Jeff Gentry

Search for Original Thought

 

The Next Wall Street Bailout May Start Today

I’m pleased to have recently accepted a position with a respected financial services firm. I’ve decided to remove this content to ensure that there is no conflict of interest, or even a perception of conflict, as a result of content I’ve authored prior to accepting this position.

Gold Prices Plummet…NOT!

I’m pleased to have recently accepted a position with a respected financial services firm. I’ve decided to remove this content to ensure that there is no conflict of interest, or even a perception of conflict, as a result of content I’ve authored prior to accepting this position.

Letter to Tan Parker Opposing SB 9 – Texas Implementation of National ID

I wrote my Texas Representative tonight urging him to oppose SB 9 that was recently passed in the Texas Senate. I encourage you to do the same.

Dear Mr. Parker,

I’m writing to urge you to aggressively oppose, and vote against, SB 9 when it comes before the House. This bill wastes over $100 million to comply with the Federal Real ID Act at a time when we can’t afford to waste taxpayers’ money on more government that infringes on Texans’ liberties. Earlier this year, a Texas government security breech may have revealed information leading to identity theft and now Senator Williams proposes to take even more personally identifying information from me, at higher costs for me in driver’s license fees, all in the name of supporting efforts to create a National ID. Real ID requirements are stifling to law-abiding citizens, but will do little to combat terrorism or protect our borders.

Please oppose efforts to make us ”show our papers” as if we lived in the old Soviet Union and pay for the privilege in higher driver’s license fees.

Your Constituent,

Jeff Gentry

Find out who represents you in the Texas House here. Texas Tribune has an article on the bill. You can find more information about the dangers of Real ID here. A huge Thank You, Senator! goes out to my State Senator Jane Nelson for her vote against this bill, one of only five senators to do so.

HT to the Texas Campaign for Liberty

Texas State Senator Steve Ogden Blocking SB354 Vote

Texas State Senator Steve Ogden (R) of Round Rock is single-handedly preventing a vote on SB 354 in the Texas Senate. This legislation would allow Texas citizens with Concealed Handgun Licenses to exercise that right on university campuses. He’s not just voting against the bill, he is blocking a vote that has already passed in the Texas House and is supported by a majority of Senators, including all his fellow Republicans and two Democrat Senators.

I just sent the letter below to Texas State Senator Steve Ogden. I encourage you to do the same to let him know what you think about his action.

Please let SB 354 come to a vote. Vote against it if you wish, but at least let the peoples’ representatives vote on the bill. My son is a student at West Texas A&M University. He doesn’t own a gun. He’s not interested in owning a gun. However, I know he’s safer anytime he’s around qualified, armed citizens like CHL holders.

Preventing a vote on such a basic right of self-protection is a miscarriage of the legislative process.

Senator Ogden’s office can be reached at 1.512.463.0105 or by FAX at 1.512.463.5713 or by web mail here. Please be polite and respectful.

HT to Jon-David Wells at The Wells Report.

A Tank with 30mm for Christmas?

What do you do for the manly man with everything? How about buying him a tank? No, not a gas tank or a pond for cattle, a real armored tank. Specifically a fully road legal FV-432 Rarden, including the 30mm. This tank can be yours for thousands of US dollars less than the cost of a new Jeep Liberty. The Jeep Liberty can’t really take a 30mm hit well so if that’s a consideration, the choice is easy.

Merry Christmas!

PS – This is NOT a Christmas gift hint. I like my Jeep Liberty.

Jim Rogers on Bonds, Gold, Silver and Sugar

I’m pleased to have recently accepted a position with a respected financial services firm. I’ve decided to remove this content to ensure that there is no conflict of interest, or even a perception of conflict, as a result of content I’ve authored prior to accepting this position.

Step Dads and Doggies

My step-daughter is 11-years-old and has started writing a journal, which reminds me of my 15-year-old daughter who is an avid writer. She’s written two things in her journal and wanted to read them to me. I thought it was cool that one of her entries is called Step Dad. I asked her if she would like to be published for a worldwide audience. She got a big smile on her face and said, “Sure!” So, I’d like to introduce the world to the first published writings of my step-daughter.

StepDad!

I just got a new step dad. He is so cool. But he’s a bit embarrassing. I had a birthday and it was at the Rain Forest Cafe! And they had all these mechanical animals from the rain forest. So when the gorillas started to beat their chest, Jeff acted like one. And totally embarrassed me.

Charlie!

I had a dog named Charlie. He was the cutest dog ever. I loved him with all my heart. He was my favorite dog I have ever had. But about a month ago, he died. My heart shut. I felt like I was going to faint. I really miss Charlie. But now he’s in doggy heaven. And everything is OK. But I still wish Charlie was still alive.

Bye Charlie!

Alissa and Charlie on His Last Day

Thank You, Internet, for the Free Education

Yesterday, economist Jim Buchanan turned 91 years old. According to Don Boudreaux, he’s still sharp as a tack.

I’ve never met Jim Buchanan, but he’s had an influence on me as one of the co-founders of Public Choice Theory. I’ve never met Don Boudreaux, but I read his blog Cafe Hayak on a regular basis. If you think back just 20 years ago, this kind of knowledge and experience sharing was unthinkable. I would never have heard of Don Boudreaux or James M. Buchanan. I would still think that the Federal Reserve System was beneficial to our country and to me. I would never have learned of my love for economics.

