Episode-1283- Listener Feedback for 1-20-13 — 30 Comments

  1. One other danger in Fukushima that you did not mention: During the removal of the fuel rods from the damaged facilities if anything goes wrong it could be as bad or worse than the original disaster. Still not a major factor for the US but bad for everyone either way. This is going to be a very touchy process and TEPCO is still trying to figure out how it can be done.

    • That is true, again for the people of Japan. I think the risk of that is a lot lower than a second natural disaster though. Well assuming the two don’t do a horrible function stack, IE a big earthquake while they are doing a key part of decommissioning like rod removal or moving rods.

  2. I just love it when people say “Who would build the roads if it wasn’t for government?!” Really – you mean to say that people are just to stupid to figure out how to get from A to B without government? Of course roads would be built. Not only would they be built; I think the roads would be in much better condition, new ones built quicker and cheaper than would be possible with the twiddle-thumbs government system.

    I think we could outdo our government in anything.

  3. The Flight of Nobukazu Komatsu into the Mushroom Cloud.

    The date is August 9, 1945.

    It is hazy with smoke obscuring the ground as the B-29, Bock’s Car, flies over it’s primary target… Kokura, Japan, but the bombardier has orders to make a visual drop and he can’t find his target through the haze. Fuel is becoming critical so Bock’s Car abandons its primary target, and heads toward its secondary… Nagasaki.

    Nagasaki, Japan is primarily a Christian city of 200,000 established by the Portuguese in 1571. Now it is in the crosshairs of Bock’s Car carrying the second of two atomic bombs. This one is named “Fat Man” and has been armed since take off. Nagasaki appears on the radar at 11:00 AM, and bombardier Kermit Beahan shouts, “I’ve got it! I see the city!” At 11:01 AM the plane suddenly lurches upward. Fat Man is on his way.

    There is a blue light and then… nothing.

    Kazuko lifts herself back up. She is standing beside a crumbling wall, all that is left of Urakami prison. She turns back toward her home but it is gone. She finds her mother buried under some tiles and together they find her father, Mr. Tokai. His skin peels off his hands as if he is removing gloves.

    High above, Bock’s Car and The Great Artiste (the plane carrying the war correspondent) watch as a huge fireball lifts up into the sky. A mushroom cloud forms as death rains down upon anyone in the city who has survived to this point. Low on fuel, the two planes bingo to Okinawa.

    A Japanese seaplane has heard the radio report of the bombing of Nagasaki. Cadet Nobukazu Komatsu wants to see if the same thing has happened at Nagasaki that happened to Hiroshima. In the back of the plane are his two comrades in arms, Chief Petty Officer Umeda and Cadet Tomikura. As Komatsu breaks through the clouds he sees the ominous mushroom cloud, but for him it is a thing of beauty. Flashing in multicolors as the sunlight filters through, he has an inspiration….

    “Let’s cut into the cloud!”

    As he banks into the mushroom cloud he opens his window and sticks a gloved hand out but he quickly draws it back in. It is like an oven. There is a sticky coating of dust on the surface of his glove now. He hears a scream from the back of the plane. Chief Petty Officer Umeda is vomiting. The heat is so intense in the plane that Cadet Tomikura opens his window and is hit full in the face with the radioactive holocaust. He quickly shoves the window closed as Komatsu finishes his turn and emerges from the mushroom cloud.

    Slowly Komatsu circles the city in the hope of taking pictures of the damage of Nagasaki but the heat is so intense that he lands his seaplane in the harbor and walks toward the city with his companions.

    The sun is setting on Japan.

    Little Kazuko Tokai is still alive. She was 275 yards from ground zero and she is still alive. Her father died earlier and she can hear her mother’s rasping breath. Kazuko calls out to her mother, “Don’t die!” but there is no response and never will be.

    “I’m the only one left alive.”

    America officials report the death toll as 35,000 but the Japanese place it as over double that but for little Kazuko, her entire world is gone.

    Chief Petty Officer Umeda will die of leukemia, two years later. Cadet Tomikura who got it full in the face with radioactive dust will also die of leukemia in 1964… 19 years later. The pilot, Cadet Nobukazu Komatsu, is still alive as of the publishing date of his story… 1970.

    “The Rising Sun” by Toland, Volume 2, 1970, pp. 989-1001.

    What is the point of this story?

