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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tuesday Scattershot

False sense of security...

7 Reasons the TSA Sucks (A Security Expert's Perspective)

One of the many reasons I don't fly any more is I'm not a big believer in "Security Theater" - lots of people in uniforms running around, barking orders, giving the impression that they're doing something important.

They're not doing spit, other than making people think they're going to be safe when boarding the plane.

A couple o' quotes:
Ben Gurion is probably the most threatened airport in the world. It has between 50 and 70 incidents every day. Nobody hears about those because we handle them.
The TSA treats each traveler the same because of some stupid idea that everything needs to be fair. Security needs to be done due to risk -- and risk means that in Israel we don't check luggage, we check people. And I'm not talking about racial profiling here; that's a product of poor training. Regardless of race or creed, people with bombs strapped to their body behave in similar ways.
At Ben Gurion Airport, we get travelers from their car to their gate in 25 minutes. When was the last time that happened to you in an American airport? Probably never, because a dozen 747s worth of cranky travelers can't take their shoes and coats off, pull their laptops out of their luggage, and queue up for pat downs without chaos.
Withdraw your consent.  Don't fly unless it's a life-or-death circumstance.  Literally.

2016 prediction.....

Hillary will be our next president.  The soft-heads will fall for the same heart-tugging crap they fell for when electing Obama simply because of the color of his skin.  A strong woman.  A dedicated woman.  A competent woman.  The first woman president.

Get used to it, 'cause it's gonna happen.

As a bonus for Hillary, she's part of the, "take from the rich, give to the poor via legislation" party.  You'll never get a Taker to vote for someone whose platform includes removing their subsidies and making them work for a living.

The NY Times is already clearing the Benghazi decks of the dead bodies.  Their "exhaustive" reporting failed to mention her name - even once - as the person ultimately responsible for what happens at our embassies.  Even this [link] CNN re-hash of the article fails to mention Hillary, only referring to "the State Department" or "the Administration".  All the names of the responsible persons removed.

Oversight?  Yeah, right.

Pope thoughts.... [btw, I'm Christian, but not Catholic]

When this new Pope was elected, I liked what I heard.  Frugal, common man, etc.  Paid for his hotel room while awaiting the outcome of the election.

He then fired some German Bishop who was a big spender, and stories started surfacing that he was sneaking out at night to help the poor.

Cool, right?

Well, yeah, but.... it's starting to seem like this is being orchestrated.  Like we're being played.  For instance, if he's sneaking out at night to feed the poor, how are we finding out about this?  Pope Paparazzi?

And what's all of this crap about evil capitalism and the greedy rich?  I'd like him to show me one poor guy that ever created a job.  Being poor isn't noble in and of itself.  It's an economic condition.  Your actions as an individual determine if you're a good person or a bad person.

If you want to be poor, more power to you.  But don't cast people who own companies and make money as these evil, blood sucking bastards.  Look at them as people who give others the ability to feed, clothe and house themselves, while making a buck for themselves.

Keepin' an eye out on this guy....

The Irony Police have been called....

I must not have been paying close attention, but I didn't realize that the big ship that's stuck in the ice down in Antarctica was there to continue the lie about.... global warming!
Passengers and crew who set off on an expedition to prove climate change are ringing in the new year in the same place where they have been for the past week: stuck in ice at the bottom of the world.
Remember, it's summer down there right now.

Most of  The Compliant Media has dropped all mention of the ship's primary task, and is now filling us with stories of them singing, and keeping their spirits up, and blah, blah, blah.

It appears they are now binge drinking to pass the time (what else are you going to do when your life's work just kicked you in the nuts?).  At least they'll have plenty of ice for their cocktails...

Starting a business pointers....

Guy Kawasaki: The Top 10 Mistakes of Entrepreneurs is a Youtube video by the former "Chief Evangelist" for Apple Computer.  While the video (about an hour and a half) is primarily focused on High Tech start ups, there are LOTS of take-aways for any kind of business.

In fact, the imaginary company he uses in his example makes and sells dog food!

