Episode-1431- Listener Feedback for 9-22-14 — 65 Comments

  1. I searched for engagement bands in 2007, in 2008 before my wedding I was looking for a gift for my bride to be… amazon recommended wedding bands. Later in 2008 after we found out we were having a kid I casually logged in to amazon to search for something and what do you know… bugaboo strollers were being recommended.

  2. A logical extension (and worry) regarding stores collecting data on our purchases and thereby knowing what we are doing…

    It is true that corporations sell our data to other corporations… and they will also sell our data to the government like any corporation. No warrants. No courts. No kidding. They are doing it now.

    “Recently, the U.S. government started using a database called The Work Number as part of a pilot program that helps it determine who is eligible for government benefits like food stamps and Social Security disability benefits […]. The Work Number’s database houses 54 million active salary and employment records, and more than 175 million historical records, according to the company. The firm collects payroll data from more than 2,500 U.S. employers and then sells it to companies like credit card issuers, property managers and auto lenders. ”

    It’s a straight transaction just like buying paperclips and pencils…. except it is the government buying information about you. No NSA super-secret scanners required. No massive data farms needed. Just buy it from the corporation collecting it. Even the Chinese have money.

    Here is a quote from an article from 2001… a few years ago… but still uncomfortable…

    “Last month, drug retailers that handle a third of the nation’s prescriptions–including CVS, Kmart, and Wal-Mart–banded together to pool up-to-the-minute sales data from thousands of stores nationwide and sell that information to marketing companies and drugmakers, which spend up to $25 million annually for such data to track sales trends and market share.”

    Here is a similar article from 2013…–data-privacy_n_3739439.html

    They are even tracking you at Victoria’s Secret! (Is nothing sacred? :-))

    If I were the NSA, buying data from research firms would be cheaper than trying to gather the data myself.

    It’s logical. I’m just saying…

    Alex Shrugged

  3. So Jack you mentioned the new project you’re working on – when will the boardgame be out? :-). Am I even close?

    • Dang it… I hadn’t thought of a TSP board game before. I’d buy that! Now I want one even though Jack said that’s not the project. Sigh.

    • He’s been talking about the egg business, so I’m putting my bet on a mail-order egg business. To cut down on shipping cost they will come pre-scrambled. 😛

      • Again not even the same planet. Today’s show will have more to do with it than most shows.

        • Seriously no one is even close yet. This is the closest but it is like being close to guessing chicken because you guess frog because both are animals. Actually not even that close. More like the answer is chicken and you said ocean and at least both are on planet earth.

        • Jack’s coming up with the same thing he does every night Pinky…. Trying to take over the world 🙂

  4. Regarding chapstick girl: I think she should just put it on anyway. They will either back down (unlikely), or expel her and/or arrest her. This would be a great opportunity to bring national attention to the school and turn them into a giant embarrassment. Imagine being the little girl who was literally banned from attending school again, because of a medical issue easily remedied by chapstick but a heartless school would not let her. You can’t buy that kind of fame. She could go on various talk and TV shows doing interviews, hopefully for pay on some of them, as an advocate for freedom, etc. and telling her story. The school sucks anyway and she should not be there, so I don’t think it is a huge deal to get expelled for chapstick, as long as she can educate herself some other way (I have no idea if her parents would be up to home schooling, but hopefully a private school would take her in). If the school’s going to go retard, force them to go full retard by putting on the chapstick anyway and putting them in the position of having to do something about it. Let’s see them do it. I really think it’d be better for the girl in the long run. If they just back down and comply, then the opportunity would be gone.

    I’m no marketing genius and I could just be nuts, but I think that’s what I would try to do in that situation if the usual talking to the people in the school wasn’t enough to slap some sense into them.

    • I’m more blown away that any parent would let a school get away with this kind of nonsense. They’re calling it hygenic? So its hygenic to have children with open wounds and injuries? It’s ok for a school, who is supposed to be in care of your child, forcing a child to go with an injury?

      Are they saying they can’t even have it at the nurses office and anybody who wants/needs chapstick can’t get it from them? Ridiculous.

