Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Technology

Intel’s Announcement of New Arizona Plant Negates Trade Deficit Concerns

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, February 8, 2017:

US-DeptOfCommerce-Seal

Brian Krzanich, head of Intel, probably didn’t know he was making the case for free trade, despite the fact that trade deficits happen, when he announced from the White House on Wednesday morning his company’s plans to build a new plant in Chandler, Arizona. In a microcosm, his announcement perfectly expressed just how free trade between nations and their citizens generally benefits everyone. Krzanich said his company was planning to build a $7 billion microchip plant in Chandler that would directly employ 3,000 people with “high-paying jobs,” and generate a total of 10,000 jobs when support services for those new jobs are factored in.

Krzanich said that most of Intel’s customers are overseas. Last year Intel’s gross revenues exceeded $10 billion, so, doing the math, it’s likely that Intel will sell $6 to 8 billion worth of chips to foreigners. That creates a trade “surplus” for the United States of between $6 and $8 billion. That will offset some of the trade “deficit” just announced by the Commerce Department the day before, of about $500 billion, an announcement that was met with much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth by economists claiming that that deficit put the United States at some type of unfair disadvantage to the rest of the world.

However, in the real world, trade deficits are not necessarily bad. When someone buys an automobile or a t-shirt or a cellphone, the money they spend winds up as revenues for manufacturers located overseas. Then those manufacturers have excess American dollars that are now available for investment. Many of those dollars get cycled back to the United States, either by buying U.S. goods and services, or U.S. treasuries, or real estate or businesses, which then generate more products to sell overseas.

In 2016, Americans bought from foreign countries $171 billion worth of automobiles, engines and auto parts, $94 billion worth of clothing, $80 billion of crude and refined oil products, $73 billion of cellphones and other household goods, $58 billion of pharmaceutical drugs, with the balance made up of telecommunications equipment, toys, games, sporting goods, televisions, and video games.

In return foreigners — individuals, companies and governments — bought from the United States $65 billion worth of civilian aircraft and engines, $86 billion on travel to the United States, $78 billion on “intellectual property rights” (mostly leases or patents that foreign companies pay to American companies), $70 billion on financial services, with the rest made up of soybeans, chemicals, and newsprint.

The difference is $502 billion. Americans spent $502 billion more abroad than foreigners bought from us. Is that a problem?

Not for companies such as Intel. Its highly regarded technology, in the form of microchips that outperform its competitors, is in great demand worldwide. Foreign companies will use some of those American dollars that Americans spent to buy them. Intel, for its part, will invest billions in new plants and in hiring new people, paying them good salaries, in order to supply that foreign demand. Intel certainly hopes that foreigners will continue to buy them in massive quantities so that it can continue to expand, build, and hire, and so forth.

As Dan Griswold, writing for Cato, put it: No one would do business with anyone else unless both were better off afterwards:

Nations do not trade with each other: people do. America’s trade deficit with the rest of the world is only the sum of the individual choices made by American citizens. Those choices, to buy an import or to sell an export, only take place if both parties to the transaction believe it will make them better off.

In this way, the “balance of trade,” is always positive.

However, Griswold is likely putting too kind a face on trade deficits, per se, for while free trade seems universally beneficial, the use of fiat money — money not backed by a valuable asset such as gold — in the process of trading could lead to hyperinflation in a country, causing widespread devastation. Whether one calls that a trade problem or a currency problem, it is still a problem inherent in trade, maybe especially for the United States. See the article “So I’m Told Trade Deficits Are Good.”

In general, though, if politicians made it even easier for companies here and abroad to do business, then everyone would be even better off, and concerns about trade “wars” and “tariffs” and “mercantilism” would fade back into the woodwork where they belong.

First, Big Taxi. Next, Big Box Stores. Now, Big Car Dealers.

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 25, 2017:

English: Tesla Motors opened its showroom in M...

