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* BFU Weekly Journal *
documenting creation of a
Visionaries Learning Center

Bastiat Free University offers internationally accessible and actionable student-directed learning to visionaries and entrepreneurs.
Your BFU resources are now available without cost.

Start Today
Rediscover the pleasures found in self directed learning.

BFUniv, BFU college, self-directed e-learning, Bastiat Free University

Friday, January 27, 2006

Free E-Books From The University Of Virginia

A huge library of free e-books -- a great way to learn.

Kudos to the University of Virginia for compiling this wonderful resource.

"over 2,100 publicly-available e-books including classic British and American fiction, major authors, children's literature, the Bible, Shakespeare, American history, African-American documents, and much more."

"Each text on this list can be accessed in HTML (web version) for online viewing, and can be downloaded as both a MS Reader E-book for the Microsoft Reader and a Palm-readable text for the Palm Reader."

"Users of these e-books agree to adhere to our Conditions of Use"

Go take a look.

Think about what you enjoy - find a book to learn more about your passion.

The Electronic Text Center of the University of Virginia


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Monday, January 23, 2006

The BFU Elevator Speech

As a student of Bastiat Free University you need a good elevator speech.

As Rector I need one even more. As you have noticed I get sidetracked easily, sometimes I get stuck in details that obscure my point.

The elevator speech is a quick summation of something that is important to you. If you have the right listener from the twelfth to the twenty first floor -- what do you say?

David Cowan in his blog Who Has Time For This? gives an outline of a good elevator speech.

I have developed them in the past for other ventures, but had neglected creating an elevator speech for BFU.

Based on Dave Cowan's outline I threw together this quick BFU information piece:

Bastiat Free University has returned learning to education

1) Modern Education is centered on getting a job. BFU is student centered -- students lead their own discovery journey as preparation for the emerging network society.

2) BFU students are looking toward the future where technology empowered individuals will need adaptability to succeed.

3) Renaissance style education allows a student to rediscover the pleasures of self-directed learning. Our students realize 24/7/365 learning will be a key for successful individuals in the netcohort.

4) Jim Rogers author of Adventure Capitalist, and Nassim Taleb author of Fooled by Randomness are two successful doers that have created courses for Bastiat Free University.

BFuniv.org is available to students embracing the network society future rather than the diminishing industrial age.

The future will belong to individuals pursuing their passions - doers that integrate knowledge, integrity, and adaptability with their networking skills.

This speech should only take a few floors. As a good salesman I should be able to discern what interested the listener, and be able to ask questions or answer their questions.

Now if we have less than a minute. How 'bouts something like this:

Both Warren Buffett and Jim Rogers agree on one thing. It might be better to start a business than attend business school. Today's schools deter and defer learning by focusing on job acquisition. Bastiat Free University focuses on redeveloping the pleasures of constant self-directed learning. Start your own business and you will discover what you need to learn.

That is a bit cumbersome, but it makes a few nice points.

Now I need to polish those up a bit, practice them a bit, and use them a lot.

Thanks Dave.


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Sunday, January 22, 2006

Snow Blind at the BFU (bad) Writing Contest

Snow Blind was a personal entry in a bad writing contest.

This contest was in a small universe far, far away, and a very long time ago. I have edited it slightly as you will see.

I sponsored the contest with a business partner named Harry. As a sponsor I couldn't win of course - but I received lots of good humored jeering over this one.

If you would like to participate in a bad writing contest at BFU let me know in the comments. If there is sufficient demand for bad writing we will have to accommodate it.

This is the sort of story all of us bad writers should aspire to - or perspire down to.

SNOW BLIND by Allan Wallace

This was the pimento in the olive in the dry martini of a particularly interesting day. A search had been made of the library grounds. The dwarf was not found.

As a library detective I was used to strange, dangerous, and sometimes kinky happenings. The night now promised surprises even the most sanguine should avoid.

I was ready to embrace the surprises. Ready. Ready like an old lady who trusted the government is ready to eat her dog food. Then SHE walked up to my cubicle.

