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The Northeast Asean Sea

An end to the geographic lies of China, where a misnomer becomes an excuse for criminality. The Northeast Asean Sea

Geographic Lies of China

The geographic lies of china are well documented. The so-called South China Sea is simply one of the more anachronistic, if not damning. The English-speaking world need not continue this farce. And so what should one call the East Vietnamese Sea (of course Vietnam has only one coast), or the Western Philippine Sea? That is simple, and obvious, and it stands on a political and geographic truism. For ASEAN as a body there is a plain geography, and the sea bordering the Northeastern part is both true internationally and correct geographically.

Ongoing Aggression and Terrorism

The ongoing aggression, most recently of a near-collision with US Military aircraft in International Airspace, as well as blatant piracy with the attack, threats of violence, destruction of property and theft of assets from a Vietnamese ship. Anyone who thinks that China can be pacified by a lack of response is completely ignorant of the strategy it is following, as well as the lengths it will go to intimidate and essentially seize all resources in the Northeast Asean Sea. Only a concerted effort by all international parties, including ASEAN will forestall and turn back such barbarism.

What is in a Name

Those of us who have the power of commentary and can help correct this barbaric display have recourse to properly naming such behavior, as well as the correct name for the location where such terrorist and criminal activities are taking place: The Northeast Asean Sea. Alternatively, the Champa Sea, the East Vietnamese Sea, the North Malaysian Sea, or the Western Philippine Sea. But at all costs, this cannot be called the South China Sea, as China sees this as a license to murder and loot.

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Now and in the Future

What of the current projects generate which percentage of revenue now, and in the future? This question helps cut down on too many extraneous activities, to which I am prone. It all comes back to Drucker and knowing what should be done (and then getting that done). Like any healthy organization, my various projects are in states of transition. How to determine which projects gets what time? What skill set will be more valuable and make current and future projects more viable? Invest in these projects and skills development, dear reader. I say this to you, but am really saying this to myself. Hopefully one of us will listen. monstres 13 - monstruos - munsters - bombus lucorum

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Kinds of Tourism

There are many different kinds of tourism. Below is a smattering of them in a list. To be honest, tourism as an industry is not necessarily a great thing. That said, there are opportunities inside of the experiences... - Update: See this more complete list of the various kinds of tourism.

The Many Different Kinds of Tourism

  • Culinary tourism
  • Medical tourism
  • Health tourism
  • Language tourism
  • Culture tourism
  • Ecotourism
  • Sports tourism
  • Environmental tourism
  • Responsible tourism
  • Adventure tourism
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Volunteer tourism / Voluntourism
  • Metropolitan tourism
  • Amusement park tourism
  • Shopping tourism
  • Nature tourism
  • National park tourism
  • Volcano tourism
  • Mountain climbing
  • Diving
  • Sightseeing
  • Maternity tourism
  • Carbon neutral tourism
  • Animal tourism
  • Orphanage tourism
  • Atrocity tourism
  • Religious tourism
  • Fitness tourism
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5 Archetypes of Organizational Culture

According to Freire (2007) there are Five Archetypes of Organizational Culture. Naturally, these cultures are based on, developed and perpetuated by leadership. Those he names: - Customer-Centric - The Customer is everything - One-Team - Oneness is everything - Innovation - Learning is everything - Achievement - Getting the job done is everything - People-First - Our people are everything Now at first the One-Team and the People-First look suspiciously similar, however the former has the people sublimating themselves for the organization, and the latter has the opposite.

Customer-Centric Culture

  • CEO spends a lot of time with customers
  • Effective listening is widespread
  • Client issues are part of every meeting
  • Top investments go to client initiatives
  • Untrained staff never put in front of the customer
  • People proudly share stories of exceeding customer expectation
  • Customer feedback integrated into everyone's compensation
  • Those closest to the customers know more about their needs than senior leadership
  • Are you really a humble organization?
  • Are you really a learning organization?
  • Is the relationship based on trust and reliability?
  • Is there arrogance and rejection of feedback?

