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This story is allegedly about border control, but is it really?

The sheriff doesn't like the idea of the National Guard showing up in Texas.  He wants money, not agents.

That sounds familiar.  Let's see what he tells us:

Chief Deputy Sheriff Benny Martinez helps oversee a budget of $615,000. His force has dropped to four staff deputies from 10 as employees left for better pay and benefits elsewhere. The deputies earn less than $25,000 a year with no health or life insurance.

Ok, so it's $25,000 per deputy with no benefit costs.  And there's 4 of them, so that's $100,000 a year.

Where does the other $515,000 go?

He needs more money eh?  What, $500 large isn't enough to cover his salary, five cars and a handful of radios, guns and the ammunition to remain proficient with them?

Pull my finger Sheriff.

Now consider this: Every branch of government is doing the same crap.  One man's fraud is another man's paycheck, and it is this, above all else, that drives the spending binge at state, local and federal levels.

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Well well, look what the cat dragged in....

Since July 28, the U.S. Senate has held two hearings, and the White House has released a new report and a video spot. The central message is that delay in addressing climate change is dangerous.

As they say, caveat emptor—buyer beware.

The campaign’s centerpiece is a report from President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) warning that failure to act now would cost upwards of $150 billion annually, just for starters.

....

For one thing, the CEA imagines a world in which every country adopts an ideal set of policies that reduce their greenhouse gas emissions at the lowest cost possible. Its report cites a large number of studies done by climate modelers along these lines.

The catch is that the people who do that computer modelling have been moving toward realization of how unrealistic and unhelpful those studies are.

This, if you recall, has been my argument all along.

Even if I give you the alleged impact of "climate change" and even if I give you that man is causing it, neither of which is supportable on the evidence at a level that withstands scientific scrutiny there is a final, functional and indisputable fact: The rest of the world will not go along because doing so means an end to their economic advancement.

It's not just advancement -- it's also cost.  As is noted in the cited article the CEA's "assumptions" include a belief that the governments and policies involved will be enacted at the lowest possible cost.  This is a fantasy; as I have pointed out repeatedly, including in my missive By The Numbers, if we cared about the "lowest possible cost" for anything in government we would have no poor people and you could pay cash for all of your medical expenses -- even, with very few exceptions, catastrophic events.

Instead we have a system that costs 10x what other, free-market systems cost for the same procedures among first-world nations, including those such as Japan.

At its core the facts are that the "damage" to US interests are likely to be minor or non-existent, even if the underlying precepts are correct, and I do not believe they are.  But if they turn out to be correct the best path of action is mitigation strategies in those parts of the world where impact would occur -- not only will that be more likely to succeed, since it doesn't depend on anyone other than those who choose to participate, it will be cheaper besides.

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Dear Kerry;

I appreciated your one-liner email to me containing a link to Trottwatch, a hitpiece web site dedicated to the man who beat you in the primary.  There wasn't really anything there that I didn't already know about Mr. Trott, who if you remember I had some harsh words for in the wake of your defeat.

Nonetheless since you persist in sending me targeted emails I think a fair response is in order, and rather than do so privately I'll reply in public.

There is this oft-repeated lie in the media about various acts taken by people and their impact.  We saw this in the wake of 2008 in the fawning presented by the media in regards to Hank Paulson and Ben Benrnake, with the oft-repeated claim that they had "saved the world" -- or at least the US economy.

The problem with such a claim is that it rests on nothing more than conjecture, being bereft of evidence.  Indeed, the sort of interventionism that both engaged in has parallels that are not so kind in the hindsight of history, including the years of The Depression when our government likewise engaged in financial repression, an orgy of deficit spending and outright currency devaluation.  While the means and methods were different this time the intended acts and goals were not.  Nor are the results; the common man's purchasing power, on average, has taken a huge hit -- just as it did in the 1930s, and for the same reasons.

It also flies in the face of actual evidence, specifically 1920/21, where the US Federal Government and Federal Reserve, despite the bleating of one Hoover, yes, that Hoover, refused to intervene in what at the time was the greatest deflationary depression in the history of the United States before or since in terms of rate of change over time.  The reason we don't recognize it as a depression in our history books is that it was over almost before it began; by refusing to intervene the bad debt and bad economic decisions forcibly cleared themselves via bankruptcy and fire sale within a year.  Within 18 months the economy had posted the fastest rate of expansion in production along with the most-rapid return to full employment in the nation's history, before or since.

So why do I bring this up, as it appears to be entirely-disjoint to your missive, and indeed your failed term as a US Representative -- a term that is about to draw to a close?

Simple: An appeal to the counterfactual is the only defense for your actions, and yet it's the worst possible defense one can raise, given that you accomplished exactly nothing by performing political fellatio upon John Boehner and his cohorts in the US House.

You had laid before your feet two points of attack on the economic issues facing this country by myself and others: The legalized counterfeiting that exists in deficit spending and the monopolist protections in the health industry that have expanded cost by a factor at least 5 and likely as much as 10 over what a free-market system would leave us with.  The former has destroyed the purchasing power of all but the top 1% of Americans and the latter has been exploited to shove sham "insurance" and Obamacare, neither of which should be necessary at all for anyone, down our throats.

