The life cycle of a nation.

The life cycle of a nation.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

Click here for a full, up to date ORIGINAL ARTICLE and to help fighting the stealing of readers’ traffic.

(Blog No. … ).

There is a life cycle for nations and empires. Unless a nation or empire lose a war and become occupied it follows this pattern. The pattern is described here and USA is found to be on the last phase [1] of the cycle.

The life cycle of a nation.

#life cycle, #nation, #empire,

1. Steps in the life cycle of a nation.

1- Every nation is set up by people seeing a common purpose and seeking mutual benefits (not necessary beneficial for all people in that future nation).

2- The founders of the nation are active and they organize themselves into different functional (ruling or non-ruling) groups, some of which may be for strengthening their own grip on power. They proclaim a new nation without much objection from inactive people.

3- The nation may survive or even prospers producing wealth with or without interference from its neighbors.

(When neighbouring nations anticipate the possible bright future of this nation plus its inspiring political contagion they may seperately or collectively attack it to preserve -and also to gamble on enhencing- their status.)

4- Efficiency requires specialization into different functional groups.

(When everyone in a nation has to do everything around him by himself and there is no specialization, the society of that nation has no mutual trust among its members -everyone fears being ripped off by others- and that nation cannot progress fast.)

5- Specialized groups compete with one another for power and the communal wealth. This competition may gradually alter the structure of the government substantially.

6- Greed and corruption create laws, customs and functional “day light robber” groups for siphoning most of power and communal wealth to certain groups while depraving others.

7- Discontents grow with wealth disparity and there are struggles between the privileged and the depraved groups. A few see-sawing power changes may occur leading to some unstable social equilibrium. A truly free election for government may allow the see-sawing to bring back a sustainable equilibrium.

8- A step too far by any side may make the nation dysfunctional, lead to a renegation of existing order and a REVOLUTION is the result. All existing orders and structures are overthrown, a few functional groups may be eliminated.

9- One or many new countries may now be formed from the old country retaining only a few of its previous functional groups. It may also happen that a neighbor may invade and incorporate the country into its own.

The process is repeated again from step 1.

2. USSR as an example.

1- Communists in USSR wanted a country free of ruling by the Russian Tsar and sought mutual benefits (not necessary beneficial for all people in that future nation).

2- The communists organized themselves into different functional (ruling or non-ruling) groups. They proclaimed a new nation without much objection from inactive people.

3- USSR survived, producing moderate wealth without interference from its neighbors.

4- Efficiency required specialization into party members, administrators, internal security agency, armed forces, workers and peasants.

5- Specialized groups competed with one another for power and the communal wealth.

6- Greed and corruption create laws, customs and functional “day light robber” groups for siphoning most of power and communal wealth to certain groups while depraving others [2]. This has been anticipated by Trotsky, a founding member of the USSR!

“Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1927… In exile he had continued to work resolutely against Stalinism and his book The Revolution Betrayed [3]was published in Paris in 1937. In it he said that under Stalin the Soviet Union had betrayed socialism and become a totalitarian state.” [4]

7- Discontents grew with wealth disparity. A few see-sawing may occur leading to more unstable social equilibrium: Glasnost.

8- A military space race (star war) made the nation bankrupt, led to a renegation of existing order and the USSR were dissolved.

9- Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and 12 other new countries have been formed from the old country. They retained only a few of its previous functional groups (Nuclear forces were retained!). [5]

The process is repeated again from step 1.

3. USA as an example

1- Americans did not want to pay tea tax to their English rulers.

2- The founders of the nation were active and they organize themselves into different functional (ruling or non-ruling) groups. They proclaimed a new nation USA without much objection from inactive people.

3- USA survived and prospered producing wealth without interference from its neighbors.

4- Efficiency requires specialization into different functional groups: Administrators, sheriffs, military men, farm owners, bankers, pay day lenders, industrialists, craftsmen, traders, vulture funds owners, hedge funds owners, lobbyists,…

5- Specialized groups compete with one another for power and the communal wealth. The structural change can be seen in the way President GWashington used only few Executive Orders in his time while later Presidents WWilson and FDRoosevelt had to use many Executive Orders. The old time Congress did not wrangle with their President on every issue.

There are now many fake news outlets, propagandists for hire and lobbyists for hire.

6- Greed and corruption create laws, customs and functional “day light robber” groups for siphoning most of power and communal wealth to certain groups (bankers, weapon makers, pharmaceutical owners, health insurers, lawyers, private equities, vulture funds) while depraving others.

7- Discontents grow steadily with growing wealth disparity . A few see-sawing changes of power (placing Republican or Democratic in power) may occur leading to some unstable social equilibrium. A truly free election for government may allow the see-sawing to bring back some sustainable equilibrium.

8- A step too far by any side (such as a vote rigging by legislation or by outright frauds) may make the nation dysfunctional, leading to a renegation of existing order and a REVOLUTION may result. All existing orders and structures are overthrown, a few functional groups may be eliminated.

9- Two new countries (most likely a USA and another US of Brownies) may be formed from the old country retaining only a few of its previous functional groups (Nuclear forces will be retained for sure!).

The process is repeated again from step 1.