Long legs carved by Michelangelo. More curves than a bowl of spaghetti, her skirt clung like clam sauce. I'd heard two great monuments were missing in Europe, her blouse unsuccessfully tried to hide both of them. Perfectly seasoned skin without a taste of tan. Dark hair poured in waves off her shoulders like an oil slick onto a beach. She looked at me with dark blue eyes melted from a polar ice cap. In a voice of honey warmed with twenty year old brandy, she asked, "How much will you charge to find my dwarf?"

At the Bastiat Free University library's commissary we ate food that tasted of romance and adventures to come. We agreed on my fees. She refused to eat her apple.


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Friday, January 20, 2006

Change The World

I belong to a free daily inspirational quote service that provides a longer weekly inspirational story - this "story" hit today.

I Wanted To Change The World

By An Unknown Monk

When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.

I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.

When I found I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn't change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.

Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town.

Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.


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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Warren Buffett puts it in your hands

Here is a bit of advice from Warren Buffett - "Do what turns you on."

At Bastiat Free University we will tell you to pursue your passions.

I'd listen to Warren Buffett.

Quoted in a Globe and Mail article Mr. Buffett said students will have to decide personally whether a master's in business administration will benefit their careers or if they'd be better off plunging into the real world.

The one piece of advice I can give you is, do what turns you on,"” he said. "“Do something that if you had all the money in the world, you'd still be doing it. You've got to have a reason to jump out of bed in the morning.

That is very good advice, from a very credible source.

Do what turns you on.


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Learn What You Want To Learn

Learning that is a pleasure - discovering knowledge that you value.

Your whole life someone has told you what you need to know.

Some folks like this; All they have to do to get a pat on the head is follow where they are led.

If you have read this far, you are probably not someone seeking approval of authority.

Your independent mind keeps finding information you would like to pursue, but there is no structured study that suits you.

Let's assume you are moved by art, and want to choose a self-directed route to develop your talent.

History of sculpture may be accompanied by art creation and followed by the study of anatomy which leads to psychology, through architecture, and then to sculpting itself. You define your educational needs by your desire to answer questions. Follow answers with new questions on a now higher level.

Learning should be an enjoyable, all day, all life, self-directed endeavor.

A degree is a commodity purchased with your time and money for the purpose of self marketing.

You are more valuable than that. And you were smart enough to be born in a time where degrees are increasing in supply - hence losing value. What will matter in your future is integrity, adaptability, knowledge, and action.

There is today an ever increasing need for adaptable and creative doers. Society's survival now requires innovators to originate and develop ideas outside obsolete and decaying organizational structures.

In a world of increasingly temporal promises, small efficient groups now count on reputation to chose their affiliates. Small and nimble teams, we call them the Netcohort, of independent entrepreneurs are developing to fill the void being left by the first spasms of collapse from industrial age powers.

Those of you with independent minds were made for this world.

Explore knowledge you want to attain. Share with others that are thirsting for knowledge, desiring action, are filled with integrity, and will be able to adapt as the world changes.

Check out the courses at Bastiat Free University.

Register and monitor courses for free. Come and go as you wish.

Explore knowledge.

Decide for yourself how far to pursue any action.

Rediscover the pleasures of self-directed learning.


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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

BFU School Of Theology

The BFU School of Theology is one of four Bastiat Free University colleges.

The others are the colleges of Human Interaction, Liberty, and Entrepreneurship.

BFU School of Theology is foremost a school to help Christians grow.

Theology and doctrine are not the emphases - instead the reality of a growing relationship with God is the goal.

In this age monolithic industrial science is giving way to a horizontal matrix of conflicting information sources. Due to chronic dissimulation it is easy to get caught up in petty arguments that resolve nothing.

Some truths are lasting. Some ideas are actually absolute.

Accept Jesus, then investigate our School of Theology to see if we can help you draw closer to the true, living, loving God.


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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Netcohort & Network Society & Netocracy

Another new blog, this one with a nice concept, looking at a possible future.

The odds of guessing what will happen next are pretty slim.

