"We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people." – John Fitzgerald Kennedy
“Why Restaurants Are Eliminating Tipping“, proclaims a news article headline. The claims include the ideas, that it promotes bad service, it’s an obsolete concept, and is unnecessary because of the living wage movement.
Restaurant owners are certainly entitled to their point of view, but they are probably poorly served by latching onto “living wage”. But workers have a right to their own direct relationship with customers. Their independent legitimacy as professionals doesn’t have to be dependent upon permission from restaurant owners.
Early twentieth century Britain saw the rise of a national movement, growing out of Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum (New Things), called distributism. This was based on the idea that gigantic business and gigantic government were colluding to restrict the freedom of the common people. The archtypical common man, Jones, could only have economic security if he owned his own property and, even if he had to work for another, more powerful person, his ultimate goal needed to be, self-employment. (Coincidentally, the age of cottage industries has been criticized for nothing more than inefficiency, which was “relieved” by the rise of centralized factories during the industrial revolution.)
My chief criticism of “living wage” is that it has the potential to intrude a class of regulators into the economic life of professional service workers. Progressives feel that government is intrinsically enlightened, and must regulate small business and, coincidentally, small workers.
Whether or not this plays out in the long run, uncritical calls for “living wage” ignore the fact that the first obstacle is the heightening of a conflict of interests between small business owners and workers.
I religiously practice tipping because I believe that tips are the property of the workers. I’m not doing them a favor, I owe them the tip for work that they perform. If I didn’t pay my fair tip, I would be defrauding workers of their wages, “a crime, the blood of which calls out of the ground for vengeance.”
Workers at L & L Hawaiian Bar-B-Que were somewhat bemused to see me bringing in a small tip without ordering anything. I didn’t have cash during a previous visit, and I was only paying what I owed.
If I can’t afford to tip, I shouldn’t be patronizing a restaurant. I should be going to the store, taking my own food home and preparing it for myself. Visiting a restaurant is a luxury; if it’s one that I can’t afford, I should refrain from it.
I’m committing a travesty against fundamental justice by omitting my tip. But I certainly don’t need Progressives taking away my freedom by raising prices. The principle of justice, which is only giving people what they’re intrinsically due by their inalienable nature, isn’t something that survives governmentalization.
Structuring Violations Laws (Assets Seizure for Consistently ‘Suspicious’ Deposits Just Below $10k) Were Originally Passed Because Professional Credit-Card-Fraud & Drug Organized Crime Is Nearly Impossible To Break.
A “Mule” for a top money laundering operation was only caught because a substitute check-cashing clerk he had romanced found him making $2,995 transactions in two different cities.
I made a “top secret” movie of a lecture before a Veterans’ group, “I’d tell you a secret, but then I’d have to kill you” sort of thing, the lecture title was “The Transnational Impact of Financial Crimes”, basically it was a law-enforcement insider’s account of how the top professional credit-card thieves operate. I wasn’t allowed to film the lecturer’s slideshow, all I have to show for it is the audio track, but still, it’s pretty informative.
This comes up with the recent story of an honest, small merchant, Lyndon McLellan of L&M General Store & Grill in Fairmont, North Carolina, whose assets were summarily seized by the IRS to the tune of over $100,000 because he had made the mistake of allowing his niece to make cash deposits in amounts just below the reporting limit of $10,000. McLellan’s bank asked him to make such deposits because it would save the bank added work; then the Feds showed up at the poor guy’s shop, having seized his whole bank account, an egregious excess in what has become a government shakedown, economic sector amounting to hundreds of millions in seized assets that will never be recovered by innocent victims.
The general outlines of the “secret” crime movie are that the real pros at wholesale credit card theft are ex-Soviet intelligence agents, formerly in the business of disrupting whole economies and overthrowing countries, who were thrown out of work with the fall of Communism; they plead the excuse that they don’t have any other craft than illegal variants on the spy trade. This comes at a pivotal time in the development of computers when the law can never begin to keep up with the challenges of ever-proliferating technology. The Red Fellows have an extremely sophisticated, highly organized extension of the old “cell” system in which a spy would only know 2 others, who would directly interact in a kind of honeycomb system, so that if one person were caught, all the others could escape except for the two other immediate persons known to the apprehendee.
