Alex J. / J. Assange And The First Amendment (August 13, 2018)

Posted in Antitrust, Apple, Awards / Incentives, Courage, Facebook, First Amendment, Google, Monopoly, On [Traits/Characteristics], Perjury/Dishonesty, Supreme Court on August 13, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “I don’t think I would like him.”

J          “Me neither.”

. . .

J          “Which is, of course, the point.  Reflect on the principle not on the principal.  The Supreme Court looks at the principal not at the principle.”

K          “That is the Supreme Court for you.”

J          “For me?  Not for me.  You take ‘em.”

. . .

K          “Google, YouTube, Facebook, Apple and Spotify are imposing various levels of censorship.  Each is a monopoly in its own sphere and is, in practice and effect, a utility and a powerful government.”

J          “The First Amendment does not protect free speech directly but rather is a limitation on government interference with free speech.  Governments such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, Apple and Spotify should not be allowed to interfere with free speech.”

J          “Governments should interfere with and regulate monopolies.  However that is impossible when the monopolies are the government or at least own and operate the government.”    

. . .

K          “Free speech for Alex Jones!”

J          “Freedom for Julian Assange!”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “Hero or Traitor? (June 10, 2013)”, “Third Annual ‘Cameo In Courage’ Award For 2018 (April 9, 2018)”, “Second Annual ‘Cameo In Courage’ Award For 2017 (March 6, 2017)”, “First Annual ‘Cameo In Courage’ Award For 2016 (May 9, 2016)”, “Award Deadlines (Livelines?) (July 25, 2016)”, “Profile In Cowardice Award (May 12, 2014)”, “Profile In Courage Award, 2015 (May 11, 2015)”, “Chelsea And Ed:  Time For ‘Con’ ‘dign’ Treatment (November 30, 2015)” and “On Courage and Truth (March 17, 2008)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week: 

Free speech for Alex Jones!

Freedom for Julian Assange!

(Unedited) petition circulating on the Internets; edit as appropriate or better yet use your own words and express your own concerns:

A Petition to the President of the United States:  Pardon Julian Assange

Whereas Journalist Julian Assange and his media organization, Wikileaks, has in the respected tradition of American journalism obtained and published information that is classified and newsworthy, a practice shared with the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and others and

Whereas in the eleven years of its existence the authenticity and accuracy of materials published by Wikileaks has never been questioned or disputes and

Whereas the material regarding Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee published by Wikileaks served the national interest by exposing the corruption of the Clintons, the Clinton Foundation, the Clinton campaign and the Obama Justice Department and

Whereas assertion by the American Intelligence Services that Julian Assange is the agent of a “Hostile Foreign State” or the Russian government are politically suspect and completely unproven and denied by Assange and

Whereas Julian Assange has consistently denied that material obtained from the Democratic National Committee and published by Wikileaks came from the Russian State and has repeatedly offered to prove this for US authorities and

Whereas Assange, now in failing health, has been a veritable prisoner in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for six years, with the media now reporting Ecuador is preparing to hand Assange over to British authorities who will presumably extradite Assange to the United States for trial and

Whereas Julian Assange is an impeccably-honest, incredibly-brave, humanitarian journalist, who provides an invaluable platform for whistleblowers exposing corruption and criminality infesting governments, nullifying democracy and obliterating human rights, around the world and

Whereas there are absolutely no legitimate legal grounds to prosecute Assange and, as the U.S. DOJ admitted in 2013, that doing so would expose ALL U.S. journalistic and news outlets to similar criminal jeopardy.

Therefore Urge President Donald J. Trump to issue a full and unconditional pardon to the journalist Julian Assange in the interests of both justice and mercy.

On Joy; On Mudita (August 6, 2018)

Posted in On [Traits/Characteristics], Society on August 6, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Simply put, the joy one feels in another person’s joy.”

J          “Happy is prosaic.  Joy is profound.  Mudita is poetic.”

. .  .

K          “My favorite example requires me to plagiarize 1000 words, no more and no less.  The digital daguerreotype says it all.  An American athlete at the Olympics is memorialized erupting and exploding in unrestrained and unbounded joy at the success of her teammate.”

J          “Nice to see.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Schadenfreude is all the rage today, but mudita is so much more mollifying

Namaste

Is Kavanaugh Qualified? (July 30, 2018)

Posted in Supreme Court on July 30, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “No way.”

J          “Nope.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “Picking the Supreme Beings (May 4, 2009)” and “The Supreme Court – Unrepresentative and Illegitimate: The 33.3 Percent Solution (October 1, 2012)”.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

“And the usual other traits that one rarely finds.  Intelligence, tutored intelligence, emotional intelligence, intellectual integrity, integrity, character, grit, courage, wisdom, humility, perspective, life experience, etc., etc., etc.”

To Be (In Debt), Or Not To Be (In Debt), what is the answer? (July 23, 2018)

Posted in Banks and Banking System, Debt/Deficits, Interest Rates, LIBOR, Wall Street on July 23, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “The argument and the aspiration is that there will be a debt jubilee relieving them of debt.  Acquire the debt now and be ready for the great debt reset.”

J          “Yet someone else expects to be paid on that debt and may not be jubilant if there is a jubilee.  Few will voluntarily release the debt of another.  That is the dreaded counterparty risk.” 

K          “I remind others that foreclosures continued unabated throughout the First Great Depression.”

. . .

