20110305

Republican Senator Herb Bateman Taught Me This



In 1988 I was going to Thomas Nelson Community College or as we referred to it at the time Harvard by the Highway. I was 18 years old. I had a Mohawk. I was a member of the student council. I was a libertarian (read anarchist).

My best friend at the time was Raul. He was a Young Republican. Our mutual friend was Jim. He was a Young Democrat. We all met at a student government meeting. We had, as luck would find, all sat at the same table. We didn't say much to each other before the meeting. Once the meeting began everyone was asked who they were and who they represented.

Jim introduced himself: “I am Jim Meisner and I am with the Young Democrats.”

Next was Raul: “I am Raul Carvajal and I am with the Young Republicans.”

I was the last in line at the table beside Raul. I had to think quick. I was not there with anyone. I was a Punk in a band called the K-9s. I was an anarchist. I said: “Hello, my name is Alex Nuttall and I am with the Libertarian Party.” I figured Libertarian was the most acceptable title for an anarchist.

Immediately Jim, Raul and I became friends. Three geeks who liked politics. Albeit dynamic discussions we got along quite well sometimes.

I was closest to Raul. He was a great friend. We had some very important talks. He told me that he did a paper one year on anarchism. He knew I was really an anarchist. He said that anarchism was closest to the Republican ideal than most people realized. Raul also gave me a Buddhist book that I have always appreciated. He said, “Alex, I think you will really like Buddhism. It's not what other people say it is. Read about it.”

Jim and I were not so close. We locked horns like two mountain goats. One time he sent my 'zine a letter telling me that anarchism had legal repercussions. I thought it was the dumbest smart letter I had ever gotten. Jim was an excellent writer and an extremely smart man. I published the letter in my 'zine and shredded the logic as an epitaph to the letter. I thought I was very smart. I was an idiot who had access to a xerox machine.

As it happened Senator Herb Bateman1 came to our school for a political question and answer a few weeks later. This was sponsored by the Young Republicans. Rual said that I should attend and meet Mr. Bateman. After crying for 20 minutes on the uselessness of government and the evils of the Republican regime I said, “OK, I'll go.”

I went to the meeting and listened to the pansy arguments and postulates of the students who were there. The Young Republicans were there kissing Herb's ass. The Young Democrats were lamely debating the planks and platforms of Herb's policy and the Republican king known as Ronald Reagan. After being a good boy and listening for 20 minutes I started to put my two-cents in.

What about the legalization of Marijuana?” I asked. I was an avid reader of High Times magazine. I could care less about the subject. I never bought marijuana. (OK I did once, (twice, he is a compulsive liar –Ed.) but that's another story)

I went on and said that marijuana was less dangerous than alcohol. More people were (and still are) killed by the use of alcohol and cigarettes. Herb rebutted with the “Our Culture” argument and that marijuana may be acceptable by other cultures but in ours cigarettes and tobacco were. They were the necessary acceptable evils. Herb was a very smart man.

I then countered with homosexual rights. We did not yet have Don't Ask, Don't Tell2 for the military. I went on about the evil war machine of the United States. (I later joined the Army in 1995.) Herb came back with great arguments to counter. I was livid, but I felt like at least he was listening to me.

After the forum. The Young Democrats and the Young Republicans got up, shook hands, patted each other on the back, and handed out compliments to themselves for erudition. Everyone, except Raul, looked at me like I was Satan. That's when I learned one of the most valuable and humbling things in life. Herb Bateman walked up to me and extended his hand. I extended mine. He said, “Great job!” and smiled.

Herb Bateman died September 11, 2000. From that day that I debated him to his passing I always respected him. I even voted for him several times. When you meet a man or woman no matter what flag they are flying that impression of who they are will always be the dominant force. That's what Herb Bateman taught me. He looked at me as another man. 

Footnotes:



2. DADT Don't Ask, Don't Tell was repealed last December 2010.

20110304

Why I am not trading for a few months and investing in Self. $$



The Sell Off
I sold all my lowly shares of $PWAV.  That's Powerwave Technologies for those of you who have just stepped into the conversation.  I sold 30.  That's not a lot, but that was enough for me.
OgFOMK ArTS monkey business by R. Nuttall (c)

What's Next?
Something tugged at my intellectual heart-strings. If you know me, you will know that there is barely a line between my heart, head, and stomach.  This makes me a well rounded lucky fool.  So what happened was that I read my latest favorite personality Jim Altucher who I have a truck load of respect for.  What he pointedly made me think of was that I needed to invest in myself before I invest my money in anything else.

