Saturday, 29 August 2015

When your business burns down.

A few quick lessons on insurance and accounting will be yours when your business burns down. 

Our lesson came August 17th.  You were warned that contents and small tools could add up but may have forgotten about built-ins like sub-panels, compressors, custom fabrications to make things work.  The word "small tools" didn't ring the right bells.   They weren't on the balance sheet any longer but cost plenty to replace.

You may think that naming a second-hand replacement value for major equipment means that's what you get when it's lost.  Correction, it's the lower of named value and what something sort of similar can be bought for.  Perhaps, like us, you hadn't heard of "aggregate value" meaning you can lump the major items together and make up on one what is lost on another.

Then you lose control of your books.  Your depreciation values mean almost nothing and the replacement values are unknown until you settle with the insurance people.  Your productivity may surge back with replacement equipment of lesser value but your equity that the bank wants to know about becomes a mystery.  One cheering thought is that the insurance proceeds are not taxable income.  Another is that you find out your neighbours care about you. We're bouncing back and expect the settlement to be just barely enough but it's a sobering squeaker.

Friday, 28 August 2015

"For service in English, Press1"

That's a quintessential Canadian experience.  In the South Okanagan, the second button should be Punjabi and the third, Portugese.   In Richmond BC, the second button, possibly even the first one, should be Chinese.   And in Ottawa, French is the first or second language.  Somehow Ottawa is the pattern for the whole country.

It's ridiculous.  Looking after customers comes first but politicking rules otherwise.   When federal policy stops being "Bilingualism" and becomes getting through to your customers in a language they understand, we'll have escaped the pox of bad policy.  No one needs to perdre la face if the fix is technical with a Google Voice thingy auto-translating.

DNA Transfer Apertures

The longer we live, the less sex is needed to keep the species up.
DNA transfer isn't a complicated idea and is a technical fix.
As more people live healthy beyond 100, the less importance recreational sex will have too.

Two life forms feed on the body politic

Citizens vote for reps but parties run by their own rules.  Both divide the spoils and compete for the upper hand.   Since parties are fed both by voters and power brokers, they have an edge over voters.  But we still have two different life forms, as it were, inhabiting the body politic.  I don't like it.  Parties have an internal voter structure and since motivated voters from the general population can join that,  the potential for outrage is defused. 

The party system captures the democratic spirit and allows insiders and hacks to turn Representatives of the public will into Representatives of the party will.   The leader of the party has the greatest ability to steer the party but this CEO is unelected in a sense because no one but his own riding voters get to advance him to the leadership.   Leaders of each party have made news in recent years for trying to rig nomination meetings.  So there you have it, two different life forms feeding on the body politic.  The party gets more food than the registered voter.

This isn't really news.  Insiders and power brokers have always been the top dogs. What we call democracy introduces a little more information about the governed, introduces better market information, if you will.   We don't want ever to lose the vote but it is not a very responsive system. Once every four years we influence the composition of the insider groups who choose their own leader.  McDonalds or are far more responsive to their customers and they do it in real time.

A parallel occurs to me:  In our own bodies, there are at least two operating systems.  One is simple animal behaviour to feed and reproduce and the other is like an uploaded software called "me" that cohabits and does its own fascinating things most of the time.  "Me" has the upper hand.  Craziness occurs when both engage in the same activity.  This leads to all the comical things that men and women do that don't quite make sense but we all understand.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Trump explains that Hillary was bought and paid for.

Of course those foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation and gobs of money for talks were Pay to Play. Trump explains how that works with a chuckle: 
'With Hillary Clinton, I said "Come to my wedding" and she came to my wedding.  You know why? Because she had no choice, because I gave.'
This did the rounds as a Trump story but for me, it's a Clinton story.  A wealthy insider explains that she takes money and pays favours back.  Case closed.
From the Daily Caller.

Friday, 21 August 2015

National Post Headline explains Duffy frenzy.

