This is not a political site. This is an anti-political site. Our purpose is to advance civil society and the freedom philosophy and have a little fun while we're at it.

5/30/14

Make Up Your Own Mind About Ed Snowden

By Grant Davies

No matter what you thought before about Ed Snowden, I'm guessing you will think differently - or at least in a more informed way - about him if you watch this entire interview. 

You may or may not change your mind. But if you are like me, he will no longer be as much of a mystery as he was before. You will learn things you didn't know even if you have been paying close attention to issue. 

You may be surprised by Ed's opinions on the NSA and spying in general now that the people have the information he provided to news organisations. 

Ed Snowden's legacy may very well be more about how things have changed with new technologies and less about the NSA itself or it's activities. It may be more about examining our freedoms, our rights, and where the country (and the world) is headed than it is about a man who told people things he thought they had a right to know.

Beyond the inevitable sensationalism of the headlines that highlight his answer to the question about whether he is a traitor or a patriot there is real information here. It's about Ed Snowden, but it's beyond Ed Snowden. 

In my opinion, this is an important news story. Real news of lasting significance, for a change.

 Watch the entire video here
The picture is the the link.

5/21/14

Throwing Gas On the Burning Obamacare Barn

By Grant Davies

Originally, the "Tea Party" was an unorganized group of citizens who opposed govt bailouts. Essentially, they opposed taking money from poor and middle class people to give to failed, but wealthy, businessmen.

Somehow the media spun that threat to big govt into an organisation of radical racists. Lefties bought it. And establishment Republicans left them hanging out to dry to protect their power base in that moribund party.

So now we see the first attempts at bailing out the insurance companies in an attempt to prevent the inevitable rise in already skyrocketing insurance premiums. It's akin to throwing gas on your burning barn.

Here's an early story on this. Hard to say how much they got right or wrong at this stage.

The picture is a link to the article.



5/2/14

One Year Since Rand Paul Stood up For the Constitution

 Try to remember this in 2016.


The Federal Reserve - A Reverse Robin Hood

By Grant Davies

While some wring their hands over the "wealth gap" but cannot tell you why, others wonder just how so much money has flowed to the already wealthy, and why.

In recent years have most of them lately done it by providing goods and services that their fellow man desires? Or is there a giant wealth transference going on due to the Fed printing money like crazy?

I'm in the second group and of the second opinion. The left hates the "wealth gap" but loves Obamanomics. It's a pretty good example of cognitive dissonance IMO.

So while the left worries about "tax breaks for the rich" transferring wealth upward, the man behind the curtain has an entirely different plan that works much better.

The following article may contain some things I disagree with, but it's a good place to start if you want to look at all this government meddling from a different perspective than what you get from the usual talking heads.

Druckenmiller: Fed robbing poor to pay rich
Robert Frank | @robtfrank
Thursday, 19 Sep 2013 | 11:06 AM ET

"The Federal Reserve isn't just inflating markets but is shifting a massive amount of wealth from the middle class and poor to the rich, according to billionaire hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller.

In an interview on "Squawk Box," the founder of Duquesne Capital said the Fed's policy of quantitative easing was inflating stocks and other assets held by wealthy investors like himself. But the price of making the rich richer will be paid by future generations.

"This is fantastic for every rich person," he said Thursday, a day after the Fed's stunning decision to delay tightening its monetary policy. "This is the biggest redistribution of wealth from the middle class and the poor to the rich ever."

Read the rest here.*

*We do not have permission to reprint the article in it's entirety but "fair use" allows us to use a lead in and a link. We apologize for asking you to leave this page to continue.

4/24/14

The Self Esteem Trophy

Image = Classicexhibits.com
Editors note:

Did you ever have an opinion that seemed to be way out of the mainstream among your peer group and think "I'm going to write about that one of these days" but never get around to it? If you write a blog you probably have. On the other hand, since 99% of you don't write blogs it's a stupid question.

I have scores of great ideas for blog posts that have never turned into a readable, coherent piece. Okay, that's probably true for most of the ones I did write.

In the case of the essay below I'm glad I never got around to it because our regular contributor Seth did such a bang up job on the topic that I think he deserves a trophy for writing it. Or maybe just for participating in this blog. Anyway, in a really bad sports metaphor, he hit a home run.- Grant Davies


The Great Participation Trophy Debate
by Seth

Those for participation trophies think it's good for self-esteem. Those against say it doesn’t prepare kids to deal with failure.

I have a third view to consider: We put too much emphasis on youth sports.

Why do we care so much about the life lessons of youth sports and not so much about life lessons learned from other childhood endeavors, like playing video games?

Has anyone ever argued that the high trial-and-error failure rate in video games hurts a child's self-esteem? No. Has anyone argued that winning or losing a video game helps kids deal with failure? No.

Yet, we all instinctively know a simple truth about video games: The more a kid plays them, the better he will get.

Play your kid in her favorite video game and she'll wipe the floor with you. That's because she has more trial-and-error experience at it than you.

That experience came with no pressure and no stakes. She didn't have coaches and parents calling out their every mistake from a sideline. If she lost a game, she just started over, tried a different approach and eventually learned what works.

Yet, we don't translate that instinct to youth sports. Parents and coaches hope for mastery, without recognizing how little time the child has had to master it, especially in unstructured, low pressure, low stakes ways.

Youth sports in the U.S. use to be viewed by parents more like video games are now. In some countries, they still are. Guys I play soccer with, who came to the U.S. from South America and Europe, tell me they spent a great deal of time playing soccer in their home countries and their parents nagged them to do something more productive, just like how U.S. parents nag their kids to put down the video games.

When I was a kid, the way we learned sports was different than today. It was a lot more like how kids these days learn to play video games -- lots of low pressure, low stakes play. Why? Because parents didn't care as much about sports then.

We had much more unstructured play where we played with family and friends. We played more often with older and younger kids, the older ones taught us the tricks of the trade, then we passed those on to younger kids.

We got creative and made up our own games and rules, a lot of times to help compensate for imbalances of playing with different ages and abilities.

The ratio of time spent in low pressure, low stakes unstructured play to the high pressure, organized play was much higher than today.

I played a lot of driveway basketball, mainly because I got bored watching I Love Lucy reruns. I won no basketball scholarships, nor was I scouted by the NBA and I'm usually the last picked at just about any pickup game.

But, if I went to a country where they don't grow up playing driveway basketball, the locals may be as amazed with my unconscious fade-away jumpers as I am with the soccer skills my friends from Europe and South America display.

Even when we played organized teams as kids, it wasn't a major event. Every parent didn't go to every game. Often, parents took turns carting the kids to the game. We often didn't have large crowds to witness our losses and we didn't get ear fulls on the ride home for the mistakes we made in the game. Nor do I remember getting snacks.

And, that was okay. Playing was more for us kids and less about pleasing parents and grandparents. They just wanted us to stay in school and out of trouble. We weren't worried about college scholarships, going pro or being sports prodigies.

I think that's the major thing that has changed. Now, sports is more about the parents. You know who I am talking about. Raise your hand if you or someone you know has mentioned to fellow adults that your kid plays a sport for a "competitive club".

If you have a strong stance on the participation trophy debate, it may be a sign that you care about youth sports more than is healthy. Think about why you care more about that than you do your child's video game or Lego building achievements.