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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

A letter to our Representatives

CA doesn't need a bail out, we have plenty of money, we need to stay within our means. Raise taxes if necessary, but don't sell us out on the excuse that CA must BORROW more money from Commercial BANKS, Private Corporations.

We need ethical leadership, please make public knowledge all of your holdings in financial institutions that will be effected by the $850-Billion bail-out.

Kucinich Doctrine:

Reinstatement of the provisions of Glass-Steagall, which forbade speculation
Re-regulation of the finance, insurance, and real estate industries
Accountability on the part of those who took the companies down:
a) resignations of management
b) givebacks of executive compensation packages
c) limitations on executive compensation
d) admission by CEO's of what went wrong and how, prior to any government bailout
Demands for transparencey
a) with respect to analyzing the transactions which took the companies down
b) with respect to Treasury's dealings with the companies pre and post-bailout
An equity position for the taxpayers
a) some form of ownership of assets
Some credible formula for evaluating the price of the assets that the government is buying.
A sunset clause on the legislation
Full public disclosure by members of Congress of assets held, with possible conflicts put in blind trust.
A ban on political campaign contributions from officers of corporations receiving bailouts
A requirement that 2008 cycle candidates return political contributions to officers and representatives of corporations receiving bailouts
And, most importantly, some mechanism for direct assistance to homeowners saddled with unreasonable or unmanageable mortgages, as well as protection for renters who have lived up to their obligation but fall victim to financial tragedy when the property they live in undergoes foreclosure.

See Kucinich Doctrine and Michael Moore's demands below.

http://www.michaelmoore.com/

Friends,

The richest 400 Americans -- that's right, just four hundred people -- own MORE than the bottom 150 million Americans combined. 400 rich Americans have got more stashed away than half the entire country! Their combined net worth is $1.6 trillion. During the eight years of the Bush Administration, their wealth has increased by nearly $700 billion -- the same amount that they are now demanding we give to them for the "bailout." Why don't they just spend the money they made under Bush to bail themselves out? They'd still have nearly a trillion dollars left over to spread amongst themselves!

Of course, they are not going to do that -- at least not voluntarily. George W. Bush was handed a $127 billion surplus when Bill Clinton left office. Because that money was OUR money and not his, he did what the rich prefer to do -- spend it and never look back. Now we have a $9.5 trillion debt. Why on earth would we even think of giving these robber barons any more of our money?

I would like to propose my own bailout plan. My suggestions, listed below, are predicated on the singular and simple belief that the rich must pull themselves up by their own platinum bootstraps. Sorry, fellows, but you drilled it into our heads one too many times: There... is... no... free... lunch. And thank you for encouraging us to hate people on welfare! So, there will be no handouts from us to you. The Senate, tonight, is going to try to rush their version of a "bailout" bill to a vote. They must be stopped. We did it on Monday with the House, and we can do it again today with the Senate.

It is clear, though, that we cannot simply keep protesting without proposing exactly what it is we think Congress should do. So, after consulting with a number of people smarter than Phil Gramm, here is my proposal, now known as "Mike's Rescue Plan." It has 10 simple, straightforward points. They are:

1. APPOINT A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO CRIMINALLY INDICT ANYONE ON WALL STREET WHO KNOWINGLY CONTRIBUTED TO THIS COLLAPSE. Before any new money is expended, Congress must commit, by resolution, to criminally prosecute anyone who had anything to do with the attempted sacking of our economy. This means that anyone who committed insider trading, securities fraud or any action that helped bring about this collapse must go to jail. This Congress must call for a Special Prosecutor who will vigorously go after everyone who created the mess, and anyone else who attempts to scam the public in the future.

2. THE RICH MUST PAY FOR THEIR OWN BAILOUT. They may have to live in 5 houses instead of 7. They may have to drive 9 cars instead of 13. The chef for their mini-terriers may have to be reassigned. But there is no way in hell, after forcing family incomes to go down more than $2,000 dollars during the Bush years, that working people and the middle class are going to fork over one dime to underwrite the next yacht purchase.

