Fuzzy little things that I find interesting.

Political musings from someone who thinks the S-D curve is more important to politics than politicians.

I have a feature request for Amazon.

But do you know how hard it is to submit a feature request to Amazon? I guess it’s because there are a million very smart people thinking of all sorts of smart things–and behind them is the all-mighty dollar and lawsuits galore.

Okay, so I’m publishing my idea here in public, on the off chance someone at Amazon will see this idea. If they do (or, if any shopping site sees this idea for that matter) and decides to implement it, well, know I’m tossing this idea out there for free, in the public domain, for anyone to use.

So here’s the idea.

Ever think of something you want to buy on Amazon, but you’re away on vacation or are about to leave on vacation? And you really want the product to be delivered when you come back from vacation–but your only options are for tomorrow or two days, when you’re still away on vacation? (Yeah, I want to have my product delivered to an empty house in 2 hours.)

So now you have to put the product on a wish list–and remember it’s on your wish list for later ordering. Meanwhile, Amazon may lose a sale.

And it seems that everyone is trying to figure out how to ship products even faster–but that doesn’t help you at all:

So here’s the feature request:

Let me pick a shipping date in the future.

For example, if I know I’m not arriving back home until two weeks from now, let me specify a delivery date for two weeks from now. Then have Amazon (or the other shipping site) ship the product in the cheapest way possible, but delay shipping until a date in the future which would result in that shipping delivery date.

So, if I order a new fangled camera (because I broke my camera while on the trip) but I don’t come back until September 15th, then let me pick the 15th–and Amazon can delay shipping the product until the 10th for delivery in 5 days. (Or ship the 13th for two day delivery.)

Implementation wise, it would be a matter of putting the order on a queue for future delivery. If the product is out of stock in the future, then alert me–and ideally alert me if there are few products left so I can opt to cancel or ship the product earlier (and take my chances some package thief doesn’t steal my package).

Amazon, are you listening?

Credit where credit is due.

Civil Forfeiture Is Inherently Abusive

Credit where credit is due: under Obama we started to see the Federal government start rolling back civic forfeiture, which is an extremely abusive process of seizing assets without proper recourse through, in essence, “arresting property.”

It’s legalized highway robbery.

And under Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Trump Administration, we’re seeing a reversal.


“Sheep are stupid and have to be driven. But goats are intelligent, and need to be led.”

The Difference Between Citizens And Subjects

The French have a similar group that, the last I looked, was still fighting a rearguard action against offenses against Frenchness such as “le hamburger” and trying to force French speakers to stick to their own language and not go borrowing willy-nilly from the rest of the world.

English meanwhile just ploughs on merrily appropriating anything people feel like, and letting a combination of usage and reference material standardize the spelling for it. A true bottom-up (or at least keyboard-up) solution to balancing language adaptability with the need to be clearly understood.

It’s why English speakers really don’t care if you say “I am thinking you are right”, even though it’s not quite correct. If enough English speakers start the present-progressive tense for all verbs (rather than excepting a few like “to think”), it will become accepted usage.

Just as “flammable” has become the accepted word to describe a material that can easily catch on fire, even though prior to the 1920’s the preferred word was “inflammable.”

There is no such thing, really, as “correct English,” except in the minds of a handful of pedantic grammar nerds, and it’s why you get regionalisms such as Appalachian English where constructs like “I done read that already” are common.

That’s the problem with free and independent people: we done screw up things ’cause ain’t nobody got time for that there correct English.

And yet we understand each other, without a central governing body assuring that English somehow remains “pure.”

Cassandra’s Children.

I’m reading a lot of articles on the Right about the GOP’s failure to either reform or replace Obamacare, despite the fact that it is inevitable that Obamacare will crash and burn in the next few years. (By “crash” I mean there will be regions of the country where it will be impossible for anyone to buy private health care insurance. Already we’re very close to that now.)

For example: Back to the drawing board on health insurance reform

(As a footnote, by Executive Order, President Obama delayed or halted the full implementation of the PPACA (Obamacare, or the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”) in the group insurance market. Which means if you get your insurance through your employer, it is very likely you are not getting insurance which would be considered “adequate” to sell in the private exchanges. It is also likely you are getting heavily subsidized insurance through your employer, which means you have no idea how much private insurance on the exchange would cost.)

