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2019-04-16 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 475 references
[Comments enabled]  

This sort of outrageous behavior is a huge part of why entrepreneurship is dying in this nation and beyond.

The U.S. has long exported its culture abroad — think Coca-Cola, Hollywood and hip-hop. Facebook was once praised for spreading free-speech values. But the world is pushing back with different values, which Facebook is importing to the U.S. with the company's ban on white extremist content.

The ban goes into effect worldwide this week. Experts and advocates who've long lobbied Facebook to pull potentially dangerous speech say the move — which is wrapped up in the U.S. culture wars — is the result of international pressure forcing the company's hand.

A Facebook spokesperson says that under the new rules, users can't post in a celebratory way on its News Feed or Instagram: "I'm a white nationalist!" But they can post: "I'm a black nationalist!"

This isn't just Facesucker.

It's everywhere.

Its discrimination.

And, when it applies to public accommodation or employment it's illegal.

AirBNB is also involved in this sort of crap.  

It’s a conference that regularly attracts controversy, protestors, and headlinesbut it did not seem to be on Airbnb’s radar until Gizmodo reached out to the company after seeing attendees’ leaked discussions of using the platform to book rooms during the event. Airbnb has previously said white nationalists are not welcome on its platform—when it canceled reservations of suspected attendees of the Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017. Airbnb said then in a statement to Gizmodo that it was committed to preemptively banning all users who violate the company’s Community Standards. But how much is the company keeping up with its commitment to keep members of hate groups out of its hosts’ beds?

Is it hate to celebrate the success of people who look like you?  Apparently so -- if you're white.

If you're black, no.  If you're Muslim, no.  CAIR can hold rallies where Omar extolls Muslim Nationalism.  They're not de-platformed and neither is she.

Does a hotel (or AirBNB) have the right to do this?  Likely not, so says 42 USC Chapter 21.

Now can you be banned based on your individual actions?  Yes, provided those "individual actions" do not consist of exercising Constitutional Rights -- which includes the First Amendment.

Here's the problem when you get down to it -- if lawlessness in public facilities such as this is tolerated only in certain instances then why would anyone who is not in the "protected" groups (e.g. black, Muslim, etc) set up a business?

You can be attacked relentlessly and illegally and there's not jack you can do about it.

But the same person trying to set up the same business who is Muslim, black (or even better both!) can do damn near anything they want and not be discriminated against.  Including, incidentally, illegally screwing you.  Which they will, by the way, since they're "immune."

This was bad enough when the entire "minority and female set-aside" programs were first put into place in the late 1980s.  Now it's pervasive and open enough that it's frank, open and blatant racism against white men -- and celebrated instead of prosecuted.

**** that.

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2019-04-07 08:33 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 389 references
[Comments enabled]  

This is flat-out illegal and stated in public:

In a recent interview with Think Progress, the 63-year-old Hall of Fame coach, said she would never hire another male assistant coach and believed women can do more to help each other. When asked by the media outlet if she ever planned on hiring another male coach, she said, “No.” McGraw has had an all-female staff for the past seven years.

“Women need the opportunity. They deserve the opportunity,” she said.

Heh bitch:

Sex Discrimination & Work Situations

The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.

There's probably a poster put up on this (and other matters) in the break room(s) around the college.  There had better be, because the fact is that this is the law.  It doesn't matter you agree with it or not.

A plain statement of both intent to violate it and evidence you already have through the existing composition of your workforce is actionable -- and should be.  It should bring instant attention from both the EEOC and the school, which is jointly and severably liable for allowing this coach to continue to have a job after announcing, in public, her intent to violate the law and that she previously has violated the law.

What's the point of a law if it isn't enforced?  And tell me again why I should ever hire another woman -- or, for that matter, why any man ever should so long as this woman still has a job?

I don't care if she's a successful coach or not.

What she's doing is flat-out illegal and has been for decades.

Further, this is not just her as a singular person.  By making this statement in public and still having a job 15 minutes later the entire University administration has approved her position and declaration of intent to break the law all the way up to the President of the School.

So you think I, as a proved successful entrepreneur, should set up another company and hire some people eh?  Why would I when myriad examples of this sort of outrageously-illegal conduct brazenly announced in public draw exactly zero response?  Now, in addition to ordinary business risk I have to break the law to be competitive because everyone else with any form of such "special status" whether that be by sex, race, national origin or simple extreme wealth is and will break the law in competing against me and, since I'm neither female or a minority, and when starting said new business won't have billions of dollars either, I have to accept the risk of huge fines or even imprisonment in order to have a fair shot at success.

