But, what if house prices keep dropping?


Here’s one of the houses I bought in late 2010.  Paid less than replacement cost; happily rented at $900 a month representing a 12% plus gross return.  Yet, I was virtually alone searching for these bargains; no competition.  Nobody was buying; everyone seemed to be  afraid.  Now the market is climbing and people are buying again.  Why is it that most people buy when prices are high and run away when prices are low?


Here’s a BUT question I encountered a lot while searching for property in Florida in late 2010.  Seemed like the conventional thinking was property prices were going to drop to zero.  I remember a particular encounter when this question popped up.  It was during a bank visit to see about getting a loan.  They wouldn’t talk to me about a loan but they did talk to me about setting up a wire transfer service.  I’d be using the service to pay for houses I wanted to buy.  I’d be paying cash; no need to bother the bank about a loan anyway.

As I started filling out the forms to set up the wire transfer service, the young lady at the desk started up a conversation,  “What brings you to Florida?”

“Oh, I’m looking at houses.  I’ve never seen such good bargains.  I was afraid of missing the window of opportunity but it still looks like there’s plenty of good buys out there.”  I answered like an excited kid on his way to Disney World.

I wasn’t expecting her excitement dampening reply.

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“… find something else to produce.”

going out of business

UK business is “shackled” by its own government. How can UK business compete in the world market while shackled with leg irons?

” … find something else to produce.”  That’s the message from an article in the International Business Times about the United Kingdom (UK) steel industry.

And, the message is ridiculous; makes no sense; shows the author hasn’t thought things through; doesn’t have a true understanding of the problem.


Well, I think it’s best explained with a simple analogy as follows:

Let’s say the UK national soccer team took to the field in shackles; every player in leg irons.  They’re playing the Spanish national team yet the Spaniards are not wearing leg irons.  When the final whistle blows the scoreboard reads Spain 100, UK 0.  The UK team got blown out; got massacred; got slaughtered.

Are you surprised at such an outcome?

I didn’t think so.

What if you read in the newspaper the next day, “UK Soccer is finished!  We need to find some other sport to play!”

Yes, the team got crushed but is it because the UK soccer players are no good?  Is it because they can’t play soccer?

Of course not.  A two year old can assess the problem.  Take off the damn leg irons!  Let the players run!  Set them free!

And there, my friends is the problem with the UK steel industry – and every single business in the UK – they’re shackled with leg irons.  So, it doesn’t matter what they produce, they’re going to get slaughtered … until they get rid of the leg irons.

To say to the British people, ‘… the answer to the unprofitable UK steel industry is to let some other country produce steel and we’ll start producing something else …,’ is ridiculous – it’s arrogance at a supreme level.  How can UK business compete – in any industry – when they’re required to play wearing “leg irons.”

You see, the problem isn’t with the steel industry.  The problem is outside the steel industry.  Therefore, when the steel industry goes away, the problem still remains.  Whatever new business opens up – to produce anything – will have the same problem.

What’s the problem?

Glad you asked.

And, here’s the answer.

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The Origin of ANZAC Day

Origin of ANZAC Day

My ANZAC Day article in the Woomera Gibber Gabber newspaper on Thur 19 Apr 1990.

Many years ago, while stationed at Woomera, South Australia, as a member of the US Air Force, I wrote an article about ANZAC Day and it appeared in the local paper.

With ANZAC Day 2016 fast approaching, I thought it may be appropriate to dust it off and share it with any folks out there interested in the origin of one of the most important holidays on the Australian calendar.


Australian and New Zealanders celebrate ANZAC Day on April 25 to mark the anniversary of the Dardanelles or Gallipoli Campaign.

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P-40 vs Zero: Dogfight over China.


I remember many years ago while working in the Aero-Propulsion Laboratory at Wright-Patterson, Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio listening to a man telling war stories; real war stories – sit up in your chair and hang onto every word – war stories.

It was in the early 1990s.  The audience was packed in like New York commuters on the Long Island Expressway.  All the seats in the Air Force Museum Auditorium – that holds maybe 500 people- were filled.  The back area was also filled; filled with standing onlookers; folks who arrived too late to get a seat.

The speaker had the audience in the palm of his hand.  No he wasn’t a professional motivational speaker.  No he wasn’t jumping up and down and modulating his voice like a Ginsu knife salesman.  But, he had something a lot of speaker don’t have … he had something to say; he had a story to tell; he had a story that everyone in the packed auditorium wanted to hear.

You see, our speaker was a former pilot in an organization called “The Flying Tigers.”  This is the group of american fighter pilots flying missions in China against he Japanese even before the United States entered World War Two.

I’ve forgotten his name.  I’ve forgotten a lot of what he said.  But, I remember enough to want to write about it.  I remember enough to tell a lot of his story.  And it’s a story worth retelling.

So, here’s my attempt to retell what I heard that wonderful evening at the Air Force Museum Auditorium from a real live “Flying Tiger.”

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What did Frederick Douglass teach me about income tax?

Why do you and I pay income tax?

I’ve heard some people answer this question by saying things like, “How we gonna pay for the roads?  How do you think we pay for all the social services?  Who’s gonna mow the lawn at the governor’s mansion?  You think someone’s gonna do that for free? Come on, don’t be ridiculous!  Don’t ask such stupid questions!  It’s obvious!  We pay income tax to keep society running!”

Nice try, but that’s not why we pay income tax.

I’ve found in life there are always two reasons for everything.  The first reason is the one people talk about; the one you’re told; the one that sounds good.  The second reason is the one people don’t talk about; the one they don’t tell you; the one that sounds bad.  By the way, the second reason is always … THE REAL REASON!

The same holds true for why we pay income tax.  People don’t talk about the real reason because it’s unsightly; it’s not pretty; it’s … THE TRUTH.

The real reason is so obvious it eludes most people.  It goes right over their heads.  It went over mine for years.  But, now I know; now I know the real reason.

I discovered this truth in a book written by a former american slave.

Before I share with you the reason, let me ask a basic question – would you pay income tax if you didn’t have to?

I would hazard a guess that virtually everyone would stop paying income tax if they didn’t have to.  That’s just my guess.

So, let’s just go with my assumption; let’s assume that everyone would stop paying income tax if they didn’t have to.

Now, this is where we arrive at the answer to my initial question – why do you and I pay income tax?

Here’s the ugly truth … The reason you and I pay income tax is because –

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