April 2019 Q&A

Post your questions in the comments, on any subject, and I will be glad to answer them in the next Q & A.

This month’s questions:

    • How do you get out of debt?
    • Have you considered hosting a podcast?
    • Have you dealt with constantly passing judgement on others?
    • Where should I start if I want to start a business?
    • Would you consider running for a political office?
    • How do you feel about the change to “necessary” police force?
    • Will people on Facebook ever give up on political and religious posts?

(Watch video or read transcript below)

How do you get out of debt? 

This is an old idea, that’s worked with my clients for years, and it’s also worked when I’ve gotten behind and in debt. It’s very simple.

The first step for getting out of debt is to stop the leak. Take your credit cards and put them in a cup, fill the cup with water, then stick the cup in the freezer. That way if there’s ever a true emergency, it takes a while to thaw them out and you can’t do any impulsive buying with your credit cards.

It’s more extreme to cut them, but this is a fun way that’s not as traumatizing and reduces the ability to go deeper into debt. Then take a pen and paper and write a list of the total balance of all your debts and attack the card with the lowest balance first and pay all of your minimum payments to the rest. Pay anything extra towards that minimum balance card first and ignore the interest rates.

Mathematically, people suggest you pay the highest interest rate first, but that doesn’t work with human behavior. Psychology requires that you have some early wins. Let me make a quick example.

Let’s say you have three credit cards: A, B, and C. Card A has a $300 balance, card B has a $2,000 balance, and Card C has a $4,000 balance.

You ignore the interest rates, and pay the minimums to card B and C, but you pay as much as you possibly can to card A. You tackle the one with the smallest balance first until it’s gone, which will be rather easy because it’s only $300.

Then, whatever you were paying towards card A, you switch over and start paying towards credit card B and repeat that process.

That’s been the most effective method I’ve ever seen with my clients and it works well because it builds up some momentum and get you excited.

Have you ever considered a hosting a podcast? 

This monthly Q & A video is the closest I’ve come to hosting my own podcast. I probably won’t do a podcast because it’s crowded and I’m not ready to commit to doing it right. In order to do a podcast right, it would take a lot of time and effort to be competitive with the other people.

But this monthly video is a fun little thing I’m experimenting with. It gives me an opportunity to connect with people somewhat directly and kind of accomplishes the same goal. I have too many other projects right now with two books in my head that I want to write, I’m working on a doctorate degree, and I have my clients and college students. I have a lot, so I can’t do a podcast right now.

How do you deal with judging others?

This is a great question that I can relate to. I’m going to read it verbatim.

Have you dealt with constantly passing judgment on others? How do you deal with people that don’t contribute to society and just take? At 25 years old, I find myself pretty judgmental and angry at those who in a different time wouldn’t survive and are only right now surviving because of the safety nets in place that our society has created and made it possible for these people to live without really holding themselves accountable and abusing the system.”

I find this question interesting because it also describes me at 25 years old. I’m pretty sure this question came in from another cop which I think is a very typical belief for young police officers.

Police officers see a segment of society that the rest of the world or does not ever see. They see the real world as opposed to the ideal version that many people in the world see.

Cops see the abuse and manipulation of the system and people who are taking advantage of other people. On the other extreme, you have some people who live in an ivory tower and are clueless. A lot of liberals fit this model where they have an ideal textbook version of the world that’s much more compassionate. They live in unicorn land, but that’s not really reality.

The young police officer sees the real world and sees people how they really tend to be, which is often lying, cheating, manipulative, and abusing of the system.

I’ll try to answer this question as the 44-year-old that I am, even though I completely relate to the 25-year-old more judgmental version. I haven’t completely resolved this in my own mind, but I’m further down the path of being less judgmental.

What has helped me pass less judgment on the people who are manipulating the system is that I try not to blame the individual who’s manipulating the system, but instead to direct my irritation toward the system that enables them to be that way.

For example, you’ve seen well off people standing on a street corner with a sign begging for money. They’re clearly well off with their iPhone and nice clothes, and if you follow them, they have a nice car, but they’re standing there with a sign begging for money.

I get more annoyed by the people giving them money. Anyone giving them money is an idiot because they are enabling somebody who doesn’t have a need. If somebody can physically stand there holding a sign, then they’re capable of having a job.

Today, I feel compassion for these beggars who would degrade themselves to the point of standing there with a sign rather than go out and make themselves productive to society.

I feel bad that society is naive enough to the point that they would enabling these people to have no dignity for themselves. They can’t feel good about themselves standing there begging for money or manipulating the system.

