Economics 101: Amazon.com has made me wealthier

No, not through site advertising; I don’t even make a pittance there.

But Saturday night I bought The Particles of the Universe by Jeff Yee, for a whopping 99¢, with no sales tax, delivered to my Tablet in seconds. If I had bought the same book, printed, it would have meant at least $8.95 for the book, 54¢ for sales tax, and around $12 of gasoline to drive to and from Barnes & Noble to get it.

The book, which I just started reading, discusses the theories of Gabriel LaFreniere, which hold that the neutrino is the basic building block of all matter, something unproved and, thus far, unprovable, because we cannot duplicate the conditions immediately following the Big Bang in the laboratory.

Is he right? No one knows yet, but for 99¢, the book is worth it to me.

And this means that Amazon.com has made me wealthier: I don’t consider the 99¢ to be a waste, and I saved something on the order of $20.50, as described above, on buying the book the old fashioned way.

You can buy the Android Tablet that I use for just $50.99, either through the image at the left, or the same one embedded in the sidebar, and I’ll make a whopping $2.04 commission. There are other Kindle readers available on the sidebar. But you don’t have to buy only those products I have advertised for me to get a commission: just use the small amazon.com search widget which links to my amazon associates account, in the sidebar or at the bottom of this article, and anything you buy through that helps me out! :)

I think that the Kindle technology is absolutely great. Our family has three Kindles — one for my wife and each daughter — plus my Tablet, and any book that any of us buys is available on each of the units. My darling bride has a Kindle Fire, like the one at the right, which has alighted screen — standard Kindles do not — which means that she can read in bed with the light off.

Yeah, I’m a greedy capitalist pig, who likes making money, and likes saving money, so all of these links lead back to my commission account. But even if you never buy through any of those links, Kindle technology is a great thing: it saves you money, because Kindle books are (normally) a lot less expensive than printed books, it’s green technology, in that we aren’t using paper and ink to print the books, and not spending gasoline to go to the bookstore to get them, and it doesn’t take up much space: there are whole bookcases full of books on my android tablet, which is slightly smaller than a loose-leaf binder, and only an inch thick, in its padded cover. The rest of the family’s Kindles are smaller than that. Nor are books and Kindles and tablets the only things you can buy on Amazon: you can buy table saws and televisions and topcoats there, too.

Technology is making us wealthier, and, as a good capitalist, I certainly support that!

Book Review – The Martian

This is the first book review I’ve written in a while, in fact, probably the first one I’ve written since Dana started this new site.

Anyway, the book in question is called “The Martian” and it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Or, let me put it this way. If you liked the movie “Gravity” and thought it was packed with suspense, well, this is at least 5 times better. The premise is the same; an astronaut is abandoned in space and has to find a way back to Earth and safety, except in “Gravity” that astronaut (played by Sandra Bullock) is in low Earth orbit and needs only to get to a nearby space station with a working capsule that can get her to the surface, only a couple hundred miles below her.

In contrast, in “The Martian”, our hero is also stranded, except he’s stranded alone on Mars, which is tens of millions of miles away. Thus his job of both surviving and finding a way to get back to Earth is far more daunting. Without giving away too much of the plot, he needs to use what materials are at hand to maintain a stable, breathable air supply, produce additional food, re-establish contact with NASA, and finally, of course, get off this God-forsaken freezing hellhole desert of a planet which he quickly grows to loathe with a passion, not least because it keeps coming up with new and often unexpected ways of trying to kill him.

A great part of the delight of the book is the ingenuity he shows in trying to accomplish this basic mission, and the resourcefulness displayed in coping with the various catastrophes that come his way. Perhaps the best is his solution to the problem of re-establishing radio contact with Earth, an idea so brilliant that I wouldn’t dream of spoiling it by describing it here. The author clearly has a very solid grasp of space travel technology and a vivid imagination for coming up with new, scary ( yet realistic and believable) plot twists as well as ways for his hero, Mark Watney, to work his way around them. But in addition to all that is the terrific sense of humor, something that is often lacking in Sci-Fi. It is, in fact, what gives Watney a very individualized and distinct personality, something that is also often lacking in this genre. A few such examples are:

“And hey, with the rover righted, I get to use the bathroom again. It’s the simple things in life that matter.”