The odds of being right on a distant future, even in a vague way, are prohibitive.

Entrepreneurial Business E-Learning will do some guessing, in spite of the odds.

There are a couple of posts up now - go take a look.

I'm not sure how far or how long this new blog will go; I guess we will call it a test of a concept.

I'll have five or more posts up soon, then it will probably proceed at a more leisurely pace, some what like A Sovereign Speculator.


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Friday, January 13, 2006

Stupid in America - Separate School and State

20/20 TV had a show tonight "Stupid In America."

Public schools serve a purpose.

They teach a few basics, poorly. They teach obeying leaders, fairly well. They indoctrinate into country focused chauvinism, very well.

They do not teach critical thinking, personal responsibility, or the skills necessary to succeed on your own.

Private schools cost less per student, teach more of the basics, and at least give lip service to teaching children to be responsible.

Here is a good web site on separation of school and state.

Below you will find some good books on the problems with public schools, and ways to improve learning.

Instead Of Education: This book echoes the
Bastiat Free University creed "rediscover the pleasures of self directed learning."

The Twelve Year sentence: A re-release of a popular book that dissects the concept of public education.

School Reform: How bad can schools be? When Vermont Law School graduate Marilyn Bartlett had to take her bar exams, she filed a lawsuit to get a special exam room, food, drink, unlimited time and somebody to write her answers, since she could barely read or write, and judge Sonia Sotomayor ruled in her favor! Bartlett couldn't even recognize the word "indicted," which makes one wonder who's going to help the clients of such a lawyer.

Separating School and State: The history of government schools from ancient Sparta to today shows "reformers" as less concerned with literacy than with suppressing individual initiative and supporting the state.

Anticipating one of the responses to this list, I'll end with this quote from C. F Bastiat:

"Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society.

As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. ...

... It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain."


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Jim Rogers - Press Release - Bastiat Free University




E503, Foundations of Investment Excellence, a new graduate level course has been created by Jim Rogers.

Jim Rogers is the best selling author of Adventure Capitalist: The Ultimate Road Trip and Investment Biker : Around the World with Jim Rogers.

Jim Rogers is very well known in financial circles for his incredible investment success. Hot Commodities : How Anyone Can Invest Profitably in the World's Best Market is Jim Rogers latest best seller. He is also internationally well known for his travel adventures.

Jim Rogers' books are part of the curriculum in the lower division BFU entrepreneurship courses. The insights that he shares from his journeys are sure to enlighten.

Jim Rogers has assisted Bastiat Free University in creating this new course based on books that have influenced his winning philosophy. This course is sure to attract students that wish an understanding of what has created his success. This course will help prepare students for investing.

Rogers' books, his adventures, and his very successful investment career show him to be an exceptional man with a powerful story to tell. Find out the influences that helped shape such a wonderful achiever. From basics to advanced financial concepts, there is much to be learned in Jim Rogers' new course.

Bastiat Free University is designed for the independent mind. The master's courses at BFU are designed by thoughtful, successful doers. In these courses students can learn from those who set and accomplish their goals.

Bastiat Free University is a group of experimental colleges offering a renaissance style education created for the Netcohort. The emphases is on acquiring diverse knowledge and integrating that knowledge with action. Join our efforts to provide rediscovery of the pleasures involved in self directed learning.

BFU fulfills the desire of those who want to learn, but don't know where to turn. Bastiat Free University exists to provide students with a quality education for little or no cost.

People do like to keep score; take away scoring from sports and most sports would vanish. If students find it important to have a goal, we offer Associate, Bachelor, and Master's degrees. Do it yourself types will do it for free.

Why is Claude Frederic Bastiat the patron philosopher of BFU?

C. F. Bastiat was a nineteenth century statesman speaking out for the concepts of freedom and justice. Bastiat understood liberty, and he knew how to speak and write to communicate his views. And what wonderful views! Bastiat was Pro consumer, small business, and private education; while being Anti monopoly and big government. His logic is presented with entertaining, well stated reasoning; and he did like going "over the top."

