Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Quick take on the Alberta vote.

The NDP didn’t look so bad after Redford did her mini-me version.
The Wildrose option didn’t look so good after its shiny shillings jumped into the PC purse.
The PC didn’t look so good, in love with its perks , the view in the mirror and its divine right to rule.
The NDP put forward Notley with enough character to help conservative voters hold their nose while voting change.

The culture of school teachers and reporters and unions continues its death march towards big government that tells people how to run their lives and scooping off the cream of it before redistributing the milk of it.   It’s winning in Canada, winning in the US and winning in Europe, yet to be bankrupted or even pushed back.

A comment from the Calgary Herald twitter feed: The NDP wont be bringing in a sales tax to pay the bills because they view it as a regressive tax.  In other words, it’s a fair tax that doesn't gouge the rich.
Someone at the CBC live coverage came up with the line that the Alberta Liberal party has been dead for years but this election they found the body.

Schools are Orphanages.

"Schools that do everything parents should are not schools".  (Joy Pullman at The Federalist)
More at the link.
Here in BC when teachers walk out, the issue is babysitting.  What are parents supposed to do when they're not around and teachers won't sit for them?
Cradle to Grave: The Orphanage (1891) at the Victoria Cridge Centre
is now an assisted living seniors home.  For everything else
there's schools.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Alien Puppeteers Show Up To Riot

Those shocking tweets that make the riot news cycle are contaminated by people and states who hate you. Assume people are lying to you when you get angry on the net. Nowadays when stakes are high, assume alien states have deployed a nasty crew or two to do their bit. It doesn't cost much.   The Baltimore Sun reports on ZeroFox which did forensic review of the tweets and Facebook posts flooding the net during the riots.  Bad actors from outside the area including Russia, China, India and the Middle East had fake news, automated accounts and 100 spoof accounts pretending to belong to the authorities.  "I just killed a pig" was tweeted with a years old photo from South America of a dead cop. I saw that one the night of the first riot and mostly believed.

A Baltimore 2015 story at Huffington Post references the use of a 2011 gangsta style picture with a pistol and a KFC destroyed in Pakistan in 2012.

#BALTIMORELOOTCREW from nowhere near Baltimore posted photos of pilfered prescription drugs and demolished store shelves. Photo borrowed below from Buzzfeed is from a 2012 Beauty Blog post that was repurposed to show looting glee. The "stolen" makeup was staged.

People are lined up to to take your money, steal your trust and get you to wreck things while they dissemble.  Instead of reading news about the sorts of places Sharpton goes, you could have fun writing letters to wealthy Nigerians looking for help to smuggle millions into your bank account.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Puffed US inventories brought GDP Above Zero In First Quarter..

First quarter GDP growth rang in at 0.2%, way below guesses.while inventories grew by over 120 billion in those thirteen weeks.  People are making and stockpiling stuff they don't have customers for and doing it at record levels.  Their optimism doesn't match the slow down in economic activity.  If you believe Zero Hedge, the economy shrank a couple full percentage points in that time, masked by orders for stuff there are no customers for.   This may become the biggest story of the decade.

Friday, 24 April 2015

America is coming apart: Chart and consequence.

The congress voting charts show common ground has disappeared between Democrats and Republicans,. Issues are decided by allegiance not merit.  After 40 years of increasingly bipolar politics, it has stretched too far to heal.   It’s a divorce.  Who gets the spoils and dependents has replaced dialogue.
Click to enlarge. 
Click to enlarge.

1,   Expect more lawfare.  Parties will give an increased role to the Supreme Court in the near future.   That’s how divorce works, getting lawyers to sweeten your deal.

2.   Expect a third party.  The left and right will find the middle occupied by new forces.  Other lovers will be found to please the populace and flatter the pols.

3.   This points thirdly to some civil war.  When the social compact is broken, groups fight to get the upper hand.  There will be less civility in the near future and more lawlessness.