    • Can’t she just break out the “American’s with Disabilities Act” card? I like to use statists own ridiculous “equality”/”Fairness” laws against them

      • Maybe but I suspect the government only lets the ADA be used against private companies. A strategy of malicious compliance may also be an option. I would guess if she had a doctor’s note and had to go to the nurse for her to apply it as she keeps her arms by her side, that would be allowed. So, she can request every 30 minutes to go get more applied. The nurse will be pissed. The classes will be disrupted. The teacher will be pissed. It could be awesome. It is not as if much actual edumacation was being done anyway, so might as well have fun with it while trapped there.

  5. On the chapped lip thing I’ve always used vitamins A&D to unchap my lips. I don’t remember where I heard about it but it has consistently worked for me. I only get chapped lips when I’ve been out in cold weather for a while and I assume that burns up A&D.

    I wonder if it is possible to use GiGo to make everyone’s “profile” look like everything. Camouflage by ticking all the boxes. I’m just tired of all the attempts to remotely manipulate. Advertising, propaganda, logical traps, false choices, lies, false data, coercion, etc etc ad nausium it’s hard not to get a bit cynical over the whole avalanche of BS. It would seem that the practical response is the rule of thumb for dealing with such crap is

    DIStrust but verify.

    That book that Geoff Lawton was saying that should be written with 10 true things that every 5 yr old should know and 100 true things that an older kid should know and 1000 true things all adults should know. Brilliant idea. Something like that could make most of the BS ineffective. Anyway minor rant over, back to something useful, gardening 😉

    • It’s interesting you mentioned vitamin D. Ever since I was a toddler, the skin on my hands would flake off extremely badly every winter. No amount of creams would help. 2 winters ago, I accidentally discovered if I supplement with vitamin D (at least 2000 IU a day) that the problem 99% goes away. I have to be outside for an extended amount of time at 10F without gloves to trigger it now. Come to think of it, there wasn’t much lip cracking last winter either. And it was extremely cold.

  6. Funny thing about your prepper scenario: I’ve actually had a few dozen signs made up that say: Quarantine by Order of the CDC, Ebola. Big yellow signs with the international symbol of plague and a glorious – and dare I say it – patriotic praetorian eagle on them. I plan on flying these the first time something weird is going on, like power out to the city for a couple of days.

    Remember, epidemic and the fear of such can be your friend in hard times 🙂

  7. Get a load of this school ban in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada: No dairy, eggs, fish, peanuts, or peanut substitutes like Wowbutter allowed at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic School for anybody because a student has allergies. She has a stay-at-home mom who could take her home for lunch, but does not. The school does not offer a separate lunchroom for allergies. Teachers must check all students’ lunches each day. Initially the school allowed Wowbutter and Sunbutter, but banned them too, because they resembled peanut butter. Students who bring banned protein foods have them confiscated and get a jam sandwich at taxpayers’ expense, instead. Understandably, they don’t feel well by the end of the school day because of erratic blood sugar. The mother in question suggests parents of non-allergic children substitute safe stuff like Jell-O, crackers, marshmallows, Pop Tarts or tinned beans. This school is in the poorest district, so parents cannot afford roast beef sandwiches for kids every day. This ridiculous policy is just one of the reasons I homeschool my son. Incidentally, Holy Name schoolyard is filled will broken glass, dog and cat feces, used condoms, and syringes. But apparently that’s OK, as long as the kids don’t eat protein.

  8. Prepper scenario: 30 days of quarantine in my own home. Easy. If there is dependable water, sewer, and electric, its a vacation. Add Internet, and it’s working from home.