A Tesla “Gallery” storefront

An unfettered free market has but one goal in mind: to serve a customer – the guy with the money in his pocket – better. It’s driven by the profit-motive: better service means more customers bringing more money to the improviser who has figured out how to do it profitably. Adam Smith said it much more elegantly:

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Ford to Sell and Finance Its Autos Online

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 24, 2017:  

Ford said on Monday that it would join forces with software developer AutoFi, Inc. to allow customers the freedom to purchase a Ford or a Lincoln automobile and obtain financing for it online without forcing them to endure the usual three- to five-hour long sales pitch in one of its showrooms.

The software will allow shoppers to compare models, prices as delivered, available options, and choices of financing among different lenders. Once the sale and financing are completed, the customer stops by the dealership to pick up his car. Nice and easy.

AutoFi’s CEO Kevin Singerman said he really wasn’t trying to disrupt the sales process:

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New Job Announcements Before Inauguration More Political than Economic

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 18, 2017:

President-elect Donald Trump has mercilessly hammered American companies with overseas operations, and the message is coming through loud and clear: bring them back, keep them here, or pay dearly once he is in office.

Ford changed its plans, cancelling a project in Mexico and expanding a facility here. Fiat did the same as did Toyota. Sprint’s plans to add new jobs coupled with Lockheed Martin’s willingness to work with Mr. Trump even before he is president all reflect the new reality: Trump plans to keep his campaign promises and create jobs here.

What makes the recent announcements by General Motors and Walmart suspicious is that they not only are timed to appear just before the inauguration, but they also

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Trump’s 36-Year-Old Son-in-Law Won the White House for Him

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 11, 2017:

Jared Kushner’s father-in-law, Donald Trump, gave him an early birthday present, naming him to his new administration as a senior advisor on Monday. The next day Kushner turned 36.

Married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka (shown), Kushner responded to the “all hands on deck” message following Trump’s nomination at the Republican National Convention last summer. Kushner dropped everything and started building a national political campaign from scratch. Blessed with precious little political experience, but with smarts (degrees from Harvard and New York University), Kushner saw the problem: no staff, no money, no experience, no strategy, no nothing. So he called on some of his contacts in social networking, asking for referrals to the brightest and the best to help.

He found Brad Parscale, a web designer in San Antonio, and built a team of 100 people around him. Calling the team “Project Alamo,” the two learned the ropes quickly: traditional TV, radio, and print advertising were 1) expensive, and 2) not very effective in reaching the people Trump needed to win. Instead, through trial and error, Kushner spent less and less on TV and radio and focused on the social networking tools Facebook and Twitter. Said Kushner:

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Trump Names Son-in-law as Advisor; Media Raises Nepotism Issues

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 10, 2017: 

Jared Kushner of the New York Observer.

Jared Kushner

President-elect Donald Trump named his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as a senior advisor in his administration on Monday:

Jared has been a tremendous asset and trusted advisor throughout the campaign and transition and I am proud to have him in a key leadership role in my administration.

 

He has been incredibly successful in both business and politics. He will be an invaluable member of my own team as I set and execute an ambitious agenda, putting the American people first.

The anti-Trump media jumped at the chance to question Trump’s decision, claiming that it violated anti-nepotism rules put in place after President John F. Kennedy named his brother, Robert Kennedy, as attorney general.

Jamie Gorelick, an attorney advising Trump and Kushner on the matter, said there’s little to be concerned about:

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Trump to Tech Execs: There’s a New Sheriff in Town

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, December 16, 2016:

As Donald Trump opened Wednesday’s meeting with the dozen or so executives from the technology industry, all was sweetness and light:

You are a truly amazing group of people. There’s nobody like you in the world. In the world! There’s nobody like the people in this room. [Anything we] can do to help this go along, we’re going to be there for you.

You call my people, you call me. It doesn’t make any difference.

This was a masterful performance. It conveyed

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Trump Meets With Tech Executives

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 15, 2016:  

Donald Trump enters the Oscar De LA Renta Fash...

Donald Trump opened the gathering of high-tech industry executives on Wednesday, nearly all of whom vociferously opposed him during the presidential campaign, by calling them “a truly amazing group of people.” If any of them thought the meeting would be confrontational, they were disappointed.

Trump went on:

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OPEC Agreement to Limit Production Boosts Crude Price 11 Percent

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 1, 2016:

Coat of Arms of Saudi Arabia

Coat of Arms of Saudi Arabia

The global price of crude oil jumped more than 11 percent since OPEC announced on Wednesday its first agreement to limit production by the cartel since 2008. There are many moving parts to the agreement — perhaps too many.

