Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Simply A Business Decision" 1.2

Right now, I'd like to write a nice post about a sheriff's deputy in Albany, New York who stood up to an airport authority PR director and protected a newsreporter/civil-liberties activist's first amendment rights.

But, instead ...

I am going through the tortured process of applying for a job with one of the big-box retailers. I am in desperate need of a job, and so I have fired a shotgun shell today, trying to hit the high-hanging fruit and the ground fruit of job possibilities. I'm tortured to know that, if I do get a big-box job, I will most likely work in an environment where most of the employees - including most likely me - will be forced into a sub-30-hour workweek, because Obamacare redefined full employment as 30 hours per week, which takes effect in 2014.

And in conclusion, thanks to Jason Bermas and Sheriff's Deputy Stan Lenic for standing up for the First Amendment. Really, watch the entire video. Though I am not a Bill of Rights scholar, it appears that Deputy Lenic went beyond protecting the First Amendment by refusing to act as an agent for the airport authority, when he was asked to collect ID from Jason Berma.

Oops. I went ahead and wrote about the nice deputy!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

SuperDuperMax USA Gets More Secure

John Stossel reports that the federal government decides that U.S. citizens cannot invest in prediction markets. Up until now - and I don't know when it started - banks were not allowed to transfer money out of the country on behalf of investors. Now our nanny-state/socialist-anti-constitutional republic has decided, through established regulation, that prediction markets are "commodity options," and that is doing unregulated commodity-option trading.

Government Crushes Innovative Online Prediction Market by John Stossel, on FoxBusiness

Monday, November 26, 2012

Grand Union Flag Redux

I created a flag a while ago. It was really an exercise in combining concepts: being an American with anarcho-capitalist ideals. My idea was that the freedom movement could handle being a part of the USA - at least for a start.

When the Colonies confronted the Mother Country, there was an anticipation that the Colonies would remain part of the British Empire. The Union Jack held the place where the field of stars took over. The Union Jack still holds the same place in the Australia, New Zealand, colonial, and other Commonwealth flags. Well, the plan didn't work out, so the Union Jack left our flag forever.

First National Flag of USA - Grand Union Flag
I don't think our country will break up, despite all the secession petitions, but there is something wrong with our government, and changes might be coming that might rewrite our form of government. Also, not only does the Stars & Stripes represent our government, but it represents the Declaration of Independence (retroactively), the Constitution, a break from non-representative government, and - of course - us! So, I give you a Grand Union Flag Redux. We're still Americans, but there is something greater than the USA - freedom. And more people are recognizing that.

Last National Flag of USA? - Grand Union Flag Redux

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The King Is Dead. Long Live The King.

North Carolina Governor Perdue seizes defeat from defeat. Since NC Senate would not pass legislation, the Governor decides - unilaterally, with study group help and consultations with Republicans - to go with the state-federal "partnership" that keeps Obamacare health-care exchange financial responsibility with the federal government. The irony is that Governor Perdue really did not make the decision for North Carolina; she just set in motion the machinery to implement a decision. The state senate only missed a preliminary deadline to implement a state exchange by the earliest date.

Either way, what a mess. I thought refusal by a state to set up an exchange would keep heath-care exchanges out of the states. Apparently, nope!

It is interesting how the Charlotte Observer glossed over the fact that Perdue didn't actually make a decision for the state. NC's health care exchange will be state-federal partnership by Lynn Bonner. While the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald quoted Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger saying that Perdue's action was premature, and that a state-based exchange could be created at a later date. Gov. Perdue chooses state-federal partnership.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Obama Needs To Be Schoolhouse Rock[ed]!

Since Congress would not act to give more control to the government over cybersecurity, Obama once again has acted unilaterally.

I doubt that this will be adjudicated unconstitutional. Obama has acted unilaterally on too many issues, when Congress wouldn't do what he wanted. "[W]e can’t wait for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job. Where they won’t act, I will,” Obama said in October 2011.

