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User Journal

Journal Journal: As predicted ACA and insurance are incompatible.

An article in nytimes shows that millions of Americans choose not to pay insurance premiums but instead only get insurance coverage when they need it because the premiums are more expensive than government penalties of not buying insurance and because simultaneously the government forces the insurance companies to cover anybody regardless of any pre-existing conditions.

Back in July of 2012 I explained that ACA is unconstitutional and that the SCOTUS was completely political and wrong but also I explained that ACA and the very concept of insurance are absolutely incompatible.

I am going to use two of my quotes from that journal entry here:


This means that in principle if the tax (fine) is raised from its current level (and it will have to be raised, otherwise ACA is completely unworkable, everybody who has to pay for insurance under the ACA will cancel insurance and only 'buy' it when they absolutely need to and then cancel again, once done with the bills) so if the tax is raised, the mandate becomes immediately unconstitutional and ACA has to go back to the supreme court!


The tax (fine) will be raised, because people who do pay for their insurance today will stop paying, because this tax (fine) is so low today compared to the insurance plan payments. There will be some people who will be subsidised under the plan and will not have to pay for insurance, so they will 'buy' their plans with the subsidies. Also the people who actually need insurance to pay them right now, because they are sick, they will obviously 'buy' into insurance, since they cannot be denied due to the pre-existing conditions.

But this means that huge number of people will drop out of insurance, and the only people in it will be a minority of those who didn't have it until now and those who need insurance to pay for their treatment.

Under this scenario, the insurance companies will cease to operate. But of-course what is likely to happen is that the government will bail out the insurance companies with tax (and borrowed and printed) money. In the short term the government may even have an influx of cash because taxes (fines) will be collected from people who had private insurance prior to ACA but would cancel it now and just pay the tax (fine). But in the long run this means that insurance will become extremely expensive because of lack of payers and the government will be bailing out insurance with tax money at the new expensive rates.

the quotes above explain that people who are allowed to buy insurance only when they get sick will do so because 1. Insurance will become more expensive but the penalty for not buying the insurance is going to be lower than the cost of insurance and 2. The insurance companies will be forced to accept everybody with pre-existing conditions.

This means that no insurance company can actually run an insurance business in this government system without getting government bailouts, be it via taxes or other mechanisms (TARP comes to mind).

It is amazing how gullible so many people can be, looking straight into the same information that I am looking at and not connecting the dots at all. I was ridiculed on explaining these extremely obvious points (extremely obvious if one takes 10 seconds to think them). Of-course people prefer not to think about anything but then they miss the most obvious consequences that are going right towards them because of past actions.

There are more predictions in that journal post I wrote back in 2012, they will all come true, especially the points about bailing out insurance companies and generally worsening the level of coverage.

Now, I am not arguing that people should go without insurance, I am arguing that government shouldn't be forcing anybody into any product or service at all, all of these matters should be left to the private sector, which takes care of things like insurance and like medical care for profit, which is the preferred way of running things - for profit, thus ensuring that things are done efficiently while providing good customer service, all of this is the exact opposite of how governments do business (inefficiently and without actually treating customers as clients).

User Journal

Journal Journal: UBI is the modern version of Communism 1

In the last year or so there have been numerous stories on /. on the subject of Universal Basic Income (UBI). Many so called 'libertarians' left a number of comments on how they are supporting UBI because they think it might be more efficient than other forms of welfare.

Whether welfare is efficient or not is really irrelevant from point of view of individual freedom, putting a lipstick on a pig doesn't change the nature of the animal but I do want to bring to their attention this simple fact: UBI is the modern version of Communism and just like all other forms of collectivism, this form is doomed to misery, oppression, murder and finally economic failure.

Communism is absence of private ownership of means of production, possibly State ownership or in case of Marxism some form of collective non-State sharing. For voluntary forms of Communism or Marxism there is no need to reinvent the wheel, go to a modern day kibbutz, where people are participating voluntarily and this might be the best argument for *voluntary* form of cooperation to date.

However this is not the subject of my post. Here I am looking at the UBI imposed by the State, where the income taxes are collected from each person according to his or her income level (ability) and everybody is getting some minimum amount of money out of that pool on a monthly basis.

