Episode-1288- Listener Feedback for 1-27-14

Join Me Today as I Answer Your eMails

Join Me Today as I Answer Your eMails

Today on the Survival Podcast I take your comments, questions and thoughts on politics, teaching, education, permaculture, mushrooms, bitcoin, net neutrality, PermaEthos  and more.

Make sure if you submit content for a feedback show that you put something like “comment for jack”, “question for jack” or “article for jack” in the subject line to assure proper identification for my screening process.

Please understand I receive several hundred emails a day and can’t get them all on the air.

I also do put out a lot of information on Facebook from emails that I can’t fit on the program though so keep em coming.

Join Me Today As I Respond to Your Emails On

  • Actually hold teachers accountable and what happens
  • Turning tree stumps into mushrooms
  • Here comes the “bitcoin is for criminals” push – Translation they are scared!
  • What are the advantages of ag exempt land how do you qualify for it
  • A possible new approach to the PermaEthos Concept
  • What is net neutrality and what does it show us about legislator ignorance.
  • What is the US Number One at, are you sure you want to know
  • Why no political systems are making more change right now than political ones
  • Why society is headed for epic paradigm shifts in the coming decade

Resources for today’s show…

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK (866-658-4465) and you might hear yourself on the air.

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170 Responses to Episode-1288- Listener Feedback for 1-27-14

  1. Executive Order 6102 was officially repealed, allowing US citizens to own gold.

    • Modern Survival

      That is the one! This allowed gold to be priced in DOLLARS on the open market.

    • TheFreeRanger

      Actually, the repeal of EO-6102 had little effect on the gold market.

      • Modern Survival

        Incorrect again! Until 1975 no gold was purchased on the open market with dollars, why, it was illegal. This allowed the Fed to inaccurately portray the dollar’s value relative to gold and other global currencies. Sure banks could buy gold in dollars but it was under their control how, when, why, where, etc. Of course the banks are the Fed, they didn’t have to work together or anything they are one in the same! You don’t have to force your foot to work together with your hand because you are one being get it?

        Now in 75 what occurred was the right buy and sell gold was returned to the average person and the not so average one as well, the multi millionaires. This was in the middle of stagflation and a major recession. Money poured into gold, for the first time since the 1930s real dollars had to compete for real gold, the rest is history.

        One thing many don’t know is that the wealthy prior to 1975 didn’t just have “off shore” accounts to hide from the tax man, they also did it so they could hold gold back assets and gold itself.

  2. By 1975 all OPEC members had agreed to sell their oil only in US dollars.
    Source:
    http://aheadoftheherd.com/Newsletter/2012/Nixon-Gold-and-Oil.htm

  3. Dang, I like Brad’s answer better…

  4. Jack:
    Last week on The Blacklist, they used bit coin to Launder money to make it untraceable, so they are already doing it…Spot on again!

    • its also been referenced several times on Almost Human. When it shows up on SVU and NCIS we will know the propaganda will be in full effect

  5. Everybody likes the sound of higher standards, except for the parents who have just been told their china cup hasn’t met the standard. This was in my Sunday paper, no 0’s allowed:
    http://hamptonroads.com/2014/01/virginia-beach-schools-pressured-scrap-zeros
    I’m a former teacher that got much pressure about the same thing.

    • Yeah, it didn’t take long after Jack made the podcast for this major news to come out. I suspect it is just the beginning of the more aggressive attack on bitcoin.

      The whole thing about the arrest is absurd. I met and chatted with those BitInstant guys at the liberty forum last year. These aren’t hairy mean looking stereotypical drug dealer types… these are geeks, who are really into the principle behind it. Of course, some bitcoins would be used for drugs (so what), but so is cash. The CEO of Bank of America should be arrested because his bank hands out cash to people, knowing full well that a certain percentage of it is going to immediately be used for drug deals.

      • They were sending money to Silk Road. If you don’t know Silk Road is like Amazon or eBay for the underground. You can only buy in BitCoin. It is awesome!
        Of course there are products on there that are illegal in the US. Which is also awesome!
        Silk Road was shut down but Silk Road 2.0 lives on.

        • I have not been there but I know of it. How do they know they were “sending money to silk road”; what does that even mean? BitInstant’s purpose was to exchange bitcoins for cash (although they did it poorly and were basically just an unnecessary front end to MtGox, ZipZap, Money Gram and other services that actually did the real cash handling). So, there’s no ready way to know what someone is going to do with it until after they have done it. Bitcoin exchangers are supposed to be able to predict the future? Did someone come to them and say “Hey, I am Mr. Silk Road, here’s my Silk Road bitcoin address. Send the money here where I’ll immediately buy drugs and hire someone to club a baby seal to death.”

        • You can’t/couldn’t “send money to silk road”. Its like saying you sent money to craiglist.

  6. I’m going with Brad’s answer. I just downloaded the podcast and am in sixth place in commenting :( I need a faster feed.

  7. Alex Shrugged

    FYI, to give full credit for the history segment, Jack accidentally read a paragraph from the original source material I used to create the segment rather than my own comments. So… that paragraph came from the public domain document…

    “A History of Banking in All the Leading Nations, Volume II” by William Graham Sumner, 1896.

  8. Chris in NW Ga
    I live in NW Ga and would like to talk about helping with your project. Email me and I would like to talk.
    Rstenney@gmail.com
    Hope you read this
    Scott

  9. TheFreeRanger

    In about 1975, they tried to auction off lots of gold to drive the price down, but they ran into a liquidity problem, much like we have today.
    TheFreeRanger

    • Modern Survival

      True but not what happened that really made the false suppression of gold prices clear.

    • TheFreeRanger

      The government banks all agreed to stop using a gold price and they stopped using gold in the monetary exchange system between countries.
      TheFreeRanger

  10. I have been told that when you purchase property that has AG exemptions currently that you have to start over because it won’t transfer to purchaser…what has been your research on that? Is that determined by state or county?

    • Modern Survival

      That is absolutely one hundred percent untrue. If so you would not need an ag specific loan to buy an ag property.

    • Yeah it Texas for sure that’s untrue I bought land with an Ag exemption and they even allowed me to let the land go fallow for 2 years, doing nothing on it and still got the Ag Exemption.

  11. MtHomesteaded

    Jack, I’ve heard you talk about Bitcoin quite a lot and I wanted to try and shed some light on the myth the Bitcoins are anonymous. The truth is they really aren’t anonymously. Especially to the average person that doesn’t fully understand the concept of using wallets online or how the hashes work on transactions. http://bitcoin.org/en/protect-your-privacy
    The bitcoin keeps a log of EVERY transaction against that particular bitcoin ever, forever. Here you can see a list of all transactions that have been hashed. However, the hash key’s are given and the owner can easily be determined. http://blockexplorer.com/address/1pZTRmdTtorqZnYhHpT4DW4owjZ8mBNyQ
    There are definitely ways to make sure that your bitcoin transactions are NEAR anonymous, but never 100%. I guess I would just caution anyone who wants to be anonymous using bitcoins to read up on them and learn the tricks to help protect your privacy.

    • How would one work with BitCoin’s 100% anonymously? I know there are ways and would love to hear your thoughts.
      Here are mine:
      IP Dark Masking and Proxy
      Online Wallet that does not collect information other than an email (obviously you would not use an email that can be tracked back to you).
      Local Wallet with encryption on a deadkey. (Memorize address)

      • It certainly isn’t easy. You may be able to keep your own address anonymous, but once you transfer bitcoin to someone else, they may not be anonymous and the transaction is visible for all the world to see. You could be identified by your association with them.

        • Modern Survival

          Incorrect! They would know the person got money, they would know the address that sent it but unless you made the info public they don’t know who’s address that is. It is like me giving you a license plate number but not telling you what state the plate is from, and you having no access to DPS data either, nor the make or model of the vehicle. Sure the plate is XYZ-123 but that doesn’t really tell you a damn thing.

        • I probably didn’t explain it very well. Yes, if the person you sent bitcoin to also was still anonymous, you might be okay. However, people often widely broadcast their address, from web sites, Facebook pages and emails. They may have also funded their address by using an exchange tha pulled from their bank account. All these actions easily identify the owner of a bit coin address to the NSA. Clever mining of the block chain data plus all the NSA collects across the entire internet should be able to identify most bitcoin addresses that are actually in real use.

        • I agree with GG. From an information security perspective, considering bitcoin as being inherently anonymous is a very dangerous assumption. It’s far from being the strongest reason why bitcoin is beneficial to society.

      • It’s not as hard as the whole license plate idea would seem. Anyone who makes deposits or withdraws from any bitcoin acount leaves behind an address that while on the surface isn’t associated with any particular person the wallet(s) do know what address is associated with whom. A better analogy might be to say that you could be given a random bank account number and while you as the individual wouldn’t know who’s account number that is any law enforcement agency can subpoena the information from the bank. And as such they can subpoena the address information from the wallet service like Coinbase (read bank account). There have already been several drug dealers from the Silk Road arrested using this methodology.
        Here is a paper co-written by UCSD and George Mason professors on how they where able to track each others bitcoin transactions using nothing that any law enforcement agency couldn’t readily get access to: Bitcoin PDF

        So how do you try and stay anonymous?
        Use a TOR. And use a TOR in a public space like Starbucks or the library. Use multiple different wallets on YOUR PC not an online wallet. Online wallets are like virtual bank accounts and have information about you and your transactions that can be subpoenaed. The FBI won’t subpoena your PC they’ll just take it if they find you :-) Josiah, even a “fake” email can be traced right back to your machine if the FBI wants you bad enough. While every little bit helps don’t rely on fake email addresses. Make your purchases random out of your multiple wallets. Like the con game of finding the pea under the shells. And finally and possibly most importantly use a tumbler. A tumbler aggregates multiple transactions together. It’s like me and you each putting $10 worth of pennies into a jar and shaking it up. We can each get $10 back out but we have no idea who put which penny into the jar. So at best with hundreds of thousands of transactions a law enforcement agent might be able to tell that your address put money in or took money out of the tumbler but it will be nearly impossible for them to tell what you purchased if anything. Maybe you just put the coins in and took the same amount back out just to “wash” them?BitcoinFog Tumbler
        Hope that helps clarify things…

  12. BITCOIN SLANDER — a couple weeks ago on “Person of Interest” the PoI was a young computer programmer who created an international website on the dark web to deal narcotics (i.e. “Silk Road”) which of course used BitCoin.

  13. On becoming a US citizen: If voting actually changed anything, it would be illegal. Its just the sad truth.

    • There is literally only one benefit I can think of. If you’re here on a green card and wish to leave the US for more than a year, the green card will expire and can’t be renewed without going through the whole process all over again. So, this matters to people who are from countries where the green card (or any kind of entry to the US) is difficult/impossible to get. Granted, someone may intend to leave the US and never return, but being a US citizen or current green card holder means increased travel possibilities. e.g. if you’re Filipino and wish to travel, you can travel to most places with US citizenship or green card, but once that green card expires, you’re out of luck and being back to stuck in a handful of Asian nations.

      One thing I’m wondering is if dual citizenship prevents opening bank accounts in other countries — does anyone know? My thinking is that you present your non-US passport when getting the bank account, so they wouldn’t even know and can get the account.

      • You can open bank account in multiple countries. My question is why even bother with banks that use government currencies any more?
        Because you need a debit card? https://bitplastic.com/
        Because you need to transfer money to bank accounts? http://BitPay.com http://coinbase.com Both offer great transfer fees to many currencies or to bank accounts. 1%
        Because you want to purchase online where they only accept government currency? http://all4btc.com/p/anywhere

        The only reason I can think of is that an individual you are bartering with will only accept a specific currency. In that case I would prefer to try to educate the individual. If that does not work and you do the transaction without reporting it in your taxes you are breaking the law.

