Monday, May 20, 2019

More Uber BS

Again with the mega BULLSHIT in reporting on the crisis in the taxi industry. Consider this disgusting paragraph from the NYT report:

"The medallion bubble burst in late 2014. Uber and Lyft may have hastened the crisis, but virtually all of the hundreds of industry veterans interviewed for this article, including many lenders, said inflated prices and risky lending practices would have caused a collapse even if ride-hailing had never been invented."

If the article were truthful, it would have instead said,

"The medallion bubble burst in late 2014. Uber and Lyft CAUSED the crisis, but virtually all of the hundreds of industry veterans interviewed for this article, including many lenders, said inflated prices and risky lending practices MAY HAVE caused a collapse even if ride-hailing had never been invented."

Why do they publish such misleading BS? Are the writers ignorant? Or are they dishonest?

For those who still don't understand, here is the skinny. The crisis was precipitated when governments allowed corporate power to buy and muscle their way around existing taxi regulations.

It's that simple.

NYC Taxis Medallions and Suicides

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Taxi Safety

To Styx's point about the internet, "People are too fucking saturated with material all the time to actually go out and snap and be violent."

Right on man!

It totally jibes with my observations over the last few years as a cab driver.

Pre-internet, a lot of passengers with a chip on their shoulder, or bored with existence, or terrified about the cost, or just looking for trouble would focus their attention on the driver. He should have run that yellow light, or cut through that alley or parking lot, or the meter is somehow rigged, or he is "going the long way around," or driving too slow, or driving too fast, or going exactly the speed limit, or "what nationality are you, I mean, originally."

They don't even ask whether anyone has ever puked in your cab anymore.

They are on another planet.

Since so many of them are now glued to their zombiephones, most of those "issues" have evaporated into the ether.

While I am absolutely no fan of the digital zombiefication of the population, this phenomenon did not escape my attention.

Forget about cameras and shields. Just install tablets and free wi-fi in all taxis.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

You Can't Eat Your Cellphone but...

Holy molie!

I was listening to Peter's podcast when he started talking about Bitcoin. He speculated that the average cellphone contains $30 or $40 worth of gold. So I decided to Google the question and quickly learned that the average cellphone actually contains $1.82 worth of gold!

I just threw out one of my old cellphones a while ago. I wish I had used Google first. "There's more gold in a pound of electronics than a pound of gold ore, so it's certainly worth it."

I start to wonder if I should have thrown out my old TVs and computers as well. Should I buy a smelter from Amazon for about CDN$ 659.59 plus FREE Shipping?

Should I have held on to that cellphone? Currently, $1.82 US is worth about $2.43 Canadian. Yeah, it's a pretty big package for storage of a measly $2.43 so when it comes down to it, I ask which would I rather own? A one-ounce Canadian Maple currently worth about $1285 US, or 706 used cellphones weighing about 2,824 ounces? 2,824 Ounces = about 176 pounds. Does anybody buy used cellphones?

Also, there are over 7 billion cellphones in the world today, representing some US $12.74 billion worth of gold. There are more cellphones than there are peoplekinds.

I'm just kicking the can around here but I think I can draw at least one conclusion. Maybe you can't eat your gold, but without it, there can't be any Bitcoin either.

And then there are computers and TVs, and so on.

Oh, and one more thing. When Peter asked the audience how many of them own gold he's right. They should have all raised their hands.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Speech is the New Oil

And fuck it's getting serious.

Ten years for downloading a video?

Fourteen years for sharing?

Within a half an hour of learning of the attack, I quickly found a copy of the video, though it took several attempts, and I downloaded it and copied it to a microSD card. I am teaching myself to do that reflexively given the ever-shortening lifespan of information on the web that hasn't yet been cleansed or aborted by "the authorities" to protect me from harmful knowledge.

Thank goodness Canada isn't New Zealand yet. At least I hope.

But in case no one noticed... I didn't share that video. Then again, I would not have shared it anyway. It's just brutally pointless insanity. And to be frank, the reason I watched it was to be armed with the truth in case the lying media tried to spin it to their socialistic advantage. I'm stubborn that way. If the consensus tells me I shouldn't do something, I reflexively do the opposite. That's part of why I still smoke.

I watch these things because I want to know the truth. The whole ugly truth.

And the truth in some parts of the world these days is very ugly. No wonder so many people are willing to just bury their heads in the sand.

I get it.

But is it really a good idea to deny the public access to relevant information? What the fuck is up with that?

Do you know what my mother told me? She was eleven years old when the second world war started and she lived in London. She told me she really had no idea at the time of what war meant. When she saw soldiers marching off to the meat-grinder, she literally believed that they had fist-fights. Later though, her family had to scurry off to the air-raid shelter when the Nazi bombers paid a visit, she developed a new perspective on war. Her older sister caught a piece of shrapnel from a buzz bomb that went off at the top of their street. Her brother came home after being shot down over Germany. They all thought he was dead but he showed up at the door one day. His hair had turned white.

Her father lost a leg in the First World War. I later learned that he had also lost a brother. No wonder he wasn't happy when his daughter brought home a new boyfriend who happened to be a Kraut.

These were things my mother told me. She was learning.

And now the infowar is more intense than ever.

Man, I wish I were a sports fan.

As a youngster, I was totally enthralled by war. My favourite toys were guns and soldiers. During my teen years, I grew up watching the news reports of the Vietnam war. Seeing the medevacs and the lacerated men being loaded on to the helicopters, and I didn't realize it was happening, but by the time I was seventeen I was TOTALLY CURED of any desire to join the army.

Vietnam was the "Television War." The ubiquitous coverage of front line realities influenced public opinion and the U.S. pulled out.

I'm not going to go around googling at this point to find out if the kind of news coverage we saw during the Vietnam war has been severely restricted since then, though I did see such a claim being made on some documentary, and I strongly suspect it has.

The people in power, those who start and then profit from war, DON'T WANT the people to know how terrible it really is. Else they would have a so much harder a time selling it.

Look at all of those young men, teenagers, in 1914, on all sides, waving their hats wildly, beaming from ear to ear, worried that they might have been too late and they will miss "the action!" And then when they got to the front and saw all of the shredded human bodies and smelled the stink of decomposition they had some serious second thoughts. Unfortunately, they were now in it. There was no turning back. And even if they tried, they'd end up in front of a firing squad.

This ought to make it very clear why the free flow of information is a dire threat to those who wield the real power. For one thing, and I challenge anyone to disagree with me on this point, if the entire population were to be truly educated about the horrors of war, they would avoid it at all costs.

Babies on bayonets in WWI to Babies being thrown out of incubators in Kuwait.

Information is a powerful weapon and, like guns, should be kept out of the hands of the population. Or so our masters tell us.

The sad truth is, we here in the west only had free speech so long as we didn't also have a microphone or a digital microphone. You could blab all you wanted, and send letters to the editor which rarely got printed.

Someone else was always in control of the dominant narrative. Then the internet was born. As soon as the information monopolists realized that control was slipping from their grasp, freedom of speech was no longer important to them. Jeff Zucker wins the First Amendment Award. What a fucking joke.

Yeah. That was your fucking "freedom of speech." I used to hassle my old man, who fought for the losing side, about how Nazi Germany didn't have freedom of speech. He told me that was bullshit. Then he explained that if he wanted to say that Hitler was an asshole, he could do so without fear of repercussion. I had to get a few years older before it occurred to me to ask him, "But what if you were speaking in a beer hall with a microphone, or publishing a newspaper. Would you still be allowed to call Hitler an asshole?" (It was still better than Stalin's Soviet Union at the time. In that country, you couldn't even *think* that Stalin was an asshole. You could even get five years in the Gulag for nothing at all, and one guy even bragged that he was given ten. And how did he know how to read your mind? He didn't have to. If you were dead you were not a threat. Pretty fucking simple math for a tyrant. Same goes when your Youtube channel is deleted. "No man? No problem.")