First of all automation, outsourcing and other forms of efficiencies are cited as the reasons for all of these UBI related ideas, so it is proposed that in some not so distant future people will no longer be able to earn a living by holding a job, because American (and maybe European) people are uncompetitive when it comes to automation and foreign labour. The reality is that labour and capital are always in competition and it is not necessary that capital should always win against labour in the market. Capital wins where government makes labour uncompetitive with various rules, laws, taxes and government intervening on behalf of unions that make it too expensive to hire labour and make it more practical to automate or outsource.

Once the labour is uncompetitive due to government intervention into the market the argument becomes that without UBI there will be no more jobs for people to take and so UBI is proposed as a form of welfare that is supposedly more efficient. In reality the reason why UBI is proposed has nothing to do with efficiency but everything to do with marketability of that concept. It is much easier to sell UBI to the public, majority of which is actually still working under the current system than to sell a welfare system that excludes people based on their income level. The argument is the same nonsense that was used to push through the SS and EI. Since everybody is supposedly going to receive the benefits it is sold not as a form of welfare (which has stigma attached to it) but as a form of universal entitlement that everybody gets.

SS and EI benefits (as well as Medicare) are completely unnecessary for the people who are self sufficient, the people running profitable companies, people who are much better at investing their money than a modern State apparatus could ever be. Yet SS and EI are advertised as 'universal' to make them look as if they are not a form of welfare but instead a form of insurance. Of-course the people who do not need SS and EI benefits also absolutely do not need to pay into the SS and EI system through payroll taxes. Yet without them paying into these systems the payments would be in even more deficit than they are today. The proponents of SS and EI state that these programs are sustainable and would be even more sustainable if the wealthy people didn't have a cap at 100K or so that EI and SS percentages are taken from. Of-course those are the very people (the wealthier income earners) who do not need SS and EI in the first place, they shouldn't be in those systems, they don't need that form of welfare and they shouldn't be paying those taxes. Originally SS was set up for widows and orphans, not for everyone. Eventually it was extended to everybody else to make those ponzi scams workable much longer. The self employed were excluded from the system completely, they could afford their own retirement and other savings, they didn't have to pay into those programs, eventually they were forced to pay into them to make the ponzi scams run longer. Today the argument is that the wealthy should not have a cap for SS and EI payments to make those ponzi scams run longer yet.

UBI would be similar to SS in a way making it 'SS for all', not only for the retired. But why am I defining UBI as a modern version of Communism? Lets start from the obvious: everybody who works will have to pay into UBI and everybody who does not will not be paying into it. So this is a technicality, but basically it says: from each according to his ability to each according to his need. However under Communism there cannot be private means of production, there is either State ownership of productive resources or some voluntary collective ownership (like in a family or in a kibbutz). So the real question would a UBI system mean that the ownership and operation of productive resources will be nationalized and otherwise collectivized? My contention is that it is inevitable that a UBI regime requires nationalization and collectivization of resources and of all means of production. I will explain this in detail and I will start with a simplified model.

Consider two villages where both villages share common currency (dollars):

* Village A has a population of 10 people, each one of them is working in something productive. There is a farmer, there is a blacksmith, there is a hunter, there is a doctor, there is a shoemaker, etc.

* Village B has a population of 10 people, one of them is a milk farmer who owns a cow, the rest are either unemployed or are service sector workers, they do not possess means of production.

The milk farmer produces 10 litres of milk a day that he can sell at $1 a litre thus making $10 a day. The farmer sells the milk for dollars but the reason he wants to receive dollars is to buy goods produced by other workers. The farmer wants to buy some bread, shoes, tools, he sometimes needs to visit a doctor. The farmer also may pay for some service like for a haircut. The people from village A are able to supply the farmer with the goods exchanged for his dollars, the people from village B are able to supply him with some services.