Until that changes I'm not going to do it; I will not employ people, I will not stand up a new enterprise, I will not take said business risk and as such the potential for very significant taxes to be paid -- the last time around totaling in the many millions between income and employment taxes from all the people who I did employ and the jobs I did create -- will NOT occur again.

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2019-03-26 08:45 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 321 references
[Comments enabled]  

Are you surprised by the Avenatti indictment?

How about that another "celebrity" attorney is allegedly a co-conspirator (but has not -- at least thus far -- been charged)?

Did you excuse Hillary's email server -- despite it being massively, felony-level illegal?

Did you excuse all the mortgage fraud in 2004-2006?  Did your next door neighbor have a $500,000 house on a $50,000 a year salary?  How could that ever possibly work?  It wasn't his fault though, right?  Nor was it the bank's fault. Was Tinkerbell involved?

How about the banks that packaged all that crap up and said all those borrowers were qualified -- knowing they were not?  Tink did that too, right?

Or after it all blew up the myriad scams by the banks in processing the foreclosures -- with forged paperwork?  That was ok too, right?  After all, the people in the houses deserved it.  Or maybe a Unicorn forged the documents.

How do two people die of drug overdoses in a big Democrat donor's house in the space of 18 months?  He had nothing to do with either -- but he was friends with Hillary and has been captured on film with her.  I'm sure it's just a coincidence; I know Hollywood and environs have a lot of drugs being used but might you tell me what the odds are on this?  Oh by the way the first guy who died was found dead in his living room, naked on a mattress and the place was littered with drug paraphernalia.  The cops said there was insufficient evidence to file charges.

How about the medical scams?  You do realize that in Detroit the average car insurance bill is almost $5,400 a year, right?  Do you know why?  It's not the rip-off rate of cars; while it's high it's not THAT high -- it's that medical providers charge 200, 300 even 500% more for the same treatment if you were in a car accident as opposed to walking your dog.  I lived in the state when No-Fault started, and it didn't impact price much -- but what it did do was stop the lawsuit lottery.  It took the medical system a little while to figure out how to******everyone in the state blind, and now they do.  Number of indictments over this outrageously felonious practice?  Zero.  Percentage of lower and middle-income people buttraped by this?  100%.

Same deal everywhere in the United States, but with drugs, procedures and everything else medical.  Why is it legal for a hospital to charge one person $4,000 for a procedure and another person $20,000 for the same procedure?  It isn't, especially when they conspire to keep you from knowing that in advance before they treat you.  It's not legal to take advantage of someone in duress (e.g. charging you $20 for a gallon of gas when a hurricane is coming, and $2.50 the rest of the time) but nobody goes to prison when they charge you $100,000 because you're flat on your back and can't negotiate -- or choose where you're taken.  Your local grocery or gas station has to post a price and charge everyone the same price.  Why doesn't the hospital, doctor's office or dentist?

I can literally go on for a dozen pages and if you've read the articles here since 2007 when I began publication (more than 12,000 of them at the current time) the majority have dealt with one scam or another.  Whether it be The Fed illegally buying Fannie and Freddie Paper (the law says nothing that doesn't have full faith and credit of the US Government, with only a handful of specific exceptions in short-term municipal paper, can be purchased or held), the Fed's illegal 2% inflation target (the law says "stable prices"), the myriad scams during the housing crash, banks paying dividends out of negative loan amortization (which are not money) in 2007 (said bank -- WaMu -- failed about a year later and cost the taxpayers a crap-ton of money), another bank (Colonial) that "magically" had roughly a third of their alleged "assets" turn into vapor in about one month from their last quarterly report (flatly impossible), more medical scams than I can shake a stick at such as being billed $20,000 for a $100 vial of snakebite antivenom, false affidavits to get FISA warrants or something else the fact is that you literally cannot count the number of outrageous acts that are deliberately ignored by law enforcement and politicians on a daily basis nor can you accurately tabulate the trillions stolen from the American citizen every single year.

Indeed just the medical scams alone cost Americans roughly $3 trillion every year -- and that's just in one area of the economy!  Out of the 20-odd trillion in GDP how much of it is stolen via various schemes and scams?  A quarter of it is likely a low estimate.