“If I could have anything, it would be a radio to ask NASA the safe path down the Ramp. Well, if I could have *anything*, it would be for the green skinned yet beautiful Queen of Mars to rescue me so she can learn more about this Earth thing called lovemaking. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a woman. Just sayin’ ”

“If I get back to Earth, I’ll be famous, right? A fearless astronaut who beat all the odds, right? I bet women like that. More motivation to stay alive.”

Anyway, just an amazing read all the way around, even if you’re not a big Sci-Fi fan. Eric says – check it out!

A Cloward-Piven Look At The Sieve Called The US-Mexican Border

The more I watch and read of the Children’s Border Invasion in the SW, the more I see an Obama activated Cloward-Piven Strategy. The strategy is in the Immigration Bill (not stated directly) and it’s very present and very much in view in the Children’s Invasion and the $3.7B “Emergency Child Invasion Pay for it But Keep The Border Open Bill.” Obama is staying aloof from this on purpose. He is trying desparately to get the Republicans to claim it. Fortunately, our RINOs are tasting the bait, but haven’t been hooked.

Now Obama’s-Cloward-Piven strategy is simple. Look at the current laws that OTM’s (Other Than Mexicans)(or Canadians) they get to stay and await deportations. Canadians and Mexicans can be shown the door immediately.

Circumstantial evidence does show the Maladministration’s fingerprints are all over this if a few other posts on this site. They knew it and prepared for it, they just didn’t tell us and are acting surprised. The only thing not said was “Oh, I just saw that on the news.”

Where Obama-Cloward-Piven comes in is flood and overwhelm the system. The real Cloward-Piven Strategy is to bankrupt the country by being baby-sitters. Since the Border-Patrol (an Oxymoron lately) is busy changing diapers and such (they had an emergency buy of 45,000 dozen pairs of tube socks) it shows what they do now. The Maladinistration is now advertising for families to take in a refugee kid for $4,000 to $6,000 a month. (nice scam)

And lets not forget the three things the Obama-Cloward-Piven strategy is doing: One old diseases once thought were gone, are back, and Two, who else like ISIS is sneaking in also while the Borderless Patrol is up to it in diaper shit. And how much have imported drugs increased?

Obama may be coming off looking inept, but have you checked what’s left in your pockets with this well planned scam is digging deeper.

The following is from Wikipedia:
The Cloward–Piven strategy is a political strategy outlined in 1966 by American sociologists and political activists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven that called for overloading the U.S. public welfare system in order to precipitate a crisis that would lead to a replacement of the welfare system with a national system of “a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty”. Cloward and Piven were a married couple who were both professors at the Columbia University School of Social Work. The strategy was formulated in a May 1966 article in the liberal magazine The Nation titled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty”.

The two stated that many Americans who were eligible for welfare were not receiving benefits, and that a welfare enrollment drive would strain local budgets, precipitating a crisis at the state and local levels that would be a wake-up call for the federal government, particularly the Democratic Party. There would also be side consequences of this strategy, according to Cloward and Piven. These would include: easing the plight of the poor in the short-term (through their participation in the welfare system); shoring up support for the national Democratic Party-then splintered by pluralistic interests (through its cultivation of poor and minority constituencies by implementing a national “solution” to poverty); and relieving local governments of the financially and politically onerous burdens of public welfare (through a national “solution” to poverty)

This is Wikipedia, but every source has the same message – OVERWHELM THE SYSTEM https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloward%E2%80%93Piven_strategy

Rule 5 Blogging: When the Palestinians attack, Israel gives it back, 100 fold!

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as posting photos of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Yael Goldman in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude.

