Thursday, July 31, 2014

Flying is Safe

I've been flying internationally for a mere 30 years, and although have had flights in which I was .. ahem... concerned...  I've never felt I was in danger...

1. Flying from Guangzhou to Guilin circa 1978.  Some sort of Turbo-prop with all of the notices in Russian.  The vibration were so bad rivets were popping off.  The oddest thing whereas the flight to Guilin was like 3 hours, the flight back was like five.  Never figured that one out.

2. Landing in Chicago the runway was coming up fast when the engines started screaming and we began to go up, not down.  Up up up... then gently turn around.  No announcements, no explanation nothing.  The plane landed and the stewardesses (no such thing as "flight attendants" back then...) feigned surprise that anyone should think anything was unusual.  OK...

3.  Taking off out of Anchorage, pitch black, and feeling as though we are corkscewing up and up, which is think is normal, but the engines were screaming and moaning like they were not going to make it.

Now of course, landing at old Kai Tak was too amazing to ever allow for fear.

Three crashes in a week a few weeks ago have people nervous.  Here a pilot puts it in perspective...

Go back to the year 1985, for example. In that twelve-month span, 27 — twenty seven! — serious aviation accidents killed almost 2,500 people. We had the JAL crash outside Tokyo with 520 fatalities; the Arrow Air disaster in Newfoundland that killed 240 American servicemen; the Air-India bombing over the North Atlantic with 329 dead, etc. Two of history’s ten deadliest disasters happened within two months of each other!
That’s a bad year.
Three crashes in a week? How about two in 24 hours. In the same place!

Read the whole article for some remarkable stories.

And I would note this is another example of no government, but plenty of governance.  The system is safe even though no one is "in charge," it is all voluntary association . Cuba and USA gets along when it comes to flying.

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American Isolationism Today

The neocons are desperately trying to get us into another war by swinging wildly, in the hopes of getting us to forget the last several wars they got us into, singing wildly.  They way this is accomplished is by isolationism.  What we hear in USA is completely at odds from what the rest of the world hears.  Our government and the government controlled press lies relentlessly to us, and we have a view that no other people on earth share, and thus we are isolated.

Our neighbors, the Canadians get this:

What Bociurkiw described in the interview flatly rejects the generally accepted version of Flight MH-17’s demise. When asked if he saw anything which suggested how Flight MH-17 was destroyed, Bociurkiw gave this startling revelation:
“There have been two or three pieces of fuselage that have been really pockmarked with almost looks like machine gun fire, very, very strong machine gun fire that has left these unique marks that we haven’t seen anywhere else. We have been asked, for example, have we seen any examples of missile. Well, no we haven’t. That’s the answer.”

Mish Shedlock is the only USA reporter on the topic.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chinese Government Raids Microsoft Offices

Well, what do you call a surprise visit by government officials in four cities at once after hours?
(Reuters) - Chinese government officials made sudden visits toMicrosoft Corp's China offices, a Microsoft spokeswoman said on Monday, but declined to give a reason.
Sounds like a raid.  She may have declined to give a reason, but rules reveal weaknesses:
"We aim to build products that deliver the features, security and reliability customers expect and we're happy to answer the government's questions," the spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement, declining to give further information.
That must be some new Microsoft policy, since the entire world has been long waiting for Microsoft to deliver features, security and reliability.

I think of the tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, USA taxpayers had to fork over to "protect Microsoft intellectual property" in China and "export promotion."  Money if fungible.  What Gates did not have to spend himself, he got to keep.

On the other hand, if he was actually picking up the tab, he likely would have nixed the expense.

Update:  Vice of ChiCom is reporting details:
The State Administration for Industry and Commerce is accusing Microsoft of failing to fully disclose anti-competition information about its Windows operating system and Microsoft Office application.
If one recalls, charged similarly by the Clinton Admin, Gates et al signed a "consent decree" which said no one in the world can ever again get rich the way Bill Gates did.  The inexpressibly craven people who populate the Justice Department, and Judge Penfield Jackson crafted this sinecure for Gates et al.