It doesn't matter if the party in power this week or next is Democrat or Republican -- it doesn't change.  You can hate Hillary (and vote for Trump) or hate Trump (and vote for Hillary) but nothing materially changes.  You can hate Obama (or love him) too -- but nothing changed then either.  Same with Clinton and two Bushes, whether you voted for them or not.

Why do you, the American public, put up with this crap?  Why isn't there a gallows being erected on the National Mall right now with a couple of million Americans taking turns driving the nails and cutting the boards with a handsaw, one whack with the hammer or one stroke of the saw per person at a time while refusing to leave and take it down until this crap is stopped?

Do you really think that if the people of this nation decided they were done with tolerating this garbage that it would last an hour?  How are the groceries going to get to the store if the people won't drive the trucks?  How many eggs,  gallons of milk or pounds of hamburger are in the store if nobody handles and processes them?  How is the water supply going to be sanitized in a big city if the truck carrying chlorine dioxide doesn't get driven or the chemical plant has nobody to run it and thus none is produced?  How will the waste treatment plant work that processes your **** (literally) if everyone walks out?  How long do the lights stay on if the people who run the power plant shut it off and walk out, sticking their middle finger in the air?  How long does the gasoline last in the tank at the gas station if the refinery isn't running because everyone walks off the job and says this crap stops right now and we're not working until it does?

Why do you sit for a quarter to a third of every single dollar you earn being stolen via these scams and frauds -- on top of taxes -- and why do you think our political process is any different?   Make an effort to invent, produce, strive to get ahead? WHY SHOULD ANYONE DO IT when it will just be stolen and the people who steal it -- or all the money -- will NEVER be prosecuted, say much less go to jail?

Are you ever going to give a crap and do something about any of this or will you literally have it all stolen from you first?

Just asking....

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2019-03-23 11:15 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 166 references
[Comments enabled]  

Oh do **** off you old coot.

At the wreckage near Bishoftu in a small pastoral farm field and in the Java Sea off Indonesia lie the remains of the early victims of arrogant, algorithm-driven corner cutting, by reckless corporate executives and their captive government regulators.

You know, that something is 50+ years old in basic design doesn't make it bad, especially when it hasn't failed a bunch of times in those 50 years that could be pinned on some inherent vice.

To the contrary.

Nader had a use at one time.  Then again my family owned a Corvair in my youth and we didn't die.  In fact it was my mother's daily driver, so you can bet I rode in it as a kid more times than I could count, more than a few of them without any seat belt on too.  And she wasn't all that good of a driver either -- certainly not up to racing standards.  Can I tell you about the time she hit a bridge?  No, really, she did.....

Don't get me wrong -- as my other articles point out there's plenty of finger-pointing to do with the 737MAX, with most of it aimed at the MCAS system and its poorly documented characteristics.

I'll even go so far (and have) as to call five-alarm bullcrap on allowing a 0.6 degree control authority to turn into a 2.5 degree one without the entire fault and risk analysis being re-run up and down the line, including the impact on CG and cargo carrying capacity.  After all it's not the authority the pilot may require at cruise altitude and speed (he probably has enough to rip the tail off the plane if he could use the whole thing rapidly there) -- it's down low and slow when that's going to matter.

I can also raise a big stink about the fact I'm quite sure (although I don't have a flight or system manual for the plane) that there are multiple other sources of imputed attitude (angle-of-attack) data available, and as a result it shouldn't be all that hard for the flight management system to know that a sensor is full of crap in short order -- including on the ground at power-up when the angle of attack is (obviously) not some wildly-divergent figure.  Not doing that right up front -- and charging extra to compare data in the air is IMHO flat-out culpably wrong.  Digging back into why the system didn't cross-check as a matter of routine (that is, why someone or a bunch of someones thought it was not necessary or didn't consider it, and whether that was a pure revenue play with excuses paving the road) is something we deserve answers to, because it's something I would have thought of -- and I don't do flight control computers.

And I can make a stink about the fact the the previous generation 737 aircraft (from what I've been told by a couple of people who drive 'em) apparently disconnected auto-trim on a converse manual control input and this one does not (which makes sense; if you go the opposite way the computer has clearly gotten it wrong) so if the pilots (and carriers) were told this plane flies exactly like the old one and relied on that, well, no it doesn't.