I wasn’t planning on returning to Israel Defense Force women so soon, but with the idiotic Palestinians picking yet another fight that they cannot win — though they think they can win the propaganda battle by showing the bodies of children killed by the Israeli response to their attacks — I figured it was time! Right now, the IDF is simply shooting back, but some Israeli women are combat soldiers, and if the situation escalates, might have to serve on he front lines as the IDF once again has to crush the Palestinians.

If the Israelis had been real conquerors, they’d have expelled every single Arab from Gaza, Judea and Samaria after the Six Day War in 1967. It would have been harsh and it would have been cruel and it would have been terrible, but if they had done what they should have done, when they should have done it, there would be no Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, Israel would have shortened, more defensible borders, and we wouldn’t be seeing this seemingly everlasting crisis.

משק”י חילוץ והצלה של פיקוד העורף במקום פגיעת הקאסם במתנ”ס המקומי. לא היו נפגעים מהפגיעה, בתמונה רננה נצר ממושב דקל מקורס משק”י חילוץ והצלה של פקע”ר מטפלת בזירת פגיעת הקאסם.

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: When the Palestinians attack, Israel gives it back, 100 fold!’ »

From Around the Blogroll

On the Victory Girls, Cassy Fiano is shocked, shocked! — OK, not really! — that the Democrats are using racial stereotypes to attack any black Americans who happen to differ from the Official Black Thought List. Of course, we’ve said it many times before: for the American left, only white men are given credit for enough intellectual ability to think for themselves.

Sister Toldjah noted Nancy Pelosi’s idiocy concerning the Hobby Lobby case.

Donald Douglas tells us about a funny thing happening on the way to the election: immigration reform fizzles as campaign issue for Democrats. He also noted that an IBD/TIPP poll found that 60% of Americans believe that the illegals should be deported.

Hube spotted more British idiocy.

There’s still nothing new on Bridging the Gap.

L D Jackson mocked President Obama’s and the White House’s claim that Mahmoud Abbas is a reliable partner for peace.

Karen, the Lonely Conservative, pointed out that the government of Qatar is a major donor to both the Clinton Foundation and the terrorist group Hamas. Yeah, I’m really surprised by that.

William Teach tells us that the World Meteorological Organisation says it’s time to shift climate baselines because global warming is increasingly setting a new “normal” for weather conditions. Mr Teach noted that “This might not work out too well for them, since there has been a pause going on since 1996, roughly half of the time period. Hurricane activity, wildfires, and tornadoes, among others, have been dropping to historical lows.”

Patterico writes about separating potential allies from the enemy.

Robert Stacey Stacy McCain pimps Wombat-socho’s new book. I still think that he should increase Wombat’s weekly gruel ration!

On Powerline, Paul Mirengoff told us about Governor Rick Perry’s (R-TX) presidential-appearing moment concerning the border crisis. From his record alone, Governor Perry should not only be the next President, but should have been since January 20, 2013. Alas! The hard lesson is that what it takes to be a good President and what it takes to be a good presidential candidate are two very different things. Barack Hussein Obama has proved that he is an absolutely excellent presidential candidate, despite being the worst actual President in my lifetime.

Finally, on Truth Before Dishonor, John Hitchcock noted a failed peer review process.

Premeditated Invasion -Revised and Updated Again

A move up:
I moved this up since the Press, mostly FOX, is seeing this Invasion for what it is. Flood the US with Illegals and claim a humanitarian crisis. This is what it is on its face, a Progressive Attack to bring the US down. As I read, 50,000 kids one day and did not gather on their own to move North. Now Nancy Progressive Communist Peelousy is saying we must absorb these somewhat disease ridden kids and embrace them. That is if you have had all your shots.

