Procedure for Disposing of Unordered Seeds from China, A summation of Guidance From the US Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Commerce, Homeland Security, Health and Welfare and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tabaco and Firearms. Aug 1 / 2020

  1. Don an approved mask, gloves and eye protection.
  2. Procure 12-15 campfire sized sticks of dry oak, and 2 buckets of pine sawdust, and 2 bags of bbq charcoal. Soak everything in bbq starter fluid.
  3. Place the unopened seed package in an airtight freezer bag. Close it tightly. Place the tightly closed freezer bag in another airtight freezer bag. Close it tightly. Place the tightly closed freezer bag is a cardboard box and seal with approved acrylic tape. Soak the box in lighter fluid.
  4. Dig a pit, outdoors, 3 feet deep and 3 feet wide. Place the charcoal in the bottom of the pit, and light. Allow to burn for 75 minutes.
  5. Add the pine sawdust and oak to the fire. If it does not ignite, add some bbq starter fluid by spraying it from the can from a distance no less than 11 feet. Do not under any circumstances use Tannerite to relight the fire.
  6. Drop the cardboard box into the hot fire and leave the scene.
  7. No less than 10 hours later, refill the fire pit, and leave an approved sign warning future generations of the danger.

Mike.

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The Trust Fund Fraud

You might know that more Social Security is collected every year than is paid out. And the extra is “in” a trust fund. You might think it’s a very trusty fund – a lockbox. And when needed, the extra will be paid back in the form of distributions.

None of this is remotely true.

Imagine a society with 10 people working, no children, and 5 people retired.

Each of the 10 pays $100 in income taxes, and $20 dollars in social security taxes.

The government has 10 x $100 = $1000 to spend from income taxes. And 10 x $20 = $200 to spend on social security.

Each retiree gets $20 dollars, or $100 total. The social security fund has an extra $100 to save for the future.

Reasonably, you might think it is deposited into a savings account like thing, and “saved”. A trust fund. A trust fund in a lockbox.

The social security part of the government “invests” the $100 in treasury bills, which are issued by the same government. The $100 is now part of the government general fund, where it is spent. The government spends the $1000 it collected plus the $100 it “borrowed” with a promise to repay later to … itself.

10 years later, let’s say the trust fund is needed. Note that there is no actual money. It’s all been spent. The government either has to pay back the money it owes to itself by defunding something else, or raising new taxes.

Since the government never defunds anything, we should assume new taxes. To pay for money that was collected, and “saved” on our behalf, but was actually spent.

Imagine that.

Sadly this is becoming increasingly unimportant as total US debt and money print rise to levels that no society has survived before.

Perhaps this is why the government would rather you focus on pronouns.

Mike.

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How Bad Is It?

The last time I wrote about Covid19, Jun 24, we were 5 weeks into a combination of planned reopenings, unplanned race riots and things like masking for show only. To be fair, Nancy Pelosi had been social masking months earlier.

At that time, infections were climbing, but deaths were flat or declining, down by 4X from the peak in April. I speculated that the next few weeks would tell us a lot about the actual effectiveness of mitigations. What I hoped was that the virus would stall out with about 25% infected, but I was prepared to see a wave of deaths following the rise in infections.

So what actually happened?

Looking at the news, things couldn’t be much worse:

“Florida Sets Grim Death Toll Record”

“The US Leads the World – By a Large Margin – In The Number of Covid-18 Deaths and Cases”

“Orange County See Highest Two-Week Coronavirus Death Count”

And so on.

Most worryingly, infections were growing geometrically in the dangerously backward Trump places due to reopening too soon. Fortunately, enlightened and loved progressive leaders like Andrew Cuomo, with a proven track record of success, were willing to offer advice to the ignorant leaders of places like Florida.

Just how bad is it? Let’s look at the numbers:

According to the WHO, the record for daily deaths was set on Friday May 1, at 2909. Since then, deaths have falling, hitting a low in early July at 550, and slowing increasing since then to about 1000. Recently, the rate of growth has slowed.

Infection rates (“cases”) have outpaced the deaths quite dramatically. On the day of peak deaths (May 1), new infections were 30,000. New cases/day stayed flat for 6 weeks, and then started climbing. On Jul 26, it was 62,000. Some of this is explained by increased testing. On May 1st we were running about 20,000 tests/day, and now, about 60,000 test/day. But positive rates also climbed, especially in the states populated by unenlightened people, according to the New York Times.

We got better at managing the disease, resulting in some better outcomes.