The Internet brings us more than just social connections, but a wealth of knowledge. Exhibit #1 – The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan.  First published in 1959, this 10-volume set is freely available online thanks to the Library of Economics and Liberty. But this is just the tip of the knowledge iceberg. The knowledge available online combined with powerful platforms for social engagement is changing our civilization and I believe this is just the beginning. I predict that the changes we’ll see in education and business over the next 20 years will dwarf what we’ve seen in the last 20 years. Last month, Blockbuster declared bankruptcy because their leaders missed how new technology and ideas would impact their business. As a result, NetFlix and RedBox have annihilated them in the marketplace. Even their forays into DVD kiosks were little more than renting their brand to NCR. Our traditional approach to higher learning is likely to follow the trail blazed by Blockbuster if they don’t change. They are no longer the gatekeepers to higher education.

The knowledge is already out there. MIT has put over 2000 courses online. By online, I don’t mean that you can register for Internet courses at MIT. I mean that everyone in the world has access to over 2,000 MIT courses online for FREE! Want to take Introductory Economics at Carnegie Mellon? You can. Free. The Khan Academy has over 1800 videos on topics ranging from simple equations to advanced mathematics.  Their mission is nothing less than to become the free classroom of the world. According to Bill Gates:

Five years from now on the web for free you’ll be able to find the best lectures in the world. It will be better than any single university.

A world-class education is now only a browser away. Only the social aspect is missing, the opportunity to network and benefit from mentors. Time will tell how we use this technology to build the educational infrastructure of the future. All I know is that it will look nothing like what we do today.

Take the Enneagram Personality Type Test

I first heard about the enneagram personality test over dinner last week with the MyBuys.com executive team. It takes its name from the geometric nine-sided star polygon since there are nine personality types, or enneatypes: Reformer, Helper, Achiever, Individualist, Investigator, Loyalist, Enthusiast, Challenger, Peacemaker. My Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is ENTJ, the Field Marshall, so I wasn’t surprised by the results:


Main Type
Overall Self

Take Free Enneagram Personality Test

Enneagram Test Results
Type 1 Perfectionism |||||||||||||||| 62%
Type 2 Helpfulness |||||||||| 38%
Type 3 Image Focus |||||||||||||||||| 78%
Type 4 Hypersensitivity || 10%
Type 5 Detachment |||||| 26%
Type 6 Anxiety |||||||||||||||| 62%
Type 7 Adventurousness |||||||||||||||| 62%
Type 8 Aggressiveness |||||||||||||||||| 78%
Type 9 Calmness |||||||||||||| 58%

Your main type is 8
Your variant is sexual

Take Free Enneagram Personality Test

Other famous Type 8s include Martin Luther King, Jr. and Saddam Hussein. I relate more to Mr. King. According to the Enneagram Institute, a Type 8 with a Seven-Wing is the Maverick. Since Type 7 was one of my highest scoring dimensions, that seems to apply. It reminds me of a performance appraisal I had 15 years ago with my second-line manager that started like this:

Manager: “Jeff, you are a maverick.”
Me: “Why, thank you!”
Manager: “I didn’t mean that as a compliment.”

It went downhill from there. My manager, Sharon, told me I should take the rest of the day off and apologized for the hatchet job. She was as surprised as I was. But I had a deliverable and worked all night to complete it instead. I guess that’s what mavericks do. I had a new job within the company less than 48 hours later, but she refused to release me for over 4 months. She must have valued me after all. I don’t even remember her name.

If you take the test yourself, please comment and tell me if you think it’s accurate and insightful. For me, it was dead on. The more we understand about ourselves and those around us, the more effective and happy we can become.

For more information about the enneagram, check out a book by two of the creators – The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types

PS – If you happen to be the manager that gave me that performance appraisal 15 years ago – “Thank You!” By pushing me to leave, I made the most positive turn I ever made in my career. You inadvertently brought me a great deal of success.

New Wine Shop Near Lantana, Texas

Nestled between equestrian centers and across FM 407 from the Lantana community, a new wine shop opened a month ago in Bartonville Town Center. I don’t normally go to the trouble to comment on a new shop in my neighborhood, but I dropped by after a late lunch at Andrew’s this afternoon. I’m glad I did. We spent a pleasant hour with Dan Adams, one of the proprietors, and joined the wine club. Dan selects six wines each month for club members to try out and from which to select two to make their own. We selected the 2008 Spann Vineyards Betsy’s Backacher Bottle Blond and the 2008 EDGE Cabernet Sauvignon. The EDGE Cabernet was voted best cab under $20 by Food and Wine magazine in 2007. The Spann Vineyards selection is a 60% Semillon, 40% Chardonnay. We also picked up a bottle of 2007 Teltaca Malbec from Argentina on Dan’s recommendation for a moderately priced Argentine Malbec.

As much as the wine, we enjoyed the experience. I’m excited about having such a great place right in our neighborhood and I encourage area wine lovers to patronize Grapes to Wine. Join me and we’ll do our wine tasting together next month. Their business plan includes opening a working winery on the premises and a laid back wine bar next door sometime in the future. With great places like Mercy Wine Bar and the Bodega Bar miles away in Addison and Dallas, respectively, having a wine bar in Bartonsville will be a great pleasure and opportunity. Best of luck, Dan. I plan to do my part to support your business and I look forward to experiencing your wine selection for next month.

 

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