Disgruntledpatriot's Blog

May 31, 2010

The government is not our parents!

Filed under: Sick and Tired — Trever Bierschbach @ 5:53 am
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Let me first start by saying thank you, thank you to all of those who have fought and died so those who can’t, or won’t, don’t have to.  Thank you for volunteering, for putting your life on the line to insure that everyone has a chance at freedom.  Thank you to those families who have made the ultimate sacrifice, you have lost husbands, wives, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, we honor you for your sacrifice.  This Memorial Day we thank all of you.  To my readers, if you see someone in uniform take the time to thank them.  If you hear someone talking about a family member serving, take time to thank them.  Morale is important, and while the love of family is the greatest morale booster, appreciation is right up there too.  Let them know they are appreciated.

Now, on to the show.  I was reading this article yesterday and I think I have finally had enough of the government trying to protect us from things we should be smart enough to figure out.  Government’s job is supposed to be simple.  Protect our rights as per the Constitution, defend the country, and insure that foreign countries mind their own business.  That is really government’s job, but for a long time now they have also taken it upon themselves to protect us from entities that they define as scammers.  If they were really protecting you from being scammed that would be fine, but in so many cases they are trying to protect us from things that are right there in the open.

Someone likened it to football versus rugby.  Rugby is arguable a much more brutal and dangerous sport, but even with their lack of helmets their injury rate is much lower than that of NFL football players.  The more protection that you give football players, the more reckless they become.  Would they really lead with their head if they didn’t have that state of the art helmet?  The rate of brain damage, concussion, and neck injuries is still staggering despite the helmets.  Bottom line, we are a people willing to take calculable risks, but if you continue to give us safety nets we will raise the stakes even higher.

That brings me back to the article in the Peoria Journal Star titled “Banks still gaming your payments.” (Sure enough the first site that google gave me was the White House’s mouthpiece)  Essentially they want to point out to everyone that if your credit card carries different interest rates for different transactions, they apply the payments to the balance with the lower interest rate first.  Make sense so far?  The new regulation says that if you pay more than the minimum then the excess must be applied to a higher interest balance.  Still with me so far?  The writer at the AP thinks the government is being too lenient.  The writer, to her credit, also points out that the credit card companies are open about this practice in the agreements for the credit card in the first place, but that people are angry when they find out.

Now…when did it become the government’s job to protect us from being stupid?  Do you think that like the football player, we would be more careful if we knew we had to take responsibility for our mistakes?  Who here thinks that credit cards are a good thing?  They are toxic people, they are a necessary evil for some, and when abused they are pure destruction.  Trust me, I know.  I never once expect my credit card company (I have one, with a very low credit line) to do anything to benefit me.  I came to them for credit.  I signed an agreement that I admittedly didn’t read, but you know if they did something that I was surprised about I would go back and look.  If I saw that my agreement had covered whatever it was they did, I wouldn’t be pissed at them, they told me up front.

So what if they apply the minimum payment to the lowest interest rate, who is surprised by that?  They are in business to make money, you have to be a moron to not realize that.  Besides, who is the U.S. government to tell a business how to handle money?  Our government is the king of all money mismanagement.  Our government has borrowed and spent us into a hole so deep we are almost better off digging all the way to the other side.

I am just tired of all this government parenting.  Just like the businesses they should have let fail, they need to let people fail.  Even a parent understands the need to let their child make mistakes.  We learn from them, become better people, wiser people.  Maybe that’s the point in the first place.  If they keep us dependent, dumb, ignorant, and weak maybe we won’t fight back when it’s necessary.

May 27, 2010

Is Goldline really scamming people?

Filed under: Sick and Tired — Trever Bierschbach @ 6:54 am
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Anthony Weiner would have you believe that Goldline, and Glenn Beck, are scamming people into buying gold.  Since I like to do my own research instead of just taking someone’s word, I looked into Goldline a little bit today.

