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Friday, September 30, 2011

Social Security Is A Ponzi Scam

I've written about this before. Social Security is one big Ponzi scam.

In some ways, Social Security is worse than a Ponzi scam. With Bernard Madoff, I could have protected myself by refusing to invest or doing due diligence. With Social Security, I'm forced to participate via taxes. Also, State accounting is exempt from the rules that normally apply to the private sector. If the State does something, it's presumed to be a good idea.

This is a current issue, because Rick Perry criticized Social Security.

It seems that Rick Perry's character is "I'm saying politically incorrect things. Therefore, all people who believe these things are fools."

Rick Perry has picked a few "politically incorrect" statements.

  1. Social Security is a Ponzi Scam. (true)
  2. "Carbon dioxide causes global warming" is a scam. (true, but Rick Perry presents a weak criticism, which almost makes it seem like an edorsement)
  3. criticizing the Federal Reserve (again, it's a weak criticism)
  4. I doubt evolution. (gotta throw in something silly to make him look like a complete fool)
BTW, Rick Perry seems like the insider's choice, for the next President. Ron Paul is the least evil candidate. The fnords seem to indicate that Rick Perry will win.

Getting back to the post title, Social Security is a Ponzi scam.

First, I'll address one irrelevant point, "Social Security is Unconstitutional". The Social Security tax is an income tax. It's as valid as everything else the IRS does. (I'm ignoring people who say that the income tax is invalid due to a legal technicality. Unfortunately, Federal judges and appeals court judges have consistently ruled that the income tax is 100% legal, as currently enforced. Even if they are wrong, they have a "justice" monopoly and their decision is final.)

Suppose that younger workers were given the choice to opt-out. They agree to not make any future claims, and in return they don't pay any more Social Security taxes (both employer and employee portion). The worker effectively pays the employer portion of Social Security tax. His salary is reduced by the amount of payroll tax the employer pays.

A pro-State troll says "You're being silly. Social Security would collapse in insolvency if younger workers could opt-out." Isn't that proof it's a Ponzi scam?

A pro-State troll says "Social Security isn't a Ponzi scam. It's pay-as-you-go." This is arguing definitions. Pay-as-you-go is a fancy word that means "Ponzi scam". Current Social Security taxes pay benefits to people who pay in previously. That's a Ponzi scam; current payments go to previous investors.

A pro-State troll points out "Government is not required to obey the same accounting rules as the private sector." Any private business that used the same methods as Social Security would be shut down for operating a fraud. Government does it and passes a law saying it's legal. That doesn't make it not-a-scam.

There's no way that current Social Security promises can be kept, unless there's massive inflation, tax hikes, or benefit cuts. It's a Ponzi scam.

Like all Ponzi scams, Social Security was initially profitable for the scamsters, until it collapses as the scam is exposed via insolvency. Until 2010, Social Security was a massive profit center for the State. Until 2010, Social Security taxes collected exceeded benefits paid. The surplus was not put into a "trust fund". That's an accounting fiction. That money was immediately spent. Because Social Security ran a taxation surplus, deficit spending could occur elsewhere without causing inflation.

Consider this analogy. "Bernard Madoff is running a Ponzi scam. Let's give him another $5B so he can keep his scam running." That's obviously silly. That's what all the "reform Social Security" proposals sound like.

With Bernard Madoff, his scam was stopped and leftover money was returned to investors. The Social Security scam should be stopped and the leftover money should be returned to taxpayers. There's nothing in the Social Security trust fund, just a stack of IOUs. The "leftover funds" is $0.

In many ways, Social Security is worse than any private-sector Ponzi scam. I didn't invest with Bernard Madoff. In the private sector, I can be clever and not be fooled by scamsters. Under threat of violence, I'm forced to participate in Social Security via taxes. Via State lawmaking magic pixie dust, Social Security is not-a-scam, because State lawmakers and comedians say so.

Social Security was sold to the public as an "insurance plan". To maintain that illusion, the Amish were given an exemption. Social Security is an income tax. The complicated "benefit formula" helps hide the fact that it's a tax. It makes it seem like you're paying taxes in exchange for some future benefit. Even for current retirees, they're getting a lousy return compared to most other investments. It's going to be even worse for younger workers.

Social Security is one big Ponzi scam. Anyone who says otherwise is either a fool or a liar. Current Social Security taxes pay benefits to previous "investors"/taxpayers. That's a Ponzi scam.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Unemployed Again

My contract ended and I'm unemployed again. I mentioned this indirectly, but not explicitly.

So far, I'm getting 1 interview per week, which is decent.

I'm doing the usual jobsearch grind. You might say "FSK, start your own business!" That isn't easy as it sounds. I'm making only $5/month from AdBrite ads. It's not that easy to find something that's a moneymaker.

That's the problem with the economy. If it were easy for someone like me to start a business or co-found a business, then the economy wouldn't be in the toilet. Instead, people with political connections have spectacular success, while I'm struggling to get by.

Even if I'm bootstrapping a successful business, I still need income in the meantime.

I like my new Android phone. I'm going to download the SDK and experiment.

Now that I have greater awareness, searching for a job is frustrating. I'm interviewing with people who have *BOTH* less emotional awareness and less logical ability, compared to me. Previously, I usually outranked employers on logical awareness but not emotional awareness.

It is very frustrating, to try to convince someone who doesn't know as much as me, to hire me. You might say "Act stupider!", but I'm not going to do that.

Nobody says "FSK, we're rejecting you because you're too smart. You'll make me look bad in comparison. I'm rejecting you out of concern for my own job security." Nobody will say that. Instead, they make up some other excuse.

There's always one parasite or psychopath on the hiring committee. The rule usually is "Everyone has to vote 'yes' to hire someone." Therefore, the evil interviewer will veto hiring me, because he feels threatened by me. Due to the nature of the State, *EVERY* work group has someone evil or evil-leaning.

Another good trick is "I'm making up a reason to reject FSK, because there's someone else I want to hire." It's very easy for the interviewer to give me a bad rating when nobody else is looking, and then give favorable ratings to his friends or people he doesn't feel threatened by. I suspect that, in some cases, the interviewee gets the interview questions ahead of time.

My favorite joke is "We want you to work for equity only." In other words, work for free. I'm not dumb enough to fall for that one, but it doesn't hurt to ask or try. Even if I worked for equity-only and the company was ridiculously successful, there's too many ways to get cheated. The same type of person who would ask me to work for equity-only is the same type of person who would cheat me if the business is successful. As a minority shareholder, there's too many ways to get cheated. Why would I work for equity only, when I can make $5/month working on my blog? My effective blogging salary is approximately $0.10/hr, which is $0.10/hr more than I'd ever get in an equity-only job.

The ideal scenario would be to find a promising startup and join as one of the early technical employees, and write version 1.0 of their product by myself. No such opportunity has come up. For every next-Google, there's 10,000+ fools with a stupid business plan and some VC connections. Moving is not an option; I might have more success in Silicon Valley. I'm staying in NYC.

Paradoxically, being too skilled makes it hard to find a wage slave job. I'm going to be way overqualified for any job I can actually get. The only way out is to start your own business, on-the-books or agorist-style. That isn't easy.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The New Delicious Sucks!

At one time, Delicious was a useful tool. It was purchased by Yahoo. Yahoo's clueless executives did nothing with it, introducing zero useful new features.

Google is also mismanaging Blogger. While WordPress is heavily updated, Blogger is stagnating. Google has introduced two useful new features in the 4+ years I've been using Blogger. They introduced post queuing, and comment spam filtering. I'm looking forward to switching to WordPress and my own domain and my own Linode.

Yahoo's executives realized they wasted their money buying a website they didn't know how to run. They decided to either shut it down or sell it. A group of investors, including YouTube's founders, bought Delicious from Yahoo.

They promised to finally upgrade and improves Delicious. Their new version finally went live yesterday. It's a POS. They removed all the useful features that I liked.

Here's a press release announcing the new delicious.