  14. Modern Survival

    So that is one!

    • Well 2 actually I posted the one where they used Bit Coin on The Blacklist to Launder Money and make it untraceable in last weeks episode towards the end of the show

  15. Illegal to own gold, was one of our countries darkest days. The U.S Federal Government continues to commit attrocities like this on our citizens and we keep going back for more.

    On a different note how long did it take Rome to fall?

    • The Roman Republic was founded in 509 BCE and fell in 476 CE. So that republic version of the government lasted 984 years. The city itself lasted far longer. About 1229 years. That is the estimate at least.

    • Josiah, that was the Western Empire that fell in 476. The Eastern Roman Empire continued on until it was conquered by the Ottomans in 1453. So you could add almost another 1000 years to that figure.

      • Darn wikipedia!
        Thanks for the correction Tsarski. I must have read it wrong.

        • No worries, You’re not wrong. It’s just a technicality, the Empire was divided into two parts to manage it better. The Western half wasn’t managed that well and fell part during the 5th Century. Fascinating to learn about it from a podcast by Mike Duncan (who is now doing a Revolutions Podcast) and to see how history repeats itself.

  16. Thank you SO much for talking about net neutrality. I’m an IT guy and constantly have to argue with folks as to why Net Neutrality is actually a bad idea.

    • Yes and I agree with Jack’s analysis. The only thing I didn’t hear him mention is that proponents of a net neutrality law typically point out that ISPs have occasionally been known to look at people’s traffic and try to slow or block it depending on the content, such as Comcast messing with bit torrent traffic. While I don’t like them doing that, I’m certainly not willing to “fix” that by having the government step in and wreck everything. I simply pay a small amount for a private VPN service, thus bypassing anything like this they may attempt (and I doubt they are attempting it much as they keep getting burned whenever it is reported about what the ISPs are doing).

      • Chris Kleeschulte

        I have this conversation daily with people. I am actually quite disgusted with the net neutrality folks and those who oppose it because both sides are asking the wrong questions and attempting to solve the wrong issue. The issue isn’t whether or not the government can regulate the internet in any capacity or where or not the large incumbent ISP’s should be able to traffic shape; the issue is that what is best for the users of the internet is completely open and unfiltered access to the internet. ISP’s should affirm that they will sell us a “dumb pipe” and treat all packets the same regardless of source or destination. If they won’t do that, I am moving my business to someone who can. But, right now government regulation has made it next to impossible to compete at the same level as someone like Comcast. The government should remove EXISTING regulation and allow innovation in this area. Users of the internet should take their privacy seriously and use Tor as much as possible.

        • I mostly agree. Although what you’re saying regarding “ISP’s should affirm that they will sell us a “dumb pipe”” is a non-government net-neutrality.

          I definitely don’t agree with regulations that only assist the big guys (obviously). But I also completely disagree with saying that ISPs have to do one thing or another. The only thing they should “have to do” is say what they do, and when you sign a contract with them, do what they say they do (you know rather than allowing implicit contracts that they can change with or without your knowledge).

          The “internet” is not free and it sure as hell isn’t public either. If Terms of Services of websites are enforceable via law its quite clearly not a public thing.

    • Okay, my understanding of Net Neutrality is apparently leagues away from what’s actually going on. As far as I knew, the recent thing with NN was the repealing of some FCC regulation restricting ISPs from doing the things folks are worried about; and that those restrictions were essentially operating as insurance up to this point?

      I get not wanting to have more incompetent lawmaking, but is this not a case of mostly-accommodating checking on potential abuse? What kind of inanity is being pushed out there?

    • As a networking expert I wasn’t that comfortable with Jack’s explanation of net neutrality, the explanation captured the stupidity of congress but didn’t actually touch on the real world problem the net neutrality camp is trying to solve. I DO agree that the government passing new regulation is the worst possible solution.

      The point of this comment is that this debate is not going to go away. Amazon, Netflix and other internet based video streaming companies are now in direct competition with the main business line of local ISP’s like Cablevision and Comcast. The issue of traffic shaping and network QoS is less that an ISP is going to ask for a network priority tax of video streams, and more that the ISP will start intentionally damaging the usability of a competitors service offering.

      In a world where consumers are canceling their $160/m cable package to stream $10/m internet video, and where cable TV program providers are losing negotiations with major cable channels like AMC; it only makes sense that the internet provider providing cable packages would do anything in its power to damage the internet TV business model.

      To that one might argue “then consumers will just get a new ISP”, but lest us not forget that the government by and large has already given these cable “utilities” a monopoly over there area.

      When it comes to netnutrality, us end users get hurt either way it’s a “Damned if we do, damned if we don’t” situation.

      • This is kind of a classic ‘old/fat industry tries to maintain market share’ issue.

        Until the internet, cable companies were able to get a pretty hefty premium for their entertainment packages. This was of course partially because they had their regional monopolies on a form of entertainment that people wanted.

        Which leads to an interesting topic for libertarian discussion.. the ‘practical’ reason for regional monopolies was that the cable network takes up pole space. If everyone who wanted to build a network (competition) was allowed to, the poles would fall over from the weight of all the wires.

        The option would be something like what exists for phones where the ‘owner’ of the lines is required to allow other companies to use them.. but of course that’s a very non-Libertarian solution also.

        In my local area, its the usual duopoly, Phone and Cable internet offerings. And with their current strategies, I think our Phone company will ‘win’. They’re not trying to sell entertainment (as hard).. they’re on the ‘data pipe’ side of thinking and laying/requiring fiber. Which says that, at least in this area, its profitable to lay fiber at $50/mo.

        So, if I only cared about data (which I do) and I was on cable, and they were screwing with my speed, or blocking/hampering services that I cared about, I would exit their service very rapidly.

  17. TheFreeRanger

    I think the US is number one in military power.
    I think a US Passport will get a citizen into the most countries without having a Visa before hand.
    I think the US has the most number of ships registered to it.
    I think the US is the most beautiful country in the world.
    I think a US citizen is almost born with the ability to create a successful business.
    I think the US somehow produces the most creative, fun and interesting people in the world.

    • TheFreeRanger

      And, the US is still number one in the number of people who wish to become a resident of the country.

    • Modern Survival

      Awe yep, false American Exceptionalism.

    • #1 in military power: sad
      Passport gets a citizen into most countries: sad that we even need identification to travel
      Most ships registered to it: sad we need to register any ships
      Born with the ability to create a successful business: I disagree. It would be far easier for me to create a business and be successful in a business elsewhere. There are far to many regulations and roadblocks. I do agree that most highly successful people come from the US. It would be interesting to see what the % looks like per capita in comparison to all other countries.
      I agree with most beautiful country and most creative, fun and interesting people in the world. Although that is going down hill very quickly and is purely based on personal perspective.

    • TheFreeRanger

      You can blame it on that Marxist term, “American Exceptionalism,” but if you would have traveled the world as a cultural traveler, you’d know that the opportunity for the American Dream is what foreigners still believe. We Americans are seeing the end of that dream, but most foreigners still desire America as “number one.” Their “wish to become a resident of the” US is number one over any other country. It’s personal and practical, not a philosophy. If you haven’t filled up a passport with extra pages, you coundn’t know what people in other countries think about America.

      • Modern Survival

        I have traveled a LOT MORE than you might think. Our reputation in most of the world today is shit and sadly we have earned it.

        • TheFreeRanger

          Your golden tongued reply is weak. How many countries have you spent time in while NOT in the military? Number please. Reputation? The places “in the world with the bad reputation the US earned” was mainly caused by our military. We Americans need to stop this military aggression and I wish you would join this effort. Please stop helping our military fill young people’s minds with power over solutions to social problems. Please don’t wait ten years to take the next step to personal freedom.

        • Modern Survival

          Dude, you know noting about me, I have been to off the top of my head a dozen nations since leaving the Army in 1993, though you can’t just discount that. During that time I spent 6 months living among people in one of the most remote parts of the world, I gaurntee you that I know more about how they live and what they think about the world than you do, the clothes I wore didn’t change that.

          Additionally during the other 1.5 years of that deployment I was in Panama. I spent many weekends in Cherokee province do you even know where that is, it is beautiful beyond words. I also spent a ton of time in Costa Rica, I made many local friends in both of those areas. I traveled additionally across much of South America during that time, ON LEAVE as a civilian to anyone I would speak to other than immigration.

          My real exception to your NONSENSE was this crap,

          “I think a US citizen is almost born with the ability to create a successful business.”

          Sorry that is complete and total bullshit! Americans are not born with shit that is fundamentally different than any other human on the damn planet. That comment infers either magical blessing or genetic superiority. We have no greater ability to create anything than anyone else. As to opportunity that is relative. Many nations are far better suited for the creation of businesses (big or small) than the US today. If I was in Costa Rica for instance there would be zero in my way in building PermaEthos, land of the free hey?

          Freest nation on the planet is a lie!

          Oh dude next time you get a shinny new colored stamp somewhere, try this social experiment! Make some new friends and when they say are you American, say oh no, Canadian, then toss in something slightly to the negative about America and see what happens. Any marketer knows that all focus groups skew to the positive. People are nice to other people, make them think that the group they are talking about isn’t present and you get a much more accurate view of what they think.

          As for the many that still want to come here, I wonder how accurate their view of what America is and is becoming is?

        • @TheFreeRanger (sry wrong reply level)

          thank you for a nice belly laugh

          If you’re directing your:
          ‘We Americans need to stop this military aggression and I wish you would join this effort. Please stop helping our military fill young people’s minds with power over solutions to social problems. Please don’t wait ten years to take the next step to personal freedom.’

          ..you haven’t been listening very long. I assume this is a tagline you attach to your emails. ;-)

          And, I don’t mean to be rude/confrontational.. but, if someone states their experience, and the opinions they have formed based on that experience.. demanding that they ‘prove it’ to your satisfaction is, at best, impolite.

          IMO, It is tantamount to calling the other person a liar, while taking a position of ‘moral authority’ that must be answered. In short, it is appropriate, with your own children, and probably with no one else.

          You’ve stated your opinion about foreigners desires, based on your experience.. and Jack has stated his.

        • Modern Survival

          Yep Insidious I found that statment,

          “We Americans need to stop this military aggression and I wish you would join this effort. Please stop helping our military fill young people’s minds with power over solutions to social problems. Please don’t wait ten years to take the next step to personal freedom.”

          Pretty funny for two reasons.

          1. As you alluded to it pretty much sounds like what I say about our use of our military all the time.

          but

          2. The fact that FreedomRanger equates my view of the world with aggressive military actions. I guess he doesn’t know what I did in the Aguan River Valley during my six months in Honduras. It was far from a war of aggression! Most people tend to appreciate it when you build roads and schools for them and don’t charge them for doing it by the way.

          @TheFreedomRanger, Here you go dude, learn about the history of the person you think you know so well,

          http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/survival-lessons-from-the-aguan-river-valley

        • “Dude”? … “Dude”? I’m feeling like some reincarnation of “The Big Lebowski” film. Are you implying I’m a “slacker,” also? Please calm down, this is important stuff.

        • Modern Survival

          Dude is a word I use like many other words. So dude, if you take offense to it, it is YOUR PROBLEM. As to what is important, we each decide for ourselves what is important to ourselves. And we each decide how to act on it.

