Charles M. Shackelford

Financial & Investment Services
Professional Asset Management
Mutual Funds · Annuities
Tax-Free Income · Life Insurance 
Securities offered through Crown Capital Securities, L.P.

Charles M. Shackelford offers financial services and investment products, including portfolio management, mutual funds, tax-free municipal bonds, life insurance and annuities. He is a licensed life and disability insurance agent, California License No. 0647404.
Charles follows the time honored principles of quality, consistency and diversification. He adheres to modern investment theory, which is based on asset allocation. His clients benefit from an optimal strategy of diversifying their portfolios across a variety of asset classes in a manner that reduces risk and volatility, while increasing return.

time honored principles 
of quality, consistency 
and diversification

He is the past author of the financial newsletter for the San Diego State University Retirement Association, and past chairman of the Estate Planning Committee for the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation.
His conservative philosophy and experience in investments, tax, insurance matters and estate planning combine to offer clients sound, professional advice.
For a free consultation regarding investments, life insurance or tax planning, please call (619) 291-2000 for time and location. Meetings are also available in the convenience of your own home or place of business.


 CPA – The Guardian – Edward Snowden: A conscience, waiting for a cause

In the course of his professional life in the world of national security Edward Snowden must have gone through numerous probing interviews, lie detector examinations, and exceedingly detailed background checks, as well as filling out endless forms carefully designed to catch any kind of falsehood or inconsistency. The Washington Post(June 10) reported that “several officials said the CIA will now undoubtedly begin reviewing the process by which Snowden may have been hired, seeking to determine whether there were any missed signs that he might one day betray national secrets.”


Edward Snowden.

Yes, there was a sign they missed – Edward Snowden had something inside him shaped like a conscience, just waiting for a cause.

It was the same with me. I went to work at the State Department, planning to become a Foreign Service Officer, with the best – the most patriotic – of intentions, going to do my best to slay the beast of the International Communist Conspiracy. But then the horror, on a daily basis, of what the United States was doing to the people of Vietnam was brought home to me in every form of media; it was making me sick at heart.

My conscience had found its cause, and nothing that I could have been asked in a pre-employment interview would have alerted my interrogators of the possible danger I posed because I didn’t know of the danger myself. No questioning of my friends and relatives could have turned up the slightest hint of the radical anti-war activist I was to become. My friends and relatives were to be as surprised as I was to be. There was simply no way for the State Department security office to know that I should not be hired and given a Secret Clearance.

So what is a poor National Security State to do? Well, they might consider behaving themselves. Stop doing all the terrible things that grieve people like me and Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning and so many others. Stop the bombings, the invasions, the endless wars, the torture, the sanctions, the overthrows, the support of dictatorships, the unmitigated support of Israel; stop all the things that make the United States so hated, that create all the anti-American terrorists, that compel the National Security State – in pure self defence – to spy on the entire world.

Eavesdropping on the planet

The above is the title of an essay that I wrote in 2000 that appeared as a chapter in my book Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower. Here are some excerpts that may help to put the current revelations surrounding Edward Snowden into perspective …..

… more:

Jakarta Management Fraud Watch Solutions on Sustainable development in an increasingly warming world

Fueled by technological innovations and globalization, in the last two decades the world’s economic growth has lifted more than 660 million people out of poverty and has raised the income level of millions more.

However, such growth has too often come at the expense of the environment. As the world population has tripled and the global economy expanded tenfold over the past 60 years, our demands on planet earth have become excessive.

We have been cutting forest trees faster than they can regenerate, over-grazing rangelands and converting them into deserts, over-pumping aquifers, and draining rivers dry.

On our agricultural lands, soil erosion exceeds new soil formation, gradually depriving the soil of its inherent fertility. We have been catching fish from the ocean faster than they can reproduce, bringing about over-fishing in most parts of the world’s seas and oceans.

We have been discharging pollutants into the environment at a greater level than its assimilative capacity, resulting in widespread water pollution.

We have also been emitting carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere faster than nature can absorb them, creating a greenhouse effect and global warming.