Here's a comment that shows what geniuses these people are:

The list of organized tags in the right side is now gone, replaced with a search navigation tool.
You're making me search to find my bookmarks now? Great. I'll use Google instead. The tag list was one of the desirable features.

Also, they don't support more than 10 links on one tag or page. That kills any usability.

What geniuses decided "Let's fill up the page with whitespace! That'll make it more usable?"

Let's see. Which design do I prefer?

Design #1:

Link #1 {tags} {edit tools}
Link #2 {tags} {edit tools}
Link #3 {tags} {edit tools}

Design #2:

Link #1


{edit tools}

Link #2


{edit tools}

Link #3


{edit tools}

Come on you twits. Can't you see that design #1 is much better than design #2?

Luckily, I found the "export tool" and downloaded my bookmarks file to my PC.

(BTW, the "new Blogger UI" also has the same "too much whitespace flaw". If Google forces the new UI on me, I may give up on Blogger also.)

Summarizing the flaws in the new Delicious:
  1. They removed the right hand side tag list. If you're making me search to find my bookmarks, I'll just use Google.
  2. They don't support more than 10 links on one page.
  3. They are using way too much whitespace in their page design.
That's it for delicious. RIP. At one time, I tried Google Bookmarks and one or two others. They also sucked.

I'm just hand-editing some HTML files and using Firefox's bookmark feature. After one day, I'm noticing that hand-editing HTML is better than delicious was.

There's another bonus of hand-edited HTML. I have control over the order in which my bookmarks are displayed. I can make sub-groupings. Delicious only supports sort-by-name or sort-by-date.

I may check back again in a few months to see if they fixed things. For now, I'm done with delicious. It's now clearly inferior to hand-edited HTML files and Firefox's default bookmark feature.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Homeland Security And Copyright

This story is interesting.

The Department Of Homeland Security is prosecuting people for copyright infringement. WTF? When did Homeland Security change its mission from "Get violent terrorists?" to "Stop people from sharing movies and music"?

The State says "We need more spying power to stop violent criminals." In reality, this power is used to protect profits for corporate insiders.

The correct answer is "Intellectual property is not a valid form of property." It's pure corruption capitalism, when "homeland security" is enforcing intellectual property, rather than chasing violent mass-murderers.

That's the problem with expanding State spying power. The official reason is "terrorism". Those powers have been abused.

As another example, the Patriot Act's "sneak and peek" search clause was used for drug dealers 100x more than for terrorists.

The problem is not "Collecting information is evil!" The problem is that government will use that information for evil politically-motivated purposes. If State insiders could be trusted to use their spying power only for legitimate purposes, it would be OK for them to collect information. The State has a monopoly. They will inevitably use their spying power for evil rather than to stop real crime.

State insiders claim they need more spying power to stop criminals. Then, they use those powers to crack down on things that aren't real crimes. In these examples, State spying power was abused to enforce copyright and the "War on Drugs". Copyright is not a valid form of property. It is wrong that certain substances are forbidden, with long prison terms for possession.

The "War on Drugs" and "War on File Sharing" cannot be enforced without invading people's privacy. Those laws cannot be enforced without unreasonable search and seizure. If a law can only be enforced by spying on people all the time, then it isn't a valid law.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lies And UBS' $2B Loss

Kweku Adoboli was blamed/scapegoated for $2B in losses by UBS. More details have emerged, including an "official explanation" for the losses. Here are some links that question the "official explanation" of events.

The "official story" is that Kweku Adoboli entered fake trades into UBS' computers, to hide his losses.

There's one flaw in the "official explanation". It makes absolutely no sense.

If you have any knowledge of bank clearing and settlement, the "official explanation" makes no sense.

Kweku Adoboli had real losses on his trades. He had fake gains that offset the losses. Adoboli was trading liquid ETFs and currencies and index futures. They actively trade and have prices quoted daily.

UBS should have had mark-to-market gains and margin calls, on the fake trades. It is *IMPOSSIBLE* that UBS ignored the missing payment. Banks don't forget to collect collateral and margin on large trades.

Adoboli was only authorized to hedge. If a customer bought S&P futures, then Adoboli would go and buy the matching index future or basket of stocks. Adoboli's position should have been hedged at all times. By entering fake trades, Adoboli created the impression that he was hedged, even though he was gambling on market moves.

Initially, Adoboli had small losses. He made bigger and bigger bets, to try to get back to even. He kept making the wrong moves, buying high and selling low. When you're gambling with others people's money, and there's no accountability, you can lose a lot!

If UBS lost $2B, then some other traders have $2B in windfall profits! It is possible that a trader could intentionally dump losses to a confederate. According to the "official explanation", that didn't happen in this case.

To lose $2B, Adoboli needed positions of $10B-$20B+. There's no way that a trader can make a $1M+ trade, without his boss noticing and approving. Adoboli's boss and boss' boss had to notice and approve his trades.

However, my now-ex-empolyer's computers had an interesting defect. If a DBA edited the database, nobody would ever know. (I suspected that some dishonest DBAs were actually doing this.) However, to pull that off, Adoboli would have needed the DBA password *AND* several other people complicit in helping cover his tracks. Adoboli was promoted from the back office to trading. Even if Adoboli still had his back office password, he would have needed help from others to commit fraud.

If I were advising Adoboli's lawyer, there's a clear path to acquittal or a favorable plea-bargain. Adoboli's lawyer should emphasize all the ways that UBS' risk managers failed miserably. UBS should allow a lenient plea-bargain. They don't want a public display of their gross negligence. Adoboli's lawyer should threaten to totally embarrass UBS' risk managers, if they insist on a trial.

That's the fallacy in the "official explanation". Allegedly, Adoboli made fake trades to hide his losses. UBS should have made mark-to-market and margin calls on the fake positions. How could they have missed that? The official lie makes absolutely no sense.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Annoying Android Gmail Feature - Password Change

I'm noticing lots of little annoying UI flaws in my Android phone.

I changed my gmail password from the web client. I do this occasionally, for security.

The phone didn't register that I changed my password. The phone gmail client stopped updating, but didn't display an error.

I found a workaround. Click on "load more messages". That forced the phone to connect, and notice that the password was no longer current. Only then, did it prompt me to re-enter my new password.

That was annoying. I like the Android phone overall. There's lots of little places where the UI shows a lack of polish.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Blogger On Android - All Apps Suck

I tried using Blogger from my new Android Droid 3 phone.

My conclusions is "All the Blogger Android apps suck."

First, I tried the official Google app. It didn't have the ability to queue posts for later publishing. It didn't have the ability to moderate comments.

I tried Blogger-droid by Anders Hedstrom. It wouldn't go to landscape move when I opened my keyboard. I didn't investigate further.

I tried Blogaway. That also didn't have the ability to queue posts. It had a clunky UI.

Technically, I can moderate comments via gmail, by clicking on the moderation link. However, not being able to queue posts for later is a dealbreaker for me. I can't use any of these Android Blogger clients.

If I can't queue a post for later publishing, I might as well write the post in jota text editor, and transfer the post to my blog when I get home. All of those "Android Blogger" clients were inferior to "text editor plus transfer it later".

The WordPress Android client is orders of magnitude ahead of the Blogger client. Maybe I should switch to WordPress. I might get the Android SDK and Blogger API and write my own client.

It's very annoying. Google's support for Blogger has been abysmal.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fundraising Letter From SPLC?

I got a fundraising letter from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). That's pretty ironic. I'm more likely to be on their "official enemies list" rather than giving them money.

For example, the SPLC has put Rand Paul on their "official enemies" list for his "radical libertarian" beliefs. The SPLC insiders seem to think that, if you believe that government is too big, then you're a terrorist.

State propaganda organizations have a title that's usually the opposite of their true purpose. For example, the Southern Poverty Law Center is an organization dedicated to promoting poverty and lawlessness.

The letter was incredibly misleading. They had a retired FBI agent write the fundraising letter for them. That made it look like it was a letter from the FBI, rather than from the SPLC. The letter also implied that there was some sort of official connection between the SPLC and the FBI. That may be true, but for the purposes of fundraising, there shouldn't be any explicit or implied connection.