Their organization, known as variously as the International Carder’s Alliance, the Shadow Crew and other names, is highly articulated and structurally anonymous. Rather than the theft of your credit card resulting in immediate loss to you, your stolen information is bundled on a wholesale level with perhaps 10,000s of other victims, your pilfered data will sit in an information depot for more than a year, before you might hear that your whole bank, credit card company, medical records or contents of some other supposedly secure system has been compromised. The latent stolen information is activated all at once, the cashing-in period taking only two days at the most, the transactions are instantaneously competed at the speed of light and the principals flee the country before law enforcement knows anything about the long-planned “harvest”. The Red Fellows’ organization is so sophisticated that it is nearly impossible for law enforcement to crack, and when they do come close to catching low level individuals, the penalties are so paltry in comparison with the great profitability and ease of the crime that controls are nearly totally ineffective. The bosses are invincible, untouchable, rajahs of a perfect white-collar criminal empire.
As the story relates to the seizure of L&M General Store’s assets due to Structuring Violations about suspicious deposits, one of the most successful convictions of an actual criminal related to the law’s original purpose, involved an operation in which cash was converted from more portable instruments such as money orders, just below a $3,000 reporting threshold. One small link in the credit-card theft chain was a man, we’ll call Nikolai Pantera, (The Panther), not his real name, whose specialized job was to travel between check-cashing stores up and down the west coast, cashing money orders for $2,995. These had been securely shipped from the next lower level in the money processing chain, the receipts guaranteeing against loss with virtually no risk.
Nikolai was apparently rather good looking and something of a ladies’ man. He was making coochey-coo with a teller at a certain city’s check-cashing branch. The woman was not a regular employee, she was a substitute, called a Rover in the check cashing industry, she traveled between cities at a regional level, she finished work in one city, traveled to another city close by (Clackamas, OR). Nikolai then shows up at the same company, he doesn’t recognize his girlfriend from his 5-minute love affair; the substitute teller then recognizes him, blows the whistle, the panther is now caged.
The IRS’ abuse of Structuring Violation laws is typical only of the tendency of a system originally founded on good principles to run to excess. At this time in governmental history, many notorious abuses are piling up in federal prosecutions, (such as the destruction of Arthur Anderson on the pretext of their involvement with Enron, they were innocent but 10,000s of jobs were lost). The political system is hamstrung by its own corruption involving lobbyists, special interest influence and the high cost of elections, so that there will be no effective controls until the system careens out of control with a structural scandal like Lois Lerner at the IRS.
That only typifies a system which is fundamentally corrupt. The international carders and shadow gangs are just one facet of a larger, hidden crime milieu in which there is lack of functional distinction between governmental secret services, corporate intelligence and organized crime; they have more in common with each other than with the above-ground economy and their victims
This is shown by the story of how Usama bin Laden was located: A former-Soviet intelligence veteran hacked Al Quaeda, he wanted to be accepted by them, they shamed him, he put a fake moustache on bin Laden’s picture, but to make his revenge stick, he turned bin Laden in to a “legitimate” intelligence service. Without organized cyber-crime, bin Laden might never have been caught. Who watches the watchers?
I once saw G. Gordon Liddy speaking at California State University, Sacramento. He had been on the road for a while, had a touch of laryngitis, his voice was raised a bit in pitch so that his normal baritone had strayed into the tenor range, unfortunately, he suddenly sounded a lot like Don Adams of Get Smart. As a smart-aleck kid, I stepped up to the microphone during questions and answers, asked Mr. Liddy, “Is the character of Get Smart based on your persona, or vice-versa?” Mr. Liddy started responding innocuously to the question, the audience meanwhile had started laughing, Liddy suddenly realized he was being ridiculed, he looked around for me and shouted out “Where is that guy?”, but I had disappeared into the crowd without his really noticing me.
The repeal of Glass Steagall was the final straw that broke the back of the world economy. That was the single worst act that could have ever been done and we are now paying the price in spades. The collapse from 2007 has wiped out even the liquidity of the markets.
Thanks for the request for proposal/RFP for a mobile website. I’m not able to respond at this time, I hope the offer may be open later. If, as it seems, you as the client don’t have the minimally required, direct user experience to participate on the client end in the mobile development process, it would be a waste of your money to proceed.