First I looked at their prices, and market values, and frankly it doesn’t take a genius to see that they are charging more than the market value.  This would lead any reasonable person to ask why.  Well, since I am a collector of other things, such as Comic Books, I understand the subjective market of collectibles.  Many of Goldline’s products are collectible coins and antique currency.  They are naturally more valuable than the market price, but only to collectors.  Just like you can’t take a Comic Book worth $20 to a store and expect to get $20 for it, you can’t buy an antique gold coin, take it to a gold buyer and expect to get what you paid for it.  You have to go to other collectors.  It’s a simple concept, and covered in their risk disclosure.

The Weiner would also have you believe that the Goldline representatives claim to be investment advisers, misrepresenting themselves to customers.  Well, I guess if a person looking at their site didn’t understand the difference between an account executive and an investment adviser.  Maybe the Weiner should look at their risk disclosure page, it’s not like the company hides it.  It’s right there under all the products you can buy.

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: The Account Executives at Goldline are generally commissioned salespersons. Their commissions are usually greatest on rare coins and semi-numismatic coins and least on bullion related products. Their work experience, knowledge, background, and training vary widely. They and/or Goldline may receive, from time to time, undisclosed compensation for recommending specific coin or currency products (including but not limited to contests, cooperative advertising, and trading profits in coins that they may own and/or sell). Goldline’s employees are not licensed as investment advisors and are not authorized to recommend the purchase or sale of any product or investment other than the products specifically sold by Goldline. Check with a licensed professional with expertise in a particular market before making a decision to buy or sell any security, bond, annuity or financial instrument.

So, where again is the misrepresentation?

The Weiner also expects people to be upset that you have to hold onto your coins to make a profit.  Um, does he really expect us to believe there is an investment potential out there that gives you a profit the minute you buy it?  I want to know where that sweet deal is so I can get in on it.  Honestly Weiner, even if Goldline didn’t come right out and tell you that you have to hold on to your coins for 3-5 years, preferably 5-10, to turn a decent profit, don’t you think people would realize that themselves?  Oh yeah, I forget, Liberals think everyone is stupid.

HOLDING PERIOD: If you are purchasing coins, bullion or rare currency for investment purposes, they should be considered a long-term investment. We believe that rare coins and currency should be held for at least 3 to 5 years and, preferably, 5 to 10 years to maximize your potential for gains. Any specific holding period may be affected by current market conditions which may require a longer or shorter holding period.

We could go on and on all day like this.  The Weiner really needs to read their risk disclosure, it answers just about every allegation he makes.  As for his claim that Glenn is in on it…so we are expected to believe that he is scamming himself?  He invests in gold, by buying it from Goldline, which if the Weiner is correct is a scam, and Glenn knows it?  The Weiner is almost as delusional as the people who think Bush is diabolical enough to pull off the 9/11 attacks without anyone knowing, but can’t do something as simple as plant WMD’s in the desert.

I think I will order their free…get that Weiner FREE, investment guide and see if those same disclosures are there.  To me this doesn’t seem to be a scam, or a case of buyer beware.  Goldline seems to be up front about everything, explaining it in a reasonable manner that even someone like me, who has zero investments, can understand.  I will let you know what I find out.

May 25, 2010

Are we bailing out unions next?

Filed under: Sick and Tired — Trever Bierschbach @ 2:44 pm
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Well, looks like The U.S. Senate thinks we should be on the hook for $165 B to bail out union pensions now as well.  Basically it amounts to another propping up of an entity that failed to play by the rules, and made bad decisions with their money.  Senate Bill 3157, aka Create Jobs and Save Benefits Act of 2010, was introduced  March 23, but this is the first I have heard of it.

Some might say this is because of the recession, bad investments and money lost in the market, but according to experts pensions have been in trouble since long before the recession.  So union leadership made mistakes with their members’ money, and now they want us to pay the price.

Even more maddening the house has a similar bill, which seems to be stalled in committee known as H.R. 3936.  I don’t have any information on what this bill is proposed to cost, and that isn’t what has me upset about this one.  Contrary to their stance on fiscal responsibility, and anti-bailout promises, ten Republicans co sponsor the House bill.  One of them is my own representative, Aaron Schock (R-IL).  You can be assured I will be contacting Mr. Schock and asking him if he needs help getting his head out of his backside.