A person from the B village (an unemployed individual) decided to start a campaign for equality in the village because the income levels are so different. The milk farmer can make $10 and a service sector worker can only make a small fraction of that while an unemployed person does not get to eat unless he can figure out something useful to do as a service or he begs or robs somebody. The campaign starts picking up momentum across the B villagers since they agree, they are all poorer than the milk farmer. Village B forms a government and collectively introduces a motion that requires that everybody in the village must get a UBI of minimum $1 a day. For this to work each one of the villagers must contribute what they are able to make the total sum of $10 a day so that the $10 can be distributed to each villager at $1 a day. The total taxable income of the B villagers is maybe $15, $10 of which comes from the daily earnings of the milk farmer. A UBI income tax is established and the milk farmer is now taxed at about 80%, which makes the 80% of UBI amount and the remaining 20% come from the rest of the villagers.

At this point the milk farmer looks at his income of $10, $8 of which is taken away and $1 is returned to him, making his daily net income $3 and he decides that it does not make sense to generate income in the village. So instead of selling his milk in both villages, he moves most of his sales to village A, where he now makes $8 out of the daily $10 and maybe he is able to sell $1 worth of milk in village B. Then he leaves the $8 in the bank in village A and only takes home $1 a day. All of a sudden the daily UBI taxable income in the village B falls from $15 down to $6. Since there are 10 people in the village it is not possible to split the $6 among them at $1 amounts and besides this would mean that even at the taxation level of 100% there is still a UBI deficit of $4 a day.

B villagers (except for the milk farmer) get together and decide that this will not do, they have to make sure that they have their $1 a day of UBI but to achieve this they have to force the milk farmer to bring his income home. Milk farmer does not agree but he is met with overwhelming force of 9 guns pointing in his direction. At this point the farmer's ownership of his property, his means of production are confiscated from him because he is unwilling to work within the system. He might decide to continue working within the system but again, from point of view of how the business is done he has no choice in the matter, he is no longer the owner of his private property and of his means of production. It is nationalization for all practical purposes, whether the milk farmer goes with the program or not. Eventually of-course there is a movement to ensure that nobody with such horrible background as a private property owner can actually live at any level above somebody with much more acceptable background (like that of a labourer or that of an unemployed, the formerly unemployed are the ones with the most time to set political agenda, normally they will end up in the top echelons of the newly formed government).

This is actually the road that was taken a number of times on this planet where 'social justice' doctrines have been taken to their logical conclusion, the end result is overall poverty, destruction of the means of production given that nobody is actually allowed to own productive property as to not ascend above the rest and generally economic calamity that comes some time after the installation of this type of a regime.

UBI is a modern form of Communism, it is the rose under another name or more to the point it is the proverbial lipstick on a pig.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Khizr Khan-is just another Super Predator!

I think given how the media is treating this issue its clear the fix is in and they are shilling for Hillary. Itâ(TM)s funny a supposed legal expert has gotten so much attention for waving a pocket Constitution around without first googling the legal concepts he really ought to know about, like say the Plenary Power Shield ( ) which upheld by the supreme court, so loved by liberals, over and over again essentially says equal protection does not apply to non-citizens. So Trumpâ(TM)s proposed Muslim ban is actually entirely constitutional unless we are prepared to overturn a bunch precedent. Taking it a step further or existing immigration law ( ) affords the president the power to suspend entry of any class of individuals he believes detectable to the united states by proclamation! So Trump would not even need congress. Put down your Constitution Khizr youâ(TM)re just plain WRONG.

It is also worth noting this guy has written in favor of the supremacy of Shariâ(TM)ah law! Certainly that makes him exactly the sort of dangerous radical with no real intention of integrating into the US secular population, that we should be denying entry into the US. Surprise surprise he is tied to the Clinton Foundation as well and has worked to abuse the immigration system to bring in other wealthy middle easterners, who otherwise might not have qualified for entry into the US.

Does not matter how virtuous his son might have been. Trump is absolutely right about this guy, he is an undesirable, which is probably why he had to take his website ( ) down in such a hurry.

User Journal

Journal Journal: FizzBuzz in Swift

The following is my prepared answer for anyone who asks me this stupid fucking question in any interview in the future.

extension Int
  func modBool(modulus: Int) -> Bool
  return (self % modulus).boolValue
for x in 1...100
  print((x.modBool(3) ? "" : "Fuck ") +
    (x.modBool(5) ? "" : "You") +
    ((x.modBool(3) && x.modBool(5)) ? "\(x)" : ""))


User Journal

Journal Journal: Three years after Steve died... 1

I don't think I've written this down anywhere before, so here's my story about the first time I had a face-to-face conversation with Steve Jobs.