From the little I know of Nazi history their version of the internet was print and radio. Did they really have freedom of speech? Not bloody likely.

In the 15th century, the internet was the Guttenberg press. There was a lot of censorship and blood spilled over that too.

And from what I see going on around me these days the same patterns emerge.

Fucking digital book burnings.

And it ought not surprise anyone that the war on free speech is now in full swing.

Speech is the new oil.

===

https://www.bitchute.com/video/pOQQwuufNIA/

===

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Cab Driver Philosophy

Eddie the cab driver was complaining to me just last night about one of his cheapskate customers.

The super-generous liberals (aka - socialists) in charge of Hamilton's taxi regulations really "pinched out a loaf" of phony SJW legislation back in the 1990's. For those who don't know, taxi meter rates are mandated in most Western cities. To show how compassionate they were, they came up with the mandatory 10% "seniors discount." Unlike any other business that offers discounts to the customers though, the business owners did not absorb the discount. The drivers did.

I hated it from the start. It wasn't because I am greedy and cheap, which I am. It was the principle of the thing. Why should seniors, whose only real collective achievement is to reach a certain age, be entitled to any special treatment? I've always believed in equality under the law. This "discount" set an ugly precedent. If seniors should be entitled to special treatment, why not the disabled? Pregnant mothers? Welfare recipients? Students? Mental retards? You know how this story ends. Special discounts for blacks for "reparations" and eventually special discounts for Muslims just because Canada is such a "welcoming" society. A caste society. A total departure from a thousand year evolution of Western law and tradition which stressed equal rights over status.

It's a "slippery slope" as that fucking asshole McGuinty said before making it illegal for adults to smoke in cars if children were present. Fucking right it is.

In practice, it often meant that the sub-minimum wage cab driver would pick up a senior's couple with their suitcases, returning from trips to Europe or wherever, on their way to their lovely homes on Auchmar or Scenic, with several shiny new cars in the driveway, or wherever and he would, by force of law, have to provide the 10% discount directly out of his own pocket. Such compassion! The driver's kids would now have to wait another hour for the loaf of bread daddy was supposed to bring home after that trip.

Thankfully, many decent seniors refused to lower themselves to this crude form of legal robbery. But many milked it for all it was worth.

At one time, I bought one of those receipt books from an office supply store and started filling in the discount amount. Then I would get the passenger to sign it acknowledging the transfer of wealth from the poor cab driver to the often well-off senior. My plan was to collect these receipts and then submit them to City Hall for reimbursement. Of course, I never followed through because I knew my odds of success.

Also, in practice, the law created a conflict between driver and customer, and inevitably to anyone who understands the rudiments of economics, it resulted in inferior service to senior citizens. They became the new "persecuted minority," a status they now shared with another group who always complained of never being able to hail a cab. (Of course, the politicians brilliantly respond by writing laws to prohibit discrimination. If it don't fit, use a hammer.)

Aside: A funny thing I noticed when I was in Cuba. In this commie dictatorship I observed people driving around not wearing seat-belts or motorcycle helmets. At least the Cuban commies were smart enough to know they couldn't mandate the use of things that were not available in their country. Only capitalist countries can afford real socialism.

For my last ten years in the business I gave up on the aggressive hustle and just nested at the bus terminal fishing for walk-in customers. I saw the look on cabbie's faces a million times when some old lady with a walker emerged from the main doors and started hobbling over to the cab line. It was hilarious how often the first cabbie in the lineup would be glued to their terminal hoping to get a dispatch order so they could fuck off before the passenger got to their car. Or the way their eyes would dart around desperately hoping to see a more ambulatory and youthful customer who would rescue them and wouldn't demand their "senior's discount" and would often even tip.

Cabbies could be quite resourceful too. I had befriended a Sudanese driver who worked the bus. He was quite the character. He told me about this other immigrant driver whose trick was to suddenly go to the washroom when a senior with a walker, or a fold-up wheelchair, came out of those doors. The plan was calculated to induce the customer to walk to the next cab in the lineup. He was basically dumping his shit downstream. Like that character in Medieval London who directed the effluent from his indoor privy into the next-door neighbor's basement.

Well, knowing the game, my Sudanese friend was second in line when the asshole, and I mean "asshole" suddenly darted to the washroom. But my friend was ready. As soon as he saw that, he left his car and went to the phone booth at John and Hunter to pretend he was making a call. So the old lady ended up patiently waiting for the first driver to return from his phony washroom trip.

Fuck we had a good laugh about that.

I had my own run-ins with that same slimy cabbie. It got tense at times. He finally stopped trying to fuck me around.

One of the first things I learned at the school of libertarian thought was that government programs, ostensibly aimed at ameliorating the conditions of the down-trodden, almost always end up making their conditions worse.

A short list:

Rent controls - housing shortages
Minimum wages - unemployment
Drug prohibition - organized crime, money laundering, civil forfeiture, and epidemic drug use
Old age pensions - old age poverty
Welfare checks - single mothers

and so on.
and so on.

Multiply this egalitarian obsession across a million different human interactions and you end up with a less happy society. And not one in a million can understand why.

Forget about finding answers from Karl Marx. That guy was fucking clueless.

Eventually you end up with civilizations like India or China (pre-western influence) where the strictures imposed by law or by custom become so intricate, so embedded, so reflexive, so unconscious, and so wasteful that material progress becomes impossible for millennia. And even if a few people understand the cause, they are too few, and their books get burned, or banned by Amazon.com, and that civilization can stumble on for thousands of years before some natural or man-made cataclysm FORCES revolutionary change. The black plague had such an impact on Europe. After that they started to understand the importance of proper garbage and sewage disposal, and other advances which I am not knowledgeable enough to provide examples of.

So. Back to Eddie the Cabbie.

He drove a senior customer who demanded her senior's discount. The fare was $15.90 so the discount calculated as 10% of the last full dollar on the meter (How many actually know that?) was $1.50. Eddie rounded it off to $14. The passenger gave him $16 and said, "keep the change."

This little vignette demonstrates the extent of sophistication the cheapskate (usually a virtue-signalling leftist) is willing to employ in order to hide their cheapskatism. Eddie wondered why the passenger put him through all of this extra work when she could have simply said, "Here's $16. Keep the change."

But seniors, more than anyone else, well understand that the 10 cent "tip" went out back in the 1920's. No. What was going on here was the customer was attempting to camouflage their cheapness by invoking the senior's discount charade to make it look like she was actually granting a $2.00 tip. I'm telling you, people are hilarious.

I would be willing to bet that those seniors who engage in these kinds of histrionics in order to create an illusion of false generosity also tend to vote Liberal or NDP.

Maybe I can get a government grant for my "study."

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

And now I want to tell you the story about the two Scotsmen I had in my cab.

Just kidding.

Yes. I have been drinking.

===

Another good laugh. Danny "No-Hair" and I were in line at the go. We were chatting on the sidewalk when this smoking hot babe came walking by. She was impeccably dressed and gorgeous. She walked by often, so all the drivers knew her.

And whenever she walked by, all conversation would stop as the cabbies furtively feasted with their eyes.

So this one morning, Danny and I were talking when we spotted her coming and, like men with military training, we went dead silent, while pretending not to be too obvious in admiring her when we were in front of her. As soon as she passed though, our heads would turn and we study her from the back.

After she'd gone about twenty yards, Danny and I turned back to face each other and we both stated the conclusions of our studies at exactly the same time - "no ass."

Not that there's anything wrong with that. It was just a measurement exercise.