Taking on either, had you succeeded, would have had a profound impact on the future of this nation. I and others were willing to spend whatever time was necessary to make sure you had the facts, figures and presentations necessary to take that case to the people and to Congress - but we were flatly ignored from the minute you set foot in Washington DC.

Of course there was no guarantee you would have succeeded, even if you managed to recruit others.  And neither I or anyone else was going to blow smoke up your ass on the number of people who would be interested in that fight -- I bet Justin Amash could have been recruited, and perhaps a few others, but it would have been a long shot.  That's the counterfactual again; there's no way to know, because it never happened.

But here's the rub -- what you wound up with, because you didn't go down that road and instead stood with Boehner, McMorris-Rodgers and Ryan, who have no interest in doing anything about either of those issues, was, in retrospect, nothing.

Zip.

Zero.

Nada.

Zero initiatives, zero accomplishment.

You didn't even get a second term.

So measured against that, Kerry, what was the right choice?  After all, what would a second term alone have gotten you? That's all, right?  The personal aggrandizement of "Congressman" next to your name along with the salary and benefits.  

Let's face it: You didn't get your name on any important legislation, you didn't accomplish anything, your record is blank.

Well, except for the political fellatio you performed for your "master" Mr. Boehner -- but I don't know that I'd call that something to be proud of.

So here you are, about to leave Congress in a few short months and come home, tail between your legs.  Your district is about to go to either a man who has evicted an untold number of people from their homes after they were sold bogus mortgage products, with many foreclosed upon with robosigned documents that should have been laughed out of court or, much less-likely, to a faceless Democrat.  Neither will advance anything that could be credited as an agenda that will help the common man and woman in your district or anywhere else.  Indeed if Trott wins he might actually manage to get more protections put in place to advance further the legalized robbery of the common man via unbacked credit creation and then bogus foreclosures in the housing industry.

But here's the bottom line Kerry: Arguing that one should vote for the lesser of evils is still asking someone to vote for the Devil.  Your entreaty in that regard fell on deaf ears, as it should.  Even if you had taken on those issues and lost 100% of the battle you could have taken the position with the voters that a vote for you was a vote for advancement of issues that are important to the common person in your district instead of arguing that one should vote against Trott.

You obviously don't see it that way because if you did you wouldn't have sent me your one-liner link -- your email would have contained an apology instead.

Be gone from my association like a fart in the wind, Sir.

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Once again, into the breach I go...

The Federal Communications Commission, which could soon allow phone and cable companies to block or interfere with Internet content, has been deluged with more than a million comments. Last week, President Obama offered some thoughts of his own by saying that the Internet should be left open “so that the next Google or the next Facebook can succeed.”

The F.C.C. is trying to decide whether telecommunications companies should be able to strike deals with powerful firms like Netflix and Amazon for faster delivery of videos and other data to consumers. Mr. Obama’s statement about “the next Google” highlights one of the biggest problems with such agreements: Small and young businesses will not be able to compete against established companies if they have to pay fees to telephone and cable companies to get content to users in a timely manner.

That's a hell of an assertion -- the problem is that it's not only bereft of evidence the actual evidence says exactly the opposite happens.

What evidence?  Facebook, Google, Youtube, LinkedIn, AOL and more.

In other words, pretty-much every Internet "innovation" in terms of consumer and business experience over the last 20 years.

Huh, you might say?  These are new proposals for "fast lanes"!

Nope.  This is in fact a proposal to halt how the Internet has always worked and change how it not only works today but has since I was involved in the building out access for ordinary people from the start -- specifically, from 1993 forward when NCSA Mosaic showed up.

See, there have always been "fast lanes."  We called them private interconnects, and they were a salient feature of not only the early Internet but have featured in it since.  Rick Adams and Marty Schoffstall, two founders of UUNet and PSINet respectively, put in place private interconnects between their firms to pass traffic that was coming from one and destined to the other.  They did so because it made more sense to do that in certain instances than it did to take traffic to public interchange points.

I got a few proposals over the years to privately interconnect MCSNet with others, including competitors.  We never found one to be worth it, but evaluated all of them.  Why wouldn't we?  If I can save money by doing that along with improving my customer's experience, why wouldn't I?

That's what drives such things in an open and competitive world.  You want a good experience as my customer and I want to both provide it and reduce my costs.  To the extent that privately interchanging traffic with you does that for both of us, that is, I judge that there's a reasonable benefit rather than an attempt to cost shift your operational expenses to me, I'm inclined to say yes.

By banning such things you increase costs, in some cases by a hell of a lot.  For example there were places in Chicago where I could purchase a clear-channel DS-3 or an "Ethernet" link at a very reasonable cost.  In fact it was damn cheap if you wanted to go to the right places.  The same DS3 pulled to the Ameritech NAP, the public Chicago meet point, was in many cases more expensive because I could only buy it from Ameritech and had to pay their port charge at the NAP besides, with them having a monopoly on the last foot of connection since the facility was in their building.