          Your meme is becomming clear and it is a common one I deal with.

          Jack you are influential and have a broader responsibility.

          Followed by

          You are wrong about this and misleading people.

          Followed by

          I know the truth this is the truth or the way things should be or the language you should use.

          This concludes with an illogical blending of the three. It is never put this way but this is the reality of what is being said.

          People listen to you more than they listen to me so you are required your influence to convey my opinion.

          May be after you listen to my podcast on the Aguan River Valley you should listen to some stuff I have done on libertarian thinking.

          Perhaps you should also consider why I have influence. No one gave it to me, I was not created by a TV or Cable network. I spoke what I know to be true, did it a long time and people choose to listen. If you ideas are better, do the same, see if you are listened to, you may very well be and it won’t harm me nor hurt my feelings. But don’t go telling me it is my responsibility to change my thinking to what you believe because of your assertion as to what my responsibility is.

          You know I have had members of the LDS church tell me that I am obligated to their church to help more of them and so I am called upon to stop cursing on the air so more LDS members can listen to me. The guy is serious and I am sure to you that sounds ridiculous. Well, “dude”, LOL in the words of Tommy Chong what you are asking of me is, “the same but different man”.

        • Actually, the time I filled up my passport with stamps and extra pages, I traveled as a “CANADIAN,” to avoid that “American positiveness,” as you say. I traveled those years alone, but occasionally teamed up with other adventurous spirits when needed for safety or enjoyment. I apologize to the Canadians who might care. I learned enough Indonesian, Thai, German, Russian, Tagalog and Australian to get by. I’ve never stayed in a hotel. So, how many months have you actually spent outside of North America? The reason I’m pinning you down so much is because most golden tongues can make words imply more than the facts bear. Were those “6 months living among people … remote … know … how they lived … think … than you do” was your Army mechanic duty in Haiti living in a barracks and eating at the chow hall. Right? BTW, “Cherokee” Provence has been greatly developed since you were there, but it’s still “beautiful,” but full of Gringos now. Was that “tons of time in Costa Rice” just across the border from “Cherokee” Provence? Ever had a foreign mailing address you got mail at, other than a APO? So far, NO South American country story. So, now tell us what natives “think” about America.

        • Modern Survival

          Look you are starting to piss me the hell off! You don’t get to fing “pin me down” and I would really like to see you be such a smart ass to my face. Golden tongue?

          I’ll answer just a little and then I am done, if you want more after this come shoot your mouth off to me face to face or go bother someone else. You sound like and entitled young punk here. I should not bother at all but I will just a bit.

          Cherokee and Southern Costa Rica, about three weekends a month and a few times on longer leave for 18 months with the interim deployment to Honduras. I had practically a second family up there we actually still exchange communicate after all this time. Since I left in 93 that would be 21 years and we still have an ongoing communication, not that it is any of your business. Again you don’t know a damn thing about me. As for the people that lived there opinion of Americans? Pretty good, the Americans they knew anyway. Desire to leave, zero, desire to go become an American citizen, zero.

          And clown, calling American’s gringos? Your talking out of both sides of your face with such a negative view, oh and Gringo isn’t a word used in northern Panama, thought a globe trotter like you would know that. Gring is a Mexican word that has only gotten into other latin nations because we Americans have taken it there. It doesn’t mean American either, it means “foreigner” and in a very bad way. I was called a gringo once here by a Mexican, I told him this was my country and it meant if anyone was a gringo, he was. Friendly exchange but he said I was one of the few people that even understood that.

          Again if you have run into people who think we are great I wonder how the reality of America meets the marketing they have been fed.

          Now if you want to demand anything of me, brush off your traveling shoes and come see me. Your demanding tone is fucking bullshit, I don’t owe you a damn thing. Seriously I have to get fucking mail in order to have an accurate opinion on America’s declining reputation in the world? We are done here DUDE!

        • Modern Survival

          Oh and one last thing, what the rest of the world thinks about the US good or bad isn’t anywhere near as important as what Americans are beginning to feel about America.

          Frankly my opinion of America is based on my view as an American, that is more valid then what some guy in Australia with grass is greener syndrome thinks about it.

          May be if you built a business here (given I have built many) instead of frolicking all around you would know just how economically unfree this nation is. There are half a dozen things I could just do in nations like Costa Rica or Panama tomorrow that are impossible or illegal in this nation. There are parts of this nation more dangerous to walk down the street in then most will ever admit.

          The exceptional component to America was our constitution, I say was because a republic must be guarded by its citizens and ours went to sleep. Constitutional freedoms are shit upon daily in this nation now. More taken at every turn, we are a nation that spies both on our citizens and our allies. We are taxed out of our brains and people like you want to say well we are better than Russia or the UK as though that is a metric to be proud of. We are following the UK right on about 20 years behind and they are creating a modern version of socialism that already destroyed the USSR. Wow what a great path.

          Yep as I think about this, what someone in Turkey or New Zealand or Panama thinks about the America they have only heard of and never been too, doesn’t mean as much as the countless Americans thinking about leaving whose numbers grow daily.

        • Jack, you wrote, “Dude is a word I use like many other words. So dude, if you take offense to it, it is YOUR PROBLEM.” I agree! I don’t take any “offense” to that word, but it sure sounds silly coming from your mouth. But, I’d like to point out something else. Awhile back you cut a contributor off (Episode #1245), because you said “he insulted you by calling you a ‘punk’.” If you were being consistent, it would seen that him using that word “is your problem.” Right? I’m not questioning your right to do whatever you want with your website. I’m just bringing up the consistency issue.

        • Modern Survival

          Dude is not an insult only a person being disingenuous or person that is ignorant would compare dude to punk. Dude is a friendly word, it is a word that I used growing up with my friends. It is still very commonly use in Philadelphia have you never been to our original capital? So are you being disingenuous or are you ignorant in your vocabulary?

        • So, there it is. All military related tourist, the natives had a good view of America and NO South American travel. Thanx, Jack. So, I’d like to again say that America is number one in the most number of people in the world wishing to relocate into America. I speak from global cultural travel and not just North America. I also think these people are very misguided in their thinking about the value of American living.

        • Modern Survival

          Again been to a dozen other nations since. None of your business where, ZERO and again my opinion of this nation as an American is more valid then anyone who has never been here anyway. Again you talk like a smart ass, and I doubt you would be so lippy and demanding of a person face to face.

        • I have never said, nor implied that, “we are better than Russia or the UK”! I’m not even talking about that subject. But, how about this fact: The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom lists the US as number 14 in the world, “Mostly Free” and dropping! That’s 13 countries higher in economic freedom than the US. Well, I’ve already Walked to Freedom, because I’m now a resident of one of those better countries and I’m not coming back. If you really want to “Walk to Freedom,” look at that list and start walking. I’m done!

        • Modern Survival

          Oh your are done, what you are clearly now is a Troll. You extoll the virtues of the US then admit to hauling ass out of it. At this point I question your creditably specifically the comment I just deleted making a claim of which I think you are fully and wholly lying about now.

          I would “demand” to know and “pin you down” as to which nation you fled the “best nation” to join but since you are now absolutely done with your lying and trolling on TSP, it won’t be possible for you to answer.

  18. Hey Jack! I loved your rant on the public school issue! You should look into getting Brett Veinotte of schoolsucksproject.com on for an interview. Check out his first podcast from 2009 “The ‘Business’ Plan.” His stuff is entertaining but also breaks down the history of compulsory education and how it is so damaging.

  19. It was grand to here you speak so meritocratically in the ‘hold teachers accountable segment.’ Hat tip… That thought process will take us great places.

  20. Hey, Jack:

    Was just thinking on loans to buy AG Exempt property. I am not sure on this but the USDA might have loans for this. I know they do the USDA does loans for regular houses in “rural” areas. Their definition of “rural” is fairly stretched as most smaller counties qualified last I checked. I am more in gas and oil work now than mortgages so I am not up on the latest but might be worth a shot if someone has no other way.

    AZD

  21. So far, Bitcoin has been mentioned on Almost Human, Person of Interest, The Blacklist, and Criminal Minds and The Good Wife.
    On Criminal Minds, it was used to pay hookers and mentioned to be untraceable.
    On Almost Human, it has been the only currency mentioned in the future setting. Not sure if it IS the currency, but it is at least an established alternate currency people are carrying around on offline hard USB wallets.
    On The Blacklist, it was used in a ‘leet’ whiz-bang money laundering transaction.
    On Person of Interest (probably the best written show on TV), it was mentioned in the context of the crypto-currency used on the recently shut down ‘Black Market Bazaar.’
    The Good Wife actually had an episode called Bitcoin for Dummies (this I did not see; but will watch it on Amazon.) Wikipedia says “Alicia defends a lawyer (Jason Biggs) who was arrested for not revealing the name of a client who illegally invented a new online currency, prompting a number of legal challenges regarding the right of client-attorney confidentiality. “

  22. Sent you an email with half a dozen or so mentions of cryptocurrencies on mainstream TV (all in a negative shade). What pisses me off is the major piece of rhetoric lobbed against Bitcoin — criminals use it to launder money and buy guns and drugs. First off, Bitcoin isn’t as anonymous as most people think; every single transaction is recorded and traceable in the Blockchain and I’m sure the government has coded up a solution to track this. Second, do you know what is most commonly used to facilitate money laundering and illicit drug sales? THE FRIGGIN’ U.S. PAPER DOLLAR! And I’m sure many more scumbags are using USD and Euros to facilitate their crimes vs. cryptocurrencies.

    Also Jack, I talked to a well known Bitcoin guy that would love to be on your show. Any idea when your guest form will be resurrected? Great show today, take care.

    -Hank

    • Chris Kleeschulte

      Andreas Antonopoulos is a fantastic advocate for Bitcoin. He was recently on the Joe Rogan Experience and did a great job of intelligently explaining Bitcoin. No other person, in my view, has such a complete understanding -AND- can convey that in such a digestable form.

      • Andreas is great, but I was thinking more along the lines of his co-host Adam Levine. Adam is less technical and, as a result, perhaps more appropriate to explain Bitcoin to the TSP community. Andreas can come off a bit confrontational at times (not necessarily a bad thing). I’ve reached out to Adam and he’s totally down for an interview, but the guest form is offline again.

        I don’t see a bitcoin advocate coming to thesurvivalpodcast.com to fill out a form on their own, because they usually have nothing to sell and/or aren’t aware that this community exists. Given the numerous questions from the TSP community regarding Bitcoins, I thought it’d be great to reach out to someone in the scene and ask if they’d come on the show. Given the volatility/evolution of Bitcoin, I hope this happens sooner than later.

        • Modern Survival

          John Bush is already booked to come back and discuss bitcoin in depth. Further again I never recruit a guest, a guest that won’t fill out a form, doesn’t want to be on. Done.

    • good call Chris Kleschulte.. skip ahead to 10:50 to skip the ads http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cexawnOlR8

  23. Michael Jordan "Beewhispererwyosurvival"

    AG LAWS:
    JACK
    we are doing this in Wyoming RIGHT NOW!!!!
    I have found loop holes for AG. One is to see about rezoning your home, then property. I rezoned my property for Light industrial. This lets me do all AG. I can open a vet clinic or animal disposal. I have 50 beehives about 12 blocks from the Wyoming state capital that I keep for income, and have changed laws to do this. I am having a class on this with Nick Ferguson in June (feel free to contact us to come and lean). Each city has zoning laws, and then county, then state. So you have to start in the location you are in. In my county you can garden in the front yard….in another county you have to get a city permit to even garden, but they have put in place hens for home use in the city. So all have different laws for zones and AG. As one inspector told me that if you do it and it is no complains on nothing really happens. Then if someone does you have 60 days to fix or permit. So you have time to see what changes you can do.