4. Signs of the end of a republic

“When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.”― Benjamin Franklin

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”
― Alexander Fraser Tytler

References:

[1]. https://survivaltricks.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/is-america-reaching-its-end-phase/

[2]. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Purge

[3]. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Revolution_Betrayed

[4]. https://www.historytoday.com/richard-cavendish/leon-trotsky-assassinated-mexico

[5]. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissolution_of_the_Soviet_Union

[6]. https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/10/is_democracy_doomed.html

[7]. https://www.vox.com/2016/12/9/13893044/trump-boeing-twitter-air-force-one-expensive-terrorism-nuclear

[8]. Trump wants to cancel Air Force One order from Boeing, https://money.cnn.com/2016/12/06/news/companies/trump-air-force-one-boeing/index.html

[9]. Trump Is Right To Attack The Cost Of Air Force One Replacement Program, https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielreed/2016/12/07/trumps-tweet-threatening-to-cancel-the-air-force-one-replacement-program-sends-many-messages/#5fd7eb5f3c2a

[10]. https://dailycaller.com/2018/02/27/trump-saves-1-4-billion-air-force-one/

[11]. President Trump Made an ‘Informal’ $3.9 Billion Air Force One Deal, http://time.com/5177594/donald-trump-boeing-air-force-one/

[12]. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/may/11/trump-vows-end-rip-offs-pharmacy-counter/

[13]. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5923347/Injured-woman-begged-people-NOT-call-ambulance-expensive.html

[14].https://jonathanturley.org/2018/06/29/family-hit-with-18000-bill-from-hospital-after-their-infant-was-given-a-brief-nap-and-released/comment-page-2/

[15]. https://jonathanturley.org/2018/05/15/oklahoma-woman-charged-15000-for-four-tiny-screws-by-hospital/

[16]. https://jonathanturley.org/2018/10/29/california-professor-charged-48329-for-allergy-tests-by-stanford-health-care/

[17]. The dark side of American democracy, https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csy0wp

[18]. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-american-economy-is-rigged/

[19]. https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-rule-of-the-uber-rich-means-tyranny-or-revolution/

Added after 2018 November 14:

Nationalism in the Middle East:

United States Green Beret, Terry Schappert, Master Sergeant (ret) 82nd Airborne Division Special Forces, tells a compelling story on how democracies could better protect their citizens from terrorists:

… I’ve spent a lot of my life – almost 25 years – in the Middle East. I’ve lived with Arabs. I’ve trained their soldiers, I’ve fought with them, bled with them, I’ve watched them die. I was a Green Beret medic; I’ve delivered their babies, I’ve pulled their teeth, I’ve inoculated their farm animals. You’ve got to understand them, how these folks think. They’re worried about their family, their clan and their tribe. They don’t have a national identity. That’s why it’s such a hard sell. And most Middle Eastern countries are either kingdoms or theocracies or dictatorships, because you have to crush them — clans and tribes — to hold them together.

Fast forward to the guys who are living here in the West … the killers, not the regular Islamic people. What do they care about? They hate the country they live in. What they care about is their family; they care about that group.

So any time any of these guys does this (act of terrorism) their whole family should get picked up and deported, back to the country of their origin. …

You take from them what they care about and it would slow them down, if not stop them.

[20]. https://www.spectator.com.au/2018/11/deport-the-terrorists-and-their-families-too/

[21]. https://wentworthreport.com/2018/11/14/deport-the-terrorists-and-their-families-too/

A seemingly unexpected story is making the rounds on NPR about how the Communist Party of China has supposedly had to crack down on the student activist groups popularly known as “Young Marxists”, with the report stating that their grassroots efforts to reform the country’s current variant of communism have put them on a collision course with the authorities.

[22]. https://www.globalresearch.ca/chinas-conundrum-what-to-do-about-the-young-marxists/5660708

[23]. https://counterinformation.wordpress.com/2018/11/23/chinas-conundrum-what-to-do-about-the-young-marxists/

[24]. https://chrisrodley.com/2017/05/27/karl-marxs-great-great-great-grandson-is-doing-parkour-outside-mcdonalds/

[25]. https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/11/30/foreboding-fbi-raids-home-of-clinton-foundation-whistleblower/

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The Parasites of Western Economy, Part 12: Local councilors and their self-granted benefits.

The Parasites of Western Economy, Part 12: Local councilors and their self-granted benefits.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

Click here for a full, up to date ORIGINAL ARTICLE and to help fighting the stealing of readers’ traffic.

(Blog No. … ).

The Parasites of Western Economy, Part 12: Local councilors and their self-granted benefits.

#parasite, #local council, #oversea junket, #misspending, #budget over-run,

Advanced Western countries (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many EU countries) have multilayered governments. Governments at the lowest level in that hierarchy are the Local Governments. They are responsible with all matters not delegated to their higher governments.

Typical local governments (such as in Victoria, Australia) are called the Local Councils, they are responsible for the following matters:
Rubbish removal service, Local roads and parks maintenance, Running primary and secondary schools, library service, local hospitals.
They are expressly excluded in the following matters: Foreign Affairs, Defense, All matters delegated to Federal and State governments.

The systems in other advanced Western countries are similar.

Any government in the World obtains its money from taxes imposed on its citizens. However citizens have the herd mentality and are often unconcerned that their money may be in the wrong hands. This sets the scene for parasites to come in and suck the communal treasury. [1-12]

1. The runaway Local governments.

Local Councils are currently not audited and their spending are open to abuse. The budget of any Council can be easily siphoned by:

1a- Excessive costs of “external consultancy” on projects. Councilor candidates should have declared their expertise on projects promised to constituents before standing as candidates for elected offices and external consultancy should not be but have been used as a shield to hide incompetence of elected representatives. [13-21]

1b- Unnecessary expensive costs granted by Councilors to themselves for oversea “study trips” (Councilors should have learned about the costs of their promises before standing as candidates for election). Councilors love going on oversea study trips. Those oversea study trips if necessary should have been delegated to professional specialist employees of Council. [22-32]

1d- Non-transparent tendering on approved project.

1e- Unacceptable accounting method lumping significant costs under the headings “others” to hide specific spending items from tax payers. (The heading “others” in any accounting report should only be used just to avoid its overcrowding, by reducing any of its long lists of competing significant items to less than 10 items long).