Now you may retort but you can exchange traffic with everyone else at the NAP if you go there, and that's true.  But whether that outweighs the price differential depends on many things, such as what current capacity I have installed and to where and whom, how much of that capacity I'm using, and whether or not on-balance I get a better-performing network and/or lower costs by going to the NAP or installing the private link.

By precluding business analysis and demanding that by law I do one rather than the other you are going to inevitably increase costs and decrease service levels for a given dollar of money spent.  The reason is simple: If it makes sense to not go to the meet point and do a public exchange instead I need no incentive to do so.  But if you force me to the public meet point all the time, precluding the private agreement by law, in those cases where that would make more sense to privately exchange traffic I now must spend more or get less, and often both.

The solution to the perceived (yet not actual) "harm" people are talking about is to enforce anti-trust laws where actual violations take place.  But one of the loudest screamers about this, Netflix, is itself attempting to use its market power in an abusive fashion to force other parties to bear its network expense.

The fact of the matter is that so-called fast lanes are why we got an Internet that was built as well, as quickly, and as cheaply for everyone as it was and is.  It is the few, most-particularly like Hastings over at Netflix, who are turning history on its ear and attempting to force others to eat their operational expenses.

The FCC should reject this attempt, as I pointed out in my public submission on their proposal.

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There has been much digital and soy-based ink spilled over the last few days on Robin's apparent decision to end his own life.  Among the less-savory revelations are that the NY Daily News was paying particular attention to "search optimization" in their stories on his death; after all, making sure you top the Google search list is the most-important aspect to this story, is it not?

Then there are those who are "outraged" that the details of his suicide were published; are those taking cheap shots at the Sheriff's Department in California doing so because Mr. Williams was a notable celebrity?  We certainly don't hold back when some jackbooted thug empties his pistol into a Grandma while raping and robbing her, do we?  Never mind the outrageous "defense" used -- a cheap shot at public records laws that exist for the explicit purpose of preventing the covering up of evil, even felonious deeds by people in the government.  Maybe, instead of trying to find ways to remove such laws, the better choice is to consider deaths where there is no evidence of foul play none of the government's damned business, other than noting that the person in question is deceased so as to prevent his or her identity from being used subsequent to that event.

Of course that takes power away from government instead of adding to it, doesn't it?

Then there are people like Dr. Keith Ablow who I have maligned on this page before, stooping to a new level of declaration of ownership of other people, declaring a right to (involuntarily!) drug, shock (yes, ECT!) and imprison people who he thinks might kill themselves, holding forward the following opinion:

I utterly refuse to give up and will deploy any and every tool at my disposal to win, because I know that every, single case of major depression is a puzzle that can potentially be solved. Every one of them. No exception. Period.

Really?  So you'll "win" irrespective of cost, irrespective of human dignity, irrespective of whether the person who you're applying these tactics to wants you to win, is conscious of what you're doing and approves, or is sane?

I know, the easy way out is to declare anyone who wants to kill themselves insane; ergo, they're an animal until and unless (by your definition) they are restored to sanity.  How convenient, especially when you can back up your opinion with a few guns.  

One question for you Keith: What happens when you're wrong but have lobotomized your target with a few good electrical jolts?

And on this point, specifically, there are reports surfacing that Mr. Williams may have had Parkinson's.  Is it insane to at some point decide that the degeneration thus far (and the inevitable continuation of same) exceeds your personal tolerance -- that life has been good up to some point, but you choose not to continue in an inevitable and profoundly less-good-over-time circumstance?  Is that at the core of what happened?  Those are good questions, but we don't have a right to the answers, nor do we have a right to demand that others do as we will in our arrogance, Keith Ablow's protests notwithstanding.

The first thought I expressed when I heard of Robin Williams' passing was this:

The world has one less light burning in it today.

That's still my view, but for me -- and for everyone else -- maybe it ought to stop there.

See, I can't get into Mr. Williams' head.  I don't know what internal demons he was fighting, although they had to be profound.  I don't know if he reached his decision through reason or mental blindness.  It has to be tougher to have all and then believe (justified or not) that it's slipping away from you.  And I'm sure that if you want to claim that "depression can be defeated, every time" you can find some set of circumstances, drugs, restraints and even partial electrocution that will make it so -- for a while anyway.

But that's not the point unless you see people as animals to be controlled and perfected, all according to you, of course.

That's damned arrogant, isn't it?

Robin had a family that is now left behind, and they have to deal with what has happened in their own way.  It has to be excruciatingly difficult, especially if any (or all) of those family and friends are questioning themselves and whether they could (and should) have stopped this from occurring.  It's a fair bet they are asking themselves exactly those questions and we should leave them alone instead of hounding them as it's none of our ******ned business.  

The fact is that life happens and some of it sucks.  We each deal with those things in our own way, some better than others, some more successfully than others.  So long as your means of dealing with it doesn't involve violence or fraud against someone else it's not my place to judge.  I can observe and perhaps learn, and if someone asks for help then it's perfectly fair to get involved if you so choose, but I have no right to go further -- and neither does anyone else.

Rest in peace Robin Williams and may God be laughing with you.

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