A mobile development manual shows information you would be expected have minimal understanding of, in order to properly state the job specifications. It’s a simple boolean question, do you or don’t you already understand what these things mean? "Yes" or "No", but definitely not "maybe". If "Not", you shouldn’t be releasing an RFP for a mobile website.
By analogy, releasing an RFP for a mobile site without the necessary understanding would be like an advertising client in the early days of t.v., who had never seen television, wanting to give specifications for t.v. ad campaign. It would be essential that the client have first-hand t.v. viewing experience, to participate in the ad campaign development process from the client end. The client, as beginning and end of the process, would have to be able to judge the receptivity of the audience, the middle of the process, to any ad campaign, based on first-person experience. Such an unprepared client couldn’t effectively make the investment decisions necessary to conduct such a campaign.
Marshall McCluhan’s most valuable teaching, in his Understanding Media, was that the content of every new medium is the medium which preceded it, so t.v. contained radio. Mobile contains the internet, but it exceeds it in crucial ways that require direct experience to work in the medium.
I’ll give a simple example from the mobile world: It could be expected that you will be posting a phone number on your mobile website for world press phone contact; virtually all the press will be receiving your PR via mobile phone. You will need to understand how a mobile phone accesses mobile websites. Here’s my daily experience with that single instance of a mobile attribute which completely excludes computers: I’m in my car; without stopping, I push a microphone icon on my android Google app, I speak the words "Golden City Roseville" into the phone, it finds the Chinese restaurant I want, I push the “call” button—in mobile, unlike the limits of the internet, phone numbers have blue underlining, to signify dynamic hyperlinks, in this case, activating the phone dialer—I give my order, I tell the business how far away I am, they say, “5 minutes”, I arrive & my order is ready. I looked at the screen 3 times, once when I pushed the microphone activator icon, second, when I pushed the “call” button in the search results, and last, when I stopped the call. I didn’t need any training to perform that action, the training was in the icons on the screen, a completely integral tech package. This is the daily experience for millions which you and your associate completely lack.
This is not your Old Dad’s internet. There are two mobile devices for every human being on the planet; a majority of them will never own a “computer”. They are more “connected” than any previous generation.
I could have had my 6 year old grandchild make the call, by just giving her instructions, though she’s never done it. If I weren’t using the device and had never done so or seen it done, there’s no way I could have envisioned how to do it, much less tell my grandchild.
She could figure out how to use it within a certain amount of time; she would have a window on a world I knew nothing about. It would take too long to for her to explain to me, if for instance I were blind, I would’ve ended up yelling at her while I should’ve been listening. So likewise, the communication limitations would preclude proceeding with mobile development of [Project Name] at this time.
Note to Self: These are gasoline figures – odometer [blue underlined], date, price, rate, amount. I spoke these figures into the phone. They were completely accurate, except that the 9 numeral at the end of the middle line was mistakenly interpreted as the word “night”.
One reason it can be claimed this isn’t the internet, is that no desktops or laptops, at least none I’ve heard of, have a geo-location device, a voice activated search app, or the ability to respond to the mobile tag “tel:9167867797” that allows me to call in my order. You develop mobile on a desktop or laptop, but you immediately test your incremental development results on a mobile device or emulator.
It could be argued from one hand, that these added gadgets are just peripherals and that the mobile device is just a computer, so mobile is not a new medium, it’s really just the internet. By the same token, it could be argued that in the late 20’s and early 30’s, Philo T. Farnsworth’s iconoscope was just a peripheral to an FM radio—which was itself at the experimental stage of development at the time—however, David Sarnoff had suppressed commercial development of FM because it competed with NBC/RCA, so that’s all just academic.
“It Does Not Compute” when a traditional “Computer” attempts to consume a tel: tag.
The point is the difference between radio & t.v. in their social and consumer aspects, once product development was complete and they were distributed to millions of people.
This is not your Old Dad’s internet. The informational underpinnings of the French Revolution were that the population had a high rate of literacy, newspapers and books prompted them to speak the same dialect for the first time. The mobile revolution potentially unites everyone on the planet for the first time.
From my standpoint as a developer, I would be going out on a limb trying to take over some of the functions that the client has to exercise. It’s crucial that the client has mobile experience, to receive and vet my development results.
The solution would be for someone on the client end to get mobile experience—even a secretary, or just a child—then you could proceed with mobile development of [Project Name].