I was amused to get a fundraising letter from the SPLC. I was offended that the SPLC letter implied that there was some sort of official connection between the SPLC and the FBI. It's probably one of those things that skirts the bordeline of illegal, although they'd probably win in court if someone tried to challenge it. It definitely was unethical.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Android Classic Retro Emulator List

There's no "retro emulation" for the iPhone. Due to Apple's "no 3rd party runtimes" rule, emulators are banned from the iPhone. One guy spent a year writing a Commodore 64 iPhone app, only to have it banned! He even negotiated the right to sell games with his app, but Apple banned it anyway.

For the iPhone, Apple 100% controls distribution. It's impossible to install an iPhone app that Apple didn't approve, unless you hack your phone.

On Android, there's no such restriction. Even if an app is banned from Google's store, people can still offer the .apk installer file on their personal website. This has led to a lot of emulators. (Some copyright owners are attempting to censor emulators, by sending takedown notices and legal threat letters. People still leak the .apk file or put it on their personal website.)

Unfortunately, the trend is for stricter and stricter enforcement of copyright law. So far, nobody has been prosecuted or sued for downloading rom images on the Internet. That may change. There is a push to change copyright law from civil to criminal. Why do police arrest someone for growing marijuana and smoking it themselves? Because they can. Similarly, in the future, police may be prosecuting file sharers. Can you imagine a no-knock raid, because someone was suspected of downloading Super Mario Brothers?

Most violent copyright enforcement is focused on movies and music. That may change in the future, with more focus on games.

Nintendo claims that it's illegal to play a game in an emulator, even if you own a copy of the original game. That claim hasn't been tested in court (yet). Nintendo claims that if I want to play Super Mario Brothers on a newer console, I have to buy another license, even if I already bought it once.

It's impossible to legally obtain a collection of all Atari 2600/800 games. If there's no legal option, people will download it via BitTorrent. Even if I hunted down used copies and bought them, the money would go to collectors and not the original game authors.

I'm much more interested in playing games I actually own and played, rather than experimenting with other games. It is interesting to browse in an emulator.

Many games were never released in the USA. If you want to play the arcade version of "Tetris: The Grand Master", your only choice is in an emulator. If you want to play the original arcade version of Mario Brothers, your only choice is in an emulator. (The NES version of Mario Brothers isn't as polished as the arcade version. For example, in the arcade version, if you get to phase 30, you get two bouncing red fireballs! That isn't in the NES version. Also, the NES version doesn't have the icicle levels.)

Most Android emulators are based on open source GPL-ed code, made for other systems. There's one guy "yongzh", who made a bunch of paid emulator apps based on GPL-ed code, without releasing the source of his version. You should be able to find free alternatives. If you know where to look, you should be able to find free versions of most emulators.

There's another nice bit when you play games in an emulator, the "save state" feature. This is useful when you're playing on the subway and have to get off for your stop. It also helps to get past tricky parts of a game.

I didn't see a good emulator app list, so I made one myself! Other lists include paid apps. Here is another list, but it contains lots of paid apps (mostly by yongzh).

I only tested these emulators on my phone, a Droid 3. They may not work at 100% speed on older phones.

Atari 2600

This is was my first game console. Here is the emulator for Atari 2600 on Android.

This is a pretty good emulator. It worked fine on my phone.

I like the way that paddles are emulated via the touchscreen. Super Breakout (advancing walls mode) and Circus Atari are great classic games.

The only negative is that it uses the "camera key" for the reset button. The Droid 3 doesn't have a camera key! After much experimenting, I figured out how to remap the reset button and select button.

It's awkward using the keyboard, but I'm getting used to it. I'm undecided if I prefer the keyboard-as-joystick or the on-screen joystick overlay.

Also, you can't play any games that require two joysticks, such as Raiders of the Lost Ark. Fortunately, only a small handful of games require two joysticks.

It really is amazing that "every game written for the Atari 2600" fits in 0.5GB on my 16GB micro SD card. The same is true for many of these emulators, that the entire game library only uses a fraction of my micro SD card space.

Atari 800

This is another one of my favorite consoles.

Here's one emulator. Unfortunately, development seems to have stalled. This emulator worked, but it wouldn't recognize my keyboard in the "remap joystick" feature.

This emulator seems buggy. It's based on an older version of the Atari800 core. It wouldn't run "Mountain King", so I didn't try any other games.

Allegedly, "kostas" wrote an Atari800 emulator. The droid800 developers claimed that they stopped supporting their emulator, because kostas' was better. He received a legal threat letter from Hasbro, who owns the copyright and trademarks for Atari. He stopped distributing his emulator.

Annoyingly, all the Atari800 emulators expect you to unzip the file before using it. The Atari2600 emulator will directly play zipped rom images.

Also, the Android phone OS can't handle directories with much more than 100 files. I wrote a PHP script that takes a big rom collection and breaks it up into 100 file subdirectories.

Commodore 64

This is another classic console. Frodo C64 seems like the best (only?) emulator.

It had a couple of problems. This emulator seems like it isn't actively developed anymore.

I couldn't figure out how to make "joystick mode" work. I tried one game "Super Pipeline", and it didn't work properly.

I tried it with one game (Super Pipeline), and it didn't work. I also tried "Raid on Bungeling Bay" and couldn't get that to run at all. I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong.

It requires game images to be already unzipped.

It read .D64 format but not .T64 format. I noticed a lot of the rom images were in .T64 format but not .D64 format.

I tried the VICE emulator. I couldn't get that to work either.

Atari ST

I couldn't find an Atari ST emulator for Android. I never had played that console.


"AEU4Droid" is the emulator for Amiga. I had never played that console. I didn't try out that emulator.

Apple II

"Candy Apple" is the Apple II emulator. Almost all the good Apple games were released for other consoles. I didn't try out that emulator.


I couldn't find a colecovision emuoltor.


I couldn't find an Intellivision emulator. "Intellivision Lives!" was released for iPhone but I didn't see an Android version.

I have "Intellivision Lives!" on the Xbox. The only Intellivision game I really like is Astrosmash. The Intellivision version of Astrosmash is better than the Atari 2600 version.


This is a great emulator. You can play old dos games on your phone.

The Droid 3 keyboard doesn't exactly map to the DOS keyboard. The only keys I notice missing were the escape key and function keys. You can map them to the onscreen keyboard overlay, but there's a limit of only 6 keys.

I couldn't get the touchscreen mouse to work, when I tried playing Rampart.

You need to experiment with each game, to see if it's playable in Android dosbox.

The only annoying feature of dosbox is NO SAVE STATES. You can only save your game if the original game supported saves.

Unfortunately, you can't play Windows games on your Android phone. WINE won't work, because the underlying hardware isn't x86.

Fortunately, until around 2000, most games were written for DOS. Those will work on dosbox.

GOG bought the right to sell some old DOS games. They also sponsor dosbox development.

Some people installed Windows on top of a dosbox installation. That seems like an abomination. That works, because dosbox emulates the x86 hardware.

You might be able to install Linux on top of dosbox, and then run WINE from there. That also seems like an abomination. That would work, because dosbox emulates the x86 hardware needed for WINE.


There's "Tiger NES". If you want it, you have to download the "Where are Tigers" app. It was banned from the Google app store.

It was pretty good at supporting key remappings and recognizing my keyboard.

Tiger NES is adware, which is annoying. Also, it only loads roms from \sdcard and won't load from \sdcard-ext.

There was another annoying bit about Tiger's emulators. His emulator asks permission to read your phone # and your real name. I found that disturbing, but there's no other good emulators available.


There's "Tiger SNES". If you want it, you have to download the "Where are Tigers" app. It was banned from the Google app store.

It was pretty good at supporting key remappings and recognizing my keyboard.


Tiger doesn't have a Nintendo 64 emulator.

Bit64 seemed like a decent Nintendo 64 emulator. I couldn't find it.