First, the cartel’s de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, has promised to

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Trump Picks Elaine Chao for Transportation Secretary

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 30, 2016:  

Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.

President-elect Donald Trump picked Elaine Chao shown) for secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation on Tuesday, raising concerns about her connections with the Republican establishment as well as China. Some of those concerns are balanced by her affiliations with pro-freedom and pro-free market organizations.

If confirmed, she will face a host of issues,

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Trump’s Digital Wall

With Gary North’s permission I have reprinted this article from Wednesday’s newsletter. The link to the original article is at the bottom.  

Juggling on the Berlin Wall on 16. November 19...

Donald Trump used a visual image for “seal off the border.” He used a wall.

He isn’t going to build a wall. He will not ask Congress for the funding.

He doesn’t need to.

The border can be policed by satellites and a few thousand low-cost drones. The technology is cheap. It is available now.

These are cheap drones that carry no missiles. They only carry cameras. There can be night drones and day drones. They can observe what is going on for miles.

Put up 1,000 drones at all times, day and night. Aim their cameras 10 or 20 miles south of the border. Is there a truck coming north toward a desolate area? Meet it with troops.

There will be enough troops on the cheap fenced border to head off 80% of the trucks. If 80% of the trucks can’t get their cargo through, the wholesale immigrant business is finished.

Post a thousand troops and drones at the high-crossing areas.

The strategy here is to eliminate the wholesale immigration business. Make the immigrants walk to the border in remote areas. This will drastically reduce the crossings. Move the immigrants from wholesale to retail.

MAKE A DEAL WITH THE COYOTES

Coyotes are the people who take money from desperate would-be illegal immigrants to take them across the border in trucks. They are middlemen.

I propose that Trump make them two-way middlemen.

A coyote brings a truckload of people to the border. On the American side of the border is a border patrol officer who is assigned to an Army unit. He makes the truck driver an offer: “Take them back. Here is $25,000, cash.”

Yes, I know: pretty soon there will be trucks loaded with fake immigrants. So, run the initial program for long enough to get the word out: “Don’t pay anyone to take you across the border. The gringos have cooked up a deal with the coyotes. The coyotes will take your money. Then they will take the gringos’ money to bring you right back.” Six months will do it.

If traffic starts back up, re-start the program.

Keep the immigrants on the Mexican side of the border. This way, there will be no expensive court hearings on our side of the border. There will be no ACLU attorney coming to the defense of illegal immigrants in the middle of the night in the South Texas desert. The immigrants will not cross the border. Mexico will retain jurisdiction.

Station enough troops and drones on the border to seal it off.

Better yet, arrange for the coyotes to bring the would-be immigrants to established check points. No muss, no fuss.

But, you say, no sensible coyote would do this. It would kill his business. So, stage it. Hire some Mexican Americans in South Texas to do a fake crossing at a fake border. Rent an old truck. Have an actor pay the “driver” a wad of bills. Use a dash cam. Make it look real. Then post the video. Do one of these a week. Use the same two or three trucks.

Have you ever seen Wag the Dog?

Trump can supply the video crew. He is a master of reality TV.

Keep the drones flying. Let the coyotes know that they will not be able to get their cargoes across the border. “We can see you coming.”

Maybe a truck turns around and heads home. The driver does not get $25,000. Word will get out: “Don’t pay this guy.”

Maybe the driver stops. He gets his $25,000. He drives them back. Word will get out. “Don’t pay this guy.”

Maybe he unloads them on his side of the border. He gets $25,000. He leaves them. Word will get out. “Don’t pay this guy.”

If he crosses the border, he gets no money. He loses his truck. He gets no food or water. He is sent back on foot with the others. “Have a nice walk with your friends.”

The people who get unloaded will be given two choices: (1) put on a GPS tracking device and start walking back to civilization with food and water supplied by the Americans, or else (2) don’t put on the device and get no food or water. There is this threat: “Take off the device before you get to town A, and the next time we catch you trying to cross illegally, you will get no food and water. And we will catch you. Take the device to our local exchange store, and they will give you $100 cash.” Of course, they are photographed at the border. Their faces go into a facial recognition data base. If they get caught again, they get no food or water for the hike back. “Buy food and water from your buddy.”