J          “Another observation is that the government’s only solution to debilitating debt and deficits is to keep printing money and then in desperation to inflate the economy and prices.  The debtors who can maintain their cash flow may be able to ride the government’s coat tails and pay their debts with dollars worth substantially less.”

K          “The dollars may be worth less, but the homeowner/renters will be forced to pay more dollars.  I am confident that even someone who has a fixed rate mortgage will discover that the interest rate is nonetheless cranked upward unilaterally by the financial players.  The scandalous LIBOR interest rate scheme is disappearing which may vitiate some loan agreements.  And sure enough, the courts will not offer any hope or redress to the homeowner.”

J          “But the judges will make their tee times.”

. . .

J          “Student loan debt is expressly not dischargeable in bankruptcy and serves to enslave the kids who may be the ones to spearhead a jubilee.”

. . .

K          “If you are in debt, you are in servitude to someone else.”

J          “No question.  But not everyone is free to make the choice to be debt free.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “National Financial Literacy Month: Teaching Financial Literacy In The ‘Debt Age’ (April 25, 2016)”.]

[See “The Most Important Number in Finance Is Going Away.  Wall St. Isn’t Prepared” in “The New York Times” by Matt Phillips dated July 19, 2018.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Debt is not so good

“Some debts are fun when you are acquiring them, but none are fun when you set about retiring them.”  Ogden Nash 

Tariffs Are Tarrible.  Oh, And Happy Bastille Day!  (July 16, 2018)

Posted in Tariffs on July 16, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “The unexpected $4200 surcharge for the schedule 80 steel pipes used to support the solar arrays was a real hit.  If fuel jumped in price during the performance of the contract, the fuel surcharge provision in the contract covered the jump, but he never anticipated that steel would be subject to a tariff and a big jump in price.  He has to eat the loss.”

J          “So they placed tariffs directly on solar panels and indirectly on solar panel support pipes.  I know ordinary homeowners who are also impacted.  While provisioning materials for her addition, a friend found that Canadian lumber is now subject to a tariff and is off the shelves.  Stores stock only one brand in each dimension.  The American lumber is more expensive.”

. . .

J          “Most business persons agree that predictability of even an unpleasant factor is preferable to uncertainty.” 

K          “Folks may be able to absorb the cost, hassle, dislocations and inconvenience of the tariffs individually, but can a just-in-time manufacturing and distribution system survive the jolts collectively?”

. . .

K          “Are the American steel workers better off?”

J          “Are the American lumber jacks better off?”

. . .

K          “Are the Americans better off?”

J          “Is the world better off?”

. . .

Bumper sticker of the week:

Tariffs are not so good

Concerns, Troubling (July 9, 2018)

Posted in Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Debt/Deficits, Freedom / Liberty, Money, Price, Society, Supreme Court on July 9, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Decreasing velocity of money.”

J          “Increasing inequality.”

K          “Inverting yield curves.”

J          “Perverting civil liberties.”

K          “Distending price-earnings ratios.”

J          “Exploding national deficit.”

K          “Imploding institutions.”

J          “Exploding personal debt.”

K          “Collapsing trust.”

J          “Decreasing freedoms.”

K          “Increasing prices.”

J          “Deflating credibility.”

K          “Disturbing climate patterns.”

J          “Destroying the [Supreme] Court.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “Amtrak – The (Rail) Road to National Security (January 23, 2006)”, “Humanity’s Motto:  To Enslave And To Colonize (January 27, 2014)”, “Twenty Sixteen (January 4, 2016)” and “Prepping:  Public and Private Perspectives (April 27, 2015)”.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

A system that cannot go on forever will not go on forever

Fraudulent Frequent Flying Fiascos.  Oh, And Happy Canada Day and Independence Day! (July 2, 2018)

Posted in Airlines, Aviation, Boycott Series, Less Government Regulation Series, Price, Transportation on July 2, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “In the past, an airline descending into bankruptcy protection did everything to pull out its frequent flyer program.  Now, many of the programs are a fraud and a ruse and . . . morally bankrupt.  United Airlines and Delta Airlines are among the worst offenders.  By contrast, Alaska Airlines still believes that a mile is a mile is a mile is a mile.”

J          “I suffered a stall and spin in March.  After an almost 6000 mile trip in a sardine can in the air, I was iron fistedly begrudged about 1500 ‘miles’ on the ground.  For each 21,120 feet I endured in the air, I ended up with a ‘mile’ in the program.  The new calculation of ‘ground speed’ today is perplexing and vexing.  Some byzantine formula discounts the actual mileage based on purchase price, whether you had a middle seat, whether you ate peanuts, whether the flight was delayed, sun spot activity and other irrelevant factors first foisted on impressionable ‘b’ school students to foist on the public.”

K          “At least the observant traveler who missed the form letter that starts “For your convenience . . . ” becomes aware of the fraud and the ruse each month and can shift loyalty accordingly.  If each consumer acts diligently, the market works adequately.  If consumers are involved, the government does not need to get involved.”

J          “Most of the statements are electronic and not likely reviewed by the consumer with any care.  We are tolerating far, far, far too many M.B.A.s flying around the country.”

. . .

[See the e-ssay at “An Airline (Partial) Survival Guide (January 24, 2005)” discussing the absurd and inefficient pricing scheme for tickets and “Going The Extra Mile:  Today’s Airline Mileage Programs (August 19, 2013)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

21,120 feet in the air = 1 mile on the ground

Fly the unfriendly skies

The first thing we do, let’s imprison the M.B.A.s