Trump: ‘I’m never getting out’

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s presidential front-runner, made light of media headlines that ran with the idea he might drop out of the race if his polls ever tanked, telling a “Morning Joe” MSNBC panel: I’m never leaving, he joked.

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Trump referred to statements he made to the press about how he’d exit the race if his poll numbers tumbled dramatically, and poked fun at how the headlines read.

“The next-day headlines [read] ‘Trump considering maybe getting out,’” he said, on MSNBC. “It was so ridiculous. So you know what I say right now? I give more of a political answer. I’m never getting out.”

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His quip sent the panel into laughter.

But his comments come on the heels of recent polls that show he’s maintained his front-runner status, same as for the past few weeks.

“The Winner Always Has a Program”

Each week, Mr. Reed will relate the stories of people whose choices and actions make them heroes. See the table of contents for previous installments.

Baseless prejudice sooner or later meets its match when it runs into raw talent and indomitable willpower. Jackie Robinson proved it in baseball, as did Joe Louis in boxing and Jesse Owens in track.

In the world of tennis, the biggest winner of note was a black woman named Althea Gibson. Life’s victories don’t always go to the stronger or faster woman, to paraphrase an old adage, but Gibson demonstrated that sooner or later, the woman who wins is the one who thinks she can.

Gibson was three years old in 1930 when her family moved from a sharecropper’s shack on a cotton farm in South Carolina to New York City’s Harlem in search of a better life. At her elementary public school (with the uninspiring moniker, “PS 136”), playing hooky was her first love. “School was too confining and boring to be worthy of more than cameo appearances,” according to her biographers Francis Clayton Gray and Yanick Rice Lamb in Born to Win.

The Beaumont Country Club in Texas let her play its course but refused to permit her to use the clubhouse or the bathrooms.

When she wasn’t fidgeting in the classroom, Gibson was exploring the Big Apple — riding the subway, shooting hoops, sneaking into movie theaters, and beating the pants off anybody who dared to play her at ping-pong. At the age of 12 in 1939, she was New York City’s female table tennis champion, and tennis on the big courts beckoned. Her Harlem neighbors went door to door, raisin…

Voters shrug off ‘typical politician’ Jeb

(BLOOMBERG) Jeb Bush’s presidential prospects are not looking good in the two states that will cast the first votes of the 2016 election.

Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin and John Heilemann conducted simultaneous focus groups with Republicans in Iowa and New Hampshire on Monday, at a crucial juncture in the presidential race when horserace numbers show “outsider” candidates surging and a candidates prepare for a third televised debate just around the corner.

When asked to describe the former Florida governor, participants called the one-time front-runner an “underdog” and described his prospects as an “uphill battle.” Others described the candidate as “over-rated,” “typical politician,” “way out of touch” and “a lot of baggage.”

How Amazon Made Me Place 2,419 Orders

The last time I called customer service at Amazon, I was greeted by a cheerful employee who said, “Thank you for being a loyal Amazon customer. You have placed 2,419 orders with Amazon. How can I help you?”

My jaw dropped: 2,419 orders? I have been shopping at Amazon since 1997, but who knew then how Amazon would change our shopping habits?

My initial orders were for books, but Amazon anticipated that I and other consumers would be open to shopping for others things, too. Over the years, I’ve also bought televisions, computers, electric shavers, printer ink, shoes, food, and many other items from Amazon.

In Human Action, Ludwig von Mises writes,

The ultimate source of profits is always the foresight of future conditions. Those who succeeded better than others in anticipating future events and in adjusting their activities to the future state of the market reap profits because they are in a position to satisfy the most urgent needs of the public.

Amazon has saved me a lot of money. It has saved me hours of shopping time, gasoline, and wear and tear on my car. As crowded as roads are in urban areas, the growth of online shopping has made them less crowded, reducing automobile emissions. Perhaps I have avoided car accidents by shopping from home.

What is the secret behind the success of companies that serve consumers better than others? Perhaps it is empathy.