About Bastiat Free University:

BFU has been created by Silent Partner Consulting - a group of small business consultants. The original concept was to assist those that have a small business, but have never had the time to complete a degree. The idea was expanded after discussions lamenting the availability of affordable education focused on rational learning.

BFU is for students.

Free is a good thing.

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Sunday, January 08, 2006

Bastiat Libre Université

Bastiat was French, Libre University explicitly means one of the two English meanings of Free.

To be concise, libre is
free as in free speech, not as in free beer.

Wikipedia has a fine definition of libre.

Libre is also used in reference to open source software; BFU uses Docebo libre - open source learning software.

If you wonder where to put
Bastiat Free University in del.icio.us, here are a few suggestions.

  • libreuniversity
  • affordable
  • opencourse
  • openuniversity
  • selfdirectedlearning
  • freeuniversity
  • university
  • education
  • college
  • libre
  • free
Or feel libre to invent your own terms.

It is a nice coincidence that you can also register at
BFU and monitor classes for free.

free as in free beer, no-cost.

rediscover pleasurable learning at
your libre school.

Bastiat Libre Université


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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Mark Twain quotes On Education

Mark Twain's quotes mix story with humor.

But he also spoke the truth as he saw it.

I have a higher and grander standard of principle than George Washington. He could not lie; I can, but I won't."

We will rely on that commitment from Mark Twain.

Mark Twain will now teach us about our time by reflecting on his.

The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them."

"Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge."

It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not to deserve them."

"It is easier to stay out than get out."

If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

"Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't."

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first."

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval."

"There are people who strictly deprive themselves of each and every eatable, drinkable, and smokable which has in any way acquired a shady reputation. They pay this price for health. And health is all they get for it. How strange it is. It is like paying out your whole fortune for a cow that has gone dry."

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform."

"Every one is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody."

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."

"The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet."

"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man."

"There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact."

The history of our race, and each individual's experience, are sown thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is immortal."

"Man is the Only Animal that Blushes. Or needs to."

I have no color prejudices nor caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. All I care to know is that a man is a human being, and that is enough for me; he can't be any worse."

"If you invent two or three people and turn them loose in your manuscript, something is bound to happen to them -- you can't help it; and then it will take you the rest of the book to get them out of the natural consequences of that occurrence, and so first thing you know, there's your book all finished up and never cost you an idea."

You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."

Here are some links to Mark Twain pages, what you may really enjoy is to read some Mark Twain books:

The Quotable Mark Twain


When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained." - Mark Twain


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Friday, January 06, 2006

Bastiat On War and Property

The Daily Reckoning provides us a bit of appropriate Bastiat.

The writings of
C. F. Bastiat are from a period very similar to ours. Reading Bastiat has great potential to explain what is happening around us; and to aid us in projecting what may happen.

Consider this a New Years gift.

Remember that
Bastiat was French, so this is a translation, The translation is a bit dated so it may take a few lines for you to begin to interpret in modern idiom.

It is worth the effort if you value wisdom.

Here is a taste of what
The Daily Reckoning piece has to offer:

In order to produce, man must direct all his powers and faculties to obtain the mastery over natural laws ; for it is by this means that he accomplishes his object. Hence, iron converted into a ploughshare is the emblem of production.

To steal, on the other hand, man must direct all his powers and faculties to obtain the mastery over his fellow-man; for it is by this means that he attains his end. Hence, iron converted into a sword is the emblem of spoliation. - C. F. Bastiat

The following is the short essay provided by
The Daily Reckoning.

Read it and acquire an appreciation for one of history's great economists.


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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Get A Brilliant Business Education - Start Your Own Business


Explore your options, change your life

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure. - Helen Keller

My best advice: If you want a business education; start a business.

Then keep studying how to improve your business. Get your degree at BFU later.

You learn better and faster if you need the information.

Frederic Bastiat would have objected to the modern definition of "University;" derived from the German model of a large, micro organized research and lecture facility under government supervision.

Bastiat Free University objects to regulations defining achievement on an industrial scale. Many government and accredidation regulations run counter to operating a reasonable and affordable learning environment.

