- Talk about swords into plowshares! California city government v*tes to turn a former prison into a cannabis oil factory.
- Super high-tech tiny house. Pretty cool. (Helps to be a boatbuilder and cabinetmaker.) But c’mon. How much did it cost? (H/T MJR)
- :-) How not to take a gun selfie.
- And speaking of selfies, I assume this study (which concludes — wow, whodathunkit? — that narcissists are more likely to post and crave feedback on selfies) must have been funded by government. Not ours, fortunately.
- And speaking of governments: who’s named in the Panama Papers? Named so far, we should add. The silence on U.S.-based clients of Mossack Fonseca is like waiting for that second shoe to drop.
- OTOH, the astute Megan McArdle says that what the papers reveal so far is a positive reflection on capitalism.
- Ronald T. Richie. He was the 911 caller who got the perfectly innocent John Crawford SWATted and killed. Maybe he’ll finally pay a price. Maybe.
- Sheesh. This article on why women should v*te for women makes me not ever want to v*te for a woman again. Well, not that I ever gave a crap about the sex of a candidate. And not that I’d ever v*te for a woman if the woman were Hillary. Or Dianne. Or … well, most of them.
- But the good news is that even Salon says Hillary’s world is collapsing around her.
- I really hate questions like this. But with the weekend coming up, here’s some food for thought during your leisure hours: Are we living in a computer simulation?
- Just because we were talking about flame-throwers the other day …
Archive for the ‘Offshore’ Category
I’ll be doing a little extra blogging this week because I’ve been doing physical labor (drywalling) and need a break from it. Also because … Panama Papers.
I hadn’t heard of the scandal until Monday when jc2k linked to it in comments. By then it was already 24 hours old (ancient in Internet Time) and had been thoroughly clucked over by all the usual suspects.
The collective bottom line seems not only to be, “OMG, gov-o-crats are hiding ill-gotten gains offshore!” (this is a shock to anybody?) but, “Offshore privacy should be done away with!”
Um … yeah. Hasn’t offshore privacy already been curbed a time or three? And don’t gangsters and gov-o-crats and their cronies (but I repeat myself) always find some way to hide ill-gotten gains? And don’t ordinary, innocent people with assets that need to be protected from the above also take advantage of the “loopholes” that are inevitably left for the kleptocrats?
The notion that you can do away with financial hidey-holes — especially financial hidey-holes both controlled and utilized by people who are in charge of the laws and regulations governing said hidey-holes is as tidily moralistic as the notion that you can do away with drugs, guns, liquor, or whatever other bugaboo the moral moment might focus on. And just as untidy in practice.
Most people use offshore corporations for legitimate purposes — like the legitimate need to protect honest gains and assets from thieves in governments.
But that won’t do, will it? So now we’ll see yet another big moral crusade against offshore tax shelters.
Laws, regulations, treaties, and those trendy not-a-treaty-but-just-like-one-only-simpler-to-impose trade agreements will be changed. Everybody will say, “Good job! We’ve foiled the eeeevil plans of kleptocrats and organized crimesters. Decency shall now reign forevermore.” And after a few hiccups, thievery and corruption will go on as usual using some slightly different form of hidey-hole. Preserving wealth will merely become that much harder for those who lack the government connections or the will to break the latest round of laws. (Which reminds me of this study on human sacrifice and social hierarchy that came out this week.)
Bigger questions I haven’t heard anybody asking yet. How to catch and whack the kleptocrats without busting the legitimate privacy of hundreds of thousands of decent human beings (actual, old-fashioned investigation, perhaps — the following of specific suspicions, specific evidence, specific leads)? Why wasn’t Mossack Fonseca, that Panamanian law firm, doing more to protect its clients’ records, since privacy is supposed to be at the core of its business? And how many other ordinary people are at risk of disclosure from similar hacks at similar firms?
Interesting times …
The following is a guest post by my old friend Sandy. He hosted me graciously during part of my 2010 trip to Panama, where he still lives. He’s now looking for supporters to join him in a new venture, writing about a lesser-known form of prepping and escape from tyranny.
The World’s First Preppers and How to Join Them
by Sandy Sandfort
Some anthropologists say that Man’s creation and use of boats date back 45,000 years ago into the Stone Age. Then and ever since then, humans in boats have had to be preppers. Whether you are crossing the Pacific or just traveling to the next island, you have to prepare. When Polynesians sailed their outriggers hundreds of miles to settle New Zealand, they took rats and other food, water and primitive navigation tools with them; they were preppers. When Columbus set out for the New World, he was to be a prepper, as were Darwin on the Beagle and Magellan on the Trinidad. All sailors are preppers. Today, everyone who sails is a prepper whether they use that word or not.