  24. Michael Jordan "Beewhispererwyosurvival"

    Hey Jack. ON the PermaEthos Concept, I was just $300,000.00 short on bying a town in Wyoming. I went for 1.2 mill. There are a few towns in Wyoming that you can get to start off with. would not have to worry about any thing…you own the town. make your own laws, got post office, already has some type of system of power and water that you can change. I am looking now at a town called Glendo WYoming. There are a few towns in that spot or a place called Elk Mt or Warmsutter Wyoming. Getting a Town may be a better way. Other states may have this.

    Just somthing to look into i guess.

  25. Great episode Jack. I have been saying the same about anti gun folks. Like the ghost gun. With 30 clips a second. I hope you seen that California rep saying that on the news.

  26. I’m a recently retired teacher, and I’m in agreement that there are a myriad of problems with the current system. I taught high school level math and science classes and also some university classes at night.

    Several years ago I was in a meeting in which we were preparing a flowchart to illustrate the various sequences of classes as student could enroll for as they moved through the school. If a student were in math class “X” we’d look at where they might go next if they did well, or if they struggled, etc. Well, after some time listening to the discussion, I suggested that for each class in the flowchart we needed an arrow back to that class itself. If a student didn’t do well, and if they needed the information from that class, re-taking the class seemed like one obvious pathway. I was astonished at the resistance this encountered. At the meeting I’m referring to I could not get that flow chart line added, although it was added later. No one wants a student to fail, and teachers should give help, encouragement, inspiration, cajoling, threats (not bad threats), but try everything in their repertoire of teaching to help, but if it doesn’t work, one outcome is to simply try again.

    There is a duality inherent to life that seems bound up with every choice we make; think about success vs failure, richness vs poverty, life vs death itself. By removing the possibility of failure we somehow lessen the chance of success.

    • beewhispererwyosurvival

      I am with you on this.
      I tell my kids to look at being a ear person….with every one using ear buds…most people that are under 30 will need hearing aids at 50. will be a good market for kids do to the fact they don’t lien know. LOL

  27. For Permaethos one alternative might be to organize as a club. Maybe a permaculture club or a rod and gun club since there is more precedence. Or a rod and gun club next to a private camp ground. The clubhouse could have the power, internet, washing machines, etc. The camp ground could have sites with sheds etc. I’ve seen some campgrounds with lots of permanent buildings.

    • Modern Survival

      It is something we looked at, but when you start actually building anything approaching true housing and specifically when you bring in 100 plus people it really doesn’t work. Again I can’t gamble with anyone’s money except my own.

    • I’m not a real estate attorney nor do I know Texas law but are the downsides of subdivisions really that big? Is Pauls arrangement too unorganized? How about a company town approach? A church where we worship liberty? An HOA where everthing is allowed?

      I’m not trying to pester you, and I’m sure you have smart people thinking aobut this, it just seems like such a great idea to implement “freedom of assoiciation”. A

      • Modern Survival

        @John, it is cost. To get a division approved (which means they can say no) you have to have a Professional Engineer design the entire division, they don’t do that for free. The planning commissions won’t even talk to you unless you have that done. They won’t tell you what you can and can’t do, they tell you to ask them if your plan is okay.

        As for Paul’s approach he is absolutely in the middle of no where on a mountain. He will likely be left alone but how many people really will go live there? What is the potential for those people to have high speed internet with which to run a business? Can they dive into a reasonable town for a job if that is what they want?

        There is no problem so large that money can’t solve it is the approach you are taking about. Company towns, etc.

        • Melanie Sorrentino

          i was thought the same thing, why is paul not hitting these same walls but now i understand. i’m pretty much holding my breath until i hear your recording from the conference. thanks for the insight.

  28. Jack – this show was so full of awesome, I had to take notes. I’ll be posting a few times on various topics. Brace for impact!

  29. Matthew N Gooseneck

    I loved the “gold-pressed Latinum” reference. Brilliant.

  30. Jack,

    I have heard a couple of times recently (also on this show) that vets cannot use a VA loan to purchase AG Exempt property in Texas. I did this about ten months ago in North Collin County. When we were having a hard time securing the VA loan, we contacted a local title company and asked if they had done any work on VA loan purchased property lately and what institution gave the loan. The title company gave a couple of local banks and the first one we called hooked us up with a good rate.

    We were almost going to give up on the VA, but the trick for us was talking to the title company. The tax savings is incredible and I hope the vets out there don’t lose out on the benefits of Ag Exemption because of the VA loan difficulties that appear at first if you try to use the big banks (including USAA; they said you cannot do a VA on income producing property and a farm, by their definition, was a business).

    All of our neighbors also have AG Exemption and it is clearly not hard to keep it once you get it. At least two neighbors borrow a few cows for a few days a year. others have hay fields, vineyards, goats, and/or cows. Another property nearby justifies the exemption through “Native Grasses”.

    We are loyal TSP listeners, so we over justify the exemption with gardens, goats, chickens and a new orchard (you would call it a food forest, but our paperwork to the county states its an orchard; we didn’t want to have to explain that one).

    • Hey Jim, I’m in north Collin Co too and trying to sort out my new ag exemption. can you contact me? I’m togetherless on the forums. Thanks, Cory

  31. Bitcoin Terrorism and Big Banks.

    I am a consultant (Process Improvement, Measurement, Planning, Operational Excellence). Here is a discussion I had with a potential client a couple of years back.

    The Client: A MAJOR financial organization.
    The Job: To utilize industry standard high performance improvement methodologies to shore up their fraud detection and money laundering processes.
    The Key Problem Area/Focus: Terrorist transactions in 3rd world countries.

    As a cut through the BS professional, here are some key take home messages. This organization had not previously addressed this at all. They had more resources like me internally than you can imagine, yet were hiring out for the activity. The main reason stated for the initiation of it was that “The Government would be beginning to put penalties on people who didn’t (otherwise i suspect they wouldn’t have done it at all…). They did briefly mention that it was the right thing to do anyway.

    So if they WANT Bitcoin regulated, I promise it has nothing to do with anything other than their profit. This conversation was one of the most chilling insights into how big money banks operate that I could imagine. These are my words – not theirs, but I really felt like they were saying “We really don’t care about these transactions even if they are using the funds to blow people up. But if we are going to get fined, we should probably do something about it.”

  32. The Senile Senator.

    The really scary thing to me about him, is that he IS a membership of the leadership (or lack there of) of our country. He has been given a say in what happens, or doesn’t. And the people who put him their accept that.

    I was reminded of Mad MAx; That sign outside the shop that says “Speed is just a matter of money. How fast do you want to go?”

    It just reinforces your “Ignore these guys” philosophy. They are doomed, and so are you if you even bother to pay attention to them.

    He probably dozed off and woke up after 5pm and thought the internet closed for the day so he had to wait for tomorrow for his email.

    This is what happens when government becomes a job/career and not just a brief moment of representation. If the USPS had started building the internet infrastructure 20 years ago and handing out Your.Name.123@Citizen.US.Gov they would OWN personal internet communication. Instead, they waited until the US already had a thriving free market of internet providers and then said “Hey, maybe we should get into email service?” FAIL. If private enterprise can do it, stay out of it.

  33. Teachers.

    I live in the Tampa Bay area. We have more Magnet schools and charter programs than you can shake a stick at. A lot of our schools are over the complaining. I saw one brief hate fest of the Teachers Union a couple of years back. Nobody cared. Performance talked and BS walked.

    As a measurement expert, This is so simple it’s not even funny. You can just see the political machinations and motives of everyone. Teachers complain about idiot students and bad behavior and how they can’t be held accountable for that. PArents complain about idiot students teachers and how their little Mary or Mikey Sunshine isn’t learning because of the school. Administrators complain about everyone and everyone complains about therm.

    I see this in companies and organizations all the time. Like you say – we bring in representatives who actually do the work – not the Union, not parents of trouble makers, not political movers and shakers. And we sit down and come up with a balanced set of metrics that address input quality, output quality, and EACH parties responsibility. It’s easy.

    When a company doesa this, they have ONE reason – they are worried about staying in business. They want to know what happened, how well it happened, and who needs to go if it didn’t. Doesn’t matter if it is a supplier, a floor worker, manager, or the C-level officer.

    When it doesn’t happen, it is because they are too busy being greedy to see that they are gonna take the whole ship down.

    The local Universities have already seen this and moved on. They have a ton of early admission, internet courses, and even satellite campuses to deal with anyone ready to do the work based on their own evaluations. Local schools need to keep up or die. Those schools are often not state supported.

    • Modern Survival

      Let me add the problem of bad students is something we can fix. Note I don’t mean those with bad grades, I mean bullies and the disruptive.

      Let us examine the real world vs. the class room. Bob say you and I work in an actual real office, doing say customer service. For some reason I take a dislike to you, I call you names, take stuff off your desk, shove your food on the table in the break room and then I cut you off in the hall way and shove you and tell you that you are a spaz. I do this all in one day.

      Assuming I don’t go to jail and I may (for assult) what happens at the end of that day assuming you don’t beat my ass for being a jerk, assume for this that I am simply bigger and stronger than you and you can’t do that.

      Well you go to our boss, he goes to HR and if I did it I am stone cold fired, out the damn door and likely escorted with force to the door by security. Right?

      What if little Jackie does this to little Bobbie in the 5th grade. They BOTH get sent to the principle, they are told to be nice, shake hands if anything little Jackie gets detention or something to that effect.

      Why is this? Isn’t little Jackie just as guilty of assault as adult Jack? Is the freedom to learn of little Bobbie any less valuable then the freedom of adult Bob to do his job free of assault?

      Of course big Bob doesn’t have to take this shit at all. He won’t get in trouble if he stands up from his desk. He can walk away, he is not held in by the force of walls and the threat of punishment. If Jack actually hits him he can just report it as a crime, he doesn’t have to go thorough HR (principle) and further if Bob can stand up to Jack and smacks his ass down, he isn’t punished for defending himself.

      So what if assaults on other students got students fired? Not 15 but 1 time? Out! We are supposed to be teaching kids about being ready for the work place and the real world right?

    • Absolutely! Part of that whole “right” vs “privilege” thing. Education should be much more of a privilege. We now see college as a “Right”

      Probably explains why college isn’t worth as much any more.

      I am a huge fan of responsibility all around. Healthcare, education, etc….everyone wants to blame others but never look at what they did. I always tell people the top drivers of education performance are NOT schools and teachers. It’s IQ and Parental involvement.

      Some kids will not do well because their parents don’t care and they are not very smart. No one ever starts the conversation there….

  34. Just finished the show. I still say overall awesome.

    I have to call you out on the top 20 though. Did I mention I measure things? One of my professional activities is Benchmarking. This is where companies go and seek out the best practices of other organizations to adopt, or get data to compare themselves. I find some of the top things in America a bit questionable….The point is apples to apples.

    Rape and Murder: Consider that in the US, Rape and Murder are illegal. People (mostly men) get pursued, prosecuted, and punished for both of those things.

    vs

    A country where Rape is not considered a crime, rarely ever punished (if reported) and then – you can kill the victim of the rape for shame, and that isn’t a crime!

    Same with mental illness. How many people really appear to suffer with depression that are NOT being treated in say India? I see pics of a lot of sad people along the Ganges….