2. Reform to Local Government are needed.

Residents have cried out for reform to local governments. The following points should be addressed by any reform:

2a. Taxes (also called rates) by local government should be based on service provided. Currently the collection of Council taxes (also called rates) is capped by a percentage on the values of property (land and houses).

2b- Councils are responsible for the following core activities:

Rubbish removal service, Local roads and parks maintenance, Primary and secondary schools, library service, local health offices.[33]

2c- Each Local Council must have functioning information office at town hall and website for residents to follow its activities and register their objections to its actions.

2d. Issues affecting residents significantly (including major and costly projects) must be made public for significant time through Council information office and website.

2e- Councilors must vote in public by show of hands in meeting at their respective town halls on issues affecting residents significantly (including major projects) but the latter have to be made public. Such decisions should be made subjected to revocation by more than 50% of voting residents registering objection by internet within 4 weeks. [34]

2f- Councils can only have recurrent budget items covering the salaries and expenses on their core activity categories specified in 2b.

2g- Any intended spending on all other activities must be publicized, discussed and approved in public meetings as specified by 2e.

Study costs, especially oversea trips for Councilors (who should have learned about their policy promises before standing up for election) should be banned as elected office holders should not be able to grant “benefits” to themselves. [35-36]

2h- Project spending should be carried out with transparent public tenders.

2i- Councilor candidates must declare their expertise on projects promised to constituents before standing for elected office and external consultancy costs to Council on those promises must be revealed.

As a consequence, a candidate would have to say:

If elected I will pay $1M dollars to get a consultant to give us the price to build a Taj Mahal for the Town Hall

instead of

If elected I will spend $10M dollars to build a Taj Mahal for the Town Hall.

2j- Records of all previous election promises at all elections of each councilor candidate must be declared.

2k- A higher government (such as State government in Australia) should audit Council Budgets annually. This audit should reveal activities which are inefficient or are outside the authorized responsibilities of Councils.

3. Examples of run-away Councils.

3a- Councils now have little idea on how to do its core business of garbage collection and dealing with recyclable wastes. [37]

3b- A local council spend money to promote LGBT in the referendum. This is a human rights issue which is for the Federal government to solve.[38]

The ratepayers of Moreland will be astonished to learn that the council is considering spending their hard-earned dollars in support of Russian punk protest band Pussy Riot. This is a human rights issue which is for the Federal government to solve.[39]

3c- Council of Marybyrnong keep the expensive practice of replanting kerbside trees every few years near its Footscray Library.

3d- Council of Brimsbank spent large amount of money to erect a temporary luxury huts promoting “green houses” on Hampshire Road in August-September 2018.

3e- Bayside Council runs its own bus services. [40-41]

3f- Councils running City sisterhood with oversea cities.[42]

Fortunately, the NSW government will crack down on council travel junkets. Under the overhaul, councils will have to disclose what is spent on sister city trips

4. Conclusions.

4a- Reforms to Local Governments are urgently needed.

4b- Every citizen has to be vigilant and report to the higher, supervising Government any cheating he can see at Local Government level. Only by doing so he can avoid being turned into a tax-donkey provider for those cheats. Citizenry must also actively participate in politics to prevent corrupt politicians from turning local tax (also called rate) money into honey pots for themselves and Councilor Offices as their incubator. First hand contact with them will show you their unbounded greed and their contempt for tax payers.

References:

[1]. Investigation into the alleged improper conduct of councillors at Brimbank City Council, https://www.ombudsman.vic.gov.au/Publications/Parliamentary-Reports/Investigation-into-the-alleged-improper-conduct-of

[2]. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-02-27/council-sacked-over-cost-blow-out/1055950

[3]. Council spending: Staff wages blow out council spending costs …, Sunday Herald Sun. May 12, 2018 9:00pm, https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/staff-costs-blow-out-by-500m-and-take-bigger-share-of-councils-spending/news-story/911e5c5c1c363fc569b48538deb79cc7

[4]. https://geelongindy.com.au/news/26-10-2018/bureaucratic-cost-blowout-threatens-chilwell-ps-project/

[5]. https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/fremantle/fremantle-artwork-removal-costs-blow-out-tenfold-ng-b88931008z

[6]. https://m.northernstar.com.au/news/sculpture-blowout-to-cost-council/2318559/

[7]. https://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/gold-coast/gold-coast-city-council-coast-blowout-blamed-for-delay-in-nerang-park-light-installation/news-story/f955e31259a126d73b952e4658c49855

[8]. https://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/north/darebin-council-projects-delayed-with-2m-cost-blowout/news-story/6b48ccde5f0ae2abb93f21c086d1df8f

[9]. https://i.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/104219388/council-tried-to-keep-multimilliondollar-christchurch-town-hall-budget-blowout-quiet

[10]. https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201861321/auckland-council-criticised-from-within-over-budget-blowout

[11]. https://www.zdnet.com/article/brisbane-lord-mayor-blasts-technologyone-for-au60m-contract-blowout/

[11b]. https://www.smh.com.au/technology/brisbane-city-council-it-contract-faces-potential-60-million-blowout-20170125-gtygbh.html

[11c]. https://www.cio.com.au/article/613210/brisbane-city-council-tech-project-faces-possible-60m-blow-out/

[11d]. https://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/news/what-melbourne-councillors-claim-as-expenses-funded-by-ratepayers/news-story/4c1fc9a3f4611f7d9e969ec0694ae4d6
[12]. https://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/north-west/maribyrnong-councillor-sarah-carter-spends-100-a-week-on-phone-bill/news-story/e1313c18dc6f1746dd6ec42db658abf7
[13]. https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/government-spending-on-consultants-blows-out-by-250m-auditor-20171222-h09bso.html

[14]. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4874478/cornish-council-75000-poldark-pasties/

