200 Days On Paleo AIP…

November27

I’ve been on a strict Paleo AIP diet for about 200 days which is quite a bit longer than when I did it in 2015. The diet is meant to reduce any ingredients that could increase gut inflamation and short description below:

“By removing the foods that contribute to a leaky gut, gut dysbiosis (the wrong numbers, relative quantities, or types of microorganisms typically growing in the wrong locations in your gut), hormone imbalance, and that stimulate inflammation and the immune system, you can create the opportunity for your body to heal.”

For anyone who lives on this diet out there on the internets I salute you. This is a tough diet and takes some getting used too. I’ve gotten to a point I enjoy it, and although it takes some prep I’ve gotten pretty efficient. I bought a HUGE 15.5 Quart Le Creuset Dutch oven and I cook most of meals in it. I can load this thing up on a Sunday, and eat off it for a good 4 to 5 days. It was expensive as hell but well worth it given how delicious food tastes as opposed to a slow cooker. I even cooked the Thanksgiving turkey in it :).

The hardest bit is the loss of eating out with other people. It is weirdly “un-human” to go out to eat, but not be able to eat or drink with other people. It makes you feel very weird, like you are not human. It is hard to describe but can be weirdly intense and unsettling.

I miss pizza the most.

posted under Food | Comments Off on 200 Days On Paleo AIP…

Education & Economic Recovery…

November23

You want to see a scary map that illustrates one of the primary reasons behind Trump? (Click to enlarge or interactive version here and full report here.)

screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-12-10-03

I’d like to see this in terms of %, as maybe the total number of people in those segments changed heavily. But, it is still a pretty scary graph. I am not seeing a lot of hope for people without a college degree. Unions are gone, and what is left is lower paying service jobs. Hopefully we get a federal minimum wage to counter that and bring it up to $15 to $20 an hour (and index for inflation so this stops being a thing we have to do every x years).

Some interesting notes:

  • Workers with at least some post secondary education are now ~66% of the total employment.
  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree earn 57% of all wages, but make up only 23% of the workforce.
  • Of the 11.6 million jobs created post recession 11.5 million went to workers with at least some college education.

  • screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-12-26-39

    screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-12-14-50

    What happens in 4 years when it becomes apparent those jobs are not coming back? How are people without a college degree and stuck in a low paying job or no job going to react?

    I am really hoping the Democrats get their shit together and offer a “new deal” style program to build a new social safety net, and fill the hole that the demise of unions has left. I don’t like unions, but someone strong needs to be watching out for workers (maternity/paternity, childcare, living wage, paid vacation, etc).

    What happens as more people can’t afford a college education? Or go into crazy debt to get one?

    The student debt load is insane, and it is decimating young people’s economic future. Trump wants to stop the federal loan program for college and make it 100% private. Which might break the system, and maybe that is good in the short term, but in the long term the USA needs more graduates to stay competitive and help people move up the economic ladder.

    I’d love to see debt forgiveness for everyone, or at least the same interest rate banks pay since this is an even better investment in our country’s future. I’d like to see public funding return to state schools and making a 4 year degree free, or at least cheap enough that everyone can afford it ($2,500 to $5,000 a year + indexed for inflation). I’d love to see more apprenticeship / skill based programs as well, because not everyone needs to go to college and do the fluff. Teaching more programming in college, robotics, and other type of growth areas would be nice. The Australian system of capping loan payments based on income is also a decent idea. But, if college is so expensive it just means you are taking ~8% or so on from your population forever for something that could be run cheaper. Although I like it if you don’t pay anything if you make $50k or less.

    posted under Politics | Comments Off on Education & Economic Recovery…

    Running With The Bulls 10 years ago!

    November20

    In 2006 I headed to Essex in the UK to meetup with my brother who was studying there for the year. My brother still had finals so I took a short trip to Fez Morocco via a cheap Ryanair flight. And, after that we headed to San Sebastian near Pamplona to run with the bulls. We finished the summer trip in Dublin visiting Rose and exploring. It was a trip I had wanted to take for a long time and due to some hard work and luck I was able to do it and work remote. Pretty cool time :).

    San Sebastian is an amazing city, and I hope to go back one day. The park with the fort overlooking the city was where I spent a lot of my time. My brother preferred the very crowded beach.