    Fukishima is the least of my worries. Unless the bomb lands right on top of me, I’ve got better things to worry about.

    The most amazing thing about being hit full on with a nuclear blast is that MOST OF YOU WILL SURVIVE! Even the Chief Petty Officer in the story lived for two years. That means at least two years of preps if you don’t want to starve to death before then.

    Get going.

  4. I don’t have time to further this thought I’m having right now so I was thinking I’d throw it out here to the community. This process is typical of how I do (and have done) research related to economics and freedom for the last…15 years I guess. So…I just thought I would braindump this here for general consumption, since I’m not likely to do anything with it anytime real soon.

    After hearing the part in the show about economic freedom (and looking at the chart Jack provided) I wondered how it would correlate to something else I read this weekend.

    Look at the bubble chart thingy in that article. Then consider how the countries in that chart might cross reference to the list of “economically free”. What is the intersection?
    Should we expect an intersection?
    I wonder if we can get a larger data set (this above link only includes Africa) and compare that larger set to the methodology for determining/ranking economic freedom.
    How can we use this information?
    Can we identify different types of growth (debt driven vs “real” growth resulting from free association) and exploit that knowledge appropriately?
    Can we predict where the next “growth” is going to be (either debt or real)?

    I realize a comments section isn’t necessarily a place to post questions so I hope our host doesn’t consider this out-of-line. On the other hand, some times the question is more important than the answer.


  5. I signed up for a doctor in San Antonio doing the same thing; its only $25/month with a $10 copay per visit. Hes been open a couple years at least and is still taking patients. I am surprised his practice is not completely full at this point…

    • That is really awesome! Perhaps Texas is more free than WA on this type of thing? More likely though this Doc. is flying below the radar for now. My understanding was the shut down in WA was by the State, not the state.

  6. ok.. I’ve gotta know who the ‘disliker’ is..

    Seriously, were you a Caesar in a former life? Obsessed with clicking on the color red? Or do you just HATE EVERYTHING!!!


    • I have stalkers man, some of their effect I guess gets pointed at you guys. Hey if it makes them feel good, LOL.

    • My wife said the other day “Somebody really doesn’t like you on the blog because you always have Dislikes.”

      I replied, “Oh?”.

      She then said “Oh wait nevermind everybody does.”… Ahhhhh gotcha.

      I don’t even look at them. I think anonymous + and – are pretty useless. If you don’t have anything substantive to say, then just keep to yourself. (I don’t say if you only have something positive to say for a reason).

        • I agree, do away with it. It really doesn’t add much of anything. Like Mike said, if you can’t be arsed to put your opinion in words I really can’t bring myself to care about it.

  7. The reported youth disenchantment with government leads to some interesting speculations.

    The last ‘heroic generation’ (WWII) had to deal with an external threat, and turned to a governmental solution.

    This one has to deal with an internal threat. And if they’re already recognizing that ‘government solutions’ are ineffective (I’ll limit myself to that one word.. government fail = almost total).. that may lead to a very different set of solutions.

    The part I’m not sure about is the ‘generals’.. which in this turning would be the Gen X generation. They’re the ‘pragmatists’, and in my experience, that pragmatism has led them to the opinion that the solution is to ‘opt out’ as quickly as possible from the system as a whole.

    Will they accept/take positions of leadership at the crisis? Will the heroes recognize that their experience, and pragmatism, are valuable, and listen to them?

    Its hard to see how its going to play out.. because this time around the cycle, it seems like the pragmatists are more alienated, and the Heroes less hardened.

    • In my opinion, which is normally optimistic, but in this case I’m not, I think any “leaderships” you’re likely to see come out of upcoming crises are not likely to be good ones.

      I personally have a feeling we’re staring down the barrel of french revolution. Neighbor vs neighbor. Who cares right? Fuck the other guy. Very very much the urban way of viewing people.

    • Interesting point. I of course like many in this audience am from GenX. To me we are the last group that grew up with a “normal childhood”. Meaning we got hurt and dealt with it. We failed when we failed and only won when we won. I remember being in a bowling league with some friends for a few years. We won first place two years in a row, in third year we got third place and a trophy. There were no trophies or ribbons or anything for 4th by the way. It would not have mattered, the 4 of us felt like third place didn’t matter, we didn’t win. Hey a Bronze in the Olympics matters, third among the best in the world right. Third in a bowling league with 12 teams of other 12 year olds, just isn’t a big deal and we knew it.