[15]. https://www.consultancy.uk/news/13514/st-albans-council-spends-12-million-on-consultants

[16]. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1210682/Haringey-council-spent-24m-consultants-failing-save-Baby-P.html

[17]. https://thestandard.org.nz/auckland-council-it-blowout-guest-post/

[18]. https://i.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/97201238/consultant-costs-drive-34-million-christchurch-city-council-overspend-on-personnel

[19]. https://i.stuff.co.nz/business/104922841/Govt-blames-public-servant-cap-for-blowout-in-consultant-costs-to-550m-a-year

[20]. https://www.news.com.au/national/victoria/8300-research-trip-for-arch-called-the-springvale-asian-gateway/news-story/513d52517dc3ea8a1d734e8e9e553fe5

[21]. https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/melbourne-city-council-budget-2017-spending-rates-bonanza-replacing-roads-with-parks-and-malls-20170504-gvyl0u.html

[22]. https://vexnews.wordpress.com/2009/03/12/no-comment-melbourne-greedy-greens-party-councillor-stonewalls-over-junkets/

[23]. https://www.heraldsun.com.au/ipad/we-pay-for-more-than-1-million-council-junkets/news-story/4cbbaf2652d30269bcc1c2267ec7bfe8

[24]. https://www.bordermail.com.au/story/5234712/mayor-wants-permit-to-fly-on-asia-junket-to-help-create-jobs/

[25]. https://www.theherald.com.au/story/5552345/debate-over-lake-councils-35000-international-study-tour/

[26]. https://www.smh.com.au/national/no-junkets-lord-mayor-packs-his-bags-for-trips-20091102-htgu.html

[27]. https://www.thechronicle.com.au/news/council-should-consider-taking-taxpayers-japan-tri/3148138/

[28]. https://www.thechronicle.com.au/news/council-reveals-destination-fifth-overseas-trip/3175149/

[29]. Council defends overseas ‘junkets’
http://www.pressreader.com/australia/the-chronicle8992/20140212/281908771038726

[30]. https://www.couriermail.com.au/queensland-ratepayers-forking-out-for-councillors-global-junkets/news-story/f4a4782b76dba20228631b433a8b02ea

[31]. VICTORIAN councils are splashing ratepayers’ money on overseas “junkets” instead of focusing on local issues, https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/melbourne-councils-under-fire-for-asia-junket-spending/news-story/bc7ec9b5b63991dc43f1cc09a0bcdd44

[32]. https://fremantlereform.com/council-cof/cost-of-fremantle-mayors-rate-payer-funded-junket-doubles/

[33]. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-19/queensland-council-recycling-dump-to-start-nationwide-reaction/9673370

[34]. https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/melbournes-most-secretive-council-under-fire-20160622-gpp36m.html

[35]. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6172283/Council-Melbourne-staff-spent-330-000-taxpayer-funds-trips-year.html

[36]. https://www.bordermail.com.au/story/5234712/mayor-wants-permit-to-fly-on-asia-junket-to-help-create-jobs/

[37]. https://fremantlereform.com/council-cof/councils-costly-world-tour-for-rubbish-junkets-continues/

[38]. https://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/north-west/marriage-equality-moreland-council-flies-rainbow-flag/news-story/334d4b8073f79d045a27ace7e93920e0

[39]. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/more-stupid-council-waste/news-story/620156e34af89e0299a6e8675cf35134

[40]. https://www.bayside.vic.gov.au/news/commuter-bus-trial

[41]. https://www.opendemocracy.net/neweconomics/why-has-the-government-just-banned-councils-from-running-their-own-buses/

[42]. https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/nsw-councils-to-disclose-full-cost-of-sister-city-trips-in-travel-junket-crackdown/news-story/5e36c4d99a56f89c55d3672c190f7032

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The Parasites of Western Economy, Part 10: Greedy politicians overpaid with our tax money.

The Parasites of Western Economy, Part 9: Over-chargers for unfamiliar types of service.

The Parasites of Western Economy, Part 8: Body Corporate robbing owners of low cost dwellings.

The Parasites of Western Economy, Part 7: Providers of invented inefficient service from tax money.

The Parasites of Western Economy, Part 6B: Robbers of pension money in Australia.

The Parasites of Western Economy, Part 6: Robbers of pension money in Australia.

The Parasites of Western Economy, Part 5: Company Asset Strippers and Conspirators posted on 13 August 2017 ,

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EU voted to ban single use plastic items.

#plastic, #pollution,

The EU has voted to ban single use plastic items from 2021. [1, 2]

This is a sensible move. Single-use items such as drink straws, plastic cups, plastic food trays are the major causes of plastic pollution.

On the other hand, the ban on plastic shopping bags in Australia is misguided as it causes more disruption than its worth [3].

References

[1]. European Parliament votes for ban on single-use plastic, DW

[2]. European Parliament backs ban on single-use plastics, starting from 2021, abc news

[3]. https://survivaltricks.wordpress.com/2018/07/18/misguided-untimely-ban-on-supermarket-thin-plastic-shopping-bags/

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Sharpening a knife

Sharpening a knife.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

Click here for a full, up to date ORIGINAL ARTICLE and to help fighting the stealing of readers’ traffic.

(Blog No. 1xx).

To be self-sufficient a person using any knife should know how to keep his tool sharp.

It is actually more involving than it appears and some people can not sharpen their tools while some other can do it extremely well. This blog gives an explanation to all this mystery.

Sharpening a knife.

#knife sharpening, #grinding stone, #aluminum oxide, #silicon carbide, #grinding stroke

1. Knowing the original capability of the tool.

The makers of tools usually know quite well how to bring out the best capabilities of their tools, a user can rarely bring any tool to a better state than provided by its maker when new.