That is what a University should be, a self challenging learning environment.

People are not machine parts to be processed in an orderly fashion. You are unique. You should have available a method to achieve a success defined - by - you.

BFU exists to provide you with support for your goals and ambitions.

I think it was Einstein that said, "Nothing happens until something moves." If you want useful knowledge and you don't want to waste money and time, now is the time to start studying at Bastiat Free University.

Get moving.

.test of new finance site, not yet ready for prime time


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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Pursue your own goals

Set your goals high.

An achievable goal is not good enough.

Too much goal is just right.

Plan for a future that is scalable; if your goal is big, you want to be able to make it bigger. As you get close to achieving a goal, set a bigger and tougher one.

Keep learning, as you gain knowledge your goals can grow with you.

I have found I enjoy reading more, and I learn more, when reading is not required. Pick and choose for yourself from Bastiat Free University course reading lists. Challenge yourself to grow. Our course work lists are available at no-charge.

Free is a very good thing.

While access and monitoring of classes is free; if you wish to make a donation to support our expenses and expansion it will be gratefully accepted and carefully applied.

There is a small charge for administration and review of your course work if you enroll in a degree track.

The costs for
BFU to acquire accreditation are so high, the benefits so low, we do not at this time chose to go that route. Of course we could raise the fees by 10,000% or so, charge extra for every little thing, and decrease the value of learning; but then we would be like everyone else. We are here to offer you quality learning at no or little cost. I guess we will have to stick to the road less traveled.

Many employers, schools and government licensing agencies will not accept degrees from an unaccredited university like
BFU. If your life's goal is to be a wage slave, get a degree elsewhere to meet their requirements.

Then enter
Bastiat Free University to learn about the many freedoms you can acquire.

The BFU self-directed learning style puts you in charge. Use that power to achieve goals that are important to you.

You may want to investigate us, it could save you many wasted years and tens of thousands of dollars in expenses and deferred earnings.

If you want a business, start your business. Then come to BFU to learn how to grow your business. If you already have your business, investigate what we have to offer.

For a business person Bastiat Free University offers many routes to pleasurable learning. From selecting a few books associated with our classes and reading the PDF downloads available; to earning a degree you can be proud of.

BFU is home for the Netcohort.

Welcome home.


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Monday, January 02, 2006

A Quick Warning

Time to try a new server.

We will be transferring and tinkering with Bastiat Free University, Docebo open source course ware, and our
BFU store for the next day or two.

The good news is this should cure some of the dropped packets and involuntary evictions we have experienced in the past.

To keep you entertained, take a look at our newer and faster - BFuniv - Independent mind - self directed learning - web presence.

We will keep the old BFU, and we have some work to do on the new site, but this is five new, information filled pages at an easy to remember address: BFuniv.org


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Sunday, January 01, 2006

An Independent Mind

From Robert Burns, "Thou of an independent mind."

For those of you that have watched the movie Braveheart, you have some understanding of an independent mind. So did Robert Burns; he provided this to us about 1795 as his take on the address of Bruce to his Scots, a people of very independent mind.

Scots wha hae wi Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has often led,
Welcome to your gory bed
Or to Victorie!
Now'’s the day, and now'’s the hour:
See the front o'’ battle lour,
See approach proud Edward'’s power
Chains and slaverie!
Fiercely independent, and seeking no overlord, Robert Burns also gave us this:

An Inscription For An Alter Of Independence
At Kerroughtree, the Seat of Mr. Heron.

Thou of an independent mind ,
With soul resolv'd, with soul resign'd;
Prepar'd Power's proudest frown to brave,
Who wilt not be, nor have a slave;
Virtue alone who dost revere,
Thy own reproach alone dost fear --
Approach this shrine, and worship here.

Thou of an independent mind.

Bastiat Free University draws inspiration from those that centuries before were unafraid to stand for liberty.

BFU offers you the wealth of centuries, comprised of knowledge, at your fingertips.

What you do with this knowledge is your choice.

Are You of an independent mind?


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"Free" University or Church defined

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