Chaos Manor View, Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Immigration without assimilation is invasion.
“This is the most transparent administration in history.”
A day of frustrations, and now I’m off to the dentist. They’ve made government more important than the governed, and we no longer have a local Lord or Justice of the Peace or some other feudal institution they have to listen to, to plead to. The Iron Law prevails. But we shall persevere. First, though, the dentist.
Back. No problems. But on the way I passed three separate road repair crews. One was quite large, 19 workers, in colorful luminescent vests to prevent accidents. Of the 19, not one was working; 7 were assembled into a group and may have been receiving instructions from an eighth, but it certainly did not appear that way to me. The others were merely talking. This was 2:45 PM, not likely to be break time. Further on the way I saw two more work crews, one on a job that has been going on for more than a year. Two were moving something, so that could be counted as work; the others were doing nothing. In fairness, there were not many present; possibly this job is done mostly in early mornings and other times of low traffic. The third work site had four workers, none actually working at the moment.
Coming home by a different route (because of the year-long project on my normal route) I spotted a group of four city street repair vehicles. There were no workers in sight, but the yellow emergency lights of one of the trucks were blinking.
This was hardly a random sample, but it reminded me of Moscow in 1989.
I was mindful of all this because the morning was consumed with a trip to Kaiser for feet inspection and toenail clipping; I do that every 3 months. There was no parking near the building I was going to, but I had brought my walker in anticipation of this and went into the parking structure. On the third level up there was a handicap spot just at the elevator; perfect. I drove straight into it, got my walker out, locked my car, and there was an elevator coming so I hurried to catch it. I got into Podiatry ahead of my appointment time as they advised us to, and discovered my handicap placard in the basket of my walker. Too late to go back and display it. I had a feeling of dread, but there was nothing to do about it.
Twenty minutes later I was finished, and five minute after that I was reading a LA City traffic ticket for $363.00, complete with detailed instructions on how to pay it. There was no indication of how I might go to the issuer and explain that I had a placard. There was no Kaiser office to talk with: this was already registered in City Court. There was other fine print on the ticket, but the light wasn’t good enough to read it.
Got home, and called AAA. The Auto club has a robot answering; none of its choices are “Talk to a human” nor were any relevant to my problem. I punched buttons for a while and was always returned to the same irrelevant list of choices. Finally I pushed O. It kept offering me the same list of choices so it could give me an agent who understood what I wanted. Of course most of the choices involved selling me something, or sending roadside assistance, so I kept pressing O. After a while it gave up, and a human operator asked me for my zip code, told me to wait, and I waited. And waited. But in a quarter hour or so I got someone who wanted my Membership Number. I gave her my Premium number, and again my zip code, and explained what I wanted: a chance to explain that I had a handicap placard with a unique number on it. In fact I had gotten it through the auto club after getting my physician to sign off.
All a waste of time, of course, and apparently the girl thought I must be demented to think they could do anything. I had to request a court appearance. She could find out the fine…
That wasn’t needed The whole ticket was optimized to let me just pay $363, but if I used a Visa card it would be $365. It didn’t tell me how to arrange a court appearance, but the Auto Club could tell me how to do that.
Well, that would take a full day, all told, if my previous experiences – admittedly long ago — just to get a court date, and that might or might not be the trial date; it depends on their convenience, not mine. Considering that there are never anywhere near enough handicap parking spaces near the Van Nuys Courthouse, it’s an adventure for someone with a walker to get there. I’d have to get someone to drive me – it’s pretty tricky and grueling, not simple like going to Kaiser – and infested with cops manqué also known as Parking Enforcement looking to double down on how much the city can make off each citizen. Not worth it. Not worth it at all.
So I called the number that let me pay by Visa. Three hundred and sixty five dollars is hardly chicken feed, but the alternatives all seemed worse. I had in fact parked in a handicap spot without displaying the placard, so there was no legal reason to let me off, and up to now my experience was that the city was willing to bend and make it easy to pay, while not even mentioning any way to explain or plead. $365 seems a heavy fine for absent-mindedness, but the likelihood was that I’d pay it, and trying not to would result in losing at least a day to boot.
The Visa-pay number was a robot. It repeated every instruction twice. If it asked for a number, it repeated what you had done and asked for confirmation. There was redundancy and more redundancy; but it worked perfectly, told me not to hang up, trundled, and gave me a confirmation number. About nine digits. If I wanted it repeated, press 1. After enough iterations of that to let me be sure I had the number, I could hang up to “terminate this conversation”.
That ended the morning. Dentist in the afternoon, and watching how the City is spending my money, paying people to – so far as I could see – stand around waiting for something to do. Certainly a robot could do any of the work I saw being done…
This is democracy? And in Detroit, where 91% of public schools are failures, the Teachers Union is conducting a sick-in, i.e. an illegal strike, for higher pay.
And it’s 1730 and coming up on dinner time.
Fox News declares Trump the big winner in the Republican primary in Indiana. It is still too close to call the Democratic vote.
More later on all that.
Later: Cruz gives up. Trump later said of Cruz, “I don’t know if he likes me or doesn’t like me, but have to say he’s on heck of an opponent”, or words to that effect: i.e., I’m willing to forget that we were rivals; now let’s beat Hillary. We’ll see if Cruz takes him up on the offer.
Meanwhile. Hillary could not carry Indiana against a Socialist, who only joined the Democratic Party to run for President, in a Democratic primary. She has the delegates, but only with the superdelegates. Now she needs Bill to charm them. Charm is not her strong suit. They haven’t abandoned her yet, and the wrath of the Clintons is to be feared, but the Democrats aren’t a real Party: they’re a coalition of factions, an uneasy alliance. It must be held together. Probably; but it takes work that isn’t being done. We’ll see.