    My brother was rocking some amazing hair :)

    nicksmaria

    And here I am 10 years ago :)

    And, finally some running with the bulls! I wish I had some more pics but for some reason I don’t have any of Nick. Running with the bulls was an adrenalin rush, and a bit of a shit show. It is an awesome feeling to be running in a crowd that big, jumping over shit, and jammed up in a door unable to move with a host of bodies pressed together.

    And, finally a few from Fez. I wanted to visit a traditional Moroccan house as I was tempted to try to build one. I was going to go to Beirut but I am glad I skipped it for Fez as it turned into a REALLY bad time to visit. The people who hosted me were incredibly kind and cool. The lady was a former investment banker or similar and put a ton of money into totally restoring this house, and the dude was a spanish guitar player.

    posted under Travel | Comments Off on Running With The Bulls 10 years ago!

    Habits.

    November14

    Are incredibly hard :).

    Today I hit 252 days of consecutive meditation, and 322 of consecutive morning rehab workouts. Getting to that point was HARD, but it has gotten easier. I recently added 4 new ones, one around a certain number of big workouts weekly, one around a certain amount of back strength training weekly, and two around specific hourly goals for the type of work I love. I use the Streaks app to track it.

    Previous posts were Meditation Is Fucking Hard and 100 Days of Meditation.

    posted under My Thoughts | Comments Off on Habits.

    Chapelle and Oliver.

    November14

    Man I miss Chappelle. Straight to the point.

    And John Oliver.

    FIGHT.

    posted under Dangers To World, Politics | Comments Off on Chapelle and Oliver.

    Long week.

    November12

    It has been a difficult week.

    I am still disgusted that my fellow Americans elected this piece of shit human being. I am not sure that will go away, and I am not sure it should. I am trying to be optimistic :).

    5 Attempts at Trump Optimism…

    1. American history is full of terrible things we have done. So far the republic has survived. I just hope doesn’t become the #1 terrible thing we have ever done (which is a pretty high bar).

    2. Trump has written the narrative that the Republican party is one of racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, and homophobia. That is going to be burned into a lot of young voters and minority voters. Demographics matter.

    3. Trump’s base is now waiting for the crazy things he promised. Our system doesn’t move fast, and I am curious how they handle disappointment and moderation (if he shows it). Bring the popcorn. And, watch for the 2018 election to see who shows up.

    4. In 2020 we have a census and then redraw congressional districts. As long as the democratic party wins big in 2018 and 2020 they could eliminate political gerrymandering. Both Republicans and Democrats are guilty and fixing it would be a MASSIVE leap forward in our democracy. Why? Because Congress would have to actually compete to be re elected (we need more competition in elections). I hope Obama is entirely focused on fixing gerrymandering after his vacation. Hopefully in conjunction with a conservative leader, maybe President Bush.

    5. Some of what Trump is pitching in his first 100 days is not bad. Specifically some of the anti lobbying items (although they are pretty lightweight in years). We shall see what he actually stands for since his campaign was devoid of any coherent written or spoken policies.

    What am I most worried about?

    #1 – Climate Change

    Trump doesn’t believe in climate change. His policies could accelerate global warming past the safe boundaries for the entire world (yes he could literally destroy the world for everyone by 2100). Plus give China the lead in renewables.

    #2 – Supreme Court

    Trump’s judges are crazy. I wish they were just conservative judges, but they are crazy judges. Some of them think you can have a State religion, just not federal. Meaning that Alabama might become a Protestant Christian state. Not to mention all the minority rights items they could roll back for 50+ years. Want to legally discriminate against someone on the basis of x, y or z? Well now you can with Trump’s judges…

    #3 – Trump Can’t Read

    I am pretty sure Trump can’t read. I am super serious.

    What am I going to do?

    Be optimistic.

    Engage with ALL my fellow Americans.

    FIGHT for a better America.

    And pray pray pray. :)

    giphy-2

    PS. Great post on feedback to sum this up:

    “Your (rational) Facebook friends are not calling you a bigot, but are disappointed in you for thinking bigotry is acceptable. By voting for Donald Trump, you told your friends that you think the things he says and does are acceptable. Your friends are upset because, by process of deduction, they’ve concluded that you do not find anything disqualifying about a lot of the objectively terrible things that have been said and done by your candidate. If you thought these behaviors were inappropriate, you would have taken a stand, like those on this extensive list of Republican leaders against Trump, and not given your vote to the man who demonstrated them. Since you did, in fact, cast your vote for Donald Trump, it shows them that you did not find anything wrong with his behavior, and that realization hurts their feelings. For them this is not just “difference of opinion,” but an endorsement of behaviors that degrade them as people.”

    posted under Politics | Comments Off on Long week.