      Our generation got in fights in gym classes and coaches let it go unless it really started to get out of hand. When someone got a clear advantage it was broken up and hands were shook and it was OVER unless you want to talk to the Dean about it, so it was OVER, period. The next day you shook hands and said I am sorry a second time, this time on your own without the coach threatening you and that is when you really meant it. A day to think about it was all you needed.

      No children were killing themselves due to bullying cyber or otherwise and while more of us had access to guns there were no school shootings to speak of.

      This is who GenX is, yet it is also GenX that has raised this entitled generation. Those who opt out as you put it, have not opted out on GenY and the millennials, we have opted out of the system that stole from them that which was so beneficial to us. We will lead but we can only lead from the front, we are leaders not drivers. Never thought of us as “generals” but you have the Spirko brain gears spinning on how to leverage that one now.

  8. Thoughts about this “generation”. I tell you what, while I’m hard on them as much as anybody else, who else is pushing all these new technologies? Anybody can make their own app, they require things that work, and when they don’t their verbal about it. They organize “flash mobs” on twitter whenever they don’t like things (information getting out). At least some of them are doing guerrilla gardening this and that.

    Look at pirating software and music. They’re a force to be reckoned with. I am a tad concerned with the lack of privacy that they know and should demand. However, obvciously they’re going to go over and beyond (already have) even what they’re comfortable with.

  9. Root source of all value & Replacement of government weights and measures

    Two small suggested corrections on the podcast.

    Jack stated that the root of value can all be traced back to the Earth, but I would say that all value can be traced back to applied thought. These ideas are not original as I have seen them repeated in the works of Ayn Rand and I think Jared Diamond. The idea is that even for the value that is directly given by the Earth, like say an apple or a piece of obsidian, it is the knowledge that the item has worth, for food or to make tools, is the thing that gives that item value. When more thought is applied to the obsidian, breaking it in such a way to create a sharp edge, then the item increases in value. This process continues to create all value. No item has worth without thought and the more thought creates more value. The apple only has worth if you know it is not poisonous, maybe in this case it is simple knowledge, but the same could be applied to mushrooms where the value of the knowledge is easier to appreciate.
    Also I think your solution to government tested weights and measures seems problematic as any measuring system needs periodic service and re-calibration. The idea that we could replace the hundreds of thousands of calibrated gas pumps with hundreds of millions of calibrated fuel measuring devices on cars seems unrealistic. I would suggest that each of the stations hire a certifying company who would guarantee their clients. Stations would have the option to not join, but then would loose the certification and the public trust that comes with it. I think this is how UL listing works and I think it could work at gas stations also.
    Keep up the great work.

    • Applied thought? Unless you are spiritual and making it the applied thought of the creator, I disagree. There is plenty of wealth on this planet and plenty of value for value exchange if all humans were gone. Fungus knows more about value for value exchange then most people. All wealth comes from the planet, we may enhance that value but we apart from the earth would have NOTHING to apply thought to.

      On your second one, seriously? You really don’t think our technology is capable of measuring shit without a bureaucrat involved?

      Markets always solve problems if government stays out of the way. A gallon by volume is a gallon by volume. It isn’t hard, a fixed cavity has no need of calibration. It works for reloading ammo! The consequences of a faulty measurement are a lot higher there.

    • No, nothing spiritual. Value is not intrinsic is extrinsic. What the Earth gives has potential value. It is only applied thought that grants value. That applied thought can take the form of modifying the original item or it may be in training the end user in the use of an item.

      A stick to the uninformed is nearly worthless, but in the hands of a hunter is a club, a smarter hunter a spear, a still smart hunter an atladl, to a woodsman it could be fire, to a bowyer it could be a bow and to a craftsman that stick could become anything from an ax handle to a violin. The results of any of their efforts potentially increases the value of the stick but only if the end user has use and is trained in the use of the new item.

      The Earth grants only matter in many different forms that has potential value. Stuff has no value. Useful stuff has value. Take this podcast. What does it give us? Physically nothing, just a replicated electrically encrypted audio stream. Without training in English, and access to electricity, computers, an internet connection, etc. it is worthless, yet with the above it could be invaluable. Where did the value come from? The Earth? Yes, I guess without it, it would be worthless, but that is just potential, real value comes from the applied thought from all the information gathered, filtered, condensed, and then organized into an educational format with means of transmission into something that has value.