Look, the blunt reality is this:

Obamacare created a massive welfare program for subsidizing health care insurance, as well as adding a component which requires everyone in the United States to buy health care insurance as a matter of law. The scoring from the CBO which was latched onto by Democrats showing millions losing insurance suggested they would lose insurance not because insurance would get too expensive. It’s already too expensive. No; they’d lose their insurance because the law would no longer require them to buy health care insurance.

But even without the individual mandate, the cost for health care is massively subsidized for the poor through transfers from the rich–making it, by definition, a welfare program.

It’s why, if I were to buy health care insurance from the private exchange for my wife and I, it will cost us around $1200/month for insurance. But if you’re middle class, you get a “tax credit”–essentially middle-class welfare–to afford that policy: if my wife and I made around $60,000/year, which is the average income in the United States today and placing us solidly in the “middle class”, income-wise, we would qualify for an $825/month subsidy from the government.

Such a massive middle-class welfare program is not going to be eliminated easily.

Too many people are enjoying bread and circuses–taking those bread and circuses away at this time would crush a number of families. They’ll be hurt anyway, as Obamacare starts to fail in various states: already about 1/3rd of the country only have 1 choice for private care insurance, and in some of those states, that private care insurance provider is in serious economic trouble: because insurance companies cannot compete across state lines, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine one of them going bankrupt.

(And when those insurance companies fail we’re in uncharted waters: what happens with the PPACA when a private citizen is legally obligated to carry health care insurance–and legally not permitted to purchase health care insurance?)

But that day hasn’t happened yet. And too many people are counting on blaming President Trump for Obamacare’s failure if the GOP cannot do anything. From a political perspective it is the perfect strategy: blame the Republicans for failing to fix a health care system not a single Republican voted for a decade before, and blame them for the health care system failing in precisely the way they predicted.

Republicans have become the children of Cassandra: cursed with the power of prophecy, doomed not to be believed, and ultimately blamed when their predictions come to pass.

It’s a shame too many “little people” (like you and me) have to get crushed under the weight of a failing system that was (according to some) supposed to fail–crushed so as to force the government into a corner and make them to provide government-provided single payer health care.

After all, when (not “if”, but “when”) the PPACA private exchanges fail in various states, what else is there left but for the government to put together a hastily-contrived government-run single payer system? I’m sure there are people inside the D.C. beltway who have already drafted legislation to that effect.

So that’s why the GOP keeps failing.

Not because the GOP is stupid. Not because they are failing to provide leadership.

But because Obamacare is such a massive “bread and circuses” bill that you cannot roll it back. If suddenly the average family had to pay for health care insurance what my wife and I are forced to pay–it would be absolute fucking madness with chaos in the streets.

And because no-one believes conservative predictions of Obamacare’s impending failure.

You cannot repeal Obamacare.

You must instead fix it.

There is no other choice at this point. Tens of millions of people are receiving hundreds of billions in transfers thanks to Obamacare. No-one wants their subsidies taken away.

Instead, the only way you can eliminate those transfers is to eliminate the need for those transfers.

And there are only two possible paths:

(1) Implement a single payer system.

(Which, in my opinion, would be an unmitigated disaster for a variety of reasons.)

(2) Slowly and carefully dismantle some of the regulatory restrictions on the health care system and on the health care insurance system which has locked 1/5th of our economy into a death spiral because no-one has the freedom to innovate.

If done correctly, as innovation in how we provide health care help to lower the cost of health care, and as health care insurance choices allow people to use insurance as it was intended–as a wealth protection device unnecessary for the poor (who can seek out government assistance that should be better and more intelligently funded), the price of health care insurance can finally stop their century-long rise.

Sadly I don’t know which choice we will take.

Unknown knowns.

There are known knowns–these are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns: thing we know we don’t know.

There are also unknown unknowns–and the best way to experience this is to go to any scientific lecture. At the end the lecturer will ask if there are any questions. You know that feeling like you don’t know what the hell is going on, so you don’t know what to ask?

Yep: unknown unknowns.

You don’t know what you don’t know, so you don’t know what to ask.

I contend there are also unknown knowns: things we know–but we don’t know we know.

The language rules we know — but don’t know we know.

“Adjectives in English absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that word order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac. It’s an odd thing that every English speaker uses that list, but almost none of us could write it out.”

That is, that “lovely little old French rectangular green whittling silver knife” just sounds mental.