    A nice Rate/100,000 vs countries with comparable laws might be more accurate. You sounded a bit like the .Gov fear mongers you rally against! But at least you were “mongering” for get off your @$$ go do something instead of do something stupid because of fear or do nothing because of false pride.

    That said – I again generally agree. When you tell me as a Performance excellence lead examiner that your organization, I say “Show me the data and the methodology by which it was gathered.” The criteria are tough.

    I have had to tell a bunch of people that they have no idea how good they are and further give some examples of people kicking @$$ and taking names that are way better at the very same things.

    • Modern Survival

      @Bob, if we are number one for rape and murder, well even if you take out the nations you mention, we are still number one for rape and murder.

  35. Brian in Brazil

    Another excellent show.
    Two comments.
    Fractional ownership in a permaculture farm/coop with open source sharing and WOOF privileges near DFW? I am so in.
    Regarding US citizenship. I couldn’t agree more on your response. Having lived in Brazil the last ten years and fathering a son over five years ago we immediately signed him up for a US passport. As time passed and my views have matured I have seen so many of the downsides to citizenship, tax reporting being a big one. Sadly, last year I realized if we have a second child I would not apply for their US citizenship and let them decide as an adult. Residency in general has the privileges without the obligations (aside from cush government jobs I don’t want anyways). I have been informing my high net worth Brazilian friend with children that have US citizenship their tax obligations… he’s worried.
    Surprisingly despite all this the US still has a good reputation with your average Brazilian. They love Obama but can separate politics from their relationship with the Americans they meet, fortunate for me. Recent NSA revelations didn’t help though.
    Ironically I intend to return to DFW area next year with my family. Until then lets hope the local currency can hold up, not looking good I must say.
    Obrigado!
    Brian

  36. Jack, thanks for explaining net neutrality. It’s pretty wicked how the most nefarious things always have pretty names associated to them.

  37. Ok, so what if by the power of unlimited private contracting PermaEthos was done in reverse. A large property sruveyed up and deeds written and sold to every individual, BUT with a 99+ year lease to the PermaEthos corperation who is given complete control of the use of the land. The term of the lease could be any term and willable ect.. The price of each privately contracted/sold pot would cover the return on investment to the investors who fund the purchase and improvement. There would be no roads, only right-a-ways and if persons happen to improve the dirt into a road then only the lease holder could control or stop the improvement being made accross their own land; even if being done collectively via a contracted work force…

    Just a though, turn it on its head and do it backwards. Then every lot would be private and one simple lawsuit would not do anything and the attacker would have the bear the expense and time to sue each and every private property owner. Make each lot holder own a square foot (or what ever amount) of the the common area, and contracts would mediate how this all works..

  38. 1st in Military: A major part of the US Military purpose is to protect worldwide commerce. This is great when you are the world’s reserve currency and make money from trade amounst nations. If the US loses the reserve currency will the US Navy still protect shipping routes?

  39. Jack, I thought you should know that the show “Almost Human” has already been attacking Bitcoin. It’s a “sci-fi” show, but it’s painfully obvious they are completely clueless about how cryptocurrencies work and are just attempting to demonize it.
    http://youtu.be/k8LqlMzEe-I
    This is just one clip. There are more.

  40. I would not neccessarily jump on teachers so fast, not saying they are angels or anything either. I do

    completely agree however that the US educational system is based on the Prussian system and if teachers

    are against home schooling I would not be on their side of the debate. On the other hand, Bill Gates

    seems to me an elitest. After all he spends millions promoting GMO crops in Africa, vaccines, and even

    mosquitoes that carry vaccines. If you think he is completely a self made man, my take is that it was

    no mistake that IBM convienently forgot to copyright the operating system that became windows, no Gates

    was selected to be a member of the elite and returns the favor in various ways we may only be dimmly

    aware of. Just because Gates wants to pump money into the public school system, I am not sure what it

    really means to teachers ? I do not understand what Gates real aims are either. You have to get more training .. Does that mean you have to spend all your evenings in a training class or where does that lead to ? Do you get better pay because of that money ?

    That is not clear to me. Why are teachers different than soldiers who join up with the military for

    various benifits some of which may be generous ? Exactly how is Bill Gates going to improve education ?

    None of that is clear to me and I would need alot more information to figure out how I felt about it.

    I did find an article that tries to put this in a different light:

    http://onthecommons.org/magazine/what’s-good-bill-gates-turns-out-be-bad-public-schools

    “Needless to say, the whole process of what has come to be called “high stakes testing” of both

    students and teachers has proven devastatingly dispiriting. According to the 2012 MetLife Survey of the

    American Teacher, over half of public school teachers say they experience great stress several days a

    week and are so demoralized that their level of satisfaction has plummeted from 62 percent in 2008 to

    39 percent last year – See more at: http://onthecommons.org/magazine/what’s-good-bill-gates-turns-out-

    be-bad-public-schools#sthash.StbfXr7O.dpuf

    And now, just as public school systems have widely adopted the Microsoft model in order to win the Race

    to the Top, it turns out that Microsoft now realizes that this model has pushed Microsoft itself into a

    Race to the Bottom. – See more at: http://onthecommons.org/magazine/what’s-good-bill-gates-turns-out-

    be-bad-public-schools#sthash.StbfXr7O.dpuf

    In a widely circulated 2012 article in Vanity Fair, award-winning reporter Fair Kurt Eichenwald

    concluded that stacked ranking “effectively crippled Microsoft’s ability to innovate.” “Every current

    and former Microsoft employee I interviewed—every one—cited stack ranking as the most destructive

    process inside of Microsoft, something that drove out untold numbers of employees,” Eichenwald writes.

    “It leads to employees focusing on competing with each other rather than competing with other

    companies.” – See more at: http://onthecommons.org/magazine/what’s-good-bill-gates-turns-out-be-bad-

    public-schools#sthash.StbfXr7O.dpuf “

    • @surfivor –
      I don’t think you have to understand Bill Gates motives, or label him to boil down the situation to:

      Gates: Meet condition x and I will give you $
      Teachers: OK
      – teachers fail to do X-
      Gates: No $ for you
      Teachers: That’s not ‘fair’. Give us the $ anyway.
      Gates: No

      – the end-

      ;-)

      The efficacy of Gates ideas about performance/incentives/education, and if he’s an elitist or not, are irrelevant to the sequence of events.

      Jack’s comments on our unionized educational system are only related to Gate’s actions via their response to not meeting their contractual obligation with Gates, and then wanting their cake anyway.

      In other words.. like most things government, a complete disconnection from the reality that trade between persons (in this case education for a paycheck) requires both sides to provide the value they have agreed upon.

      If I agreed to give you five apples for a $1, and then gave you two and demanded that you pay me the dollar anyway.. because I was ‘hardworking’ and you were an ‘elitist’ and you, the rich customer are preying upon me because I need to sell my apples.. blah blah blah.. you’d be like WTF, you only gave me two apples! ;-)

      But throw in ‘think of the children’ and suddenly you’re the asshole.

      • Modern Survival

        @Insidious did you also notice that what all the school people agreed on, unions, teachers and admins alike?

        Loosing the money would be disastrous a tragedy, insert horrific word of choice like catastrophic!

        So in the mind of a bureaucrat getting the budget you were promised and the one that always worked up until now is a disaster.

        • It is indeed a ‘tragedy’ to lose something you never had, and failed to earn.

          ;-)

          I myself, tragically, did not win the lottery this week. The effects on my budget are catastrophic!

        • Jack,

          I had to think about your question and it took me pretty much a whole day to formulate some kind of answer. I think I go through different mental phases. I can sometimes gravitate towards whatever is going on in my head at times and inject off topic things into conversations. I sometimes can get tired of mundane topics with people which may be why I like to go off and spend time in the woods, though other times it may seem too quiet there.

          I find politics, conspiracy, religion and all interesting things. Sometimes I like to debate a bit for some reason I am not sure. Perhaps I like a little mental stimulation to make me think; however if it gets too contentious I may decide to try to let it go, it can get discordant and unpleasant; so maybe I let it be, maybe change the subject a bit, I may try to resist the temptation to go onto that thread and wait for several days or a week before I go back and read what people wrote in response. If TSP and the forums was just politics I probably would not be on there so much and if the shows where just politics I wouldn’t listen as much. I feel that perhaps if the debates get too intense the contentious nature may distract from the other things I want to learn about such as gardening, permaculture and all because people may feel a little cold about talking on those things or answering questions after having alot of big intense debate etc on things they disgree on.

          Many years ago when I first discovered AOL in the 1990s I used to online and debate alot. Sometimes I might still go to alt.global.warming or some such site and debate a little, but not like those old days which eventually ended in frustration.

          I also will say, I believe not just in the power of the intelect, reason and all, but also in spiritual intuition. I say that because I mentioned debating may stimulate thinking, but I am also saying there is more to the mind ..

          In the winter as well, I may tend to spend more time online because I am indoors more and it can be harder to get motivated to get outside and escape the online world which is alot easier when the nice weather comes around. When I get up to my camp in the winter, if it’s at least above 20 degrees, I can get out and cut wood, survey the forest for wood lot management, or make mushroom logs which I enjoy.

          The difference between say India and China could be a good topic for a call in question to the think line. I had heard India was a rich country before the British took over.

          If Alex Jones is not a libertarian, then he is a political anomally; I am a political anommaly of sorts myself. I am not allways sure how Alex Jones really works, if there is an organization or power structure behind what he does. How is able to get away with saying all that he does or find the energy to do that or why no one else is like him may puzzle me a little. If you listen to him too much that is not good, but I almost want to say if you never listen to him at all that is not good either ..

          consiracy in general is interesting because it gets into what seems like the true reality is different from what it appears.

        • My post above may not have ended up where I expected it it. It would be in response to the question Jack asked on 2/5

      • Are you sure Gates was giving the money to the teachers ? I would have thought he gave the money to the school. Maybe the deal sounded good at first but when the details later became known it didn’t. Perhaps the teachers would be required to take classes at night or hat they would be evaluated in ways that they didn’t think was appropriate. Suppose at a software company they measured how many lines of code you wrote per day, but perhaps that is not a measure of whether or not the code was well written. I’m just saying I am not really sure the exact details of the whole deal. People may not always like to be evaluated or constantly monitored. Do people plowing snow want to have cameras in their vehicle checking up on them 24/7 .. If I asked you who your favorite teacher was, maybe it was different for someone else. Sure there’s bad teachers ..

        Just because the school gets more money, I’m not sure that means the teachers get more money too. Suppose the military budget is such that the military is given more money. Perhaps despite that your average foot soldier has to do more tours of duty, has less time at home but his pay remains the same.

        I could be totally off, but I’m just saying I don’t know much about this whole thing and the exact details .. I looked at a few articles and it seemed like it was mostly the school board acting on it and not teachers.

        I highly doubt Bill Gates is out there to promote home schooling or do anything to eradicate the Prussian school model.

        • Its not really relevant who received the money.

          Someone within the school ‘chain of command’, with the authority to enter into a contract, conditional upon performance, entered into it.

          The conditions of the contract were not met. Therefore the money was not awarded.

          Now, if you say ‘the individual teachers did not enter into the contract, therefore they should not be ‘penalized’ for its terms..’

          I would say.. hooey!

          If your employer enters into a contract with a customer that says ‘all of your employees have to be high school graduates or we will not do business with you’ (or say, test drug free) and your employer says to you ‘Look you have to get your GED or you’re out! We need this customer.’

          And you then fail your GED and lose your job.. well that’s life. Having a GED became a condition of your employment, and you failed to meet it. The source of the condition is immaterial to your not meeting the condition.