For this reason it would be futile for the owner of a kitchen knife to attempt to make it as sharp as an expensive razor blade. If it can be done, the maker of the knife would have done it to advertise his products.

2. The material of a knife determines its practical sharpness.

2a- The sharpness of a knife depends on its materials. The materials of the knife blades are mostly metals. Any metal is made up of grains which adhere together firmly and closely. Atoms inside each grain arrange themselves into geometric pattern fitting the chemical bond configuration of the metal. The arrangement of atoms in each grain determines all (including physical) properties of that grain (For example, in one arrangement each atom may have twelve closest neighboring atoms while in another arrangement each may have only eight neighbors.). The bond configuration depends on and may even change drastically with the introduction of foreign (solute) atoms into the host (solvent) atoms of the grains. The change from one arrangement into another of atoms in a grain is called a phase transformation by metallurgists.

When metal solidifies multitude of crystallization centers form simultaneously and they are randomly oriented. Each crystallization center gives rise to one grain. The boundary of each grain is where its orientation is terminated by meeting different orientations from neighbor grains.

2b- If the grains cannot be shaped, cut and cannot adhere together to hold the shape of a thin edge then no thin knife edge can be formed. If the grains of a knife blade deform, crack easily or don’t adhere together there is no way of making a sharp edge for the knife. The boundaries between grains in a metal are the weak points of that metal. Cracks in a metal usually develop and propagate along grain boundaries. Corrosion also begins at grain boundaries.

2c- Any knife blade made of a single grain would be stronger and more corrosion resistant but it is uneconomical to make such knives from single large grains. Practical knife blades are made of metal with multitude of randomly oriented tiny grains. Finer grains give blades with better resistance to cracking.

2d- If the grains of a knife edge are heterogeneous then the blade can crack easily: Cast iron has heterogeneous grains and it is very hard to make any good cutting edge out of cast iron.

2e- When tougher grains of steel are gouged by the sharp particles of a grinding wheel their debris fly off at higher speeds. For this reason, high strength carbon steels give off the longest sparks when ground by a grinding wheel while mild steel and cast iron give off shorter sparks. For carbon steels knives it can be said that only blades that give off long sparks can make sharp knives (This observation does not apply to stainless steel knives as stainless steel debris don’t burn in air to make sparks).

2f- If the grains are flattened in the same plane as the knife edge then they can adhere together better: Forged knives hold their sharpness better than non-forged knives.

3. Application to the proper usage and care of knives.

Do not leave sharp kitchen knives made of high-carbon steel wet. Corrosion by water can damage it overnight resulting in the cutting edge being serrated.

Do let knife blades be heated to hotter than the temperature of boiling water or the temperature for causterization. Heating a knife edge may upset the structures of the grains in the blade. Razor blades are most susceptible to degradation by heat and will certainly become dull if heated by a naked flame. (High speed steel is the exception, its strength is not reduced even after it has been temporarily heated to high temperature. )

4. Sharpening of a knife edge.

The sharpening of a knife requires adherence to the following rules:

4a- Preserve the original shapes angles of the knives. The angles of the sharp edges have been chosen by the knife makers to give optimal sharpness and durability: Thin razor blades are sharp but are not impact resistant, thick axe blades are not that sharp but are impact resistant.

4b- When sharpening a knife blade, the grains of the sharpening stone should be finer than the required thin edge of the blade.

4c- All carbon and alloy steel tools can be ground and sharpened by Aluminum oxide sharpening stones.

4d- Quality alloy steel items (made of “tool steel” having higher hardness and can be used to cut other types of steel) such as “high speed steel” drill bits and lathe cutting bits should be sharpened by “silicon carbide” sharpening stones.

4e- Silicon carbide stones grinds ordinary steel much more slowly than Aluminium Oxide stones despite its grains of Silicon Carbide being harder than Aluminium Oxide. This is analogous to a 32 teeth/inch metal saw blade cutting wet timber much more slowly than a 6 teeth/ inch tree pruning blade

Applying higher pressure between a silicon carbide stone and the steel does not make the grinding any faster but make the binding matrix of the stone break and wear down the stone.

Therefore suitable (matching) type of grinding stones should be used for each type of steel.

4f- When proper sharpening stones are not available, they can be substituted by one of the following:

Any piece of hard stone with a flat surface with fine grain structure,

Any flat back of a hard ceramic tile.

Any flat bottom edges of ceramic drink cups or cooking bowls (however no lubricant should be used on these cups or bowls as it may contaminate food and drink prepared in them),

Any piece of abrasive paper wrapped around a firm flat surface.

4g- A liquid lubricant helps removing metal and stone debris from the grinding location and keep the grinding points cool. This makes faster grinding. Kerosene or light machine oil can be used as grinding, sharpening lubricant on proper sharpening stones. Using water as lubricant may cause corrosion on some types of steel.

4h. When sharpening the cutting edge of a knife by rubbing it against a stone that edge should be trailing behind the knife and kept at right angle to the direction of motion (the direction of the grinding stroke). Tiny grooves made at right angle to the cutting edge by this method of sharpening may serve as serration and may make the knife cut better.

Rubbing a block of cheese against a cheese grafter would give you some visualization of the effect of grinding steel grains against a sharpening stone.

Figure: Direction of grinding: The blade is rubbed against the sharpening stone by pulling it towards the user with his right hand; the small aluminium oxide sharpening stone is mounted on a flat plastic bar which is held by his left hand.

Figure: Direction of grinding: The blade is rubbed against the sharpening stone by pushing it away from the user with his right hand; the small aluminium oxide sharpening stone is mounted on a flat plastic bar which is held by his left hand.

4i. Pulling lengthwise the thin cutting edge of a sharp knife against a grinding stone will make it lose its shape and may destroy its toughness. Pulling lengthwise is only acceptable for axes and chopping knives with thick blades.

