Birthdays (August 7, 2017)

Posted in Society on August 7, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Birthdays are endings and they also are beginnings, but they are also increasingly just endings.”

J          “The ‘toilet paper roll theory’ of aging.  As the roll gets smaller, the roll spins faster.” 

. . .

Bumper sticker of the week:

Live your life and forget your age.

Honesty And Efficiency . . . In Life And Law (July 31, 2017)

Posted in Courts, Economics, Judges, Judicial Arrogance, On [Traits/Characteristics], Perjury, Perjury/Dishonesty on July 31, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .    

K          “Economists are indifferent to honesty yet revere efficiency as a fetish.  Look at how inefficient the practice and pursuit of dishonesty is in our daily lives.  I have enough experience and am confident that one out of every ten of her statements is false.  Confirming the veracity of her statements consumes resources, both in time and money.  Of her ten statements, which one is false?  The seventh statement?  The second statement?  The fifth statement is the one in the middle and surely must be false.  Surely.  Probably.  Possibly.  Likely.”

J          “If you cannot rely on the veracity of every statement, then you cannot rely on the veracity of any statement.”

K          “The dilemma.  The expensive dilemma.  After nine honest statements, the next statement must be a lie.  Then, if or when it is a lie, can I rely on the next nine statements as truth?  However, the very next statement may be a lie followed perhaps by nine honest statements.”

J          “They are right.  Inefficiency is so inefficient.”

. . .     

K          “I have seen the handiwork of a judge who probably is not a fundamentally dishonest person who nonetheless wrote at least one blatantly dishonest decision.  He could not know.  And I know the truth, the facts and the law.  If that is the only data, is the judge accurately characterized as dishonest?”

J          “If someone is dishonest only ten percent of the time, is the person honest?”

. . .

J          “Joe DiMaggio said ‘There is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first or last time, I owe him my best.’  The judge did not care that you would only be seeing him once.”   

K          “And no camera lights were on him to keep him honest.”

J          “When you get right down to it, someone who is dishonest only ten percent of the time is presumptively dishonest.”

K          “Challenging the presumption is expensive, both in time and money.  Over the decades I have discovered that judges, all on the public payroll in America, are more dishonest more of the time than any other profession except real estate agents and used car salesmen.”   

J          “They are in the private sector and are expected to cant their sales pitch.  Judges may forget that they are in the public sector and are paid by the public.”

K          “Their power is unchecked.  There is no ethos of ethics or honesty in America today.”

. . .   

[See the e-commentary at “On Standards & Quality (July 20, 2015)”, “The Court Of Truth And Justice (CTJ) (August 29, 2016)”, “Assigning Blame:  The Lawyers: 50 Percent; The Non-Lawyer Public: 50 Percent; The Judges: 100 Percent (December 3, 2012)” and “Perjury, the American Way (February 20, 2006).”

Bumper sticker of the week:

If it feels good, do it

Salvaging Our Blue Marble (July 24, 2017)

Posted in Environment, Global Climate Change, Global Warming, Plastic, Population on July 24, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .    

K          “We need to salvage our Blue Marble.  Even if we are required to sacrifice humanity.”

J          “The great challenge is creating an appreciation of our planetary circumstance without overwhelming the person.  Someone can easily shut off emotionally and shut down intellectually.”

. . .

K          “Leaving the planet in better shape than I found it . . . is getting vexing.”

. . .

[See “The Immense, Eternal Footprint Humanity Leaves on Earth:  Plastics” in “The New York Times” by Tatiana Schlossberg dated July 19, 2017.]

[See “The Uninhabitable Earth:  Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us:  What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think” in New York “Magazine” by David Wallace-Wells dated July 10, 2017.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Save The Blue Marble

Save the Marble

Restraining Google/Alphabet And Damming Amazon (July 17, 2017)

Posted in Amazon, Antitrust, Google, Monopoly, Technology on July 17, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Google/Alphabet is restraining trade and needs to be restrained.  Google is the behemoth gatekeeper restricting, controlling and directing entry to the Market.”