Here's a page for a Nintendo 64 open source emulator. It isn't finished yet. Note: this has nothing to do with yongzh's n64oid.

Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance

Tiger has emulators for the gameboy and gameboy advance. I haven't tried them yet.

Gameboy emulation seems like a really good idea, because the games were originally written for a handheld.

Sega Genesis

Tiger also has a Sega Genesis emulator.

Sega Saturn

I didn't see a Sega Saturn emulator.

Sega Dreamcast

I didn't see a Sega Dreamcast emulator. There were some people working on porting nullDC (PC emulator), but they aren't done yet.

My favorite Dreamcast games were "Mr. Driller" and "Crazy Taxi".

Sony Playstation

There are two options here. First, there's PSX4Droid. Second, Tiger has a PSX emulator.


Tiger wrote a partial MAME emulator. It only works on NEO-GEO games and Capcom games.

Some people have ported an older DOS version of MAME to Android.

There no longer is a DOS version of MAME. If there were a DOS version, you could run it under dosbox. You could run an older DOS version of MAME under dosbox.

I considered compiling MAME with dosbox+cygwin. I didn't try.

Apparently, there's a lot of things you would have to change, if you wanted to get the full version of MAME working on Android. Each game has its own special code.

Don't Bother - Not Enough CPU Horespower

In order to get emulation to work, you need a CPU that's a *LOT* more powerful than the hardware you're emulating. Your emulation CPU needs to emulate the underlying CPU, plus all graphics chips and sound chips.

The following consoles can't be emulated, because the phone isn't too much more powerful than the emulated hardware: PSP, DS, Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Gamecube, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360.

I'm trying to make this a complete list. If you notice any errors or omissions, I'll update the post.

I like my Android "Motorola Droid 3" phone. If you want game emulation, you need the phone with the most CPU horsepower. Right now, that's the Droid 3.

It's really neat that you can run old games on your phone! Technically, it's illegal copyright infringement, but it's not enforced. Hopefully, corporations won't lobby for stricter copyright law and crack down more. Right now, most copyright enforcement focuses on movies and music, but that may change. Most of these older games aren't on the market. They wouldn't be preserved if collectors didn't dump the rom images.

Downloading a 20 year old game is morally equivalent to copying a 70 year old book. Lawyers and judges don't think that way, but it's an important analogy. Copyright shouldn't last forever.

If you own an iPhone, you can't run old games, because of Apple's control freak app policy. Classic consoles are a good reason to pick Android over iPhone. Some of the best Android games are old console games played in an emulator!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011



Verizon Promo Fraud

I recently upgraded my Verizon cellphone to a Droid 3. I finally received my new phone via FedEx 1.5 weeks after ordering in the store. The guy in the store originally said my phone would ship the day after purchase. I got two new phones, one for me and one for my sister, on a family share plan.

They had some really confusing promos, when you upgrade.

They have a program "Turn in your old phone for a $100 gift card." I thought we could bring the phone to the store. No. You have to mail it.

When they shipped me my new phone, they included an envelope for turning in your old phone. HOWEVER, that envelope is for donating your phone to charity. If I used that envelope, I wouldn't have received the $100 gift card. That was really confusing and tricky.

I had to separately order a rebate envelope online. However, I need a "promo code". They mailed me the promo code only for my phone, and mailed my sister the other promo code.

I tried their website and it didn't work. I called customer support. I asked "Can't you just mail me the damn envelope?" The support idiot insisted that I use their crappy website.

I finally managed to get it to work.

They also had a "$50 credit for buying a tablet, when you upgrade your phone." When I was in the store the first time, the clerk said "You can wait until later, after the phones arrive, to claim the credit." When we came back 2 weeks later, the clerk said "Sorry! You had to use the $50 credit the same day you upgraded your phone."

I also thought it was a $50 credit on buying accessories. No. It's just $50 credit for buying a phone. It was incredibly confusing and misleading.

Why was Verizon trying to trick me? If I used the envelope they shipped with the new phone, I would have been donating the phone to charity, rather than getting the $100 credit. Why can't they just mail me the rebate envelope like a normal sane person would? Why can't the support clerk just mail me the envelopes, rather than making me use their crappy website? (I'm certainly not computer illiterate. It was a crappy hard-to-use website.) Why make me jump through all these hoops to get a rebate?

Why couldn't they make the promo simple? Why didn't they just give me the right envelope? Why can't I turn my old phone in the store? Why do they make the promos so complicated?

The problem is that Verizon has a monopoly. Even if I get mad and drop them, AT&T and the others are just as bad or worse. Can't I buy a phone without all these stupid and confusing promos? Can't they just give me their best price, without all the stupid tricks?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fnord Analysis - "Inside Job" Documentary

I saw the documentary "Inside Job". It covered corruption in the financial industry, and the housing bubble/bust/bailout.

One thing overwhelmingly impressed me. Every single person interviewed in the film had the parasitic or psychopathic personality type. Even the people saying "WTF? There's too much corruption!" had the parasitic personality type.

Some parasites go around saying "WTF? This is wrong!", just to provide cover for the other parasites. "Inside Job" was a very weak criticism of the financial industry, compared to my blog.

When people weakly criticize corruption, that helps provide cover for the criminals. "Inside Job" was a very weak criticism of bankster corruption.

However, the issues are very complicated and lies are rampant. Did the filmmakers have a sincere desire to expose the truth? Was that film a whitewash, because it offered criticism but didn't present any serious challenge to the State financial system scam?

If the authors of the film weren't completely clueless, they should have read a little about Austrian economics. That's a pretty serious omission, from a film criticizing the financial industry and corruption among academic economists. (I don't consider myself an Austrian economist, because Austrian economics doesn't include the Compound Interest Paradox.)

"Inside Job" didn't touch any of the "big issues". "Inside Job" failed to discuss:

  1. Is having the Federal Reserve central bank a good idea?
  2. The Federal Reserve is one big price-fixing cartel.
  3. With negative real interest rates, the incentive is for banks to load up on as much debt and leverage as they can. No matter what other reforms you have, negative interest rates give the banksters free money.
  4. Paper money or a gold standard?
  5. Regarding credit rating agencies, the law says that certain institutions may only invest in high-quality debt. The fabricated A credit ratings matter, because the fake ratings allowed more institutions to buy the lousy bonds. "Inside job" briefly criticized the ratings agencies, but failed to mention that the ratings matter due to various laws. (This is a minor but serious error in the film.)
There were some lesser State-approved evils discussed:
  1. The banksters own the government via lobbying.
  2. The banksters own the economics profession. Many "top economists" have very lucrative side jobs consulting and speaking for the banksters.
  3. There's a revolving door between government and big banks. (However, they didn't explain the "Captured Regulators Problem" as explicitly and clearly as I do.)
Films like "Inside Job" give me a mixed reaction. It's a step in the right direction, because it is some mainstream criticism of bankster corruption. It's also an evil fnord, because the criticism presented is only a tiny fraction of the truth.

I was shocked by the personality type of the interviewees. All the people interviewed had the parasitic or psychopathic personality type. All of the people interviewed came across as criminals, even the ones saying "WTF? This is wrong!" That was extremely disturbing.

Monday, September 19, 2011

An Interesting Analogy

I thought of a weird analogy.

Consider this "conspiracy theory".

There's no way that high-ranking US Federal government insiders would intentionally allow guns to be sold to Mexican gangsters. There's no way that policemen trying to arrest gun smugglers would be ordered to stand down.
Of course, this "conspiracy theory" is now Official Truth. This is the ATF "Operation Fast And Furious" scandal. The motivation was to create a crisis. This would lead to more laws restricting gun freedom, because Mexican gangsters were caught with guns made in the USA.

(Buying and selling and smuggling guns is not a real crime. That makes this scandal seem silly.)

Consider this "conspiracy theory".
There's no way that high-ranking US Federal government insiders would intentionally allow a large terrorist attack. There's no way that police who tried to prevent the terrorist attack would be ordered to stand down.
This is one variation of the "9/11 conspiracy theory". The motivation for allowing the attack is to create a crisis. This justifies expanding State power and taking away people's freedom.