"Obama says he’ll be taking ‘executive actions’ without Congress on ‘regular basis’ to ‘heal the economy’" by Nicholas Ballasy, The Daily Caller 

Well now a year later, it's more like, "If I don't get what I want, if Congress actually stands up and says that they won't trade more freedom for security, then I'll do what I damn well please. Enough of this 'Congress makes the laws'-grade-school crap."

NEWS FLASH (LOL): Obama Holds PBS Funding Hostage. Obama demands that PBS officials sign a contract that they will in perpetuity never show the Schoolhouse Rock! episode "Three Ring Government," and that they handover the copyright to Obama personally.

You've said you've seen it on YouTube? Use one of those streaming-video-copying doohickies quick.

"Mr. President, doesn't ABC hold the copyright for Schoolhouse Rock!?" said Brett Doormat, from The New York Times

"That is an issue we can deal with. We will come to a consensus and move forward," said President Obama

"Who's we?" whispered freshman White House reporter Greg Truth of the Washington Times."You need to keep up, or you'll never get anything out of this place. Obama started referring to himself in the third person a couple days ago," whispered William Coaster from the Washington Post. "Don't kings do that?" "Shhh. You want to keep that press card, don't cha?"

E.O. 300000: Transfers copyright for "Three Ring Government" from ABC to PBS for national security reasons.

"President Obama Unilaterally Gives Cybersecurity Powers to the Military" on Hit & Run Blog by J.D. Tuccille,

Friday, November 23, 2012

"Simply A Business Decision" 1.11

I realized what compelled me to think about planning and calendars. I had forgotten to file my weekly claim for unemployment. How depressing, except that I still had earned too much (severance) to generate an unemployment check. WOOHOO!!!

Since I filed my claim, I've populated my Google calendar with useful job-searching tasks. LOL. Well, some useful, some probably not - time will tell.

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

The State Is A Masterstroke of Social Organization 1.0

Hypothesis: Though it fails at its professed aims of improving people's lives, is unbelievably inefficient, and destroys natural incentives for individuals to organize themselves, the state is a masterstroke of social organization.

My hypothesis sounds counter to what Austrian economics and anarcho-capitalist theory claims. But my hypothesis assumes that the success of the state is not founded on its ability to provide anything to anyone that is a subject to or member (elector) of it, but success is founded on the amount and quality of the resources, people, and production that the state can command. That sounds counter to the most basic definition of success for a private enterprise - return on investment, usually calculated in monetary value. But the most important return on investment for the state is power.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"Simply A Business Decision" 1.1

I just realized that I have not utilized a calendar since being laid off. I have not planned ANYTHING using a timekeeping tool for about a week and a half.

I've applied to a bunch of jobs. I've made several new contacts through my network. But I haven't done any real planning. I haven't looked to the future. I've been held captive my the present. I don't even know what compelled me to go to my Google calendar to schedule an "event." But I'll get something on there - quick.

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Just In Time Delivery & Inflationary Economy Kills Savings

This post was inspired by a podcast interview by Bob Mayne of 299 Days author.

Are we in a just-in-time efficiency paradox? Well, I think partially so. Our propensity NOT to save has an earlier source.

Inflationary monetary policy, that was perfected under Keynesianism, came first. Keynesianism created an incentive not to save. You would think inflation would at least give someone the incentive to invest. But the volatility of inflation makes even investing more risky. The safest place for your money is NOT in your pocket, mattress, or bank. The safest way to maintain the value of your government-controlled fiat currency is to convert it into practically anything else. And Keynes intended it that way.