The Central American Children Invasion was Premeditated by the Obama MalAdministration

Escort Services for Unaccompanied Alien Children – Federal Business Opportunity or FED BIZ OP

This was ISSUED in January, 29, 2014 The anticipated release date of the solicitation is March 3, 2014. The solicitation closing date will be thirty (30) days after release of the Request for Proposal (RFP).
Part of this Reads:

A. Introduction
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has a continuing and mission critical responsibility for accepting custody of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) from U.S. Border Patrol and other Federal agencies and transporting these juveniles to Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) shelters located throughout the continental United States. ICE is seeking the services of a responsible vendor that shares the philosophy of treating all UAC with dignity and respect, while adhering to standard operating procedures and policies that allow for an effective, efficient, and incident free transport. The Contractor shall provide unarmed escort staff, including management, supervision, manpower, training, certifications, licenses, drug testing, equipment, and supplies necessary to provide on-demand escort services for non-criminal/non-delinquent unaccompanied alien children ages infant to 17 years of age, seven (7) days a week, 365 days a year. Transport will be required for either category of UAC or individual juveniles, to include both male and female juveniles. There will be approximately 65,000 UAC in total: 25% local ground transport, 25% via ICE charter and 50% via commercial air. Escort services include, but are not limited to, assisting with: transferring physical custody of UAC from DHS to Health and Human Services (HHS) care via ground or air methods of transportation (charter or commercial carrier), property inventory, providing juveniles with meals, drafting reports, generating transport documents, maintaining/stocking daily supplies, providing and issuing clothing as needed, coordinating with DHS and HHS staff, travel coordination, limited stationary guard services to accommodate for trip disruptions due to inclement weather, faulty equipment, or other exigent circumstances. In emergency situations, the Contractor shall be called on to provide temporary shelter locations (such as trailers) with shower facilities for juveniles who are pending placement with HHS when bed space is unavailable nationwide for extended periods of time. The Contractor shall provide temporary guard services and other support as necessary during these emergencies.
In addition, the Contractor shall have personnel who are able to communicate with juveniles in their own designated language(s). While this may not require each employee to be fluent in all of the encountered languages, personnel should have access to and knowledge of translation services.

All of this is at the address above.

7/12/14
A few other articles have popped up. This is particularly interesting. Obama-Cloward-Piven at its worst

EVIL PLOT EXPOSED: Obama Bankrolled Catholic And Baptist Churches From 2010 To 2013 To Prepare For His Planned 2014 Illegal Alien Youth Invasion

http://www.redflagnews.com/headlines/evil-plot-exposed-obama-bankrolled-catholic-and-baptist-churches-from-2010-to-2013-to-prepare-for-his-planned-2014-illegal-alien-youth-invasion

“Obama can suck it!”

I stopped to get my morning Philadelphia Inquirer, when the cashier stood up from behind the counter, and said, “Ouch!” Her knee had popped, and it hurt. After a bit of conversation, she said that she couldn’t get knee surgery because she doesn’t have health insurance.

“But President Obama said that you have to have health insurance,” I responded.

To which she responded, “Obama can suck it!”

Now, she’s fairly young, probably in her late twenties, and working at a minimum wage or near minimum wage job. Supposedly, she’s the one Obaminablecare is supposed to help, but her attitude is as she expressed it.

I think that says volumes.

A man for whom the Gates of Hell await

A disgusting story:

Abortionist Who’s Killed 95,000 Babies in Abortions: “I See It as a Calling”
by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 7/7/14 11:08 AM

Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based abortionist Dennis Christensen wants to retire but he has a problem. He told himself when he made plans to retire that he would only do so if he could find another abortion practitioner to take over his business.

Herr Doktor Dennis Christensen. You can click on the photo to see a larger picture of this pile of sub-human filth if you really want.

But he can’t find any physicians willing to make it their job to kill babies in abortions.

If he and his partner Bernard Smith can’t find anyone else to run the ship, his Affiliated Medical Center will close down after 40 years of ending human lives in abortions. And a new law requiring Wisconsin abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital to provide emergency medical care for the many women injured in botched abortions is exacerbating the situation for Christensen.

The Milwaukee newspaper has more on this situation and the potential good news for the pro-life community in the Badger state:

“I have always felt that this is a worthwhile endeavor and a necessary one,” Christensen said. “And there aren’t too many people who will do it.”

Abortion opponents disagree. Supporters of the recent state law think doctors like Christensen should be held to a higher standard if they want to work with patients.