Great minds do think alike though. Toxic masculinity has some intractable obsession with the size and shape of the female posterior. Don't ask me where it comes from, but I doubt it was caused by "capitalism" though I have no doubt that somewhere in the academic literature this case has been made.

It's a good thing no one ever reads my shit or the left would crucify me. Hell, I am even still on FaceBook, or I was the last time I checked.

We almost pissed ourselves laughing.

Before long, laughing will not be allowed lest someone get offended. It's already happening, actually. And wasn't there a recent report about a university in England where clapping has been banned?

Saturday, March 2, 2019

African Reparations

I've been hearing more and more lately about the demand for reparations for slavery. The idea is so disgustingly evil, I thought it would have died a well deserved death by now but it hasn't.

It prompted me to dig up my article from The Way Back Machine and republish it on my blog. It's not exactly how I would have written it today, but I decided to leave it as it was originally published back in 1999. I did go through it to remove the dead links, which turned out to be all of them except for the amazon links to Thomas Sowell's books.

© 1999 Hans Wienhold
last modified:
Tuesday, November 30, 1999 at 21:18:37
Unedited.


African Reparations

"The practice of slavery dates to prehistoric times, although its institutionalization probably first occurred in early historical times"

"Slavery," Microsoft(R) Encarta(R) 98 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1997 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Should the rich nations of the West pay reparations to Africa and it's Diaspora?

Grab your wallet! Yet another group is on the prowl in pursuit of unearned cash. Calling themselves "The African World Reparations and Repatriation Truth Commission" they blame the west for Africa's social and economic problems and feel the Americas and Western Europe should fork over some $777 TRILLION plus interest in reparations. The beneficiaries of this claim are to be the people of Africa and the Diaspora.

According to the declaration of the commission (the Accra Declaration) the money would be demanded from ''all those nations of Western Europe and the Americas and institutions, who participated and benefited from the slave trade and colonialism.'' Curiously, the other nations who participated and benefited from the slave trade, those of North Africa and the Middle East are not mentioned.

"Over the centuries, somewhere in the neighbourhood of 11 million people were shipped across the Atlantic from Africa as slaves, and another 14 million African slaves were taken across the Sahara Desert or shipped through the Persion Gulf and other waterways to the nations of North Africa and the Middle East."

Race and Culture: A World View by Thomas Sowell.

Evidently, it is not the slave trade that the commission objects to since slavery as an institution existed in Africa and throughout the world long before the Portuguese got in on the game in 1444. The commisson seems to have made the observation that the West is rich enough to satisfy the claim and decided to conclude that the West is rich because of the slave trade.

The combined annual Gross Domestic Products of the 9 richest American and European economies amounts to a mere $15 Trillion [1] hence, even if those nine countries were to surender their entire Gross Domestic Product every year to Africa and the Diaspora it would take about 52 years to satisfy The African World Reparations and Repatriation Truth Commission's claim.

Is the claim just? Well, yes and no, depending on your fundamental political philosophy. To individualists, the claim is ludicrous, to collectivists on the other hand, the claim is perfectly valid. The reason for the difference is quite simple... individualists insist that individuals are responsible for their own actions whereas collectivists subscribe to the more convenient belief that someone else is always responsible for those actions. That is why criminalists, close relatives of collectivists, are often heard to say "I am a product of society, that is why I robbed, raped and murdered. Society is responsible for my actions. It wasn't my fault."

Collectivists apply the same thinking to the economic realm... where the criminal insists someone else is responsible for what he did, the collectivist insists someone else is responsible for what he didn't do. For example, the skillful, ambitious, energetic, intelligent, hard working person must bear responsibility for the material sustenance of those who are not skillful, ambitious, energetic, intelligent and hard working.

The West's peculiar instition: the welfare state , rests on this premise. I.E. the modern version of slavery, where the government owns the people but let's them keep a portion of the value they produce so they will keep on producing. The other portion of the fruits of that labour, that part owned by the government (tax evasion is stealing it's advocates claim), is extracted via taxation and doled out to various groups in accordance with the degree of political clout those groups manage to muster. Some of the recipients of this dole do not produce but, through welfare elligability, (a legal claim to the fruits of other's labour) benefit from the coercive transfer of goods and services from those who produced them.

In the same way, those clamouring for reparations for slavery insist they are entitled to the entire life's labours of every man, woman and child in the West mainly because Africa never did produce the factories, transportation infrastructure, markets and technologies the skillful, ambitious, energetic, intelligent, hard working people of the West produced. Far from having any fundamental aversion to slavery some advocates of African Reparations explicitly endorse modern taxation slavery as a means of obtaining their booty. (see below)

According to Pan African Congress (PAC) deputy president Motsoko Pheko in an article from MISAnet/PANA " The labour of Africans was used in the Americas, Europe and West Indies to build the foundations for today's wealth of the so-called developed countries."

Does Mr. Pheko honestly believe we in the West would still be living in log cabins if not for the labour of Africans? Does Mr. Pheko really think that there would be no pharmaceutical indstry in the West if not for the labour of Africans? No electronics? No automobiles? No jets? No central heating and air conditioning? No flush toilets, washing machines and refrigerators? Are we seriously expected to believe that the vast new computer industry and the internet would not have existed in the West if not for the labour of Africans? Were the great bridges, dams and skyscrapers of the West built on African labour?

Anyone possessing the merest scintilla of economic sense would reject this whole idea out of hand. The great wealth of the West is due to capitalism, not physical labour. Unfortunately, the proportion of the populations of the Western democracies in possession of said scintilla is dangerously small, hence the possibility that the proposed victims of this reparations idea remain susceptible to myriads of specious claims.

It is difficult to believe that Mr. Pheko is serious in making this claim... indeed, the claim is so preposterous that only one conclusion can be drawn.... the true basis for the African reparations claim is precisely that African labour had nothing whatsover to do with the massive wealth of the modern West, and that therefore, in accordance with standard collectivist/criminalist thinking, Africa is morally entitled to own it - or at least fifty odd years of the entire economic output of the nine richest Western nations.

A more reasonable approach to the question of reparations might be to identify the heirs of those specific institutions and individuals who profited from the slave trade and colonialism. Having done so it would be necessary also to determine exactly which proportion of the current wealth of these institutions and individuals was due to the exploitation of the descendants of modern African and the Diaspora.

A fair minded individual could hardly object to a request that these legitimate assets be returned to the heirs of the original owners. Yet according to the essay "The legal basis of the claim for Reparations" By Lord Anthony Gifford, British Queens Counsel and Jamaican Attorney-at-Law at the Africa Reparations Movement (ARM) website,

"It would be possible to identify individual companies which could be proved to have made vast profits from slavery. There are plantation owners in Jamaica, and titled families in England, whose living heirs owe their wealth to slaving."

... but this approach would involve too much work and the defendants would reject it. Lord Gifford believes that instead, all citizens should assume collective guilt because governments have "reserves" and "taxation powers" and that it is "governments who must in the end be persuaded that reparations are to be paid" by everyone regardless of the culpability of their specific ancestors. Imposing the burden on innocent third parties[2], many of whose ancestors were hardly better off and often worse off than many slaves does not seem to deter Lord Gifford in his pursuit of what he calls "justice".

[back]

The key point here is Mr. Gifford's specific rejection of going after those who today can be identified as direct beneficiaries of the slave trade in favour of the more lucrative prospect of going after those whose ancestors were not.


