Harvey, Houston and Flood Insurance

As I’m watching our neighbor city to the South be inundated by record breaking rains from hurricane Harvey,


PBS NewsHour, As Harvey floods Texas, Congress due to debate insurance program that’s underwater, Aug 29, 2017

A vast majority of Texas homeowners in areas under water from Tropical Storm Harvey lack flood insurance, and how to help them is sure to be a big political fight in Washington. Lisa Desjardins joins Miles O’Brien to take a closer look at the debate about the National Flood Insurance Program.

They don’t have flood insurance because a) the Bush II White House insisted on denying climate change and wouldn’t update flood maps and b) Trump is rolling back guidelines that Barack Obama instituted that would have made many of these homes be mandatorily covered for flood insurance. Flood insurance is there for a reason.

Like health insurance it is not a thing you should be economizing with. Also like the other insurance that’s not really insurance, some of us will need the insurance more than others, but all of us will have to pay the costs the system endures. Just another example of the value of early investment, or how it would be smartest to to engage in the architectural equivalent of preventative care and build to suit the location in the first place. Houston is a prime example of ignoring science and planning and essentially building stupid. No offense to Houstonians, most of which have little choice over where they live.

Houston has been stuck in a vicious circle. More people means more subdivisions, and more subdivisions means more runoff. That results in more flooding, which ends up affecting more people.

John Jacob, a wetlands expert who runs Texas A&M’s Coastal Watershed Program, has been warning about the dangerous effects of bulldozing natural flood barriers for years. The mission of his program is to share the science with communities to help them better cope with the fact that many of them live not much above sea level in hurricane country. He says he sees signs that Houstonians are finally coming to terms with the need to change their ways.

“The idea that we just don’t care is radically changing,” says Jacob. “The real-estate people, to them Houston is a one-night stand. The rest of us want this to be a place where our grandkids are happy and safe… This storm just cements that there’s consequences to the way we’ve done stuff.” – Quartz, August 29, 2017

Turkey Will Never Accept an Independent Kurdistan

PBS Newshour

Turkey was always going to oppose the Kurds. The government in Turkey opposed a free Kurdistan in Iraq. Syria is going to be the same. Turkey will not accept Kurdish autonomous region next door. That simply isn’t going to happen. There is bad blood there that goes back almost as long as the bad blood between Hebrews and Arabs. They are going to have to learn how to make peace with each other without interference from outside forces. Outside forces seeking to manipulate the outcomes in ways that vary from what the people living there on the ground want done.

Facebook status expanded and backdated to the blog.

Monsanto Defrauded Investors, Court Rewards Executive?

Reuters

The Securities and Exchange Commission has fined Monsanto $80 million for defrauding investors by misstating its earnings and awarded more than $22 million to the former Monsanto executive who blew the whistle and tipped off the SEC.

Sounds fair until you realize the $80 million penalty mainly hurt Monsanto shareholders, some of whom were defrauded by Monsanto’s earnings misstatement. And the $22 million award goes to an executive whose own pay was likely pumped up by the fraud.

Unless and until the government begins to hold executives personally liable for corporate misdeeds, those misdeeds will continue.

What do you think? – Robert Reich on Facebook

This is a drop in the bucket compared to the big problem businesses, like the banks. I don’t see boards being held accountable anytime soon. More likely would be the revising of corporate law to constrain corporate practices in particular ways; say limiting maximum compensation to some multiple of the lowest paid worker, or requiring the corporation to spend x% of gross revenues on charitable works.

Facebook status backdated to the blog.

I Know Where to File Your Objections, Facebook

So Facebook has concluded that my shares from G+ via Twitter are somehow a violation of community standards. Who knew? I really had no idea that using G+ and sharing it was an insult to the intelligence of Facebook users.

My apologies, I’ll get right on pretending Facebook is the be-all and end-all.

Facebook status backdated to the blog.

Overpriced Toll Roads Going Bankrupt?

KXAN.com

“The bankruptcy filing by Cintra should have no effect on travelers who use SH 130, the taxpayers or the State of Texas. Cintra assumed the risk to finance, build and operate the section of SH 130 south of US 183 to I-10,” wrote Texas Senator Kirk Watson, D-Austin, in a statement to KXAN News. “Traffic and revenue on that part of the road hasn’t reached projected levels and Cintra has taken the hit, not taxpayers. Use of that section will continue to grow and be there as drivers have more need of it.”