Today, so-called recreational sailors, yachties, cruisers, boaters or whatever, are a vast community of preppers. And in today’s world, sailing offers one of the best ways to “get out of Dodge” when things turn ugly wherever you are. If you are a prepper today, you are most of the way to being a “sea prepper” if you want to be. If you think you cannot afford a boat, think again. It can be done very easily if you are willing to examine some of your preconceptions about how to organize your life.
How do I know this? For several years, I have been thinking and researching sea prepping. I know it can be done, because I know people who have done it and when I run the numbers, it all adds up.
I want to write out the entire program in a book, tentatively called, Plan Sea. Sound interesting? If you want to be involved in creating this guide to sea prepping, please visit my website (zapzone.webs.com) and click on the “Buy the Book” link at the top of the screen, then scroll down to “Come Join the Plan Sea Book Project” for information about how you can help make this book happen.
- “Elite” SWAT cops petulently destroy their own office.
- So what do you suppose this guy was ticketed for?
- I’m not sure which is more remarkable: that three-year-olds are now getting type II diabetes or that this one recovered with sensible lifestyle changes.
- Your government at work — threatening, bombing, shooting, and otherwise terrorizing its unwanted neighbors. (Via Shel in comments)
- Here’s a new thought (and a longish article on it): what if all those creeps who are aggregating and selling our personal data are a national-security threat? (Everything else is, so why not them?)
- Americans (particularly those of means) continue to surrender their citizenship in record numbers. Small numbers, still. But growing thanks to punitive banking and tax laws.
- Yep, Bob, you’re right. The hysteria over Ahmed’s clock is exactly in the same dishonorable tradition as the nutzoid over-reaction to the notorious gun-shaped Pop-Tart.
- Panama was already better than many countries on guns. A smidge, anyhow. Now, in hopes of combating rising crime, they’re about to get better. Only a little better than the original smidge, but it’s something.
- Even the most worthless of petty bureaucrats now think they deserve to be treated and feted like Oriental pashas. Who are these people, anyhow?
- Once again, at least a few on the fringe are sending the message that they’ve had enough. (Tip o’ hat to jed)
- Yeah, now let’s see if the EPA and its employees get treated like a private corporation and its people would be. Criminal charges. Heads rolling. Monumental fines. Screaming public outcry with environmentalists leading the mob.
- The Atlantic does a provocative takedown of campus speech coddling. Doesn’t address freedom issues much, but focuses on how psychologically unhealthy this BS is.
- I was going to say that this is another tiny house I kinda like. Then I got to the part about a finished one costing $95,000. Ninety-five freakin’ thousand dollars? For a teeny little trailer thingie? Is somebody pulling our collective legs??? (H/T jed)
- A pair of beauties (and I really do mean beauties) via A.G. in comments. Jake Weidmann is one of only 12 master penmen in the world and the youngest by 30 years. Though I may be pretty good at finding stuff in garage sales and second-hand stores, this tops everything I’ve found in my whole life — both for art and for mystery.
- Kardashian overload. It happens to the best of us. Not usually on air, though. (H/T jb)
Now, I hope that keeps you happily busy for a while, ’cause unless Washington, DC, sinks into the ocean, aliens land, or I find the tub from Cabin Sweet Cabin lying at the roadside before Friday, I’m taking a couple of days off. Should be back with you by the weekend, if not before.
- This public murder + mass act of cowardice happened (in gun-free DC, no surprise) on July 4. I just heard about it. If this is how disarmed and “civilized” people behave, you can take your civilization and … ahem.
- A social justice warrior has doubts about herself.
- I’m no Rand Paul fan. But suing to stop the horrible FATCA law is a fine idea.
- One good thing about the Greek crisis. If you’re in the market for a private island, you can now get a fire-sale price on one. Relatively speaking.
- Are these the death throes of Flash? (H/T PT)
- TZP has been hopping lately. Special attention to two very recent posts by Nicki. “Loopholes” and the South Carolina church shooter. And quite literally a “no-brainer” : a San Francisco supervisor wants to punish the berg’s only gun store (and any others that might ever be so foolish as to locate in the city) for something it didn’t even remotely do.
- Fascinating and mostly well-done New Yorker article on the Big One that will someday wallop the Pacific Northwest. (Via jed in comments)
- Hastert may be a criminal. But other feds are worse. (Never mind that Hastert and his ilk made them worse.)
- I admit it. Maeve Binchy, the mega-selling Irish author of simple domestic tales, is one of my guilty girly pleasures. Binchy died in 2012 of heart problems. While looking for something completely unrelated to her health, I stumbled upon this nice article about how she made the best of her initial diagnosis. Inspiring.