[1] Annual Gross Domestic Product of Selected Nations

CountryAnnual Gross Domestic Product (1996) in Trillions
U.S.7.66
Germany1.7
France1.22
United Kingdom1.19
Italy1.12
Mexico.777
Canada.721
Spain.593
Netherlands.317
Total15.3
Source: The New World Almanac and Book of Facts 1999
 
 
[back]

[2] The population of Western Europe, North and South America is currently about 1.3 billion people. $777 TRILLION US represents a mere payout of $597,692 for every man, woman and child living in the "guilty" countries. This is about $70,636,364 for each of the roughly 11 million Africans who were shipped accross the Atlantic.

[back]

Further Reading

Conquests and Cultures: An International History
by Thomas Sowell.

An important book for anyone interested in developing a perspective on the validity of African reparations claims.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Roll up the Rim Lunacy

The average Tim Horton's customer waits, say, three minutes waiting for service in the drive-through lane, but every time Horton's rolls out their roll up the rim promotion, the lineups and the wait times skyrocket. A customer might wait fifteen minutes or longer to get that rim.

Why are people so eager to waste their time in the drive-through lanes at Tim's only to get an invitation to play the same game again?

The odds of winning a coffee or food prize in Tim's contest are 1 in 6. Therefore, the average drive-thru customer may wait as long as one and a half hours before winning anything.

A two-litre engine consumes about 1.2 litres of gas per hour while idling. The average Roll up the Rim looney will thus spend about 1.8 litres of gas for the average prize. With gas prices hovering around 90 cents per litre these days, the average drive-thru winner should deduct $1.35 from the value of the prize in order to correctly calculate the value of the reward.

So, if you win an extra large coffee worth $2.25 you must deduct $1.35 from that to determine how much you actually won.

Waiting in a line is just like working. The hourly pay for waiting in line for a rim thus works out to be about sixty cents.

Sixty cents.

Is it really worth it?

Roll up the Rim Lunacy


THEN THEY CAME FOR THE MEMES.


The Assman

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Plantar Fasciitis

You know how you can tell if you are going deaf? You tend to ask people to repeat themselves a lot.

And you know how you can tell that maybe you have Plantar Fasciitis? You find yourself gazing longingly at those handicap parking spaces when you're at the mall and wondering if maybe it's time to visit your doctor and ask for one of those special privilege certificates.

Oh, and what is this I see?

More designated parking spaces are popping up for designated people. The designated parking area is starting to get crowded, just like the "human rights" area. ("Bad rights drive out good rights." -- Ayn Rand. And they tend to proliferate, just like the quantity of central bank currency. Think of it as "rights inflation." I have a friend who believes all of the problems of the world can be reduced to monetary corruption. I say it goes deeper than that.)

For a couple of years now, I have seen spaces for mothers, pardon me, "parents," with babies at Walmarts and Fortinos. I wonder when the mother spots will have the fine and towing warnings that accompany the handicap spots. (which occasionally sends me off on a tangent wondering about fertility rates and whether or not certain politically significant voting groups are more, or less likely to benefit from such privileges, whether legislated or not. And also, whether or not, the parking spot privileges are likely to change places as the demographics continue to change. Like when the boomers start to die off.)

The other day, I went to Fortino's to buy bread. I noticed a new battery of designated parking spaces. This one was for people with electric cars. I assume these spots double as charging stations. (To fight Global Warming, pardon me, Climate Change.) Of course, they were all empty, just like bicycle lanes, which meant that the proletariat, on average, would have to find parking spots further away from the store entrance.)

"Ahah!" I thought, "the list grows!"

One thing I remember studying in high school was "finite math." I don't know why it was called "finite math," but I do remember that part of the program involved "progressions." 1-2-3-4, what comes next?

And 1-3-5-7 and what comes next again? And on and on to increasingly complicated mathematical designs.

That part of the course impacted my thinking for the rest of my life. I was always trying to detect progressions. That is also why it is so easy for me to recognize the folly spewed forth by people who call themselves "progressives?" The question becomes, progressing to where exactly?

And I notice the same pattern in parking lots.

Handicap parking.
Mother's parking.
My Shit Don't Stink electrical vehicle parking.

What comes next?

Senior's parking? (Updated: Feb 16, 2019)

Fat people's parking?

LGTBQ^n parking?

Indigenous parking?

Indigenous elder parking?

Parking for the mentally ill, or the romantically lonely?

Parking for designated assholes? (No one ever set out in life choosing to be an asshole, yet some people have been sadled with that fate, or designation. For some people, being born an asshole, or more colloquially, an "asswipe" was never a matter of choice, but in some cases it works rather well - just look at Justin Trudeau. But what about all of the other assholes who never get to be Prime Minister? What about the ones that end up working in car washes? Don't they deserve "inclusion?" And what about me?)

The poor? I imagine a time when "parking for the poor" would have been an oxymoron.

Black parking, brown parking, Asian parking, female parking, white parking? White parking? (!) By the time all of the slots have been allocated, white males will be told that they will have to find parking on adjacent side streets. Guilt by birth.

Muslim parking?

Whether the allocation of political spoils involves parking, or designated prayer zones, or smoking zones, though the specific details may differ, the principle remains the same. Do we wish to live in a world where everyone has equal rights? Or do we wish to live in a world where we are categorized and divided, rewarded or punished, ultimately in accordance with statistical voting patterns, or our "identity?" Or upon the number of "social points," we are able to accumulate by swiping our Good Citizen cards? And where wormlike politicians are the ones who are given the power to decide WHO GETS WHAT?

Sorry. There will be no parking for white, Catholic, male, MAGA-hat-wearing, teenaged boys. They are guilty by nature.

They will have to walk or take the bus.

I have to admit. It bothers me.

My ideal, even before I learned to articulate it, was of a world where everyone had equal rights. "My right to beat my drum in your face ends where your face begins. It doesn't mean you have to get out of my way, or kiss my ass, or suck my cock, regardless of our relative ethnic origins, or because I have a designated parking spot in the political heirarchy. (Notice: You don't hear *anyone* talking about EQUAL rights anymore.) The socio-political progression I have observed after I learned to articulate it is in totally the opposite direction.

Our idiot Prime Minister flatulates with his mouth. "Diversity is our strength."

So long as "diversity" implies a legally enforceable hierarchy of rewards and punishments, depending upon the politically assigned relative importance of the plethora of human frailties, from restricted mobility to restricted intellectual capacity, and decided upon by people almost universally recognized as possessing low character, I.E. politicians,

we're fucked.


Update: February 15, 2019

WESTERN CIVILIZATION AND THE EMERGENT CASTE SYSTEM

"Current events predict future trends." -- Gerald Celente.

Jeepers Sneakers

A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.

Michael LeBoeuf (1942-)

Prelude

We take a lot of things for granted including our wardrobe and specifically our footwear. There are numerous stores that sell all sorts of women's and men's clothes with a wide variety of style. We can purchase casual or formal attire and if a consumer shops around enough they may obtain a decent price for what they're looking for. However, it appears there are more specialty boutiques catering to women's fashion than there are shops for men.

Back in 2010, I was experiencing a stabbing and piercing pain in the sole of my right heel. At times the discomfort was unbearable...irritating so badly I had difficulty walking. I paid a visit to my family doctor and he immediately diagnosed my problem as Plantar Fasciitis. The following is from the Mayo Clinic: Plantar Fasciitis is a heel pain that involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. My physician gave me a written prescription to Bio Ped.

Bio Ped is a recognized and reputable foot care establishment. After two visits I walked out of their store wearing custom made orthotics in my running shoes. Orthotics are molded plastic inserts placed inside both shoes. They were a miracle. I can truly say I've never encountered that agony since wearing the orthotics. Now if I can just eliminate my gout.

The Bio Ped employee that served me was tremendously professional and courteous. She strongly suggested to me I purchase a certain type of running shoe called New Balance 623. Being the foot care specialist and expert she was I agreed to her recommendation and bought the shoes. They turned out to be an excellent investment. They were a superb, terrific and comfortable fitting running shoe.