I can take an even bigger beef with statistical models used to "predict" failure rates.  I love those lines of BS that are commonly run in the computer world; 1x10^-14 or -15 bit-error rates, for example, or "2 million hours MTBF" that sound like "oh you mean that never happens" -- and since you believe that you never need to make known-good backups too.  Let me know who you are if you buy that bullcrap so I can prepare to bill you at $1,000+/hour to try recover your general ledger and all the data that went into it (never mind the rest of your business data) when you lose it, because you eventually will.  Oh, and may I remind you up front my odds of complete success in that circumstance -- that is, you lose little or nothing and at the end you're mostly ok business-wise -- are about one in five?

Or the reality of computers generally, which is that they run on electrons being stored, moved around and compared, and guess what -- there are these things called cosmic rays that can flip bits without warning in same.  Happen often?  No.  Does it happen?  Uh, yeah, it does.  Can this be guarded against?  In some cases (e.g. ECC memory) but not all (e.g. same hit on a logic gate in a peripheral, etc.)  Do aircraft systems shield against this?  I'm sure they do; military systems do, but is that shielding perfect and are defenses like ECC perfect?  I hope nobody's counting on that to keep them from making smoking holes in the ground.....

None of this, however, changes that a human pilot had quite some time to figure out what was going on or simply decide all the computers are full of crap, I'm turning them off and flying the plane.  At what point was that the right call?  Obviously before the ground was hit, but also obviously neither crew did it.  Is this human-factors engineering, people too damned reliant on technology, ****ty training or.... something else?  Hellifiknow but don't you think we better figure it out before we make more smoking holes?  For all we know the second auger job might have ended the same way but not started the same way and there's some evidence of that (e.g. reports of an abnormally high take-off speed; unsubstantiated at this point since the data is not yet available from the FDR.)

And then there's what drove this entire thing, which was carriers demanding "same type" so they didn't have to spend much if any money on retraining and such -- and not just for pilots either, but also for ground crews and related things.  There's a hell of a lot more than just a plane involved in flying a plane, in short, as anyone who has ever been to an airport knows.

Finally whatever you think of the professionalism of the crews involved (that is, are the carriers outside the US hiring competent people, in the main) there's one glaring fact -- Lion Air, the first 737MAX to go down, had a similar fault to what appears to have crashed it the day prior and for inexplicable reasons the aircraft was not immediately put on the ground, the problem reported, including up the line to Boeing and the aircraft tagged out (grounded) until the cause was found.

Might that have led to a resolution path before anyone got killed?

Maybe, maybe not.

But it didn't happen, and that one's not on Boeing since that flight did land safely.

Or is it on Boeing?

This much we do know -- modern aircraft engines, at least, send a lot of data in real time to manufacturers and so do modern aircraft avionics and flight management systems.  Malaysia's lost hull in which we have had reported said system was intentionally disabled, anyone?  So..... was the data sent, to whom was it sent, who if anyone got it on the previous day's flight with Lion Air when they had the computer go crazy but they lived and if someone did get it why didn't they instantly go ape**** when they got it and ground the damned aircraft?

I want an answer to that question too because again -- but for that, if the data was sent and someone got it 300 people would be alive.

Finally don't be so sure US crews are that "vastly" superior.  We now know that a United Express plane missed the runway entirely in Maine.  The original report was that it "slid off" the runway in icy conditions; that turns out to have been wrong.  On the first attempt they went around on a missed approach but on the second they landed between the runway and taxiway on what was probably (if there hadn't been snow!) grass, ripping the gear off the aircraft.  Oops.

So let's do get to the bottom of this and let's not just change the software and call it a day.  Specifically, let's make damn sure that if the MCAS system retains it's 2.5 degree trim change authority that all of the calculations and fault analysis related to that are run with that figure and the 0.6 degree figures are voided, meaning that until that's complete the plane doesn't fly again.

What falls out of that does; it might be nothing, it might be something.  It might even be a bad something, force MCAS to basically go away and with that all the retraining and certification issues come back with the cert as an entirely different type.  Or maybe something less is required -- but let's have the formal verification re-run and know its right.

What I've said before and will say again is that the sort of rot that leads to these incidents doesn't happen in a day or a week.  It takes years, even decades.  Likewise it can't be fixed in a day or a week either.