The big trend is that for some reason, the disease became less-lethal in the populations it was infecting. Dramatically so. This make intuitive sense if you note the highly selective lethality of the virus.

Somewhat curiously, the rate of growth of new infections was slower in the places that had suffered more in the first wave, than those that seemed to escape. If you live in a place where the infection rate has remained low – for whatever reason – you might want to hold off the press releases for a bit.

So what about that enlightened blue state / backward red state story?

The US has had 141,000 deaths to date. 49,000, or 35% of them have been in New York + New Jersey (population 17,000,000). 12,000 or 8% have been in Texas + Florida (population 50,500,000).

Increasingly, it appears:

Social distancing slows, but does not stop infections.

The virus will infect the general population, eventually.

There is a huge difference in lethality between the vulnerable, and the broader population. Far greater than historical infections.

For a majority of people, it is less lethal than influenza.

Mike.

 

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Are you racist? A Journey in Self-Awareness Thanks to BLM

Perhaps you are watching Black Lives Matter protesters on television destroy a statue of an ex-slave and national leader of the Abolitionist Movement, after defacing the statue of a president who freed black slaves in America and was subsequently killed for it. Perhaps, at the same time you are casually browsing facebook and reading in short reposted memes that anything less than 100% uncritical support for BLM means you are racist. Or you are a Hispanic man who is losing his job for unknowingly making a white power symbol, which wasn’t a white power symbol until created by a 4Chan troll last week. Maybe you are late to pick up the kids because white BLM protesters are waving gleefully as they dance and close streets, waving and grinning back isn’t making getting you closer to your destination and you just are not that good a dancer.

Perhaps you are a racist and some introspection is overdue. After all, who wants to be a racist.

As this is complicated, it might be helpful to look more closely at the various factions of BLM, and test yourself against each. This might be helpful if you, like everyone else, are appalled by the death of George Floyd and want the guilty held accountable, and for this to stop. But you are unsure if looting is the best way to achieve this.

The beginning of this protest cycle was triggered by the innocent until proven guilty but suspiciously guilty-looking Derek Chauvin. If you are for the (apparent) murder of George Floyd, then you might be a racist. This event, unlike the events that triggered a previous protest and looting cycles was not a fake like the killing of Michael Brown, or even slightly ambiguous as in the Eric Garner horror.

The George Floyd killing was wrong,  in the not progressive moral relativism sense of right and wrong – this time right means right and wrong means wrong. But the movement has evolved into multiple sub-factions now, which should be evaluated differently:

Defund

The Defund faction is perhaps the most intelligent and thoughtful wing of BLM. Defunding police is a concrete action that personally hurts police officers and their families, which is an effective way to get even with Derek Chauvin. The fact that a police presence likely helps law abiding young male blacks – the largest group in this demographic – and also mothers of these same blacks, and many others, must be cast aside to make things easier for the much smaller demographic of violent young black males who commit a disproportionate amount of crime is cost we must bear for the greater good.

No one wants to be a racist. It’s best to be for this.

Statues

While it seems odd to look the other way while violent groups of people, most of whom are not black, destroy public and private property, it’s best to be supportive of this lest they come for you next.

No one wants to be a racist.

Quotas for Millionaires

What Satya seems to be saying here, is that the company will make more purchase, hiring, layoff and promotion and pay decisions based on favoritism wrt to skin color. Now it seems foolish to argue the merit of this here, but somehow it’s hard to imagine this is what was on George Floyd’s mind during his final terrible 8 ½ minute of life. It is likely that most people simply don’t care one way or the other about this, as they are not highly paid employee of tech companies, and couldn’t care less what goes on there.

https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2020/06/05/change-in-ourselves-helps-drive-change-in-the-world/

Aunt Jemima

This is part of an ongoing initiative to control what you think, by teaching you to self-censor your own speech. This is a little confusing as many of the things we cannot say or look at are quite obviously not offensive to anyone, but this is not accidental. The more ridiculous the phrase or image being banned, the more explicit the message of control. Indeed, getting serious people and corporations to pretend to be offended by the improper usage of pronouns is immensely powerful.

It has nothing at all to do with racism.

Looters

Looking the other way while people steal is one of the remaining obviously racists things still acceptable in society. The message here is clear –  BLM looters cannot be expected to behave in an honest and civil manner, and should not be held to the same standards. Aunt Jemima and Looters and Statues sometimes work together in odd ways, as when public health experts pretend to believe that Covid19 does not spread in race riots, but does when bowling.

