Brandon
Day-to-Day
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Testing out WP-Portfolio

My Websites

These are all my websites.

Brandon
Day-to-Day
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How to take over the United States of America

So the privately-owned FED that prints all of our dollars keeps on making ridiculous decisions that our (knowingly corrupt or idiotic) government continues to accept, pushing us further into this “debt bubble,” which is also creating a “dollar bubble.”

Is no one else concerned?

I do not see much being said about this problem in the media. What is happening is no different than what the IMF does to in-debt nations past the point of no return and then trade that debt for ownership of national assets!

So, where is this heading? Will we have a total economic collapse? Probably not.

Rising food costs and lower employment rates may cause rioting, but hey, that’s fun, right?

This is just the Illuminati (i.e. Morgans, Rothschilds, Rockerfellers) taking over everything in a subtle manner. By 2020, anything of any national value (i.e. utilities, mines, land, promissory notes, military assets, etc) will have to be traded to pay off national debt. Since the masses do nothing, there is nothing to stop them. Meanwhile, it is becoming tougher to make a living on the common citizens, especially as we watch the value of our money decline steadily.

Now, everything in the media is telling people to save or, even worse, to buy gold. Yeah, so let’s save our money and watch it go down in value and pay banks ridiculous fees to store it for us OR let’s buy gold and hold on to it as it runs up in value (so those in power can profit) but then eventually collapses, leaving a LOT of people holding the (empty) bag. Sad times. Sad times.

I had another dream last night. Woke up feeling that I need to buy a decked out, luxury-converted military bunker with silo and land ($1.76 mil) and lot more guns than I already have. ;)

Need to start my own self-sufficient community, because I’m tired of watching what is happening to this, once great, nation. Greed is good, unless you are middle-class or lower.

Brandon
Day-to-Day
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Fool’s Gold: Watching the Gold Bubble Build

So I’ve been saying for almost a year how crazy it is that all the “sheeple” (followers) have been dumping their money, savings, and retirements into gold (because it’s “safer”). What they all seem to ignore is that this is just yet another bubble on the horizon. It amazes me how people will just repeat their mistakes, sometimes the same people following up one mistake with a worse one.

Do they not read? Do they not see the signs? It’s mind-boggling.

Granted, I’ve been saying how gold is a horrible investment back since it hit $800 an ounce. So anyone who didn’t listen has more than doubled their investment at today’s prices. That’s all well and good but I hope they manage to get out (or already have) before the bubble bursts and they lose more than they put in. Out of curiosity, I ran some calculations for the tech stocks, real estate market, and gold prices over the past 25 years. What I found was that projecting out the prices of 2002/2003 tech stocks to the bubble and through the bust was eerily similar in scope to the real estate data to the bubble and through the bust. When I then applied the same ratio of price increase by percentage over time to gold, it suggested a fair market value of about $675 an ounce. When I then hear people shouting that gold will hit $3,000 an ounce and higher, I can only think of how many people will get burned.

I remember back in 2005 when I used to warn people that housing prices wouldn’t go up forever and I’d always get the response of “real estate never goes down; you don’t know anything about investing” and I’d just laugh and shrug it off. Well, I had no idea the extent to which to real estate market would plummet but the point is that the same thing happened back in 2002/2003 with tech stocks and I learned from that experience. I used to day trade and that taught me a lot but I sold all of my stocks before the crash (although that was just dumb luck) and I remained a close watcher of stocks to learn more. From watching the market tank from all those lofty, “invincible” stock prices, I learned that nothing is immune –especially when the masses are involved.

The masses can pump a worthless thing to the stratosphere and then the “sheeple” eventually get burned. Sometimes it can happen quickly and sometimes it can take years or decades.

So, in less than a single decade, we’ve witnessed the demise of “tech stocks”, “real estate”, and the global economy as a whole. I laughed when they termed the 2008 meltdown a “recession” (eventually the “Great Recession’), because I knew better. It was a full-fledged depression. Politics. Now, though, the irony is that the economic fundamentals are worse than before and we’re teetering on the edge again.