Just-in-time delivery of manufacturing components and consumer goods has closed the circle on ANY type of savings, including storing things that are needed soon. It is not so surprising that the prepper community - and anyone that has their finger to the wind - has focused so heavily on storing what you will need for a short amount of time. Actually, preppers have moved beyond the three-day requirements to a month or more. You would think that was all doomsday hysteria, but it is based on a simple truth that I don't think most preppers are aware of. This is where Glen Tate and his 299 Days series comes in:

I was amazed at how quick certain store shelves have been cleared during impending storms here in Charlotte. You could chalk it up to idiots going out and buying up milk, bread, and eggs, when the weather report threatens a flurry. That's not so surprising, especially since every major intersection in this city could present you with a car wreck during a simple rainy day. Recently, I was also perplexed that I often find simple items not available on the grocery stores. The groceries stores don't look like the ones in the Soviet Union - not by a long shot - but things I expect to find aren't there. Then a day later they are.

Glen Tate explained in his interview on Bob Mayne's show that grocery stores are functioning on a Just In Time (JIT) model of receiving and stocking goods. That seemed like a great idea when I heard that a seat supplier would start making a seat at the same time that a car starts being built on BMW's assembling line and TRUCKS it over to the BMW factory just in time for it to be bolted into the car. Well, that's the reality for many goods that we depend on. Retail stores are no longer stores to a large extent, so you better have a store in your own house.

On a monetary level, I think we as a culture have drifting lazily so far from saving money, that we find it impossible to save for the long term. Maybe, many of us need intermediary steps. If you can get yourself to save something for a week, then next time save it two weeks, then a month, two months, four months, eight months, sixteen months. I think we have stigmatized ourselves in our own minds that we can't think of ourselves as savers.

If a squirrel can save, then so can you.

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Dodge Became Federal Policy

Until a few days ago, I didn't know about Obamacare redefining full employment from 35 to 30 hours/week for the purposes of socializing healthcare.

I feel for the workers. But "I pity the fools." It is very sad to see so many people make less money or lose their jobs because of a federal policy. I really empathize with their situation. On the other hand, I have pity for the politicians and bureaucrats that thought this was going to work.

The expansion of a wartime wage-control-dodging perk to a national "well being" policy is government gone amuck.  Obamacare heaps irony upon irony upon itself. A dodge (health insurance) that avoided federal compensation limits has morphed into a federal healthcare policy that has created another dodge (limiting employee hours to 30 hours/week). 

I’m just waiting for a federal work limit to come down the pike. 30 hours/week per citizen. What will we do with our time? Federal service, of course: 5 hours per citizen, to maintain citizenship. There will be plenty of need in the federalized healthcare service.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Toshiba Satellite A105 Fan Maintenance 1.1

In hindsight, maintaining the fan in a Toshiba Satellite A105 by completely disassembling the computer is a really bad idea. Unless you work in a sugar factory, I don't see any reason to disassemble this computer in order to clean the fan in this laptop. I know the following will not get the fan as clean as completely disassembling the computer, but the risks to the computer is far lower.

Revised Steps For Cleaning the Toshiba Satellite CPU Fan:
Step 1: Turn off the computer.
Step 2: Remove battery, but I don't think this step is necessary.
Step 3: Turn computer upside down. Find the exhaust port for the CPU fan on the left side of the computer.
Step 4: Cover half of the exhaust port and place your mouth over the other half. Blow hard. You will hear a sound like a party toy. If the heat sink is dirty, then you will see a column of dust come of out the fan intake port. Repeat a couple times.
Step 5: Be happy that you saved yourself two to three hours and that your computer is still fully functional.

PROS: See step 5.
CONS: You will not get the heat sink perfectly clean.

Why didn't I used can air? I hate buying air, and I feel that you get a higher volume of air.

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Insurance Is A Foil

Insurance is a foil against risk, not a shield of invincibility.

Many people drive as if being insured protects them against bad outcomes, including death. The bad outcomes are still a risk, and insurance only helps people with the aftermath. Insurance cannot magically prevent a bad outcome or fully restore what has been broken. Life is funny that way.