As a corollary of this carbon-fixing deficit, atmospheric CO2 concentration climbed from 316 ppm (parts per million) in 1959, when official measurement began, to 383 ppm in 2007. Conversion of forests, mangroves, coral reefs and other natural ecosystems into man-made ecosystems (e.g. settlements, agricultural land, industrial estates and infrastructure) combined with global climate change have destroyed plant and animal species far faster than new species can evolve, launching the first mass extinction since the one that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

Global warming and its concomitant impacts including rising sea levels, extreme weather, prolonged drought and flooding, heat waves and outbreaks of diseases will reduce our earth’s sustainable capacity to produce food, energy and other natural resources as well as to assimilate various wastes.

For example, a joint report by the FAO and OECD published recently reveals that the growth of global agricultural production is projected to slow in the coming decade, from 2.1 percent a year in the last decade to 1.5 percent annually from 2013 to 2022.

In summary, throughout history, humans have lived on the earth’s sustainable yield — the interest from its natural endowment.

But since the early 1990s we have been consuming the endowment itself. In ecology, as in economics, we can consume principal along with interest in the short run, but in the long run it leads to bankruptcy.

Actually humanity’s collective demand first exceeded the earth’s sustainable capacity in 1980, and in 1999 surpassed that capacity by 20 percent (US National Academy of Sciences, 2002).

In other words, humanity has been satisfying its excessive demands by consuming the earth’s natural assets, in effect creating a global bubble economy.

From an ecological and economic perspective, the US financial crisis in 2008, the economic crisis that has hit Europe since 2010, and the ongoing global economic slowdown are believed to be indicators that human demand for natural resources and environmental services has exceeded our earth’s carrying capacity.

Moreover, despite the gains from the world’s economic growth, 1.3 billion people still do not have access to electricity, 2.6 billion still have no access to sanitation, 900 million lack safe and clean drinking water, and 1.5 billion still live below the extreme poverty line (US$ 1.5/person/day) (World Bank, 2012).

This means that such economic growth has not been inclusive enough. Our growth patterns are currently not just unsustainable, they are also deeply inefficient and socially unjust.

Our challenge then is how to feed the rapidly growing population of the world, expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, to provide them with decent jobs and to bring 1.5 billion people out of poverty in an increasingly warming world? To meet such a fundamental humanitarian challenge, five courses of action must be taken and quickly.

As the rate of natural resource exploitation, GHG emissions and waste discharged into the environment is determined by population size and standard of living, the first action must be to stabilize the world’s population at 10 billion people by 2100.

According to a study conducted by Harvard University (2000), with an average income of $8,000 per person, our planet may be able to support a comfortable life for about 10 billion people.

Second, because the gap between rich and poor is so huge and has been widening, both within countries and between developed and developing countries, in the last two decades, rich citizens of the world must act responsibly with respect to environmental protection and distribution of welfare.

In practice global society must change its lifestyle, consumption and production patterns from those which are greedy, consumerist and wasteful into more green patterns.

It is noteworthy that, according to research on happiness, in countries with average incomes of between $10,000 and $15,000 per capita, further growth does not translate into greater well-being for their citizens (Layard, 2005).

Third, we have to change conventional economic growth into green growth. That is growth which is efficient in its use of natural resources; clean in that it minimizes pollution, GHG emissions, and other negative environmental impacts; and resilient in that it accounts for natural hazards including global warming and the role of environmental management as well as natural capital in preventing physical disasters.

In addition, such an economic growth has to be inclusive, ensuring that the economic pie of a country or the world is distributed to all citizens on a fair basis.

Fourth, green economic growth should be generated by the application of green technologies in every aspect of human life, particularly in the mining, agriculture, manufacturing and transportation sectors. Green technologies include zero-waste manufacturing, renewable energy and organic agriculture.

Finally, institutional arrangements, market mechanisms and government policies should be conducive for the implementation of such a low-carbon, resource-efficient and sustainable economy.

Let us not demand more of the earth, but let us do more with what earth provides!


Perfect place for freesias


Blokker Freesia Tasmania owner Maarten Blokker. 