The most overpriced stretch of road in the country is the segment from Austin North to Georgetown. I use that stretch of road because it is faster, not because the price is reasonable. If Cintra can’t stay in business with those prices, then the state should come up with a way to do it themselves.

Also, the specific section of road in question, to Seguin South of Austin, isn’t tolled at all. Not tolled and three lanes of clear asphalt both directions to and from I-10. Best drive to be had in Texas these days, so get your driving gear on and have a great day tooling through remote sections of Texas as if they need six-lane highways there. Do it before maintenance failure destroys the smooth surface and requires you to reduce your speed below 85 miles an hour in order to reduce wear and tear on your suspension.

Facebook Status update backdated to the blog. 

Bernard is Jailed – Part I

Reformatted in his usual style. The block text transmission that I got earlier today was a pain to read, and not the way that I know Bernard likes his communications to look.

Just passing this along.


June 2010 email: (sent August 1, 2010)
Bernard is Jailed – Part I

Table of Contents:

1. Two Exciting Newscasts Regarding Money
2. Kevin the Beautiful
3. Liberty Dollar Site Is Closed Thank you for your inquiry…

Bernard is Jailed – Part I

First, please note the format changes to this email reply to your inquiry about the me and your property that was confiscated during the ongoing legal battles regarding the Liberty Dollar. It would appear that the once great First Amendment and the concept of innocent until proven guilty do not apply to anyone who is out on an Appearance Bond.

Second, I apologize for this relayed email regarding June development and that now I can’t write my usual monthly “Newsletter.” While I have been late a few times with the chronicle of the Liberty Dollar since October 1998, I have never missed a month. I trust being in jail, defending the Liberty Dollar is a good reason.

Third, I hereby confirm the rumors that I was jailed, but not re-arrested. I was incarcerated when I appeared to answer charges that I violated the terms of my Appearance Bond before Magistrate Judge Cayer, Federal District Count in Charlotte, North Carolina on Wednesday, July 14. There is much to disclose about that hearing and my next five plus days and five nights in Mecklenburg County and Catawba County Jails but I don’t have the time right now. But stay tune. I promise to tell all in my next email for July.

Contained in this email are links for two excellent video newscasts Part I and Part II that aired while I was in jail that features Dave Gillie and Jeff Kotchounian using a value based currency. Most importantly is the quote from the US Treasury website that merchants can use anything they want for money. And equally noteworthy is one of Kevin’s letters that was recently posted on the mailfromjail.com site and forwarded to me.

PLEASE read this letter and marvel at the exulted space that Kevin occupies while standing firm for the Liberty Dollar after 14 MONTHS behind bars. Like Kevin, we have an extremely strong, winnable case and the government is going to lose dearly for this shortsighted misadventure.

Item #1: Two Exciting Newscasts Regarding Money

These two video newscasts speak for themselves. I neither indorse nor support these two brave American patriot’s efforts. I fact, I was surprised when the URLs were sent to me. But I was not surprised by the US Treasury site that proves ‘a private business, a person or an organization…are free to develop their own policies…’ for money. In part the government site says:

“There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept [US] currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise.”

The complete quote for the very first question on the US Treasury’s FAQ site is found here: http://www.ustreas.gov/education/faq/currency/legal-tender.shtml Now watch these two newscasts and decide who is going to win this case: Part I: http://www.connectmidmichigan.com/news/story.aspx?id=481793 Part II: http://www.connectmidmichigan.com/news/story.aspx?id=482130.

Item #2: Kevin the Beautiful

I know you are busy and you may not even know Kevin but I hope you will take a moment to ravel in Kevin’s amazing jailhouse consciousness and hopefully send him a note of support and/or a few dollars, as he can’t eat the slop that passed as food in jail. And I know that all too well!

From Kevin to a supporter – July 2010:

I continue to consider my time here as an opportunity for some intense independent training so that I can be more effective at helping society when I get out, helps me redirect my thoughts. From all of the wonderful experiences I am missing out on by being here, back to the hear-and-now and my self-imposed tasks. “The Now” is truly all that I can experience “in Technicolor” – all else is just a hazy “black and white” dream.