Thiokol, if you remember, ignored multiple engineers who had told them that the seals on the shuttle booster rocket were unsafe at low temperatures.  But their warnings were ignored, and despite a director for Thiokol refusing to sign the launch recommendation -- he believed the concerns were valid -- NASA launched anyway.  Challenger was destroyed along with everyone aboard.

I suspect there's a decent pile of crap sandwiches to be served here, as I've said before, and I can't come up with any good reason for that control authority deviation to not be run back through the full set of analysis.  That not being done, along with the reset behavior not being part of the analysis, and it appears it wasn't, is inexcusable.

But then again so is not grounding a plane when everyone on board damn near dies and only because there was a competent pilot in the jump seat did they figure it out and successfully complete the flight -- then the same apparent fault kills everyone on board the next day.

Figure it out and nail the responsible parties to the cross -- Nader-style scaremongering garbage serves nobody.

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2019-03-22 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 249 references
[Comments enabled]  

I think we've reached the point of maximum stupidity for our media.

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - The captain of a doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight did not get a chance to practice on his airline’s new simulator for the Boeing 737 MAX 8 before he died in a crash with 157 others, a pilot colleague said.

That's because the FAA and other certifying authorities didn't require it and the reason they didn't require it is that Boeing intentionally designed the MCAS system to circumvent what would otherwise be a requirement to do so in order to commercially fly the plane.

Guess who wanted it that way?

The Airlines.

Rather than say No! Boeing gave them exactly what they wanted so their pilots would not have to take additional training beyond a short iPAD presentation before flying the aircraft and additionally charged extra for a software change and warning light that the two AOA sensors on the aircraft did not agree.  Why did Boeing do that?  Because they could and Boeing's corporate culture had rotted to a degree that allowed the maximization of revenue even when it impacted safety and our government, which should have prevented that crap being pulled with a critical flight control element, did not do so because the FAA had been corrupted too.

In addition we now know that before the Lion Air crash of the same type and model of aircraft a few months ago the same thing that crashed the plane happened on the previous flight but a pilot who was flying "jump" (in the jumpseat) was able to help diagnose and overcome the issue.

The plane was neither diverted immediately following the event to the closest usable runway and landed nor was it taken out of service until the cause of the malfunction was identified and run down so as to make sure it couldn't happen again along with public reports being filed so everyone was on notice and corrections could be made -- before the first hull and over 150 people were lost.

Those two decisions were not Boeing's -- they were a matter of corporate culture at the carrier involved.

Finally, Reuters is now reporting that the MAX simulator isn't an actual simulator of the aircraft as it behaves!

Ethiopian Airlines said on Thursday its pilots had completed training recommended by Boeing and approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on differences between the previous 737 NG aircraft and the 737 MAX version.

They were also briefed on an emergency directive after the Indonesia crash, which was incorporated into manuals and procedures, it said in a tweet. The 737 MAX simulator was not designed to replicate the MCAS system problems, it added.

In other words the airline followed the rules put forward by the plane manufacturer and regulatory apparatus and, even worse, the simulator isn't an accurate simulation and as such even if the pilot had attempted to train on that specific scenario in the simulator he wouldn't have learned about the potential problem and thus not had to run it down.

If any of those four outrageous decisions had not occurred -- any of the four -- both planes and more than 300 people would still be here and that's a fact.

In addition the plane is in service, including in the United States, but there were only four simulators available worldwide at the time of the Lion Air crash and none in the United States, never mind that the simulator doesn't actually replicate the behavior of the MCAS system!  There will be no simulators available at Southwest Airlines in the United States, for example, until October of this year -- roughly six months from now -- yet Southwest is flying the aircraft.

The entire purpose of a strong regulatory structure around highly technical, inherently dangerous and yet very useful things we all want in society -- air travel, nuclear power, various chemicals that are produced for both consumer and industrial use, automobiles and more -- is to encourage a strong "safety first" culture within these firms through the implied threat of regulatory spankings before people get killed and to insure that said spankings happen if greed and corrosion of the corporate culture intrude anyway.

The rot that leads to this sort of thing does not happen in a week or a year.  It requires a long time -- years or even decades -- to percolate through an organization and erode the culture and structure of the firm along with a deliberate series of actions to infiltrate, tamper with and destroy the regulatory structures that would otherwise have stomped on that crap like a piano falling on your head -- long before people get killed.

Don't fool yourself further folks: It cannot be fixed quickly either.

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