What will happen? I don’t know. I don’t know and that’s why I’m staying on the sidelines right now. I’m certainly not chasing after gold prices, hoping to recoup losses or hoping that gold is the ultimate “safe haven.” That would be just asking to lose what little money is left. Instead, I will sit patiently (just like during the last market crash) and watch for perfect storm buying opportunities. I called the market bottom last time (to the week) when I told everyone I knew to buy Ford (F) when it hit $1/share! I told them that was the turning point and I also picked up shares of Sirius Radio for $0.14 cents a share! So I’m banking on the safer bet: patience. I’m banking that I can call it again, and if the market and economy magically pick back up; then great. I will miss out on investing for now but at least it will be easier to find better paying jobs and earn money then.

You may have noticed all the people shouting how gold is the safest bet in tough times and how everyone wants to buy your gold because it’s so valuable. I always remind myself that when the masses all shout the same thing in unison, it usually means one thing: change is coming and it’s typically the opposite of what they are shouting.

Brandon
Day-to-Day
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Top 10 Ideas for a New Debt Deal

I don’t take the time to write here much because of the overwhelming responsibilities I am facing in my business. However, this whole government budget and seeing all the financial waste has gotten to me so badly that I have to write this down, in order to move on.

I am so sick of hearing about these politicians battling each other over whether to cut, where to cut, and how much to cut. The reason that balancing the budget is so difficult for politicians is that they won’t look to cut where it really counts. Instead they focus on the biggest programs and look to make the biggest cuts. How stupid. I think that we SHOULD evaluate huge programs, even Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, but I don’t think I would come to the conclusion that huge cuts are warranted.

There are a LOT of other places where cuts should come first. These are the easy decisions for the informed public (but most people are unaware) but tough for politicians who are helping out their buddies in business (technically illegal but will forever go unpunished). It really pains me to see all the theft by politicians (even if not directly), while the government spends billions to ensure that small-time financial criminals stay locked up (another story for another day).

At any rate, here are some of the top-ranking, stupid wastes of money:

  1. Stop paying all congress officials extravagant retirement benefits. Even after only serving a single term in office, they receive 8.5% [of a high salary] for life and unlimited, premium healthcare. 1
  2. Stop allowing certain government officials (such as congressman) the ability to vote for their own raises. 2
  3. Stop allowing stupid laws (usually passed as legislation riders) to be passed that allow things like point 1 & 2. In other words, make serious effort to overhaul the riders process.
  4. Reclaim Billions of waste taxpayer dollars from the National Science Foundation (NSF).3 This program spent more than $3 Billion US taxpayer dollars on “Antarctic Jello Wrestling”, “Exercise ability of a shrimp on a treadmill” ($3 milion), a YouTube rap video, “FarmVille” an online game for facebook developed by Zynga ($315,000 given to a private, for-profit business!), $1 Million to determine how quickly parents respond to baby names 4, and the list goes on and on. We’re talking huge sums of money here. In its own defense, the NSF stated that they did not have enough quality submitted programs, but I’m sure they wanted to keep their budget “alive” for the following year. So they awarded to the “most promising programs” [what a joke!]. That is a bold-faced LIE, because I know of at least one(1) quality program that was instantly denied funding without explanation (another story for another day). The NSF should be audited each year and the money rescinded for any misuse of funds, the person authorizing disciplined or fired, and the NSF budget reduced accordingly. Is it any wonder that the NSF’s acronym is the same as “Non Sufficient Funds?”
  5. The Small Business Administration (SBA) tends to fund mostly Dry Cleaners and Motels. Why fund those types of businesses when the local banks are there for that purpose?5 The SBA hurts local bank competition and allows low-quality businesses to start up (that might not otherwise merit funding). Let the private sector do what it does and keep the government out of things that it is not good at, like budgeting and deciding where to spend money!
  6. Why does the USA still spend billions of dollars on oil subsidies? Don’t they know that Exxon Mobile made more than $50 Billion profit last year?! Oh wait, that’s right, they have lots of extremely well paid lobbyists that keep that “well oiled” machine running. I suppose that’s a much bigger topic in cracking down on the “favors” game on Capitol Hill. I guess that will never happen.
  7. The idiots that decided to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan should be drawn & quartered. It really feels like this was an inside job, which led to the biggest heist in history.6 However, there are still mega-billions unaccounted for that were simply written off as “unknown” in regards to who spent it or where. Must be nice. This is just a small example. There has been more than $45 Billion total unaccounted for over the past couple of years. No wonder we’re in so much debt. And where the Hell is Afghanistan again?!?!
  8. If you are going to write off Billions of dollars as “accounting errors & omissions” 7 (See U.S. Department of the Treasury, 2003 Financial Report of the United States Government, pp. 126 [March 28, 2005]. Unreconciled transactions totaled $3.4 billion in 2004), then you damn well better reduce the budget of those agencies who did not bother to report their expenditures. I’m sure the argument at the top would be that those funds could not be reported because they were black ops or needed to stay under the radar, but have any of those people at the top proven themselves to be good enough at making decisions to allow complete autonomy?? I highly doubt it.
  9. Stop hiring idiots to work in positions that require good financial management skills. If we curbed the amount of fraud that is rampant (to the tune of billions per year) across student loan programs, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, medicare, and medicaid; then we would probably reclaim enough money to fund the social security deficit. So how do you curb fraud? You start putting people in place who care about their jobs (not just hand them out to minorities who feel entitled) and then have management review all reports to verify that approved funds are well spent.
  10. Curb overspending by the government. The days of the $2,000 toilet and the $10,000 hammer may be behind us, but the money is still wasted nevertheless. Those with the power have just shifted how they steal that money and have finally been forced not to be so blatant about it. But there is still a ton of overspending by programs like Medicare, ~$8/liter of saline solution whereas the VA paid ~$1/liter. 8

