Tracking the Global Impact of Edward Snowden and the NSA Leaks


Joel Salatin on John Stossel: Raw Milk, Farms, and Food Freedom


Joel Salatin discusses New York City Cleaning Service, farms, food freedom, and government intrusion with John Stossel. Joel Salatin is one of my favorite speakers and writers about both the culture of back-to-earth farming as well as libertarian philosophy.

College Degrees Aren’t Always Necessary

New York Times: The college degree is becoming the new high school diploma: the new minimum requirement, albeit an expensive one, for getting even the lowest-level job.

While this article hits on an important point, a college degree by no means is a guarantee to a job. In terms of cost/benefit, I think college is incredibly overvalued when students will take on thousands of dollars worth of debt, only to spend the next 5, 10, 15, or even 20 years working to pay off that lump of debt.

Thankfully I was accepted to Berea College, which offers students a full four-year scholarship upon admission; I will be able to graduate without a lick of debt related to college. All I know is that I probably would not choose to be in college if I knew it meant going into debt. Unfortunately, many individuals see college as the only option (it isn’t), and trap themselves in mounds of debt for an education that may or may not amplify their creative abilities and economic opportunities out of school.

This video from Peter Schiff demonstrates why anyone should seriously consider whether the value of a college education is at all worth thousands of dollars of debt:


What’s Changed Since I Was 12

This post won’t make much sense without proper context. I started investing when I was 12 years old, and began posting on the Motley Fool discussion boards when I was 13 years old, often giving well-received investing advice. This article by the Motley Fool (also known as the “Fool”), which was actually on the front page of AOL when it was first published, gives more context to the story and some of the fun times related to investing I experienced during my teens. 

Even though investing isn’t the core interest I had during my early teens, I have recently returned to the love of discussing, analyzing, and exploring businesses that flourished so naturally through the Fool and this community.
Reflecting on the past eight years, and in particular the Fool years, is a remarkable thing. A lot of it seems like it just happened, and in many ways it strikes me as a bizarre but highly entertaining dream. I actually went to Fool headquarters and met Tom and David G, Bill Mann, and a host of other Fool analysts.When I was 15. For the life of me I can’t remember what we talked about. Michael Read really nominated for the Feste Award six years ago?! At one point, I think in my junior year of high school, I talked over the phone with a group of HQ Fools, and all but had a job guaranteed at the Fool upon high school graduation. It’s incredible for me to think that these experiences were just a few years ago.

My father, Tim, who is responsible for supporting and cultivating my interest in stocks and the Fool, suddenly and unexpectedly passed away on August 6, 2012, after less than a year of experiencing the symptoms and being diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was just 61 years old – even more shocking considering I can count on one hand the times I remember him being sick when I was growing up. This pencils2 account and moniker, that at one point I began infamously using to give (well-received) investing advice despite being 13 years old, was the one that my Dad started around 2004.

My dear father’s passing has given me the opportunity to help manage his IRA, as well as my mother’s. This year I also had to transfer my account from being a custodial account with my Dad, to my sole individual account. This year, for whatever reason, has led me to the direction of resuming my interest in investments, and it has led me back to the Fool community. Part of me feels like I cut the ties that I did have to the Fool, but perhaps a portion of me hopes that people will understand that teenage boys can be unpredictable and sporadic. (Sorry, should have braced you for that revelation.)

Aside from resuming my passion and interest in investments, I am still enrolled at Berea College in Kentucky – currently in my third year as a Business Administration major (concentration in Marketing). One more year to figure out where to head next. I am Student Government President at Berea, which has been a blast. I’m heavily involved with a multi-year program at the College as well, Entrepreneurship for the Public Good, which has helped me cultivate skills related to entrepreneurship, community development, and other ground-up endeavors.

Enough about me. My investing mannerisms are largely what they were when I was 12 and 13, albeit a bit more refined and grounded. With my personal portfolio, I will not invest in any company I am not familiar with. I don’t care who endorses the stock – I simply can’t risk my own money investing in a company I either don’t know about or don’t care about. If I don’t use the product or like the product, how can I expect others to use the product? The best investments are not obscure companies waiting to be found in a rare vortex of formulas – the best investments are companies whose products and services we use, enjoy, and recommend.