    God Help Us All.

    November9

    Wow. I have no words America.

    giphy

    You voted a man into the most powerful office in the world who I wouldn’t trust to babysit a rock.

    The Monocle summed it up:

    “But this is what we know: tens of millions of Americans were prepared to vote for a misogynist who boasted of committing sexual assault; for a race-baiting demagogue who brazenly courted the white nationalist vote and consistently targeted ethnic minorities; for a would-be autocrat who vowed to throw his opponent in jail. Those who could have stood up to Donald Trump failed in their duty, from former president George W Bush, who stayed silent and cowardly let it be known that he’d left his ballot blank, to House Speaker Paul Ryan, who rightly accused his candidate of “textbook” racism and said he was “sickened” by his sexism yet voted for him all the same. The morning after the night before, America no longer appears to the rest of the world as the shining city on the hill. Regardless of the final result, this is a dark moment for us all.”

    *Change* at at any cost won last night.

    When Bush won I was sad, but not distraught. I am utterly distraught now. America’s global leadership just took a huge hit, America’s values just took a huge hit. Racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, and homophobia won last night. Fear won last night.

    I was never afraid that Romney or Bush or Rubio would destroy the world economy, or trash the value and standing of the US dollar. I am with Trump.

    I was never afraid that Romney or Bush or Rubio would destroy the alliances we’ve built, or destroy what the American dream stands for. I am with Trump.

    Just like the 2000 election the will of the majority was overwritten by the electoral college. Clinton won the majority of votes, but Trump becomes President.

    2 steps forward 1 big step back.

    What does the next 4 years bring? We get to see how strong our democracy is, and I hope that one man can’t destroy it all.

    We are in a war over what America “is”, and fear just won round 1. Round 2 is up to all of us to fight for. I plan to fight!

    PS, George Takei said it best:

    I am addressing this to all who voted to defeat Donald Trump and what he represents. We may not have prevailed, but we must not despair.

    Many of you are, like me, in a state of shock. This does not feel like the America you love and honor. We are in unchartered waters. In times like these we must reaffirm the values we cherish and have fought for: equality, justice, the care of our planet. We must stand up defiantly to any dark or divisive acts, and look out for the most vulnerable among us. It is more important than ever.

    Within our hearts we know the society we wish to live in. No one can take that vision from us. We are each of us keepers of that promise. This country has seen wars and grave injustices, slavery and even civil war in its past. Yet we found our way through.

    Hold your loved ones close. Tell them that it is in times of sadness and in the toughest of days where we often find our true mettle.

    PS. Good writeup here too.

    posted under Politics | Comments Off on God Help Us All.

    Loving Our House :)

    October22

    We bought a house in Boulder in March and we moved in late July. Lindsey did an amazing job overseeing all the work we had done, as we had to rip out an old gravity furnace that had Asbestos, replace the majority of electricial, install HVAC (AC/Heat), refinish the floors, and a ton of small items. She is now an unofficial general contractor!

    Lindsey and I spent last Saturday putting together every baby item you can imagine :). Sunday we had a blast throwing a party / baby shower with friends. The lil guy is due December 28th, so getting close!

    posted under Family & Marriage | Comments Off on Loving Our House :)

    Trump = Disgrace

    October11

    giphy

    That debate was an embarrassment for the country. Trump being the Republican nominee is an embarrassment to humanity. I feel so sorry for old school Republicans, their party used to stand for something and it is now just lost in the wilds. Where is a good debate over fiscal/budget policy? Or, how to work against climate change? Or, how to improve food safety? Or, how to fix the college debt problem?

    I’ve been a registered Independent since I started voting, I switched to Democrat after the debate. I’ve been frustrated for a decade by Republicans who do nothing, don’t compromise, and propose no solutions. The Republican party has chosen to become the party of extremism, racism, ignorance, and anti-science. They want to shut down the parts of the government that actually work and need more money, ie EPA, FDA, SS, IRS, etc. There are always problems, but that doesn’t mean you just give up, you work to fix it and learn/test. If you want to try charter schools that is great, but realize you have to compromise and try something the Democrats think might make this country stronger/better.