          So.. in summary.. every EMPLOYEE does not have to agree, endorse, or even like, every line of every contract their employer enters into for it to be valid.

          As an employee, the teachers have the same ‘rights’ as any other employee. To not work for said employer if they do not believe their work conditions are ‘fair’.

          But, this is the big joke.. Gates isn’t withholding their salaries.. he was offering them a BONUS for better performance, and they failed to meet the conditions set to receive the BONUS.

          It is irrelevant if the bonus was ‘kept’ by the school district, or paid to the teachers. If a company receives an early completion bonus from a customer, are the obligated to disperse it to their employees? If a company is penalized for late delivery, is it deducted from their employees paychecks?

        • As far as contracts, it seems to me that the federal reserve sells us down the road as well and the govt bails out banks and corporations on our behalf and sticks us with the bill, that could be argued the same way.

          There is a dark side of contracts I believe such as child labor during the early part of the industrial revolution. Pinkertons in the west where sent out to mow down striking miners with guns, take over towns and so on.

          You can say if you don’t like it here go out and find a job someplace else. That may not always be easy because depending on the job market maybe there are no jobs, there are no good jobs etc.

          I’m all for where it says in the bible those who violate the sabbath should be put to death. It is not really taken literally anyway and there is only one example in the scripture, but basically man needs some downtime and should not be overworked like a slave. It doesn’t literally have to be every Sunday or whatever ..

          I think there’s plenty of room for improvement in education, but when Bill Gates is out there promoting it I have to be suspicious based on who he is, what he represents, and what he funds with his organization. Whatever the definition of improved performance may be I am not sure either because how that is measured could vary in many ways.

        • @surfivor (sry wrong reply level) –
          The counter argument is ‘parties of a contract should be able to renegotiate their side of the deal at anytime without the consent of the other party’. Obviously, that wouldn’t work very well.

          Yes, contracts, just like laws, are en-forced.. and that may be ‘bad’ for one of the parties. This is of course where we enter into a discussion of ‘justice’ and ‘recourse’.

          As for finding a new job.. your counter is ‘if an employee doesn’t like the conditions of his employment, but doesn’t want to find another job (or believes he can’t).. the employer should be required to change the conditions of their employment’.

          Well, yes. That is exactly that the teachers union is asking for. But that doesn’t really work in any sort of competitive environment (ie. reality).

          That’s exactly the same thing as your first counter.. which is.. ‘if someone doesn’t want to do what they’ve agreed to do.. they should be allowed to unilaterally modify their agreement.’

          I’m not sure why you would make such an argument. (?)

        • Modern Survival

          See Surfvivor is a victim here of the concept of entitlement and doesn’t even realize it. He says what!

          ‘if an employee doesn’t like the conditions of his employment, but doesn’t want to find another job (or believes he can’t).. the employer should be required to change the conditions of their employment’.

          Dude where in the hell did you get that idea? Seriously you must be tits deep in union central. That is the most unbelievable thing I have ever heard, I had no idea that people were this far from reality.

          Let me get this strait, I hire you as a coder to work for say my old company Franklin Spirko and you agree to do a job. I come see you and say where is my output for Project A, I have given you a directive to be 50% done by this point. You are at best 20% done and I say, hey, man, if you can’t pick up the pace we are going to have to let you go. BUT if you don’t want to find another job or think you can’t, (which would be a safe bet at that point) rather than fire you for poor performance I am supposed to “to change the conditions of your employment”.

          Can you tell me how the hell I am supposed to stay in business with that approach? How I am going to keep my clients happy?

          Even with this logic and I love you dude but this is like crack smoker logic, it DOES NOT APPLY to this situation.

          Frankly the teachers and admins are NOT REQUIRED to do what the Gates Foundation asked it is just if they don’t, they don’t get the Gates Foundation’s money. Do you in this twisted logic of yours think they should? You do get that this district still has its multi billion dollar public budget for all operations right? Though I have to say if I were paying property taxes in Pitt right now, this would have me pretty pissed off.

          You also said something earlier to the effect of “may be teachers that don’t make the cut have to attend night classes or classes on times when they are supposed to be off work”, well no shit! Of course they do, and if you were sucking wind as a coder at FS Media and behind I would have your salaried ass coding after hours to catch up, you would either improve or have your ass fired. That was the entire point.

          1. Teacher makes the cut, good, they do no extra training.
          2. Teacher makes the cut but is ranked very high among peers, teacher gets pat on the head and a raise, the average teach doesn’t get this raise, it is not raises for all.
          3. Teacher fails to make the cut, teacher gets remedial training, tries again, makes it, moves on and is encouraged to continue to improve.
          4. Teacher fails to make the cut, teacher gets remedial training fails multiple times to succeed, teacher is released for poor performance.

          In other words this was a tiny taste of the REAL WORLD and it sent Pittsburgh’s teachers running off like a spanked pup who peed on the rug.

          As Insidious said the motivations of Gates, don’t matter here. I will bet the average American thinks this is how all schools are run. The concept that there are no performance expectations for any job is beyond moronic. The concept that you don’t get better at your job but get a raise just because everyone else did, is also beyond moronic. The concept that you are say among the bottom 10% in any field and paid the same as those in the top 10% is also beyond moronic, because frankly in my businesses, do you know what I did once a year? I fired the bottom 10% once a year, period.

        • This is a complex issue and there are alot of variations in the real world. Workers and corporations/bosses have been in conflict at times throughout history in one way or another it seems and many workers are potentially very unhappy with management etc in one way or another. Work can also be very stressful at times and take alot out of people. In fact some people can have health problems related to stress. Sometimes this is brought on by oneself and other times it seems like management can help it along.

          I can certainly deal with these issues and move on, even learn stuff from them, but being happy with them or liking them is a different story. Since different people come from different life stories, I guess we see things differently. Some people are entrepreneurs, but not everyone seems to be like that or find it easy to be like that or want to be that way.

          Also related to this is the HB1 visa thing mentioned on another show recently. I think in some circumstances corporations are seeking to bring in cheaper labor from other countries. It’s not always true that they can’t find American workers as mentioned. I have heard on the other hand that foreign workers have helped the high tech industry in many positive ways so it may be a mixed bag. I think corporations are seeking to allow more of a flood of HB1 visa people possibly in the near future.
          I am not always sure it is a level playing field either. For instance because something like PermaEthos can not be done because of zoning, that and many other factors make the cost of living in the USA higher than in other places. Then if those workers are brought in, if the country they live in has a lower cost of living because their zoning laws are not the same then it is not a level playing field.

          Libertarians say then cut the government and all it’s laws to effect these kinds of things. I am not sure what that would be like completely but the thing is libertarians may be able to create a coalition with republicans to cut social programs that help poor people. On the other hand they may totally fail to effect government bureaucracy to the level they would like. If that was to happen, then you end up with the worst of both worlds: more or the same govt bureaucracies and laws and less social safety nets

          I think also the US and British intelligence agencies and military using our society created with our freedom and money to help to create poverty in other countries and thus to ensure the large pool of cheap labor from overseas.

          I think there is alot of poverty and starving people throughout the world and globalism seems to me to be a force that is working towards spreading poverty everywhere and increasing poverty. I feel like Bill Gates is part of all that and it’s beyond just creating poverty as well.

          Are libertarians happy with free trade agreements like NATFA ? I can’t say that I am. I am more unhappy with Wall street bankers than teachers I think

        • Modern Survival

          @Surfivor when ever you talk about libertarians I am sorry man but you clearly demonstrate that you don’t know what libertarian means.

          “libertarians may be able to create a coalition with republicans”

          No that is Sean Hannity talking asking libertarian not to “wast their votes”, being a libertarian is incompatible with republican thinking on more than 50% of the issues. People think libertarians line up with republicans fiscally, but there is nothing fiscally conservative about the Republican Party, NOTHING. Cutting spending on one thing and then spending it on another doesn’t equal being fiscally conservative, and cutting 1% of a budget that is 1.5 trillion a year in the red is not fiscally conservative either.

          Then this, “Are libertarians happy with free trade agreements like NATFA?”

          Again why do some people think libertarian is simply code for “a republican that smokes pot and is okay with gay people”? No absolutely not libertarians are NOT happy with NAFTA because it is NOT a free trade agreement it is a regulated trade agreement, that tips the balance in trade. It doesn’t even matter which way the balance is tipped, it only matters that government has tipped it at all. Free trade would be the government getting the hell out of the way as in 100%.

          Further for free trade to exist about 1 million regulations would need to come off the back of Americans and American companies. If you think the big problem with free trade is about what happens outside our borders you don’t have a clue about the real problem. Seriously. For just a taste of it read, “Where Have All the Leaders Gone” by Lee Iacocca it won’t go into detail but Lee who doesn’t really get it himself reveals the real problems with imports.

          Surfvivor, you really need to stop lumping in republicans and libertarians together, it is actually quite insulting to libertarians.

        • Modern Survival

          @surfivor another good book you could read is Not for Sale At Any Price: How We Can Save America for Our Children by Ross Perot. While I am not a huge fan of Perot (I’d call him republican with a bit less neocon sauce but neocon none the less) in that book he does an excellent job of explaining why the US can’t compete with foreign nations. And it is all 100% our own doing and both parties get about 100% of the blame.

          Trust me bro, if you ever learn the truth you will stop siding with either side of a losing argument. Defending either democrats or republicans right now is like an argument about who was a better leader, Hitler or Stalin.

        • Jack, this part here:
          ‘if an employee doesn’t like the conditions of his employment, but doesn’t want to find another job (or believes he can’t).. the employer should be required to change the conditions of their employment’.

          I never said that, that was insiduous trying to say that’s what I said according to him .. he was trying to paraphrase me. I think there’s alot of situations and I would not take one situation and then apply it globaly to every possible scenario ..

          Anyway, I have worked at alot of companies and seen alot of unethical things, some I won’t mention. I saw a guy blamed for a problem he had nothing to do with and then fired because they just wanted an excuse to get rid of him so they made it all up. I have been subject to verbal abuse, treated disrespectfully, lied to many times. I see management lies all the time. They will tell you everything is fine the companies is doing great we are not going to lay anyone off and a week later they lay off a whole bunch of people or even close the doors. They will tell you do do something a certain way and you say that won’t work but they tell you to just do it, then it blows up and they say it’s your fault. I read a book that talks about that happens all the time from train wrecks to the space shuttle exploding.
          I worked on a two week contract and never got paid. I am not complaining, all in all I have had a good career (so far) and I survived all that stuff and it was really not that bad probably compared to some people but I still don’t think it was right and if someone else does those people wrong, maybe they had it coming. I really don’t know what the next 10 or 15 years holds however. If people are upset because some CEOs make 50 million dollar salaries and they can’t find a job, I find it hard to be critical of those people .. but that is just me ..

          One more jab at Bill Gates: not only does he fund GMO crops, vaccines, and wants mosquitoes to carry vaccines, he also is anti gun and want to spray chemicals into the atmosphere to curb global warming

        • Modern Survival

          You really are baked dude. You keep fixating on Bill Gates that story that started this isn’t about Gates and never was. And stop listening to Alex Jones, your starting to buy into 100% of his bullshit.

        • @surfivor (darn you reply button!)

          My concern, and reason for commenting so much is that what you’re stating is standard Leninist dogma.

          workers = good
          owners & supervisors = bad

          workers = hard working, honest, humble and poor
          owners & supervisors = rich, lazy, abusive liars and thieves

          the workers are poor because they are honest. the rich are rich because they steal from the poor.