And with a federal judge considering whether the state can require hospital admitting privileges of doctors who provide abortions, Affiliated may soon have to close its doors.

Christensen, who said he has performed 85,000 to 95,000 abortions, believes the harassment and stigmatization he has faced pale in comparison to the gratitude of the women he sees. But for many prospective hires, the harassment is a deterring factor, he said.

More at the link.

He estimated that he has performed 85,000 to 95,000 abortions, huh? The story says that his “clinic” has been open for 40 years, so we are looking at a man who claims to have killed between 2,125 and 2,375 babies every year, for forty years. The standard 40 hour work week has 2,080 hours per year, so Herr Doktor Christensen has basically stated that he performed slightly more than one killing every hour of every day he worked!

Unless, of course, he was so dedicated to killing that he put in a lot of overtime; with a sick bastard like that, it’s always possible. Any man who claims that killing unborn children is a calling is telling you that he just plain enjoyed his work.

But, he told the truth: he said that there aren’t very many people who are willing to do that kind of dirty work. They aren’t because it is dirty work, nasty work, just plain degrading work, and you have to be just plain sick to have enjoyed it.

Herr Doktor Christensen had better hope that the atheists are right, or he’ll wind up meeting another famous physician with a calling, Herr Doktor Josef Mengele, sometime in the future. Given the numbers, Herr Doktor Mengele will probably say, “I bow to a professional.”

Sacrificing rational concern to political correctness

Of course this is from San Francisco!

Congressman Mike Honda Urges FDA to Overturn Ban on Gay Blood Donors
By Michelle Roberts and NBC Bay Area Staff | Monday, Jul 7, 2014 | Updated 4:59 PM PDT

A Bay Area congressman is calling on the Food and Drug Administration to lift the ban preventing gay and bisexual men from donating blood.

Mike Honda (D-San Jose) started an online petition to try to get the FDA to overturn the ban. He says the ban is outdated, discriminatory and based on decades-old fears that have been discounted by science.

“The FDA should end the ban and revise its policy and focus on behavior and individual risk, and not on sexual orientation,” Honda said Monday.

After holding a news conference Monday afternoon, Honda was joined by other leaders – including Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen and County Supervisor Dave Cortese – for a blood drive outside the county administration building on Hedding Street.

More at the link.

Several months ago, when I was being considered as a donor for a bone marrow transplant, they sent me a very detailed questionnaire, wanting to know if I had had sex with another male within the past five years, or, if I had been female, the question was whether I had had sex with any male who had had sex with another male within the last five years. It’s serious business, because, unlike blood donation, if you are donating for a bone marrow transplant, you are the closest match for a specific recipient, and without that transplant, he will die. But I’d have been automatically excluded if I had been homosexual. I did have to go through some blood work, which included an HIV test, and everything came back negative.

It turned out that there was a closer match, so I didn’t have to donate anyway, for which I was glad: a bone marrow donation isn’t a pleasant thing.1 But the obvious question is: why should we tinker with reasonable safety precautions, put in place for a damned good reason, just to be politically correct?

And the obvious answer is: we shouldn’t.
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  1. I’d still have done it, but I sure wasn’t looking forward to it!

Once again, in the states led by Republicans, the economy is getting better faster than in the states led by the Democrats

From The Wall Street Journal:

North Carolina Got It Right on Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment in the Tar Heel State dropped by 17% in the second half of 2013 after extended benefits expired.
By John Hood | July 4, 2014 5:33 p.m. ET

Raleigh, N.C. — A year ago, North Carolina became the first state in the nation to exit the federal government’s extended-benefits program for the unemployed. Facing the prospect of job-killing hikes in payroll taxes to pay back Washington, Gov. Pat McCrory and the state legislature instead reduced the amount and duration of unemployment-insurance benefits, which had been higher in North Carolina than in most states. As a result the state lost its eligibility to participate in the extended-benefits program on July 1, 2013.