    What disheartens me most is that even if Hillary wins 60% to 40%, that means 40% of the people out there would vote for this piece of shit human being who stands for nothing. For a second just forget about the tape advocating sexual assault or the racism, Trump has no clear policies, and he lies constantly. Watching the second debate was painful, he even directly lies about things he says, it is so bizarre. It is hard not to see him as a rise of a populist dictator. I understand a vote to burn the entire system down, but I don’t think things are so bad to vote for someone like this. I blame the extremist in the Republican party who have made a little bubble and now are held hostage to it. The entire party deserves blame for not standing up to the crazies sooner.

    I feel like what I thought was the “American Dream” is stuck in this country, we are now at war to redefine that dream. Or at least how to get there, and who is allowed to hold that dream.

    The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, the set of ideals (democracy, rights, liberty, opportunity, and equality) in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers.

    A key element of the American Dream is promoting opportunity for one’s children, Johnson interviewing parents says, “This was one of the most salient features of the interview data: parents—regardless of background—relied heavily on the American Dream to understand the possibilities for children, especially their own children.”, “The hopes and optimism that Americans possess pertain not only to their own lives, but to their children’s lives as well. A fundamental aspect of the American Dream has always been the expectation that the next generation should do better than the previous generation.

    It has always been a struggle to achieve that dream. I hope this election goes the right way.

    posted under Politics | Comments Off on Trump = Disgrace

    Death’s End & The 3 Body Problem

    October5

    I just finished reading Death’s End, which is book 3 of the Three-Body Problem Series. This is one of the most magnificent hard core science fiction books I have ever read. The author is Cixin Liu, and the book is translated from the original Chinese. His viewpoint on a lot of things is just so different, it is like a 20% shift in culture & thought process. It is hard to put my finger on, but it is so fascinating to read. This is a magnificent series that I highly recommend.

    I would love to see Wachowski brothers make this into a movie. Nobody else could.

    posted under Books | Comments Off on Death’s End & The 3 Body Problem

    Why are so many Americans unhappy with this economy? Why do so many feel like they are stuck?

    October2

    Want to see an interesting graph? Click the image to view the large version. Read the full report here.

    screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-12-36-45-pm

    From looking at this you might think that the USA and developed world had large swaths of their population stuck with no growth over a 20 year period, but that is not accurate. The truth is every economic group in the USA saw on average increases in their income over that period. Here is a wider swath with a per country breakdown in a few different ways:

    screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-12-43-27-pm

    screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-12-54-21-pm

    screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-12-54-52-pm

    When you strip it down to just the USA, you see that every element of the USA grew, usually at an annual pace of around 1.25% or more. But, this growth wasn’t as high as many other developed countries like the UK and others though. And, when you dig in a bit more you see that it often had years of decline followed by years of gain. You might be up at the end of it, but it has been a rough ride full of uncertainty and chaos.

    So why do so many people feel they are being left behind by this economy?

    1. People want to live a “middle class” or possibly “rich” lifestyle and they are taking on huge amounts of debt to pay for it when they can’t afford it. People shifted what they think they can afford, in part due to industries getting very smart about how they pitch financing & credit cards.

    I’ll give one big example that really bugs me, housing debt. I am starting to think the 30 year mortgage is one of the worst things ever created. 86% of people opted for a 30 year mortgage in 2015, and they could have saved a lot of money with a 15 or 20 year mortgage.

    Example:
    Bob buys a house for $200,000 dollars at an interest rate of 4%. What is the monthly payment, and total he pays with each mortgage term?

    30 year = $955 a month, for a total bill of $343,749.
    20 year = $1,212 a month, for a total bill of $290,871.
    15 year = $1,479 a month, for a total bill of $266,288.

    This is impacted even more because interest rates on shorter terms are less. Right now a 30 year is 3.6%, a 20 year is 3.4%, a 15 year is 2.8%.

    15 year @ 2.8% = $1,362 a month, for a total bill of $245,161.

    So imagine buying a house, paying $400 dollars more a month for a 15 year mortgage, but owning the house in 15 years instead of 30, and then having $x,xxx more money each month towards retirement, travel, or anything else. With a 30 year mortgage that $200k house costs you $343k, ie $143k in interest, versus $45k in interest for the 15 year mortgage.

    It isn’t that people are stupid, rather they lack the knowledge of how important this type of decision is. Especially when the finance industry has every incentive to steer them towards max financing and short term gain for the bank/wall street. Don’t even get me started on ARM mortgages, they should be illegal and any banker who pitches them ashamed.