And you knew that. But you didn’t know you knew that.

Word order for two or three words which sound similar except for a single vowel, must be in “I-A-O” order. It’s why we say “zig-zag” and not “zag-zig”, and “tick-tock”, not “tock-tick.” The game is “tick-tack-toe”, not “tack-tick-toe.”

And you knew that. But you didn’t know you knew that.

We don’t use the present tense when describing something that is happening now. We use the present-progressive. So you say “I am brushing my teeth” (the present-progressive tense), not “I brush my teeth” (the present tense). But there are exceptions: some verbs used as an auxiliary use the present-tense form: “I think you’re right”, and not the common mistake non-native English speakers make when they say “I am thinking you’re right.”

And you knew that. But you didn’t know you knew that.

There are plenty of things in this article which you know. But you don’t know you knew it.

It’s not just with language, by the way.

Everywhere we see “knowledge” that we just assume everyone knows. We’re so inundated in things we don’t know we know, we find ourselves stumped when we encounter someone who doesn’t just “know” these things.

It’s not that they’re lacking common sense, or are dumber than a bag of hammers, or they’re mentally defective.

It’s that we don’t know what to teach, because we don’t know what we know.

Which means it’s important to be compassionate, even if it is for the apparent simple mistake of not properly constructing the pluperfect progressive passive verb form.

Sometimes the world can be too much, even for a robot.

DC security robot says everything is fine, throws itself into pool

Where reducto ad-abusrdum goes to die.

Q. and A.: If Workers Are Scarce, Is It the Work or the Wages?

The labor market is stumping even the experts. The unemployment rate is near a 16-year low, and employers are fretting about their inability to find reliable workers. That shortage of workers should prompt an increase in wages. Remember that supply and demand curve: When the demand (for workers) exceeds the supply, prices should rise.

Yet wages have stubbornly resisted the pressure. As Janet L. Yellen, chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, noted in congressional testimony this week, the relationship between a tight labor market and wage pressure “has become more attenuated than we’ve been accustomed to historically.”

So why don’t employers offer more? That was a common question readers posed after an article last week about the government’s monthly jobs report quoted Sarah M. Smith, an owner of Rooforia Home Exteriors in Omaha. Ms. Smith depends on a federal program that gives temporary visas to guest workers — known as H-2B visas — because she is unable to find Americans to take a seasonal job repairing roofs that pays $17 an hour. The work is tough, she said, but “the pay is fair.”

This line–which is in my opinion the flip side of the line given as an argument for $15/hour minimum wage–is basically a moral argument disguised as an economic argument.

And in my experience, anytime you use morality to argue economics, you find perverse incentives that hurt people in the long term.

It’s why I oppose a $15/hour minimum wage: because the argument behind it is a moral one, not an economic one.

And it’s why I find employers who refuse to pay more in salary and demand the government step in and alter the law so they can hire lower-wage employees (and H-2B visas essentially create indentured servitude towards a company who hires them, as they have no right to stay if they lose their job, creating incentives not to lose their job beyond the desire to work well and the income paid) equally repugnant.

I’ve seen the argument used in the airline industry. I’ve seen it used in construction. I’ve seen it used with software development. In each case companies use the past 8 years of salary history–history gathered during one of the worst recessions in modern history to justify keeping pay low. Then they wonder why they can’t hire any qualified employees.

Well, it’s because you’re a cheap mother-fucking bastard who can’t see the writing on the wall, that’s why.

Now the article interviews a roofing contrator who is having a hard time hiring people at $17/hour.

And here’s his argument:

Q: If you can’t get workers at $17 an hour, why don’t you offer higher pay?

A: In response to the article, I got an email that said if we were to offer $35 an hour with health care benefits, we would definitely get people to apply; it said people who were highly qualified applicants with years of experience would probably line up at our door.

My response is: We would love to be able to offer $35 an hour as starting pay, but are you in turn willing to pay premium prices for your next roof replacement? A lot of customers we get through online lead services like Thumbtack are people looking for the best deal. They want to collect proposals from four to five businesses and most of the time choose the cheapest one.

First, oh, boo fucking hoo. If you cannot run a profitable business, you have no right to complain because your competitors can compete. This is the cry of the large corporation who seeks a government handout. This is the cry of the small business man seeking some sort of corporate welfare through the SBA. This is the cry of the corporate owner who finds themselves out of business, wondering how it is the business down the street “took y’r jerb!”