          This is some serious thought error. And no, I’m still not saying ANYTHING about Bill Gates.

          Owners, managers & workers are PEOPLE. There are good people, and there are people that are pieces of shit.

          The only difference between a poor piece of shit and a rich piece of shit.. is that people will put up with more from the rich piece of shit, because they’re hoping to get something out of it.

          If your intention is to be an honorable person, the actions of other people, no matter how harmful or hateful, do not allow you to act DISHONORABLY and remain an honorable person.

          Nor do you get a free pass to act dishonorably because somewhere in the world some person or group is ‘oppressing’ someone.

          Hitler killed Jews so I can steal my neighbors car..

          makes as much sense as ‘the FED steals from us, so these teachers should be able to violate their contract’.

          So.. I suggest we act honorably, regardless of how others are acting. And the most basic tenant of that is to honor our word/agreements. Which in the story that started all this, was recorded as a contract (written agreement).

          Asking to renegotiate is fine.. but there is no such thing as unilateral negotiation.

        • Jack,

          Thanks for commenting on NAFTA. I had not heard many libertarians talk about trade agreements that I can recall. I know Alex Jones talks about it, but I am not sure he is a typical libertarian. If there was mention of it on any TSP shows, I either missed those segments or maybe had forgotten ..

          I’m all argued out for now on all this ..

        • Modern Survival

          Alex Jones is NOT a libertarian. I hate to say that because I don’t like telling anyone “you are not a libertarian” it is kind of well unlibertarian to do so. I have never heard Jones claim to be a libertarian though. He is anti government but he is also pro government. In other words he says our government is currently two crime families fighting for control and well man he is right. Yet he is basically for a government with all the power they have now just replaced with people who are honest.

          As for NAFTA there is no point talking about something that happened over 15 years ago at this point, something that isn’t as bit a deal as people made it out to be. NAFTA is just one of MANY regulated trade agreements. Worrying about a trade imbalance with Mexico while ignoring the imbalance with China is myopic. Worrying about jobs taken by Mexico while ignoring the better paying jobs Americans actually want taken by India is also myopic.

          Mexico is nothing here but the pretty girl, the stuff under the magician’s cloak is China and India but everyone looks at the pretty girl. In magic shows they enjoy her, in politics she gets the blame.

          If you understood what libertarianism was you would know where we stand on most issues, any trade agreement regulated by government is something we don’t support. That isn’t free trade it is regulated trade, simple. Most of us are pro solider because we remember when we didn’t know what we know, but we are also anti aggression, we want no part in any war unless it is purely for defense. All tax is theft, period, we may be realists and look to at least make taxes less bad but we don’t want any tax. We are for a voluntary association principle. Money should be private, government can issue money but they should not interfere with private money or force anyone to use or accept their money.

          You will notice none of the above fits with either democrat or republican thinking.

        • Jack, yea right on India/China .. I think India is a freer country than China .. I had read the two books below back around 2005 or so. They made some interesting points and kind of tried to make you feel like not to worry too much .. not totally sure where things are headed as I thought I heard a show on NPR some time ago that companies wanted to allow a basic flood of HB1 visas, not heard much since that.

          I could possibly face age discrimination at some point as I am early 50’s currently. My salary has gotten sort of high. That in itself presents challenges as I find I have to brush up on tons of skill sets and learn more to make it seem like I am all that great given my years of experience. Despite all those years, there’s tons of technical skills out there that I never learned that well.
          I am somewhat overwhelmed with all the resume stuff, interview prep, and everything I need to work on, but am working on it. I certainly do have certain strengths but companies really grill you these days at interviews and it is tough how to present yourself or at least challenging. I could work for less but that could also look bad in it’s own way. I basically have no kids, no wife. My mortgage is around 1k/month .. When I look for a decent salary, alot of that money will hopefully go towards saving for retirement or the next time I get laid off.

          http://www.amazon.com/Steal-Debugging-Indian-Computer-Programmers/dp/0975514008

          Dude, Did I Steal Your Job? Debugging Indian Computer Programmers:

          “The backlash against outsourcing American jobs to countries like India had transformed into an anti-immigrant and anti-Indian atmosphere lately. While looking at outsourcing and high-tech visa programs from a completely different angle”

          http://www.amazon.com/Job-Went-India-Pragmatic-Programmers/dp/0976694018

          My Job Went to India: 52 Ways to Save Your Job

          “You’ve already lost your job. You may still be drawing a paycheck, but the job you were hired to do no longer exists. Your company has changed, the technology has changed, the economy has changed, and the ways you can add value have changed. Have you adapted to these changes? Or are you at risk?”

        • Modern Survival

          How easy do you get distracted? You are about as my wife trying to walk though the shoe section of a store to buy something we actually came for.

          You said, “Jack, yea right on India/China .. I think India is a freer country than China”

          Really, “I think India is a freer country than China”, what the hell does that have to do with what we are talking about?

          You are not wrong by the way, but that has nothing to do with American jobs and trade imbalance and people worrying about Mexico when India and China are a hell of a lot bigger issues.

      • ‘if an employee doesn’t like the conditions of his employment, but doesn’t want to find another job (or believes he can’t).. the employer should be required to change the conditions of their employment’.

        The employer should not be required to do anything. If they wish to they should be able to simply terminate the employee for any reason at any time.

        A sensible employer would most likely follow this:
        If the employee doesn’t like the conditions of his employment, and expresses this to the employer, the employee has already decided that he is okay with risking his job to get these conditions changed. If he was worried about risking his job he wouldn’t make the complaint to the employer. At that point the employer should decide weather they should change the condition or not. If not than the reply from the employer to the employee is “No were not going to do that. If you do not like it you can quit. If your work is negatively effected from this decision than you will be terminated.”

  41. Jack,
    What was the mushroom you mentioned in this podcast? it was red I think, large, easy to start in hard wood mulch? maybe King something?
    thanks

  42. Regarding citizenship, another consideration is that if you have children and you are still a British citizen, then they would have the ability to work anywhere in the EU. That opens a lot of doors as it is very hard for US citizens to get a work permit anywhere within the EU.

    I too have lived abroad and a lot of people think the US is a wonderful country and are envious of Americans but I think the reality is that they believe it because of what the see in movies or on TV. It is marketing by Hollywood and not real life.

    There is an interesting book by Pico Iyer entitled Video Night in Kathmandu that I thought was great at making it clear in a really eloquent way how much people around the world are influenced by Hollywood.

    • I tend to agree with this.

      Hard to not want to go to a country where its always sunny, and you can live in a giant new york loft and wear designer clothing on a baristas salary..

      My own experience is that non-Americans view of the US varies quite a bit depending on their age and level of education. That being said, the propaganda machine works even overseas. On a trip in December I had a South African couple, living in New Zealand, stating the opinion that Obamacare was a fantastic development for the average American.

      It was a little hard to swallow as my insurance had just been canceled, and my wife’s premiums had increased 40% (with a massively increased deductible).

  43. What is the US Number One at…really?

    Social Media:
    FB, Twitter, YouTube, etc…

    E-commerce:
    Amazon, Wal-mart…

    Supply Chain Management, JIT, On-demand whatever you wish.

    Sure, there is plenty where the US has lost footing, but it’s still the best place to do business and live. Just MHO.

    The day a Russian, a Chinese or a German can get his Christmas shopping done in only 30 minutes and receive the gifts 3 days later at his door step, only then can those countries begin to claim world supremacy.

    • Modern Survival

      Well first you just made only a case that America is best for giant corporations to do business in and not even that really. More that we are best for them to sell to.

      Hmm, social media, produces nothing. It is fun and a way to communicate but to tell you the truth it likely does at least as much harm as good. FB, YT, Twitter are also all part of Prism and helping the US government spy on its own citizens.

      As for WalMart and Amazon, doesn’t it strike you as odd that likely 90% of what is on Amazon and 99% of non food goods in WalMart are made in China?

      Then on this,

      “The day a Russian, a Chinese or a German can get his Christmas shopping done in only 30 minutes and receive the gifts 3 days later at his door step, only then can those countries begin to claim world supremacy.”

      Do you really think this is impossible for them right now?

      Even if it were not, I am supposed to be proud that the US is number one in the ability to print money and buy and distribute cheap and poorly made imported goods from nations that are slowing obtaining equity in our nation and out competing us for real assets in the rest of the world? Really?

    • Good infrastructure and low cost everything make it a good place to be business.

      And it could be argued that a systematic shakedown is preferable to an ad hoc one. If nothing else, it does save time.

      What I mean by this, is that if you’re doing business in a country like say Indonesia, you never know how much the bribes/protection money is going to be, so you waste a lot of time negotiating. In the US, the shakedown is public, so the bribe/protection money totals are in black and white.

      Unless your a big boy, you just pay the rate sheet and get on with your life. If you are a big boy, you negotiate for better rates (or demand a kickback of your own.. also known as a subsidy).

      • Modern Survival

        Lot’s of truth to that man. That said for instance I have a friend that now lives in Thailand. He hit it big in options with a dot com that survived, got the hell out while the getting was good. He moved over there with about 2.5 million, I thought him nuts at the time.

        Fast forward and his claim of “Ill be able to live in total comfort for the rest of my life on this money there but not here” is accurate.

        What does he do now? He bought a small mangrove infested island, not way out at sea this is a little place you can get to on a foot bridge. Unencumbered by 80 different regulatory agencies he cleared about 3 acres of the 5 acres. He put in a Frisbee golf course, and I shit you not it has been a boom for him.

        He hired some locals to drive players around in golf carts they have coolers of beer on the back of them. They have a club house that also serves beer and wine. No one bothers him, no one. No interference.

        From land purchase to operational status took him about 60 days. This is just one example, can anyone tell me where I could just buy land and run a business like this in America today?

    • Whether social media produces anything is a debatable matter (depends on how you measure the value of a service), but it sure enables business, much like the telephone did at some point. Your podcast is just one of many successful business that heavily rely on social media for success.

      It’s irrelevant that PRISM has hi-jacked FB, YT and Twitter. That does not take away from American ingenuity and greatness. For that matter any ISP could be said to have a backdoor, but we still have the best Internet in the world. That some people use it to peddle porn, so be it. Nobody forces anyone to watch.

      And those big companies, which by the way I’m not making a case for, just using them as an example, were not too long ago small start-ups often by a guy in a dorm or in a garage. That’s what makes America great. Opportunity. If people choose to squander it, that’s too bad. Our school system is often trashed, but let me tell you that it’s not the schools or teachers messing it up or an evil curriculum designed to brain wash kids. It’s the freaking parents that delegate their parental responsibilities to a school system. The school buildings, books, teachers and every other amenity for learning are 5 stars in this country compared to the rest of the world. That’s a great thing, too. And no, I’m not a teacher nor is anyone else in my family. I simply come from a place where schools had broken windows and teachers did what they could with a blackboard and some chalk. So when I see what we have here, I think, schools are not the problem.

  44. The testosterone in here is noxious. You guys need to dispense with your chest beating and find common ground.

    • Modern Survival

      There is none, FreedomRanger was revealed to be a troll, the only reason I went on with him so long is that was my suspicion from the beginning.

      Also Lynn with all due respect, you really shouldn’t tell anyone what they “need to do”.

  45. The comment was aimed at him, not you. Sorry to use the term need…it is the mother in me that emerged. I just felt it went on too long.

    • Modern Survival

      And sorry to be terse with you in response. Yes he was a troll indeed! He is still going on and on about Uncle Ho and Vietnam Ambassadors now but he is no longer able to post here.