National media and liberal activists pounced. Citing the decision and several other “outrages” by the state’s first Republican-led government since Reconstruction—such as adopting a pro-growth flat tax, clearing out the state’s regulatory thicket, and rejecting ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion—left-wing critics subjected the Tar Heel State to months of invective and ridicule.

Within the state, the so-called Moral Monday movement drew thousands of protesters to the capital on a nearly weekly basis. Hundreds of arrests were made for violating the rules of the state’s Legislative Building. Outside the state, liberal media outlets excoriated North Carolina for ending extended benefits. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman called it a “war on the unemployed.” Even some conservative columnists and policy analysts criticized the decision as unwise and inconsistent with the principles of their new “reform conservatism” movement.

So, what actually happened in the Tar Heel State?

North Carolina didn’t descend into the Dickensian nightmare critics predicted. For the last six months of 2013, it was the only state where jobless recipients weren’t eligible for extended benefits. Yet during that period North Carolina had one of the nation’s largest improvements in labor-market performance and overall economic growth.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of payroll jobs in North Carolina rose by 1.5% in the second half of 2013, compared with a 0.8% rise for the nation as a whole. Total unemployment in the state dropped by 17%, compared with the national average drop of 12%. The state’s official unemployment rate fell to 6.9% in December 2013 from 8.3% in June, while the nationwide rate fell by eight-tenths of a point to 6.7%.

There’s more at the link, including a discussion of whether the North Carolina figures are some sort of statistical mirage, or show real progress.

But, I’ll give you a hint as to the answer: it’s not a statistical mirage!

Now, things aren’t perfect in North Carolina, but, then again, things aren’t perfect anywhere this side of heaven. But the unemployment picture is getting better, faster, in a state where the recession hit particularly hard, than is the case for the nation overall. And I’ll be extremely blunt here: job seekers in North Carolina are being motivated by hard necessity. Unemployment insurance is meant to cushion the blow for people who have lost the jobs they once held, to tide them over until they can find other employment, without losing everything. But when unemployment can last for years, the hard motivation of the loss of housing and an empty stomach ebbs, and the experience in Carolina1 indicates that that bitter necessity is yielding employment gains.

Thomas Carlyle is credited with giving economics the appellation of “the dismal science,” and a truly dismal field of study it can be. It is, at heart, a study of how human beings will react to different economic conditions, without a single shred of concern for humanity involved. Too often, people like Paul Krugman believe that a concern for humanity, a sympathy for the plight of the individual, can somehow be added to economics, and government economic policy, to make things better for people, and so very often such ideas fail, because they simply fail to understand, to believe, that economics doesn’t care about the individual.

Economics is, at its most basic level, the aggregate of billions of people taking tens of billions of economic decisions every single day, and those decisions are based upon what each individual sees as being in his best interests, either for himself or his family. What individuals see as their own best interests do not always coincide with what would be in their neighbors’ better interests, and, when you have someone making national economic policy based upon notions of what would be the best thing for our citizens, that someone very frequently estimates wrong concerning the economic decisions that individuals will take concerning various economic stimuli. That is why Marxist economics never worked, and that’s why socialist systems have to try to impose ever greater controls and restrictions on the decisions people can take.2

And thus you have the lingering problem of unemployment insurance. The idea, among the left, is that the extended benefits would simply give the recipients more time to find jobs in this rough economy, but the reality has been, as proved by the experience in North Carolina, that the extended benefits enabled displaced workers to wait longer, living on the benefits, than they needed to actually find jobs. The oh-so-humanitarian policy of making unemployment more bearable resulted in unemployment being more livable, and thus more of an economic choice. The hard edge of privation has proved to be a much stronger motivating force.

Is that nice? Is that kind? No, absolutely not, not in the slightest. But it is real, it is the truth, and it’s high time we did something really radical like told the truth.
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  1. To anyone who has ever lived in southeastern Virginia, North Carolina is usually just Carolina.
  2. Karl Marx based his entire economic theory on the notion that, eventually, everyone would agree and everyone would take their economic decisions the same way. A ten-year-old could have seen that such was a ridiculous notion, but far, far too many adults never could.