Because of Amazon, my light-selling book, The Inner-Work of Leadership,will be available indefinitely even if it sells only a couple of hundred copies a year. Had I to rely on traditional brick-and-mortar bookstores, my book would have long since become unavailable…

Why We’re Still Debating the Decades-Old Crude-Oil Ban

The decades-old ban on crude oil exports is anachronistic, completely disregards basic economics, and on top of it all, arguably makes gasoline more expensive for American motorists.

In early September, a House subcommittee voted to lift the US government’s ban on crude oil exports, which has been in place since the 1970s. The fact that we are even having this discussion shows just how crude (pun intended) public policy remains.

The Crude Oil Export Ban Is Anachronistic

Ludwig von Mises argued that the logic of interventionism could not stop short of full-blown socialism. Any isolated intervention — such as a price control on a particular product — would generate undesirable consequences, leading to further interventions.

The ban on crude exports sounds plausible to the man on the street for a simple reason: it forces producers to “keep oil here at home” for Americans to use, rather than selling it to foreigners.

We see this pattern in the case of oil. In response to the price surge in the 1970s surrounding the Arab oil embargo (and also, I would argue, Nixon’s decision to go off the gold standard), the US government enacted a complicated system of price controls with stringent caps on “old oil” produced from operations that were already established before the price controls. In a speech to the Brookings Institute last year, Harvard economist Larry Summers explained the connection between price controls and the crude oil export ban:

The reason we have a ban on crude oil exports in the United States is that in the 1970s when the price of oil spiked due to the formation and effective implementation of the OPEC cartel…we respond…

Matt Drudge unleashes: ‘I cannot be controlled’

Matt Drudge

Matt Drudge

Matt Drudge, of Drudge Report fame, emerged from the shadows for his first interview in eight years, taking to the television studios of Alex Jones from Infowars to talk corporate control, the power of the Internet and the state of America’s media, even dabbling in politics to suggest: Hillary Clinton is not good this nation.

He didn’t actually appear on camera, but stood in the back of the studio and allowed his voice to be heard on microphone.

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Jones introduced him as the “king” of getting stories into the global media, something “even the New York Times” credits him for accomplishing, he said.

And toward that, Drudge said his fierce independence has proven key.

“I don’t do social media,” Drudge said. “I was there before Facebook. I was there before … I have a very clear perception of what the Internet is. I’m not defined by what they say the Internet is. … There is a lot of corporate make-over of the Internet that I have not adapted to. … I need no traffic from Google.”

He also said: “I’m very concerned with what’s happening” insofar as the corporations controlling the media and the Internet and ultimately, the American people.

By way of example, Drudge asked: “Why aren’t we seeing Hillary’s lovers? Where is the news on this?”

At the same time, Drudge said, “I can’t be controlled. I cannot be controlled.”

He shortly after expressed concerned about the fate of America, saying “people are really sick,” and citing the country’s support for Clinton as one example.

“The Death of Free Speech: How Our Broken National Dialogue Has Killed the Truth and Divided America” examines how the news media has created arbitrary, biased and illogical rules for determining what can and cannot be said in the public arena.

“I’ve been saying they could put Hillary Clinton’s brain in a jar in the Oval Office and she would be elected,” he said. “People are sick. … People are willing to be made over in the image of these corporations. … I just wish Americans would get out of the sickness and become greater.” He later added, of Hillary: “She’s not a contender. They’re making her a contender with these propped up Saturday Night Live things. It’s like a head on a stick.”

And he questioned: Why do people stand for it?

“The Internet allows you to make your own dynamic, your own universe,” Drudge said. “What’s the difference between the websites, between a Slate or a Salon? … What’s the difference? It’s almost a tragedy.”

Drudge said: “I’m here to say … you’ve got to be the greatest you can be right now. … There’s not a lot of time [left]. There’s already automated news sites … there is no human there. You are being programmed to being automated … the same corporate glaze over everything.”

And his warning to America? Watch out for totalitarianism.

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“Don’t get into the false sense that you are an individual when you’re on Facebook. No you’re not,” he said. “You’re a pawn in their scheme.”

He also spoke of the presidential race, expressing pessimism.

“I’m pessimistic with this race,” Drudge said, “because I’m not sure it’s not going to end up with the dreaded brain in the jar in the Oval Office, once known as Hillary Clinton.”

