Saturday, June 1, 2013

On the danger to the U.S. from cheap foreign.....robots

Pardon me while I geek out for a moment. 

Here's the BMW F30 3-Series production video.  Truly amazing. 

Because of spending about a quarter million dollars with Peterbilt a few months ago, I got to tour their mega-factory about 45 miles north of Fort Worth in Denton, TX. 

What this video doesn't properly show is how little inventory of parts there likely is on the BMW factory floor.  Nobody wants to pay for a 3-month supply of parts.  You have to pay for the space that the parts require, money that could be invested elsewhere is tied up in the parts, etc etc etc.  Auto and truck makers save themselves (and therefore you) a staggering amount of money by getting the parts just in time.   The Peterbilt factory, for instance, seemed to have no more than an hour's worth of tires at any given moment. 

Another thing the video doesn't reveal: there are probably different models going down that assembly line.  The robots don't care.  The suppliers all have their parts and components arriving in the correct order.  God, I love this stuff!!! 

But there are always Luddites who don't appreciate the glory of something like this, that the time and money saved by these robots can be applied to other purchases and desires.  Saving the last BetaMax factory (to save the jobs there) doesn't make sense.  Wait a couple of years, and saving the last VHS factory (to save the jobs there) doesn't make sense either.

Here's one idjit Youtube commenter, typical of the tribe:
james alphajet 1 month ago

this robotisation is a shame to the face of human future. thousands of people lost their jobs and millions were spent to fit machines into these transformers factories.
At the end the consumer pays the same and his neighbour lost his job!!
James doesn't understand that what was once the toy of the top .0001% is now available to even the lowest-paid American worker.  Yes, in America, even commoners drive these "horseless carriages". 

Here's Don Boudreaux, chiming in on the video:
Oh, to any of you who watch this video and lament the fact that so very much of the work that was once done by humans is now done by robots, I’ve a question for you: if a bizarre meteorological event occurs that causes millions of brand-new automobiles – indistinguishable in quality, comfort, and performance from the 2014 models now rolling off of the assembly lines at BMW, Toyota, Hyundai, Ford, etc. – to rain down safely into everyone’s driveways and parking spaces, would people, as a result, be made richer or poorer?
Here's The Whited Sepulchre, kicking it up to the next level:
Oh, to any of you who watch a random video of South Korean laborers manufacturing your pants and shoes and water hoses, work that was once done by Americans, I've a question for you: if a bizarre meterological event occurs that causes millions of brand-new pants and shoes and water hoses (all of excellent quality) to rain down safely into everyone's homes, would people in the USA, as a result, be made richer or poorer? 
It's called the Law Of Comparative Advantage.  Nations (but not many consumers who are given a choice) ignore it regularly. 

Friday, May 31, 2013

"Like Shooting Fish In A Barrel" - Let's interview the anti-Koch protesters

Oh Lord help us all.

There are rumors that the evil Koch brothers, Charles and David, might buy the L.A. Times.  Just having one libertarian-ish print rag on the west coast was enough to send The Great Herd Of Independent Minds into a frenzy. 

David Koch ran for Vice-President on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1980.  The platform he advocated included ending the Drug War (a war which the L.A. Times supports, BTW), recognizing marriage equality, eliminating business kickbacks subsidies, and all the other planks of the Libertarian platform that have been solidly in place since about 1971. 

The evil Koch brothers donated something like $20 million dollars to the ACLU to fight George Bush's Patriot Act.  I have a deep admiration for activist Radley Balko, who is partly funded by the Koch bro's.  Balko spends his days getting wrongly convicted death-row inmates released from Barack's jails, and fighting the Random Conviction Generator that is my home state of Mississippi's "criminal justice" system

Remember that.  Now, get up.  Make some popcorn.  Come back.  Hit play.  The folks from :40 through :59 are absolutely priceless. 