I’m a believer in the free market. But I believe the free market is a brutal mistress; if you cannot figure out a way to compete, you die. Our landscape is full of companies demanding handouts which should have died instead; can you imagine the world we lived in if General Motors went bankrupt and all that factory equipment was bought by Tesla Motors?

But second, look at the reducto ad-absurdem raised throughout the rest of the article: well, if we could pay $35/hour we could hire people.


But here’s a fucking question you didn’t think about: could you hire people (without the government opening the fucking indentured servant spigot a little wider for H-2B workers) at $22/hour? At $20/hour? At $18/hour?

What is so fucking magic about $17/hour that you refuse to consider paying someone an extra $8 to $16 per day so you can hire quality workers who don’t worry that if they lose their job they lose their right to stay here in whatever apartment they rented, losing whatever possessions they own that they can’t ship overseas?

And it’s not just him. Look at the stories about airlines being unable to hire pilots–neglecting the fact that for many pilots, after spending years learning how to fly and building the required number of hours they are being paid less in entry jobs than the guy who manages the hamburger flippers at the fast food restaurant you bought lunch at. Or look at the stories about how hard it is to hire software developers, despite the fact that so many software developers have gone down the freelance route. (Freelancing is one way for good developers to get paid more while having more flexibility setting your own hours.)

In both cases (and in several others) companies complain about how hard it is to hire people–but never confess in public the real problem: they’re being cheap. And it is contributing to stagnant wages all the way across the economy.

I have absolutely no fucking patience for this sort of argument.

Look, I’m a free market guy all the way down the stack. And that means if some asshole who wants to pay substandard wages for what is really hard, hot, dirty work winds up going out of business instead, well, that’s how the free market works.

If you own a small business or a large bank or General Motors–remember: you have absolutely no right to exist if you cannot run your business correctly. And as far as society is concerned, if you fail–good riddance. One less efficient player sucking down dollars that could be more efficiently spent. One less corporation getting corporate welfare from the government. One less voice demanding we alter the laws that create a category of second-class citizenship–second class citizenship that increasingly looks like early 18th century indentured servitude.

A fascinating examination of the top 1% by wealth.

Income is not wealth.

We forget this when complaining about the 1%. Because it’s hard to figure out how much wealth people have, it’s easy to look at the tax tables–forgetting that the two doctors earning a combined $400,000 a year are paying a total of perhaps 30% to the fed, maybe another 10% to the state, leaving them an after-tax income of $240,000 a year.

And while that may sound like a hell of a lot–and let’s be honest, it is a hell of a lot, especially given the average income of a working family today in the United States is perhaps $60k/year–but when you then subtract out payments on student loans (which for doctors can be upwards of $500,000 at 5%–peeling off $45,000 a year just in loan payments), then subtract out the typical stuff that people tend to surround themselves with (Million dollar home? $67,000/year. Two BMWs? $36,000/year–and that’s if you cheap out and get a really well equipped 5-series rather than going for the top-of-the-line. Oh, and don’t forget the insurance for all this stuff.)

Suddenly, that $240,000/year has been eaten up: just with loan payments for the nice home and the nice cars, and toss in perhaps $50,000 a year on everything else: food, vacations, clothes, insurance, utilities)–and that power-couple doctor pair may only be able to save $40k/year for retirement–assuming they’re saving anything at all.

And that 1%er in income, bopping along without paying attention, not really saving for retirement, suddenly realize they don’t want to be arms-length in someone’s insides for the rest of their lives–they wake up and start shoveling money into retirement. But $48k/year over 15 years of savings only amounts to $1.2 million (assuming 7% ROI on investments, which is better than consumer averages)–and that means our doctors are going to have a serious hair cut on their standard of living.

Fuck, even if they were smart and saved that $48k/year over 30 years–that only amounts to $4.8 million. But remember: inflation ate away at the spending power of that money, making it “only” worth $3.3 million. A “safe” withdrawal rate on an invested $3.3 million for retirement purposes is around $130k/year–far far less than our Doctor’s $240k/year lifestyle. And remember, that was for someone who conscientiously saved over a 30 year career for their retirement.

Most of us are not that conscientious.

(If you want to be, may I suggest the writings of Dave Ramsey?)

