And here’s the second and final part of the guest post by Sandy Sandfort. Part I is here
TRUTH IN GOVERNMENT? YOU BETCHA! (Part II)
A Short Guide on How to Read Government “Tells”
By Sandy Sandfort
Before I give you two final financial examples, I will give one from my own family. On 5 April 1933, FDR signed Executive Order 6102 (just like Obama, he had a pen and a telephone) which required Americans to turn in their gold in exchange for paper money at $20.67 per ounce.
When my father read about the order in the newspaper, he immediately told my mother, “They’re going to devalue the dollar!” In other words, he skipped past all the order’s rhetoric and jumped to the “why.” When he figured out what and why the order was given (devaluation), he set about illegally amassing as many gold coins as he could. He was able to get rid of a lot of paper in exchange for a lot of gold. As he predicted, the dollar was devalued (40% to $35 per ounce. For decades, he and my mother paid for fun trips to Mexico with gold coins they sold in Mexico for the world price of $35 per ounce.
I’m deadlining this week. Friend Sandy Sandfort has stepped in with an original two-parter about one of everybody’s favorite subjects: politicians moving their lips.
Sandy has a new website in the works. If you’d like to be notified when it goes live, contact Sandy at sandy-at-privilegedcommunications-dot-net (corrected address) with the subject line “new website notice.”
Sandy would also like to exchange some of his Bitcoin for USD (which can be sent to his U.S. bank, though he resides in Panama). Contact him at sandfort-at-gmail-dot-com if you’re interested in making the trade.
TRUTH IN GOVERNMENT? YOU BETCHA! (Part I)
A Short Guide on How to Read Government “Tells”
By Sandy Sandfort
I don’t need to tell readers here that governments lie. We all know that lies are fundamental to manipulating the citizenry. This does not mean, however, that you shouldn’t pay attention to what government spokespeople say. If you know how to listen, you can gather vital intel to protect yourself and your family. By understanding why certain things are said—or not said—you can improve your chances of surviving government-created calamities and maybe even come out ahead of the game sometime.
Governments do have “tells” just like poker players. If you learn to read those tells, you have an edge over the other players at the table. Believe me, in America, with a third of a billion players at the table, you really want to have that edge.
Wow. Somebody thinks federal employees aren’t paid enough when compared with people in “similar private-sector jobs.” The article never explains what private-sector jobs are similar to … oh, career money confiscator, thug who tells businesspeople how to run their businesses, or professional killer of nursing mothers.
I really do. But sometimes the combination of Orwell and Rand becomes too obtrusive to bear. To wit: the CISA blowup.
The gloriously bipartisan Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015, sponsored by freedom-loving Republican Richard Burr (NC) and — guess who? — our old friend Dianne Feinstein (D-Control Freak) would “allow” tech companies to “voluntarily” share information about their customers with the federal “security” apparatus “so it can be analyzed for signs of lawbreaking – be it computer related or not.”
Companies that “volunteer” would be given legal immunity against angry customers. But as the linked article in The Register points out, legal action by betrayed customers would be unlikely because the information sharing would be secret and not even subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.
Feinstein said organizations won’t be forced to reveal citizens’ private lives to Uncle Sam: it won’t be mandatory for businesses to hand over people’s private records, she claimed.
“If you don’t like the bill, you don’t have to do it,” Feinstein said.
Oh good. That must mean us little folks get to opt out, right? Right?
“So it’s hard for me to understand why we have companies like Apple and Google and Microsoft and others saying they can’t support the bill at this time. You have no reason, because you don’t have to do anything, but there are companies by the hundreds if not thousands that want to participate in this.”
Please name those eager thousands, Ms Feinstein. So we can publicize their good citizenship!
And those companies that don’t “volunteer”? Ms Feinstein’s collaborator Burr has words for them:
… Burr said on the floor that he couldn’t understand the opposition to CISA. Businesses against the new law will put their users at risk, he said, because by not sharing people’s personal information, they will not be given intelligence and heads up on attacks from the Feds.
“When the companies who are against this get hacked, they are going to be begging to cooperate with the federal government,” he opined.
So … “volunteer” and the fedgov will help protect your company (while screwing your users). Fail to “volunteer” and you won’t be warned of known security threats to your operation (thus screwing your users). And we’ll soon have you on your knees, begging.
And no, it’s not too much of a leap to assume that if you fail to “volunteer” to rat on your customers the fedgov’s “security” agencies themselves will become that threat to your company’s security.
This creepy mess, with all its Randian-Orwellian justifications, is expected to come up for a Senate vote soon. Yes, Mr. Burr, Ms. Feinstein. You just go ahead and hammer that new nail in the coffin of U.S. tech industries. Farewell to their hopes of operating overseas, especially in Europe. Farewell to their brightest U.S. customers.
It’s hard to believe that even these petty tyrants and the secretive unintelligent agencies that have no doubt put them up to this can be so obsessed with omnivorous information gathering that they’ve blinded themselves to the ruination they’d be wreaking.
One teeny part of me almost wants to see this bill pass. For their past collaboration with illegal NSA snoopery (known and unknown) the group of companies usually referred to as “the tech giants” deserves the blow that such a law would deliver. Never mind that they’ve so recently found privacy religion.
