Iceland, economics

Recently, the Trump administration rumbled about a tariff on foreign steel and aluminum. The usual suspects of free traders and never Trumpers shit bricks. Yes, in theory, free trade is good for the economy. But it isn’t free and never has been. Here in iceland, they have a heavy tariff on all imported goods. ALL OF THEM. I went into the only Costco and ulike every Costco in America, this one was nearly empty inside. That’s because everything Costco sells except fresh meat is imported and everything imported is have taxed. Much higher than 20% proposed by Trump on steel. Like near 100-200%. A typical flat TV is 4-5 thousand dollars. On a typical day in the usa, Costco would move them out by the Pallet. Here, not a single customer had one. No one had a computer. No ipods. No cameras. No cell phones. No cases of oil. The effect of heavy taxes is depressed economic activity. Iceland is not unique. They are typical of all out allies and “frenemies” in Europe and Asia. Heavy taxes on our products to discourage anyone from buying them and demands by us for no tariffs on their products.

I suspect that Costco won’t be able to break through this mentality and get Icelanders to buy like Americans. The prices here will keep the locals from “wastefully” setting up a home theater in their basement or a pergola on their back deck.

Trump is teaching the world a lesson in free trade that they have never known before. Free trade isn’t “free” if Americans are buying your stuff but you don’t buy ours. For decades, the world has been accustomed to the USA being the world’s patsy. We would give them billions because we were fighting communism and then because it made professional diplomats feel good about themselves. Those times are coming to an end and the world leach aristocracy is totally unprepared for it. They were assured that no matter who won American elections, it would be business as usual. Trump is a game changer of historic proportions.

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Iceland, part two

1. Everyone here speaks English and they do it better than immigrants to the USA. One exception. Taxi drivers don’t speak English, just like taxi drivers in DC. But here, they do speak Icelandic, because none of them are immigrants. They are from here.

2. This place must be 99% White and 1% Asian. Thus a near zero crime rate and near zero unemployment. Police are also rare. I only saw one and she was getting lunch.

3. They do have an immigration crisis. Those damned slackers from Greenland trying to come here to take their jobs and depress wages and lay about in the social safety net hammock. Thank God for the Arctic Ocean. No wall needed.

4. Iceland is powered exclusively by geothermal and hydroelectric power. Volcanic vents makes electricity and hot water nearly unlimited and free. They don’t have or need any carbon burning power stations… and they never let you forget it. If only the rest of you neanderthal countries could be like us and use totally renewable and earth friendly energy. Obviously, they support all the wealth transfer schemes for fighting global warming since that would make Carbon credits their largest export.

5. Of course, the USA also has vast geothermal areas suitable to tapping power, but we made them into national parks and made developing them off limits. I’d love to see the Sierra club fight with the green energy crowd over that drumstick, but it will never happen. The environmentalist movement is a creation of the communist party and it’s only purpose is to damage the American economy and standard of living. They care nothing for developing real clean and free energy from the Earth. If we had a functioning geothermal generation station in Yellowstone, environmentalists would be demanding we shut it down to save some microscopic endangered brine shrimp that no one knew was there.

6. It’s cheaper to rent a car here than to take a taxi.

7. There is only one laundromat in the whole country and it’s a theme bar called the Laundromat in Reykjavik. And you can do your laundry there

8. There are no native mammals here except a small hungry arctic fox. There are no mice for them to eat. No vast herds of deer, elk, rabbits or weasels. It is common to see vast snow fields, undisturbed by any footprints, tracks or paws. It takes a while to register that what you are looking at is indeed lifeless. If something does take root through immigration, a volcano will obliterate it about once every hundred years. Even humans. In the past 200 years, volcanos have expunged 25% of the human population…. twice.

9. Epiphany: I once heard that Greenland is covered with ice while Iceland is covered with green. It’s a paradox. But really not at all. Icelanders spell their country “Island”, with the S not silent. Old Norse and Old English converged. This place is called exactly what it is. An island. I probably should have noticed that decades ago. Like in grade school, if my teachers had actually any education themselves instead of taking easy degrees in “teachers colleges”.

10. Horse Mystery solved. How are Islandic pony herds sustainable? They exist in large numbers and are more than any reasonable farmer would feed all winter just to keep a pet. Web sites are cryptic about this saying Icelandic ponies are an important cultural foundation, but don’t say why. Answer: they eat them. When the island converted to christianity, they negotiated an exception to the general prohibition from eating horses that the rest of Europe observed and that has become taboo in most western countries. They still do in Iceland and export them for food also.

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Vacation. Iceland

I’m on vacation in iceland. I’ve never been here before. Here are my general impression from a few days.

1. It’s f-ing cold here. Deep winter cold. Who knew?

2. Despite Iceland depending heavily on tourism, and this being off season, I detect a barely concealed total disdain by locals for tourists. In short, I think they hate tourists here. Their hospitality industry is grossly overpriced and NOT very hospitable.

2. The people here are not polite and welcoming. I think they would prefer if we just sent them our money in the mail and stayed home.