    Related to this is the problem of rentals, when someone buys a rental property for xxx,xxx at an inflated price with a 30 year mortgage they have to rent it out at an even higher rate. As the entire market shifts, it then shifts the rental market higher, fucking us all over even if we don’t buy a house. Especially when shitty zoning codes protect owners, and not new builders.

    Now apply this same math to new cars, education loans, fancy dorms, etc…

    2. Health care is beyond broken, and taking everyone’s money.

    Health care costs have risen faster than inflation and the costs are hidden for most Americans behind the company who pays most of the cost. So instead of getting a raise, that money is going to pay the yearly increase in health care premiums for everyone. Or you are paying some and your company is as well, and that keeps going up sucking all your paycheck as well as money from the company.

    Right now in the USA on average pays $8,233 per person per year for health care, the average in OECD countries is $3,268 per person. If we were able to achieve that rate it would mean a raise of $4,965 back to each person, roughly $414 bucks per month in additional income per person (super huge if you have a family of 3 (napkin math)). In 1960 health care expenditures were 5% of the GDP, now they are about 18%.

    Health care is not something you budget shop for, it is something you need when you get sick or hurt. The entire system is broken.

    The funniest part is people don’t realize they already pay for health insurance for every american because hospitals can legally not turn away patients, even if they can’t pay. And, they can’t give a bill to a debt collector if the person will pay even a little bit. So when someone says I can pay $50 a month on a $50,000 dollar inflated bill, guess who eats the rest of that bill? Everyone… then the hospital charges more, then your insurance rates go up. We already have socialized health care, it is just done very badly and cost 2.5x what it should be costing if we actually fixed it.

    3. The Government failure to lead, and build an acceptable safety net for everyone. Key areas of concern?

    A. Education – See #1, but the government totally fucked this up. By subsidizing loans, they never thought to also limit the cost of the universities or amount of debt a student could take. Now they are given that they have destroyed an entire generation of people’s ability to take risk to start businesses, or do many other things. When you have $25k to $200k in student loan debt it is hard to move forward in life. Especially when you can’t declare bankruptcy or buy a house, and are stuck with super high interest rates.

    B. Retirement – Social security is our retirement program, yet it hasn’t evolved for the times. We need to lift caps, and put more into it. Instead we screwed over loads of people with 401ks and other nonsense that let bankers sift percentages off of it. We’ve started to fix it, but we need to accept that people are terrible at saving, and force SSN to be about 2x higher out of payroll taxes.

    C. Minimum Wage / Transition To Service Jobs – So much here, but basically we stopped pegging the minimum wage to inflationary growth, not to mention to try to increase it. When my dad was in his 20s in the 1970s minimum wage adjusted for inflation was $9.74. Right now it is $7.25. WTF, at least peg that to something that doesn’t slide like that. If the government had been thinking, they could have increased it yearly by CPI + 1/4th of a percent, and slowly over 20 to 50 years been pushing out low margin businesses and fostering better ones. As well as having yet another tool to fight inflation in case they needed to skip that for a few years. (Also, for those that argue not many people are on minimum wage I would say that is bullshit, minimum wage affects the entire payscale. If someone is being paid $10.25 right now, upping minimum wage to $10 usually means they are going to see a $2 to $3 dollar improvement as well over time. If you tie minimum wage to productivity gains the wage would be ~$19 dollars. Meaning that instead of money going back into companies for robots and other improvements, some of that would be shared with the people and increase their paycheck.)

    D. Cannabis is harmless, tax the fuck out of it and make it legal. Not only is it responsible for something like 8%-20% of our court and jail costs, but it has given loads of money to drug dealers in other countries.

    Summary
    I think a lot of things are headed in the right direction in this country. I’d like them to try more, but if the federal level is broken hopefully we see more States trying to improve this. I’d love to see a State try public health care, or public education with full fees paid.

    Obamacare is a good step forward to try SOMETHING, and will hopefully lead to everyone in Medicare or more rules on charges and more caps on what they can charge.

    I’d love to see the US government cancel everyone’s college debt. Or at least make it interest free, and cap it at 5% of their after tax income. To really fix it they need to make public universities cost at most x% of your income or something affordable. I am all for incentivizing certain degrees to based on what those graduates actually end up earning. IE, you can only take debt out for up to 25% of what you will earn in one year for most people with that degree. That way it self regulates a bit more.

    posted under My Thoughts, Politics | Comments Off on Why are so many Americans unhappy with this economy? Why do so many feel like they are stuck?