I’m sure that my suggestions, which will hurt certain types of people leeching off the system right now, will not be well received. However, the cold hard truth is this: The US needs to make changes to become more fair and sometimes that means stepping on a few toes (or many in this case).

There are a lot of  programs in place today that are good ideas but employee 10 people to do the job of one person. You don’t always have to have 10 levels of managers just to manage a single person. Even if that 1 person abused their authority, it wouldn’t equal the waste of all 10 people (and any of them being able to abuse their own authority). C’mon people, wise up!

That’s just touching the surface but still accounts for mega-Billions per year, possibly more than a Trillion. I am sure there is a LOT more that I do not know about and THAT is where we should be looking for cuts. Instead, the people of America are continuously distracted by the rhetoric and blatant misguiding by those at the top. Why do we elect such simple-minded people to offices of power? I never wanted to be a politician because I wanted to do something in life that allowed me to use my intellect, but after seeing billions of dollars lining the pockets of those at the top; it makes me question my decision.

Oh, and YES, I am one of those people who is still miffed over the bank and car industry “bail out.” This is because I firmly believe it was all a charade to line the pockets of those at the top (which was proven to happen), all while people’s attention was diverted away from wanting the heads of those responsible (typically the same as those who benefitted from the bail out!). So why aren’t any of those on Wall Street, who were responsible for the collapse, serving time behind bars yet? Hmm.

Brandon
Day-to-Day
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Game of Thrones

So, I finally took some time to watch the first season of the HBO series, Game of Thrones, and thank goodness that I was able to watch them all back-to-back in a few days. I don’t know how I could have waited for each episode to come out! I suppose I will have that problem next year, though. Man, what a great show (not just because of all the boobies either!).

Anyway, I was really saddened by the series ending (not because it wasn’t good but rather because it was sad to watch the ruthlessness unfold) and it really got me thinking about things in today’s world.

In light of my unique experiences with crooked cops and unscrupulous district attorneys (D.A.s), I realized that things “behind-the-curtain” are not so different than they were back in medieval times when those with any power would almost certainly abuse that power. I suppose that really is the nature of Man, sadly.

For people like me, who do not simply accept the brainwashing of society and do not blindly give respect to those unworthy of it, there is a hard path ahead in life. If you are not at the top, then you are expected to be “sheeple” and do as you as told. I’m not talking about breaking the laws, though, because most laws are generally good and necessary. What I mean is when you try to “come up” by breaking the unspoken rules. In other words, you start to break out of your “caste” and jump levels beyond where you began.