  9. Prepper scenario: I couldn’t tell if the grid went down in this scenario (it might if no one went to work to maintain it). If electricity is up, we’d eat stored food and get water as usual from the well. I have plenty of pellets for heat (it is what I heat with anyway). If electricity went down, then things get a bit more interesting. The stored water (55 gallon drum) would not last that long especially if I want to flush toilet. I would need to venture out for more water, regardless of quarantine. I’m in rural NH so this should be no problem making it to the gross-looking brook in my back yard (at best, suitable for flushing toilet), or 200 yards away to get to the nice brook with the clear water. I have a Big Berkey and plenty of filters to purify it. And, I could heat it if necessary (plenty of scrap wood for fuel in the woods). If I actually couldn’t reach a water supply for whatever reason so toilets were not working, I have a 5 gallon bucket with toilet lid and 500 5-gallon bags to put in it to catch the “deposits”.

  10. Jack,
    I love the show and keep doing what you are doing.
    Regarding TARGET: Your info about Target tracking customer buying patterns is old news. I recently purchased the book “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg that showcased Targets “insightful” marketing campaign. What you read on the air was almost verbatim to one of the chapters in the book. The New York Times is regurgitating old research as new and cutting edge processes of data mining (and walking a fine line on plagiarism). I am sure nobody lost their job over this incident, this information has been out there for years. The guy who developed the data mining algorithms for Target is one of the most sought after market researchers in the industry.
    I find this to be brilliant marketing but it scares the hell out of me that my purchases can tell someone so much about me. How can we secure our privacy in the world we live in today?

  11. Regarding the Texan facing the death penalty: How is this guy not dead? Sounds like he took out four of the SWAT team and they captured him alive? Did the SWAT guys surrender then he realized they were cops and gave up? I’m wondering if he didn’t have pretty extensive training himself (possibly a veteran with PTSD) to take our four highly trained members of a SWAT team. That’s purely speculation, but I don’t see your average Joe Blow pot smoker being able to do that. There’s a lot of details they aren’t releasing. I also wonder if they used a percussion grenade on entry. That type of thing could disorient you severely and keep you from hearing anyone identifying themselves. Of course if they did that just intensifies the reasoning behind significant training on the part of the accused. I also think if they found nothing in his house more incriminating than a glass pipe and a grinder the guy wouldn’t likely have tried to have a shootout with the cops if he had known who they were. I can continue to speculate, but there’s just not enough information and the fact that one “pot head” was able to shoot four highly trained officers and that he didn’t end up riddled with bullets afterward makes the whole situation seem very strange.

    Jack, I hope you let us know when more information arises on this. Unless there’s a lot more they found in the house they aren’t sharing I’d be surprised if the NRA or ACLU didn’t join his defense team. But then they probably don’t want to be involved with a cop killer, regardless of justification.

    • Worse it appears the guy was not a pot head, but a crack head. One doesn’t keep a glass pipe and a grinder for pot. Something isn’t right here. Only the murder charges were filed. There is a lot of character attack on this guy, may be well warranted. If he is a prior felon or on misdemeanor parole/probation the gun would be a separate charge, they don’t have to do that charge but usually they bring EVERY charge they can.

      Now at this guys age if he had ever had a felony he’d still be on parole, if that were the case no warrant was even needed.

      So it seems at least from what we can see this guy had no prior record of anything meaningful. One gun was found a 9mm. He was the son of an army officer but it doesn’t appear he had training.

      Though he hit 4 officers, one was a pretty minor injury and two not hurt at all due to protective gear. The minor one was hit in the leg, the guy that died in the upper chest above his vest. Think of the angle you would be entering a window at, yea, that is where a shot would likely end up if the shooter was in any way competent.

      The more I think about it, the more it stinks. They FOUND NO DOPE. So why the hell would this guy shoot anyone over the fact he had a pipe, a grinder and a scale and risk death over it. He wouldn’t even have done jail time for having that crap.

      Not to mention all this violence was once again over drugs. Why the hell is anyone having a no knock warrant over drugs which only harm the user who uses by choice.

      • Actually, they do make glass pipes for pot. While I don’t partake I know several folks who do, and a grinder is another pot artifact. I have no exposure to other drugs, so I’m not sure if others use a grinder. Regardless, the lack of information raises a lot of questions and tickles the suspicion bone.