Now, although the USA Justice Department believes it rules the world, the Chinese may beg to differ.  They may look at the same facts and decide to handle this at variance from the decision of Judge Jackson.  They may feel a little competition is welcome.

The problem with Microsoft was (since it is over now anyway) the unlimited credit to finance a timewaste for the credit-based massive increase in State activity from Reagan on...  Will the ChiComs go another route, abjuring Total Information Awareness that requires built-in spying and monopoly OS?

I hope China continues ot opt for freedom and free markets.

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Closed Borders or Open Welfare?

A border got cranky and drew down on some Boy Scouts...  not very interesting, but a comment by blue hoss was... the details of this can be debated, but he notes:

You have two families: "John Legal" and "Juan Illegal". Both families have two parents, two children, and live in Arizona ..
John Legal works in construction, has a Social Security Number and makes $25.00 per hour with taxes deducted.
Juan Illegal also works in construction, has NO Social Security Number, and gets paid $15.00 in cash "under the table".
Ready? Now pay attention....
John Legal: $25.00 per hour x 40 hours = $1000.00 per week, or $52,000.00 per year. Now take 30% away for state and federal tax; John Legal now has $31,231.00.
Juan Illegal: $15.00 per hour x 40 hours = $600.00 per week, or $31,200 per year.Juan Illegal pays no taxes. Juan Illegal now has $31,200.00.
John Legal pays medical and dental insurance with limited coverage for his family at $600.00 per month, or $7,200.00 per year. John Legal now has $24,031.00.
Juan Illegal has full medical and dental coverage through the state and local clinics and emergency hospitals at a cost of $0.00 per year. Juan Illegal still has $31,200.00.
John Legal makes too much money and is not eligible for food stamps or welfare. John Legal pays $500.00 per month for food, or $6,000..00 per year. John Legal now has $18,031.00.
Juan Illegal has no documented income and is eligible for food stamps, WIC and welfare. Juan Illegal still has $31,200.00.
John Legal pays rent of $1,200.00 per month, or $14,400.00 per year. John Legal now has 9,631.00.
Juan Illegal receives a $500.00 per month Federal Rent Subsidy. Juan Illegal pays out that $500.00 per month, or $6,000.00 per year. Juan Illegal still has $ 31,200.00.
John Legal pays $200.00 per month, or $2,400.00 for car insurance. Some of that is uninsured motorist insurance. John Legal now has $7,231.00.
Juan Illegal says, "We don't need no stinkin' insurance!" and still has $31,200.00.
John Legal has to make his $7,231.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, etc..
Juan Illegal has to make his $31,200.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, and what he sends out of the country every month..
John Legal now works overtime on Saturdays or gets a part time job after work.
Juan Illegal has nights and weekends off to enjoy with his family.
John Legal's and Juan Illegal's children both attend the same elementary school. John Legal pays for his children's lunches, while Juan Illegal's children get a government sponsored lunch. Juan Illegal's children have an after school ESL program. John Legal's children go home.
Now, when they reach college age, John Legal's kids may not get into a State School and may not qualify for scholarships, grants or other tuition help, even though John has been paying for state schools through his taxes, while Juan Illegal's kids "go to the head of the class" because they are a minority.
John Legal and Juan Illegal both enjoy the same police and fire services, but John paid for them and Juan did not pay.

He summarizes that we should close the borders....  no, wrong, get rid of welfare and leave the borders open.  How can peple see the problem and yet come up with the wrong solution?



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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cutting Edge Business Opportunity Now

Crowdfunding and crowdsourcing is recovering lost patterns and practices and we all need to hail the escape from fascism these efforts engender.  The less state the better.  Yay anarchy!  But as this story shows, we need just a little more anarchy...