Good luck out there.

Don’t be racist.

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Maurice V. Woodworth, Friend

For months we’ve all hoped that Maurice would – somehow – beat the odds and pull through. How does one even begin to thank a recently departed for a lifetime of friendship with only a few words?

I’ve known Maurice for about 40 years. We met during a time when life was not especially easy for me. Maurice helped me with shelter, transportation and friendship. He was generous and didn’t keep score. I’ve always found him willing to help people if he could, and to do so with sincerity and humility. We had fun and got into a little trouble too. We took turns being the mature older brother, something neither of us were all that good at but we worked on it together.

Maurice was never a complainer, and I was too immature and self-absorbed at the time to realize it, but this was also a difficult time in his life too. I don’t think Maurice could ever make his peace with a universe that would snatch his dad away when it did. Like many of us, Maurice feared the pain of loss, or the fear of being the cause of such pain.

We met while working together at a camera store / studio / lab in New Minas, Nova Scotia. The store’s owner hired many eclectic and talented people, and many of them are accomplished photographers practicing to this very day.

Maurice was the best people photographer of the lot of us. He had a rare eye, one with a keen empathy for people. He could make people look the way they wanted to look, at a physical and emotional level. He treated everyone with dignity and decency in his work, even if he had never met them before, or after. Maurice could strike up a conversation with anyone. People sensed and appreciated his sincerity.

Maurice had a few jobs, but only one that might pass as a career. He was creative, and talented – very talented – at many things. He enjoyed building and fixing things. He could operate anything with a wheel or a stick, and loved doing so. Maurice’s approach to jobs, and life, was one of adventure. Adventure could be grand, from flying an airplane or scuba diving, or it could be road trip or even a trip to the coffee shop. He was entrepreneurial in his own way too. If he couldn’t afford adventure, he’d find a way to make himself useful, usually by teaching other people.

What he wasn’t especially good at was doing the same thing, the same way, in the same place all the time. These are skills that are often necessary to become a deeply specialized cog in the machine – an expert. He spoke his mind, sometimes to his own detriment. Unless you are a great politician, and Maurice was way too much of a straight shooter to be one, these things can hold you back.

The film industry was in many ways the ideal workplace for Maurice, and he did well in it. It’s one of the few industries where being good at many things, an out of the box thinker, effective in constantly changing circumstances, and having a bit of an issue with authority are all requirements for success.

Life has a way of pulling friends apart over time, entirely by accident. You get busy. Time passes. In the 30 or so years since Maurice and Lynn moved to the West Coast, they have never missed a Christmas with us. And we’ve logged more than 10,000 miles on our annual motorcycle drive with my daughter and a few other good friends. Wonderful times.

Maurice and Lynn were also here to help after our daughter was born, another wonderful but also difficult time for me.

Over the last 15 years, Maurice has made the odd comment about the film industry taking another friend. And not long after that I’d see an obituary on fb. I noticed that folks were often in their 50s, and died of heart attacks or strokes. As great a opportunity as the industry provided to him, I wonder if asks too much in return.

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0941021/

Goodbye my friend. To say you’ll be missed doesn’t even start to cover it.

Mike.

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Checking in on the Covid19 Experts

About 5 weeks into a combination of thoughtfully reduced mitigation restrictions and riots, cases are rising in the USA. Deaths, in some places, are climbing but overall they continue to fall, from 2200/day at the peak in mid-April  to 650 today. Cases are not rising geometrically, as they did in late Mar and early Apr. Indeed, new cases declined slightly in May, and rose slightly in Jun. Alarmist headlines about record numbers of cases are correct, ignore the fact that new cases have been “largely flat” for about 3 months.

Case are likely rising due to a combination of dramatically increased testing, and genuine increases in infection rates due to relaxed mitigations.

Cases are a leading indicator, and deaths may follow.

It’s also possible that new cases are being found in the younger, healthier population, and that deaths will not track cases.

“Phased openings” are being followed in most states. The actual goals are unclear.

Per Washington State’s plan, each phase has entrance criteria, which track things like infection rates and hospital utilization, and a prescribed reduction of mitigations. People are allowed to gather in larger groups, sit closer together etc.

The plan seems to be that as the pandemic subsides, we gradually return to more risky behaviors.

Assuming that it was the mitigations that arrested the geometric rise, it is unclear why returning  to more risky behaviors will not restart it. If it wasn’t, perhaps we didn’t need them in the first place.

Perhaps the plan is to see-saw back on forth between phases for years.