BUYING fresh cut flowers from a roadside stall at the farm of Australia’s only all-year-round freesia grower is more of a treat than it might seem to a local person.
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Overseas tourists think it’s a charming tradition to be retained, but that’s not the reason.
If you were to buy freesias at a florist outlet only a few kilometres away at Latrobe or in Devonport the flowers may have already been over Bass Strait twice to the Melbourne wholesaler and back again.
But inside the little tin flower shed off Wesley Vale Road it is only a few metres from the massive glasshouses where the North-West blooms are growing.
Blokker Freesia Tasmania is in the final stages of completing a major $2.5 million glasshouse extension.
Community spirit is on display courtesy of the honesty box sitting next to the plastic bucket of flowers.
Today you can purchase a bunch of elegant purple irises for just $5 and leave the money in the tin.
A country custom suggestive of a place where people still know each other and like to trust the honesty of strangers.
The flowers that ‘Scape has come to find out more about offer a sweet peppery scent, which is vastly pleasant on your senses as you step inside the beanshoot green painted office of Blokker Freesia Tasmania.
The vase of brightly coloured blooms on the counter adds a dash of spice to the air.
The warm smile of the flower grower who appears behind the counter belongs to Maarten Blokker.
He has been hard at work since before 7am.
The 47-year-old father of four is tall, blonde and handsome.
He explains later that flower growing is hard work and if that’s the case it seems to suit him.
In rows of massive glasshouses his workers are also busy at their tasks.
These days Maarten and wife Marianne Blokker employ about 25 people.
The couple has four children Aledia, 21, Tom, 19, Maarten 18 and Jake, 16.
Mr Blokker says the kids were still in their nappies when he and Marianne came to build this place from scratch.
Sixteen years later he still finds it rewarding to grow something beautiful that sells well in the market.
“I like to grow a crop of flowers. It is really satisfying to be able to grow something which is nice and healthy and productive and paying its way, ” he says.
Perhaps French impressionist Claude Monet said it best when he said: “More than anything else I must have flowers, always and always.”
The Blokkers grow colourful freesias with white becoming more important in recent years.
They aim to grow about 55 per cent white because of the demand driven by fashionable trends and, of course, weddings.
The Blokkers grow 20 per cent yellow freesias, 10 per cent blue-
purple and the rest pink and red.
They also grow calla and Dutch iris largely outside on three hectares of land.
TEMPERATE Tasmania is increasingly seen as the best place in Australia to grow cut flowers and with the impact of climate change that will only become more true.
North-West Tasmania is the perfect place to grow freesias, says Mr Blokker.
He borrowed 100 per cent of the money to buy the six-hectare site and had very little working capital on top.
“From planting it takes a year to get any money back so we lived on nothing for a year it was tough on Marianne with four young children to look after, ” Maarten says flicking through old photos that show the first glasshouses going up and a cheeky young Jake toddling about.
When Maarten Blokker senior came with his family of five children to Tasmania from Holland in 1985, he was looking for a land of opportunity for his kids and their children.
Looking back he made the wise choice, says his son.
“I was 17 and I could not wait to get here, ” Mr Blokker says.
“It was a good culture shock.
“It was great for me as soon as I got here the different people, the different scenery and the different food.”
The Blokker family had been flour millers for generations back home and that’s the business Maarten snr went into again at Scottsdale.
Flower growing began as a hobby business.
Maarten jnr did his trade as a boiler maker-welder and fitter and turner and worked at several different jobs before he followed what his father had started and began growing freesias himself.
“We sold the flour milling business and decided to continue with the flowers, ” he said.
“We had struggled with it for seven years at Scottsdale because we were growing flowers in an area not as suitable as it is here.”
He came to Wesley Vale to work for another flower grower first and found the perfect location for what he wanted to do.