Why the exchange store? The store will advertise locally. “If you get caught when our drone system catches the truck that takes you to the border, and if the driver leaves you behind, you can get $100 for the GPS device you will get when you return from the border. We’ll make sure you are in our ‘caught trying to cross the border’ facial recognition system. Then you will get paid.”

Word will get out to the coyotes’ customer base.

Post Spanish language videos on YouTube. The viewers will see the drones, the troops, and the money exchanges. “Warning: the U.S. government has an arrangement with the coyotes. It pays the coyotes to bring people right back at a profit of $25,000 per truckload. You will pay $1,000 for a one-day round-trip visit to the border. The coyotes will make money both ways.”

Put up videos of families walking away from the fence in the middle of the desert. “This is what happens if you try to cross the border in a truck. The drones always spot the trucks. You will be greeted by American troops. Save your money.”

Goodbye, wholesale immigrant market. Hello, individual families on foot.

BETA TEST THIS BY LATE APRIL

This would be cheap to implement. The beta-testing could be operational within three months of Trump’s inauguration.

Put a bird colonel in charge of this. Offer him two stars if he gets it operational by Christmas, but only one star if it’s a day late. Trump can make this offer on January 21. He can ask for volunteers. He will get lots of volunteers by January 23. By February 1, there will be piles of applications.

This colonel would be granted the authority of a four-star general for this project until December 25, 2017.

The colonel will find holes in the system. Most of them can be plugged. He could then ramp up the program by October 31. It would be working by December 25.

Give the program until December 31, 2018 to work. By then, the flow of illegal aliens will be down by 80%.

Priority for Army promotions would be given to successful captains and majors who cut down immigration rates. The statistics would be simple: “Reduce the immigrants in your sector by 20% this year, and you go to the top five of the short list for promotion.” The Mexican border would be the fastest track to stars on the shoulder.

Word would get out. Fast.

CONCLUSIONS

Could Trump do this unilaterally? Of course. He is Commander-in-Chief. Paul Ryan isn’t. Mitch McConnell isn’t.

Trump doesn’t need a wall. He needs only the will.

Here’s the link to his original article: http://www.garynorth.com/public/15899.cfm

Trump Names RNC Chair as Chief of Staff

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 14, 2016:  

Upon learning that Donald Trump named the chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), Reince (pronounced “rains”) Priebus to be his chief of staff, Michael Savage called him “the enemy within.” Savage, the host of a popular talk show with 20 million listeners nationwide, added:

He’s the RNC! Everything the voters rejected. He will steer Trump away from every policy we sent him to D.C. to change. He is the enemy within. He is [Paul] Ryan, [Mitch] McConnell, and the Old Guard. They do not want change.

Jenny Beth Martin, the co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund, agreed, although in slightly softer terms:

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Saudi Arabia to Sell $10 Billion in Bonds to Shore Up Its Finances

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, October 19, 2016:  

Coat of Arms of Saudi Arabia

Coat of Arms of Saudi Arabia

Oil ministers from Saudi Arabia have been traveling the world doing investment “roadshows” to promote their $10-billion bond offering that hits the markets this week. In so doing, they must disclose the risks investors could be taking, and then price the bonds according to those risks.

The Saudis appear to be paying the price for losing their bet about American oil producers. In November 2014 they made a massive wager that they could

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John Podesta’s Payoff for Helping Hillary Give American Military Technology to Russia’s Putin

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 17, 2016:  

English: John Podesta in 2010.

John Podesta

As part of just-inaugurated President Obama’s new foreign policy to improve relations between the United States and Russia, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in March 2009. Meeting in her hotel’s Salon Panorama in Geneva, she presented him with a small gift box containing a bright red button symbolizing the Obama administration’s desire to “reset” the relationship between the two governments.

Thus began an effort to transfer American technology to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s own “Silicon Valley,” called Skolkovo.