Pulling lengthwise against a sharpening stone may leave lengthwise grooves and lines of residual stress which may curl a thin blade.

4j. Circular grinding motion may be a compromise motion for sharpening a long knife blade.

4k. Sharpening by a powered grinding wheel may bring the steel of the knife blade to too high a temperature and may change its material as well as creating residual stresses in it. High speed steel is again the exception.

5. Conclusion.

Sharpening a thin knife is not hard and is a satisfying experience when adhering to all the above instructions.

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Full Circle: Lessons of the Lost City in the Sands of Time, by Doug “Uncola” Lynn

via Full Circle: Lessons of the Lost City in the Sands of Time, by Doug “Uncola” Lynn

Comment by tonytran2015:

A really interesting story and there is an even older article by The Puzzler since 2008 April 25:

https://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/topic/124435-atlantis-found-by-me-in-the-sahara/

It is fun to read but if that place was really some city there would have been archaeological remains. 

The Parasites of Western Economy, Part 11: Vulture Funds

The Parasites of Western Economy, Part 11: Vulture Funds

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

Click here for a full, up to date ORIGINAL ARTICLE and to help fighting the stealing of readers’ traffic.

(Blog No. … ).

As the Central Banks of major countries sent interest rates to zero or even negative values, people in those countries had to take their retirement savings out of Government Bonds and they had been tempted into sending their money into the Stock Markets of their respective countries. The people are not verse in calculating return and risks so they may grab any “established names” on the Stock Exchange and pay outrageous prices for them only to find out that they had bought “Trojan horses”.

There are Vulture Funds who live off that ignorance and float the old loss making companies (called here Zombies companies) into the markets and do creative accounting tricks to hide the losses (for few years only). Those buying the Zombies at Initial Public Offer (IPO) usually lose most or significant parts of their money right after the contracts have been signed!

This blog reveals the tricks of selling Zombies on the Stock Exchanges.

#restructured company, #float, #zombie float, #zombie company, #IPO, #time-bomb loan

1. Outline of the tricks.

Company directors usually hide the assets from shareholders making them selling out their shares cheaply to vulture funds. Vulture funds then control those target companies, de-list them from the Stock Exchange, take away all profitable parts. Vulture funds then bind predatory, time-bomb loans to those target companies leaving them with just a bare chance of survival (even in the fairest weather) for the coming 3 years. Vulture funds then re-float target companies (already bound to time-bomb loans) by IPO’s on the Stock Markets as “revamped companies” but they are actually Zombie Companies.

The latter are financial traps for inexperienced Stock Markets investors. After 3 years, most Zombie companies would fail due to predatory loans from their own (Vulture Funds) floaters. As creditors, the Vulture Funds again would come in to take possession of most assets of Zombie Companies.

2. Details of the tricks.

1. A Vulture fund buys a long suffering loss making target company for next to nothing. It usually buys the target company when it goes into liquidation by insolvency.

2. Vulture fund sacks most low level employees. They would lose their job anyway by the liquidation. The company then ceases trading for few months.

3. The company books are then scanned for any realizable, significant assets for the Vulture fund to take.

4. Vulture fund draws up a predatory (lob-sided) management contract between the newly acquired target company with one of its subsidiary companies (a debt collecting company disguised as a management company). The management contract is an irrevocable, very expensive management for the target company. If the target company survive it has to pay very expensive management fees to the subsidiary of the Vulture fund.

(As management fees to another company at expensive rate are not classified as a debt, the restructured company is now debt free except for an expensive loan used as working capital. The irrevocable management contract just keeps sending money to the other company (debt collecting disguised as management company) whether the management is effective or not. The contract is effectively an obligatory debt repayment scheme but is OFF the BALANCE SHEET.)

5. Vulture fund provides a thin working capital to the acquired target company from an expensive, predatory, time-bomb loan from his other company (debt collecting disguised as management company). The loan is characterized by complex conditions such that prospective investors would not understand. The loan typically is locked in for decades and provides low interest for only 3 years, after that period interest rate will become exorbitant. This kind of loan is called time-bomb loan and is designed to bankrupt the target company.

6. New low level employees are hired and the target company with long established name re-open its doors for trading (in a way which is precarious but is hard to be noticed by prospective investors).

7. The company is then called “restructured” and floated on the Stock Exchange for naive, unwary investors to buy in.

8. The money from new investors helps paying back the loans from the Vulture fund and will make installments to pay the management fees (which are actually installments to pay off an additional debt to the schemer). (Most capital raised from the float of the zombie will be used to repay the loan for working capital and then sent to the “debt collecting disguised as management company” over the time.)

9. The target company usually go bankrupt after a short while of 3 years. The finance subsidiary of the Vulture fund that lend working capital to the target company then comes in as a creditor to claim most assets of the target company.

(The director of the zombie company is untouchable by any company law or security law as the management fault lies with the management company (outside his control) but he cannot revoke the management contract.)

3. Illustration by an every day example.

If someone got a wrecked car from a yard, refit it with an engine (on an expensive hire purchase plan from him) and sell it to you. Would you buy that car?

But why do you let your Pension Funds, Superannuation Funds buy the zombie companies on your behalf?

4. Well known Zombie floats.

Sears in USA is a typical case in USA. [3, 4]

The better known cases of zombie floats from the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) are:

The Dick Smith Electronic Company (2015) [5, 6],

The Myers Company (2009) [7, 8].

The floating of the zombies does make the Stock Exchange look like an arena for rigged games where novice investors are ripped off by Vulture Funds.

5. Conclusions.

1. Investors should stay well clear of any “revamped company” floated by some Vulture Funds or Private Equities.

Investors have to check the trading records for the preceding three years of the floated company even if it is traded on the Stock Exchange.