And when you're finished, help me promote the idea of the Koch brothers purchasing the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  I promise to re-subscribe. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Australia - #1 in happiness, #3 in freedom

CNN reports that Australia is the happiest country in the industrialized world. 
Paris (CNN) -- Australia has been named the world's happiest industrialized nation for the third year running, based on criteria including satisfaction, work-life balance, income and housing, a survey released Tuesday has found.

The so-called "lucky country" beat Sweden and Canada to take the top spot in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Better Life Index.

Good for them. 
Any time a nations are ranked in anything that's good, happy, fun, or awesome in general, I compare those rankings to The Heritage Foundation's Freedom Index.  It turns out that Australia is ranked #3 in overall freedom. 

So what about all the other happy-happy fun-fun nations?  Any chance that Cuba or North Korea or Iran made the cut?  No. 

Here are the Top Ten Happy Nations, along with their rankings in the Freedom Index.  Needless to say, this is a reassuring comparison for liberty-lovers. 

#1 Australia - #3 in freedom
#2 Sweden - #18 in freedom
#3 Canada - #6 in freedom
#4 Norway - #31 in freedom
#5 Switzerland - #5 in freedom
#6 U.S. - #10 in freedom
#7 Denmark - #9 in freedom
#8 Netherlands - #17 in freedom
#9 Iceland - #23 in freedom
#10 United Kingdom - #14 in freedom

The correlation is slightly askew because of the absence of happiness in the Asian Tiger economies - Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan.  I suspect it's a reporting error.  (I've spent about 6 months over there, for what it's worth.)  Claiming to be "happy" in some Asian cultures is almost like claiming to be "rich" or "handsome".

Anyway, the survey shows that if you want people to be happy, leave them alone. 

LIbertarian VP Candidate Judge Jim Gray at Texas Regional NORML Conference

My friend Shaun McAlister and the DFW/NORML tribe have put together a great lineup for their Texas conference.  Documentaries, speakers, How-To workshops and, of course, some rants.  Hit this link. 

My rant is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. June 8th, AND I GET TO INTRODUCE JUDGE JIM GRAY!!!  Yes, that Jim Gray.  The 2012 Libertarian Party VP nominee.    Norris Conference Center.  Downtown Fort Worth.  Hope to meet some of you good folks there.

Also, check out the 2:30 Saturday afternoon speaker.  Adrian Murray, Fort Worth Tea Party and 9-12 Activist.  If Adrian Murray is on board with ending prohibition then we've won half the battle.


Conference Agenda

This is the current agenda for the Texas Regional NORML Conference. All speakers are confirmed unless otherwise noted. Times are subject to change so check this page for the most up to date version.

Day 1 – Friday June 7, 2013

4:00 pmLive Art and Music Reception at Froggy’s Boat House4400 White Settlement RoadFort Worth, Texas 76114$5 Cover or Free with 3 Day Pass. 18+ Welcome.

Day 2 – Saturday June 8, 2013

9:00 amIntroductions by Shaun McAlister, Executive Director of DFW NORML
9:15 amCheyanne Weldon of Texas NORML
9:30 amKeith Stroup, Legal Counsel and Founder of NORML
10:00 amRuss Belville, Executive Director of
10:15 amTerry Nelson, Executive Board Member at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), former Border Patrol agent and Homeland Security Supervisor
10:30 amAllen Patterson, Chairman of the Tarrant County Libertarian Party
10:45 amWhy Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What We Can Do About It:
Judge Jim Gray - 2012 Libertarian Vice Presidential Candidate and Retired Superior Court Judge
11:15 amMeet and Greet with Judge Jim Gray, Keith Stroup and Russ Belville
11:30 amBreak for Lunch
12:30 pmFilm Screening: American Drug War 2: Cannabis Destiny
2:00 pmMike Hyde, father of Cash Hyde and Founder of the Cash Hyde Foundation
2:30 pmAdrian Murray, Founding member of the 912 Project Fort Worth
2:45 pmJoy Strickland, Founder of Mothers Against Teen Violence
3:00 pmUsing Drugs Religiously: Dr. Russell Elleven, Unitarian Minister
3:30 pmFamily Law Attorney Leslie Burgoyne
3:45 pmWorkshop: Cultivating Quality Medicine
Forest Scott and Nicole Pisut of Tinctura Coltivare
4:20 pmClosing
5:00 pmAfter Party #1 at Red Goose Saloon
306 Houston Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
$5 Cover or Free with 3 Day Pass. 18+ Welcome.