- The fedgov has recently made it 5x more expensive to do. But Americans are again surrendering their citizenship in small but record-setting numbers. (Tip o’ hat to MJR)
- “No cloud for me,” says security guru Bruce Schneier. And amen. (Via Brad at WendyMcElroy.com)
- Okay, then, what exactly is the difference in principle between Caitlyn Jenner and Rachel Dolezal?
- This Onion article’s been getting around, but once again it’s too funny not to link and too true to be really funny.
- Can reading make you happier? Hm, dunno. Bibliotherapy??? (H/T PT)
- Trees. Trained to grow into chairs. (H/T SC)
- This story is about the best and brightest leaving Russia. It has nothing to do with the U.S. — except that my email brings me daily reports about American ex-pats that sound just like this.
- “The leader of the unfree world.”
- Not long ago, this sort of privilege, with its cruel disregard for the “little people,” was granted only to puffed-up Oriental potentates and pashas in lands of the notably unfree.
- You already knew you were a terrorist in the eyes of “your” democratic, representative, passionately liberty-loving, and devoutly transparent government. Now read the criteria, such as they are, secretly used to terror-list you. Good work from the new Omidyar/Greenwald team and their contacts at The Intercept. (H/T jed)
- And speaking of the land of the we don’t feel quite so free any more …
- But worry not! Your safety is in expert hands! (Seriously, it would be hard to imagine how a public shooting could be handled worse than the one at the Navy Yard.)
- On the lighter side: Darth Vader is more highly regarded than all potential 2016 presidential candidates.
He’s taking the long look at Remington’s just-announced decision to open a plant in Huntsville, Alabama.
Remington has been identified for nearly two centuries with an otherwise unheralded burg in upstate New York. Ilion. That’s where a man with the marvelous name of Eliphalet Remington designed his first gun. And since 1816, apparently not much else has ever happened in Ilion other than … Remington.
The company says it has no intention of abandoning its plant or employees there; it’s just expanding (and good for Remington). Furthermore, a Cuomo spokesthing waves its arms and frantically shouts, “New York isn’t losing any jobs! New York isn’t losing any jobs!”
But this is how it works. Even a union official (member of a crowd that tends to be oblivious to ways in which actions produce consequences) understands.
SAFE Act … general nannying … high costs of doing business … crushing regulation = eventual goodbye.
- This judge wins the Ultra-Statist of the Week prize for excusing the NSA while kicking Snowden.
- I’ve been asking myself this question, too. When will insurance companies say, “Enough’s enough!”?
- We need more judges like Donald Beatty. (H/T Hobbit)
- Going “offshore” … in South Dakota. A sign of the times?
- And another sign of the times. Great one! College shooting ranges are on the rise. (Tip o’ hat to L.A.)
- The president of Uruguay. No matter what else you may think of him (or not think of him, since I’m guessing you spend a very, very small portion of your life thinking anything about Uruguay), he is poor, humble and leads an admirably simple life. (Lord Obama: Take note!)
- And let’s close with 33 goofy dogs. (With big H/T to fellow dog lover and dog rescuer, MLS.)
- App to “geolocate dangerous guns and owners.” The reviews are the best part.
- Grate boocks four somer reeding.
- You know, I don’t usually write about golf. In fact, I doubt I’ve ever written about golf even once in my entire life. But oh wow, the Bubba Watson hovercraft golf cart is COOL!
- There are a lot of outrageous things about secret gummint spying. One of them is that we’re paying for what’s being done to us.
- Just in case you’re getting closer to being driven offshore. (H/T Sandy Sandfort, who’s as offshore as it gets.)
- The most stupifyingly boring video game ever was invented by Penn & Teller. And has raised more than $1,000,000 for charity.
- Occasionally even the wimpy National Shooting Sports Foundation gets fed up with anti-gunner hypocrisy and says so in unusually blunt terms.
- “Survival is not fun.” Bump up the calorie count in that bug-out bag if you haven’t already. (Tip o’ hat to Hiz Provisionally Honorable Pending Further Review Judge Hobbit.)
Just in case you were wondering — you know, for future use and all — at least two publications have recently weighed in on the best places to seek asylum from the U.S. government.
Business Insider has a list. But then, they would. They’re a bit (a bit!) sensationalistic and love to come up with pictorial twists on things in the news.
Really surprised me, though when the staid old National Geographic came up with such a list.
Some crossover, some differences, in their choices.
Did you ever think you’d see the day when seeking asylum or “defecting” from the United States would be mainstream talk? Sure, they’re just writing about one whistleblower — for now. But clearly, from the small but growing number of tax refugees and political dissidents leaving the country, we’re going to be hearing a lot more of this in the future. Even from the usually clueless MSM. Yup. We live in interesting times.