A couple of my favorites:

  • Scaling Too Soon - starting your business to handle a gazillion sales before you've made your first sale.  You dump all of this money, time and effort into building the Next Great Thing before you even know if the market will embrace your product as you hope.
  • Believing that Patents = Defensibility.  He drones on a bit about this - how by having a patent on some process or product will give you the ability to fight off a big company from stealing your idea.  He discusses how if Microsoft steals your shit, they'll keep you buried in legal limbo forever.  He then delivers a great gem:  The first to scale is the company that is defensible.  If the market truly has a ravenous appetite for your product, growing the business and building brand recognition, is what allows you to defend your turf, not some piece of paper.
  • It's trite, but true. "Under promise, over deliver".  Tell your customer that they'll have their shipment on Friday, but deliver it two days earlier on Wednesday.  Give them a repair estimate of $100, knowing it will likely only cost $75 - then only charge them $75.  You get the idea.   Every business and marketing book you'll read discusses this, but too few companies actually live by it.  The great ones - of any size - make this the core of their business process.

Be alert, safe and prosperous in 2014, my friends.

Copyright 2013 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.


suek said...

I'm Catholic. I don't have an opinion of the Pope yet - not that my opinion matters one way or the other. I'm sort of on the same page that you are, but have also read articles that say "hold off a bit" on the condemnation of his views of capitalism. Reason being that we need to remember that he's from Argentina and as such, he's seen the worst of the worst that capitalism has to offer. It shouldn't be a surprise that his views toward it are negative. I'll hold off.

There are a couple of points that need to be kept in mind - if you have a religious point of view. First, morality depends on freedom of choice. Animals lack same, and cannot make moral choices. If the government requires taxes to feed the poor, there is no choice. No choice, no morality.

Second, it's _love_ of money that is immoral, not money itself. There are 2 parables that specifically refer to wealth (at least that I remember) - one was the "What must I do to get to heaven" ("sell what you have and give to the poor, come follow Me"), and the other was the story of the employees given money to care for while their master was gone - one buried the money to keep it safe, a second did something else, and the third invested it and made profits for the master. He was the one that got the praise for doing the best. So it seems that earning a profit is a good thing - you just have to share it to be a morally good person.

I especially don't want to leave it to the government to determine how "good" I should be. I'll leave that up to the Judge.

Chief Instructor said...

Sue - my wife (who is Catholic) and I were talking about him this weekend. Apparently, he made some announcement about allowing women to be ordained. I think that's absolutely fantastic.

First, morality depends on freedom of choice. Animals lack same, and cannot make moral choices. If the government requires taxes to feed the poor, there is no choice. No choice, no morality.

Absolutely spot on, hit one out of the park! It is immoral when government imposes a law on supposed moral grounds, as all law is ultimately enforced at the point of a gun.

suek said...

I disagree on the ordination of women. It seems to me to go back to the roles assigned women and men by nature. It's true that women can dedicate their lives to celibacy - vis a vis nuns - but are they also going to consider eliminating the celibacy requirement? Now...if there's no celibacy, then women might be having children...who do they serve first? their natural born children or the parish they serve? (I'm against eliminating the celibacy clause for men as well, for the same reason. Though I could see work arounds - celibacy for a certain number of years - missionary years, so to speak - and then marriage allowed. But you still have the same problem - which comes first? "No man can serve two masters" dilemna.) But assuming that women accept the celibacy requirement - is there any reason they couldn't be priests? Maybe not except that it doesn't fit the family with father as the head of the family mold.

Also, consider the reduction of numbers of nuns at present compared to the past. Would women consider becoming priests when they apparently aren't considering becoming priests? If so, that indicates a mental approach that seems to me to be indicative of an unwillingness to serve - a sort of pride that would be undesirable in a priest.

Obviously, I'm not totally opposed, but definitely prejudiced against it. Not surprising considering my age and upbringing!!

suek said...

Oops. Should be "when they apparently aren't considering becoming nuns"

Would women consider becoming priests when they apparently aren't considering becoming priests?

Chief Instructor said...

Sue - It's odd, your comments, for some reason, always get put into my spam folder on blogger. No idea why.

If I remember correctly, Catholics were originally allowed to be married, but the priests, bishops and cardinals would set up these "family businesses" where they'd pass their parish to their sons. It was about money, not religion, and the larger church then required celibacy so that these "businesses" would be broken up. Sometime in the 11th century, I believe.

The celibacy and no women priests things are just a couple of things that keep me away from Catholicism. I'm not a big fan of large denominations in general, though! I talk to God every day, and don't need someone telling me when and where to do it.

Philosophically, I like the idea of women as priests. I can't see why a woman can't speak the Word of God just as well as a man. Still, I've never heard a woman priest/preacher speak. New item for my To Do list!