        • Well I guess you know more than I do about drugs that checks out. In the 80s pot was smoked in a paper, a bong or something you made in shop. LOL

      • Yep crack was something we did to lumps of coal. Some kids smoked pot, almost all of us drank beer and not much more.

        10 years after I left the heroin came in, my best friends girlfriend from school OD’d on it. I am sure crack is everywhere there now and I know meth is. Is that progressive?

        Lot’s of people went to jail and prison over it but the drugs are still there. War on drugs equals more drugs? A war on poverty equals more poverty? A war on terror equals more terrorism?

        Perhaps our government should declare a war on jobs?

        • INTERESTING analysis there. Well by that definition you just said that you align with the republicans. Democrats always talk about how the republicans are having a “war on jobs”.

          Or is it the other way around? One thing is for sure, only government can solve this problem……… =)

        • No I did not! Both Dems and Reps have formally declared war on Poverty, Drugs and Terrorism, its bipartisanship at its finest.

          Don’t tell me you are starting to fail to recognize sarcasm?

        • @Jack

          “Don’t tell me you are starting to fail to recognize sarcasm?”

          Either you’re saying this sarcastically, or I’m going to say “Apparently it is you who fails to see the sarcasm”. hahah.

          I’m in total agreement with the “go to war you get more of it” nonsense. I’m sure there is probably a quote out there somewhere that some famous person must have said that says what you’re saying… There always is.

  12. Great episode… I can relate to the school issues. I had to go to the local school several times….One particular time because my daughter told me she would get “suspended” if I packed her peanut butter and jelly sandwiches again. I assumed she was exaggerating, even though she is a very honest kid. However, it sounded so ridiculous, that I had to investigate. Low and behold, the principal told me, “we have a child (singular) with a peanut allergy in the school, therefore, restrictions have been made regarding peanut butter”. My next question was whether or not they planned paying for her lunches, since they had imposed food exemptions. When she told me no, I asked her how far they were going to go on the restrictions; milk allergies, kosher meals, vegetarians being offended, etc. Without going into more detail, the conversation ended with me telling her that my child will be bring what she wants in her lunch, and unless they were going to pay for her meals, they could simply segregate the child with allergies if they were that concerned.
    Anyway I was glad to hear something on that, and wanted to share this quick story… the school system is really out of control….. and sadly I live in Montana, the last place I thought I would see such jackassery.

    • The nut thing has just gotten stupid. When we were designing the food forest in Helena Montana with Dave Jacke we were told by the town not to include nut trees due to some people in the park possibly having nut alergies. Jacke who is a liberal’s liberal to the 10th degree had his jaw dropped and found it absurd. I wonder if it ever occurred to him where such thinking comes from?

    • I have a 5 year old allergic to eggs, peanuts and most tree nuts. The rate of food allergies seems to be rising so fast. Multiple kids in his kindergarten class have allergies also. Our son is good about being careful. Since egg is so common in baked ingredients, he has learned to ask about everything he gets from others.

      IMO, just another sign of how off track our modern lifestyle really is. Maybe it will convince more to look into paleo / whole foods / permaculture ideas. I wish I knew 10 years ago what I know now and maybe we wouldn’t have to be worrying about kids smearing peanut butter sandwich fingers on the water fountain knobs.

    • @Jack

      Should have said “let’s plant wheat then”. hah….. Yeah the allergy thing is WAY out of control. Didn’t even exist in the 90s. (Nobody could give two flying turds about it. It was a personal thing).

  13. Jack, you are absolutely correct on the tracking companies do. I ordered something that is being sent UPS. UPS offers a service that will estimate the time the package will arrive to my house. When I went to sign up for this, they had a list of questions to make sure I am who I say I am. They knew where I lived 15 years ago, what cars I have owned, and several other pieces of information. All I gave them was my name, address, email (spam address), and phone number.

  14. on the target scenario. if you ever use anything other than cash or ever give your name, facial recognition is coming and once they have your name it won’t matter if it is a cash purchase.

    I’d like to see someone create a relatively unobtrusive way to defeat facial recognition software so I can decide when I want to be tracked or don’t want to be tracked.