    Amend The Constitution?

    October2

    I just finished reading a great book on how prohibition was passed and then repealed. Partially because I wanted to see what tactics they used, and partially to see how it was even possible. Some of the moves echo what is happening to Cannabis, as well as some of what is needed to pass meaningful political election reform (possibly). It was funny to see the despicable things done, it doesn’t seem to different from what people with a cause do now.

    There is some very interesting stuff happening on the state level too, the Koch brothers have been funding some work quietly to call a constitutional amendment meeting. They are getting pretty close, but what is most interesting is they wouldn’t control the agenda of that meeting. More than likely this would result in gridlock given how opposed the two sides are of what needs to be done, but if you want to learn more read this. Liberals have seen this an opportunity to overturn the Citizens United ruling, and really clamp down on the money in politics.

    posted under Politics | Comments Off on Amend The Constitution?

    Goals Are Hard :)

    September18

    For 2016 I picked 10 goals, and that was too many (something I learn every year it seems) :). A year is too long too, so I am going to try 3 month periods as that seems better and try to help me connect to the big goals going forward. And, that will let me focus on only one new thing per 3 month period, which some studies seem to indicate helps the habit stick…

    So for the first 9 months of the year how did I do?

    Major Focuses:

    1. Make my new business a success!!!
    – I always want to go faster, but I am happy with where we are at. The next 6 months are going to be fun!

    2. Do yoga 3x a week.
    I did decent here, although I only did 20 minutes of yoga three times a week and never converted to a hour long practice. With us moving ~9 times since we moved to Colorado I never tried to go to a class. In August I switched it over to Foundation Training as the Chiropractor wants me to avoid twisting my back for now. So I am pushing this into the morning rehab bucket for Q4, and starting to think about starting a new sport.

    The Rest:

    3. Further build my morning habit of rehab and meditation.
    – Doing awesome here, although it has been hard the last couple months to do it all in the morning. I’ve done 198 days straight of meditation, and 268 straight of my morning rehab practice.

    4. Read two books with Lindsey on marriage to spur discussion and to improve/learn.
    – In progress and should be good!

    5. Update: In January the doc told me i need to stop running due to my back. So I am shifting this goal to: Bike 3x a week and see if I can shift over to that.
    – With so much moving this one was a total no go. I originally had run 3 to 5 miles, but due to what the doctor said I changed it to biking. I just got a cheap stationary bike setup, so I am hoping to start that. I really want to get back into shape, I miss trail running.

    6. Build up to 10 minutes of non stop ball rehab workouts by the end of the year.
    – Dropped this one as no room in the places we stayed. And, it was too much to throw in on top of other things.

    7. Go mountain biking or sledding at least once a month.
    – Totally missed this one.

    8. Read 100 books.
    – Going slow but going well, looking forward to my vacation so I can read a bunch more. I flew a lot less which hurt this number.

    9. Make sure to make time for friends & family in Arkansas & Colorado.
    – Did well here.

    10. Join Vistage and EO once I am living in Denver.
    – I joined vistage in Feb, and EO had some delays due to conflicts with their dates. I just did the new member part, and putting in an application soon.

    So, too many :)

    Working to plan out Q4 and do a bit of a reset, especially now that some other stresses are winding down.

    posted under My Thoughts | Comments Off on Goals Are Hard :)

    Politics 2016 / US Presidential Election…

    September15

    Here is the animated gif that best represents the 2016 political season:

    giphy

    Part of my LOVES it! We are not sure what we are witnessing, we don’t know where it will end up, but this is CHANGE in some form. It is just going to take a good 1 to 15 years to see how this shakes out.

    The other part of me is absolutely terrified and sad. The fact that you get polling data that says this…

    54% of republicans think Obama is a Muslim.
    20% of republicans are against interracial dating.

    It makes me sad that such a huge portion of the country believes such a thing. I was on a bus in Ireland and a women announced that Obama wasn’t even born in the USA. I just don’t get it. He was born here, and is Christian (2 facts).

    Facts are dead in politics.
    Compromise is dead in politics.
    Science is dead in politics.
    Joint solutions are dead in politics.

    How do we get to something better?

    I think someone has to WIN the country over on the big argument… IE, what is “America”? Does America mean a larger government that does more? Or does it mean a small government that does little? Sure there are little arguments here and there, but this is the fundamental question on most debates.

    Where do I think we are headed?