3. Alcohol is punitively expensive. $25 per mixed drink at a hotel bar is normal. Beer and wine are only sold in rare hard to find alcohol stores with limited hours. This explains the huge popularity of duty free shopping at the airports. The rest of the world taxes the shit out of their residents.

4. There are lots of ponies here. Short shaggy sway-backed ponies, eating dry brown winter-dried grass. I have no idea how they economically sustain these herds.

5. Everything here is grossly overpriced. I’m not poor or a cheapskate but had to walk out of a restaurant because I couldn’t afford to eat there. $40 hamburgers. W.t.f.

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How to stop mass shootings

Step 1:  Make it illegal to publicly publicize them.  No wiki articles. No newspapers. No evening news.  They should be cataloged only in professional journals that are not accessible on the internet without subscriptions, the kind no one wants.  There is no doubt that this sort of thing among young people (the ones who do school shootings) is driven by the need to “feel my pain” and strike back against the system.  They would find other outlets if they didn’t know this was an option.  It will take about ten years for people to forget that this was a thing in the USA, then it will be gone.

Step 2:  Bar Moslems from emigrating to or visiting the USA.  Kick out all the ones who are here and not already permanent citizens.  Mass murder is a way of life for them.  If you don’t want Charlie hibdo, Gay night club massacres or Boston bombings, or for that matter, Fort Hood shootings, or people getting run over by delivery trucks, you have to ban the people who do this.

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Trolling for dollars

I’ve been spending a lot of time over at pirates cove lately.  But I’m done there.  They have a persistent troll.  Incessant name calling.  Real grade school level stuff.  I remember the Internet back when there was exchange of ideas and information.  Now it’s just monkeys throwing poop. 

And the paid media is no better.  Yahoo news, huffpo, Washington post, AP, CNN, even Fox news to an extent are all virulent anti-Trump.  Everything.  Every story.  It’s as if they have already started campaigning for 2020 with a candidate to be named later. 

Monkeys flinging poop.  

Why would they expect me to care what they have to say about anything when every story will have significant logical and factual errors in it?  Appeals to authority, ad homenim, non sequitur are the most common.  Then there is the everpresent “unnamed source”.  

48 hours later, the news papers are still battling Trump’s remark about shitholes, when he didn’t even say that.  Washington post counters, well (huff), here’s a Nigerian west point graduate who won the navy cross in afghanistan.  Is he a shithole?  Completely igboring that importing 20 thousand Africans to drive Uber just hoping to get one navy cross winner is a bad deal.  But the point of this story is how slanted and disingenuous the press is.  They know they are pushing an agenda and they know they are deliberately shaping information to push that agenda. 


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Normal Event Happens. Libs Lose their Shit

It was just another normal event, the sort that happens every year, several times per year.  The US Congress passed a bill deciding how they would spend trillions of dollars.  The changes from this year from last year aren’t even that significant.  Almost everything that got funded last year will be funded again this year.  Some trimming here and there, but mostly all still there.

What is there to argue about?  Why are the liberals losing their minds about this?

They complain about the deficit being 1 Trillion … over the next ten years.   They never complained about Obama adding over a trillion EVERY year.

They complain that people will die.  People ALWAYS die.  And here’s a clue:  If you need a handout from the US Government to stay alive, you are probably going to die anyway.  But be realistic.  Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA are all still funded.

No more individual mandate.  The Liberals are complaining about the greatest return of individual freedom to the American people ever.  Sure, that makes the rest of Obamacare unsustainable.  But it always was.  Enslaving young healthy people to pay the medical bills of the chronically sick is NOT sustainable.  It makes them hate their government and the elderly.  It only takes a few years of that before the young start “helping” older and expensively sick people make “end of life choices”.

Government spending bills are a normal part of the government process.  This is nothing to get upset about.  If you really hate it, vote for someone else next time.  Oh, but then you already did.  And your candidate lost.  Not just for President, but for the majority of the House and Senate.  That’s the way this thing works.  You should remember.  That’s how you used a slender and fading majority to stuff Obamacare down the throats of 70% of America that DID NOT WANT IT.

And that voter fraud trick isn’t going to work everywhere, so don’t count on that trick to keep bailing you out.

Grow up, liberals.  Is that asking too much?

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Dear Apple

You suck!

I have the entire collection of Dr who that I bought from you for full price and downloaded to my device.  I did that intentionally so I could watch them when I’m NOT plugged into the cloud.  Like, for example, when I’m away from my Internet enabled home country and in an isolated place.  So, what happens when I try to play it?  

“Try again when your Internet connection is working”.

This is exactly what I don’t want in my devices.  I paid for my content so I could carry it with me.  Now I can’t watch it.  And half my content has that silly cloud symbol next to it, when I know for certain it is on my hard drive.  

The apple devices previously did not do this cloud trap crap.  You bait and switched me to a service I do not want.  Put it back the way it was or refund my ten years of content so I can buy it from somewhere else.

Excuse me while I go learn some more words to describe how I feel about them right now. 

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