I Call BS! The Shortage of Truckers is a Result of Deliberate Policy!

truckNowhere in this article does it mention the systematic policy attack on truckers. Extreme restrictions on truckers’ flexibility over when to drive has crushed productivity–rising wages or line-hauls won’t make up for having to spend more hours idle for every delivery. Demand for truckers is going up not only as demand for transportation has increased but also as each trucker is forced to be less productive, an effect that compounds the shortage of drivers by causing truckers who can’t make a living to exit  the industry resulting in even fewer trucker-hours to meet rising demand.
I have seen the momentum toward autonomous trucking accelerating past that for passenger cars since the company Otto was created by some well-connected tech folks to retrofit existing trucks with self-driving technology–that’s a sign of a short timeline IMO.
This WSJ article is portraying the undersupply of truckers as an unfortunate market failure–watch out for future articles that build on this underlying false assumption to argue that we have no choice but to adapt infrastructure to self-driving trucks in a hurry.
Of course, those who pay the freight will love such a subsidy allowing them to switch to a government-subsidized technology rather than compensate for government-implemented productivity crushing policies with higher wages. My guess is they are all in this together. Similarly, the uber-lyft model does not work without self-driving technology. Billions upon billions of dollars have been pumped into these businesses for years by very smart people–surely they know driverless is coming despite the tremendous cost and disruption it will visit upon taxpayers and laborers alike.
Maybe I’m wrong, but the way this article deliberately ignores the real problem with declining trucker supply makes me wonder, Why even write the article? Obviously, there’s some agenda at work. We will see what it is. #WTWOF

Trucking Companies Are Struggling to Attract Drivers to the Big-Rig Life
The U.S. freight market is speeding ahead, but recruiting new truck drivers to meet demand is proving harder to rev up

Very Clever, Mr. Musk! (follow-on to yesterday's post)

musk bannonYesterday, in my post, The Musk Special: Government-Privilege Two Ways, I pointed out how government policy, government subsidies, government-sponsored research and government regulation are crucial to Elon Musk’s Tesla empire, complete with examples of plummeting electric vehicle sales in markets where governments stopped fostering them.
This guy’s success is clearly dependent on government policy, and if government policy is the key to his success, what does he need on his side? (Hint: Binkley’s all over it! Just check out his reading list.) The answer is: PUBLIC OPINION!!! And what’s the key to public opinion? That’s an easy one. MEDIA! Sooooo……what did I read in the paper today???? Tesla took on two new directors and both happen to be media mega-wigs.
Tesla Names James Murdoch and Linda Johnson Rice to Board of Directors
Silicon Valley auto maker has faced criticism from investors about lack of independent directors

Tesla Inc., which has faced criticism from its investors about a lack of independent directors, named 21st Century Fox Inc. Chief Executive James Murdoch and Ebony Media CEO Linda Johnson Rice to its board.

Looks like the official story is that Tesla is doing this to improve the perceived integrity of the board. If so, they made an interesting choice! The rest of this article* reads like an apologia for James Murdoch’s phone-hacking scandal in the UK as well as an ad for a kinder & gentler Fox News–no more racism or sexual harassment, promise! But hey, the Murdochs own The Journal–of course they’re going to take every opportunity to influence public opinion–that‘s my point!
(Another example–and a spectacular one–of The Journal blatantly serving the Murdochs’ personal interest, or at least their thirst for vengeance, was the way they went after Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos, a highly-hyped blood-testing company.
My husband was fascinated by the story–Holmes’ meteoric rise and her equally meteoric descent. He kept saying, “Man, The Journal has got it in for this chick–they are going after her!” I didn’t think much of that, and I’m not saying she didn’t deserve it, but I had to give my husband credit when I read in one of the later WSJ articles (after the damage was done and no one questioned the motive of the stories) that Rupert Murdoch was a major investor in Theranos and lost it all: $125 million.**
For Holmes, getting in bed with the Murdochs probably seemed like a good idea at the time. I suppose Travis Kalanick would say the same about letting Über get in bed with Google, but look what happened to him!)
*in the print version anyway–there’s other stuff online
**It wasn’t a total loss when The Journal started covering it, but it was clear by then that an arrogant Holmes would end up turfing it.
Update (7/22/17):
California Says Tesla Is Too Big to Fail
State Democrats can’t stop throwing taxpayer money at the electric vehicle wunderkind.