If they truly need the $700 billion they say they need, well, here is an easy way they can raise it:

a) Every couple who makes over a million dollars a year and every single taxpayer who makes over $500,000 a year will pay a 10% surcharge tax for five years. (It's the Senator Sanders plan. He's like Colonel Sanders, only he's out to fry the right chickens.) That means the rich will still be paying less income tax than when Carter was president. This will raise a total of $300 billion.

b) Like nearly every other democracy, charge a 0.25% tax on every stock transaction. This will raise more than $200 billion in a year.

c) Because every stockholder is a patriotic American, stockholders will forgo receiving a dividend check for one quarter and instead this money will go the treasury to help pay for the bailout.

d) 25% of major U.S. corporations currently pay NO federal income tax. Federal corporate tax revenues currently amount to 1.7% of the GDP compared to 5% in the 1950s. If we raise the corporate income tax back to the level of the 1950s, that gives us an extra $500 billion.
All of this combined should be enough to end the calamity. The rich will get to keep their mansions and their servants, and our United States government ("COUNTRY FIRST!") will have a little leftover to repair some roads, bridges and schools.

3. BAIL OUT THE PEOPLE LOSING THEIR HOMES, NOT THE PEOPLE WHO WILL BUILD AN EIGHTH HOME.

4. IF YOUR BANK OR COMPANY GETS ANY OF OUR MONEY IN A "BAILOUT," THEN WE OWN YOU.

5. ALL REGULATIONS MUST BE RESTORED. THE REAGAN REVOLUTION IS DEAD.

6. IF IT'S TOO BIG TO FAIL, THEN THAT MEANS IT'S TOO BIG TO EXIST.

7. NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD BE PAID MORE THAN 40 TIMES THEIR AVERAGE EMPLOYEE, AND NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD RECEIVE ANY KIND OF "PARACHUTE" OTHER THAN THE VERY GENEROUS SALARY HE OR SHE MADE WHILE WORKING FOR THE COMPANY.

8. STRENGTHEN THE FDIC AND MAKE IT A MODEL FOR PROTECTING NOT ONLY PEOPLE'S SAVINGS, BUT ALSO THEIR PENSIONS AND THEIR HOMES.

9. EVERYBODY NEEDS TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH, CALM DOWN, AND NOT LET FEAR RULE THE DAY.

10. CREATE A NATIONAL BANK, A "PEOPLE'S BANK."

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

DANGER! Renewable SCAM ARTISTS

Beware of the next breed of grifters who are using your ignorance to steal your cash.

I've just become aware of a new "Renewable Energy Solution" called Earth4Energy, and it sounds too good to be true, because it is.

They Claim:

Don't pay for your electricity any longer...
Instead, the power company will pay YOU!


This is a misrepresentation of the truth.

They Claim:

you can build your own professional system for less than $200!


This is a LIE.

This is the kind of unethical scam that gives entrepreneurs a bad name. Basically for $50 bucks you purchase some cheezy plans through an E-Book download. They also have an Afilliate program. Stay away. It's a pyramid front masquerading as a seller of cheap information.

These guys are using a sophisticated Search Engine Optimization scheme, and spending lots of money on marketing, to sell an 1MB download .PDF document. If you really want to learn about Renewable Energy, go check out a book at your local library. Better yet, download the file for free, try it for 30 days, and if you like it buy it.

If these kinds of scam artist give the New Green Revolution a bad name, by creating suckers out of people who don't have the money or time to waste, we will loose the opportunity to change our energy culture for the better.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Why I became a Social Entrepreneur (PART 1)

IN THE BEGINNING

In the 1990's the world was introduced to what is perhaps the greatest advance in information technology since the invention of printing, the internet. From its inception the potential of the internet, the combination of computer networks across the globe, was obvious. This could change everything. Business, Education, Media, Democracy, every aspect of our society was about to evolve.

Seeing this I jumped on the bandwagon and became a great evangelist for the adaption and implementation of web based technology, especially by the government, which was notoriously slow to adapt. I made my living as a low level consultant working for various local governments, helping them update their data and port it to the networks.