One-Team Culture

  • Willing to sub-optimize subsystem to optimize overall system
  • Once agree on what is best for the firm, will follow decision
  • Work is done by one group on behalf of the whole
  • Remuneration encourages facilitating the work of others
  • Reporting lines and structures recognize dual-citizenship
  • Move people around through the organization to gain broader perspective
  • Most people have good motives
  • Generosity and sharing, trustworthiness, openness
  • Not territorial or silo mentality
  • Japanese style

Innovation Culture

  • Experimentation, risk taking
  • Experience is valued
  • Resources given to Research and Development
  • Lots of learning processes and meetings
  • A lot of rigorous measurement focused on continuous improvement
  • Curiosity, courage, openness, learning
  • If it isn't broken, break it anyway
  • Not risk averse
  • Shoot for the stars
  • We are not here to count the pens, we are here to change the world

Achievement Culture

  • Culture of accountability
  • Meritocracy, my word is my bond, truthfulness
  • Bottom 10 % needs to go
  • Clarity in communication of goal-setting
  • Healthy confrontation when excuses for nonperformance are given

People-first Culture

  • Encouraging people to grow
  • Give under-performers a second chance
  • Symbols of lack of hierarchy
  • A lot of training, workplace development
  • Believe in diversity, opportunity, trust
  • No distrust
  • Find people the right place in the organization

Organizational Cultural Change is Hard

Organizational change is a huge undertaking, and in many cases simply falls short. I appreciate that Freire says it takes about two years to shift cultural focus of an organization. Also, though it really doesn't work well, Freire suggests it is possible to build all five cultures into a single organization. A well-rounded organizational culture is a fairly bland culture, but of course each of the types of organizational culture has elements that any decent organization should embrace. It is simply that one type needs to be primary. But how can leaders change or enhance Organizational Culture?

Leaders Send Messages through Actions

  • How do you as a leader do things
  • Distance between walk and talk
  • What you do says what is important, role meeting
  • How do you run meetings, how much time in meetings are spent focusing on customers, change, etc.
  • Symbols are the calendar and the checkbook
    • Time spent on things shows value
    • Money spent on things shows value
  • Who gets promoted, why, office space
  • Role as storyteller, what are the stories? They show values
  • Planning and budgeting process
  • Compensating people based on achievement, learning, customer
  • What are people rewarded for doing?

Hofstede and Dimensions of Organizational Culture

Freire has a nice set of cultural types but the idea that there are only five types doesn't get at the why, the actual dimensions of organizational culture, and how to measure it. For that, Geert Hofstede is the best source.1

  1. I actually met Hofstede at the University of Hawaii in the mid 2000s. He had a connection with the university in the past, and on occasion would visit and give a lecture or two. He spoke at a seminar and was charming. I've also read in depth both Cultures' Consequences and his research on Organizational Culture and related publications. For a popularization of this academic research, see Cultures and Organizations: Software for the Mind

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Generic Roadmap

This is meant to be a reminder of important issues/decisions that already have some thought put in them (usually by others).

Stick with what we know in the marketing channels we know. Expand products, and channels for those products.

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Alternatives to Earth Class Mail

2019 Update - I simply no longer use remailers. Everything gets shipped directly to Chiang Mai, Thailand whether that be from Ebay, Amazon, or more often, Lazada (the Amazon of Southeast Asia). I pay the extra shipping charges (at least on Amazon, as in many cases the shipping costs are the same on Ebay and nearly nonexistent on Lazada). I use Wyoming Agents for inbound physical mail which is very infrequent, at a cost of $50 USD/year. When I need something forwarded (e.g., a new credit card) then that costs me an additional $25 USD or so. Yes, expensive, but infrequent.

Earth Class Mail Sucks

I was a customer for about 4 years of Earth Class Mail, starting in 2008. Besides very poor service, they nearly tripled their charges over that time (and this was a few years ago, I imagine it is worse now). Even simple requests to improve the service are met with thankful tidings and then silence, for years-on-end. It's really quite maddening. In any case, I've abandoned them, and it turns out all for the best. There are a myriad of other service providers who offer the same or similar services. Here are a few I have looked into that appear to have good offerings. There are many more out there.

Remailing and Virtual Address Services

2016 Update - Over the past few years there has been some segmentation of this growing market for mailing addresses and remailing services. Traditionally the service was for travellers, those without a fixed address at least part of the year (RV and boating enthusiasts). Then virtual locations became popular both with expats and foreigners who had the same need for themselves or their business. Finally, a large segment emerged for people wishing to buy online (in the US, mainly but also elsewhere) and to reduce the cost of, or in some cases make possible, shipment to their actual address. Many countries are not supported on platforms like Amazon and Ebay, and these remailers (and virtual shopping services) became popular. Finally we are seeing an integration of company formation, virtual address, and remailing services.