When that happens, those who you jumped will become jealous and do whatever necessary to protect their given status (usually not earned). This is enforced in subtle ways but try bucking the system like I did and you will soon discover the truth. It’s not a pretty truth either. We all have a part to play and if you are like me, then you have to learn to act. It is the only thing that can help you avoid drawing attention by those who want to ensure you do not rise to power or acquire wealth, unless they deem it acceptable.

It really points out that while society has come a long way towards being “civilized”, so many people have not.

Those who are just and fair and honorable almost always lose, in the end.

There was a great line in that series that still applies today: “When you play the game of thrones you win or you die. There is no middle ground.”

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Brandon
Day-to-Day
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Self-empoyed Mortgage Penalty

Whether it was intended or not, it has become apparent that the government’s efforts to curb mortgage delinquency has resulted in difficulty for the self-employed to obtain mortgages. The government has mandated that the only income that can be considered for obtaining a mortgage must come from the “taxed” amount on the previous two(2) years of tax returns. So if I write off most of my income and do not take a full salary (i.e. reinvest earnings), then I cannot use any of that income (regardless of how significant) towards the purchase of a home.

So I happen to be one of the ones affected by this and am no longer able to use my business generated income towards my “ability to pay” numbers. This means that, unless I can afford to buy a home without a mortgage, my right to own a home has been -essentially- taken away.

This affects the following scenario:

  • Self employed or working for deferred income
  • Writes off a majority of income (i.e. shows little to no taxable income)
  • Not willing to overpay taxes (or not take deductions) just to buy a house

So while I don’t really get in to politics (because I think it’s all a show no matter who is the figurehead), I do think that recent changes to “help” the entrepreneur have done nothing to help me and now has hurt me in a huge way. In the end, it all just goes back to the sad fact that the buddy-buddy system is in full effect and I am nobody’s buddy. Oh well.

Brandon
Auto Insurance, Bankruptcy, Day-to-Day, Work Related
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Catching Up After My Hiatus

A lot has transpired since I last updated my blog.

Obviously I decided that writing in my blog needed to take a backseat to my current ventures. I made the choice after my ventures began demanding more of my time and I realized that my goal for blogging was not to make money; something which had to take precedence over the past few months.

So I suppose finances is where I should recap.

Progressive decided not to pay for the uninsured motorist claim I filed and that is why I am still in a lot of pain (neck and back). I was investing all I had into my ventures and there is no more left for all the doctor bills I was accruing. In order for me to be effective in the gym again, I know I will need to get my neck and back issues taken care of. Just before the two year statute of limitations, I had to file a lawsuit. They are playing games, though, by responding that they are not registered to do business in Georgia. That’s really funny seeing as how millions of people in Georgia are insured by Progressive. I wonder what their customers would say if they knew they were buying insurance from a company not licensed to do business here?! In Progressive’s eyes, that means that I cannot sue them. In the law’s eyes, however, it means that they are using unscrupulous means to avoid a lawsuit, very stupid on their part. The lawyers should have a field day with them. As I find time, I will push this forward.

My venture, ShrinkTheWeb (http://www.shrinktheweb.com), has really started to take off. I invested a lot of time and money into this venture, because I felt like “website previews” (as silly as it might seem to the average non-techie) would become a huge hit on the Internet. It seems that this is coming to fruition. Time will tell.

I have also been consulting to a previous client to analyze and develop their strategy. After much hard work and efforts, we have built strategic alliances that I expect will be very lucrative and I determined exact reasons why their business has been only moderately successful over the past several years. My proposal to correct those issues was accepted and will put them in to a position to strengthen their offering, boost their credibility, and usurp their competition by collapsing their niche market (much like ShrinkTheWeb did to the website thumbnails niche). I am hopeful that this will be lucrative for all involved.

In my spare time (hahah, right), I have also been promoting, ColorBuster (http://colorbuster.net), a fun puzzle game for the iPhone that was developed by one of my best friends, Attila Jancsina. This is my first time promoting an iPhone game and it is riddled with pitfalls and loopholes. This is definitely a learning experience but we did manage to get listed in the “Staff Favorites” section within just 2 weeks of launch! So that is fantastic. I have more plans to also promote through my third venture, a networking group I’m co-founding with Valerie and Frank. So I’m hopeful that our efforts will be productive.