From the National Post August 21st:
"It may be no sponsorship scandal, but in this tight election race the Duffy trial matters".
It matters alright because it helps the opposition to promote a feeding frenzy on Harper's popularity. Notice how deftly the Duffy tax deduction follies are associated with the liberals sponsorship scandal while denying the same.

As someone said earlier this week:  "Duffy trial - honestly, I don't get it. But what a hell does Duffy's greed and stupidity have to do with what Harper knew or did not know about it? How will the degree of Harper's knowledge of events become a measure of the magnitude of Duffy's breach of the laws?"

A similar story is playing out in the states as Obama, instead of yammering about Hillary's server, keeps silent while the hyenas nip at her ladyship.  I think he likes a Biden/Warren ticket and doesn't give a toot about the security issue.

From "transparencynow":
"It is obvious that discrediting attacks, whatever their motive, generally take place under heavy disguise. First, the attacker must portray his attack as an attempt to support the order of values of society by exposing a violator who deserves to be exposed, in essence enhancing his own image as he assaults another's. ... The disguise of motives is often supplemented by a far more insidious deception, one that masks the fact that an attack is taking place at all or that the journalist or attacker is the one making the attack. Journalists and other communicators often portray themselves as merely asking questions, reporting what others say or describing events, when everyone knows a verbal mugging is actually taking place that may leave the designated victim stripped of the self-defense provided by an effective image"  .

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Laugh Out Loud Trump cartoon

Can anyone be president or are elections to validate the choice of competing elites?  The look on the Elephant's face is priceless. The GOP and Democrats believe the latter.  The rules are similar in Canada.
The seductions of money are revealing character.  I like Trump's punch line that they were begging me for money last year (and I gave them a wad) and now they're trying to trash me.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

East Coast Cod Recovery: Hints in 2011, Facts Today.

Four years ago,  cod had rebounded to 37% of their pre-crash levels.  Now everyone is noticing as The Telegram reports:

Leo Hearn remembers fishing cod before 1992, and the sense of impending disaster, as the fish got smaller and more scarce. Hearn also remembers going fishing in the early years of the food fishery, and having a hard time finding fish.
Photo in Telegram story.
 Hearn, who’s been fishing out of Petty Harbour for decades, said he’s seeing fish show up in places that they haven’t been seen for a generation or more.These days, Hearn said that when he was out on the water over the past few weeks, the fish were everywhere.
“Last year was a pretty good sign of fish around, and this year was even better — more places, and a really good sign, places like Renews Rock. They hadn’t been there in 15 years, and the fish are back there now,” he said. “Ferryland right on down to Calvert, Bay Bulls, all those places are seeing a lot of fish.”
When over-fishing was the norm, small fish that adult cod were not eating began to prevail over all cod by eating cod juveniles.

h/t to Bourque for the story link.

Link to the early days.

Obama Lost Iraq on purpose. The Iraqis would have accepted a residual force SFA.

 Senator Lindsey Graham talking to Hugh Hewitt:
"You know, Maliki has got a lot of blame for Iraq falling apart, but I lay this at the foot of the President of the United States solely. The Iraqis to a person would’ve accepted a residual force, but he wanted to get to zero. He would never come forth with a number. They never had a number."

And the background to that statement:
Image result for hugh hewitt and graham lindsey.
 "So we had Ambassador Jeffrey – U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and Gen. Austin, the commander of Iraq forces at the time in the meeting with me, Maliki, and McCain. I asked Prime Minister Maliki, “Would you accept troops?” He says, “If other will, I will.” Then he turned to me and said, “How many troops are you talking about?” I turned to Gen. Austin and then Ambassador Jeffrey – “What’s the answer to the prime minister’s question?” Gen. Dreyfuss says, “We’re still working on the number.” The number went from 18,000 recommended by Austin down to 3,000 coming out of the White House."

Whitewashing the Mullahs to sell the Iran deal, hiding Bin Laden documents.