I wear a size eleven 4E. Usually I've never had any difficulty buying my specific running shoes until 2017. I required a new pair and drove to National Sports on Upper Wentworth Street in Hamilton, Ontario. I also hiked across the street to Sport Check located in Limeridge Mall. My shoes were on sale at both stores for seventy dollars, regularly one hundred dollars and sometimes more. Unfortunately either store didn't have my size in stock. However, the salespeople at both outlets assured me they receive shipments every day and proposed I check back periodically. I accepted their advice and returned three days later to both stores.

My visits to both spots was increasing my mood of disappointment and complete discouragement. At Sport Check they still didn't have my size. The sales clerk offered to phone Eastgate Square in east Hamilton and Oakville, Ontario to find out if they had my correct size. I asked the saleswoman if they do have my size can they ship the shoes to this store. Her reply was simple. No we don't do that. Nevertheless she did mention I could order the shoes online and she would initiate the transaction but it was up to me to finish the order. I declined and walked out of the store extremely pissed off. And on top of that I wasn't driving to Eastgate Square and certainly not Oakville (58.7 km's/36.5 miles).

I drove across the street to National Sports and noticed "my" running shoes were still on sale (as they were at Sports Check also). Once again I asked the sales associate if my size was available. He walked into the stock room and quickly returned with the same old story. I asked him if he would order a pair for me and guess what his reply was...we don't do that. That term seems to a regular phrase. Then he added some additional disturbing news. His store doesn't receive my type of shoe in a 4E. This time I walked out of the store irate and livid.

I felt I was in a no-win situation but what really infuriated me was the lack of customer relations both stores had. In my mind their fucking policies stink. I wasn't going to settle for any other type of running shoe. New Balance 623 are by far the utmost comfortable pair of running shoes I have ever owned. Straightforwardly speaking they are without a doubt the finest home for my feet. So I decided to phone my orthotics gal at Bop Ped and ask her to recommend a running shoe at her business. The phone call was successful. She would order a pair of New Balance 623 running shoes for me and the cost would be one hundred dollars. Obviously I was very happy and gave her the green light.

Perhaps you might be asking yourself what's wrong with ordering items online. Five will get you ten we all agree the brilliance and intelligence of computer hackers is unlimited. Their understanding and knowledge of that device is amazing. For those reasons I'm very leery and skeptical of conducting business affairs online. And of course I'm the first to admit I'm a downright moron when it comes to computers. You could almost say they intimidate me.

I've noticed in the past ten or more years (you probably have also) when individuals inquire or purchase an item or service a very high majority of sales representatives will say, "have a good day" as the customer is about to leave. If I remember correctly that phrase "have a good day" originated in the United States long before Canadians started that lingo.

I would like to share the following true story with you. In the spring of 1985 a friend and I attended the University of Texas spring football camp in Austin, Texas for one week. We arrived on a Sunday and returned home on the following Sunday. Since the camp's practice sessions were a steady days, weekends off event I decided to partake in some shopping on the Saturday. I was focused on acquiring items for my girlfriend (she wasn't present on the trip) who later on became my wife and then my ex-wife.

I was browsing through a large mall and walked into a department store's jewellery section. I saw a beautiful woman's gold chain with a gold state of Texas pendent attached to the necklace. I was eager to buy it but noticed it was pricey. My cash flow had decreased immensely and it didn't help the exchange rate was forty percent. I asked the saleswoman if I could see the necklace and she removed it from the display case. She stated it goes on sale Monday with sixty-five percent off.

Now this is how my twenty seconds of fame occurred. Puritan - Damn. That's too bad. I'm from Canada and I'm returning home tomorrow.
Saleswoman - You look familiar. I recognize your face. I saw your picture in the paper. You're visiting the Texas football camp.
Puritan - Yeah that was me.
Saleswoman - Since you're leaving tomorrow I'll give you the discount price on the necklace today.
Puritan - That would be fantastic. Thank you very much.

The Austin American - Statesman newspaper wrote an article about my friend and I attending the football camp. The feature also had a picture of us and Head Coach Fred Akers. You have to admit it's not every day two Canuks fly to Austin (1412 miles/2275 km's) to watch the Longhorns practice.

In my opinion the sales clerk went out on a limb. Furthermore she demonstrated excellent, top quality and first class customer relations. I still wonder if that situation was to take place in Ontario would the same result transpire?

Epilogue

In my opinion National Sports and Sports Check are prime examples of two large enterprises that really don't give a rat's ass about going that extra mile for their customers. As far as I'm concerned the customer relations, well, they don't have any. Maybe one day they may encounter liquidation. I wonder how they would react to their final dance and last hurrah. Is it possible they may ask themselves why did this happen?

The End

The Havenut Puritan Project
Puritan will return with
A Joyful Delight


Friday, January 18, 2019

Has Capitalism Failed?

Gerald (See below) is bang on when he criticizes Ray Dalio's ridiculous claim that "capitalism has failed." It just goes to show that you don't have to be smart to be rich.

For much the same reasons as Gerald gives, I have felt my blood pressure rising whenever someone chooses to wisely inform me that "capitalism has failed." If I were in a good mood, I would simply tell them that WE DON'T HAVE CAPITALISM. To hear this mantra repeated over and over and over again, for a span of five decades ends up really trying a guy's patience to the point that, when not trying to "be the best a man can be," I would simply reply with, "You are a fucking retard."

I know this will be considered to be nothing more than "tin-foil hat" libertarianism, but one of the first things I learned is that government economic intervention causes distortions including, but not limited to, shortages and surplusses.

Unemployment, for example. It is both a shortage (of jobs) and a surplus (of labor,) in EXACTLY the same way as taxi meter rate mandates create a shortage of customers and long, long lines of vacant cabs. Both are created by government interference into the free market.

Government intervention is the PRIMARY cause of chronic, structural unemployment. I read somewhere, that prior to the rise of "capitalism" there was no such thing as chronic, structural unemployment.

I also read Hans (!) F. Sennholtz's fantastic book, "The Politics of Unemployment" back when it first came out which contained, for me, the best summary of the causes of unemployment I have ever read. From the description on Amazon,

"The modern age of economic intervention began under the pretense of helping workers. Professor Sennholz demolishes the entire edifice that gave rise to this movement.

We were told that workers must be organized into unions. They must have job protection. Their safety must be guaranteed by legislation. There must be a minimum wage. People under the age of 15 must never engage remunerative work, for that would be exploitation. And workers need retirement income. If unemployment rises, nothing short of full-scale central planning is required!

So on it goes, except for one inconvenient fact: the age of intervention accomplished precisely the opposite of its stated goals for workers. The unemployment of the 20th century was government created. And today, workers are taxed, regulated, and regimented to their own detriment.

Here is the uncompromising case against the entire interventionist regime erected on behalf of workers. No one does a better job in showing how the state has harmed the very group that it claimed to be backing.

The title suggests merely politics, but this book is filled with economic theory. It's one of the few books to give a full critique of unemployment insurance, for example, showing it as a destructive intervention that should be but is not questioned by the mainstream literature.

Sennholz refutes dozens of theoretical fallacies and exposes the bad policies that flow from them. His focus on current trends like "mandated benefits" explains how they have so drastically increased labor costs. (emphasis - mine. Wonder why jobs are going to China?) He also deals with the feminist arguments against the free market and makes a strong case for the benefits of the underground economy. (Yeah!) A principled and readable work that unifies theoretical rigor and a passion for liberty. "

I think the phrase, "capitalism has failed" should be banned from all public discourse because it triggers me to the point of fearing a stroke or a heart attack.

Oh, and that reminds me about how I recently got off on a little debate with Bill Ayers of Weatherman fame on Facebook after he posted the following ridiculous graphic,

to which I commented,

A lot of people find themselves homeless because they have no money, and the reason a lot of them have no money is that they don't work. And the reason why a lot of people don't work is that they are too lazy to work.

That they find themselves needy is in no way an indicator of the success or failure of free markets. It's arguably a testament to free markets operating as they should.

Getting something for nothing has never been promised by those who advocate free markets. In the real world, it's a lot more complicated than that though. Governments create unemployment, and via a million and one other mindless interventions create substantial fissures into which many, who don't deserve it, sink. And of course, it's always the politicians (and the lazy, and the fake SJW's) who promote the con that getting something for nothing is a sustainable economic model.

To my surprise "Professor" Ayers felt the need to respond and it went on from there.

I've gone on for too long already but just one more minor point.

Another book I read was called, "The Tragedy of American Compassion" by Marv Olsky. (?) It described how charity worked in the U.S. before the welfare state took over the job. I recall that churches took care of a lot of indigent men and that the reason for their indigence was, you guessed it, ALCOHOL. The churches would house and feed these guys in exchange for chores like chopping wood and so on. One implication is that the able-bodied non-alcoholics all had jobs.

Oh.... just one more thing, as an atheist I am never too enthusiastic when God is invoked as a possible solution to various social ills. I would not personally consider belief in God to be an important, much less the MOST important solution to poverty. On the other hand, I say, if it works - use it.

From Amazon, [broken into paragraphs by me,]

"Can a man be content with a piece of bread and some change tossed his way from a passerby?

Today's modern welfare state expects he can. Those who control the money in our society think that giving a dollar at the train station and then appropriating a billion dollars for federal housing can cure the ails of the homeless and the poor. But the crisis of the modern welfare state is more than a crisis of government. Private charities that dispense aid indiscriminately while ignoring the moral and spiritual needs of the poor are also to blame. Like animals in the zoo at feeding time, the needy are given a plate of food but rarely receive the love and time that only a person can give.

Poverty fighters 100 years ago were more compassionate--in the literal meaning of "suffering with"--than many of us are now. They opened their own homes to deserted women and children. [ME: As Tucker Carlson might say, "Huh!" Imagine if any of the SJW mouthpieces we hear ad-nauseam today, virtue-signal-puking their "concern" for immigration/refugee/ asylum-seekers actually opened their own homes to, say refugees and asylum seekers? Trudeau?] They offered employment to nomadic men (Huh! - "nomadic men") who had abandoned hope and human contact. Most significantly, they made moral demands on recipients of aid. They saw family, work, freedom, and faith as central to our being, not as life-style options. No one was allowed to eat and run.

Some kind of honest labor was required of those who needed food or a place to sleep in return. Woodyards next to homeless shelters were as common in the 1890's as liquor stores are in the 1990's. (italics - mine) When an able bodied woman sought relief, she was given a seat in the "sewing room" and asked to work on garments given to the helpless poor.

To begin where poverty fighters a century ago began, Marvin Olasky emphasizes seven ideas that recent welfare practice has put aside: affiliation, bonding, categorization, discernment, employment, freedom, and most importantly, belief in God. In the end, not much will be accomplished without a spiritual revival that transforms the everyday advice we give and receive, and the way we lead our lives. It's time we realized that there is only so much that public policy can do. That only a richness of spirit can battle a poverty of soul. The century-old question--does any given scheme of help...make great demands on men to give themselves to their brethren?--is still the right one to ask. Most of our 20th-century schemes have failed. It's time to learn from the warm hearts and hard heads of the 19th-century."

The century-old question--does any given scheme of help...make great demands on men to give themselves to their brethren?

The Tragedy of Human Compassion

In other words, if you want to know why we are embroiled in a gigantic economic fuck-fest, look no further than the governments you appeal to for "solutions" to problems. (And then ask yourself, again, do you really think these buffoons, who can never even balance a budget, can control the climate?)

"The state can be and has often been in the course of history the main source of mischief and disaster." -- Ludwig von Mises.

Most of the mysteries that lie at the root of so much chaos and acrimony we see today could be easily explained if every student in every first grade were given an introduction to the most basic elements of economics such as supply and demand along with the role of prices in balancing those forces. They should also be given a very short lesson in politics, which would consist of one question. Who pays?

In the end, I am hopeful that any reader will be persuaded over to my belief that it is not "capitalism" which has failed. It has been government.

As my mother used to say to me, "Mark my words."



It's been about thirty(?) years now since one single album dominated my mental space-time. I was about 17 when I discovered "Abbey Road." (side 2.)

This kind of reminds me of that.

I've played it four times tnoight.

Friday, January 11, 2019

We Recommend

Another form of censorship on Facebook.

As you know, powerful media platforms have gone political and are now censoring and banning people and ideas they deem "Hateful" and, or "Racist." In other words, anyone who has a political opinion to the right of Lenin.

The first time anyone accused me of being a "racist" happened to me before I'd even heard of the internet. It was on the old Compuspec bulletin board run by the Hamilton Spectator. I had written, in one of the political forums, that government-run welfare programs should be abolished. There was, of course, the huge, predictable backlash of moral outrage and leftist venom, but there was something else. One of the offended participants accused me of being a "racist."

In searching my soul for any possible truth to this slur, I also asked myself why anyone would make such a baseless accusation. Finding nothing there, I took a minds-eye look at my accuser and, lo and behold, something became immediately apparent. The accuser was the racist. The accuser had unconsciously revealed a strong belief (or unconscious bias) that a withdrawal of welfare benefits would have a disparate impact upon racial minorities.

That exchange stayed in my mind. It was when I became aware of the use of word "racist" to stifle opinion, sort of like being called a "witch" by a neighbour in Salem in the 1690's. Suffice it to say that this experience prompted me to pay closer attention to the use of that tool over the next three decades. And boy, did my hunch ever turn out to make hay!

None of which has anything to do with the reason I started writing this rant, though it is related.

Last night, I read a column by Rex Murphy. Then I started reading the comments. I don't know why so many dinosaur media outlets have started disabling the comment sections on so many of their reports. Well, actually I do know. Or I think I know, And it's related to this rant. (If we wanted your opinion, we would give it to you.)

Scrolling through the comments, I noticed one familiar name. I clicked on that name and it took me to his Facebook page. I decided to send him a "friend request." After I clicked on the "add friend" button, I got a dialogue box containing this message,

Does This Person Know You?

We recommend sending friend requests only to people you know personally.

The box included two buttons. One said, "Cancel." The other said, "Confirm."

This put me into a quandary. Since I don't know the person, I can't lie. And if I lie, I might be violating the TOS. So I clicked "cancel" and the "friend request," was borfed into outer space.

I felt coerced. Why does Facebook give a shit about whether the people who use it as a social network actually know each other?

Is Facebook's "recommendation" serious about its users actually knowing each other? Imagine if every current Facebook user were to go through their "friends" list and "unfriend" every person they did not know? What would they be left with?

They would be left with nothing but small groups of people with 7 or 8 "friends," each posting photos of their weddings and babies and dinners and cats. Is that what Facebook REALLY WANTS? I say, BULLSHIT!

When I first joined Facebook it was merely out of curiosity. I diddled around with it for a while. I found some friends and acquaintances, mostly from high school. I "friended" them, and had the odd chat over the text app. The chats went something like this,

How you doon?

Great! You?

Not bad.

Where are you living now?

Nova Scotia.

Kewl.

And what are you doon for a living?

I'm the manager down at Slick's Scrap Yard.

Great.

And what else have you been up to?

Well, I opened up an RRSP and I am doing a lot of renovations to my house.

Wow!

The only thing that I can remember from these exchanges was the guy who told me I was the guy who taught him to inhale (tobacco) back in grade seven.

As you can imagine, these conversations got boring pretty fast.

I was just about to abandon Facebook when I started noticing some interesting stuff showing up in my feed. For example, I started seeing a lot of links to the same guy. "Who is this Alex Jones?" I wondered. After some exploration, I became a fan. After being a fan for a while I had bought several books written by some of the guests on his show. Alex Jones turned out to be a very useful bird dog for me, pointing me in directions of inquiry that I would never even know about had I restricted my consumption of news and opinion to the CBC or CNN.

Aha! I realized that Facebook could be an excellent tool for political networking. I could even use it as my own personal soapbox. After that, I started sending out hundreds of "friend" requests to anyone who seemed to have libertarian/conservative sympathies. And it worked. It worked so well that I soon hit the ceiling of five thousand "friends."

Along the way, I started getting warnings from Facebook about "knowing" the people I was contacting. One night, I think, they even sent me to an early version of Facebook jail by blocking any further friend requests. Then, I guess, they realized it didn't make much sense to prevent some people from contacting others on a so-called "social media" platform. And the harassment stopped.

Until last night.

Now they're back at it. Given all that has transpired recently, including the corporate assassination of Alex Jones, I can't help but wonder if the WARNING I received was generated by an algorithm tailored to inhibit networking between individuals with libertarian/conservative views.

What do you think?

Meanwhile, I sit here looking at a list of "friend" requests from people whose profile photos feature hot-looking young women with extremely sparse Facebook personalities who, I suspect, had no qualms about pressing the "confirm" button and who, most importantly of all, I DON'T PERSONALLY KNOW. Tell me again, Facebook. How does your algorithm work?

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Fake News

I first became interested in the issue of fake news, though I didn't call it that at the time, back in 1976. I was 22 . I had developed some libertarian views by that time, having recently read Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman. One might even say that I had been radicalized.

It was during my first and only year in the Chemical Engineering Technology program at Mohawk College. One mandatory course was called, "Communication Skills." The class had to assemble in a large lecture hall because it contained four separate classes of 1st year Common Technology students, probably in the neighborhood of 150 students.

The teacher was sort of a hippy-dippy dude for the time. He wore blue jeans and a denim vest to class, and I think, a white turtle-neck sweater, and unless my memory is embellishing things, and he had a gold chain or something around his neck.

Early in the program, he decided to have the students select the topic for the day, come to the lecturn, and MC the whole shebang. When he asked for a volunteer, no one ventured forth, so he resorted to a threat. If no one would volunteer, he would choose someone from the audience.

The first person he chose bravely raised the subject of LGBTQ rights, correct gender pronoun use, and micro-aggressions.

I'm kidding. How the fuck would I remember what topic anyone chose to beak off about back in 1976?

Oh! I do remember one topic. It was about Playboy magazine or something. The only reason I remember that topic is because one guy told the class that he liked to read Playboy because it had some good articles in it.

I was terrified that I would get picked. I remember wishing, as the teacher scanned the audience, (I will call it an "audience" rather than a "class" henceforth) for his next victim, that I could hide behind the person sitting in front of me, but with my luck, that person was always too short.

Finally, on the third or fourth day of this torture, I said to myself, "Fuck this. I might as well get it over with" and I walked up to the lecturn.

The first thing I learned was that that cartoon about the guy with his knees knocking together wasn't so far from the truth.

I proceeded to blurt out the following announcement,

"Canada is not a free country."

Oh boy, did that get a response? Judging from the protests and groans from the audience, my worst fears had been realized. Everyone thought I was an idiot.

As the debate gathered steam, I got less nervous. And I started to notice something. I actually had some support from the audience. Not actually being able to see where my support was coming from I was nevertheless able to detect it in a cloudy way from where the sounds were coming from. Some groans over here. Some shrill screams and cries of "racist" over there. And a little pocket of cheers coming from somewhere else. I wondered, "is this what they call 'Audience Dynamics?'"

Another thing I remember thinking at the time was that this must have been something Adolf Hitler came to understand during his beer hall rants and was thus able to fine-tune to his political advantage.

In retrospect, it was quite the learning experience. I had learned something valuable about "Communications Skills." Duh! Who'd 've thunk?

After that I found myself engaged in a few private debates with the teacher. During one such debate, I happened to opine that the media were biased. He disagreed and challenged me to scan a few newspapers and bring him one or two examples of biased reporting. I accepted his challenge and scanned one or two papers, one was the Hamilton Spectator.

Damn it if I could find any overt bias. I noticed that most of the reports were qualified by "he said/she said" or "studies show."

Sheepishly, I reported back to the teacher that I could find nothing other than factual reporting. He said/she said. Studies show.

Having been defeated, I had reason to try to understand where and why I had gone wrong. I mean, I knew the media were shoveling a pile of shit. I just didn't understand how.

What I was not sophisticated enough at the time to know is that news bias isn't entirely dependent on the factual accuracy of what is being reported.

It depended upon *what* is reported, day in, and day out, over and over again, ad nauseam, ad delirium, like "Global Warming" or "the Dangers of Second Hand Smoke," usually in the form of "he said/she said" or "studies show."

It was then that I finally understood the trick. It's well and good to report the facts, so long as you report those facts that support your ideological agenda. In most cases, these facts cry out for more taxes, more welfare, more third world immigration, smoking bans, fewer cars, less sugar, and less meat. And less enjoyment of a middle-class lifestyle. Oh, and did I say, more taxes?

A new term evolved which I think perfectly describes the process. - Controlling the narrative. -

Media analysis is the tool I have long used to predict the future, with, I think, relative success. That's why I am rarely surprised by new developments.

The dinosaur media has (had) ENORMOUS power to determine the political trajectory of a nation or a civilization. It's not always about the questions they ask. It's also about the questions they never ask.

Not so much anymore, thanks to the internet.

But what is this I hear? The internet is being censored? Trudeau is giving the legacy media millions in government financial support? Ad hoc definitions of "hate speech" are cropping up like dandelions resulting in the scything of oodles of libertarian and conservative media outlets?

Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle!

I used to think that despite the chipping away at human rights that has been going on over the course of my lifetime, the freedom of speech would be one of the last dominoes to fall.

That one caught me off-guard. It's not that I didn't expect it. I just didn't expect it would happen so fast.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

My Debate with Bill Ayers

I've been engaging in a debate on Facebook with a guy who calls himself, Bill Ayers. His profile suggests he is the same Bill Ayers who was engaged in urban terrorism in the U.S. back in the 1960s before he settled on a strategy of intellectual terrorism by becoming a University professor.

Now, anyone can pretend to be someone else on Facebook, so I have my doubts about whether this Bill Ayers is the same guy as the notorious communist. I would also have imagined that the real Bill Ayers would be a lot smarter than this guy.

Anyway, this was his last reply to me,

Just thinking (with sympathy) about all the things---beyond socialist roads and socialist wheat---you can't have because your so amazingly and consistently self-reliant: socialist toilets (god-damned government monopoly on sanitation systems), socialist water (don't touch the stuff---it's tainted by the god-damned government); socialist garbage dumps (keep the god-damned government's hands off my trash) socialist fire department (why should you fund the god-damned government fire fighters when the fire is someone else's house?)

Jeez, Bill. You still going on about this? I must have really triggered you. With sympathy, I hope you have a crying room nearby.

Road Socialism

I had to laugh out loud when the first item in your list happened to be socialist roads. I mean, are you kidding me? Socialist roads?

If anyone wants to really know about how socialism works in practice, all they have to do is look at the roads. The cracks, the potholes, the endless construction projects with the endless lines of idling vehicles spewing CO2 into the atmosphere, the idiotic rules, speed bump vandalism, vacant bicycle lanes, rainbow crosswalks, and the death toll. Yep, a better example of socialism in practice, visible to anyone on a daily basis, can scarcely be found.

And you trip right into this as your first "example" of socialism. Too funny.

Another thought on socialist roads. Driving is not a right. It's a privilege.

And of course, in response to the monstrous problems caused by socialized roads, the geniuses of government come up with this brilliant idea:

Socialized transit.

You can't make this shit up.

When I think of socialized transit, I think of box-cars full of newly-liberated Soviet workers on their way to work in Siberia and similar idyllic destinations. Public transit at its best.

Stalin's LRT

Wheat

And what's this about "socialist wheat?" When I think about socialist wheat I can't help think, again, about its great track record in the socialist Soviet Union with the Holodomor, and the Great Socialist Famine in Mao's China. Socialist wheat? Not a good example, Bill.

Socialist Toilets

You've got me on the socialist toilets point. Any anarcho-libertarian who has viewed the British series on "Filthy Cities," would find an excellent example from history of a serious issue that does not solve itself without government intervention. For now, I will give you points for this example. I will accept a limited role for government in some areas of life.

Then again, given all that is known about sanitation, it doesn't surprise me that the great bastion of American socialism-in-practice, San Francisco, continues to look more like medieval London, or some other third-world shithole. How long before platform shoes become fashionable again in San Fran? Only those blinded by Marxist ideology can fail to see the real world results of their religion in practice.

Perhaps when you refer to "socialist toilets" you really mean the countries and jurisdictions that adopt socialism?

Water

Socialist water? Not necessarily necessary, but in the absence of a better idea, yeah, let the government handle the delivery of some of the water. Private companies, like Walmart, can do the rest.

Garbage Dumps

Socialist garbage dumps? Are you talking about their jurisdictions again here? Or are you referencing the disposal of garbage, in which case, private garbage dumps could do the same job? Ditto for firefighting.

The question for the population, to the extent that they have a say in the matter, which of course, they don't have under socialism is, "Do we want to continue the unprecedented high standard of living we have come to regard as normal under a predominantly capitalist system, or would we rather live in a socialist toilet?"

Socialist Toilet

Capitalist Toilet



The Obama Gas Station - you can't make this shit up.

and now that you've done your homework, you can have this:

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Should Uber go into the Pot Business in Hamilton?

What difference would it make?

Consider the following fake report, courtesy of Uncle Block's Bullshit Detection Academy:

Councillor supports additional resources for police effort to close Illegal taxi operators.

Colon doesn't have much faith in courts to impose maximum penalties

City Coun. Collin Colon said he would support providing additional resources to Hamilton police in the ongoing effort to shut down illegal taxicab operators.

“I’d love to confiscate every single car that’s involved with this. I’ll be the first one to work with my colleagues to give (police) the resources,” Colon said during the first Hamilton Police Services Board meeting of the new council term.

City councillor and fellow new police board member Naomi Chomsky asked Chief Pondar Zullini to elaborate on the difficulty of permanently shutting down illegal taxi operators.

“We want to make sure we do it properly,” Zullini said.

“I’d love to confiscate every single taxi that’s involved with this."

Collin Colon

Deputy Chief Vink Blohrheim spoke to city councillors at a general issues committee earlier in the week regarding challenges shutting down illegal taxi cabs. He noted 30 Uber drivers were pulled over and given summons between January and October this year. Of those, none ever paid a fine and went right back into business.

Zullini noted one former illegal taxi operator told councillors they averaged between $200 and $400 a day. He said a minimum fine of around $0.00 is seen as the cost of doing business (And by gosh! The price is right!) and doesn’t stop the illegal cabs from operating.

Blohrheim told the board that since legalization in October, no more Uber cabs were pulled over and none were shut down. Meanwhile, the non-exempt, non-Uber cabs continued to be subject to rigorous bylaw enforcement.

“There might be a perception in the courts that it’s just a business. It’s not. There’s no regulations,” Zullini said.

Blohrheim said that impounding the cars of illegal taxi operators would require the police, and the City of Hamilton, to accept legal liability for the cabs and any assets inside. That would incur additional costs such as hiring security.

“We don’t want to expose the police, and the city, to lawsuits,” Zullini said.

He said he’s holding out hope the courts will recognize the huge profit margin of the illegal taxis and the risks involved in unregulated cabs that could be mixed with other modes of transportation.

“I don’t have great faith in the courts doing the maximum,” Colon said. “My fear is we’ll be left in the same situation, with dozens open. I firmly believe the federal and provincial governments have dropped the ball.”


Uncle Block's Thoughts on Pot Shops.

One thing I have noticed on my daily travels throughout the Hamilton area is that, unlike the Beer Store and the LCBO, the pot shops don't have a panhandler stationed outside.

The fake news report I presented above was taken from a report in the Hamilton News..

What I did was to cut and paste the text of the report into my editor and proceed to change some of the words and names. It's actually a technique I frequently use when reading any alleged "news" from the legacy media. It's one of my analytical tools. I find it very handy in determining whether those advocating a given position on an issue do so out of adherance to certain principles, or merely out of political opportunism. Bureucrats and politicians never get a good score, in my mind.

Imagine this report,

Mr. Trump told the woman at the time, “I’m sorry. If I had known you were reporting for a national paper, I never would have been so forward.”

In other words, "if I had misjudged your potential leverage, given our obvious power differential," I would have pretended to be someone else.

Did Trump really say that?

Ask your friends.

Comparing the way politicians dealt with the Uber issue gave me an idea as to how Hamilton's beleaguered pot dealers could circumvent the politicians and their "principles."

Get an APP.

Get an APP.

Instead of having 30 or 40 physically static dispensaries, which is so 19th century, consider "sharing" your pot. Bribe the city for a "ride-hailing" license ($50,000) and mobilize your stores. Overnight, your 30 or 40 easily raidable dispensaries could turn into a thousand moving targets.

And if you get in early, you could turn yourselves into a $60 billion dollar company.

Problem

How do you actually get your legal product from A to B?

The first part is easy. B is the buyer. All they have to do is tap an app.

As to the supply side, off the top of my head, I can visualize two solutions at this point.

The first would be to engage the entrepreneurial skills of the army of private pot growers who were competently serving the citizens of Hamilton long before any retarded politician ever imagined he could erect a system of "responsible" and efficient pot distribution. All they would have to do to join the network would be to download an app for homegrown pot "sharers" who happened to own cars, or had friends who owned cars. The pot would be free. The customer would only pay for the delivery. The original grower would be awarded a "booking fee." (Nudge, nudge.)

Or....

The pot dispensaries could be located on the Indian reserves. Pot distribution could be modelled along the lines of the current tobacco sharing industry.

And it may come to that yet.

Even better would be a combination of the two.

"Sharing Posts" on the res, and a thousand and one immigrants and college students looking to pay off their student loans, or make a few bucks to buy beer, and thousands of quality private growers looking to reduce the odds that their homes will be confiscated in some bullshit forfeiture proceeding would pop up like weeds.

Capitalism, though hampered, will continue to do what it does best. Matching buyers with sellers.

Maybe this is what Marx really meant when he said,

"To each according to his need, and from each according to his ability."


Fucking hilarious!

I kept imagining I was reading something from Monty Python.

"Germany entices illegal migrants to leave with bribes — free rent for a year back home".

( https://nationalpost.com/news/world/germany-entices-illegal-migrants-to-leave-with-bribes-free-rent-for-a-year-at-home )

More Uber BS Again with the mega BULLSHIT in reporting on the crisis in the taxi industry. Consider this disgusting paragraph from the NY...