So many more tough obstacles have come up over the past year that I doubt I will have time to write in my book for awhile. I really enjoyed writing but I have to get my ventures fully self-sustaining so that I can focus. A lot of people who are familiar with my life trials and tribulations have been eager to read my book, but I just have to get to a point where I can relax and let the thoughts flow. At the moment, they are all jumbled in my head.

And that really falls in to my last topic: writing in my blog. I may or may not (most likely not) write in my blog until I have several issues out of the way. I wish you all well.

Cheers,

Brandon

Brandon
Day-to-Day
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Detroit Wins? UAW Wins? Who Loses?

Well, it looks like today wasn’t the windfall in the economy that it could have been.

For now, that’s been postponed by comments that the Treasury will do what the Senate was smart enough not to do …loan unsound businesses lots of taxpayer money.

Only Ford’s CEO, Alan Mulally, had the foresight to leverage company assets just before the credit crunch and even that might not be enough.

It’s not over until it’s over, so there’s no telling if the Treasury will cough up the money without Congress approval. If they do, it’s just solidifying the union’s bluff as successful. Way to go, chaps. That could really cost us.

At any rate, I guess you have to put it all into perspective, because the Treasury already loaned companies like AIG hundreds of billions without so much as a business plan or even considering the viability of a company that would certainly be in bankruptcy today due to numerous bad decisions in the past. If we are judged on our past actions, it seems silly to loan money to those who prove themselves unworthy.

The rich get richer.

Who runs this country again? The people? The president?

Oh wait, maybe it’s the Treasury.

Hmm… nevermind, it makes my head hurt to even think about it.

Who cares anyway? We have to look ahead to more important things …like how to pay for “Gears of War 2″ on the xBox 360 or “Call of Duty” for the Wii. ;)

Brandon
Autobiography, Day-to-Day
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Re-shuffling The Deck

Well, the time may be nigh. It seems that once or twice in a lifetime, a re-shuffling of the deck occurs.

That is, a time when the rich get richer but many rich also get weeded out. Giants topple and opportunities for the smart arise. These are times when someone who had all obstacles and little opportunity can come out on top.

I had a feeling that the auto bailout “first try” would fail. I wasn’t 100% certain, because I couldn’t believe that the UAW (union of auto workers) would allow a meltdown to occur. But, it would seem that they bluffed the Senate to keep their high wages and benefits and, as a result, may have caused more than 250,000 people (just to start) to lose their jobs.

Only time will tell, and there is still some hope that Obama can turn things around and may be willing to concede to the UAW and provide the loans in January/Februaray anyway. I’m not so sure that’s a good idea. It’s almost like dealing with terrorists. Once you give in, that’s it.

Look at the pirates in Somalia. They’ve raised so many mega-millions by hijacking ships that it just makes my head spin. The ransoms fund more pirating and there you have it. It makes me want to sell everything, buy a speedboat, and get a piece of that action. Well, ok, back to reality. Sometimes, you’ve just got to let people learn the hard way. Even if that choice hurts a lot of people.

America will recover. There is no doubt of that, but stubborness will only delay that recovery process.

Unfortunately, crooked cops and my decision on how to deal with them (to maintain my honor and integrity) have cost me dearly. So, my situation is fairly dire as well. However, I have hope that these times will prove fruitful in providing me ample opportunity to rise above the carnage and forge a new path ahead.

So, to those who are up for the challenge, I say, “Let’s Carry On!”

Brandon
Day-to-Day
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Bad Grammer – Too Funny

Ok, It’s been a veeeeery long while since my last post and that’s mostly due to working non-stop (almost literally) and pulling all-nighter after all-nighter for months. Even though one of my clients (recently my primary source of funding until now) is going out of business and the economy is crumbling around us, my business “Shrink The Web” is booming and growing like wild-fire. But, that’s a story for another day.

Today, I’m going to break precedent by actually embedding a “viral video” that is just too good NOT to share. I tell you that viral marketing is very effective if done correctly but so often it turns out to be crap. Here is one example of HOW to really make a viral video!! STILL… laughing my @ss off!! (lmao to those ubergeeks)

If you have a high-speed connection, it’s worth it to go watch the high quality version (go here then click ‘Watch in High Quality’).

Ciao!

Brandon