      And yes, I don’t think our technology is capable of measuring shit easily. And no, as I stated in the original response, it does not need a bureaucrat involved, just a better mechanism than the one originally suggested. Certainly better than the one you suggest. Yes, gas could be measured gallon by gallon, but it would be miserably slow and crazy dangerous. Yes, for gunpowder the final consequences are greater, but the media is easier to deal with as gun powder does not readily evaporate or explode if the tiniest spark occurs. What you’d need is a self starting and ending non-sparking calibrated positive displacement pump on each vehicle run by stepper motor hooked to a controller along with a system that prevents cavitation. My solution is a voluntary free market system of for-profit calibrators who would sell their services in exchange for the advertising value of having a so certified establishment.

      Again, love the show and keep up the great work. If my response seemed terse, it was just to match your own.

  10. In terms of conversations among generals (Sun Tzu):

    Framing the Argument:
    Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted.

    Media keeps you scrambling from one battleground to another.. where the enemy is waiting, and has already prepared the ground.

    The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.

    To secure ourselves against defeat lies on our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.

  11. Just wondering, have you read any of the Stansberry investment advice newsletters or is your opinion based just on the marketing video?

    • Actually I do get his newletters if nothing else to see how he is going to scam you guys out of your money next.

      Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t like there is nothing correct about what Stansberry puts out, there is just a lot wrong with it. Go read unbiased reviews by his paying customers especially the ones suckered out of 4 figures for his top end stuff. Most have lost their asses following his investment advice.

      The problem with Porter is he claims we predicted X and sometimes they did, but he leaves out that they also predicted Y, Z, A, B and C and none of it happened and Y, Z, A, B and C were all far more important than X.

      He also claims to have been right about shit that happened but wasn’t what he meant. In 2012 he did predict “riots in the streets” in a video called “End of America” where they told you the complete crash of the US economy would happen in six months. Now he says what? That Occupy Wallstreet amounted to riots in the streets! Now please if you watched that video you know Occupy sit ins and stink ins were not what he meant.

      Oh what did this thief do in 2013? Told you what I told you by the way. The coming energy boom was going to be amazing and lead to a major resurgence for the US. He didn’t stop there though, he said things would be so good, that Obama would use it to run for a third term and he sold his bullshit based on a movie saying that.

      Now in 2014 the dollar will be destroyed forever on July 14th! So buy his investment newsletter! Seriously? This dude needs a major size 12 kick in the junk!

  12. Thanks Jack for making my day today.
    The last part of the show, after the Fukishima segment was….excellent. Really, really good. Truth with whip cream and sprinkles on top. An Everlasting Gobstopper of wisdom. I listened to it three times.
    I’ve been around TSP since about the 400 mark. Like you I’m still growing, searching for a better handle on the truth. I don’t ALWAYS agree with you, but I do think that your podcasts just keep getting better and better.

  13. I am somewhat surprised that Canada, with it’s excessive taxation it ahead of the U.S and even New Zealand, which has a similar tax rate. Could one assume that economic liberty and taxation levels are not related? I have no idea

    • You know how lard ass Al Gore says to look at your total carbon footprint, I think a lot of this is based on your total tax foot print. The income tax is but one tax, everything in this nation is now taxed at multiple levels.

      It is also about how hard it is to move money around, set up a business, get a permit for a business, corporate taxes, etc. It is about the total economic climate not just the tax rates on income.

      I do think some nations should be higher though! Costa Rica for instance, they really don’t give a shit what you do and only have a 10% income tax on income in excess of 250K and corporate and individual income are taxed the same way. That means if I simply report a gross income of less than 250K I would not even file a tax statement there. Putting it another way, make 350K and you pay income tax of 10K! I probably would not even bother to itemize and take deductions at that rate!

      Frankly I would be hard pressed not to be building a permaculture paradise in Costa Rica right now if my wife was so close to her family.

  14. In my province they now attach words like ‘Levy’, ‘Surcharge’. Our province is dependent on tourism, so the boneheads here attach a Hotel room tax, on top of a 14% HST (harmonized sales tax), similar to VAT in England. Not to ramble but, it has gotten to the point the restaurants will have to give the food away because after you add the recommended tip (now 20%) and the 14% HST. A $10 dollar burger is now $13.40. We are killing tourism here because of the fees and taxes…