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Saudi Energy Minister: Crude Oil at $60 Not “Unthinkable”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, October 11, 2016: 

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, asserted at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul on Monday that he is optimistic that members of the OPEC cartel will agree on production cuts at its meeting in late November, and that it isn’t “unthinkable” that, as a result, crude oil prices could hit $60 a barrel by the end of the year.

Following late September’s informal meeting when the cartel agreed to appoint a committee to come up with options in time for the Istanbul meeting, energy traders drove the price of crude above $50 a barrel. On Monday it nearly touched its highest level for the year, reacting to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s support for OPEC’s possible cut in crude oil production to “stabilize” the market.

Such a production cut, if it takes place (OPEC members are notoriously fickle about keeping solemnly-pledged agreements), would be designed to push crude oil prices higher, but still low enough to keep “rivals from raising their output,” according to OPEC’s secretary-general following the September meeting in Algeria.

That’s going to be a trick,

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Closing the Loop on the Surveillance State in America

This article was published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 5, 2016:  

English: A surveillance camera at a traffic li...

A surveillance camera at a traffic light (mainly used to watch people)

In 2012 the Wall Street Journal published a 10-page warning about the surveillance state being enhanced through the use of license plate scanners. It showed that, with this final piece of the surveillance puzzle put into place, an individual’s private life can be built, observed, tracked, followed, and, when determined necessary, intercepted by federal agencies. Wrote the Journal:

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Feds Scanning License Plates of Gun Show Attendees

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, October 4, 2016:  

English: Houston Gun show at the George R. Bro...

As the Wall Street Journal reported, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has has a program in place since 2010 to use license-plate readers to read the license plates of gun show attendees in southern California. The theory was simple: compare those scans to cars crossing the border into Mexico and — voila! — ICE could find potential gun runners who warranted further investigation.

But the ICE didn’t do the scanning.

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Beware the 300-Pound White Penguin Watching You at the Mall

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, September 5, 2016:  

Cover of "Nineteen Eighty-Four"

In George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Big Brother’s primary enabler was the telescreen. It could be turned down but never turned off, and it recorded all behaviors and conversations to be analyzed for traitorous intent.

Knightscope has no discoverable link to the telescreen with its big, fat white Penguin called K5, but its capabilities are astonishing. Those capabilities came to light following an incident at an upscale mall in Palo Alto last month when a K5 ran over a 16-month-old toddler by mistake. Company officials expressed “horror” at the incident, apologized, and then invited the family of the toddler to view its upgraded version of K5, which, it promised, would avoid such incidents in the future.

The rollout of K5 (version 2.0, if you will) was no doubt impressive, as K5 has an amazing array of technology designed as “an advanced anomaly detection device” – read: detect, record, analyze, and then inform its handler of suspicious activities taking place nearby. Stacy Dean Stephens, Knightscope’s vice president of marketing told Digital Trends:

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Knightscope Robots: Enhanced Safety or More Invasive Surveillance?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 5, 2016:  

NXT Robot

Not a Knightscope robot, but close

Knightscope robots — one for inside work, the other for outdoors — have been under development for three years, and have logged 35,000 hours of testing and 25,000 miles of rolling through malls, parking lots, and manufacturing facilities. And yet, within weeks of the K5 outdoor model being released in the Stanford Shopping Center, an upscale shopping mall in Palo Alto, California, one of them couldn’t avoid hitting a 16-month-old toddler and running over his foot.

It was a poor start to Knightscope’s first major public contract with the mall, and they did the best they could to ameliorate the situation:

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Chicago’s Futile Attempt to Shut Down Gun Pipeline

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, August 26, 2016: 

In the fall of 2014, Indiana resident Willie Lee Biles made several trips via a Mega Bus coach bus to Chicago carrying a gym bag containing more than 30 handguns. He would then sit on the front porch of a friend’s home on Southside Chicago and sell them to anyone who stopped by. The markups were sometimes three and four times what Biles paid for them back home.

Officials investigating the case said that at least one of his customers was a convicted felon, while others were gang members. In May Biles was convicted of selling firearms without a license, a misdemeanor, and could be incarcerated for up to five years and fined as much as $250,000.

Biles was part of the Iron Pipeline,

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.