I was working for Richard Kerris in Apple Worldwide Developer Relations, on a group called the SWAT team. I was the Cocoa expert on that team, and I had colleagues who had expertise in UNIX internals, Windows development, and the Metrowerks tools.

Our role was to help third-party developers bring their products to Mac OS X, whether they were coming from Windows, Solaris, Mac OS 9, etc. We would look over their code, and consult with them on how to go about porting and/or rewriting their products for the new platform.

I went to Fred Anderson's retirement party which was held at Cafe Macs in Building four of the Infinite Loop campus. I saw Steve there, and I went over to introduce myself. I said "Hi Steve, I'm John Randolph. You may or may not recognize my name, but I used to flame you from time to time before I worked here." He asked me "Why did you stop?" I told him "Well, I work here now, and I respect the chain of command."

At the time we had this conversation, there was a big fight going on between the foot-dragging laggards who wanted to keep using the old Mac Toolbox API (which had been cleaned up considerably and put into a framework we called "Carbon"), and those of us who wanted to get everyone using the NeXTStep-derived "Cocoa" frameworks,

At the previous WWDC, Steve had started the keynote with a bit of theater: a coffin had risen up through a trap door on the stage, in the midst of a cloud of dry ice fog. Steve had opened the coffin to show a big Mac OS 9 box, and he praised OS 9 in a eulogy, to make the point that Apple developers should consider it dead and gone.

So getting back to our conversation.. I told Steve what I was doing on Richard's team, and I said "I know that you can't do this politically, but I wish you could have another coffin on the stage at the next WWDC...." and he said: "With Carbon in it?"

He was grinning. At that point, I realized that I could quit worrying about where Apple's development environment was heading. Steve knew what we needed to do, and in the years that followed, Apple has kept the best of NeXT's technology, and let go of what we didn't need.

We miss you Steve, but we're doing fine. Thanks for the things you made happen.


User Journal

Journal Journal: The tragedy of brain-dead apparatchiki entrusted with the care of children. 6

Earlier today, I read an account of a little girl getting a severe sunburn while on a school field trip, because of an unconscionable policy prohibiting children from possessing sunscreen while at school or on school activities. I looked up the name of the spokesman who had the nerve to try to defend this policy to the press, and wrote her the following e-mail:

Miss Chancellor, you and the pinheads you serve in the Northeast Indecent School District are a tragic example of the kind of abject incompetence that pervades American public schools in the past several decades.

I would urge you to resign and pursue employment in the janitorial services industry, but youâ(TM)re obviously too goddamned stupid to be trusted with cleaning supplies.


Well, it would appear that Miss Chancellor was offended by my criticism, and she replied thusly:

Your comments do not warrant an intelligent response. Clearly - you do not have all the facts.

Now, it's rather unusual for an apparatchik in a shitstorm to bother to respond to any of the angry e-mails they get, so naturally I have replied:

On Jun 6, 2014, at 10:26 AM, Chancellor, Aubrey wrote:

>Your comments do not warrant an intelligent response.

Since youâ(TM)re entirely incapable of an intelligent response, that just works out fine and dandy now, doesnâ(TM)t it?

>Clearly - you do not have all the facts.

The fact is that when you screw up like this, the thing to do is apologize and promise the parents, the child, and the rest of the community that it will never happen again. You donâ(TM)t double down on your idiotic policy of depriving children of sunscreen.

When children are entrusted to you by their parents, your paramount duty is to ensure their safety and well being. it is NOT to sacrifice their welfare to your psychotic need for obedience.


More on this as it develops. Start the popcorn.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Throwing in the towel on Facebook. 7

Last post to FB:

In the time since I created this Facebook account in 2006, I found a bunch of old friends, met many new ones, wasted a whole lot of time, had some arguments that never would have happened in real life, and been frequently annoyed by the business decisions FB has made.