    I think the Republican party is going into decline (if it stays in it’s current state). Young people and the fastest growing segments of the population don’t vote Republican. I do not see the Republican party being an equal force to the Democrats in 10 years unless they change. Trump is just leading them further off the cliff and one last death rattle. Even if he wins I think it will only speed up the decline.

    What do I want America to stand for?

    • I want a strong federal government that does more.
    • Combat Climate Change and accept it is real.
    • Stronger oversight over stocks/financial markets. Possibly a tax on banks, and high frequency trading to create a better framework and tax for useless activity.
    • Stronger Food Safety. Nothing should be labeled incorrectly/deceitfully.
    • Less defense spending.
    • Universal pre K.
    • Raise saleries for teachers by xx% and start putting more money into education.
    • Universal health care & death panels.
    • Allow medicare to negotiate with pharmacies.
    • Revamp pharmaceutical pricing, I like the British system.
    • Expand State/Federal funding for University, and cap it at some ratio to the average salary.
    • Higher minimum wage.
    • Tax revamp, hopefully to a territorial system like the rest of the world. Possibly lower tax rate on C corps where you don’t worry about flow through like scorp/llc.
    • Universal child care on a progressive fee scale.
    • Remove the Social Security caps for contributions above 110k. Accept that social security is the retirement plan for most of this country and start beefing it up.
    • Fix 401ks so they have no fees, or capped at .10 of a percent.
    • Increased budget for pure scientific research / Nasa.
    • Revamp American infrastructure plan, for persistent funding year over year so it isn’t a surge and then disappears. We’ve lost so many skilled construction people because they can’t count on the business. States and the government need a consistent yearly plan.
    • Let students declare bankruptcy and clear student debt, we fucked all of them, and by we i mean the government by creating a non capitalistic backed loan market.
    • Let more immigrant entrepreneurs in. Some good progress showing here.
    • Focus on preventing WMDs from getting in terrorist hands. But otherwise find our balls and realize it is mostly fear terrorist peddle, and we just have to accept some deaths and give them the finger.
    • Focus less on troops on the ground, more on special forces. And, focus on computer, air, and navy superiority.
    • I’d love to see payroll taxes lessen, as from what I read I think it could be an interesting experiment in promoting hiring. It might not work, but right now a business pays ~20% in taxes to federal/state to hire someone. If you removed that and replaced it with income tax you could shift the tax to the wealthiest, while promoting more employment. Hard one as payroll taxes raise 33% of federal tax revenue, but I am fine with a 50% tax rate on higher brackets.
    • I’d love to explore a VAT tax for the USA, ie tax consumption, not earnings.
    • Return the estate tax to Clinton levels.
    • Reduce mortgage deduction for high income households.
    • Expand funding for SBA.
    • Raise the social security retirement age by a few years.

    How do we pay for all that shit? Higher taxes, especially on capital gains. And, significantly lower defense spending back to 1996 levels. Not to mention closing a ton of loopholes and shit that we designed badly.

    It is going to be a fun 10 to 20 years, I can’t wait to see where this is headed. I hope Clinton wins, but part of me wants to see Trump destroy everything so that the country really shifts.

    giphy-1

    posted under Politics | Comments Off on Politics 2016 / US Presidential Election…

    Meditation Is Fucking Hard.

    September10

    I posted a while back about making 100 consective days of meditation, and I have now made it to 190 days! I wish I could tell you it was easy, but it has been really fucking hard.

    The first half of the year was great, but July / August I have really struggled and it has only been the habit and chain I built up that has kept me going. It is amazing how things in life just can sap other areas. I’ve been getting some of my energy back (which is good) and the doc gave me some stuff to help rebuild my adrenal glands a bit, but all that energy is making the sitting in the mornings HARD. I am just wanting to start work and get going :). One trick is that if I do a 20 minute meditation, by about minute 10 I am much calmer, but if I only do 10 minutes just feels like the intro to saving private ryan.

    posted under My Thoughts | Comments Off on Meditation Is Fucking Hard.
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    This is bwb’s personal blog so he can share his thoughts with the world, however scary or silly they might be. Plus family and friends can track what I am up too, and where I am in the world.

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    I am pretty simple. I love Mangos. I love the ocean, although mostly at sunset as I’m a ginger. I love to travel, eat exotic food, read, and use my imagination. I love creating and developing ideas into businesses, understanding how all businesses work, and building cool stuff. And, I am married to an amazing woman who makes life even more fun :)! I am a globalist.


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