4.   Fourthly, this biggies the role of State governments.  They are the alternative to DC and some have better records.  They will start with Supreme Court challenges before going it alone.  Again, the role of the Supreme Court will be elevated and be a flashpoint.

Death by Music. What Canadians listen to may predict their end.

Half of Rap and Hip Hop have bullet holes.  Punk and Metal perish in accidents.  Blues, Gospel and World Music die of old age. One chart shows musicians sorted by genre and likely cause of death. Differences are immense with Hip Hop and Rap most extreme.

Does this mean more people have an appetite for violence or the music itself is destroying their hope?  Death by Hip Hop.

Aristotle:  "Music directly imitates the passions or states of the soul...when one listens to music that imitates a certain passion, he becomes imbued with the same passion; and if over a long time he habitually listens to music that rouses ignoble passions, his whole character will be shaped to an ignoble form.  And again: "Any musical innovation is full of danger to the whole state, and ought to be prohibited. When modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the state always change with them".
Plato:   "They were men of genius, but they had no perception of what was just and lawful in music...And by composing licentious works, and adding to them words as licentious, they have inspired the multitude with lawlessness and boldness, and made them fancy that they could judge for themselves about melody and song...in music there first arose the universal conceit of omniscience and general lawlessness; freedom came following afterwards, and men, fancying that they knew what they did not know, had no longer any fear, and the absence of fear begets shamelessness."      Quotes sourced here.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Canadian Bank and Pipeline shareholder gave Clintons $1,000,000 pay-to-play for Keystone advocacy?

From a New York Times preview of "Clinton Cash" which will be published May 5th.

“We will see a pattern of financial transactions involving the Clintons that occurred contemporaneous with favorable U.S. policy decisions benefiting those providing the funds,” Mr. Schweizer writes. His examples include a free-trade agreement in Colombia that benefited a major foundation donor’s natural resource investments in the South American nation, development projects in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake in 2010, and more than $1 million in payments to Mr. Clinton by a Canadian bank and major shareholder in the Keystone XL oil pipeline around the time the project was being debated in the State Department.
The article comments that NYT, WP and Fox have exclusives with the author to followup on the Clinton Cash stories.  Sounds like wheels are falling off the Clinton inevitability.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Where does energy come from to run the economy? See trend chart for 150 years.

Courtesy of Zerohedge, with total energy in any year normalized to 100%.
It's interest how stable the coal percent is for the last seventy years.  The oil dominance is relatively recent, since WW2.  We sometimes forget how important muscle has been (and the former importance of slavery).  Despite the hype about solar and wind power which is tossed in with nuclear power, its share in the economy is minor and stable.  Gas is trending to number one.

A note about muscle power:
A few years ago I saw it used to unload motor canoes in the upper Amazon with goods being tossed uphill up a human chain.. Now think about the House of Windsor with its kings and queens.  What does "windsor" mean?  It refers to a similar dock hundreds of years ago in Britain with an astonishing innovation: A winding tool with a rope that could raise loads from the boats.  Replacing muscle is the big revolution and it is only in modern times that this was baked into the pie.  And in England the rulers are named after the only place that had a windlass a thousand years ago.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Your Forgettery Is Working

From Science Daily News: Every time you remember something you suppress competing memories.

"I think a lot of people are surprised to hear that recalling memories has this darker side of making us forget others by actually suppressing them.  .. Forgetting is often viewed as a negative thing, but of course, it can be incredibly useful."
"Over the course of four selective retrievals the participants in the study were cued to retrieve a target memory, which became more vivid with each trial. Competing memories were less well reactivated as each trial was carried out, and indeed were pushed below baseline expectations for memory,"

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

You can't blame the government for everything: The High Cost Of Housing

Sure the government meddles to raise the price of shelter, starting with zoning bylaws that make it illegal to build a single family house under 1000 sq ft.  But how do you explain that houses have been getting bigger and bigger while families get smaller and smaller? A little chart tells all.  In my work I often see roofs over 4000 square feet that cover just one bedroom and a flex den for a retired couple.