Kristol and Hayes at the Weekly Standard:
We have been told by six current or former intelligence officials that the collection of documents captured in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound includes explosive information on Iran’s relationship with al Qaeda over the past two decades, including details of Iran’s support for al Qaeda’s attacks on Americans.

“There are letters about Iran’s role, influence, and acknowledgment of enabling al Qaeda operatives to pass through Iran as long as al Qaeda did their dirty work against the Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, tells The Weekly Standard.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Hardball: Barack and Hillary feud plays out in public.

Obama is giving traction to people investigating Clinton's email abuse to bump her from the nomination.  Clinton was hiding stuff from Obama, not from foreigners, on her illegal mail server.

The source for the first: Blood Feud by Edward Klein, the chapter in which Bill Clinton offers to support Obama's second presidential run if Obama will support Hillary Clinton's 2016 run.  It's not a friendly meeting and Obama muses that Michelle might be a candidate.  See also Daily Mail article with the theme: "Government official says Obama is throwing Hillary under the bus to clear presidential campaign path for Joe Biden".

I read the second point about keeping Obama out of her loop somewhere.  Who else would matter to her?  Obviously not the Russians or Chinese since she moved data to low security.   Remember the dictum, "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer".  Hillary Clinton was sitting in the "enemies closer" seat and had reason to hide the cards she held.

From linked Breitbart story.
Don't laugh too hard when you read Trump predicts Hillary will drop out and he will be running against Biden.  

The journalists reporting our election belong to a union registered to lobby for the other side.

Click this link to see the other 21 unions and anti-Harper groups that have registered to lobby in the 2015 federal election.  (From Ezra Levant's The Rebel with a tip of the hat to smalldeadanimals.) Canada has its own Journolists and  The Canadian Media Guild which is registered as a lobbyist and which is busy promoting the CBC this week, describes itself:
"The Canadian Media Guild is a democratic trade union representing 6,000 workers in the Canadian media. Our members work at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Société Radio-Canada (CBC/SRC), The Canadian Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse (AFP), TVO, TFO, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (aptn), ZoomerMedia, Shaw Media and CKOI Radio Gatineau (Québec). We also represent media freelancers."






From elections canada's website:

Registered third parties – 42nd general election – October 19, 2015

Updated on August 14, 2015
Name of Third Party Date of Registration Name of Applicant Mailing Address
Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund 2015/08/10 Mr. Nicholas Wright 5700-100 King Street West
Toronto ON M5X 1C7
BC Government and Service Employees' Union 2015/08/08 Mr. Paul Finch 4911 Canada Way
Burnaby BC V5G 3W3
Canadian Media Guild (CMG) 2015/08/08 Ms. Carmel Smyth 310 Front Street West, Suite 810
Toronto ON M5V 3B5
Canadian Medical Association 2015/08/05 Mr. Steven Mortimer 1867 Alta Vista Drive
Ottawa ON K1G 5W8
Canadian Union of Postal Workers "CUPW" 2015/08/10 Ms. Beverly J. Collins 377 Bank Street
Ottawa ON K2P 1Y3
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 2015/08/10 Mr. Charles Fleury 1375 Saint-Laurent Boulevard
Ottawa ON K1G 0Z7
Canadian Veterans ABC Campaign 2015 2015/08/10 Mr. Thomas S. Beaver 153 Bradshaw Drive
New Maryland NB E3C 1H4
Diane Babcock 2015/08/05 Ms. Diane Babcock 209-550 Bradley Street
Nanaimo BC V9S 5N4
Dogwood Initiative 2015/08/06 Mr. Matt Takach Post Office Box 8701
Victoria BC V8W 3S3
Downtown Mission of Windsor Inc. 2015/08/06 Mr. Ronald D. Dunn 664 Victoria Avenue
Windsor ON N9A 4N2
Fair Vote Canada 2015/08/06 Mr. Douglas J. Bailie 408-283 Danforth Avenue
Toronto ON M4K 1N2
Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ) 2015/08/08 Mr. Serge Cadieux 12100-565 Crémazie Boulevard East
Montréal QC H2M 2W3
Friends of Canadian Broadcasting 2015/08/05 Mr. Ian Morrison 1707-33 Lombard Street
Toronto ON M5C 3H8
IATSE 2015/08/06 Mr. John M. Lewis 22 St. Joseph Street
Toronto ON M4Y 1J9
International Longshore & Warehouse Union Canada 2015/08/08 Mr. Mark Gordienko 395-3665 Kingsway
Vancouver BC V5R 5W2
Leadnow Society 2015/08/05 Ms. Lyndsay Poaps 408-119 Pender Street West
Vancouver BC V6B 1S5
Les Sans-Chemise 2015/08/05 Mr. Pierre Céré 3734 du Parc Avenue
Montréal QC H2X 2J1
National Citizens Coalition Inc. 2015/08/12 Mr. Peter D. Coleman 27 Queen Street East, Suite 501
Toronto ON M5C 2M6
Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) 2015/08/14 Mr. Warren Thomas 100 Lesmill Road
Toronto ON M3B 3P8
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) 2015/08/13 Ms. Doris Grinspun 158 Pearl Street
Toronto ON M5H 1L3
UNIFOR 2015/08/05 Mr. Peter Kennedy 205 Placer Court
Toronto ON M2H 3H9
Voters Against Harper 2015/08/06 Ms. Jo-Anne P. Raynes 27 Heathdale Road
Toronto ON M6C 1M7