Now I don’t feel sorry for those doctors. For the average person making due on $60k/year, $130k/year sound fantastic. For most of us it would solve all our problems.

But my point is this:

Those 1%ers in income do not have a lot of wealth.

(Okay, $4 million with a paid off $1 million home is pretty damned good. But it’s not “buy a million dollar yacht and sale around the world from your private Caribbean island” rich.)

I point this out because I would often see estimates by the Federal Reserve, such as used in this article, which claim the bottom of the top 1% (in terms of wealth) have at least $7 million in assets.

And I think “on what fucking planet?”

There are a lot of older generation people who have successfully retired. But they’re not retired on the returns on investments accumulated over a lifetime. They’re retired on fixed pension plans–pension plans that are not available to the majority of my generation or to those who are younger. (My father receives a railroad retirement pension–but I believe he was one of the last to receive such a generous payout; certainly to my generation a pension which pays out 80% of your income for the last 30 years of your life would be absolutely unheard of.)

I think this skews estimates of net wealth (which can only be estimated) upwards. For me to retire on 80% of my current income would require several million dollars (using various safe retirement rules published on the ‘net). But my father’s pension is not worth millions. It pays like it was worth millions. But when he dies, *poof*, it’s gone.

It’s why I found this guy’s essay so interesting: because by using the methodology used by the IRS (and not the Federal Reserve) using anonymized tax return data to estimate net wealth, the estimated amount of money necessary to enter the top 1% of wealth (not income, wealth) is considerably less.

Around $1.2 million (as of 2011, or around $1.3 million in today’s dollars).

An Investment Manager’s View on the Top 1%

Until recently, most studies just broke out the top 1% as a group. Data on net worth distributions within the top 1% indicate that one enters the top 0.5% with about $1.8M, the top 0.25% with $3.1M, the top 0.10% with $5.5M and the top 0.01% with $24.4M. Wealth distribution is highly skewed towards the top 0.01%, increasing the overall average for this group. The net worth for those in the lower half of the top 1% is usually achieved after decades of education, hard work, saving and investing as a professional or small business person. While an after-tax income of $175k to $250k and net worth in the $1.2M to $1.8M range may seem like a lot of money to most Americans, it doesn’t really buy freedom from financial worry or access to the true corridors of power and money. That doesn’t become frequent until we reach the top 0.1%.

In other words, financial security is increasingly eluding our grasp. And unless you inherited a small fortune or built a large business and successfully sold it off, your net worth will probably never crest the $5 million mark (putting you in the top 0.1% of wealth).

No matter how much you make in salary.

I find stuff like this interesting.

But I do want to make an observation.

Unless you were part of the ruling class during medieval times, you worked until you died. There was no “financial security”–and in the turbulent periods of medieval times, there may be little political security as ruling lords often fought each other for land and status.

In fact, the very notion of “retirement” is a recent invention. Previously as one aged, large extended families may take care of you. But it was not so you could relax; Native American tribes would take care of the elderly in the same way they would take care of the sick and ailing: if you can’t work, your family would take care of you until you died. If resources were tight, they may cut their losses–and leave you in the wilderness to die on your own, or put you on the ice flow to allow you to die at sea.

But we invented the notion of retirement on the theory that we needed to make space for the younger to obtain jobs–yet notice, we set the retirement age at roughly the life expectancy age: meaning chances were, when Social Security was invented, you’d die before you received a dime. And even if you collected, chances are you were only collecting around 12 years of retirement on average.

So I suspect this notion of financial security eluding our grasp was a fiction — and most of us will be working (even if just part time) supplementing our income up until the day we die.

Even those in the top 1%.

I’m officially old.

To my mind, I always believed that “old” was the point where someone simply could not keep up with the direction in which culture moves. “Get off my lawn!” may be for someone who is tired of having people trample his beautiful grass–but “I don’t get these kids anymore”, that’s the inflection point when you stop being in touch with the younger generation.

And I just reached that point today.

Now Google and the Internet means it is far easier today to keep up with cultural changes than ever before. Fads like “planking?” Yeah, just a quick search on the Internet. Popular music? Yeah, that’s easy to keep up with as well, though I feel sorry for folks today–not because our music was any better, but because the music industry has become so processed–so over-produced–that it’s hard to differentiate music styles. (Though to be honest, the “McDonaldification” of the music scene means product is far more consistent, unlike the music of the 1960’s and 1970’s, where for every defining record like Déjà Vu you had Billy Don’t Be A Hero, a rather insipid bit of 1970’s drivel about the Civil War that people misread as being about Vietnam.)