How to Deflect Others From Attacking You By Attacking First
From a Culture in which a Girl Committed Suicide for Getting ONE A-Minus
“Ann” had cried with gratitude because of the great process improvement I gave her. Later she attacked me for “mistakes” her department made. She experienced unbearable personal tension at perceived errors.
I thought I had a wonderful working relationship with “Ann” (not her real name, but it was similar), after she cried with gratitude when the first of seven perfect years of our business project came off like a bang. We had saved thousands of dollars of labor costs by automating a yearly open enrollment process that had previously required general disruption of departmental routine. Teams of clerical workers used to have to go through an annual rush agony to hand calculate yearly updates of health contributions for 1,500 employees’ out of pocket expenses, to be reported to a large, external retirement agency.
After Ann’s gratitude, imagine my surprise, when, during a meeting years later, she viciously attacked me in front of other colleagues while claiming that I had made “mistakes”. It seemed to be a matter that Ann had experienced culturally dictated, unbearable tension after her department had made errors in specifications they had to issue, in a process that required her whole department to conduct a detailed analysis before we issued a large yearly report a to an outside agency.
“In [the Foreign Country], there is great fear of failure and mistakes in front of other people. It is better to do nothing and avoid being criticized than to taste the humiliation of failure. As a result, there are things we wanted to do, but did not, and often regret.”The report process was such that when Ann’s department established a new benefits calculation method for a succeeding year, she would quote me a set of rules for the calculations in tandem with a table of employee and employer contributions to monthly health costs. There were about 25 categories based on employee family relationship and health plan selection, with two-letter codes for provider, plan and description. These tables, printed on portrait orientation, legal paper, were the same ones the employees would receive to help them understand their new year’s monthly charges.
Every year when Ann would give me the new definitions, I would first analyze the specifications for illogical outcomes, and return the specifications with the anomalies highlighted in red text. I would patiently explain the error in the definitions that Ann’s department had provided. Continue reading →
The Function of a Quasi-Governmental Cartel/Monopoly is not to Benefit Consumers. It is to Enforce Economy of Scale, Raise Prices and Discourage Competition to Benefit Elites.
“Fascism”, a term much bandied about by people uninformed about much history, is the political manifestation of the period of economic history known as Monopoly Capitalism.
(The monopoly capitalism of Henry Ford was preceded by the Financial Capitalism of JP Morgan and Anselm Roth Schild, and the mercantile capitalism of Cosimo de Médici.)
I produced a fully functional website, complete with user queryable database. The businessman in question used the website, even to the extent of corresponding with me regarding changes in data. He refuses to pay me on the pretext that we didn’t have a written agreement. Here are my comments regarding our eternal disposition.
Have you ever heard what happens when a person is leaving this world?
They see their whole life played before them, not like Scrooge, but in tiny increments, as it were, in 4-d holography, moment by moment, sensation by sensation, thought by thought. They know everything they ever did, including and especially, the things they tried to fool themselves about.
Now, if that’s true about an individual life, guess what happens on The Last Day? The Lord, Who stands outside all time, has got all eternity:
Everyone who was ever created, from JP Morgan or Julius Cesar, down to the littlest embryo who was only alive for a few hours:
We Will All See What Each Other Did, Every Little Moment, At The Same Infinitesimal, Micro-Granular Level.
The Lord has got all eternity, to prove to each one of us, that He was infinitely Just, Patient and Forbearing to us.
A Priest named Fr. Steven Scheier had a terrible accident on a rural, Midwestern highway, part of his brain was sheared off, he stood before the Judgment Seat of God. When Our Blessed Lord accused him of all his sins, for which he deserved hell, he could offer no excuses, all he could say was, “Yes, Lord”. Then our Blessed Mother spoke up for him, asking her Son to send him back to this world.
You and I will see everything each other ever did. Perhaps our Blessed Lord might even judge between you and me, which of us was more just in our business dealings with each other?
See you on the Last Day. May God have mercy on our souls.
Here are a few points that will help lower your car insurance expenditures.
Realize that you can always switch insurance companies – Most people think they are locked into their car insurance policy until renewal time. That’s 100% false. You can cancel any car insurance policy at any time, and get a prorated refund. This encourages shopping around (more on this later).
