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Open Source Accounting

September 29th, 2008

If you are unfamilar with Open Source Software, have a read here and then continue. Open source software is open to allow full unbridled auditing of software anytime, any place. If you are using a program, and are unsure of its true function, you can look at the source code and see. That is why open source software has fewer bugs than proprietary software. And, when it does have a bug, its fixed sooner. There are more eyes on the code. The result is better code.

Why don’t we apply this to accounting principles? Open Source Accounting is the idea of opening the books of corporations to stockholders and customers. For example, a bank would show customers their investment portfolio, their reserves, and other pertinent information. Then customers could decide where they spend or save their money. We don’t need the SEC, the FDIC, or any other federal regulations, we need open source accounting.

I know the answer to my first question. CxOs love to hide the accounting. GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles or Practices) are cryptic in what they allow accountants to do. They can move funds, rename them, expense this, all in the name of GAAP. This means they can hide their costs ands accentiate their profits to make themselves look better in the short run.

Wouldn’t you rather invest your money where you see fit, under your own decisions of risk? Or rely on the government to back you?

Islamo-Fascism???

September 26th, 2008

Nolanchart.com has a great article on islamo-facism. I especially like that last paragraph. Have a read and tell me what you think.

Why I Don’t Believe in the Death Penalty

September 23rd, 2008

There is one reason why I don’t believe in the death penalty. The system is not perfect, which means there must always be a way of nullifying the errors. There is no way to nullify murder (by the state or otherwise). It can’t be undone. Here is a shining example of my reason.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-09-23-davis-execution_N.htm

Once we perfect our justice system, then let ‘em fry. But until then, I am completely against it.

Market Forces and Government Perversion

September 22nd, 2008

With the demise of AIG, Lehman Brothers, etc etc,  I feel it is my duty to remind people of the market forces necessary in a free market and the impact of government, a.k.a. government market perversion.

Profit
All organizations participating in the market strive for profit. Either to distribute to share holders, employees, or owners, they strive to make a profit, windfall if possible. Banks, web design firms, medical device firms, movie studios; they all are in business to make money. People work jobs to make money.

Loss
In addition to profit, all organizations strive to avoid loss. Companies do what they can to avoid loss; whether loss of capital, loss of people, market share, etc. The same is true for people.

If companies do not have both market forces, they are doomed to fail. If companies can’t turn a profit, they will not remain in business. Look at GM. If companies can’t avoid loss, they fail. Again, look at GM or most airline companies.

On a personal level, if an individual does not attempt to profit at their job, they won’t get proper training and will not remain competitive in their market and will eventually get fired. On the other hand, if they are not afraid of losing everything, they will be willing to risk everything (or almost everything) for a gain of nothing (or almost nothing).

Now, if the government removes either of these forces (taxes remove the profit force; bailouts remove the loss force), the market will fail over the long term. It may temporary flurrish, but over the long term, it will fail. A perverse free market gives a communist market a run for its money regarding who can hold back growth and the creation of wealth more.

This is the reality of the situation. Because it does not exist today, does not mean it can’t exist. It means that we need to educate ourselves and our children, history is doomed to repeat itself. If you think the Great Depression was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

AIG is Saved

September 17th, 2008

The BBC is reporting that the United States Federal Government will grant a loan to AIG to rescue it from bancruptcy. I am a recent customer of AIG (car insurance specifically). Personally I like it. Socially though, what a disgrace. Can someone please point to the sentence in the United States Constitution that says a role of the federal government is to prevent a company from experiencing loss? I remind you that there are two imperative market forces in a free market. The obvious one is profit. We all want to make a profit. The not so obvious one is loss. The risk of loss is what keeps us from making overly risky decisions to make a profit. The federal government has removed that second force. Without it, we are better off as communists. From the article,

the secured loan included conditions designed to protect “the interests of the US government and taxpayers”

I didn’t know they make shovels that big to move such enormous amounts of b.s. I guess I owe the United States tax payers (and United States Dollar spenders due to the inflation tax) for keeping my premiums low.

ATF Loses Guns

September 17th, 2008

The Commie News Network has a story about how the ATF lost

76 weapons and hundreds of laptops over five years.

Shocker! I know I expected the ATF (a tax agency, yes a bunch of storm-trooping accountants) to be diligent with its evidence and inventory. (FYI – that was as much sarcasm as I could shoe-horn into a sentence). wow.

Photo Ticket Cameras to Track Drivers Nationwide

September 17th, 2008

The Newspaper.com has an article regarding traffic cameras being used to track drivers nationwide. I guess its time to roll back the clock to 1984 and then take out the battery. I for one, recommend we all start wearing helmets while we drive, so that the cameras can’t tell who is ramming the cameras. I like how they are selling it.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety – Ben Franklin – 1775

I think I’m going to be sick.

tighter rules for DHS border laptop searches?

September 17th, 2008

Ars Technica has an article about¬† Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s (D-CA) new bill designed to bring accountability to DHS border laptop searches. Currently, DHS can comphiscate any laptop it wants, for as long as it wants, for no particular reason. Its basically Russian Roulette with your laptop. From the article,

While such searches would not appear to be legal within the country, courts have long recognized the government’s right to “protect its territorial integrity” by controlling the material passing across its borders.

<seems awfully arrogant to me>

I was deeply concerned to learn about the lack of protections individuals’ have when their electronic equipment is randomly seized,” said Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), who introduced the bill. “With the passage of the Border Search Accountability Act of 2008, Americans will be able to travel with more peace of mind knowing that their data will be further protected and that there are stringent accountability measures in place for safeguarding their personal information.

I am glad to see that I am not the only one who sees the foolishness of methodology. The sad part comes at the end of the article. The bill will most likely die because it is too close to the end of the congressional session. That means that you, the reader, must do your part and contact your representative. I have even foudn a link of all committee members. Make a difference.

1938 Gestapo Enters 2008 Local Police Forces

September 16th, 2008

I watched a three part series on the History Channel titled, “The Gestapo.” The most interesting part of the series was the first one which described the rise to power of the SS and Gestapo. I will provide a true comparison later, but the overwhelming theme was a trade of civil rights for security. Before I publish my list, what actions and policies has modern police and governments enacted that mirror the work of the Gestapo?

Excessive Force

September 16th, 2008

Apparently, illegally selling securities means that the FBI SWAT is needed to demolish your house using a HUMVEE and flashbang grenades.

http://www.thedowneypatriot.net/view_full.php?article=0000003058

Don’t you feel safer? Couldn’t they have just knocked on the door? This guy wasn’t a killer drug dealer. He peddled a Ponzi scheme (who’s knocking on Social Security’s door?). What if they had the wrong house? This is ridiculous.