Update (9/2/17):
Elon Musk Wants to Save the World—At What Cost?
The life of one of the most driven innovators of our time is also a testament that outrageous success does not come without sacrifice.
Reminds me of this Forbes headline from 12/15/15:
Elon Musk Has A Plan To Save The World

"I tried."

trump-shrug.jpegI had a friend once who used to say there’s no such thing as trying, only doing. I think he picked it up from seminars he used to attend. (EST I believe they were called.) It stuck with me. I stopped saying “I tried” pretty much altogether. You either do it or you don’t do it. You either figure it out or you don’t. “I tried” is a great way to stick to old habits and fail to accomplish goals without recognizing the cause that lies within you. It’s also a way to fail to accomplish something you were tasked with that you really didn’t want to get done. That said, it’s really not my thing to preach (I hope you agree with that!) and I think there are many ways to be successful (or better yet contented), but this particular perspective is relevant right now.
As soon as I saw President Trump’s executive order saying the ban on entry from certain Muslim majority countries would begin immediately and would even apply to those in transit holding valid documents, I flagged it as extremely unusual and doomed to failure. A fundamental tenet of law that anyone in law school learns is that a law that can’t be enforced is no law at all, and there was no way to roll something like this out “immediately.” As I watched the catastrophe unfold in the days and weeks to follow, and knew it was not only foreseeable but inevitable, I thought, maybe they did it this way on purpose so they could say, “We tried to fulfill our campaign promise to stop down Muslim immigration but…”
Then, when I heard in the background behind all the noise about alienating the Mexican president by taking too hard a line, that we would build the wall first and get Mexico to pay later followed up shortly by a report that Trump would be willing to reconsider the widely criticized Gang of Eight Immigration Reform Bill of 2013 or something similar, I thought, “that didn’t last long.”
Finally, when General Flynn was appointed as National Security Advisor and promptly “put Iran on notice” only to be ousted shortly thereafter, leaving behind a Trump team that has no intention of scrapping the Iran Deal as promised during the campaign, I thought, “Well, at least he can say he tried!”
I have heard many former Trump skeptics marvel with newfound admiration at how fast and hard Trump is working to keep his campaign promises, but to me it feels like when my kids leave me a dish rack full of “washed” dishes that are still dirty–“I tried” just doesn’t cut it.

#WTWOF The proof will be in the pudding on these issues and other campaign promises.

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Update: http://jamiedupree.blog.wsbradio.com/2017/02/17/trump-frustrates-supporters-with-inaction-on-immigration-dreamers/

The Midas Touch?

NBC All-Star Party - Red Carpet
Mark Burnett, Donald Trump, and NBC’s Jeff Zucker during NBC All-Star Party – Red Carpet at Hollywood and Highland Entertainment Complex in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage)

I have long wondered if Trump did not release his tax returns because his main source of revenue for the past ten or fifteen years might have been his long-running reality show The Apprentice, during which time he worked for then NBC’s Jeff Zucker. Zucker, by the way, now-head of CNN, along with the rest of the media, gave Trump 25x the coverage of his Republican competitors, to the chagrin of reporters. (Trump’s Screen Actors Guild pension was $168,000 last year, which means he must have been making some serious bank as an actor.)
See also: Donald Trump refers to Jeff Zucker as his ‘personal booker’ and CNN president PERSONALLY calls him all the time to ask him to appear on segments
Trump’s true source of income could be more important than any other president’s, in my opinion, because if he’s not really a super successful billionaire with the golden touch, than he’s just a guy whose businesses went bankrupt four times only to be bailed out by the likes of Rothschild (specifically, Wilbur Ross, banker at Trump’s savior, Rothschild Inc, and now Trump’s pick for commerce secretary) and George Soros who inexplicably padded Trump’s Chicago condo deal. (Trump’s claim of being a billionaire is plausibly disputed by Tim O’Brien in the book TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald.)
If Trump is a billionaire builder and businessman with the Midas Touch, he doesn’t really have to give details on his plans because people will have faith based on his proven success that he knows what he’s doing. But if this faith is misplaced, we might be wise to understand his plans a-to-b-to-c so we can evaluate for ourselves the risk-reward trade-off and express our approval or displeasure directly or through our representatives.
Trump moving on NAFTA, won’t release tax returns; WH closer to moving embassy to Jerusalem

Conway said Sunday that Trump won’t release his tax returns, appearing to shut the door on a decades-long tradition of transparency.
Every president since 1976 has released their returns. During the campaign, Trump refused to make his filings public, saying they were under audit by the Internal Revenue Service and saying he’d release them after that review is complete.
Conway was asked Sunday about a petition on the White House website signed by more than 200,000 people calling for Trump to release his returns.
“The White House response is that he’s not going to release his tax returns,” she said on ABC’s “This Week.” “We litigated this all through the election. People didn’t care.”
However, polls appear to show a majority of Americans want Trump to release the returns.