A new float of an old company may be very risky as only the company name is established while the management and operation are totally untested. Investors are buying into only a dream, the dream may turn out to be a nightmare.

Any management contract of the floated company to any external company must be examined in details (How much fee per year, for how many year, whether it is revocable, what are the required termination conditions). The conditions are usually hard to obtained from any such prospectus. For this reason alone, any such float should be avoided.

Investors have to find out if the floater of the new float has a reputation in floating successful companies after claimed “restructuring”. Some floaters are known for only floating non-viable companies.

On the only basis of transparency, I would avoid any float of “restructured companies” [9, 10].

2. A reform on company laws is needed.

Vulture Funds should be regulated differently from other companies and banks. They should not be allowed to float company with locked in management contracts and with loans from their related companies.

References.

[1]. Avoid-buying-zombie-floats-on-the-stock-exchanges

[2]. The Parasites of Western Economy, Part 5: Company Asset Strippers and Conspirators

Vulture Fund kills Sears

[3]. https://riggedgame.blog/2018/10/17/sears-didnt-die-vulture-capitalists-killed-it/

[4]. https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5bc4b346e4b0bd9ed55c8a58?utm_source=nextdraft&utm_medium=email

[5]. dick smith blames-private-equity-owners-greed-for-collapse, http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-06/dick-smith-blames-private-equity-owners-greed-for-collapse/7069604

[6]. dick-smith-class-action-ready-to-launch, au.wordpress.com/business/breaking-news/dick-smith-class-action-ready-to-launch/news

[7]. https://www.crikey.com.au/2010/03/18/myer-over-priced-as-shareholders-find-out-the-hard-way/

[8]. http://www.smh.com.au/business/lessons-from-the-myer-float-flop-20091102-ht8c.html

[9]. the-private-equity-giants-the-greek-target-and-a-trojan-horse, October 28, 2015

[10]. report-says-big-buyouts-are-likelier-to-default, date 05Nov2009

FINANCIERS ARE USUALLY PREDATORS

[11]. https://business.financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/us-charges-malaysian-financier-in-money-laundering-scheme

RELEVANT MONEY Blogs

The Parasites of Western Economy, Part 10: Greedy politicians overpaid with our tax money.

The Parasites of Western Economy, Part 9: Over-chargers for unfamiliar types of service.

The Parasites of Western Economy, Part 8: Body Corporate robbing owners of low cost dwellings.

The Parasites of Western Economy, Part 7: Providers of invented inefficient service from tax money.

The Parasites of Western Economy, Part 6B: Robbers of pension money in Australia.

The Parasites of Western Economy, Part 6: Robbers of pension money in Australia.

The Parasites of Western Economy, Part 5: Company Asset Strippers and Conspirators posted on 13 August 2017 ,

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Sears Didn’t ‘Die.’ Vulture Capitalists Killed It.

Sears is a prime example of how hedge funds and private equity companies take over retailers and gradually bleed them dry for their own benefit. By Robert Kuttner and cross-posted from Huffington Post

via RIGGED GAME, https://riggedgame.blog/2018/10/17/sears-didnt-die-vulture-capitalists-killed-it/

Comment by tonytran2015:

Company directors usually hide the assets from shareholders making them selling out their shares cheaply to vulture funds. Vulture funds then control those target companies, delist them from the Stock Exchange, take away all profitable parts. Vulture funds then make contract for predatory loans to those target companies giving them just a bare chance of survival in the fairest weather for about 3 years. Vulture funds then refloat target companies by IPO’s on the Stock Markets as “revamped companies” but they are actually Zombie Companies.

The latter are financial traps for inexperienced Stock Markets investors. After 3 years, most Zombie companies would fail due to predatory loans from their own (Vulture Funds) floaters. As creditors, the Vulture Funds again would come in to take possession of most assets of Zombie Companies.

Investors should stay well clear of any “revamped company” floated by some Vulture Funds or Private Equities.

Avoid-buying-zombie-floats-on-the-stock-exchanges

The Parasites of Western Economy, Part 5: Company Asset Strippers and Conspirators

The parasites of Western economy part 11: Vulture funds

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Green Energy storage: Why not liquid air?

Green Energy storage: Why not liquid air?

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

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(Blog No. … ).

Green Energy storage: Why not liquid air?

#green energy, #storage, #liquid air, #lithium ion,

Solar energy is green but is available mostly around noon. Storing this energy for later use in the evening is a problem. Australian goverments (Victorian and South Australian in particular) are pushing for Lithium Ion battery technology, that is quite an expensive way for household energy storage. (Remember that Lithium Ion batteries were developed for the expensive weight averting laptops and smart phones and need replacement every few years).

Figure: A bloated exhausted Li-Ion battery from a smart phone.

Surprisingly no mention is made of an obvious established energy storage technology using liquid air (that had been shown in some scientific experiment from Holland documented in some films shown prior to 1980). That method was to efficiently make liquid air and store it until it is evaporated into air to run an air turbine producing electricity.

The past policies of Australian Federal Government on government subsidized pink batt thermal insulation, government subsidized Gas conversion for cars, “poor subsidizing rich” installation of domestic solar panels [1] have all been laughable financial failures. Governments subsidized Lithium Ion batteries (which are still expensive and have only few years of usable lives) may be another financial failure even more spectacular than those three previous failures on energy policies.

As with any infrastructure project, the governments concerned should provide convincing arguments for its choice of Lithium Ion technology over competing technologies such as Liquid Air Energy Storage, which is being tested for grid scale storage [2, 3] or reversible hydro-electric generation. Otherwise the choice of Lithium Ion batteries seems to be just another contract for “the boys”.

References.

[1].