Just in time for the 2016 election, hear Hillary Clinton say she would NOT run for president, in “Hillary Unhinged” by Thomas Kuiper

Drudge has followed the Clinton family and their political goings-on for years, and rose to national prominence for covering the Monica Lewinsky scandal, when other more mainstream media outlets dared not. And his assessment of the the Clintons?

“They’re ugly,” he said. “They play dirty. They sued me for $30 million last time around with the approval of the president … Hillary Clinton with the NSA – good luck if you dissent. … [Edward] Snowden, I’ll switch places with you.”

Snowden, a former contractor with the NSA, is living as a fugitive in Russia after he leaked information about the federal government’s surveillance program to the world.

Drudge credit Jones with independent reporting, and named others in the media who shared that badge of courage: Mark Levin, Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, among others, he said.

“I just wish there were more media that were trail-blazing and independent,” Drudge said, saying corporate-owned media “all seemed the same, and this is frightening.”

Uber’s Peaceful Revolution

Standing in the back of the main programming room at Uber headquarters, one looks across hundreds of focused employees with open browsers. They are following requests and rides in hundreds of cities around the world. The people making deals are connecting peer to peer. But there’s still more work to do. Uber employees are observing traffic flows, tweaking pricing, troubleshooting, testing new features, fixing issues, monitoring bandwidth, approving new drivers, and taking other actions to keep this five-year-old company growing.

Every driver needs a rider. Every rider needs a driver. Uber is there to make the connections in the most efficient way possible — and in a way that ensures everyone wins.

It’s a quiet office with a variety of open work spaces. The desks are six feet wide and pushed together in groups of three. Most employees use large-screen iMacs, with backup laptops that can be moved around to other work areas such as small conference spaces and even small cubbies cut into walls.

As you move through the office, you come across floor-to-ceiling screens with beautiful images of Uber traffic in cities around the world.

There is a low hum in the room, and most people speak softly. The work doesn’t seem grueling, but neither do you see displays of that wild-and-crazy eccentricity sometimes associated with edgy startups. Rather, the work just seems focused and intense, almost mission driven.

Most remarkable to me has been the politics of this peaceful revolution.

If you didn’t understand the political dynamics of what is happening here, you would entirely miss the awesome human drama that all this code is making possible. What’s happening is this: these people, quietly typing on their keyboards, are systematically sma…

Snowden willing to go to jail for return to U.S.

(ABC NEWS) Edward Snowden says he has offered to return to the United States and go to jail for leaking details of National Security Agency programs to intercept electronic communications data on a vast scale.

The former NSA contractor flew to Moscow two years ago after revealing information about the previously secret eavesdropping powers, and faces U.S. charges that could land him in prison for up to 30 years.

Snowden told the BBC that he’d “volunteered to go to prison with the government many times,” but had not received a formal plea-deal offer.

The Science Fiction of Scarcity

We all know the scene. The urbane starship captain steps up to the console and requests, “Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.” He waits a second or two until a steaming, perfectly brewed cup shimmers into existence.

From medieval dreams of the Land of Cockaigne, where roofs are shingled with pastries and roasted chickens fly into our waiting mouths, to the Big Rock Candy Mountain’s “cigarette trees” and “lemonade springs,” to Star Trek’s replicator, we have imagined the bright futures and the glorious new worlds that would give us instant abundance.

The “Tea. Earl Grey. Hot” type of scene is such a standby it even has its own parodies, where instant preference satisfaction is not exactly … satisfying.

He had found a Nutri-Matic machine which had provided him with a plastic cup filled with a liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.

The real miracle of the market is that it reliably supplies us, every day, with all the necessities.

The way it functioned was very interesting. When the Drink button was pressed it made an instant but highly detailed examination of the subject’s taste buds, a spectroscopic analysis of the subject’s metabolism, and then sent tiny experimental signals down the neural pathways to the taste centers of the subject’s brain to see what was likely to go down well. However, no one knew quite why it did this because it invariably delivered a cupful of liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea. (Douglas Adams, Restaurant at the End of the Universe)

If we didn’t know what was supposed to happen, and if we didn’t fully expec…