Perhaps we have no idea what we are doing.

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A Brief History of Corona19 in America

Late Feb 2019: This Might Be Serious

The fundamental change in America was an awakening from 10 years of unseriousness. At some level, everyone understands, and always has, that impeachment was nonsense, there are two genders, global warming is a political movement, and that infinite debt is not OK. But in Jan 2020 lots of people pretended otherwise. Life Care ended all that.

Mar 2019: The New Politics

$3,000,000,000,000 in new debt. Accusations that a lack of a uniformed response in all states would cause untold death. Travel bans are racist. 50,000 ventilators. This is all Trump’s fault, obviously. Millions could die.

Mar 2019: Stepping it Up

Americans, facing a barrage of conflicting guidance (masks, anyone?) and an uncoordinated response, figured out what steps to take, did them, and demonstrated the kind of selflessness an objective person would expect.

Apr 2019: Karen

Despite no real need for heavy handed enforcement, and negative value from preventing distancing at the extreme, the social justice warriors, mostly, transformed into a an army of cop-calling, finger pointing, neighbor outing scolds.

The New Politics continued, with experts in heavily populated blue states accusing lightly populated red states of a reckless selfish ignorance that would kill everyone.

Some people blamed China.

Some people blamed Trump.

The HCQ nonsense.

The bleach nonsense.

The “my Country is better than your county and will be spared” nonsense.

May 2019: The Silent Awakening

Through a combination of some states partial reopening, the de facto reopening that’s happening as people discover that in the broader population, the disease isn’t nearly as deadly as we assumed, compliance with “distancing” began to drop. About 6 weeks into this, the second wave didn’t seem to hit.

Jun 2019: Anger

Then country, indeed the world, is angry. Angry about Covid19. Angry about the lockdowns, job losses. Angry about the unfairness of government picking economic winners and losers. Angry at the rich getting richer, somehow. Bad science. The lack of lockdown compliance, and ignorance that will kill everyone.

Anger, searching for a victim it will stick to. Any victim.

The notion that the entire world is suddenly united in at the injustice that is black life in America, and not just angry and dangerously erratic, is nonsense.

Dangerous nonsense.

Mike.

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Corvid19 In an Age of Bullshit; Hold the Bullshit.

Last week, the person credited with Sweden’s Covid19 public strategy, Anders Tegnell admitted “There is quite obviously a potential for improvement in what we have done.”

With the wisdom of hindsight, it’s unlikely that anyone would have not have put the entire vulnerable population in 5 star hotels with room service, quarantined them, educated people about what was known/unknown about self-managing risk, and otherwise moved on with life.

This would have saved many lives and jobs, and would have cost vastly less than what we did.

Why we are not doing this now is less clear.

But little was known about Covid19 four months ago. We knew that it was highly infectious, lethal in ways not previously seen, and spread easily via droplets suspended in air. Had it spread and killed in the broader population in the same ways it does in a vulnerable population, the results would have been tragic on an Old Testament scale. Early worst case estimates of millions dead might have been low.

And so an expensive, all-hands on deck response was entirely reasonable.

We now know that danger to any one individual varies dramatically, and that a sorting into high/low risk groups is easy. The largest group, under 60 and in generally good health, are barely vulnerable at all, and that folks older than 60 with diabetes and/or heart disease are horrifyingly high-risk.

One unanswered question remains how effective are various mitigations?

Some welcome the failure of Swedish response as proof of something. It is not clear what we would have learned had Sweden had the same outcomes as Norway and Finland. Or how the puzzle is simpler now.

It’s difficult to know exactly what the state of the art in science-informed public policy re: Covid19, but it seems to be that the virus will naturally spread unchecked though the entire population linearly with time, that our policy has prevented this disaster so far, that it is the only thing preventing it from happening again, and will continue to happen until a vaccine or herd immunity saves us.

Given that we are only at 10-20% of people with antibodies, state of the art policy promises us heavy lockdowns for 3 decades, or finely tuned degrees of lockdowns, constantly changing, for 7 years.

If you somehow burned out wave 1, just one infected person will restart everything.

Why anyone would welcome such a scenario is unclear.

Fortunately, there are lots of reasons to doubt it. The much modelled wave of new death from some states partial reopening, 3-6 weeks, ago has yet to materialize.

All of the rules went out the window if you were with Antifa.

For reasons we don’t understand, at least in the first wave, the infection rates seems to top out at about 20% of the healthy, younger population.