A woman rented her 600-square-foot condo to someone in May on a 44-day contract through lodging rental website Airbnb. But when the Airbnb contract ran out the man staying there with his brother refused to leave, according to homeowner Cory Tschogl. Under California tenant law, the man has rights as a tenant after he stays in a home for 30 days. Airbnb told Tschogl that they would help her with legal support....
Maksym Pashanin is also the name of a self-described game developer who launched a $10,000 Kickstarter in 2013 to fund a pixel-graphic adventure game called Confederate ExpressThat Kickstarter was successfully funded on Nov. 20, 2013, for $39,739 with an estimated delivery date of June 2014.

So we have criminals in our midst.  Scamsters who are taking advantage of the new systems and ripping people off.  The most likely scenario is they are both associated with the Man, and are brigning chaos where there was order, in order to bring the State into what was once free markets.

So. Call the police?  NO!!!

Remember, in anarchy, YOU are the cop.  So we need one more crowdsourced effort: law enforcement.  Now neither Kickstarter nor AirBnB are government gigs, but they both have "governance."  Rules that keep things fair.  These fellows ripped off people for $40,000 and have taken over a woman's condo.

And they are thumbing their nose at their victims (giving legislators the pretext to write fascist laws).

So how does justice work in anarchy?  These fellows need internet connections, electricity, gas, food, etc.  The sanctions are "shunning" to the degree that the community is offended.

A database of offenders is created, and business subscribe.  Credit card, debit card, facial recognition is loaded up and as either of these fellows approaches a vendor, an alarm goes up and "we reserve the right to refuse service."

Slowly, life becomes such a hassle that they are ground down to repentance.

There is no way we could ever trust the government with such powers, so it must be a private effort at governance maintenance.

A billion dollar business with about $250 start-up costs....  and no doubt an excellent kickstarter campaign.







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Hyper-fashion

Ever Since I read Drucker on Innovation and Entrepreneurship and developed the notion of the symbiotic relationship between small and large business (competing on design v price) I've been watching the small be legislated out of existence by the fascist state.

But I do believe the pendulum is swinging back, for although Keynesianism promises there are no rational limits to lending credit, there are practical limits as the economy grinds to a halt.  It doth grind.

So emerge first the hyper-small, exclusive businesses...
“The ecosystem needs small fish,” De Royere said in an interview at closely-held Corthay’s workshop and store near Place Vendome in Paris. “You can’t have every single shopping mall in the world looking alike.”
Now, One can sell a better Beef Chow Yuk off a card table (at $50 a plate) and still be innovating as an entrepreneur, so just because you are high end does not mean you need to also have high overhead.

When there are fewer of something the price goes up, self employment is leveraged investment, with you as the beneficiary.  Hat tip to Callum for the article...

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Hillary V Jeb Bush

Eight years ago the young and the left wing were dispirited until the powers that be ran an unknown Illinois senator for President.  Finally, the left had the ever elusive "right person" in office so all would now be well.

Never mind this right person pursued precisely the same policies of George Bush, and never mind the fallback position, John McCain would have done the same...  the fact is the Obama presidency was mere continuance of the wars, bailouts, bread and circuses of the Bush years.

Hillary was sidetracked and will not be so this time.  She will be the democratic nominee.  Which republican can beat her?

With both the republican endless wars and the democrat endless border problems, Jeb Bush will emerge as the party unifier, especially when he takes Rand Paul as the Veep.

Hillary is an East Coast Elite, Jeb Bush is both East Coast plus the Cowboy West, and Spanish Florida thrown in for good measure.  Jeb is by far the smartest of the Bushes, and the powers that be will not let Hillary win, they have already wounded her by letting her actually run something, the state department.

I am not saying any of this is good, it just strikes me as what will happen.

But I am usually wrong.

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Curiouser and curiouser

The atoms in society are families and businesses which at the small level are collected into associations which are collected and eventually form some sort of cohesive whole more less recognized as a nation.

We had some pretty interesting ideas starting out with the USA, but a funny thing happened between the articles of confederation and the constitution of the USA.  The capitalists under Hamilton had better scamsters than Jefferson had idealists.  It never really got going.