J          “Hard to dispute the observation that there has never been a time in American history when as many industries are dominated by one company in the industry.  In most industries, the player is the industry.”

K          “The NASDAQ is a menagerie of monopolies.”

. . .

K          “Google is buying professors.  Medical professors are subject to ethical constraints.  Law professors, like the students they teach and the law they profess, are amoral and available to the highest bidder.  Google is the highest bidder.  Amazon cannot be far behind.”

J          “So there may be some competition to buy law professors.  They also buy legislators and legislatures and may get a volume discount.”

. . .

K          “The compelling need to regulate Google/Alphabet is as simple as A, B, C.”

J          “As simple as it is impossible.  The regulatory agencies are as captive as the law professors and propagandists.”

K          “America will not respond or regulate.  America is the current failing Empire of the century on the planet.  The former European Empires need to step up and do it.”

J          “The Kleptocracy in America will not stand for it.”

K          “I may need to revise the ‘Manual For A Constitutional And Sustainable Post-Empire America’ in the next few weeks.”

J          “The former Republic could use a self-help book.”

. . .

J          “Rumors suggest that Amazon may consume Whole Foods.”

. . .

K          “When only Google and Amazon are left, which one will kill and devour the other?”

J          “God-zilla will ravage and ingest King Kong.”

K          “And which one is God-zilla again?”

. . .

[See “Google Fined Record $2.7 Billion in E.U. Antitrust Ruling” in “The New York Times” by Mark Scott dated June 27, 2017 and “Is It Time to Break Up Google?” in “The New York Times” by Jonathan Taplin dated April 22, 2017.]

[The Campaign for Accountability released a report on July 11, 2017 titled Google Academics Inc. detailing Google’s extensive acquisition and appropriation of law professors and policy propagandists in America and abroad.]

[See the e-commentary at “Less Government Regulation Series:  Google (November 30, 2009)”, “The Great Google Wall (June 27, 2016)” and the e-commentary under the Category “Google” and “Amazon.”]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Do The Right Thing:  Break Up Google And Amazon

“Analog Knowledge Devices” (“AKD”):  The Next “Currency” (July 10, 2017)

Posted in Analog Knowledge Devices, Collapse, Currency, Digital, Internet, Money, Technology on July 10, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “When they folded the book store, they unloaded the stranded volumes by the bushel basket for a dollar.  What was not unloaded by the end of the day was given away to anyone who would haul them away.  Some just recycled the paper for a few paper dollars.”

J          “Running with the big dogs was just too tough.  Prepping is nuanced.  They are always thinking ahead.  They exchanged a few sheets of paper for many sheets of paper.  Their tiny house is now an enormous storehouse and warehouse of knowledge.”

K          “They now have a private library with attached living quarters.  Preppy prepping, perhaps?  How many preppies really care about books and knowledge?”

. . .

K          “The possibility that an EMP or some such interruption in service could descend upon the land seems just surreal enough to be plausible.”

J          “Taking down the grid may not come from on high.  Someone could bring it down and not even know it.  A lowly mouse could short a sub-station and subvert everything.  A line of bad code could take down the line.”

. . .

K          “The Internet is pernicious in so many ways, yet, like life, you need to thread your way through and around the porn and propaganda and pursue the positive possibilities.  Despite all the inaccurate information along the gauntlet of the search, enough accurate information emerges.  However, when the current light goes dark, that also goes.  We revert to older technologies.  . . .  Analog Knowledge Devices.”

J          “When the current is interrupted, we may get a new paper currency.  Cash will be confiscated by the authorities, but no one may care about books as books or books as currency.  Except, however, leaving books in circulation leaves the ideas advanced in the leaves of the books in circulation.  It is inevitable when you think about it.  All paper will be banned in time.” 

. . .

K          “You may be able to exchange a copy of Catch-22 and a box of 22s for a copy of Fahrenheit 451 and a hand full of .410 bore shells.”