Obamacare is based in part upon one great fallacy, that the accepted concept of health insurance is insurance. What the majority of Americans have through their employers, have obtained themselves or through government agencies is ONLY PARTLY insurance of catastrophic risk. The majority of what we now call health insurance is a massive redistribution scheme that profits cronies through legal mandate and entices government to regulate how we take care of our personal medical needs.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Secession and Balkanization

With the recent move to politely request for the government to leave us alone, through the round about process of submitting and signing petitions on the aptly named We the People page on, it begs the question whether all of this secession talk could lead us down the dangerous road of balkanization.

It is my contention that balkanization - the break up of a state into smaller states - is NOT dangerous. What is dangerous is the reaction to balkanization. The larger state feels threatened and lashes out and tries to retain territory. In the Balkans, the break up of a state was not in itself evil or violent. The most powerful state in the former union of Yugoslavia - Serbia - lashed out.

What is the threatened state in a secessionist bid in the United States? Why, the federal state, of course.

Just remember. In your secessionist bid, support the petitions in your sister states. You have about 34 choices the last time I counted.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

"Simply A Business Decision" 1.0

I'm here to vent. I vent about plenty of other stuff: politics, government, ergonomics - well, that's pretty much it.

I got laid off yesterday. I didn't know if I was fired or laid off, until I got a call from my former employer about an hour after I was let go. She wasn't there when her husband went ahead and let me go, because she was getting her hair done, and he had an appointment to go to. She told me that she wanted to be there, bless her heart.

She also told me that this was "simply a business decision." She and her husband, one of the salespeople, had been looking at the business over the last few weeks, and that this decision just makes sense. She told me that I am a good employee and that I do great work. And she wished me luck. So probably fortunate for me, my "separation from employment" status really was "laid off." (I love government speak. It's doubleplus ungood).

I had a feeling something like this was coming, because my former employer made a point a couple weeks ago of telling me that the two of them had been crunching some numbers. But when the layoff talk comes it's always a punch in the gut. And it was a nice touch when her husband told me he didn't want me to touch the computer when I was collecting my things from my office.

It seems quite easy to blame my most recent layoff on the reelection of President Obama. Hell, he got reelected 3 DAYS BEFORE they let me go. I could also blame the economy. I can just see and hear the words coming out of my former employer's husband's mouth after Romney conceded: "Well, Obama just got reelected. Time for plan B. We've gotta trim the fat. I know you want to do our own stuff, but we can send it out; it's cheaper. If they don't do it the way we want it, then we can just send it back; get 'em to fix it."

It is ironic, because my employer was not an Obama supporter. On the one hand, she knows better than an Obama supporter that things are going to get rough for small businesses, but on the other hand she knows that things are going to get rough for employees (They might get benefits cut if they have any. Hidden inflation might make their pay worth less. They might be laid off. D'oh!). 

To hell with all that, because I can wallow in an it's them not me game 'til I'm covered in shit. In the end,  I will never know what really triggered my layoff.

First steps for the newly separated-from-employment subject: (1) I made my unemployment claim. Wait! Is that a claim, or do I apply for it - is it really insurance? (2) What next? (3) What is next.

NEXT IN SERIES:  "Simply A Business Decision" 1.1

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Take-Away Review: American Nations

American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodard

I finished it. And it was a pretty good book, for me, since I finished it faster than I finish most books.

Colin Woodard definitely showed some of his prejudices - or at least his political slant, which is decidedly statist for most of the last quarter of the book. He criticized the "Dixie" block of nations for being against social welfare programs, environmental regulation, etc.

But Woodard did surprise at the end with a possible conclusion that I had considered for the future of our country. Our state might return to a loose federation or confederacy like it was under the Articles of Confederation of 1781. The central government would be limited to foreign policy, national defense, and negotiate interstate treaties. I don't know if that level of power would be low enough to satisfy me, or the component "nations" of a "reconstituted" state. But somethings gotta give.