My big fear is that because Trump has the trust of his supporters based on what they think is proven business success, they will give him wide latitude even to the point of encroaching on America’s founding principles of limited government, civil liberties and respect for sovereignty in the name of pragmatism and “getting it done.” This is the kind of slippery slope that can put the last nail in the coffin of the American Experiment. Even if Trump himself could be trusted with such vast power and presumption of good faith, the next guy might not be, yet the scaffolding of technocratic government would be in place. (I said something similar to liberals when Obama’s presidency grew in power beyond the limits of the Constitution.)
On a side note, Trump will continue to work on The Apprentice while he’s president, earning $7 million for the role as executive producer while spending “zero time” on the job…If that’s true, why is NBC paying him for no work and is it ethical to take a job you don’t plan to do?

Propaganda Report Episode 17: Putin Power!

December 22nd, 2016 – Rules for Radicals, Total Information Control, The Allegory of the Cave, Putin’s Power, and much more on this 17th episode of the Propaganda Report.



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Show Notes by Monica Perez

Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals
Propaganda Techniques In World War, Harold Lasswell
Public Opinion, Walter Lippmann
National Security & Individual Freedom, Harold Lasswell
Prediction of Political Action by Means of Propaganda Analysis (Click Image below for full paper based on the book)
Livingstone doubles down on Hitler backing Zionism: ‘They don’t teach it in Israel’
Anti-Israel politician George Galloway backs former mayor, says ‘Nazism and Zionism were two sides of the same coin’; WWII historian rejects claims outright
Gladio B (Wikispooks)
National Security and Individual Freedom, by Harold Lasswell
From Major Jordan’s Diaries, by George Racey Jordan
Witness, by Whittaker Chambers
The Venona Secrets, by Herbert Romerstein
Fascinating Video by Russian Defector Yuri Bezmenov

Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons, by George Pendle
Sex and Rockets: the Occult World of Jack Parsons, by John Carter and Robert Anton Wilson

Kemp seeks Trump’s help in alleged DHS hack
Hillary Hypocrisy
Libertarians Beware, It’s a Set-Up! (The Kaci Hickox Saga)
Why the Koch Brothers Went After Murray Rothbard
The Dark Truth Behind the Kochs’ Struggle for Control of the Cato Institute
I thought the Koch’s won control of Cato in 2012, but maybe it was more like a compromise…
Cato Institute and Koch Brothers Reach Agreement
“Due Process Is Killing Us” Senator Joe Manchin
FOX News Accidentally Shows Evidence of Syrian REBELS Using Chemical Weapons
2012 Defense Intelligence Agency document: West will facilitate rise of Islamic State “in order to isolate the Syrian regime”
Vernon Jordan Foreshadows Censorship State
The Propaganda State Is Next
Predictive Programming (glossary entry). The Simpsons are famous for this so I tried to record the much touted “9/11” episode during the Simpsons marathon this year. I wondered if I’d be able to record this episode (it was aired in the wee hours so I couldn’t watch it in real time). I wasn’t.
John McAfee: The Dark Web is a twisted parallel universe where Homer Simpson predicted 9/11
Non-Aligned Movement
There are different ways to calculate these numbers but here is just one version:
Aleppo is an alarm bell: the international system has failed
RT Founder Mikhail Lesin’s Fishy Blunt Force ‘Suicide’
It had been a mystery for months, but evidence of foul play has mounted in the death of Kremlin-backed media figure Mikhail Lesin.

The Pseudo Environment

If you’re into quotes, this post is for you! In episode 13 of the Propaganda Report, I mentioned pseudo environments as described by Walter Lippmann in his 1922 classic book, Public Opinion. The concepts discussed in his book are as relevant today as they were back then. Lippmann was an elite. He was an author for the Council on Foreign Relations. He was an informal advisor to many presidents. He helped draft Wilson’s Fourteen Points speech, which is an amazing example of propaganda that utilizes the Art of Ambiguity. Lippmann breaks down the intentionally vague language and why it was chosen in the book. He also consulted for, and later criticized, the first large scale propaganda agency in the U.S., Woodrow Wilson’s WWI Committee On Public Information.
The point is that Lippmann is about as insider as it gets, especially when it comes to propaganda operations. His work provides great insights into how propaganda operates at the highest levels, and how it uses the various forms of available media to accomplish its goals.
His discussion on pseudo environments can be applied directly to the digital pseudo environment we live into today. In this post, I’ve included a few quotes from his book regarding pseudo environments with some thoughts below each.

“The only feeling that anyone can have about an event he does not experience is the feeling aroused by his mental image of that event.”

