Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Free market capitalism makes us all rich.

The United States is the richest country in the world.  Our poor live better than the middle class in most places.  Our store shelves bulge with products, fresh vegetables, fruits, meat.  TV sets, computers, automobiles, refrigerators, electric power, clean running water, flush toilets, oil heat, and telephone are commonplace.  We can buy fresh produce any time of year. 
    Private enterprise capitalism brings all these benefits to us.  For instance, all the zillions of different things we need, from food clothing and shelter, to repair parts for every automobile manufactured since Henry Ford's time, to semiconductors of a million different types, light bulbs, hand tools, appliances, furniture, there must be a billion different things  for sale in the US.  And somehow, our factories produce just the right quantity of of each and every thing we need.  You can always find what ever it is you need or want.  The stores have enough stuff on the shelves but not too much.  This miracle of organization and planning happens automatically, and the answers come out right every time.  Supply and demand takes care of it.  When something runs short, the price rises, which encourages producers to produce more of it.  Or new producers to enter the market.  Likewise when demand falls, the price falls, and producers make less of it, or switch to other lines of product.
   The Soviets tried to operate without supply and demand.  The communists fixed the prices of everything and set up a giant bureaucracy in Moscow to issue production quotas to every producer in the Soviet Union.  Somehow they never got it right, and the Russians bounced from shortage to shortage.   Just recently Russian coal miners went out on strike because they couldn't get soap to wash up with coming off shift. I mean soap is a very simple commodity, it's been in production since Roman times.  And coming off shift in a coal mine, you need soap to get the coal dirt off your body.

    One of the things that makes the US dollar so strong, and so valued world wide, is US abundance.  An overseas holder of dollars knows that the Americans have plenty of every thing to sell.  And they sell it happily.  Show the money, and the product gets shipped.  Whereas a holder of Russian rubles is mostly out of luck The Russians don't have much to sell, and much of what they produce is so shoddy that no one really wants it.  They can do crude oil, vodka, and weapons, but that's about it. 
    So let's stop bashing capitalism, and stop talking up communism (aka socialism).  Capitalism makes us all rich.  Communism makes us all miserable. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Sail a 700 foot container ship into a hurricane,

And then suffer engine failure.  The ship sinks and all on board are lost.  Lifeboats don't help in a Cat 4 hurricane. 
   Dumb and dumber.  The hurricane's location was on all the TV channels, it wasn't moving very fast, even a sluggish container ship could out run it.  You gotta be really really dumb to sail  any kind of ship into a hurricane, especially a top heavy unseaworthy container ship. 
   Dumb number two.  Leaving port with the ship's engines so messed up that they fail at sea.  Without engine power,  any ship will broach broadside to the wind and get battered til it sinks.  With engine power you can keep the ship's bow into the wind, taking the blows of the sea on the strongest part of the ship.

Words of the Weasel. Part 46

"Issue"  all purpose low meaning word that replaces all sorts of real words.  For instance computer programs don't have bugs, they have "issues".  Veterans suffering from traumatic head injuries have "memory issues" not memory loss.  When you hear people talking "issues" know that they are lying to you.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

DVD crashes DVD player

This happened last night.  Was playing a Netflix DVD in my plain Jane  Magnevox DVD player.  After some 20-25 minutes of playing the disc, the picture froze and the sound stopped.  And, the player refused to respond to the remote control or the front panel buttons.  The bad code read in from the disc crashed the microprocessor in the player so hard I had to unplug the player and plug it in again to regain control. 
   We know that the DVD structure includes player commands to move the read head, jump to another spot on the disc, freeze the video, disable fast forward and other things.  That's how those menus at the start of the DVD work.  Presumably some damage to the DVD mangled a player command.  And the player code has a bug in it too.  Properly coded players should examine all player commands read from disc and reject any unknown commands or improperly formatted commands.  Halt and catch fire is never a valid player command.  Looks like my player ain't properly coded. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Congress punts again.

Congress passed a "continuing resolution" last night.  Rather than perform its Constitutional role of  allocating Federal funds to needed programs, it punted.  The continuing resolution says in effect, "All you bureaucrats can keep on spending money the way you did last year."  
   No killing of wasteful and unneeded programs.  No new programs.  Stasis, nothing changes.  With the economy headed for the rocks,  Congress says "Steady as she goes.  Full steam ahead."
   In stead of passing departmental appropriation bills like its is supposed to, Congress has spent its time threatening to shut down the government, investigating Hillary's email, passing highway bills, and general purpose bloviating.
   Way to go Congress Critters.

Sunny Skies in NH

Sun is out, it's getting a little crispy, but not so crispy as to have frost.  TV is full of hurricane stories, but you would never know it from looking at the sky around here.

Friday, October 2, 2015

I oughta turn in my U of Delaware degree

I got my engineering degree from University of Delaware back in the early 1970's.  It was a decent place, with excellent faculty, and reasonable students.  Since then things seem to have gone downhill.
   Back some years ago, FIRE denounced Delaware for running an indoctrination program on the dorms.  The RA's  were holding mandatory meetings, advocating all sorts of lefty multi culti things, and quizzing students about their sexual activity, and sexual identity.  After the FIRE story broke, the alumni (myself included) sent in a blizzard of disapproval letters, emails, and phone calls.  It was enough, and the resident indoctrination policy stopped.
   Now we have a new story.  Students reported nooses hanging from a tree near campus.  Hate crime they cried.  Police investigated next day and found the "nooses" were actually the remains of paper lanterns from an event held on the premises months ago.  Students so wanted a hate crime to demonstrate against, that they totally ignored the police report and went on to hold demonstrations. 
   Back when I was a student at U of D, the students were better balanced, better informed, and not looking for a cause celebre to spark political activity. 
   Maybe I should turn in my degree.