      Two days of him chanting U-S-A, U-S-A and saying how everyone wants to be here only to find out he ran off to Chile yep he is done.

      What really pissed me off was him calling my relationship with a family that means more to me then my relationship with my own parents nothing but being a “military tourist”.

      Anyway if he really is a US citizen and really did leave for Chile, he only has proven my point, in any event he will be no further drain on TSP resources.

  46. Don;t know if anyone saw the article on Charlie Shrem (CEO of BitInstant) being arrested on money laundering charges but since I just listened to Jack talk about how BitCoin would become associated with money laundering as a means of turning the state apparatus on the alternative currency domain it hit me hard. I don’t have specific details on how the charges were laid, but on its face it seems that it is considered a laundering operation because it deals with sizeable financial transactions without informing the government or allowing for government control. Anyone have specifics beyond this?

  47. Imagine what the USA would be #1 in if we had an honest money supply.

    • We do have an honest money. It is BitCoin. There are dishonest currencies in the US as well. The main one is USD from the Federal Reserve, but we have honest good currencies as well. It all depends on which one you and others use.

    • I love your response, Josiah. It’s good to hear from you.

      I was talking to my employees that were complaining about the government. One guy is a liberal and the other is a conservative. The liberal guy was saying how necessary it is to raise the minimum wage and the conservative was saying how it would hurt businesses. I told both of them if their money hadn’t depreciated 98% in the last 100 years that they wouldn’t even need to have this conversation. I really got them thinking when I asked them how many problems are caused by our money in society.

      • Do you feel you could offer your employees a BitCoin payment option? Or even a silver option? I think it would be great if employers would start offering this to employees.
        Here are the benefits of silver/bitcoin.
        If you wish you can have your entire pay or part of your pay put into one of these options.
        The legalities might be a nightmare, but they might not. For example minimum wage. If they choose to take partial pay in another currency than you would have to have them make at least minimum wage in USD. This is yet another reason why a minimum wage is a bad idea.
        How about health care. I am sure this could be very difficult now that health care is required and has to be taken out of the paycheck.
        Is that still the case if the pay is in another currency? Is that how we get around the healthcare BS?
        No taxes! I don’t think it would be considered paying under the table. You are simply exchanging a currency other than USD for their services.
        I am very curious to hear an employers opinion on these topics and others that I probably have not thought of.

  48. fantastic episode, and even though i was in sad agreement with your response to the question about american citizenship, i can’t disagree. but also: yes.. bitcoin. i have to reiterate this link from the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast. This gentleman’s sole income is in Bitcoin, and he does a great job of explaining it. skip ahead to 10:50 to skip the ads: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cexawnOlR8

  49. While I understand and agree with your point about the current state of America, not all of those listed facts are true.
    While our divorce rate is far too high, it is not the highest. The Maldives have held that title for at least a decade.
    From the research I did, were are neither the leader in drug related deaths nor in drug use. How ever, if you scope the question enough, we can climb to the top. For instance if you restrict it to cocaine use. Or prescription drug abuse.
    We are no where near the highest murder count nor the highest murder rate in the world. Mexico alone doubles our count. And there are countries worse off than Mexico.
    I agree there are many problems, but exaggerating doesn’t stir people into action. The truth does.
    We have a long way to go to make this country back into something to be proud of. But, we need to do it using the truth about our current state and we need to start all of us here who have our eyes open to reality.

    • Nice post.

      The other issue with being flooded with ‘false problems’ is that people become overwhelmed and ineffective/paralyzed.

      I’ve been thinking about this in terms of a sports team. IMO I think what Jack has been trying to communicate is

      ‘We were the world champions, but that was ten years ago. So stop chanting ‘we’re number one’ and partying all night and get back to training!’

      And like training, you need a very precise definition of what you need to work on. Followed by a very targeted and focused training regimen to work on that specific weakness.

      IMO the problem we have is that someone shouts ‘the problem is x!’, ten thousand solutions are proposed, one or two are half-heartedly worked on (because the participants are not convinced that x IS the problem).. and then somebody shouts ‘the problem is y!’

      So, everyone’s exhausted, and no improvement is made. IMO, I think we, as individuals need to pick ONE thing and stick with it until we’ve nailed it, and then move on to another thing.

      For instance, I think it might be worthwhile to become very involved in the political process (*gasp*).. but for only TWO types of election: County Sheriff & Local Judges.

      One oath keeper Sheriff, and a Court packed with cantankerous old coots who believe in the constitution, as written, would make a world of difference IMO.

      I’m mentioning this ‘one thing’ because something that was accurate in the ‘bad things’ list.. we’re number one in incarceration. Which puts a lie to ‘..the land of the free..’.

      http://www.online-paralegal-degree.org/prison-industry/

      Particularly troubling, is the backdoor slavery of ‘prison labor’. (If you don’t think its slavery.. it works like this: We’ll lock you in a cage all day. If you agree to work, we’ll let you out of the cage.)

      • Modern Survival

        Good stuff as always dude!

        If I have ever said a thing that sums it up it was when “James Howard Kunstler” was on. Kunstler is about as opposed to me as a man can be who you would still stay agrees with much of what I have to say.

        He is a true believer in SOON to come peak oil, big believer in AGW, has for the most of his life been a democrat and really a progressive. We had a decent conversation because I stuck 99% to what we agree on.

        At one point I said, “the greatest failure in leadership in America isn’t at the political level, it is at the individual level” or something very close to that. There was a long pause, he almost seemed speechless and then agreed emphatically.

        That is what I want to teach America, fricken LEAD at your individual level. If you are doing that you will naturally simply not have time for bullshit and things that either do not matter or you can’t fix anyway.

        • Jack said:

          “We had a decent conversation because I stuck 99% to what we agree on.”

          Just wanted to shine a light on that little goodie by giving it its own post…

        • That needs to be our biggest focus with our children. Teaching them to be personally responsible for their mistakes, triumphs, and their apathy. Being a leader in your own life.

          Of course it all starts with learning these lessons ourselves. I may not be able to change the nation, but I can make a difference in the world around me by changing my own life. If enough of us take that attitude, someday the nation will change.

  50. Jack,
    Regarding applying for US citizenship, my wife recently became a citizen for pretty much only two reasons: 1) the US passport offers a lot more visa-free travel options than her home country passport, and 2) she wants the flexibility to be able to be overseas for more than a year without losing the ability to be let back in (as one other poster alluded to). The second reason was the biggie, as we are increasingly looking to spend more time travelling overseas and possibly pursuing career and/or business opportunities outside the US. So as funny as it sounds, she became a US citizen so she can be “allowed” (ugh) to spend more time outside the US and still return to spend time with her family here (frickin’ ridiculous, I know). She did say that if the US had required her to relinquish her birth country’s citizenship, she would have said no deal. But as it is, the US government doesn’t force new citizens to give up their old citizenship… dual citizenship in the US government’s eyes is as someone said “frowned upon, but grudgingly permitted”.
    As for tax implications, technically speaking a US permanent resident is under the same obligations for income earned overseas as a US citizen is… the only real difference I can see is that it may be faster or easier to sever your US ties by giving up your green card than compared to relinquishing or renouncing one’s citizenship. The limitations on banking overseas is technically the same for permanent residents too, though US permanent residents (or US dual citizens) can always open an foreign bank account using their non-US passport and just not mention their US residency (though some foreign banks are now specifically asking new clients if they happen to have citizenship or residency in the US because of growing apprehension about FATCA). So really citizenship didn’t change these things for us. And whether citizen or not, she’s still obligated no matter what to report foreign bank accounts to the IRS, so citizenship was still a net benefit for her.
    Personally, I’m a little envious of her’s and our son’s dual-citizenship. There’s a certain amount of flexibility and resiliency in travel it offers.
    Great show, Jack, keep it up!

    • With dual citizenship, I would think someone could just use their non-US passport to open up foreign bank accounts or apply for employment. How are they going to prove otherwise? I, for example, don’t have a Zimbabwe passport… but, I can’t prove it! Can’t prove a negative. The names on the passports don’t have to match so it’s not as if a name match could be done on some database of US citizen names (it’d have tons of false positives anyway). Sure, it may be “illegal” but it isn’t immoral. What’s immoral is a government actually having the nerve to think they have the right to someone else’s productivity, just because somewhere someone exchanged money with someone else, and that someone has a computer record in the US with their name on it. Disclaimer: IANAL and don’t do anything “illegal”.

      • You’re right, this is what my wife did. Unless you’re using a US passport or the identity documents one is using shows some ‘link’ to the US, it is at present near impossible for them to prove US affiliation (it might not always remain the case though, so I’d caution anyone on deliberately lying if questioned about US citizenship or ties as it might catch up to them). To be honest though, the last time my wife opened a foreign account in her (original) home country, they didn’t even ask about US ties. Heck, even I was able to open an account there with my US passport without a problem…. so while the international banking climate is plenty hostile to US citizens nowadays, there are still some normal banks in some countries that will bank with us. I can say that said bank hasn’t kicked me to the curb yet, though I accept it always remains a possibility.

        I’m not really sure at what point “illegal” comes into it though. Foreign banks refusing to do bank with US citizens is not really a matter of legality as it is a business decision on their part to not get entangled with the IRS and US government’s nonsense. And there’s nothing illegal about choosing to not volunteer information about US ties if the application doesn’t ask. Of course not reporting the existence of a foreign account to the IRS is… maybe that’s what you’re referring to. But that’s a separate issue. Actually we keep our total foreign account holdings relatively low, to the point that the interest is below the reporting threshold and all we have to do is check the box saying that we have foreign bank accounts (not large enough to have to disclose specific accounts or amounts, or to have to file an FBAR).

  51. Jack,

    Can you post the name of the mushroom you recommended? I’m going to be bringing in a lot of wood chips and would like to inoculate them with that strain.

  52. Hey Jack,

    I feel/felt the same way about teacher incentives and pay for performance until a while back I was talking to my friend’s mom who is a teacher. I don’t remember how we got on the subject but she mentioned pay for performance and said it as if it were a bad thing. I asked her why it didn’t make sense for teachers, that I was paid for performance and evaluated quarterly, and why shouldn’t she be expected to do the same.

    She said that it used to be that way and nobody had any problem with it. But then “No Child Left Behind” and standardized testing came into the picture and changed everything. “They tell me what to teach, what to say, what not to say, how long to spend on each bullet point, how long to spend answering questions. If there’s a disruptive student, I’m not allowed to discipline them and the kids all know it. And if I send someone down to the principal and he misses something important, it shows up on his test and they come down on me for it. Basically, all I do all day is exactly what and how I’m told to do it, then they want to come threaten my pay and pension based on performance? Sorry, you can’t have it both ways. Let me teach my class and I’m fine with it. But with things the way they are now? No way.”

    She’s only a couple of years away from retirement so she can’t very well walk away.

    I still agree that employees should be paid for performance. I think the answer is that we need 99% less government in our schools and performance would improve a lot.

    I agreed with everything you said about the Pittsburgh/Bill Gates situation. My story is just to point out something I’m not sure many people realize about the sorry state of affairs inside that mess called government education.

  53. Here comes the “bitcoin is for criminals” push

    Person of Interest on CBS the 14-Jan-2014 episode about 15 minutes into the show. “Bitcoin is used to pay drug dealers”

  54. Hey Jack,

    Earlier in this podcast you mentioned that the Fed was undermining foreign currencies and that you would say it later on in the podcast but I think you didn’t cover it later on. Could you please elaborate a little here? Thanks