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Your next smartphone is a Xiaomi ("SHOW-em").

Apple is bumped to number three in China and Xiaomi ("SHOW-em") is on top for smartphones.   Learn to pronounce it because your next smartphone may be Xiaomi.  It has a better camera, better battery life, and is lighter and cheaper than an iPhone.  It works with all the apps on Google Play. (Story from Mauldin). 
Lei Jun, founder
If you have doubts, consider this: The boss dresses like Steve Jobs and the phone has fan clubs.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Left Turn At Fox

Canada Free Press explains FOX Gotchas at the GOP debate.  Five weeks ago, Rupert Murdoch put his two sons in charge of FOX without forewarning Ailes.  James Murdoch has been leading the charge to make FOX "carbon neutral" and his wife worked for the Clinton Foundation.
The talking heads got the message and the wind in their sails points to Hillary Clinton.

(Foley: "The thing that bothers me most about the Kelly-Trump exchange is that Hillary Clinton is now going to accept the invitation–issued by Kelly–to reopen and amplify the “Republicans hate women” narrative.")

Sunday, 9 August 2015

In praise of sexism

Discriminating choices based on gender are useful.  Sexism has a bad rap but high economic value.  Speaking as a man, if she leans her head against my shoulder, looks deeply into my eyes or shows a little cleavage, I'm immediately disposed to put pleasing her above my home, inheritance, kinfolk, and occupation.  This works both ways.  Only a fool would take that high energy impact off the negotiating table.   Exploiting conventional assumptions about sex roles creates leverage for wealth, respect, descendents, power and happiness.

So what if it is discrimination-based-on-sex?   Even a duck's brain is big enough to make important life choices based on sex and it works for them.  The extra 1300 grams of brain-packed cranium that we sport is very clever but not clever enough to change what's baked in.    Get used to it.  The frontal lobe's agenda isn't the brain stem's agenda. gives this primary definition of sexism: 
"Attitudes or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of gender roles."

Building energy tight houses is a sinkhole for your money

The average return on investment for upgrading  energy tightness in your home or shop is minus 9.5%.     (National Bureau of Economic Research).  That's not a plus, it's a minus 9.5%.  Savings were less than half the prediction and not more cost effective than building more power plants.

You may never see those savings.
But will pay plenty today.
The three R's that help you think (readin'  writin' and 'rithmatic) have been replaced by three R's to manage your behaviour (reduce, re-use, re-cycle).   I like them both but the second triplet is subordinate.