Caution on Remailers

The main remailing services focused on virtual shopping have large marketing budgets and horrible reputations. These should be avoided. Some people have satisfactory experiences, but too many do not. The biggest cost comes when there are handling fees (this is true for all companies in this business), and worse if they require the use of specific carriers, especially courier services for shipping abroad. This is a scam, because the wholesale price to them is a lot less than what they charge, whereas if they were to use cheaper mailing services, especially USPS Priority shipping out of the USA, they would earn less money. Costs can balloon significantly because of added import duties, taxes, insurance and fees.

Virtual Shopping-focused Remailers

There are others out there but those listed here: Viabox, Shipito, and MyUS are a good indication of the shady side of remailing. Folks are looking to save money, as well as have access to various ecommerce sites that don't normally ship to where they live (Amazon, Ebay, etc.), but in the end costs can balloon, especially for these virtual shopping-focused remailers.

The Notorious Viabox

Notorious in not a good way. Indeed, they had to change their name due to a variety of lawsuits and judgements against them. A perusal of the Pissed (-Off) Consumer page on Viabox should give sufficient pause. The biggest problem with them is fraud. Fraud because they say they support USPS as a shipping agent, and then when you try and get that, they say they can't (after several weeks of emails back and forth). I ended up getting charged $128 USD for shipping and handling, for something that should have cost $50-70 USD at most. But that isn't the end of the matter. By forcing the use of DHL, I was hit with another $80 USD in tariffs, taxes and fees. Part of this was because they didn't write down the correct contents (used vs. new items) and also because of the use of DHL, which prepaid the incorrect tariffs and then demanded them from me. Communication is atrocious and the website is full of lies, plus their online system is so crippled nearly everything requires an email to the support dept, which answers the email and closes the ticket (and another department is supposed to then handle it). Pretty much the most amateurish operation I've ever encountered.

The Suspicious Shipito

I've not personally dealt with them, and was going to use them after I exited Viabox, but there are enough horror stories on the web with them. It seems they used to be great, but now there are many reports that they have jacked up the prices and are basically doing the same Earth Class Mail routine. Not to mention poor communication and customer service, something rife in this industry, unfortunately.

MyUS, a new entrant

There are some fairly good reviews for MyUS, there are also enough signs it is going the way of Viabox and Shipito. Apparently, as per the usual, there are a lot of hidden charges with MyUS.

Traditional Mail Forwarding Services

The following are some current mailbox/mail forwarding services. One can expect to have their mail scanned and available by pdf, and to group mail and packages together for remailing. These are usually safer as their business model includes two revenue streams: virtual addresses and remailing. Here are a few, with more description below: - Mail Link Plus, - Mailbox Forwarding, - My RV Mail, - PoboxZone, - St. Brendan's Isle, and - Virtual Post Mail

Mail Link Plus

Mail Link Plus is based in Las Vegas and offers mailbox and mail forwarding. Street address comes standard and they do mail scanning. Prices start at $30/3 months. Reasonable. Haven't tried them.

Mailbox Forwarding

Mailbox Forwarding has real addresses in Michigan (free), Los Angeles and Pompano Beach, FL (additional price/month). Reasonable $10/mo not including additional address charges. Not so bad, though the shipping costs ended up being more than expected. Also, the address charge and monthly fee added up, especially for my needs which are fairly light. Left them due to better prices elsewhere.

My RV Mail

My RV Mail, as the name suggests, focuses on the RV people, but the services are the same needed by expatriates. Mail forwarding services, online scans of mail, florida address. Starting around $25/mo for full access, down to $15/mo for yearly prepay. Haven't tried them.

St. Brendan's Isle

St. Brendan's Isle targets boating people, as well as other travelers and traveling business people. Added value of helping establish Florida residency. Around $20/mo with online access to scanned mail. Prepay $100 and monthly debits against the credit. Used these guys for years, and they worked fairly well. The online shipping tool they could never fix a part of so every shipment needed a few emails to get going. I shipped an item through them that was lost on the way out of the USA (USPS Priority) and there was never any resolution (no insurance, nothing). This soured me on them and I switched to Mailbox Forwarding (below).

Virtual Post Mail

Virtual Post Mail offers a very low introductory price but reasonable prices after the trial. Address in Los Angeles, CA (actually Walnut, CA). Check deposit services also available.