Then the better part of me quickly says no, don’t let this happen. Not to anybody.
But for cryin’ out loud, if you’re going to do it, at least be honest about what you’re up to.
Oh. But I forget. They’re politicians. And this is the 21st century where saying what you mean and meaning what you say is strictly for us rubes.
I’d expect this sort of thing in over-regulated, over-zoned cities, but when rural Colorado tries to keep people from living off-grid on their own land, we’re truly in a pickle. (Via jed in comments)
Have you ever complained about how some arbitrary credit score governs too much of your life (from the ability to rent an apartment to whether or not you can get a job)? Well, if this article is accurate, you should be glad you don’t live in China. Where your political opinions and those of your friends might soon be scored. (I must stress, though, that I don’t yet know how correct this info is. A writer on the ACLU site confirms the original piece, but more solid info is needed.)
TPP negotiations are finished and the Electronic Frontier Foundation calls the (still largely secret) pact a betrayal.
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.
I really like this tiny house story (via Shel in comments). These folks aren’t trying to be trendy or green or holier-than-thou. They just know what it’s like to have been economically clobbered and don’t want to be vulnerable again.
I’ve been working on my complicated ceiling for nine days now, along with some related projects on the walls and trim. Feels more like nine weeks. And of course, this being an old ill-built house, every step of progress reveals some new problem. I’m making only a few hours progress a day, but at least it’s getting there. Slooooowly.
Why was I not born wealthy so I could sit by a pool sipping a pina colada while someone else gets paid to do this sort of thing?
Oh well, when it’s done, I’ll brim with satisfaction about how I did it all myself. And it was a breeze, really. A breeze.
Speaking of being wealthy …
I love celebrity scandals even when (as is increasingly the case) I have no idea who the celebrities are or what they did to become famous.
Current case in point is a personage known as 50 Cent. Mr. Cent has been for years giving every sign of vast wealth. Not wealth as in “Hey, how ’bout I fund a mission to Mars?” or “You know, I’ll bet I could build an electric car for the masses.” But wealthy as in $40,000 gold chains, multiple Rolls Royces, $1.6 million dollar bets on boxing matches, and a 24-bathroom house with its own private nightclub.
Recently, however, Mr. Cent has declared bankruptcy, apparently in hopes of avoiding a $5 million court judgement against him for posting some woman’s porn video online without her consent. Now he claims and claims and claims again that he was merely pretending to be rich all this time.
Which is more pathetic? Actually being rich and using your wealth to display yourself before a moronic public? Or pretending to be rich because you’re so desperate to win the good opinion of said morons?
Um. Well, being a Clinton, and being a politician in this age of morons, probably she can go at least until next November. Would be delightful if instead of spending the proverbial “one term in office and one in jail” she took her oath of office from her cell in a federal pen.
That’s all I got today. Ceiling trim awaits. I’m closing in on having the first 1/3 of the total job done. That constitutes my proof of concept on complicated, salvaged ceilings. After that, I move the bed back out of the living room, put away the tools and recoup my sanity before embarking on the next 1/3.
Unless the pool and the umbrella drink materialize in the meantime. Then some other poor, sore, sweaty sucker with sawdust in his hair can do all the embarking and all the overhead hammering and nailing. And welcome to it.
Drawing — by hand, even doodling — enhances memory and other cognitive functions.
Remember last week’s remotely hacked Jeep? Chrysler has now recalled … well, basically every car it’s made lately. No need to take your auto to the shop, though: just wait for the USB stick or download the software. OTOH, given the company’s record of mishandling recalls, don’t be too optimistic.
New micro device delivers drugs directly to the brain. Not my brain, buddy!
And yes, the SJWs have gone completely around the bend. Latest target: Dante. The Divine Comedy, one of the great classics of literature*, is no longer fit to be taught in schools because Dante Alighieri, who lived 800 years ago, failed to hold approved modern opinions. Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate indeed!
* Which I once read in the original Italian. Not that I’m bragging or anything. Couldn’t do it today and even then I had to have an Italian dictionary at hand, not to mention a guide to the characters (oddly enough, hell turns out to be largely populated by medieval Italians, many of them Dante’s political enemies). I also skipped most of the Purgatorio and the Paradiso. Nobody, not even Dante, has ever come up with a description of heaven that isn’t a total snooze. The gruesome Inferno is the only part anybody cares about. It may be Great Literature, but entertainmentwise, it’s the medieval equivalent of a slasher flick.
Designer creates a font that reminds you whenever you type any of the thousands of the words that cue the NSA in to the fact that you’re a “terrorist.”
And just a reminder: If you haven’t yet v*ted for The Zelman Partisans there are still several more weeks. You can help not only by v*ting for TZP, but by spreading the word to your blog readers, friends, neighbors, gun club members, Twitter followers, FB friends, etc. It’s clear TZP isn’t going to set the world on fire, but it’s continuing to hold its own.
You may have noticed that BHM had problems yesterday. These were due to a major site overhaul and server move that should eventually produce good results (especially for mobile users).
But the upgrade was handled … um, gracelessly. We bloggers were caught by surprise (I was in the middle of posting at the moment things went unexpectedly haywire) and at least one reader reported getting a message that the site downage was due to a February 2010 upgrade. I gather there are still a few improvements to come, but things should be calmer today.