By being true to what I know to be right and honest I can more easily infuse the present with the enthusiasm and with the awareness that Gold is right here with me. Bliss, God and the Now are One. Standing firm in my convictions and my truth is fundamental to my evolving success, not only spiritually, but also in a worldly sense.

In contrast, there is nowhere I can go for relief if I am in conflict with myself. Yes, this has already taken a very long time and I might only be part-way through it but thinking in terms of time only increases the suffering. When we are One with the timeless inner Self there is really nothing to fear. The more we can connect our light with that wonderful Light that is also in others, especially among those who remind us of this, like you and I, the more we can warm to each other’s glowing.

It is great to hear you are drawing loving people to you. How can they resist?

Please write to Kevin:

William K. Innes
2351 Morganton Blvd. SW
Lenoir, NC 28645

Please send Money to Kevin:

C/O Julia Gaunt
16 Norman Austin Dr.
Asheville, NC 28804

Item #3: Liberty Dollar site is now closed due to court action.

And last but not least, the Liberty Dollar site is now down. Hope you got a copy before all that great info was taken down or know how to find it. I will explain this regretful development in my email to you for July.

Closing Remarks:

That’s it short and sweet. I promise to disclose all regarding my jail experiences and the latest on the Liberty Dollar Four in my next email for July. There are amazing develops with Liberty Dollar Four case, so please stay tune for all the details and an exciting trial! I remain convinced and dedicated to the ideals of the Liberty Dollar and that the only way for us to have a free society is by banding together and adopting a free and independent currency that provides us with “just weights and measures” to throw off the yoke of a manipulated monetary/tax system. Thank you for your inquiry and efforts to return America to value – one dollar at a time!

Bernard von NotHaus
Monetary Architect/Editor
Editor@LibertyDollar.org

Suspect Sniffles

Pseudoephedrine interdiction, the other shoe drops.

Google alerts dropped this in my inbox;

Other View: Law doesn’t stop meth

At least one government effort to curb methamphetamine production seems to have been a bust.

The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 … makes it more difficult to purchase common, non-prescription cold medication containing pseudoephedrine.

Pseudoephedrine is the main ingredient used in the manufacture of meth. So, instead of simply purchasing drugs like Sudafed over the counter as in the past, everyone must now get them from behind the counter, usually from a pharmacist.

… It turns out, however, that it probably was all for nothing. A study published in the March issue of the American Economic Review found that restricting pseudoephedrine had only a temporary effect on the meth trade.

Yet, the government continues to track cold and allergy sufferers as if everyone with the sniffles is a potential criminal, while meth manufacturers go about their business as usual.

The Decatur Daily, Ala.

(from the Traverse City Record-Eagle website)

It’s listed as an opinion piece, but it’s based on an evidence based indictment of the entire drug war. If you want to pay $7.50 you can download the study from The American Economic Review website.

Here’s the abstract;

In mid-1995, a government effort to reduce the supply of methamphetamine precursors successfully disrupted the methamphetamine market and interrupted a trajectory of increasing usage. The price of methamphetamine tripled and purity declined from 90 percent to 20 percent. Simultaneously, amphetaminerelated hospital and treatment admissions dropped 50 percent and 35 percent, respectively. Methamphetamine use among arrestees declined 55 percent. Although felony methamphetamine arrests fell 50 percent, there is no evidence of substantial reductions in property or violent crime. The impact was largely temporary. The price returned to its original level within four months; purity, hospital admissions, treatment admissions, and arrests approached preintervention levels within eighteen months.

(emphasis added)

So, like all attempts to curb demand by targeting supply, this effort has simply lead to alternative methods of getting meth to the people who want it.

How long are we going to throw away billions (perhaps even trillions) of dollars trying to keep people from pursuing what they see as ‘happiness’?

Tax Funded Content Providers; Disenfranchising With DRM?

ABC is Australia’s Federal Government-funded public broadcaster, and has responsibilities under the ABC Act 1983 to provide services to the Australian people.The new ABC Shop has recently launched, with downloads of TV programs made available — but only to Windows users willing to install DRM-laden software on their computers.

read more | digg story

Like the BBC, Australia TV broadcasts are publicly funded, so they are essentially keeping access away from people who have already paid for the content. I’d love to see this fought out in court.