This post will be my last. I will delete this account 48 hours from now. Those of you who want to keep in touch can reach me as always at, which I've had for at least a decade.

All's well that ends. I wish you all peace, love and happiness.

It feels like leaving high school. There are people there that I will always care about, some that I love, some that I barely know, some that I have no idea how I met in the first place or why they're in my FB friends list.

A very smart friend of mine is working on changing social media from a site and a vendor that sells the users' info to advertisers, into a protocol that would operate on a peer-to-peer basis, with strong security to ensure that what we write goes to those we wish, and no one else. I hope he succeeds, and I look forward to making a fair bit of cash shorting FB when the writing appears on the wall.

  I will thank my friends who worked on FB, and every user there who ever shared a heartwarming, interesting, inspiring, or even outrageous bit of information that I wouldn't have found otherwise. Congrats to all the FB millionaires and worker bees, I wish them all the best.

I'll still be NSResponder here on /., on StackOverflow and Twitter. The internet is still a lot bigger than Facebook, and I'll see you all around.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Extreme Laissez-Faire 3

In this post, Immerman wrote:

The problem is that our society has been systematically eliminating most of the occupations where an honest, hard-working, but not-especially-bright-nor-politically-savvy person can make a decent living.

Then I wrote:

Then perhaps we need to encourage people with those biological advantages to breed more.

Another Slashdot regular told me that comments like these are "dude, not funny". This is something that I occasionally need help to discern because of my mental condition. I think part of my problem comes from trying to fit in with other users on Slashdot who write comments suggesting similarly impractical workarounds out of hardcore laissez-faire ideology: "No jobs in your area? Just move." "No good ISP in your area? Just move." (1 | 2 | 3 | 4) Some such comments even get moderated up.

Sometimes I can get through to them: "Cost of living in some areas has become so high that an entry-level job doesn't pay a living wage." Or "Public high schools aren't doing a good job of teaching basic life skills such as how to relocate for a job. For example, about how much money should I have saved up before I move to, say, Austin?" Yet some posters can't even come up with a ballpark figure. Or a more tongue-in-cheek approach takes them up on their "offer": "How should I go about qualifying for even a temporary work visa in your country?"

But other times I've concluded that it's easier just to try to fit in. If it has in fact gone too far, perhaps I should take the advice of Jesus of Nazareth. To paraphrase Mark 9:45: "If your Slashperger buddies cause you to stumble, cut them off."

User Journal

Journal Journal: "Feckless Imbroglio"

Do you remember which person was such a miserable failure? While Google made their search engine a lot more resiliant to the simple tricks such as that Google Bomb, I suspect many of you immediately knew exactly to whom I was refering. The phrase "miserable failure" are not only an amusing technical trick - it is also a powerful sound-bite that served as a useful reminder, social identifying mark, and common rallying cry.

I propose we use a similar "catch-phrase" for the NSA when discussing the mess they have caused: feckless imbroglio. The unusual word-choice is intended as a non-technical discussion point, as far too many people are alienated by the technical nature inherent to any discussion of the NSA. It may not do much, and it's highly unlikely to grab the "I'm feeling lucky" button, but slogans, brand-names, and catch-phrases can reach some of those people that are turned off by spying, computers, or other technical discussions.

User Journal

Journal Journal: In praise of e-cigs 9

I had tried everything. I tried the patch, the gum, the pill that made the smokes taste nasty, and nothing. No matter what I kept on smoking. Now after 30 years I FINALLY was able to throw away the cigarette...thanks to e-cigs.

For anyone who wishes to try quitting using e-cigs some advice. 1.- Do NOT use the ones that look like a cigarette, not only are the batteries VERY weak but trying to get one of those to drag like a cigarette will just leave you frustrated. 2.- Get what is called a "510 thread" or "Ego style" unit, these can be had for as little as $25 online. 3.- Watch some of the excellent tutorials to find which tips are right for you, a good place to start would be "indoor smoking" on Youtube.

Hopefully this will inspire at least one other person to give it a try and if this old dog can learn a new trick and give up the butts? Then you can too!

User Journal

Journal Journal: Over 9000?