I spent time debating with old school journalists and old women about the advantages of the new technology and explaining and teaching people who were having trouble learning this new technology, and this crusade cost me. But I believed in the internets potential for good, and that it could empower the common man, and bring us better, more efficient systems. I was right, of course, the evidence is all around us today, and the web is still evolving with video and more. But at the time I thought I was loosing the debate, my protests were ignored, I was seen as some arrogant upstart "know-it-all" who couldn't possibly have enough life experience to understand and predict the future.

My arguments got through to some of the people I was trying to convince. The young chose paths that would invest their time in learning new technology skills, but the old, out of time, invested their money, their savings, and their pensions in new technology companies. This was an unforeseen mistake. I couldn't know that they would take my words to heart, and secretly invest their money in start up internet stocks, that would later turn out to be over-hyped failures. Most lost their shirts.

I felt bad about this. I knew more than a few people who were responsible for the "Dot Com Crash". It seems that lacking true understanding of the technology the people I spoke to argued against it, but still invested, hoping for a quick return. What made it worse, some companies succeeded, and most businesses like banks and media adapted to the use of internet technologies, forcing even the reluctant to learn how to use email, convincing them of my cause. These facts convinced people they were missing out on a good thing, so they invested in stocks, in companies they didn't understand, and lost their savings.

Those who should have been held responsible for the 2000 Tech Stock Crash were the intelligent Con-men who used their understanding of old school financial reporting methods and abused others ignorance of the new technologies to fabricate stock prices that were unreal. Most of them sold their companies or took huge salaries then quit, leaving others to take the losses. They are the parasites of our world, feeding on the weak, and never actually producing anything of value. They cheat, and yet they're still blessed with the french title "ENTREPRENEUR".

TO BE CONTINUED ...

Friday, September 19, 2008

3D Solar Cells and the Vunderchild

BEAVERTON, Ore. – A new invention could revolutionize solar energy – and it was made by a 12-year-old in Beaverton.

Despite his age, William Yuan has already studied nuclear fusion and nanotechnology, and he is on his way to solving the energy crisis.


3D SOLAR CELLS BOOST EFFICIENCY, REDUCE SIZE

Animation

The Risk

Today is the end of a dramatic week of radical change in the US Capital Markets, we have just seen the end of the Neo-Conservative paradigm, what comes next is yet to be decided. In over leveraging their capital, and unwittingly creating too much money by lending far beyond their reserves, the major banks in the US have destroyed the American economic advantage. Now we will have to compete on equal footing with the rest of the globe.

As a side note, due to my limited capital I've been untouched by this 'market correction', although indirectly, through family and economy, I'm sure I'll suffer just as everyone else. But I recognize that those with capital have abused the freedoms of our system and have already taken their profits, leaving the US Tax Payer of the FUTURE with the bill.

This low point in the economy and the housing market gives us a unique opportunity to take advantage of those who can not pay their bills. We can buy their assets at a great discount. I Just hope I can parlay my weak position into something worthy.

I hereby damn all 'short-sellers', opportunists who would bet against a stock, and hope to see it fail. 'Short Selling' is innately unethical and breeds conduct that destroys rather than creates wealth. Those who sell short should be ashamed of themselves, they are responsible.

---------------------------------------

At the risk of going off track here I'm going to begin using this log to document my Entrepreneurial Adventures.

Lately I've been studying Renewable Energy and working toward my NABCEP Certification. In the pursuit I've been taking courses through the Solar Living Institute, specifically PV121 Solar Design and Installation and RE131 Small Wind Power, for both grid tied and off grid applications.

I've also been attending all the seminars and workshops offered at the local California Center for Sustainable Energy to study Solar Hot Water Design and Installation, the Government Rebates and Incentives, Learn about the Industry, Understand the Utilities, and focus on Efficiency Engineering.