On a daily basis, the various media we take in provokes anger, fear, hatred, and anxiety in the public. They do this through an onslaught of stories presented in a way that are designed not to make us think and work together, but to make us fight and remain divided. And it works like a charm. Based on the news, the public picks sides, and directs its rage towards whichever group the media has made the object of its hate. We fight over political issues, social issues, and international issues, and everyone is certain that they’re right and “the other” is wrong.
Yet, in many cases, we have not experienced the events used by the media to polarize us, first hand. In fact, we often haven’t experienced them second hand. With a few exceptions, most Americans have never experienced Syria, yet they still hold strong opinions about what should or should not be done over there. Most Americans have not experienced the dangerous supposed rise in hate crimes the media promotes, yet many are still certain that we’re facing an epidemic. It isn’t reality that keeps Americans divided, it’s the pseudo reality that the media projects into our heads that does.
Powerful emotional appeals, and digital imagery can make a phony experience feel very real. Virtual Reality might be the most terrifying thing we face in the future.

“For it is clear enough that under certain conditions men respond as powerfully to fictions as they do to realities, and that in many cases they help to create the very fictions to which they respond…..Let him cast a stone who never passed on as the real inside truth what he had heard someone say who knew no more than he did.”

The pseudo reality creates realty. This is how self-fulfilling prophecies occur. This is why something can be a false flag while still being a real event. Edward Bernays talks a lot about public demonstrations. One of the propaganda purposes of a public demonstration in the age of mass media is to create a domino effect, a chain reaction of real events, sparked by the initial demonstrations. The initial demonstrations target anyone who identifies with the movement that can be reached through the various forms of mass media. The symbolic actions taken by the protesters serve as a demonstration for others who are reached. They know that if they want to be a part of whatever the movement is, they can go out and mimic the actions they witnessed the protesters doing.
This is why Colin Kaepernick’s protest changed from simply sitting down to taking a knee.
Sitting down on the bench where you can’t be seen is not a powerful symbol that demonstrates to others what to do. A public relations person/propagandist stepped in and they transformed it to taking a knee. He wasn’t going to be on the cover of time magazine sitting on a bench. Taking a knee in line next to his teammates who are mostly standing is a far more powerful symbolic action. This gives those watching at home an action they can go out and mimic, the meaning of which will be clear to everyone who witnesses it.
Watch the link below to hear Bernays describe how to start a movement. Pay attention to how he describes provoking people who feel oppressed.
Click Here To Hear Bernays Describe How To Start A Movement

“In all these instances we must note particularly one common factor. It is the insertion between man and his environment of a pseudo-environment. To that pseudo-environment his behavior is a response. But because it is behavior, the consequences, if they are acts, operate not in the pseudo-environment where the behavior is stimulated, but in the real environment where action eventuates.”

The media plays negative stereotypes off of each other. For example, police officers and young african americans in struggling communities. The media fills both sides with fear. The media makes both groups fear the other is out to get them. They do this by focusing the spotlight only on tragic, divisive events and making the public believe that these events are the norm, when they’re not. They’re the rarity. But because the rarity is played on repeat by the media and treated like its the norm, people affected by this will react not to reality, but to the pseudo environment. This increases tensions in the real environment, increasing the likelihood that real violence will occur.

“When the stimulus of the pseudo-fact results in action on things or other people, contradiction soon develops. Then comes the sensation of butting one’s head against a stone wall, of learning by experience, and witnessing Herbert Spencer’s tragedy of the murder of a Beautiful Theory by a Gang of Brutal Facts, the discomfort in short of a maladjustment. For certainly, at the level of social life, what is called the adjustment of man to his environment takes place through the medium of fictions.”

I just love the quote, “Tragedy of the murder of a Beautiful Theory by a Gang of Brutal Facts.”

“Without some form of censorship, propaganda in the strict sense of the word is impossible. In order to conduct a propaganda there must be some barrier between the public and the event. Access to the real environment must be limited, before anyone can create a pseudo-environment that he thinks wise or desirable. For while people who have direct access can misconceive what they see, no one else can decide how they shall misconceive it, unless he can decide where they shall look, and at what.”

I personally believe that social engineers have reached a level of sophistication where they can in fact decide how people can misconceive events. They’ve been spending billions on the study mass manipulation of the crowd for over a hundred years now. But they too are human and flawed, and an understanding of their methods can help overcome their manipulative attempts.
Lippmann talks about how far removed the public is from the real story. There is the press secretary who presents the official story, which are a version of the facts that paint the organization in the best light possible. There are the journalists whose world views and personal agendas skew the story. There are the editors who impose restrictions and agendas onto the journalists. There are the editors bosses who impose restrictions and agendas on the editors. There are space and time restrictions that the information must be conveyed within. The list goes on.
For anyone interested in this kind of stuff, I highly recommend checking out Public Opinion.
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