After his previous attempt at flower growing he knew what not to do.
“This is a Coastal climate with a cool sea breeze in summer and basically no frost in winter, which is very important, ” Mr Blokker said.
Blokker Freesia was established in 1997 on a block that has a sand-loam soil with excellent drainage.
With the basics in place he was able to get started with very low-
cost infrastructure.
“We put everything into it and had to make this work so I was fairly nervous and we were working 24-7, ” he said.
“Hopefully I am a bit more wise about things now, but I would do it again.
“It was challenging and it was fun.
“We had a good plan.
“We had good experience from the seven years of failures, ” he laughs.
“And we had come to a place where we had the fundamentals right.
“To successfully grow freesias on a year-round basis, you need to make sure you have all the fundamentals right.
“We had excellent soil good water and good climate and we were willing to do the hard work which hasn’t stopped since.”
Everything to do with the growing of the flowers the picking, the harvesting and the lifting of the bulbs has all got to be done by hand and can’t be automated with robotics, he says.
“It’s very labour and capital intensive work.”
“At any one time we can be digging old crops, steaming soil, planting new crops, processing bulbs and picking flowers.
“We do our bulb processing, preparation and storage. The corms go through four temperature regimes before being planted again.
“About a third of our turnover goes to labour and wages.”
He compares growing flowers to being a bit like milking cows. “You’ve got to do it every day, ” Mr Blokker said.
“You’ve got to go through every one and pick it in the right spot at the right time.”
The fast-growing irises are the easiest to pick and in summer will have to be picked three times a day, seven days a week. It is mainly done backpackers who live on the property in what used to be the family house before a new one was built three years ago.
IN AN article for the Australian Flower Industry Mr Blokker said that “as the business developed and year-
round production and crop success became more important, we installed equipment and a glasshouse.”
He said Blokker Freesia now had more than a hectare under cover and all greenhouses were climate controlled.
Soil temperature was a vital part to growing freesias.
“In the glasshouses you’ve got to monitor and control the soil temperature which is critical the first eight weeks after planting to get it just right, ” Mr Blokker said.
“In the winter we keep the soil warm and in the summer we keep it cool.”
Blokker Freesia was recently named among 25 businesses, nine in the North-West, that were second-round grant recipients under the Tasmanian Government Innovation and Investment Fund to share in $3.5million to create jobs.
Blokker Freesia received $145,000 to put in a climate-
controlled soil cooling and heating system, which is an investment that will increase glasshouse capacity by 80 per cent.
“If we didn’t have climate control we can really only budget on one crop a year, because you have to rely on the seasons to do the work and now we can budget on two crops a year.
“At the moment our goal is to bed down this expansion and get the processes streamlined and in full production.”
Mr Blokker talks of the other investments he calls the life story of his successful business.
Such as investing in a steam boiler modified to run on sawdust as a renewable energy source.
Sustainable and environmentally responsible production is also behind the erection of a wind turbine that went up a week ago to supply most electricity needs.
“We are in a windy location and we’ve got high energy use and we are always looking at alternatives.
“Holland is covered in wind turbines and the climate conditions here were ideal.”
Mr Blokker said the wind turbine, bought from poultry farmer Rob Nichols, was a $400,000 investment he hoped would save up to $80,000 a year in power costs.
Mr Blokker said freight is a major cost issue and remains the biggest hurdle for many Tasmanian producers.
He said there needs to be infrastructure and a direct line from Tasmania.
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Only 1 per cent of Blokker flowers are sold in Tassie.
The flowers are packed in the cool room to remain fresh and shipped to the mainland before being taken via refrigerated road freight all over the country.
“When you consider to get a container from Melbourne to Burnie costs just as much as from Rotterdam to Melbourne.”