Thus, I am comfortable investing in Netflix, Chipotle, Starbucks, and other such businesses. Companies who I am confident investing in for the next 5-10 years minimum. I’ve found that companies who I don’t fully understand tend to be lousy or very volatile investments, which would lead me to make buy/sell decisions based on emotional frenzies rather than through a calm, grounded approach. I’m a firm believer that we don’t have to actually look all that far for great investments. Start by analyzing the products and services you utilize on a regular basis – chances are there is a solid company (and potential investment) behind those offerings. Start there and expand the scope of your research based on what products/services you, your friends, relatives, coworkers, etc. are excited about. Remember, successful investments can’t be all that obscure because successful companies need either A) lots of customers, or B) high-level clients. People will know who these companies are and utilize their services.

“Snorefest! Can this kid just leave again alrighty?” Okay, okay, I know this has been a bit much. I hope this post finds you all well, and perhaps willing to rekindle the community that I remember from a few years back with old and new friends alike. I’ll be here, at Pencils Palace, posting my investment musings and questions as time allows. I look forward to reconnecting with old friends and developing relationships with new Fools.

Best regards,
David K

Thoughts on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Inauguration


Dr. Cornel West articulately raises concerns about Obama posturing on Martin Luther King, Jr. today. King was adamantly anti-war; Obama has increased war efforts primarily through the drone program in numerous countries that haven’t done a thing to the U.S. Dr. West also raises concerns of the prison-industrial complex; Obama, even after using illegal drugs himself, has continued to throw thousands of individuals into prison. Obama has also deported more people out of the country in his first term than George W. Bush did in two terms.

Of course, virtually nothing would be different if it was Mitt Romney being sworn in today. Both Romney and Obama want the president to be able to mold society through executive orders, bomb other countries without congressional approval, and ignore the Constitution if it ever gets in the president’s way. Not a lick of difference between the two.

Today, let us think of true peace. Not bestowed on us from a government or a leader, but born in our own hearts and daily interactions with fellow human beings. Reform yourself before you expect others to change.

“The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today is my own government.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Do Not Forget U.S. Killings

Life is fragile. The horrific events in Connecticut show what one lunatic can do. While people rightfully mourn such a tragedy, do not forget that thousands of innocent individuals around the world are struck off the earth at the hand of the U.S. government funded by each and every taxpayer.


Both Romney and Obama Are Dangerous

Romney and Obama are dangerous

Mitt Romney is dangerous. Barack Obama is dangerous. Neither of them want to leave you alone. Neither of them want to end needless and atrocious wars overseas. Neither of them will dare espouse an original thought. Both are pawns. Both want to use government force to their advantage.

But go on, get emotionally attached and vote for one of these stooges who couldn’t care less about you. Oh and, of course, blame those of us who resist the nonexistent urge to cast a vote for Tyrant A or Tyrant B.

Don’t Vote for What You Don’t Want

romney obama what you don't want

Unfortunately, this point is not easily understood by people continue to spout the dogmatic and rehashed excuses in support of the two-party system. In reality, it’s a pretty simple concept: don’t vote for what you don’t want. There is no reason to get emotionally attached to these two corrupt, hypocritical, and tyrannical political parties.

Interview with Ben Lowrey – Cooperative Communities, Corporatism, Liberty Movement


Many thanks to Ben Lowrey for inviting me to come onto his program. We had a lovely discussion over cooperative communities, corporatism vs. the free market, the harm of the Drug War, and world events to come that will impact the liberty movement. Thank you Ben!

Opposing War and a Military Draft


War is the health of the state. A military draft is repugnant to the very notions of individual liberty, freedom, and peace. The fact that a high level general in the U.S. military is calling for a reinstatement of the draft is very frightening and cannot be ignored.

Military Soldiers