Day 3 – Sunday June 9, 2013

9:00 amIntroductions by Erik Altieri, Communications Director for National NORML
9:15 amStephen Betzen, Founder of the Texas Coalition for Compassionate Care
9:30 amWorkshop: Medicinal Alternatives to Smoking Marijuana
Toni Ann Haskett-Mills, Patient Advocate for Medical Cannabis Patients with 28 yrs experience in Direct Patient Care
10:00 amLarry Talley, Strategist for DFW NORML, speaker for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and retired US Navy
10:15 amClif Deuvall, Co-chair of Texas at US Marijuana Party of Texas, Chairman at Texas Cannabis Party and Founder Norml of Waco Inc. at NORML
10:30 amJamie Balagia, Public Information Officer and Attorney at San Antonio NORML
10:45 amRuss Belville, Executive Director of
11:00 amHemp Fashion Show
11:45 amBreak for Lunch
1:30 pmWorkshop: Creating Concentrates
Forest Scott and Nicole Pisut of Tinctura Coltivare
2:00 pmDerek Cross, Author of Hemp Healthy Today
2:15 pmWorkshop: Cooking with Hemp
Derek Cross, Author of Hemp Healthy Today
2:30 pmRob Kampia, Executive Director of the Marijuana Policy Project (UNCONFIRMED)
3:00 pmMargarita McAuliffe, Students for Sensible Drug Policy and Texas Moms United
3:30 pmRuss Buss Belville, Executive Director of
3:45 pmTristan Tucker, Executive Director of UNT NORML
4:00 pmShaun McAlister, Executive Director of DFW NORML
4:20 pmClosing
5:00 pmAfter Party #2 at the Whiskey Girl Saloon2413 Ellis Ave.Fort Worth, Texas 76164$5 Cover or Free with 3 Day Pass. 18+ Welcome.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

CSA 2010 - Large Carriers vs. Small Carriers

The trucking industry has recently been plagued by a new set of government regulations called CSA 2010.  (Compliance, Safety, and Accountability)

The purpose of CSA 2010 is to give large carriers an advantage over small carriers, to act as a classic "barrier to entry" for any start-ups that might consider getting into trucking, and to create jobs in the Democrat Party. 
The paperwork requirements are astounding. 
Go here to get an idea of what is involved.  Any time they use the word "stakeholder", what they generally mean is "victim". 

The chart below was put out by Commercial Carrier Journal.  Good stuff, good stuff. 

The scores you see are achieved by maintaining perfect paperwork, perfect (new) vehicles and trailers, and perfect driver logs.  It's going to force any older rigs off the road.  I've not had time to research who all lobbied for this mess, but I suspect my friends at Peterbilt, Mack, and International are in there. 

Heck, if I didn't know better, I'd think that large carriers make huge contributions to politicians and that small carriers don't. 

CSA infographic 21 resized 600

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Fort Worth - March Against Monsanto, May 25, 2013

Here's the rant that I delivered at the "March Against Monsanto" in downtown Fort Worth yesterday.  Good times, good times. 

My name is Allen Patterson, and I’m Chair of the Tarrant County Libertarian Party.

Check us out at the Tarrant County Libertarian Meetup, The Tarrant County Libertarian Website, and remember to come to the NORML State Leadership Conference, Norris Conference Center, about 8 blocks north of here, June 7th 8th and 9th.

If you can’t remember all of that, Google Fort Worth March Against Monsanto sometime tomorrow. My website’ll be in the top 5 search results. Come see me over here any time this afternoon. I’ve got flyers, bumperstickers, and other info, and I’d love to talk to you about freedom and the Libertarian Party.

Why would the Tarrant County Libertarian Party participate in a "March Against Monsanto"? We’re supposed to be the small-government party, right?