Biomass Incentives for Business 


Why should you use biomass for your business? a biomass boiler can produce enough energy to provide central heating and hot water for your business, in place of a gas or other boiler, and with the RHI in place the more you burn the more you earn, so no need to cut back on your heating and hot water anymore. On top of that, it’s an excellent alternative to costly fossil fuels. Coupled with low energy costs and excellent financial returns from the commercial RHI, Biomass is a leading renewable source of heat. Biomass can be applied from small offices to large factories.

Biomass benefits for Business

  • Installing biomass gives A saving of £3,240 against annual fuel bill
  • An earning of £11,926 per annum, index linked for 20 years
  • £15,166 or 23.6% return on a typical investments
  • £100 spent on oil becomes £68 spent on wood pellets £100 spent on LPG becomes
  • £55 spent on wood pellets
  • £100 spent on electricity becomes £21 spent on wood pellets
  • Funding available from EST at low interest rate over a five to eight year period and repayment will be covered by return on RHI
  • RHI payment is returning 8.3p per kilowatt but is being reviewed every 3 month, so the more time you waste the money you lose
  • EST funding can be interest-free and repayable over up to 8 years

Potential incentive by using Biomass
Potential Savings

Biomass Boilers System Performance

Boiler running hours are estimated at 1,500 hours per annum.

Renewable Heat Incentive earnings are therefore projected to be:

  • Tier 1: 1314 hrs @ 70 kW = 91,980 kWh x 8.3p = £7,634.34
  • Tier 2: 1,500 – 1314 hrs =186 hrs @ 70 kW = 13,020 kWh; 13,020 kWh x 2.1p =£273.42
  • Total £ 7,634.34 + £273.42 = £7,907.76 per annum earned in RHI
  • Fossil fuel costs avoided (2011-12 figures) = £5,040 per annum saved
  • Wood pellet cost incurred = £4,410 per annum cost

The nett annual benefit is therefore

£ (6,173.40 + 5,040) – 4,410 = £8,537.76

The return on capital deployed is 8,537.76 / 40,200 = 21.2 %

Note: RHI is payable for 20 years and is index-linked to annual RPI. All figures are prepared with our best care but will vary according to season, climate and commodity values, and are based upon historical data provided by external sources, so must be regarded as indicative only.

With our professional accredited installation teams we are leading the way in the future of biomass.

Crown Eco Capital – What fossil fuel really do to America?

Fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas—are America’s primary source of energy. America’s annual consumption of fossil fuels grown rapidly. 89 % of these consumption are consumed by boilers, transportation, residential usage, fuels for direct heating of process. The balance is used for feed-stocks, raw materials, and other miscellaneous uses. And most of the dirty fuels such as coal and residual oil go into boilers.

Fuel burned are by far the largest single source of air pollution. This pollution is from sulfur oxide. It is also a significant source of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides. Boiler combustion is sufficiently important to warrant the effort to analyze the complete nature of the problems.

Fuel consumption in boilers is divided into three sectors: utility boilers producing steam for generation of electricity which is actually consuming probably 59%, industrial boilers producing steam or hot water for process heat,generation of electricity or space heat consuming about 24%, and boilers for space heating for commercial and institutional facilities consuming the 17%.

The fuels consumed by boilers in large quantities are natural gas, distillate oil, and coal. Additional energy is derived from the burning of waste such as bark, bagasse, liquid hydrocarbon waste materials, etc. These said fuels contribute only a small percent to energy requirements. But they may however present environmental problems. Although problems have not been address due to the fact that these problems are not full understood. New Sources performance Standards for burning boilers waste are to be developed in the near future.

For fossil fuels, various combination of consuming sectors and type of fuel, have independent significant and insignificant environmental consequences. Boilers have three different types, the atertube, firetube and cast iron therefore to determine the overall pollution due to boilers are hard to determine and complicated. In addition each type varies in type and application and other factors influencing the character and quantity of environmental discharges.

Due to the complexity of analyzing the impacts of boiler operation in the United States, U.S Environmental Protection Agency has given rise to a series of studies. These studies pave the way for a better understanding of the impacts of boilers in our environment and the development of ways to control specific pollutants.

Many of the environmental problems our country faces today result from our fossil fuel dependence. These impacts include global warming, air quality deterioration, oil spills, and acid rain.

Air pollution is one major effect of fuels. Several important pollutants are produced by fossil fuel combustion: carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and hydrocarbons. In addition, total suspended particulates contribute to air pollution, and nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons can combine in the atmosphere to form tropospheric ozone, the major constituent of smog. This is just one of the effects; there is water and land pollution, and thermal pollution.

Global warming is another thing. Among the gases emitted when fossil fuels are burned, one of the most significant is carbon dioxide, a gas that traps heat in the earth’s atmosphere. Over the last 150 years, burning fossil fuels has resulted in more than a 25 percent increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Fossil fuels are also implicated in increased levels of atmospheric methane and nitrous oxide, although they are not the major source of these gases.