you would think that the President Elect would at least express a solid opinion on the matter.

Governor Blagojevic allegedly was selling Obama's vacated Senate seat. Obama gave a couple sound bites about how he was disappointed and that it was a sad day for Illinois but where was the outrage? It was HIS senate seat! Of course he would have an interest in who would take his job. You would. However, he stayed quiet and in the background. Disgraced Governor still appoints Roland Burris as senator. He shows up in Washington and is denied entrance into the Senate. "My people tried to reach out to them(Obama); I don't think we heard anything,'' Burris said. Obama:no comment. Too controversial because Mr. Burris is black. Too much talk about race and it's role in the appointment. "Better stay clear of this one as long as possible, sir."

In the midst of all the cabinet appointments, I have heard little to no real comments about the economy. It has been a topic apparently forgotten about. Recently, there have been some talks about "tax-breaks" for businesses and tax credits to all Americans. (Topic for another day) In reality this is nothing more than another form of corporate and individual welfare. Obama's aids are out talking but where is the President Elect?

Obama will soon appoint Clintonite Leon Penetta to the head of the CIA that has no real Intelligence-gathering experience to be the nations top "spy" to protect America against terrorist threats. Somehow this does not comfort me. He does so without consultation with Diane Feinstein, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman. Now he has an old mean-liberal Californian woman on his bad side. Afterwards he apologized for not consulting with her first. Sorry. I'll be at the gym if you need me.

The common excuse for his inaction is that there is only one president at a time and he doesn't believe he should intervene with his opinions. Listen, we all know that Bush is already writing a book and it too busy packing boxes to move back to Crawford, so why not? He had no problem expressing his opinions during the election on current events. Why is he now so careful about what he says? I hope that Obama changes what seems to be a track record of inability to take a strong stance on issues. If there is one thing I did like about Bush, it was his grit when it came to standing up for what he thought was right. Of course on some pretty cut and dry, up or down votes in the Illinios Senate, Obama voted a unopinionated "present" 129 times so I guess we shouldn't be surprised by his inability to make a stand for something.

No-Drama Obama. I'd just hate to have to be the guy's White House Chef. "I'll have Steak, no chicken, no I was born in Hawaii, I feel like Spam tonight-no--ah fix me whatever you think is best."

Monday, January 5

We were the BEST..Unless

In the land of the free and the home of the competitive, one would think that as popular as college football is, there would be a definitive way to determine a champion. There are three teams full of eager college students that will have to live the rest of their lives telling their kids they were the national champions when in reality they will never know. The Undefeated Utah, Victorious one-loss Texas or the winner of the Oklahoma/Florida game will be the benefactor of a righteously flawed system that is more concerned with who has the money and who gets to keep the money that actually crowning a collegiate champion. Even hush money is paid to those schools who, if they threw a big enough fit about the flaws in the BCS system might spoil the party. Notre Dame gets over a million bucks a year whether they win a BCS bowl bid or not. Someone is greasing the skids for the greatest scam since the quiet size reduction of ice cream containers. You won't catch me wearing a BCS T-shirt anytime soon. I say Boo.

Friday, January 2

1,2,3 Kick 'em in the Knee

I have always routed for BYU. I liked a lot of their old time players-mostly QB's-McMann, Young, Detmer, Bosco etc. I also always liked the calmness and professional demeanor of LaVell Edwards. I also grew up not liking the Utah Utes. I didn't care for McBride or Majerus or many of their players. Any coach that can scream the F-word at his team knowing that cameras are on him is no role model for kids in my opinion. Since my childhood, I have watched the BYU/Utah games and have formed some of my own opinions.

I hate it when people call it the "Holy War." It starts as a rivalry, soon escalating to bitterness and ending in a crescendo of absolute hatred. Holy War? Somehow implying that the Utes are the non-believing mongrels fighting the Holy Crusaders of BYU? I have been to several Utah/BYU games and am always amazed at the ignorance and absolute lack of civility between blue and red wearing fans. It actually gets annoying to go to the game. Elsewhere in the country, there are many rivalries bigger and older than the Cougar/Utes. I have noticed though that these are healthy rivalries. There is a mutual respect among fans (granted some exceptions) but it doesn't have the same religious/cultural stigma that the Utah based rivalry does. Recognizing the fact that not all Mormons are BYU fans and not all non-Mormons are Utah fans, I am merely calling it how I see it-As if somehow the winner rules the state as a Mormon/non-Mormon territory for the next year? Perhaps it is only an outlet for frustration that builds between Mormons/non-Mormons all year and the game just gives them a socially acceptable outlet to scream and shake fists at each other. So I'm not sure that I have another "Holy War" in me for 2009. If it's a football game, and a competitive one, I'm a fan.

So here I sit typing, watching the Utah Utes represent the MWC and defeat the SEC's crown jewel Alabama Crimson Tide. I'm glad that a team from Utah did so well. I think Kyle Whittingham is a classy coach and that reflects on his players as well.
So do me a favor, if you are a fan of either of these Utah teams, and you hear someone call it the "Holy War" act civil and kick 'em in the knee.