12-12-12

This is the last time I’ll see a date like this in my lifetime. The next one will be 01-01-2101, and I’ll be long gone–hard to believe.

To celebrate (?), I had lunch at Egg Plantation and placed a large-ish order at Right Stuf during their annual 12+ Days of Christmas sale (which ends Friday, BTW–so get your credit card out).

But right now, I think I’ll have a nice cup of tea and slice of leftover chocolate cake…

Long Time no Hear…

Unbelievably, my last bog post—a quote—was way back in October! But then again, it's that time of year when everything gets ridiculously busy followed by a few weeks of absolute quiet (I'm talking about work here). In addition, I had a fairly bad cold over Thanksgiving and lost my voice for almost two weeks; I'm still trying to get rid of that last little bit of it that's hanging on in my chest.

So what exactly have I been up to, you wonder? Well, pretty much the ususal. The exception was Anime Vegas over the Veterans Day weekend which was lots of fun (and lots of work) as usual. I'm proud to say that our annual Charity Auction—this year to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society—set a record at $6,019.00, nearly double last year's take. I had the chance to see old friends again and make some new ones, and as part of the Guest Relations staff it's always a blast meeting our visiting voice actors and others.

Another big thing that happened is that I'm exiting the market. on “Black Friday” I sold my last remaining shares in Amgen and have used the procedds to wipe out around 30% of my non-mortgage debt. I only have a couple of small mutual funds left to go before the end of the year. Why? I have very little faith in the economy, stock market or political situation in the country, especially following the disastrous presidential election results. It's only going to get worse, so cashing out while taxes are lower and market prices are reasonably high seems like a good idea. Paying down debt is helping to ease my mind and hopefully pave the way for other big plans in 2013. Next big project will be to start selling all my worldy possessions…

Finally, just yesterday I receive my Brydge+ keyboard for iPad and it has greatly simplified doing lots of text work on the go. In fact, I'm writing this post sitting at Egg Plantation in Newhall, CA, where I've just finished lunch. I'm attaching a quick photo below, but expect an actual review of this wondrous piece of technology in the not-too-distant future.

 

Politics Make Us Worse

Many believe greater political participation is the path to both prosperity and virtue. But they’re wrong. Increasing the sphere of politics instead leads to bad policy and increased vice.

So this is an excellent essay by Aaron Ross Powell from the Cato Institute. He couldn’t be more correct. Our nation–indeed, the world–is awash in political BS. So much so, that people in general and politicians in particular can’t even seem to see straight anymore.  Everything has to have a political dimension? Why in the hell? And shouldn’t politics be about more than which team wins, whatever the cost?

My favorite part is the final sentence:

The only way to better both our world and ourselves—to promote good policies and virtue—is to abandon, to the greatest extent possible, politics itself.

By extension, then, we need  less and not more government since politics is government’s stock-in-trade…

Today’s Quote: Rand

Quote

“When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion –
when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing –
when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors –
when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you –
when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice –
you may know that your society is doomed.”

–Ayn Rand

This, my friends, is precisely where we all stand today. Nothing that any government anywhere is doing is helping the situation since they’re the ones getting rich off favors and not producing anything–and they can back it all up at gunpoint.

Are the corporations, bankers, entrepreneurs and free-market capitalists ruining the world? They have their flaws, yes, but mostly because they’re busy playing the perverse game governments have created–and are consequently getting richer by graft and pull. Without their willing accomplices in the halls of power stacking the deck, they’d have to do what true free-market forces require: live and die by whether their products and services are of value to people or not.

What can we do? I’m not sure, but I have my own ideas. Getting out of this cruel and crumbling system is what needs to happen–before it all collapses, anarchy sets in and the shooting starts. The older I get, the more Libertarian I become since that seems like the only way we can overcome the perpetual rape and pillage being brought about by the cronies on BOTH sides of the political spectrum. LESS government is the only answer.

Who knew that Ayn Rand was a prophetess? Just take a look at any of today’s headlines which seem to have been ripped straight from the pages of Atlas Shrugged…