Here’s why…. Monsanto developed some hybrid life forms. That's not problem for many of us.

Monsanto wanted a monopoly on these plants and started suing people who used "their" seeds without their permission. One of Monsanto's former lawyers, Clarence Thomas, was appointed to the Supreme Court, where he eventually wrote a majority opinion in a 2001 lawsuit, stating that "newly developed plant breeds are patentable under the general utility patent laws of the United States".

Sorry, Clarence, but if someone purchases a John Grisham novel and then re-sells it to Half-Price Books, that individual can't be sued because he didn't mail John Grisham a check. The same thing goes for purchasing, and then re-selling a car, a stapler, "Beyonce's Greatest Hits", or "Milli Vanilli - Unplugged". It's called the "First Sale Doctrine".

I own me. You own you. And if you grow some soybeans, you have a right to do what you want with the seeds. It really is that simple. Farmers have been growing plants and re-using the seeds for thousands of years, and should be allowed to continue doing so, Clarence Thomas, Elena Kegan, and Barack Obama’s FDA be damned!

But if you want Big Government, what you’re seeing today is exactly and precisely what it looks like.

Government puts a monitor in place (the FDA, the EPA) and within 25 years, the inmates are running the asylum. When you get a chance, Google the phrase “Regulatory Capture”.

Now....we’re going to play a game called “Name That President”.

I’m going to give you the name of a Monsanto employee, and you’re going to guess the name of the president who appointed him or her to regulate organizations like…..Monsanto.

It’ll be fun.

Which president appointed Monsanto director William Rucklehouse as acting head of the FBI? – Richard Nixon

Who was president when Monsanto’s VP of Government and Public Affiars was appointed as Deputy Administrator of the EPA? Clinton and Bush

Who appointed Michael Taylor, Monsanto’s Vice President of Public Policy, as Senior Advisor to the Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration? Obama

This is what Big Government Looks Like!!!

Which president appointed former Monsanto attorney Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court? Bush

William Ruckleshaus is a retired Monsanto Board member. Which president appointed him as the very first head of the Environmental Protection Agency? Nixon

Earle H. Harbison, Jr. was once President of Monsanto. Who was president when Mr. Harbison was working his way up to Deputy Director of the CIA? (It looks like Ford, Carter, Reagand and Bush)

Who elected Monsanto lobbyist Toby Moffett to the U.S. Congress? You did, if you voted for him. 

Who elected Monsanto legal Counsel Dennis DeConcini to the U.S. Senate? You did, if you voted for him.

Who was president of the USA when Monsanto’s Chemical Lab Supervisor Margaret Miller was Deputy Director of the Food and Drug Administration? Daddy Bush and Clinton

This is what Big Government Looks Like!!!

Which president appointed Marcia Hale, Monsanto’s International Government Affairs Director to his White House Senior Staff? Clinton

Which President appointed Mickey Kantor, a Monsanto Board Member, as Secretary Of Commerce? Clinton

Which Presidents appointed Linda Fisher, Monsanto’s Vice President of Government and Public Affairs, as Deputy Administrator of the EPA? Bush, Clinton

Which President appointed Roger Beachy, the Director of Monsanto’s Danforth Center, as Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture? Barack Obama

Folks, I could go on and on and on. There are about a dozen others on the list.

I often wonder if you move back and forth from Monsanto to Government, does it even count as a job change?

This is what Big Government looks like.

I’m Allen Patterson, Chair Of the Tarrant County Libertarian Party.

Check us out at the Tarrant County Libertarian Meetup, The Tarrant County Libertarian Website, and remember to come to the NORML State Leadership Conference, Norris Conference Center, about 8 blocks north of here, June 7th 8th and 9th.

If you can’t remember all of that, Google Fort Worth March Against Monsanto sometime tomorrow. My website’ll be in the top 5 search results.

Come see me over here. I’ve got flyers, and I’d love to talk to you about Liberty and the Libertarian Party.

We’re the party that is pro-choice about EVERYTHING, including what you can do with your own damn soybeans.