Now if you have a lot of disposable income it might be a good idea for you to find a broker that you trust and invest with him or her. You might do a trinity of two brokers (who don't know each other but you trust) and get an investing account for yourself. This way you can win if everyone plays fare, but if you have some unscrupulous character involved you might get a chance to win anyway.

So the what's next is that I am going to invest in an ereader.  I am thinking the Kindle because it is so inexpensive. It has WIFI, plays MP3's (Does it play ogg? It should.), it has a Web browser that is not too bad, it is small, long battery life, and some.  I played with one the other day in Best Buy.  I liked it.

The ereader is about me reading more. There are many great bloggs where investors and other pundits bleed knowledge. It wont substitute the experience but it can at least get me in the game with a chance. For those of you who say, "Book knowledge is no substitute for real life experience." I say, "bullshit".

There are plenty of people I have worked in the last 22 years in construction who still don't know their ass from their elbow.  They do the same crap over and over and they rely upon someone else to solve their problems or they coast by rote and make some progress but in the long run... waste time. On the other hand I have bought books on construction, read trade journals, taken classes and learned by rote. I make more money because of this. I am an expert. I can hold a conversation with the owner, architect and my fellow workers. I'd like to do the same with trading and stocks. I don't have time for rote.
Ye Olde Hardware (c) OgFOMK ArTS 2011

Right now I am using an old laptop. My old laptop is 10 times better than your new laptop because it runs Xubuntu, Ubuntu and Windows XP. It has WIFI (I installed it myself), it has a DVD/CDRW drive.... bla bla bla. BUT! It is a big clunky monster that has a 45 minute battery life.  It gets very hot. The power supply I have a heat sink on top of to keep it from melting. I love it.

That's is what is next.  Get a smaller piece of network hardware so I can read more.

GOALS
I still have my goals. They are like the Bob Dillon song "a changin'". I have been looking for a mentor kind of character. I need some kind of person who can give me the ear and the finger.  I have had some noted personalities in my life like this. They have been incredible and exactly what I needed at the time. Those relationships did not last.

CHANGES
A friend of mine, The Legendary Reverend Snatchmo, once said: "Alex changes his religion like some people change their underwear." I was inspired by the stories of Ramakrishna, so I decided I should learn the many too.
Cookie Monster, Siddhartha and Elmo with Mala by R. Nuttall (c) OgFOMK ArTS 2010

Today I am a Buddhist. Buddhism is pretty easy. I am responsible for everything, so I can't blame anyone. I can pray if I want because no Buddhist will ever tell me praying is stupid. I do have some responsibilities or precepts (prescribed behaviors). I follow at least one a day for a few minutes.

THE PORTFOLIO
My little portfolio now stands in that mystical area between ACH and Bank Account. I am keeping my trading account, but she will be empty for a few months. I was disappointed with my decisions and my lack of discipline.  I was not patient.  I was disillusioned. I was over confident. I was me.

What killed me was my constant buys and sells. I spent $75 in commission and that was a waste of money.  Better to go to a fake portfolio and track those results than to pretend I am big time.

I want to put a larger sum of money into one stock and leave it.  I don't know what to do. I just don't know what to do.
The Velvet Reverend Al (c) OgFOMK ArTS 2011

WRITING
I have been writing as a writer for 25 years. Out of all of the things I have done, this is what I am most proud of.  Once in 1992 I burned all of my notebooks.  This was a stack of 15.  I managed to later find digital copies of some of my work. It has always been about non-attachment.  Non-attachment was not about some enlightened point of view, but the fact that I knew I could lose any stability I had at any time.  This is the dumbest wisdom I have ever espoused. Sabotage is not sacrifice.

Today I am writing because it makes sense.  In the dynamic universe known as life writing is what gives us the ability to see the graffiti on the wall from the past triumphs and losses. Thank you Google for this blog we are about to receive.