Atlas Shrugged: A Review

Filed under: Sick and Tired — Trever Bierschbach @ 5:53 am
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Ok, finally finished Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.  I may piss off a lot of fans of Rand by this review, but at least hear me out.

As far as the story goes, it was way too long.  Reading Rand’s prose is a test in a reader’s patience.  She is beyond long-winded, and I believe enough unimportant scenes could have been cut in order to make my 1200 page copy about 800.  I had to put the book down twice to take a break and read something else, and I read a lot of books, I don’t put many down.

Now, having said that, the overall moral of the story was great.  I get the message and I agree with it.  The characters were believable, and the basic story itself was good.  I would recommend it to anyone, but I would also recommend someone in the Rand estate authorize it be cut down into a trilogy or something.

For those that haven’t read it and may be interested I don’t want to give too much away.  Basically it’s the story of an America gone askew.  Reading it was kinda scary at some parts, as if today’s politicians took their lines from the fictional bureaucrats in the book.  In Shrugged the government gets out of control with regulation, fairness, and control, leading to the systematic collapse of capitalism.  The collapse is aided by a man who decides that he will no longer be subject to the state, and works to save his beloved country by stopping the machine that keeps it going every day.  He collects like-minded people and essentially takes them out of the system.  The basic idea is what would happen if all of the businessmen, inventors, creators, artists, and the like got fed up enough with government involvement and just stopped?  What would happen to society if all those that oiled, built, repaired, and redesigned the machine that kept this country moving just left?

Like I said, the parallels between the fictional government, and today’s Washington D.C. are scary.  Some of the laws in congress right now smack of the regulation in the book, and some of the language of our own politicians is a reflection of those in Shrugged.  There were many times I would just stop reading, needing time to absorb what I read, and grasp the fact that I wasn’t reading the newspaper or some history text, but a work of fiction.

Again I recommend the book, but be prepared for a long read.

May 21, 2010

James Gandolfini is a man of honor

Filed under: Sick and Tired — Trever Bierschbach @ 9:32 am
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Well, you could get this story from a site like this one, which has it all wrong.  Or, you can get it from the horse’s mouth.  Well…I expected to see a link to the conversation, or show clip on Beck’s site but it seems for now that Glenn really thinks the issue done and over.  Well, I listened to the show so real quick recap…

Glenn took his kids and wife to the opening of the Cirque du Soleil show recently in New York.  He found that he was sitting in front of James Gandolfini, and during the intermission when Glenn was taking his 5-year-old to the bathroom he introduced himself to the actor, saying they had a mutual friend.  Gandolfini responded with ‘whats Satan doing at the clown show’.  Beck didn’t respond, for many reasons including the presence of his son, and the fact that Glenn has morals.  He brushed it off as just another character attack.  Later Mr. Gandolfini approached Glenn and apologized.  Glenn said it was all right, he had heard worse.  He accepted the apology with grace, and in telling the story called James a man of honor for having the integrity to return and apologize.

It is an example of honor and respect, which we need more of.  It takes more courage to face someone and admit a mistake, instead of the knee-jerk reactions that most have.  Gandolfini succumbed to the knee-jerk at first, but realized that it was wrong.  I say we need more men of honor, men and women who know that we can all disagree, but at the end of the day we must treat each other as human beings.  James is a man of honor, he is human, he made a mistake and he turned it around, that is true honor.

I’m telling you readers, both of these men are examples.  Glenn for not responding as many would and as I am sure he wanted to, and James for admitting his mistake and treating someone he dislikes with human decency.  We, on the side of truth, must follow these examples.  We stand above them, we are better than those that spit and spew bile.  We know who we are, and we have nothing to fear from them.  They will lose, and drown in their own filth, except for those that also rise above it like Mr. Gandolfini.

I applaud both of them for rising above the hate, treating each other with decency, and being men of honor.

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