Presently we see the right wing constant war thing not working out so well, with USA picking fights were we have no interest and picking the losing side where we do.  The left wing welfare thing is falling apart with the borders a mess and the government unions being disassembled.

In Michigan it started with a bit of benefit cutback, and California is heading to the same goal with a different route, attacking union seniority.   For the beneficiaries the fight is existential because although these are very small and acceptable bites, there is no rational end to the biting, the teacher unions are expendable and their liabilities (owed to the beneficiaries) dischargeable.  We all know something has to give, and the news tells us who is going to pay (or more accurately, not going to be paid.)

The center will not hold, and for those who control the corporation, this is of no concern whatsoever.  Those in charge now will be in charge apres deluge, only things will be a little be worse.  We no longer study the classics for the simple reason we have seen all this before.  News flash by news flash, response and effect, it is all a replay.

And as one who learned when they still taught the classics, my advice is go atomic.  Family, small business, associations.   There is where refuge might be.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Marijuana Legalization Debacle

Exhibit A as to how democracy and capitalism are utter failures is the experience of the libertarian effort to legalize marijuana.  It has all of the earmarks of how libertarianism is supposed ot work, and it fails exactly as anarchists expect.

1. Legalizing marijuana is supposed to keep people out of jail while improving tax collection, a win-win.  The problem is illegal marijuana trade was already taxed, at the top rate, via money laundering.  now that the tax is via brick and mortar, legalized trade, the price difference between an ounce of legal vs illegal is $500 for the legal, $200 for the illegal.  Think the price differential will have any effect on the illegal option?

2. This is a libertarian states-rights dream come true.  Contrary to federal laws, three states have each in unique way legalized marijuana: Colorado, Washington and California.  Each state is working on a states rights model, the Feds are largely pursuing selective enforcement (what is news?) and each state has designed its own legal structure, the original intent wherein states would be free to follow their bliss, the feds would protect the border and deliver the mail.  Washington seems to be the most tolerable model, with the Feds shutting down 700 California dispensaries, and Colorado experiencing confiscations of proceeds.  What is the magic formula in Washington state?  According to the US Attorney, just don't make "too much money."  We all wonder how much that is.  The feds are editing the movement.

3. As Washington breathlessly announces the tax take on legal marijuana, one fellow who got an early license is selling out early on?  What does he know?  In Colorado, homeless shelters are overwhelmed with the penniless young who have migrated to the state for legal marijuana.

Gambling maven and late night talk host Bill Bennett excoriates the legalize marijuana movement.  What only an anarchist can see is legalization cures nothing, having the state in any way involved only makes things worse.  The solution is not legalization, but decriminalization.  That is to say the government has no more concern about marijuana that is does about grass clippings.  No jail time, no taxes, no regulations, no concerns whatsoever.  Then we empty the prisons and the price drops to nothing, and smoking dope is no longer cool.

Anarchy is the solution to America's problems.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

USA as Corporation

The USA is a corporation,  a legal fiction created by a group of men on the premise of mutual benefit, concerning a defined territory.  It outlined definitions, rules and provided for changes as time went on. Enough people in those defined territories acquiesced enough for the proposition to quicken, although aborigines for 100 years rejected the corporations and well less than 100 years (four score and seven to be exact) the beneficiaries were at each others throats.

These conflicts arose due to the modern practice of states creating credit and lending it.  It creates amazing distortions which manifest as individual wealth, capturing imaginations.

This corporation has proven plastic, able to mold to circumstances, for good or bad.  It is putatively free market but certainly capitalist.  Its original sin was slavery and war, but its most challenging criticism comes from Thoreau who noted how few people it took to start a war in a democracy.  And he was referring to the USA war on Mexico.
“Our legislators have not yet learned the comparative value of free-trade and of freedom, of union, and of rectitude, to a nation. They have no genius or talent for comparatively humble questions of taxation and finance, commerce and manufacturers and agriculture. 
At any point we can revisit these articles of incorporation and change them if we like.  Indeed, the original provides for this.

Time to think about this.

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