I still mostly believe the "official explanation" for the WTC terrorist attack. It was a very disturbing analogy. Here are two similar ridiculous conspiracy theories. High-ranking State insiders allowed a crime so they could create a crisis and claim more power. The first story is definitely true. I mostly disbelieve the second one, but I'm not 100% sure.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fnord Analysis - Al Gore On The Colbert Report

I watched Al Gore on The Colbert Report on Tuesday. There was a really interesting bit.

Watch Al Gore's body language and voice inflection. When he discusses global warming, he strongly implies "Everyone who disagrees with me is a fool!" Watch the body language and listen to the voice. That's very important.

Now that I'm mostly unplugged, I understand better. It's like Al Gore's body language was saying "Yup! This is a hoax! We've got everyone conned!" (Of course, Al Gore himself is probably not aware that it's a hoax. That makes him a more effective liar. He's just doing what his handlers are telling him to do. If Al Gore consciously knew that he was spreading lies, then he wouldn't be able to do it so effectively.)

If you didn't have high emotional awareness and watched that bit, you would think that you were smart for disagreeing with Al Gore, and an idiot for questioning him. If you don't have high logical awareness, you would just agree with Al Gore's emotions and not spot the logical fallacies in "carbon dioxide causes global warming".

Stephen Colbert even jokingly said the truth. "The scientists who promote global warming are all working for the government. Therefore, they can't be trusted." Of course, none of the serious anti-"global warming" arguments were discussed.

To recap, the serious questions are:

  1. Exactly how much carbon dioxide causes how much global warming? This has never been satisfactorily proven. In fact, one experiment showed that adding carbon dioxide to air doesn't increase its energy absorption capacity, after about 200 feet of air.
  2. It may be a "correlation confused with causation" fallacy. The temperature has risen in the past 100-200 years. Humans have used more fossil fuels in the past 100-200 years. That doesn't prove causation.
  3. Increased solar output may be causing global warming, rather than human activity. The sunspot cycle may be a factor.
  4. The raw data regarding temperature readings was destroyed. Records older than 10 years were destroyed. Scientists intentionally massaged the data, to get the desired results. Only the "massaged" results were kept, and not the raw data.
  5. The temperature monitoring stations were moved, distorting results. For example, if you move a temperature sensor next to an air conditioner exhaust vent, that will cause the temperature reading to increase. Here is a link that discusses this "conspiracy theory".
  6. Even if "carbon dioxide causes global warming" is true, global warming may be beneficial overall. For example, temperate regions get longer growing seasons.
  7. Even if "carbon dioxide causes global warming" is true, and "global warming is harmful" is true, then the solution is not to give the State more power. Most of the "carbon cap/tax" plans are thinly disguised corporate welfare agreements.
  8. "Global warming" and "terrorism" are scare issues. Statists bully the slaves into accepting more State power.
  9. Another interesting bit is that "global warming" has a lot of similarities to the eugenics movement. The grandchildren of the people who promoted eugenics are now promoting "global warming". Just because a lot of "scientists" believe something doesn't make it true. The truth is not determined by a majority vote.
Peer review is a great censorship tool. In "climategate", scientists specifically bragged about corrupting the peer review process to silence critics. If the majority of people believe that "Carbon dioxide causes global warming!" is true, then via peer review it becomes almost impossible to publish dissenting papers. If all science funding comes from the State, then scientists who have dissenting views don't get funding, don't get published, and don't get tenure.

Watching that interview was a really convincing argument for "Global warming is one big hoax!" Watch carefully, to see if you can notice Al Gore's body language and voice inflection, when he discusses "global warming".

Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Phone - Motorola Droid 3

I got my new cell phone. It's a Droid 3 from Motorola.

Overall, I like it so far.

The "pentile" screen seems fine. It doesn't bother me. A lot of people said they didn't like it.

The phone is 3G and not 4G. That doesn't bother me, because my primary goal is to use it on the subway. (Ironically, my contract ended and I'm unemployed again. That means I won't be using it for my daily commute. I should find a new job again soon.)

Now that I have free time, I may experiment with the Android SDK.

There were some UI gotchas.

You click on "e-mail" to configure a new account. You have to go to apps-gmail to actually read your e-mail. That was extremely confusing. I kept clicking on email-gmail, and it asked me to configure a new account, but no hint on how to use an already-configured account.

I'm trying to figure out how to get it to stop saying "Droid!" every time I get an E-mail. (I googled and found the answer. Go to the gmail app and change the settings.)

If you want to delete a desktop icon, it's very unintuitive. You have to click and hold the icon, then a trash can appears, then you drag it to the trash.

If you have the phone plugged into the USB port, you can't read any files on the SD card. It mysteriously didn't work, instead of giving a helpful error message.

If you put more than 100-500 files in a directory, the file manager can't handle it. I put an Atari 2600 emulator on my phone, but mistakenly put all the roms in one big directory. It's better to break it up into a, b_c, etc. (I told my coworker about that. He said "WTF? You can make folders on an Android phone? I didn't know that.")

Astro File Manager is a must-have app. I'm using the free ad-supported version.

I'm using jota text editor to write this. There's no plaintext editor that comes with Android. Amusingly, they make text files default to UNIX-style carriage returns, rather than Windows-style CR/LF. You can change that in the settings.

It seems that all the Blogger Android apps suck. I'll do a more detailed analysis later. The jota text editor is still orders of magnitude better than my crappy LG envTouch.

When I plug the phone into my USB port, the sd card nicely mounts as a drive. That was a problem with my LG envTouch. I had a hard time transferring data from phone to PC. The Windows driver was crappy/buggy, and the phone wouldn't mount properly.

I got a 16GB micro sd card from Radio Shack for $25. The 32GB cards were a *LOT* more expensive. They were $60+. Apparently, there's an "external SD card" and also an "internal SD card". There's about 2GB of internal app space. With most apps under 1-2MB, I shouldn't run out.

You can download .apk installer files on your PC and then transfer the file to your phone. That saves bandwidth.

Allegedly, Verizon banned tethering apps, because they want to sell the $10/month tethering package. The Droid 3 seems to support tethering by default. However, I tried it, and it didn't work. (However, I mysteriously get no Internet reception at home.)

The battery ran out quickly on the first day. However, some sites said that it takes a couple of charge cycles before the battery performs at 100%. Allegedly, the newer batteries don't have a "memory". (With old rechargable batteries, if you consistently only used 50% before recharging, then the max charge on the phone became 50%. The new batteries don't have that defect.) After a few days, the battery duration seems better.

I'm not going to bother with a case. I do want to get a screen protector, from my fingerprints and scratches. I've had a hard time finding a store carrying ones that fit a Droid 3. Even the Verizon store didn't have any Droid 3 compatible accessories. I got some generic screen protectors at Radio Shack.

Overall, I like the phone. It seems worth it.

Friday, September 16, 2011

UBS Loses $2 Billion

This story is interesting. A "rogue trader" at UBS lost $2Billion. Kweku Adoboli is the theif/scapegoat.

It's hilarious they way the mainstream media says "One rogue trader is to blame. There are no structural defects in the financial system. Move along! There's nothing to see here." Who do they think they're fooling?

He didn't lose $2B all by himself. His boss, his boss' boss, and UBS' risk managers are also to blame.

It's much easier to say

It's one isolated bad apple.
rather than
The financial industry is one big cesspool of corruption.

The financial industry is a very psychopath-friendly environment. This post on zero hedge had some good bits.
According to an entry on Facebook, Kweku Adoboli, a 32-year-old computer science graduate described as an "up and coming" trader by colleagues


"There is a lot of shock, horror and disbelief," the person said of his arrest. "He was incredibly straight and upstanding with very high integrity. He would definitely not be the first place you start looking."
Notice the psychopath indicators. "Up and coming" means "His fellow psychopaths were in awe of his l33t evil skills."

A psychopath convinces everyone else that he has super-high integrity. Here's a tip. If there's an employee for which everyone says "He has very high integrity. He would never steal from his employer. We're lucky to have him working here.", that's a dead giveaway that he's probably a crook.

