Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Good Morning, America -- November 15, 2016


November 15, 2016: I love the "LoveTrumpsHate" protests. It makes it easier for "real" American students to increase the gap between the "cream of the crop" and the "slackers." While David Muir, ABC News, is focused on protests in Portland, the rest of the world goes on. Trump's doctrine: "America First" is an incredible doctrine. The US has the advantage in almost every sector, and that sector will continue to benefit with an "American First" doctrine. Here's another example. Though it pertains to the US only right now, it's not difficult to see the potential -- recall that GE bought French company Alstom's power division -- some call the best deal of the century. From SeekingAlpha:
  • General Electric signs up Exelon for a five-year contract to use its full software set to analyze and manage U.S. power plants, in GE's largest deployment in the power sector and one of the three largest sales of its Predix industrial operating system so far
  • EXC says it will use GE's Predix software and applications across its 91 power plants, which produce 32.7K MW and supply more than 10M customers, as well as software that analyzes the company's business performance and profitability
  • in initial uses, GE's technology has increased power plant efficiency by 3% and reliability by 5%, while cutting operating and maintenance costs by 25%
  • the companies did not disclose the value of the contract.
Original Post
Good morning, America! It is so much fun listening to folks trying to "walk back" their reporting (which they call "oppositional reporting") with regard to the presidential campaign election.

US retail sales jump more than forecast in broad advance! T+7.

Home Depot's sales beat analysts' estimates.

NASA, ATT to build national drone tracking system. Huge.

The Next Big Thing
Entrepreneurs Who Jump on Consequences of Legalizing Marijuana


November 19, 2016: Outrun Change is following this new issue. Quite fascinating. 

Original Post

The next big thing: entrepreneurs who realize that the insurance industry will police the marijuana laws. More and more "entities" (private companies, public companies, federal government) will start adopting the highly successful and decade-testing drug-testing programs the DOD has in place.

All active duty military -- regardless of job description -- are subject to random drug testing. The DOD mandates that "every" active duty military member must be tested every year. Because the system is entirely random, to ensure that "every" active duty military member is tested, random tests are done on a monthly basis, on a percentage of the force. The percentage adds up to well over 100% by the end of the year to ensure that everyone has been tested at least once. Because of the way the "randomness" is "random," I was often tested three or four times a year. There was nothing I detested more than being drug-tested (urinalysis). I did not mind the actual requirement -- it was just after being test three times in the same year, when my number came up the fourth time, I became a bit irritated.

But then I solved the problem. I took the day off. The "numbers" were called at 0700 (7:00 a.m.) on the random day of the month. Members were notified within 30 minutes had had to be in-place within another 30 minutes. Most folks were processed within two hours and were back at work by 9:00. Nothing -- absolutely nothing took precedence over drug testing. Surgeons canceled surgery. Pilots canceled sorties. Judges canceled trials. Once in the testing facility, one could not leave until one had provided the urine specimen.

And that was the "Catch-22" for me. I simply was "unable" (LOL) to provide a sample until about 5:00 p.m. Seriously. I took the books I wanted to read, and the office work that I wanted to work on, and set up shop. I found a desk, a chair, and starting reading and working. And never once got up to use the rest room. My commander could not reach me. I was on an island: no one could reach me and I had not reason to reach out to anyone (yes, we could use portable laptops -- though we didn't have them so much then, and we could use our cell phones) -- so I essentially took a day off. Reading, writing, and at 5:00 p.m. when the facility was pretty much empty, I found a male monitor (I had no trouble with female monitors, but there was some regulation ....), produced my specimen, and went home to dinner.

One can set the "threshold" for THC in the urine at any level the governing body wants. Alcohol clears the system in 24 hours. THC remains in the system indefinitely. The USAF set the threshold low enough that it could detect the "use" of a single marijuana cigarette up to 90 days after the event. The USAF chose 90 days because that was about the maximum length of time an active duty member might go on leave, though most members are not gone more than two weeks at a time.

Williston, ND, at the heart of the Bakken has several drug testing centers -- all private labs/companies. The trucking companies depend on them. I don't know if frack spreads or roughnecks are subject to drug testing. With the concerns about 18-wheelers across the US and subway operators in the northeast, there will be little push back on drug-testing a large percent of the population in the transportation sector. I assume airlines drug test, but I don't know. Life insurance companies are allowed to test for nicotine when applying premiums for smokers and non-smokers. They are also allowed to test for HIV.

The Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill 
Candice Millard
c. 2016

Wow, the first thing that hit me when reading the prologue was Trump's comment about John McCain being taken prisoner during the Vietnam War. Incredible.

It turns out that Winston Churchill, age 25, also the son of a prominent British citizen, Lord Randolph Churchill, a former Chancellor of the Exchequer and a member of the highest ranks of the British aristocracy, had also become a POW. Churchill had been captured by the Boers, in the Boer War, in late 1899 or early 1900, but unlike McCain, he escaped.

It looks like a fantastic book on "escape and evasion." During my time in the USAF, I was involved in many discussions and training sessions on "escape and evasion." I remember clearly the opportunity I had to drive with a USAF major, an aviator stationed in Germany with me, who had been among the latest POWs in the Vietnam War. He talked about his successful escape, and several weeks evading the enemy, as he tried to get back to South Vietnam. He did not succeed, was re-captured, and released some time later. I don't know the specifics, but I do remember much of what he talked about in terms of "escape and evasion." It will be interesting to hear about Winston Churchill's own capture and escape.

The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America 
Susan Faludi
c. 2007
DDS: 306.2FAL

Interestingly, the reason I got the Faludi book was to read about the Salem witch trials. It turns out that on pages 225 - 226, there is another "escape and evasion" story. This time it is about a "frontier' woman, March 15, 1697, who was captured by Native Americans during the French and Indian War. She escaped and "regaled" the General Court and leading citizens in Massachusetts with her story. I never expected that; I had picked up the book for other reasons.

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