Humility can save hundreds of thousands.  If your house were 10 or 20% smaller, would you lose anything important? Does your master bedroom need to be 15 feet wide with double doors, bay windows, a balcony, and a view of the great room for you to have a good night’s sleep? Does a two storey 3-way vaulted living room with sunken floor, Roman columns and a 16 foot high arched window improve your family life?

If there's another rule, it is this: Get along with your spouse.  If you don't need to show off and blow your horn, the place you already have may be enough. Touch up with TLC.

Hillary's Email: Forget The Gotcha. Even GMail Better Than This Security Nightmare.

From Geekwire:  Hillary having a homebrew server for all her State business is like "the CFO of Chase taking billions of dollars in cash home and storing it in the mattress". ...We have no choice but to assume that this server has been compromised by foreign intelligence agents".   She was almost the highest target out there.  America's enemies have the funds and motivation to hire the best of the best to go after her. Count on it.
With these glasses on, no one will
recognize me.
A “homebrew” server was the worst possible choice. Even using a webmail system like Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo would have been better because those companies have the expertise and capability to meet at least some of the threat this class of information would face.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Tidy or messy

This picture from The Daily Mail presents a laughable contrast between tidy and messy. The underlying story is that if disorder bothers you, you're probably a good credit risk.  To that I'll add the observation that a business owner is someone deeply discontent when things don't work or promises un-kept and does something about it as soon as humanly possible.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Jeb Organized Lying Optics At CPAC

The press reported that although a few walked out on Jeb Bush's CPAC speech, the hall was well filled and the talk well received.  People who were there saw bused-in amateur actors moving from camera zone to camera zone to supply cheers and warm fuzzies for the folks watching TV.  Link here to a second report.
"Luke warm, at best" 
"..Clips .. showed .. Bush answering a single question on immigration followed by a round of cheers, applause and supportive sounding shouts from the crowd. To act as if this was some version of reality would be an injustice to the audience."
Other politicians use this subterfuge too.  I used to enjoy those impromptu videos of Chris Christie scolding the teacher's union until I learned he paid to have them recorded and released.  Voters should keep Lying Optics in mind. Ask for crowd analysis before you swallow swill.

Application:  Schools would do very well to teach kids how easy they are to deceive and mislead.  Study some cropped pictures, staged photo-ops, truncated voice clips, and a little insight into how simple magician gimmicks lead the observer to believe what is not true to be true.
Heads of State leading million man march in Paris
We are Charlie Hebdo

Heads of State clumped securely in an entirely different location posing for a
We are Charlie Hebdo photo op.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Government gets big when families get small

Government will have to be better because it won't stop getting big.  That's because it's common to have one baby and quits.   After two generations of one child families, there is no kin group left.  A kid still has two parents and four grandparents but there is no sister or brother. There are no aunts. There isn't a single uncle.  No one has first cousins.  Who do you turn to when you leave home?  The kin network collapses when one child is the rule.   Government steps up, not in loco parentis but in place of kin.

The chart is from The Federalist: "Why we lose with only two children per family".

The Law That Applies To Raising Children Is Parkinson's.

The role of parents has been transformed by downsizing the family to one or perchance two rug rats.  In summer, my generation roamed the neighbourhood and far beyond with hordes of other kids and generally were back in time for supper and bed.  That was it.  No one had time to fuss over every minute of our disorganized lives.

Now it's dawn to dusk supervision by otherwise underemployed adults.  Now it's  the car shuttle to T-ball where your preschooler gets coaches and uniforms.   Junior can't even walk home on his own, balancing on the fence in a back lane, without Mom and Dad being badgered by Social Services.  There are a lot of parents and appended busybodies who are spending time and money that should be skipped.    Is this an employment scam or simply Parkinson's Law that work expands to fill the time available?