For example, one of my current coworkers is somewhat psychopathic. He has everyone thinking he's a super genius, when he's only somewhat competent. People say they're lucky to have him. It's obvious to me that his reputation far exceeds his actual ability, due to his social manipulation skills.

It's obvious what happened. Adoboli used his psychopath skills to cover his tracks and deflect suspicion. It also is possible that someone else is the true thief, and he's the scapegoat.

I couldn't find a good source regarding what he was trading. The explanations were:
  1. ETFs
  2. naked silver short
  3. derivatives
I don't see how anyone could hide $2B in losses with ETFs. Everything is exchange traded and marked-to-market. He may have been supposed to hedging his ETF trades but he didn't. That is possible, but that wouldn't lead to $2B in losses.

"Naked silver short" doesn't make sense either. Silver didn't spike recently.

"Derivatives" is the most likely explanation for the loss.

Via derivatives, it's possible to construct a trading system that makes $1M/month 99% of the time, but loses $2B the remaining 1% of the time. That's a good system, because you make a big bonus 99% of the time and get a new job 1% of the time.

"Other people's money" exacerbates the problem. Adoboli wasn't risking his own personal money. He was risking UBS' shareholders' money. Once he was $10M+ in the hole, he turned to fraud. If he came clean immediately, "I lost $10M!", then he would have been fired immediately. Instead, he took bigger and bigger risks. He was hoping to get lucky and return to profitability. It makes no difference if you get fired with $10M in losses or $2B in losses.

The risk managers at UBS should have seen what was happening. They are partially responsible. No matter how cleverly he tried to hide his losses, the risk managers should still be checking.

It's possible that Adoboli is the fall guy for someone else. It's possible that he's a psychopath, manipulating others to trust him and not verify his trades. In either case, he is not solely responsible for the loss. UBS' risk managers are partially responsible. Adoboli's bosses are partially responsible.

When there's a crime like this, the mainstream media blames one bad apple. That covers up the systemic problem. The financial industry is very psychopath-friendly. A skilled psychopath can steal lots of money in the financial industry, usually legally without getting caught. Adoboli probably crossed the line into direct flagrant fraud. UBS is still too big to fail. Unfortunately for him, Adoboli is not too big to fail and too big to get blamed.

There's another possibility. Instead of wasting $2B to random strangers, the losses may have been dumped to a confederate. Derivative trades are nearly zero sum. If UBS lost $2B, then someone else has $2B in windfall profits.

Anybody who suggests that Adoboli is solely responsible for the $2B loss is clueless or lying.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

No Phone, No Internet, No Verizon

Verizon's landline service has stopped working. First, they said it would be fixed by mid-September. Now, they say it'll be fixed by the end of October.

My DSL service works intermittently. It only works sometimes. When it does work, it is slow.

Notice the assymetric service contract, with a telephone monopoly.

If you are late sending your check, severe fines and penalties applie.

If they don't give you service, they give you a prorated discount on your bill. They don't have to reimburse you for the inconvenience. They don't have to reimburse you for the time wasted getting them to fix it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lazy And Incompetent MTA Employee

Here's another example of lazy and unqualified State employees.

I had a scratched MetroCard. It still had $30 on it.

With MetroCards, the value of the card is stored both on the card and on the server. That's a fraud-prevention technique.

If a MetroCard gets scratched, you can give it to a token clerk. He's supposed to transfer the remaining value onto a new card, and give you a replacement card.

The clerk didn't know how to process the transaction. He said in an authoritative-sounding voice "You have to mail it to the MTA for a refund." He was wrong. I left in disgust.

I found another token clerk who wasn't unqualified, and got a replacement card.

The vending machines and token clerks have more-sensitive card readers. There are cards that don't work in the turnstyles but will work for the token clerk and vending machine.

Alternatively, I could have found a vending machine that was able to read the card, added some money, and it would have given me a new MetroCard. Any MetroCard with less than 6 months to expiration will be auto-replaced if you put it in a vending machine and add value. Also, damaged MetroCards are sometimes auto-replaced.

It was pretty offensive, that the token clerk didn't know how to process the transaction.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Worst Buy

I went to Best Buy and bought a $20 pair of headphones for my new phone.

The checkout clerk said "Do you want to spend $5 to buy insurance on your headphones?" I said "Seriously? $5 insurance on a $20 pair of headphones?" The clerk didn't get it. He didn't notice I was being sarcastic. He was still trying to sell me the insurance.

It's offensive, the way that stores try to rip you off with extra charges. Verizon did the same thing. They tried to sell me insurance on my new phone. Even though I actually lost my phone once, it's cheaper to not buy the insurance.

Similarly, whenever you call your credit card for anything, they try to sell you extra charges.

It's offensive the way that stores try to nickel and dime people by adding extra charges.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Crying Wolf

In the past few days, the State police and media said something really bizarre and self-contradictory. They said:

  1. We think that terrorists might attack on the 10th anniversary of 9/11/01. BE SCARED!
  2. There's nothing to worry about. Do whatever you were planning to do anyway.
The whole purpose of that exercise was to frighten people. It was pretty shameless.

It's almost like Cuba's government. They always said "The USA is planning to attack! They didn't attack yesterday. That proves our leadership is brilliant."

It's exactly the same thing. They said "Terrorists might attack again!" When they don't attack, that proves that the leaders did a great job.

Of course, if there is another successful attack, that proves that government needs more power and more resources.

The way the spin works, the State insiders win either way. If there's no terrorist attack, that proves the leaders are brilliant. If there is another terrorist attack, that proves that the leaders need more power and more resources.

It's pretty obvious, the way that the police and mainstream media are intentionally scaring people.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11/01 Ten Year Anniversary

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Radical Extremists For Rule Of Law":

I have a request for you, FSK. How albout putting some of your considerable analytical/anti-bullshit skills toward the 9/11 story? You live in New York, right? The 10 year anniversary is nearly upon us and that's probably the one topic I have never seen you address. What are your thoughts?
Oh, boy. Not this subject again.

I have addressed this before.

My conclusions are "More likely than not, I believe the official explanation. I'm not completely sure."

Basically, "9/11 was an inside job!" requires too much cognitive dissonance, for an intelligent-but-deluded State insider. Most State evil occurs by deluded people with good intentions.

In contrast, "Pat Tillman was assassinated!" is a much more likely conspiracy theory than "9/11 was an inside job!" Pat Tillman's murder could have been accomplished by one or two people with a gun. The "9/11 conspiracies" require the active complicity of *MANY* people.

Would a psychopath like Bernard Madoff or Chuck Schumer organize a terrorist attack, if they thought they could profit and get away with it? Absolutely. However, they couldn't actually pull it off unless they had some intelligent-but-deluded people assisting them.

By themselves, psychopaths can't accomplish anything. The key mechanism of State evil is intelligent-but-deluded people, with psychopaths giving orders and pulling the strings. You couldn't convince an intelligent-but-deluded person to organize a large false flag terrorist attack. State evil occurs, because the intelligent-but-deluded people think they're the good guys.

Any "coverup" is probably actually a coverup of the gross negligence by State police who are supposed to prevent that sort of thing. I sometimes wonder if State spies intentionally promote the 9/11 conspiracies as a distraction from other things. For example, the mortgage bubble and bailout was a *MUCH MORE DAMAGING* and *MUCH MORE OBVIOUS* "inside job" than 9/11. I'm much more interested in discussing bankster conspiracies/facts, than the 9/11 conspiracies.

Politicians did exploit 9/11, to pass many severe liberty-restricting laws. These laws were planned, but had previously encountered resistance. Just because politicians exploited 9/11 to take away freedom, doesn't mean they organized it on purpose.

Some people get very angry, when I say "I mostly believe the official explanation of 9/11." The conclusions, that the authority of government is not legitimate, is valid whether you believe the official 9/11 story or not.

