Accusations of privilege need to give way to invitations to storytelling

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Imagine for a moment… A white neighborhood watch volunteer in a community which had experienced repeated burglaries observes a black young man walking in the neighborhood. He approaches the young man and asks if he can speak with him for a moment. He explains why he is out there and what he sees that makes him suspicious. The young black man is upset by the insinuation, but since the conversation has started, he explains that he is walking back to his step-mother’s house from the store. The two part ways and we never hear about the exchange.

Or maybe it…


Why an Unregulated Finance Sector Always Ends Badly

Mark Twain once said: “History never repeats itself, but it does often rhyme.”

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When we pop the the Robin-hood to see what’s causing all of the steam in GameStop (GME) we will see an almost perfect rhyme with the English Civil Wars, gold, and paper money. To get there, let’s explain “short” sales for the average person.

Short selling is like many things: It has a valid economic purpose, but can easily be abused. …


Or Maybe: Avoiding Supply Chain Hacks for Dummies

Server room with text HACKED
Server room with text HACKED
Licensed from Shutterstock

In December of 2020 news hit the tech sector of a complex hack involving SolarWinds — a suite of network management tools. The initial reports, and pretty much all coverage of the attack since, has succumbed to the use of “specialty language” which leaves the non-technical business owner at the mercy of the tech sector for an explanation of what happened, and what it means for their business.

So I’ll try to pull back the curtain here and discuss some well-known things that must not have been done. …


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Trump’s Taxes

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From Newsweek

Your Tax Return is a First Offer in a Negotiation

The system of taxation in the United States is unique.

In most countries, the amount one owes in taxes is calculated by the government and assessed by demand. If the amount is calculated in error, it falls on a the taxpayer to prove the error.

In the United States, by comparison, the amount owed is calculated by the taxpayer and presented in the taxpayer’s annual filing. If the government believes the calculation to be in error to the disadvantage of the government, an audit can be required by the government in an effort to substantiate the government’s claims.

This distinction…


19th / 20th Century Fundamentalism — with all its peculiarities — should not be confused with “theism”

Barry Lyons claims there are Ten Questions That a Theist Can’t Answer. I don’t mean to be unnecessarily snarky… but a halfway decently educated theist should have no problem with his ten observations. But a very quick thing about me before addressing them:

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I was a journalism student in junior college. Having grown up in church and having met missionaries, after finishing my associates degree I asked my pastor about visiting the country his family came from (the Philippines). I saved up the money; they provided me contacts who I could visit and stay with. There I discovered that college…


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Adam Smith knew this from the start… A “theory of moral sentiments” is required for capitalism to work.

Yesterday’s Republican Party sounds like they want to do exactly what got us into this mess to begin with. It’s time for us to demand their retirement once and for all…

…and to return to a theory of moral sentiments in economics.

There is a solution to this crisis that does not conform to what we have incorrectly been taught about capitalism. I’ll argue here that returning to what Adam Smith called a “theory of moral sentiments” in economic thinking leads us to see how a “settlements pause” is the only truly moral way to address this crisis.

Walk “Settlements” Up and Down the Chain

I have a favorite brew pub called Post No Bills here in Monterey…


Can Medicine and Government Think Outside the Box?

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I went to my doctor today. I was there to discuss numbness and tingling in my pinkie and ring fingers and related pain in my wrist (likely an ulnar nerve issue). But I also wanted to ask about the coronavirus.

I try to think “behind” things to understand the underlying mechanisms. A respiratory disease like COVID-19 causes the body’s immune system to launch an aggressive attack in the lungs. The resulting inflammation obstructs the flow of air into the lungs. …


We are in the middle of a generational changing of the guard

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All by itself, Tuesday’s State of the Union address was to be the fulcrum over which the Republican Party crosses into its future, beginning with Wednesday’s vote to acquit the President. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, apparently succumbing to her Loony Squad’s pandemic lack of self awareness, only drew the nation’s attention more closely to this with her petulant tearing up of the House copy of the speech.

To understand this moment is to understand the broader scope of what the 2016 election represents.

Judgment Day for Yesterday’s Republican Party

The math of the Electoral College is right in front of us. Donald Trump is President because…


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Without Hunter Biden, where would Jason Bourne get his stash?

Imagine a country elects a President because they think the “Establishment” is corrupt, out of touch, and has left them behind. Imagine that President commits to “draining the swamp.” Donald Trump?

Nope.

It is right there in the transcript of the conversation between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymr Zelenskyy — right up front at the beginning:

Well yes, to tell you the truth, we are trying to work hard because we wanted to drain the swamp here in our country. We brought in many many new people. Not the old politicians, not the typical politicians, because we want to have…


Deflation is the monster in the central banker’s closet

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What if I told you Amazon.com was in the business of predicting hurricanes?

Seeing as they are getting into just about every business, it might not be a surprise. But that’s not the point here.

What matters is the technology which produces this hurricane forecast map. It is exactly the same technology which enables Amazon to pull off same-day delivery. Let me explain.

Knowledge Management and Storm Path Prediction

The field of “Knowledge Management” (KM) breaks things down into three basic groups. There is “data” — which in meteorology would be a reading like temperature, atmospheric pressure, dew point, etc. The data originates from an instrument…

John Horst, CISSP® — ISSAP®

I am a charter member of the pocket-protector set, but old enough to make fun of them and otherwise have a healthy skepticism of tech. https://goo.gl/2z5Snr

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