At some level, even we didn’t believe it. About 60% of the economy continued to function. The government picked winners and losers, as we asked them to, but overall many things continued to operate. Why the virus cares if you are bowling or shopping was never made clear.

This thing was never serious enough to shut down dope stores.

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Absolute Truth is Good

I was raised as a Protestant Baptist. Among mostly kind, well-intentioned, community minded folks. The churches ran outdoor camps, canoe trips, youth groups, exchange programs and other activities that helped many people, including me, explore the world surrounded by decent people.

It wasn’t all good. I found myself trapped at youth camp with leaders overzealous to further convert people. Some of my early church teachers seemed genuinely frightened by life and death, and shared that fear with young people in a, perhaps, not helpful way. And church was boring. And long. Really boring, and really long.

But nothing really bad,  and lots of good,  happened.

My first break from this belief system occurred when I learned that Santa Claus wasn’t real, around the late age of 8 or so. The frightening thing about this wasn’t the realization that a jolly feller didn’t come down chimneys with gifts, because obviously this wasn’t true. The frightening thing was my sudden realization that I had been willing to suspend belief in what I observed in the real world to believe in an imaginary world. Indeed, this event was the first of two that damaged my belief in mystical things, something that I never really recovered from.

The second event, not counting the release of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar, was psychedelic drugs, in my teenage years. What I discovered was that there was an easy path to deeply mystical feelings that were more intense and real  on a whole new scale. And for a few years I was convinced there was some real truth behind this, something that I now believe is dangerous nonsense. Although, interesting. These days, I think anyone who chooses never to take psychedelic drugs is blessed. And many people who choose differently, differently blessed. One caution: you can’t go back. Psychedelics are in many ways far safer than the witches brew of other poisons people take to mess with their minds. But they alter your thinking. Forever.

I have no doubt that psychedelics made me a better engineer and problem solver. But also, maybe a bit nuts.

Post teenage years, I embraced science and engineering and reason as the path to truth, and rejected Christianity. And science is fun like drugs and far more amazing. It is, and remains, the shit.

About a decade later, I started to think about history and the development of societies. And much to my surprise, I noticed that many of the core values that shaped societies that successfully elevated humanity from a state of brutish nature (for a while), were rooted in Christian belief. Christianity wasn’t the only religion to do this, but it was an important one.

At that point I made some peace with Christianity, and decided that even if the specifics were unbelievable, and, perhaps, there was no God, much practical good flowed from it. Maybe. But I still held on to what I now understand was just bigotry, that Christians were, if not actually feeble-minded, willing to delude themselves. Sometimes dangerously so.

I took actually working closely with brilliant engineers who also happened to be Christians to make me question this unpleasantness. I encountered deeply thoughtful,  logical, and decent people who were not in any way afraid to share their beliefs and their the thought process behind them. They knew exactly when they had become comfortable with the suspension of disbelief, and why. Basically, it was a belief that absolute truth was unknowable, and that the choice was nihilism, or a belief system. And that thier choice of belief system was net positive for them. They offered considerable evidence of truth, but ultimately made no argument of certainty.

I was unpersuaded. But considerably less judgmental.

In my late 30s and 40s, I had learned enough about physics to conclude that what we cannot see, or directly measure, or really know from our observation position on planet earth was a road to insanity. At least it would be for me. And this observation didn’t in any way damped my deep awe for people who could understand quantum mechanics, relativity, and multiple dimensions.

But I was unpersuaded. Indeed, I reached a point where I decided that science and engineering, while working magic on a grand scale to elevate humanity, wasn’t ultimately going to answer the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.

Some people seem to argue with passion that the earth was created in 6 days, by a benign, eternal, all-knowing omnipotent creator. Who got tired, and need rest on the 7th day. And all of that led to jet airplanes, atomic bombs, iPhones and the Pet Shop Boys.

Somehow, this just seems too bizarrely improbable (to me) as to be likely.

Other people seem to argue that from nothing, a completely random explosion happened, that coded into the very structure of everything mechanisms that would eventually lead to airplanes, atomic bombs, iPhones, and the Pet Shop Boys.

Somehow, this just seems to bizarrely improbable to as to be likely.

Others argue that airplanes etc. are the result of a gazillion raised to the power of a bazillion random accidents, the vast majority of which led to nothing.

‘Nuf said about that.

Throughout the journey, I’ve never lost a deep fascination with nature boarder lining on the mystical. It’s gift, a blessing that I treasure.

I’ve long thought it was also a clue.

To what?