Drive less than 35 miles per day – We’ve found that many car insurance companies don’t ask how much you drive (they’ll leave it up to you to ask them.) Make sure you bring this up, and ask if there are discounts if you don’t drive very far (like less than 35 miles a day).
Your credit may matter, also – If you have good credit, it could lower your premium. Ask about it if your credit score is 650+.
Ask about other discounts, like occupation and hybrid cars – Some companies offer discounts to “low risk” occupations (like engineer, teachers, scientists, etc.) Ask if your occupation qualifies. Some companies also offer discounts for electric cars / hybrids.
Compare, compare, compare – We cannot stress this enough. Remember earlier where we said you can get out of your current policy? That makes shopping around for the best rates very easy. The savings to be had by doing a little comparison shopping can be huge – often hundreds, if not thousands of dollars!
I was out driving, looking for a movie, (“but not TEXTING”). I was using the little speech recognition gadget on my little Android phone, the cheapest one you can buy; it recognizes speech pretty well—I wish I had it on my other devices!
I swear I wasn’t breaking the law; I would only look at the phone at stop lights, to start the gadget—I did speak into the device while moving, I THINK that’s legal. I would only click on links while stopped.
I HOPE I wasn’t trying to evade detection…Alright, it’s legally “iffy”.
This type of action is repeated many 100,000s times a day. It’s what the “internet” is used for most commonly as it affects your bu$ine$$.
Your customers are looking for you—you just haven’t informed them of it yet. Your business is at a definite place on GPS, your customers’ phones are in another place, in the time it took you to read this, they’re deciding between you and your competition. Everyday hi-tech will either lead them to you or away from you—depending on how well you use this essentially free technology.
Do you really have time to linger and ponder deeply on whether or not your “website” looks “cool” to you & your friends? That has to be taken into account, but in a multi-use utility, getting your customers in the front door with their wallets has to be first.
148 Feet – 1/10/95
What “Multi-Use”? Look at some base infrastructure we all take for granted, that can unexpectedly cause serious life interruption if things go wrong, because it’s over-extended: Flood control. How far do you live from a river? I thought I was pretty well set up, I live 10 miles from the nearest river. Then I saw this sign on a little back street—the city doesn’t really advertise it, but somehow this information squeaked through.
This place is ordinary looking, but on January 13, 1952, four people drowned here. It sits in a bowl; as you’re sitting in your car, you’re looking up at the asphalt no matter what direction you’re going. A modest water level surge, flooding only up to people’s knees in adjacent areas, could put you 20 feet under water in a matter of a minute.
Flood control is only part of river use. We expect the Army Corps of Engineers also to deliver agricultural irrigation, transportation and recreation on our rivers, but it’s always a compromise in which failure to put priority on the most important thing–safety–can have most inconvenient consequences.
There are flood control engineering projects working perfectly well in China that are 2,000 years old, but they place safety first. Transportation may be second, irrigation may not be taken into account at all, and the people probably felt adequately “recreated” if they could get something to eat and stay safe.
We expect so much from our hydrological civil engineering, we are in danger of failing to put primary emphasis on the purpose of highest priority: keeping ourselves safe, before recreation, transportation or even irrigation.
How You “See” Things
You can put your biz website to multiple uses–as long as your planning is explicit about what that means. The money trail involves seeing things from your customers’ perspective first, and putting your natural pride in your business accomplishments in a close, second place.
To put your publicity priorities in the right order, just imagine yourself searching for your business services, the way your customers think. Envision yourself driving, you’re in a hurry, you’ve got a lot to do, you want the best deal, you want the business to treat you fairly, you really want some beneficial, expert help guiding you in your “opinion formation”…customer education. Now, wearing your other hat as a goods & services provider, you need your business publicity to take all that into account, and more.
The first thing is to get a mobile site that’s quick, cheap, comprehensive. It needs to tell customers in about 1.5 seconds what you’re going to do for them better than anyone else, how they’ll be smart to go with you—and imply less than optimal results if they fail to take advantage of the opportunity now—quickly & convincingly tell them that when, where and how means you, now!
You certainly do need a regular computer website, to ensure that you get a fair shake from the search engines. That is closer to the 2nd place concern: how your website looks to you. But concentrate first on your customers’ “user experience”—which more often than not, these days, is mobile.