  15. RE: the Swat shooting.

    Am I the only one who thinks shouting “police” is far from adequate identification for someone kicking down a door or breaking through a window? If someone’s forcibly entering my house my immediate assessment is “this is a bad guy and a serious threat to me and my family” and his shouting “police” is not going to change that one bit.

    If police officers want to be treated like good guys, peace officers, etc. they have to behave like good guys. Swat teams performing high-risk “no-knock” raids over some drugs, based on nothing but an anonymous tip, falls far short of the standard of behavior they should be upholding.

    The “tip” is another aspect of this story that you didn’t touch on too much, but in a lot of these cases the “informant” is “incentivized” to produce leads and suffers no consequences if his information is inaccurate. On of the better known cases of “man facing execution for shooting home-invading cop” was precipitated by someone who was basically a professional informant giving the police bogus information. It seems like a some point judges are going to have to be held accountable for signing off on warrants based on the most flimsy of “evidence.”

    • What do you mean? Don’t good guys fly around through windows and act invincible in the face of “evil”?

      I couldn’t agree more. You’re not part of a community when you’re breaking in windows. I’m sure this guy lives in a GREAT neighborhood as well. (Of course not)

  16. At my daughters school for her birthday (6th) they sent home a menu of snacks I can pay for and the cafeteria will make for her class. (If I’m a rich parent of corse I can buy better treats). I’m only 32 and remeber my mom bringing in cupcakes. The kids usually have one teacher at that age and if your kids teacher doesn’t know your kid has a nut allergy then maybe you should tell them?… Umm yeah? At that point I would think a teacher gets paid enough to handle that. Maybe they just ran out of participation ribbons to give the moms who bring in cupcakes.

  17. RE: GMO lies by

    The amount of misinformation being spread about GMO and character assassinations like attacks on Vandana Shiva (seeds of doubt article in the new yorker) proves Monsanto and partners are scared of the gaining momentum for GMO labeling.

    What they know is that only ONE STATE has to have the labeling law. The modern food distribution system means you cannot make separate packaging for different states. The 5c drink refund (California Refund Value) is on most small drink bottles.
    General Mills cereal is going to be the same packaging in every state, hence GMO labeling will be in every state if only one state passes a law.

    If you do care about GMO labeling it all depends on Vermont.
    The court challenge in Vermont will set precedent for all other states.

    Vermont has set up a food fight fund.

    May 8, 2014 Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin signed a first-in-the-nation law requiring the labeling of food produced from genetic engineering. Under the new law, food for human consumption offered for retail sale in Vermont that is entirely or partially produced with genetic engineering must be labeled to indicate this fact, as of July 1, 2016.

  18. WRT to the Smithsonian GMO article: when in doubt, I look for the money. Monsanto donated $2 million to the Smithsonian to fund a new exhibit on modern agriculture, according to their press release. For $2 million, they got an article. Probably cheapest PR bang for the buck on the GMO debacle that Monsanto’s ever bought.

  19. They could contact Chapstick and put to powers of big budgets and capitalism to work against the school system. I bet that they Chapstick would take up the ‘fight’.

    Doctor’s order would also make for good leverage. The school system would have trouble forcing a student to dis-obey a doctor’s orders.

    • Doctor’s orders just means she’ll have to ask to go to the nurse’s office where her ‘medication’ is located because she can’t be trusted to self administer.

    • What a big difference eh? As if somehow the two were different. Hell the black guy didn’t even actually have anything illegal on him. (He also didn’t have a pregnant wife though). I have a pretty good feeling this guy isn’t going to get charged with just about anything. No search warrant, with seizures? Yeah right.

      Both are just sad and ridiculous.

  20. Is there a site that has a running listing of all of the stupidity perpetrated by the modern education system. It is hard to keep track of all of the ridiculousness that goes on, but would be useful to be able to point to other examples all in one place to learn from and show that these are not isolated incidents.

    • There is the school sucks podcast or something like that but something like sounds like a simple to create and quite possibly a profitable opportunity for the person motivated enough to git er done.