The U.S. has a giant, bloated bureaucracy, giant, bloated redistribution and protectionist programs, a giant military that is deployed throughout the world, and no one wants or should pay for that unnecessary mess. I don't know if a revitalized regionalism expressed through resurgent "nations" would help fix the problem, because that might just transfer power from the federal government to the state governments. Also, the concept does not address personal freedom. But I do have a feeling that a weakened central government would do wonders for business, regional cooperation, and sovereign individualism.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Federal Departments Stockpiling Ammo Like a Survivalist: 1.1

When I wrote about this before, I concluded that based on crunching numbers that I wasn't alarmed. But, well, I was never real comfortable with that. It is possible, that based on the sworn LEOs, and handicapping the Coast Guard to assume that all its personnel are war fighters, to conclude that the different federal agencies were procuring a reasonable amount of ammo. But it really is hard to believe that all of those gunmen and gunwomen are practicing and shooting at enough "bad guys" to utilize that much ammo. It is just logical to conclude that the federal government is stockpiling ammo for some reason.

And it is logical to conclude that those reasons could be (in no particular order) either-and-or-all-of-the-above: (1) The feds are expecting civil unrest based on fears of the revitalized freedom movement, which realizes that sovereignty is the individuals first. (2) The continued weakening of the economy, despite the feds fruitful attempts to conceal it, has made even the government's future ability to acquire supplies suspect. (3) The feds are competing in the marketplace with a revitalized civilian gun-owning population. (4) The weakening economy makes the possibility of food and employment rioting a distinct possibility. (5) The Oath Keepers, with their commitment to the Constitution, and their employment with local, state, and federal law-enforcement and military entities, are a direct threat to federal power within government. (6) Because of the current economic downturn, the feds plan to enforce nationalization of sectors of the economy through force. (7) The states are decriminalizing victimless behavior, making it less likely that the states will participate in the enforcement of federal victimless crimes (e.g. marijuana, which is already compelling the feds to make raids in California). (8) State and local officials are protecting citizens against federal enforcement of laws and regulations that threaten the lives of citizens (e.g. sheriffs threatening to arrest fed agents that would enforce rules against landowners creating firebreaks on federal land).

I've been mulling this issue over for quite sometime. Like Bob Mayne, on The Handgun World Show has said, I don't want to be a tinfoil-hat kind of guy, but there is something afoot. And I am not the only one still talking about this:

So, Why did the DHS Buy all that Ammo? by Brad Kozak on is an interesting read.
The Federal government never communicated why they need this much ammo, and what they plan to do with it. We are waiting on answers. Are they “keeping us safe” by arming the Social Security Administration and the National Weather Service? I find that hard to believe. But I can believe that they are worried about riots and armed revolts. Because DHS is tasked with keeping the homeland safe, I wonder if this is how they plan to go about it.
Personally, I think the DHS distributed, on paper, ammo to the less belligerent agencies in order to do two things: (1) to feebly conceal the true purpose of the ammo, and (2) to easily distribute it to multiple locations throughout the country.

Whatever's going on, I am vigorously attempting to keep my tinfoil hat away from my head. But I've still got my finger to the wind. 

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Obama is Our Governor

The term governor - used as the title for the political leader of each individual state within our United States - is an anachronism. It is a left over from the British colonial epoch, when Great Britain appointed governors to rule over its colonies. Australia still has a Governor-General and Canada still has a Governor General.

With the current state of state rights and  individual rights, it seems appropriate that the states choose a different title for their chief executives, since the governors don't represent a foreign power but lead the states themselves - and they haven't since our country kicked Great Britain out. President sounds good.

And with the current state of federal power, it seems appropriate to change the title of the chief executive of the federal government of the United States. Though our federal government is not technically a foreign power, it is becoming more distant from the individuals and states, it is creating its own federally-employed class with a ridiculous disparity of compensation compared to the private sector, and it is picking us off one by one with victimless-"crime" laws. The title president no longer adequately describes the federal government's chief executive. Governor sounds good.

Either way, I hope I don't wake up to four more years of Governor Obama or President Obama on November 7.

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