But I’ve hit my limit.

With the word woke.

And with the article ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Not Woke Enough for SWJ Critics


I mean, I understand at one level that it is a play on the word “awake”, which is a shorthand for mindfulness, or being aware and engaged with the environment around you, bypassing the mental habits and shortcuts which may allow any ingrained racism or sexism we learned when young to creep into our perceptions.

It’s the same sort of mindfulness that, as you stand in line at a bank and a couple of teenage black kids wearing bright t-shirts and fake gold chains and a backwards baseball hat get behind you, make you dismiss the idea that they’re there to make trouble.

But “woke?”

So I went on a hunt for understanding the specific meaning of the term, since I’ve seen it with increasing frequency over the past year.

The best I could come up with was from this article: What Does “Woke” Mean? There’s More To The Slang Term Than You Think

The rise in popularity of “woke” has been tied to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which initially surfaced in 2013 following the death of Trayvon Martin. #StayWoke often accompanied social media posts about police brutality, systematic racism and the industrial prison complex. #StayWoke reminds readers to look past the provided narrative, to examine their own privilege (or lack thereof). #StayWoke reminds readers that there is more than one reality to life in the United States.

(“Privilege.” Another hard eye-roll.)

Okay, I get it. To be “woke as fuck” means to be plugged into whatever perceptions that allow you to see past the narrative to the narrative being offered by the Social Justice Warriors. It means to gaze deeply into their navels rather into your own. It means learning the politically correct narrative rather than the politically incorrect one–and truth be damned, because there is no “truth”, only what you subjectively know.

Boing Boing may make fun of Australia’s Prime Minister for saying “Well the laws of Australia prevail in Australia, I can assure you of that. The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia.” But in a deconstructionist world where the relationship between text (even mathematics) and meaning are subjective to the reader rather than representing a deeper underlying truth that doesn’t exist–that is, in the world of Feminists and Social Justice Warriors–the “laws of mathematics” is a relative patriarchal construct rather than a representation of an underlying Truth.

To say 2 + 2 = 4 is to impose your own subjective truth on others. And the “freedom” to say “2 + 2 = 4” is undesirable because it is the “freedom” to impose a patriarchal construct.

George Orwell’s quote “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows”?

That’s not “woke.”

I’m officially old.

I’m officially old because the current cultural trends towards embracing deconstructionism and the Marxist dialectic to explain the current forces of racism and sexism and to find the “dog whistles” behind those who mistakenly claim “2 + 2 = 4”–it seems incredibly absurd.

I’m officially old because I don’t understand why “Social Justice” Warriors (using a term which is deeply ironic if you know anything about the history of “social justice” and the Catholic heresy of collective salvation from which it derives) would go after anything and everything in a nihilist lashing out, rather than concentrate on the real problems we see in various inner cities, such as policing for profit, which drove the police to be increasingly antagonistic against the black population of Ferguson that eventually led to Michael Brown’s death.

I’m officially old because I don’t understand why today’s generation of progressives are freely borrowing the tools of 18th century economists and 19th century political philosophers in order to provide a 21st century unconstrained vision of a leftist Utopia. A leftist Utopia that can only be achieved by the elimination of personal desire and personal expression through the subjugation of individual want to the collective need.

It just feels to me like cultural suicide.

So do me a favor, and just keep off my damned lawn, and don’t try to break into my house in order to engage in any sort of social justice redistribution. Because I don’t want to have to clean the blood off the floor boards.

The day I agree with a political post on Boing Boing, you know we’ve plumbed the depths of stupid.

Australia’s Prime Minister is a goddamned idiot

Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull: “Well the laws of Australia prevail in Australia, I can assure you of that. The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia.”

The goddamned idiot continued, “I’m not a cryptographer, but what we are seeking to do is to secure their assistance. They have to face up to their responsibility. They can’t just wash their hands of it and say it’s got nothing to do with them.”

(Hard eyeroll)

I mean, it’s not like someone couldn’t easily build their own encryption and communications stack which uses a custom implemented public/private key encryption scheme where the private keys are kept only on the user’s devices and which makes providing a back door mathematically impossible…