Even if you disagree with my analysis of 9/11, that does not invalidate the other points I make.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Solyndra Stole $500M "Stimulus" Money

This story is interesting. Solyndra received $500M of "stimulus" money. Solyndra was supposed to be manufacturing solar panels.

It was a $500M stimulus "loan". Notice that "Solyndra got a $500M loan from the government." is logically equivalent to "They couldn't find any private investors who would invest on such stupid terms." Those "economic development loans" have an artificially low interest rate compared to other loans. Also, the government may make a nominal profit of a couple percent on the loans and then claim the government profited via the loan. That completely ignores "cost of capital". For example, State comedians claim "TARP was profitable for the government!", which completely ignores the fact that TARP was a lousy investment compared to practically anything else.

It's pretty obvious where the $500M went. It was stolen.

Usually, the $500M gift would be wasted on lucrative salaries for the CEO and his buddies. The CEO hires useless consultants for high salaries. Maybe $5M-$10M would be returned as kickbacks/lobbying.

It seems that Solyndra crossed the Madoff line. Instead of grey-area theft (overpaying people), Solyndra had explicit outright theft. That's why the FBI is investigating.

A Statist says "Solyndra is just one bad apple. That doesn't prove that the whole stimulus was wasted." Solyndra probably was the most brazen, regarding stealing stimulus money. If Solyndra stole/wasted 100% of the bailout money, but someone else only stole 50%-75%, that doesn't make it right.

Solyndra is an excellent example of State-enabled theft. Almost all the "stimulus" money was stolen and/or squandered. Solyndra's management were merely the most flagrant criminals.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Federal Reserve "Twist"

This story was funny. The Federal Reserve plans to "Twist" its balance sheet.

Translating into English, the Federal Reserve plans to sell some short term Treasury debt and buy longer term Treasury debt. They will still keep the Fed Funds Rate at 0%-0.25%.

What's the point? Who benefits? Duh! I'm not even going to bother with spoiler space.

The point is that the Federal Reserve is giving more free money to the banks. The Federal Reserve can't do the exact same thing as before, because that would be too obvious. They change the details a little.

The yield curve is normally upward-sloping, with short-term yields less than longer-term yields. This isn't due to the "free market", but rather due to Federal Reserve policy. By selling short and buying long, the Federal Reserve is flattening the yield curve. In the process, they're giving free money to banks, who usually borrow short and lend long.

Changing the bailout details helps the "economists" think they're doing a good thing. Instead of realizing "The banksters are drinking a firehose of free money.", the Federal Reserve economists make up fancy excuses for why they're doing the right thing.

If the Federal Reserve sells 3 month Treasury debt for 0.5% while the Fed Funds Rate is 0.25%, that's a sure profit of 0.25% for the banksters. Multiply that by 100x+ leverage, and it's a lucrative scam.

Anybody who knew about the details could profit, by trading ahead of the Federal Reserve. For example suppose that the Federal Reserve decides to sell 2 year bonds and buy 10 year bonds. If a bankster makes that trade before the Federal Reserve, he'll make a nice profit.

Alternatively, the Federal Reserve might decide to sell 3 year bonds and buy 9 year bonds. If you know ahead of time exactly what the Federal Reserve will do, you can make a nice profit.

The knowledge of "Twist" isn't enough. If you know which specific bonds the Federal Reserve is buying, then you can make a nice profit. Goldman Sachs probably gets better inside information than the other Primary Dealers, giving them an extra edge.

The Federal Reserve keeps coming up with new names for the same evil idea. There was "Term Auction Facility", "Quantitative Easing", "QE2", and now "Twist".

Each time, the name of the plan and the details are slightly changed. This keeps the slaves distracted and confused. The Federal Reserve is printing new money and giving it to their bankster buddies. The "Twist" is a variation of the usual theme.

The Federal Reserve uses its money printing power to buy and sell Treasury debt. The Federal Reserve buys high and sells low, while the banksters buy low and sell high. It's pure illicit interest arbitrage for the banksters.

Speculating in Treasury debt, the Federal Reserve makes a guaranteed riskless profit. The Federal Reserve has an unlimited budget. It doesn't matter if the Federal Reserve loses money by making stupid trades with banks. Ben Bernanke isn't spending his own personal money. He's spending the people's money. The Federal Reserve finances its operations by creating new money, by inflation.

That's how the banksters earn huge profits, without doing any real work. That's how the big banks show a profit from trading every day. They're trading with the Federal Reserve! Everyone else pays the cost via inflation. The Federal Reserve eagerly makes stupid trades. Some of the Federal Reserve economists think they're "stimulating the economy". In reality, they're just giving the banksters free money.

Via "Twist", the banksters get another stealth bailout. Everyone else pays higher prices when they buy things.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

$300B Jobs Package, $1000 Mugging

This story is interesting. President Obama is planning a $300B "jobs package".

$300B divided by 300M people is $1000 per person. It's like the President stole $1000 from me and gave it to his friends. The "$300B jobs package" is logically equivalent to "Steal $1000 from everyone, and give the profits to a group of insiders."

State comedians act like deficit spending is magic free money. $300B in deficit spending isn't free. The cost is paid by everyone else by inflation. The only way you can get $300B for a "jobs package" is by stealing from people who actually work.

Statist "logic" is amusing. The economy is crashing to do rampant corruption. The obvious solution is "Let's steal more!"

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Disabling Technology

I went to the Verizon store to upgrade my cell phone. I ordered a Droid 3. It's on backorder, so they'll mail it to me.

The sales clerk didn't know how to operate the sales computer. The software was a lousy POS. He seemed competent. The problem really was the crappy sales software.

I went to Verizon's webpage. I'm concerned that the clerk didn't enter the transaction properly in Verizon's computer. He probably messed it up.

Some "gains due to technology" are actually a loss. It would have been better, if the clerk could have processed the transaction on a piece of paper, and properly entered the transaction later. If the clerk really did mess up the transaction, it's a loss for Verizon, because now I have to call them to try and fix it. That wastes my time more than Verizon's time, making me wait on hold for an hour on support, but it's still an economic loss.

That was amusing. The sales clerk couldn't use the computer to enter a simple "upgrade phone" transaction. I don't blame the clerk. Most likely, the software was a lousy POS. Most corporate software completely ignores the needs of users.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

People Who Want To Shrink Government Are Racist!

This story is interesting.

The public sector is the most important source of employment for African Americans and a key source of high-paying jobs, especially for black women, according to a study by the U.C. Berkeley Department of Labor. African Americans are 30% more likely to hold government jobs than other workers; from 2008-2010, 21.2% of black workers were employed in the public sector, compared to just 16.3% of non-black workers.
A higher percentage of black people work for the government, compared to other groups. The government is racist, in a reverse-discrimination sense.

That total only includes people directly employed by the State. There's also the Welfare State. A greater percentage of black people are on welfare, compared to the overall population.

This naturally leads to accusations of racism, against people who want to shrink government. The problem is "reverse"-discrimination by the government, favoring one group at the expense of another.

That's very interesting. A greater percentage of black people work for the government, compared to other groups. A greater percentage of black people are on welfare, compared to other groups. Therefore, if you want to shrink government or welfare, then you're a racist.

Some people might accuse me of racism for pointing this out. Government hurts all people in the productive sector of the economy, no matter what your skin color. The important class conflict is "productive vs. parasitic", although State comedians like to phrase it as "group X vs. group Y, with the State as hero mediating disputes between X and Y".