I see it in the construction business.  Houses went from 2x4 to 2x6 walls and that was okay.  Then vapour barriers were added and that was sort of okay for stopping the breeze but trapped moisture and called for powered make-up air  and double skins on the newest houses.  Now advanced green-thinking people have 2x8 walls and I've seen triple walls that are two feet thick on a summer cottage.  The end height of trusses was just mandated up a few inches and adds 5% to 10% to the cost of every roof in Canada.  Houses are more expensive for many reasons but mandated spending to save a few bucks is a big factor, pleasing to elites and costing you and me.

Post idea sourced at Powerline.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Best Tripadvisor Restaurant Review Ever

"We took turns licking the bowl".

From a review of Pilgrimme on Galiano Island, BC.  I look forward to eating there in a few weeks.
"From the fermented potato bread and marinated olives that came out first, we knew we were in for a special experience. The plates were miniature works of art that were carefully assembled prior to serving. The salad of Galiano greens and summer vegetables literally glowed with color. The albacore tuna and Salish Sea salmon were sublime. We just had room to share the dark chocolate and bergamot pot de creme with sea salted caramel. Turns were taken licking the bowl."

"The Great Election In Missinaba County"

Leacock is still timely.  Voters think themselves wise.  Politicians without double standards might have no standards.   Though it's about Conservative and Liberal, there's even a third party figure who reminds me of Trump, ignored by serious political pundits at their peril.  And the press plays along.  A couple teasers so you'll re-read it at the link:
"Everybody in Mariposa is either a Liberal or a Conservative or else is both. Some of the people are or have been Liberals or Conservatives all their lives and are called dyed-in-the-wool Grits or old-time Tories and things of that sort. These people get from long training such a swift penetrating insight into national issues that they can decide the most complicated question in four seconds: in fact, just as soon as they grab the city papers out of the morning mail, they know the whole solution of any problem you can put to them. There are other people whose aim it is to be broad-minded and judicious and who vote Liberal or Conservative according to their judgment of the questions of the day. If their judgment of these questions tells them that there is something in it for them in voting Liberal, then they do so. But if not, they refuse to be the slaves of a party or the henchmen of any political leader.

We can see,—it's plain enough now,—that in the great election Canada saved the British Empire, and that Missinaba saved Canada and that the vote of the Third Concession of Tecumseh Township saved Missinaba County, and that those of us who carried the third concession,—well, there's no need to push it further. We prefer to be modest about it.

Missinaba County, I say, is a regular hive of politics, and not the miserable, crooked, money-ridden politics of the cities, but the straight, real old-fashioned thing that is an honour to the country side. Any man who would offer to take a bribe or sell his convictions for money, would be an object of scorn. I don't say they wouldn't take money,—they would, of course, why not?—but if they did they would take it in a straight fearless way and say nothing about it. They might,—it's only human,—accept a job or a contract from the government, but if they did, rest assured it would be in a broad national spirit and not for the sake of the work itself.
"Mr. Smith," said the reporter of the Mariposa Newspacket, "we'd like to get your views of the effect of the proposed reduction of the differential duties." "By gosh, Pete," said Mr. Smith, "you can search me. Have a cigar." "What do you think, Mr. Smith, would be the result of lowering the ad valorem British preference and admitting American goods at a reciprocal rate?" "It's a corker, ain't it?" answered Mr. Smith. "What'll you take, lager or domestic?" And in that short dialogue Mr. Smith showed that he had instantaneously grasped the whole method of dealing with the press. The interview in the paper next day said that Mr. Smith, while unwilling to state positively that the principle of tariff discrimination was at variance with sound fiscal science, was firmly of opinion that any reciprocal interchange of tariff preferences with the United States must inevitably lead to a serious per capita reduction of the national industry."
 And so on, chapters 10 and 11 of Sunshine Sketches of a Small Town, available on line.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Feather cloud

Very like a feather, spotted near Victoria BC July this year.