If someone is offered welfare, in some regards, you’d be silly not to take free money. It’s almost the system that I resent more than the individual who is taking something that’s being offered to that person.

One way of looking at it is to blame the system instead of judging the individual who is a freeloader or abusing the system. The other way is to try to be empathetic and realize their life must suck that they’re enabled to the point that they are willing to take those free handouts, which must make them feel not very good about themselves. That’s one point of view that’s helped me become be more empathetic at 44 than I was age of 25.

A second thing that’s helped me is the more I’ve understood and studied people, there are two schools of thought. One is that we have free choice. The opposing school of thought is that we don’t have free choice and everything is laid out for us at birth.

I don’t think anyone knows exactly which theory is right. But one way of looking at it as if we were born as that person with the same DNA, with the same upbringing, the same childhood, the same circumstances, same surroundings, it’s possible that we may make the same poor choices as these people that are manipulating the system.

I’m not sure how well that answers your question, but I totally relate. Especially as a young cop, I saw a lot of abuse of the system and a lot of bleeding-heart people who wanted to do the right thing and help these people out, but they we’re enabling them.

Where would you start when launching a new business?

Don’t get logos, business cards, rent a building, or buy inventory. Don’t do anything like that. First put something up to test if there’s interest in the world before you invest any money.

Let’s say you have a salsa recipe that all your friends love and adore, and constantly suggest you should sell. What many people do is start buying jars and mixing recipes and stuff. I think that’s a mistake.

What you should do is do first create a list of interested people, which is easier to create with the internet. You can create a website offering something to see if you can get people enter an email address to attract people to see if there’s interest.

At this point, no one has paid any money and you haven’t invested any money either. You’re accumulating an interest list, so once you have a list, then you can send out an email, a letter, or follow up with a phone call when you have a product to offer someone to buy. Ideally, you have something to offer before you invest any money on logos, inventory, etc. (Be sure to abide by the legalities of the Federal Trade Commission).

For example, let’s say I have an idea for a book, rather than go writing the whole book and trying to sell it, it’d be easier to put something online like a news article, that’s a Reader’s digest version of the book , to see if I could get people to enter an email address in exchange for receiving that article. Because if I can’t get somebody interested enough to exchange an email for a free article, there’s no chance in hell I’m ever going to be to sell anything to those people. That’s usually what I do before I ever sell anything.

After you’ve gotten people who’ve raised their hand and given you money, then you should start looking at moving forward with the business.

25 of your friends will all say that they’re interested in your salsa, but when you ask them to give you $15 for a jar of salsa, that number dwindles incredibly. I’ve learned that the hard way.

Would you ever run for political office?

The answer’s no. Hell no, but I seriously considered at one point. There was a time where I was extremely frustrated with the local corruption where I live. It was half out of spite against these corrupt politicians, and half out of a desire to want to make things better.

I spent about four months seriously looking into how I would win an election. For a short period, I was going to do it, and there was no question in my mind that I would win the local city council race. If I’m going to do something, I’m going to make sure I do it right, but I started to realize the amount of effort that it would have taken to guarantee a win, the money and effort, was not worth the return.

And the return really would have been to stroke my ego, and to somehow get a little bit of vengeance on some corrupt politicians in and the community. The ability to actually change things and turn things around for the better was almost zero.

Ninety-nine percent of these politicians have the total combined IQ similar to a slug in my garden. We’re dealing with low IQ people that run for politics, so trying to work within an environment of idiot politicians, combined with a lot of uninformed people who vote for them is an environment of guaranteed failure.

The only reason to enter politics, when you’re guaranteed that you’re not going to be to make any change, is to do it for your ego. At least that’s my point of view, so now that I’m a little wiser and understand the system, I will never run for politics.

I did run for politics in a police union and that’s where I learned a lot about how you really can have the best intentions and make no forward progress. So, I have dabbled in a small, political arena, and they’re all the same. No politics for me.

But I do make sure and vote even though my vote is a complete waste of time in California. Regardless how I vote in California, the outcome will always lean towards the liberal/communist slant. There’s no point in me voting, but I do so that at least I feel entitled to bitch and complain about at the outcome later. So that’s my rant on politics.

What do you think about AB 392—police deadly force?

This is a very complicated and interesting topic and it’s going to have a tremendous impact on California’s future and ultimately in the nation.

The questions is about Assembly Bill 392 and Senate Bill 230. I get those two mixed up, but my understanding is 392 was introduced by the nutcases that are anti-law enforcement and 230 is what is supported by the police.

It’s a very complicated subject so I’ll try to oversimplify it. 392 proposes to change when a police officer can use force against someone else. They don’t like the current system that’s been around forever, that’s been tested in courts over and over and over again. They want to change the statute and change it from force when it’s necessary as opposed to when it’s reasonable.