Monday, September 5, 2011

"Best of FSK" - August 2011

In August 2011, my most popular posts were:

  1. Agorist Philosophy Overview (468)
  2. Groupon Is A Scam (460)
  3. BMI/ASCAP/SESAC Legal Extortion Scam (353)
  4. Did the USA Declare Bankruptcy? (322)
  5. Ruby on Rails Sucks! (273)
  6. The Federal Reserve Caused the Great Depression (226)
  7. Who's the Richest Man in the World? (208)
  8. The Pat Tillman Conspiracy Theory (200)
  9. Silk Road Was A Partial AgoristBay Implementation (168)
  10. The Carried Interest Tax Loophole (151)
  11. The Compound Interest Paradox (134)
  12. The Hunt Brothers' Silver Corner (132)
  13. How Well Does GLD Track Gold? (120)
  14. The Gold Lease Rate is Negative! (115)
  15. The Five Levels of the Economy (95)
  16. The Gold and Silver Taxation Scam (92)
  17. Is It Worth Hoarding Nickels? (85)
  18. Premium Text Messaging Fraud - 91097 and 654654 (78)
  19. Calculating Vega and other Greeks in Black-Scholes (77)
  20. The Bitcoin Conspiracy Theory (77)
  21. Satanic Death Hospitals (73)
  22. The Fluoride Conspiracy Theory (67)
  23. Real GDP is Decreasing, 1990-2007 (67)
  24. Are the GLD and SLV ETFs a Fraud? (66)
  25. Venezuela, Chavez, and Gold (61)
  26. The Federal Reserve and Income Tax Conspiracy Theory (58)
  27. The Tally Stick Monetary System (54)
  28. TBA Mortgage Bonds (54)
  29. Utah Didn't Make Gold And Silver Legal Tender (54)
  30. The Black-Scholes Formula is Wrong! - Part 1/12 - Overview and Background (53)
  31. Real GDP Is Crashing, 2000-2009 (53)
If you only count posts published in August 2011, the most popular were:
  1. Venezuela, Chavez, and Gold (61)
  2. New Phone Soon (49)
  3. Georgetown vs. China (43)
  4. A Common Evil Photo Propaganda Trick (41)
  5. Gold Futures Margins Raised (35)
  6. Big Brother Lying Analysis (34)
  7. Don't Be Afraid If You've Got Nothing To Hide (32)
  8. Jailhouse Snitches (30)
  9. Debt Ceiling "Deal" (28)
  10. Rick Perry On The Federal Reserve (28)
  11. "Best of FSK" - July 2011 (25)
  12. "Dishonest" College Coaches Are Agorist Heroes (24)
  13. Fracking And The Halliburton Loophole (22)
  14. A Good Article On Pre-1913 Banking And Money (22)
  15. Tea Party Terrorists (22)
  16. Treasury Credit Rating And Bond Prices (22)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

New Phone Today!

I'm planning on getting a new phone today! I'm planning to get a Motorola Droid 3. My current LG envTouch was such a POS.

I'll give my analysis of the phone after I get it.

I did a preview of the apps I want to install. I looked at the Blogger apps, both the official Google Blogger app and others. My preliminary analysis is that they all are a lousy POS. I'll give more details after I get the phone and experiment. Deficient features include no comment moderation support, inability to edit drafts that weren't created your phone, and inability to schedule/queue posts.

The WordPress Android apps are *MILES* ahead of the Blogger apps. It makes me want to switch to WordPress just for that.

I'm so angry that Google has provided practically zero support for Blogger. There's been something like 2 useful new features in the 4 years I've been using it. If you have a Blogger account, there's a "Try the updated Blogger interface!" option. I tried and it was inferior to the old interface. The new Google Analytics interface is also inferior to the old interface.

I may experiment with the Blogger API and Android SDK and make my own Blogger app. It's been awhile since I made a for-fun software project. Also, my contract is ending and I'm getting fired, so I'll have more free time.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Who Cares When The President Gives A Speech?

This story is pretty funny. This shows how pathetic political debate in the USA is. People are arguing about WHEN THE PRESIDENT SHOULD GIVE A SPEECH.

I don't watch political speeches. I never understood why the audience applauds after every sentence. That's too obviously farcical for me. The Democrats must applaud each point like it's the most brilliant thing they've ever heard, while the Republicans show a mixture of disgust and polite respect. One of my vblogging ideas is "Creatively edit political speeches to enhance the real meaning."

Apparently, this "speech scheduling" debate was way overhyped in the mainstream media. My father was really excited when he mentioned this story to me.

Here's a summary of the "scandal". The President wanted to give a speech on "creating jobs", which is politician-speak for "give money to my buddies". The President initially scheduled his speech for the first day Congress is back in session, September 7.

In order to give a speech in front of a joint session of Congress, the President needs permission of Congress. Of course, the President can give a speech on TV anytime he feels like it. However, a speech in front of Congress is "special". (as if any Congressmen would change their vote based the speech) A Presidential speech in front of Congress is pure political theater. As mentioned above, it's a huge farce the way the Congressmen behave during the speech.

The speech was originally scheduled for September 7, the first day Congress is back in session. The President asked speaker Boehner, Boehner said "OK", and the speech was announced.

However, after Boehner gave informal approval to the Sept 7 date, and after the speech was announced, people realized there's a schedule conflict. There's a Republican Presidential debate already scheduled for Sept 7. It would be unfair for the President to upstage it.

Once the conflict was discovered, the approval for Sept 7 was revoked. The speech was moved to Sept 8, immediately before the first NFL game.

The controversy is "Did Boehner disrespect the President, by approving and then revoking the Sept 7 date?" Seriously, that's the #1 political issue? Are we no longer pretending that the rulers aren't spoiled children?

Obviously, both sides made an error. They should have noticed the schedule conflict. It's a reasonable oversight. However, both sides are claiming the other acted maliciously. Can't they both just say "Oops, my bad, didn't notice the schedule conflict."?

This is funny and pathetic. People are arguing about the date the President is giving a speech, rather than important issues. The correct answer for "Jobs! WTF?" is "Slash the size of government, cut taxes, and cut stupid regulations." That isn't going to happen.

Friday, September 2, 2011

GE Receives $100B In State Subsidies Per Year

This is very interesting. GE has $471B in debt on its books. (I'm looking at "Total Debt".)

You might say "So what?" Suppose that the average interest rate on that debt is 5%/year, and true inflation is 30%+/year. In that case, GE is receiving a State subsidy of $100B+ per year.

GE borrows at artificially low real interest rates of negative 20% or less. They use that money to build factories or buyout smaller competitors. When you can borrow at -20%, even the stupidest investment will be profitable.

This wealth doesn't go to shareholders. It goes to the insiders who control GE. GE shareholders still get returns that underperform true inflation.

Notice that with a $100B State interest subsidy, GE only has profits of $75B. If GE couldn't borrow at negative interest rates, GE would be *LOSING* $25B per year!

That was very shocking. GE has nearly $500B of debt on its books. They are paying a real interest rate of -20% or even less, because interest payments are less than true inflation. Enter your favorite corporation into that page, and see how big of a State debt subsidy they receive per year. (Other examples: Goldman Sachs (GS): $485B debt, Citigroup (C): $688B debt, Bank of America (BAC): $771B. With negative interest rates, that's a huge State subsidy per year.)

That was very offensive. GE receives an indirect State subsidy of $100B+ per year. They borrow at artifically low interest rates and pay it back with inflated dollars. All they have to do to profit is borrow cheaply, buy tangible assets, and wait for inflation. It's pure corruption capitalism.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Connections Vs. Ability

I hear this frequently stated. "Your connections are much more important than your ability."

I have pretty high ability but no useful connections. It would be nice to join some promising startup and write version #1 of their product singlehandedly. No such opportunity has come up.

Many employers would hire a friend of a friend, rather than hiring the most skilled applicant. If you're like me, with high ability but few connections, you're SOL.

"Connections are more important than ability!" is a symptom of a non-free market. Here is an example.

Suppose most employers hire their friends, rather than hiring skilled strangers. Then, there would be an arbitrage opportunity. Someone could search for well-qualified strangers, and then get skilled workers cheaply. That business would have an advantage. This arbitrage does not occur, due due to a non-free market.

What is a job? If a job is an exchange of value for value, then jobs should go to the most skilled workers. If a job is a meal ticket, then jobs should go to your friends. In a corrupt economic system, a job represents a meal ticket much more than an exchange of value.

People say "Connections are more important than ability!" as if it's a universal economic law. That is false. It is a symptom of a non-free market. In a really free market, clever employers would seek workers who are skilled, but lack the connections or experience.

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