  21. My son has known of his food allergy since he was 4, he is now 6.

    I love the contradiction of schools, all against bullying but smack kids down if they show compassion.

  22. RE: GMO Article in the Smithsonian

    I didn’t read the article you posted, only listened to what you had to say about it. Seems to me that they were just repeating what Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson had to say about it. I mean, that guy is one of the most respected members of the scientific community and he comes out with such a non-answer as this:


  23. On the Smithsonian, I lost all faith in their accuracy years ago when I visited the museum in DC. At the time I had been breeding and studying birds, specifically parrots, for a number of years and was there for the American Federation of Aviculture Conference.

    I saw at least 6 miss identified species in their exhibits. When I mentioned it to a very well known aviculturists, he said he had told them of the errors years before and they had never corrected them.
    After that, I didn’t enjoy or trust what I saw there. If I found so many errors in stuff I knew, what misinformation was I getting in other exhibits that I didn’t know anything about.

    • Well hell, I guess if I ever go back to the hell hole that is DC I will stay away from the reptiles exhibits at the Smithsonian! Damn, that was actually something I wanted to do in the District of Criminals. LOL

    • Sorry to spoil that for you Jack. You didn’t really want to go back to that hell hole anyway. 🙂

    • Smithsonian?

      I have this notion that the government once hired the head of the Smithsonian to produce the first heavier-than-air aircraft…. and he failed. Let’s look it up in the Book of Knowledge…

      Samuel Pierpont Langley, Secretary of the Smithsonian (1887–1906).

      He built a number of successful small models powered by rubber bands but they wouldn’t scale up. He actually tried using a rubber band in a full-scale model but he couldn’t get the rubber band to work. It must have been a VERY BIG rubber band. His most spectacular failure was a heavier-than-air device that looked like two butterflies crashing head-on into each other. It crashed into the Potomac. He was ridiculed in the press for it.

      Langley was a brilliant man but he was working with rubber bands and small steam engines. If he had been using the internal combustion engine like the one Benz had produced (founder of Mercedes Benz) Langley might have made more progress. He finally gave up and said that eventually a solution would be found.

      Langley Air Force Base is named after him. I assume that Langley, Virginia is also named after him… the home of the CIA.

      Alex Shrugged

    • I also notice that Tesla’s alternate current (AC) generators are on display at the Smithsonian, yet Tesla is not credited with inventing them. It is part of the Edison exhibit. Many, if not most, motor vehicles have an alternator to generate electricity in their cars and Tesla’s induction motor runs most washing machines (or an ancestor of his induction motor). Tesla used to work for Edison, but Edison tried to kill alternating current. Edison was trying to sell his direct current (DC) generators which (as I recall from memory) required booster stations every few miles. That would have been a much more lucrative deal for Edison.

      If you recall in a past episode of the TSP, Jack answered a question about running DC to his chicken coup and he replied that running AC out and then converting it to DC made more sense because you can’t run DC long distances. It’s physics. AC is much better in terms of long-distance transmission (long distance being defined as more than a few feet because of natural resistance in the lines).

      Tesla finally signed over his patents for the AC generator to Westinghouse FOR FREE in order to counter General Electric which had absorbed Edison Electric.

      Obviously Tesla won, but in the process of the competition, Edison famously killed “Topsy the elephant” using AC current, trying to scare the public and when asked what was the best way to kill a man, Edison recommended AC current for the Electric Chair in an attempt to discredit AC current.

      YouTube has videos of Topsy the elephant being electrocuted. It was ugly for a while.

      Alex Shrugged

        • OK… that was good information in a simple form. I don’t think he was hard enough on Edison though. 🙂 Edison was a total d-bag.

          Tesla also realized by watching the pattern of lightening strikes in Colorado (as I recall) that electric current passed through the ground. That is the reason why you pound a metal rod deep into soil and attach that green wire (the ground wire of three-wire Romex) to it.

          BTW, you also attach the “ground” wire from your radio to a similar rod pounded into the soil… and as I recall… telephone and cable…

          See ground loop problems…