You ever wonder what would happen to privdog privacy guard if it went over 9999? Well if you want to see for yourself head over to "" as so far my privdog has managed to roll over TWICE and IT IS STILL GOING. I think I may have found the spammiest spammy spam of sites in all of creation. Anybody find any worse?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Tapering..... in China. 5

and so it starts. The Chinese government decided to stop buying up US Treasuries and they are likely not going to roll over the US bonds that they already own, that would be Trillions of dollars that the Fed will have to print to buy up this incoming flood of the old Treasuries and without the Chinese in the US bond market, the Fed will have to buy up all of the new issued debt as well.

In this case what is good for the Chinese is bad for the Americans, Chinese are going to see a long needed deflation finally, while the Americans will see massive amounts of inflation, so much of which was exported to China previously, coming back.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Well, that about wraps it up for e-trade. 2

E-mail to Neal Martin, E-trade's vice president of customer service:

Well Neal,

I doubt that this message will actually get to you personally, but what the hell.

After the fracas over the last few weeks in which e-trade failed to issue me a second ATM card, I finally got around to transferring the bulk of my shares to a competent broker.

The automatic mail from e-trade notifying me of the transfer included this paragraph:

E*TRADE strives to achieve best in class service and is focused on meeting all of your financial needs. We would like to understand your reason for your transfer out and see if there are any improvements we can make to serve you better in the future. If you have the time to discuss, please call us at 1-800-ETRADE -1 (1-800-387-2331).

The fact is, after going around with your underlings a few times on my requirement for a second card, and having told each of them several times that this was a deal breaker, I know that the claim that youâ(TM)re âoestriving to achieve best in class serviceâ is nothing but marketing drivel. Indeed, my direct, personal experience has shown me that my business isnâ(TM)t important enough to get on the radar of anyone who would actually solve the problem.

I had already planned to find another broker, but the thing that made me hurry up and do so was receiving your oh-so-thoughtful gift of an e-trade gym bag. So, after refusing my very simple request, you apparently assumed that Iâ(TM)d be satisfied if I just got a bag to advertise an incompetent financial institution to my friends.

Looking at the transaction log, I see that e-trade has charged me $25 for the privilege of taking my property elsewhere. Now, Iâ(TM)m sure you have something in your fine print that allows you to do that, but itâ(TM)s still kind of shitty on your part. Given that youâ(TM)re not even capable of issuing two cards on one account (as you had done for the previous decade or so), waiving that fee is probably entirely beyond the capabilities of the fifth-rate keyboard monkeys in your so-called âoeIT departmentâ, so you can go ahead and keep it. Iâ(TM)m getting a nice welcome gift from your competition, which I didnâ(TM)t even ask for.

Would you like the gym bag back?


User Journal

Journal Journal: Am I a Windows 8 Hater? 3

Mystikkman claims that I've been posting messages perceived as unjustly hateful toward Microsoft. I would prefer to express my feelings without hate, but sometimes I have the wrong idea of what is hate and what isn't. Please point out which of my comments are hateful and why so that I can understand how not to post next time.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Even less impressed with E-Trade. 3

Got this from some minion at E-trade, since the VP I wrote to was apparently too busy to answer a customer personally:

Good Morning Mr. Randolph,

We received your email inquiry to our VP of Customer Service, Neal Martin on 8/5/13. We regret that we are unable to accommodate your request for two ATM cards for your account. We appreciate your feedback and it has been shared with management and our product teams for review. If you have any additional questions or concerns feel free to contact me at [phone number deleted]

Thank You,

[Name redacted]
Corporate Support Manager
Alpharetta GA
E*TRADE Securities LLC
[phone number redacted]

Manager? Yeah, right. In a functioning company, a manager is someone who takes the initiative to solve a problem.

I left the VP's name because he fully deserves to have this come up when someone googles him in the future.

My response:


You might mention to Neal Martin that when a customer responds to an email message that has his name on it, itâ(TM)s rather poor form to pass the buck to someone else unless that other person is capable of solving the problem.

I was a more-or-less satisfied customer of E-trade for over a decade. I will be transferring my assets to another broker in the near future, as soon as I determine which of your competitors can demonstrate the competence that E-trade has abandoned.


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"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll