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...