J          “Or a box of condoms and a copy of the The Joy of Sex for a dozen eggs and a tattered edition of the Joy of Cooking.”

K          “Gets you wondering which is the product and which is the lagniappe in the deal.”

J          “When we get there, joy of any kind and kindness in any form will be cherished.”

. . .

K          “Is the AKD mightier than the AK?”

. . .

[See the “e-commentary” at Beans and Bullets (April 6, 2009), On Entitlements (July 19, 2010) and Girding For The Going Grid (October 11, 2010).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Analog Knowledge Devices:  The Future Of Technology

From Analog To Digital To Analog:  The Arc Of Civilization

“Bitcoin”, “Ethereum” . . . “Blockchain Technology” Say What? (July 3, 2017)

Posted in Currency, Gold, Gold Standard, Money, Silver, Silver Standard on July 3, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “‘I shoulda’ is my middle name.  My first and last name, really.  ‘I Really Shoulda, Jr.’  Some years ago, someone at the monthly Tuesday night ‘Bitcoin Boosters’ meeting offered me some Bitcoin for $30.  I could have and should have exchanged paper fiat for electronic fiat.”

J          “A day late and a Bitcoin short, as they say.  I have the brains of the scarecrow and the courage of the lion.  I asked myself ‘Why not’ and could not discern any reason why not to take a small risk and then did not take a small risk.”

K          “Fiat for fiat; faith for faith; dust for dust; ashes for ashes.”

. . .

K          “Those who mine for and invest in gold and silver and other precious metals are undermined by those who can manipulate the price of physical gold and silver and other precious metals via paper and electronic trades.  Bitcoin, Ethereum and the like seem to be the refuge for some because they are purported by their proponents not to be as susceptible to manipulation.  But are they?”  

J          “Are they real?  I do not know why the stuff could not be hacked or extinguished if the site goes dark.”

K          “This thing called ‘Blockchain technology’ is another newfangled nebulous technological construct that surely intrudes on our privacy and invades our pocketbooks.”

J          “They say that you can store your Bitcoins in an ‘electronic wallet’ of some sort.  From my perspective, if it is not in your hand or if it is not land, it is not real.”

. . .

J          “A percolating battle is quietly raging between and among Bitcoin, Ethereum and the other crypto-currencies that is akin to the videotape format wars that raged years ago.”

K          “Betamax versus VHS.  Will the best one win?  Who do we want to win?”

. . .

K          “The government tracks all the transactions and shortly will tax all the transactions.”

J          “The government views the stuff as a commodity not as a currency.  The government taxes any exchange of a commodity by demanding payment in its own currency.”

K          “The government will attack any viable challenge that thwarts or could thwart the monopoly of the coin of the realm.”

. . .

K          “I do not mind losing $30.  But do I want to gamble $3000?”

J          “Dollars or Bitcoin?”

. . .

K          “Hard come, easy go.”

J          “Hard come, easy go.”

. . .

K          “As they say:  ‘You’ve got to know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em,  Know when to walk away, know when to run.’”

J          “If you had anted up your two bits and purchased a Bit, would you know when to walk away?” 

K          “I am confident that I would later lament that ‘I shoulda’ sold it before it dropped precipitously in price . . . and of course before I unloaded it.”

J          “Run.”

. . .

[Listen to the interview “‘One Nation Under Gold’ Explores America’s Obsession With One Precious Metal” with James Ledbetter on “Fresh Air” with Dave Davies substituting for the legendary and celebrated Terry Gross on June 26, 2017.  Contrast the author’s criticism of a gold standard with the defense of and justification for a gold standard in “Jim Grant Explains the Gold Standard” by James Grant on the “Mises Wire” on June 27, 2017.]

[See the e-commentary at “Money” and other related topics.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

I hack charities

“Fiat” is “faith” without the “h”; “life” is “lie” with an “f.”

Fiat for fiat; faith for faith; dust for dust; ashes for ashes.