Let me try my best to explain this simply.

From a lay person’s point of view, it seems very reasonable to mandate that police can only shoot somebody when it’s necessary. That seems like a reasonable proposition until you understand the way the system works, the way police officers train, and the realities of a fight. It’s actually idiotic and insane to even propose the idea.

Here’s the difference. Right now, the rules of basically say, and I’m overgeneralizing, that an officer can shoot somebody when it seems reasonable, which is determine by what most officers would do given the same set of circumstances.

Reasonable based on what the officer knew in those split seconds with the limited information he or she had in the moment. A reasonable decision to take that shot doesn’t mean it’s necessary.

Necessary would mean—I don’t know what necessary means because, quite frankly, it would never be necessary to shoot somebody.

Let me give you some extreme examples. It’s not necessary that the police even arrest somebody to begin with. It’s not necessary that the police even show up to your husband and wife fight. It’s not necessary that the police confront somebody who’s robbing a bank. It’s never necessary. The police can always not go to the call.

The police can always turn around and go home as opposed to shooting somebody. The police can always stand there and get shot, especially in today’s world where many in society see a police officer’s life as the expendable. Under those conditions, it’s never necessary for an officer to shoot somebody.

The question then becomes, is it reasonable based on the set of circumstance? Let me give an example. Imagine a call of a man who robbed a bank with a handgun, and the officer arrives outside the bank and confronts a man that matches that description, and he reaches into his waist band and pulls out a cell phone.

In those fractions of a second, in a low lighting environment, the officer considers the totality of the circumstance and see this man fitting the description. Imagine if he reaches into his waistband after ignoring the officer’s directions and he pulls out a cell phone.

In those fractions of a second, under intense stress, they believe he’s reaching for the gun and the officer decided to shoot instead of waiting to get shot. More often not, that would be deemed a reasonable shooting.

It would NOT be necessary, because it turns out that it’s a cell phone. The alternative is that officers don’t take the shot and they wait until it’s too late and the man pulls out the gun and shoots them. By then the officers would determine it would have been necessary.

In essence, what this new bill suggests is that ignorant, uninformed politicians, who’ve never been in a fight for their life, get to second guess whether or not the shooting was necessary after they watch the video 35 times in slow motion, frame by frame, to determine whether the officers should have made a decision to shoot while in the heat of the moment and under intense pressure stress.

They must make a very difficult decision while the people determining whether this shooting is necessary, are not under those same pressures

I’m highly concerned these morons in politics, who’ve never been in a fight in their entire lives, may make this change. If they make this change in California, traditionally the rest of the nation follows. It will completely change law enforcement nationally.

I guarantee one of two things will happen if these morons pass this bill. Number one, there will be a mass exodus out of law enforcement, because there is no chance in hell any officer is going to stay in a circumstance where they cannot use deadly force when it’s reasonable.

If they must wait to determine if it’s necessary, which I’ve already explained it’s never necessary, they are not going to put themselves in a situation where they could face murder charges for making a decision in the heat of battle, that’s not politically correct.

There is going to be a mass exodus of police officers, but not every police officer can leave because, where are they going to go? A lot of people have had these jobs their whole life and they’re stuck, or they feel like they’re stuck, so the people who remain in law enforcement, will do the absolute bare minimum.

They will not pull any car over under any circumstance. If a guy is cutting you off while speeding at 99 miles an hour, no cop in their right mind would pull that person over because there’s a risk that if they walk up to the driver and he has a gun, the officer will be too afraid to shoot. It will be too dangerous to approach that driver. There will no proactive enforcement from police officers.

It may seem nice to never get pulled over, but I think we all agree that we do need some law enforcement. We need the police to keep people from running amok, because you if there was no chance of getting pulled over, I’d be driving a lot faster, and I’d be texting and driving and doing a lot of other things that are not good for anybody—things I don’t to because there are consequences.

Officers may have to respond to calls like a husband and wife fight, a robbery in progress, or a drive by shooting, but they will try their best to avoid calls. If they’re worried about losing their job, they may go, but they will “accidentally” get lost on the way or drive a little slower to make sure that by the time they get to that scene, everybody is gone.

They will come and take some reports, which may lead to arrest warrants for suspects, but the officers are never going to go out looking for the people who committed the robbery, beat their wives, or raped their children. There will be too much risk for the officers.

There’ll be a huge shortage as officers, and the ones who remain will do the absolute minimum. Police departments will have to lower their standards and bring in a lower caliber of candidate to the workforce to that of security guards.

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