Can Trump win? Newt Gingrich thinks so. He led the Republicans to victory in the House against what most thought were impossible odds. He’s usually the brightest guy in the room; and he thinks so.
I say wow, indeed. This needs thought. Flying car, no, but flying skateboard?
‘We don’t need an all-out trade war, but a little bit of protectionism can go a long way.’
Agreed. Tariff may well be needed to protect some industries. As Lincoln said, if I buy a shirt fro England I have the shirt, but England has the money; if I buy it from New England, I may pay more but the money stays in the United States. He meant that Free Trade may be a good thing in some cases; in others we need to consider it.
Lincoln didn’t have to worry about entitlements. If I buy from China I may pay less, but I still have the obligation to pay into the fund that the unemployed American (citizen or merely resident) is now entitled to; and I may have to pay for those entitlements for a long time. It might be cheaper to buy more expensive goods and not have to pay entitlements. Economists do not have entitlements in their models; those are political externalities, not part of economic models I have seen
The Presidency of Barrack Hussein Obama
The Presidency of Barrack Hussein Obama has been both seminal and monumental. It has been a presidency of historic firsts too obvious and numerous to mention in detail, but most importantly he is the first president in history not to see a 3% increase in the GDP during at least one calendar year:
This makes me scratch my head when he talks about what an economic master he is during a New York Times interview:
I look back and wonder where 28 years went (counting back to Reagan) and I wonder if we’re going to have four or eight of Trump or Clinton, H. We’re on the hook for what may become 32 to 36 years of regress.
We can only pray that Trump or Clinton surprises us in positive, helpful, effective, and miraculous ways. And my miraculous, I mean exactly that. I’m talking immaculate conception, resurrection, rapture type miraculous.,
I hate to say this, but this country may be about to learn why no atheists seem to exist in foxholes.
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Joshua Jordan, KSC
Actually, we can grow our way out of this, over time, if we can stop the bleeding; another doubling of the debt would be quite serious. Neither the Republican Establishment nor the Democrat Free Stuff Party seem concerned. Perhaps they know something I don’t.
Police Power to Detain Drivers
[Pournelle’s comment] And this is all right with you? I need€™d need time to think about this. Is this not exonerating false arrest? Now true, if the car is full of contraband, the officer will probably not be punished, but will the drugs be admissible?
I do not have a problem with this decision. To the extent I have a problem, my problem lies back in Terry v. Ohio (1968), where the Court held that an officer can temporarily detain a subject where there is no probable cause but where the officer has a reasonable suspicion of criminal behavior based on articulable facts. The court held that where a reasonable person/officer would believe a brief investigatory detention was appropriate, the subject was not being “unreasonably” detained. That’s what happened in the recent 9th Circuit case. The police had – as a result of a wiretap – reason to believe that a person (matching the subject) would be driving a car (matching the subject’s) at a specific time and place and would be transporting illegal drugs. Upon seeing a matching subject in a matching car in a matching time and place, the police had a reasonable belief that the subject was engaged in criminal behavior. Based on Terry v. Ohio, the police had the power to briefly detain the subject to investigate whether criminal activity was present. While the subject was being detained, a drug dog arrived and alerted to the presence of drugs in the car. At this point, the officers seized the car to preserve evidence while a search warrant was obtained. The car was searched after a warrant was obtained and illegal drugs were discovered. The only wrinkle discussed in the opinion – and which incensed your original correspondent – was that after the police pulled the subject over, the police falsely told the subject that he had been pulled over for a traffic violation. The defendant claimed that the drug evidence should be excluded because he did not actually commit a traffic violation. The police claimed that the evidence should be admitted because the stop was valid based on Terry v. Ohio. Given that police have always been allowed to lie while investigating a crime, the Ninth Circuit’s ruling is not really novel. My concerns regarding the Ninth Circuit opinion revolve around an issue not discussed in the opinion — how long the subject was detained before a drug dog was brought to the scene. Although there is no firm limit of how long a Terry stop can last, the likelihood that the detention will be found unreasonable increases the longer the stop lasts.
Amazon Quietly Removes Encryption Support from its Gadgets
“With great power comes great irresponsibility.”
Are our Progressive Agitators the new Brown Shirts
“Bill” Whittle thinks so. He makes this assertion and pretty decently proves it in the following video. I’m glad I’m no longer the only person noticing this savage resemblance between the behavior of the Progressive movement and that of Hitler’s SA, his Brown Shirts. If they win no good can come from it.
Fascism is a form of Socialism, according to Mussolini and Count Ciano. Marx said class warfare was inevitable. Lenin solved by that by eliminating all classes but proletariat. Mussolini decreed that the classes need not be eliminated – indeed were inevitable – but could be forced by the State to work together. That makes the trains run on time. He added some old fashioned Roman Imperialism, but had not the skills of his Roman ancestors. He died proclaiming the inevitability of Socialism.
One problem I’ve uncovered with current autonomous vehicle tech is a large part of the navigation is done via onboard maps.
Of course the maps are highly detailed, and supplemented by LIDAR, but they are still maps and as Alfred Korzybski taught, “The map is not the territory.”
More than once I’ve had online mapping services literally tell me to drive through a brick wall or other inaccessible terrain to arrive at my destination. While I would imagine Google will undertake the Herculean task of preventing such FUBAR events, I still believe Murphy has a rule that applies here.
Here’s a thought experiment that might apply: a half ton vehicle moving at forty K pH as more kinetic energy then, oh, let’s say thirty rounds from an AK – 47. Are we ready to have autonomous security guards with AK – 47’s roaming our neighborhoods?
I would personally benefit greatly from autonomous vehicles, since I’ve been unable to drive for the better part of a decade. I’m just not sure it’s a good idea, yet.
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.