PoboxZone (Nevada, Delaware, Wyoming)

PoboxZone offers mail forwarding in Las Vegas, Nevada. They will offer addresses in Delaware and Wyoming in 2017. Besides receiving and forwarding mail PoboxZone does mail scanning, with pdfs sent via email and/or directly uploaded to Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive. They have free shredding of unwanted mail and free storing until mailout. Packages and parcels can be received as well, which is pretty rare among mail forwarding companies. It's a good solution for travelers and even companies that haven't got a physical office. Clearly they are targeting this virtual office for companies niche, which is a wise move in my opinion. If they integrate actual company formation as well, that could be a very powerful value add.

Wyoming Agents

Wyoming Agents focuses on the Agent requirement in Wyoming LLC and Corporation registrations. By providing that service (along with the registered address) they provide the legal requirement along with a privacy service. In addition, for a low cost, they offer remailing services. However, they do not accept mail for individuals, only for a company name.

Bottom Line and How to Choose a Remailer

Like with many kinds of industries, organizations can be good and then go bad in terms of prices and service. There is no guarantee that a good experience today will stay that way tomorrow, and certainly pricing can and does change. It pays to stick with a smaller operation that is not greedy, but at the same time is competent and professional, and they actually like happy customers. Again, even these relationships can go bad, so just keep in mind that moving to a different remailer/virtual address is almost a certainty. Stay organized regarding all the places that addresses need to change, and be prepared to make a change when needed. There is no reason to suffer for months on end from inflated prices, poor customer service, and incompetent remailing. While I still have virtual address needs, I have backed away from remailing. There has been an increase in availability of items to ship to my country of residence (Thailand) from the likes of Amazon, Ebay, and also new ecommerce sites such as Lazada which operate there. While I had savings on many items, there were also significant costs that may have made it all not worth the trouble, in the long run.

Post Office Form 1583

This form is required to give permission to have a third party collect your postal mail (does not apply to parcel shippers, but only to the US Postal Service). This also needs to be notarized, so if you are far away from a Notary, or one is more expensive (say, abroad), then check out NotaryCam which is an online service. Apparently this is a valid method good in all 50 US States.

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Transportation – Next Generation

This page will be updated at ongoing, irregular intervals.

Transportation on the Water

One of the more interesting personal water craft is the Mokai powered kayak. - Painless Mokai aftermarket products to improve the kayak This would be better as an electric watercraft. Not only would it be silent, but likely the maintenance costs would lower. Range is the only issue (and of course cost of batteries). External/additional batteries could be configured. Something like the Kok river would be quite nice, though perhaps too far (too much sun, up to 4 hours), depending on the traveler.

Onroad and Off Road Transportation

For full offroad RV, the Terracross TC55 Comfort Plus is a bit over the top (and expensive) but could certainly be built by oneself in a scaled down version. It is a fairly interesting realized vision.

## Ox GVT

Bollinger B1

  • Bollinger B1 - TopSpeed If one takes the Ox and mounts it on an electric moter of this sort, with the kind of towing capacity, then a whole different kind of vehicle presents itself:

Bicycle - Next Generation


Electric Aircraft


Electric Motorcycle


Wing in Ground Effect


Jet Boats


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Lex Titia – End of the Roman Republic

Movement from a democracy to an autocracy seeks legitimacy in legal and democratic terms. Because the transition is from democracy, there is either implicit or explicit democratic action that is taken to limit or essentially destroy democratic power. This is seen throughout history. Why an autocracy needs such legitimation is mostly an issue of propaganda, but it is universally sought. The Lex Titia was a law granting the Second Triumvirate power over democratic laws and institutions. Typical means were employed to have such a law passed, mainly control over the military, death sentences on the killers of Julius Caesar (which was extended to political enemies), and of course bribery and intimidation, threats, lies, murder and corruption. In Juntaland, the same thing applies, but of course at a much smaller scale (excepting the the bribery, intimidation, threats, likes, murder and corruption -- which are indeed first rank). The collusion of a few to effectively be permanently placed above the electorate and their political desires, well, that is where we are now with the draft constitution.

Pericles and Direct Democracy

While representative democracy seems obvious, there have been and still are more direct democracies. This indeed is really what is at stake and how a disdainful military conceives of voting. > Do gardeners working outside of the Parliament’s building or farmers know anything about democracy? Of course not. Don’t talk to me about citizenry. Those people only go to vote because they were paid. -- Prayuth Chan-ocha, 01 January 2016 Indeed, gardeners and farmers do know about democracy, in ways the so-called Prime Minister does not, though that should be obvious since the military is the one who subverts democracy every few years. The military may accuse the electorate of venality (even though demonstrably untrue), yet they are the ones who are disenfranchising the electorate, and at the same time running roughshod over human rights and denying individuals and communities their self-determination.