A day late and a Bitcoin short.

“You’ve got to know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em,  Know when to walk away, know when to run.  You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table,  
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.”  “The Gambler” written by Don Schlitz and sung by Kenny Rogers.

Hard come, easy go.

Bugging Out To N.Z.:  The Movie (June 26, 2017)

Posted in Airlines, Aviation, Climate, Collapse, Global Climate Change, Global Warming, Kleptocracy, Movie Reference on June 26, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Last March while hanging around the hangar grounded by the weather, a few fly boys and girls were hangar flying the script for a movie about the New Zealand bug out estates that are all the rage among the parvenu jet set.  And mulled the job opportunities.  We posited three perspectives – the valiant and selfless pilot of one evacuation plane, the oligarch on another air ship, and a kleptocrat’s cute kid on the third bird who questions the insanity and absurdity of the scheme.”

J          “Bugging out is not without bugs and not just the ones implanted on the windscreen.  The first plane may never take off because of mechanical problems, the second air ship may be lost in transit because of navigation and communication difficulties occasioned by the Collapse, and the third bird may arrive to find tents, yurts, buses, campers and other structures and local folks trying to survive who are covering the runway and precluding a safe landing.”

. . .

J          “The thinking is that the pilot’s family must be accommodated on the manifest.  Imagine the pilot’s daughter caught in swelling traffic during the Collapse an hour from the airport compelling her father to stall the departure by claiming that the stall warning system is malfunctioning.  She is trying to taxi her Gremlin to the airport while her dad is faking a gremlin in the cock pit.” 

K          “So let’s say they get everyone safely buckled into the air ship.  Heat conspiring with altitude produces ‘density altitude’ that can ground a plane because the craft physically cannot lift off the ground.  Phoenix may have arisen from the ashes, but the planes at PHX may not arise from the tarmac in the summer.  WX is such a bugger.”

J          “If they lift the craft off the ground and then the GPS system goes south, they are left with no idea whether they are heading north or south.”

K          “The best laid plans.”

. . .

K          “No one is going to inquire whether you have made three touch and goes in the last ninety days.  However, can you make one takeoff and one landing in the next nine hours?”

. . .

K          “Imagine the surprise in the cockpit when they come upon the LZ in NZ.  ‘Robber Baron Estate traffic, N0666Whiskey turning final landing one three  . . .  Romeo Bravo traffic, 66Whiskey overflying the airport.’  No place to run (fly), no place to hide (land).”

J          “They could squawk 7700 to their heart’s delight in a world that will be indifferent to their flight and to their plight.” 

K          “Some of the helpless villagers have silently squawked 7500 all their lives to announce that their existence was indeed hijacked.”

. . .

J          “Even if they armed their jets and mowed down the little people down on the runway, they may not be able to rid the strip of detritus and dead bodies to make a safe landing.”

K          “Dollars are shackles.  If their money is no good, the wage slaves are suddenly emancipated.”

J          “Someone on the ground formerly enslaved on the payroll has little incentive to assist his or her oppressor.  And may perhaps harbor some resentment at his or her former master.”

. . .

K          “So are we on a CFIT or an UFIT?”

J          “We are UnFIT.”

. . .

K          “If you want to make the gods laugh, just share your plans with them.”

J          “We need to laugh.”

. . .

[See “‘Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich” in “The New York Times” by Evan Osnos dated January 30, 2017.]

[See the e-commentary on the prospects for the Empire and the planet passim.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

CFIT:  Society’s flightpath

We are way behind the power curve

No place to run (fly), no place to hide (land)

What happens when you are running out of altitude, airspeed and ideas at the same time?

Pull up . . . pull up . . . pull up.”  . . .  “Or level off if your airspeed is too low.”

Crank, yank and bank

Aviate, navigate, communicate

Fly the plane, fly it where you want it to go, tell someone about it

What are the two most dangerous words in aviation:  “Watch this.”

Stay tuned