With this basic knowledge I'm applying to work for a local firm, with the intention of mastering the industry and starting an educational institution like the Solar Living Institute in San Diego. I believe there will be a great demand for this kind of GREEN EDUCATION in the near future, and I can leverage my skill set to organize and distribute this information.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Muhammed Yunus, Founder Grameen Bank.

Buy the Book

Creating a world without poverty
- Muhammad Yunus



Muhammad Yunus

What if you could harness the power of the free market to solve the problems of poverty, hunger, and inequality? To some, it sounds impossible. But Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus is doing exactly that. As founder of Grameen Bank, Yunus pioneered microcredit, the innovative banking program that provides poor people––mainly women––with small loans they use to launch businesses and lift their families out of poverty. In the past thirty years, microcredit has spread to every continent and benefited over 100 million families. But Yunus remained unsatisfied. Much more could be done, he believed, if the dynamics of capitalism could be applied to humanity’s greatest challenges.
Now, in Creating a World Without Poverty, Yunus goes beyond microcredit to pioneer the idea of social business––a completely new way to use the creative vibrancy of business to tackle social problems from poverty and pollution to inadequate health care and lack of education. This book describes how Yunus––in partnership with some of the world’s most visionary business leaders––has launched the world’s first purposely designed social businesses. From collaborating with Danone to produce affordable, nutritious yogurt for malnourished children in Bangladesh to building eyecare hospitals that will save thousands of poor people from blindness, Creating a World Without Poverty offers a glimpse of the amazing

future Yunus forecasts for a planet transformed by thousands of social businesses. Yunus’s “Next Big Idea” offers a pioneering model for nothing less than a new, more humane form of capitalism.

“ By giving poor people the power to help themselves, Dr. Yunus
has offered them something far more valuable than a plate of
food––security in its most fundamental form.”
––Former President Jimmy Carter

“ Muhammad Yunus is a practical visionary who has improved
the lives of millions of people in his native Bangladesh and
elsewhere in the world.” ––Los Angeles Times

“ [Yunus’s] ideas have already had a great impact on the
Third World, and...hearing his appeal for a ‘poverty-free world’
from the source itself can be as stirring as that all-American
myth of bootstrap success.” ––The Washington Post

Y-Combinator Tech Startup Seed Funding

Philosophy

We think hackers are most productive when they can spend most of their time hacking. Our goal is to create an environment where you can focus exclusively on getting an initial version built. In any startup, the first couple months tend to be the most productive of all. Those first months define the company. So anything you can do to maximize their effects is probably a good idea.

We seem to have succeeded in creating a good environment, because many founders have told us that the first ten weeks of Y Combinator were the most productive period of their lives.

We try to interfere as little as possible in the startups we fund. We don't want board seats, rights to participate in future rounds, vetoes over strategic decisions, or any of the other powers investors sometimes require. We offer lots of advice, but we can't force anyone to take it. We realize that independence is one of the reasons people want to start startups in the first place. And frankly, it's also one of the reasons startups succeed. Investors who try to control the companies they fund often end up destroying them.

One concrete consequence is that Y Combinator funding lets you sell early, if you want to. It can sometimes make sense to sell yourself when you're small for a few million, rather than take more funding and roll the dice again. Google likes to do early-stage acquisitions, and we expect them to become increasingly common as other companies learn what Google has.

If you take a large amount of money from an investor, you usually give up this option. But we realize (having been there) that an early offer from an acquirer can be very tempting for a group of young hackers. So if you want to sell early, that's ok. We'd make more if you went for an IPO, but we're not going to force anyone to do anything they don't want to.

Why are we so flexible? Not (just) because we're nice people. We realize that, as it gets cheaper to start a company, the balance of power is shifting from investors to hackers. We think the way of the future is simply to offer hackers the best possible deal.

Our goal is to be the preferred source of seed funding, and to be that we have to do right by everyone. The good hackers all know one another, so if the groups we fund feel they're getting a bad deal, no one will want funding from us in the future. And later stage investors (especially VCs) also tend to know one another, so if the companies we seed end up being broken in any way, no one will want to invest in them in the future.

So far we seem to be on track, because both the startups we've funded and their next round of investors seem happy with us.