Oh hell.

Mike.

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Helpful Flying Information re: Expedia, Fiji Airways and AIG Travel “Insurance”

At least one of you, maybe two (certainly not AIG – yet) have emailed me one of those surveys marketing sends out that you aggregate into scorecards and use to decide budgets, bonuses and promotions etc. I apologize but have not responded yet.

Consider this to be my response. Consider it also to be my non-response to your email.

Full Disclosure: The critical business of the airline industry is to move people and things to far away places of their choice, very quickly and very safely. Given the physics, economics and regulation involved, I remain in awe at how well you do this. And it just seems to get better YoY.

Well done. And thanks. Nothing I write below should detract from this accomplishment.

What I often have trouble understanding is why, given my love of travel, and arriving at places of my choice quickly and safely, I often leave the airport angry.

This time, it’s hard to know who to be angry at, exactly. You seem to be working together.

But I do know why.

A bit of background: I’m in year one of retirement. Over the course of a business career, I flew several business flights and several family flights each year. While I’m no 1,000,000 mile salesperson, I am not an especially sophisticated bargain hunter (as we shall see) and often flew business on the corporate dime. I collect miles but have never redeemed them. I’m guessing I’ve been a decent customer, profit-wise.

Over several hundreds of flights over decades, I’ve cancelled or changed perhaps five. Certainly fewer than airlines have changed against my will often causing me to miss my connection or selected and paid for seats. Hold this thought please.

I have a bad back. Recently, I booked a trip to Fiji for two people and I choose business class, despite the fare being 5X the price. But I knew the deal. Sit in agony and humiliation for 10 hours or pay up. So I did. And I naively assumed that anyone paying the price of a decent used car for 2 airline seats might be treated with fairness and some graciousness. But taking no chances, I bought Travel Guard ™ Trip Protection Insurance from AIG, through Expedia, for the price of about half a coach ticket. Each.

As things turned out, it became important for personal reasons to return one day sooner than we had booked. I made this change about 10 days before we left.

I called Expedia, and they cheerfully and empathetically explained that they could help change the flights, but that typically airlines would charge between $100 and $300 per ticket for the change. I had noticed that my flights had gone down in price by about $800 / ticket, so I hoped maybe the reduction might cover this.

I bet you can see where this is going.

It did not cover this.

Expedia customer service transferred me to Fiji Airlines, where they explained that the change fee would be nearly as much as the cost of a new ticket at the new lower rates, or 10X to 30X the fee Expedia described. I sensibly declined this madness but was told by both Expedia and Fiji that I had cancellation insurance and could file a claim.

Technically, this was true.

I filed a claim.

Expedia’s marketing department sent me an email telling me that the price of this trip had dropped even further. I was confused as to how this was helpful.

The claim was denied.

I’ll not list AIG’s response except to quote this: Please refer to the policy wording, which states in pertinent part:, followed by a list of exact reasons why a claim may be paid. My reason wasn’t on the list.

In retrospect, it seems obvious given the effort airlines go to advertise low prices, while charging higher prices, and to charge higher prices for exactly the same thing to different people based on their sophistication, ability and willingness to pay and good or bad fortune, that the insurance industry couldn’t be the backstop for this. People would game the airlines, who are gaming them, using insurance by doing things like cancelling higher priced tickets for today’s prices.

We couldn’t have that.

I guess.

In retrospect, I feel a bit naïve for even assuming my claim would be filled. In my defense, this was confusing:

https://buy.travelguard.com/tgi2/policytools/viewpolicy.aspx?policy=937439457&ln=ZINTEL&br=expedia

TRIP CANCELLATION 100% Trip Cost Per Insured

TRIP INTERRUPTION 100% Trip Cost Per Insured

The key here, if you are paying close attention, is that something outside of your control has to cancel or interrupt the trip. This is helpfully more clear in the documentation of the refused claim than the documentation during the sale.

I’m sure Expedia didn’t know this when selling me the “insurance”, nor did they or Fiji Airlines when referring me to AIG during the change process. Or pricing the change.

Anyway, it all might work out. Here’s where things stand now:

From: TG STP Claims Doc 1 <claimsdoc1@aig.com>
Date: Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at 11:33 AM
To: Mike Zintel
Subject: Automatic reply: AIG Travel Travel Insurance Case XXXXXXXXXXX

Please do not respond to this email. Thank you for your correspondence. An analyst will review your documentation and contact you if further information is required to process your claim.

Ok, I won’t respond to the email.

Mike.

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