[2]. Grid-Scale Liquid Air Energy Storage Plant Is Launched, Sonal Patel, 08/01/2018, https://www.powermag.com/grid-scale-liquid-air-energy-storage-plant-is-launched/

[3]. ‘Liquid Air’ Technology Offers Prospect Of Storing Energy For The Long Term, https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikescott/2018/06/08/liquid-air-technology-offers-prospect-of-storing-energy-for-the-long-term/#66b12daf622f

ENERGY DENSITY AND COSTS.

[4]. https://chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/1342/whats-the-energy-density-of-liquid-nitrogen

[5]. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_air

[6]. http://thermopedia.com/content/553/

[7]. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enthalpy_of_vaporization

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Some Australian Politicians rely on foreign influence and immigrants.

Some Australian Politicians rely on foreign influence and migrants.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

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(Blog No. … ).

The fundamental role of politicians is to govern. Now politicians are only a bunch of self-serving propagandists being incompetent at governing. They sell out the existing populations (whose people they are sworn to serve) of their respective nations (Russia, India and Japan may be the lucky exception) for their own individual or familial benefits. They are now using mass-immigration and foreign influence in treacherous ways to hide their incompetence in governing like heroine addicts using heroine to solve every of their problem.

Some Australian Politicians rely on foreign influence and migrants.

#immigration, #heroine of politicians, #corruption, #foreign influence,

1. Immigrants are good growing constituents to politicians.

Politicians who take immigrants into a country will be likely to have the votes of their children in the future. As immigrants are mostly from poor countries with high birth rates the number of their constituents will grow very fast if the immigrants keep their habits of having many children.

This is primarily why politicians like having immigrant constituents and they just keep coming back for more. The cycle is self-reinforcing. [1, 2]

2. Receiving financial benefits from foreign sources.

Politicians now don’t feel obliged to balance national incomes and expenses in national budgets. They would rather let their election rely on migrants and support from the old home countries of those migrants [3-9]. Some even plan to work for those foreign countries after leaving their elected positions.

It looks like those politicians are using immigrants to grow their own influence with the old countries of the immigrants. It is natural to expect that they will gradually work full time for those pay masters !

The whole thing looks like politicians are selling out their nation to make their own fortunes.

3. Foreign influence is inevitable

The cosy relationship between politicians and large group of immigrants and their old countries will inevitably lead to foreign influence issues [10-14].

4. Conclusions.

Politicians should be subjected to transparency requirements on their finance and daily conducts while in office plus many years after and should also be banned from working as lobbyists for few years after leaving office.

References:

A CHINESE community association chaired by a Labor MP will develop a new aged care facility after the Andrews Government tipped in $2.5 million. The taxpayer-funded boost has sparked concern from …

[1]. https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/chinese-community-council-of-australias-victorian-branch-given-25-million-government-boost/news-story/e12b7e28556fc683da8311d0d6771f61

[2]. https://twitter.com/theheraldsun/status/1049246099406565376

[3]. https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/labor-mp-filed-documents-for-billionaire-alp-donors-chinese-business-association-20170618-gwtg5b.html

[4]. https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/this-sitting-labor-mp-has-been-cultivated-by-chinese-intelligence-20180627-p4znzp.html

[5]. https://www.smh.com.au/interactive/2017/chinas-operati

[6]. https://www.businessinsider.com.au/category/sam-dastayari

[6b]. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jun/05/sam-dastyari-contradicted-south-china-sea-policy-a-day-after-chinese-donors-alleged-threat

[6c]. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/12/world/australia/sam-dastyari-resigns-china.html

[6d]. http://newsroom.uts.edu.au/news/2014/04/bob-carr-lead-new-uts-australia-china-institute

[6e]. https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/foreign-minister-kevin-rudds-1-million-power-trip/news-story/53f83e53ef72935ca6e9b120f4e30218

[6f]. http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-05/why-is-rudd-using-weibo-to-slam-turnbulls-china-policies/9726756?pfmredir=sm

[6g]. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5136643/Kevin-Rudd-calls-Malcolm-Turnbull-step-down.html

[6h]. https://www.afr.com/news/politics/world/diplomats-frozen-out-kevin-rudds-curious-meeting-with-donor-chau-chak-wing-20180524-h10ho8

[6i]. https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/kevin-rudd-quietly-met-chau-chak-wing-in-china-20180524-p4zh99.html

[7]. https://www.afr.com/news/nsw-labor-mp-fails-to-declare-company-directorship-alongside-china-donor-20160908-grbsgq

[8]. https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2017/12/labor-follows-dastayari-chinese-trap/

[8b]. https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/labor-has-a-cancer-growing-in-it-that-must-be-cut-out-20180218-p4z0q4.html

[9]. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/foreign-affairs/mps-on-both-sides-go-to-billionaire-huang-xiangmos-party/news-story/48005965f389fb34d37f37926ee07bf2

Concern on foreign influence.

[10]. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-05/asio-china-spy-raid/8589094

[11]. https://www.smh.com.au/interactive/2017/chinas-operation-australia/hard-power.html

[12]. https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/abr-online/current-issue/4663-david-brophy-reviews-silent-invasion-china-s-influence-in-australia-by-clive-hamilton

[13]. https://www.afr.com/news/sam-dastyari-linked-to-chinese-patriotic-force-group-20160906-gra417

[14]. https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/foreign-interference-laws-chinese-russian-state-media-will-have-to-declare-as-foreign-agents-20171206-gzzyol.html

[15]. https://www.businessinsider.com.au/new-zealand-should-be-cut-from-five-eyes-over-china-influence-2018-5?r=US&IR=T

[16]. https://wentworthreport.com/2018/06/05/chinas-communist-party-has-so-much-power-in-new-zealand-that-western-countries-might-stop-sharing-intelligence/

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