Ah wisdom!

August 17th, 2018

Someone who doesn’t like balloons, fireworks, Christmas trees, etc:

When commemorating lost loved ones, consider floating a small amount of native flowers or flower petals down a river or stream to provide a sense of letting go. You can also light candles, plant trees or spread wildflower seed bombs. If you must release something into the air, use flying wish papers. They create very little ash and give you the same effect of a balloon release without hurting the environment. For parties, opt for decorations that can be reused or recycled. Tissue paper pompoms, fabric buntings and tissue tassels are not only adorably eye-catching, they can be made at home in a flash — and kids love joining in on the DIY fun. If you’re looking for something a little more interactive, ribbon dancers and pinwheels are both fantastic options. Not only are they beautiful, they require people to move around to enjoy them! It’s time for our love affair with balloons to come to an end. We don’t need them. There are so many other ways to celebrate — ways that don’t kill wildlife

It could be worse, they could be white balloons, Arggh! Look, just like straws, balloons were never that great, and using them amounts to treason!.

Bonus and very serious question for Dr. Jung or Dr. Freud: what sickness does this guy Brennan have? Please define.

Where have we heard this before?

August 16th, 2018

Xinhua:

From a debt-laden steelmaker to a key supplier for new stadiums of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Nanjing Iron and Steel Co. exemplifies China’s efforts to rein in its financial risks.

After winning another order to supply around 1,900 tonnes of steel to the Persian Gulf country, the Shanghai-listed company has seen its global market presence rise and its asset-liability ratio decline.

Thanks to a debt-to-equity program as well as a greener and more innovative business model, the firm saw its net profit skyrocket 800 percent year on year in 2017, while its debt ratio dropped from over 80 percent to 60 percent.

China’s leverage ratio narrowed by 1.1 percentage points in the first quarter of the year from a year ago, while enterprises saw their debt gauge 2.4 percentage points lower and governments’ down 0.7 percentage points.

n 2017, the banking sector completed 48 of the 70 key tasks in shoring up weak links, with 40 more unveiled this year. The insurance sector also beefed up its regulatory strength.

A more rigorous policy framework has seen stricter enforcement. In the first half of this year, China’s top banking and insurance watchdog punished nearly 800 banking institutions and 175 people with access to the sector, including imposing lifetime bans.

“We used to circumvent new financial regulations as much as we could,” said an insider with a stock brokerage firm. “But now, we waste no time in amending our practices to avoid penalties.”

China’s financial risks, instead of being pervasive, are now increasingly restrained

Where have we heard this before? Ah, yes.

Brennan

August 16th, 2018

We mentioned him the other day. We were right.

Ralph’s and Alibaba

August 15th, 2018

WSJ:

Kroger Co. will sell its products in China on an e-commerce site owned by Alibaba Group, the grocer’s first foray into foreign sales amid a broader push into online retail. The U.S. supermarket chain on Tuesday said it plans to open an online storefront on Alibaba’s Tmall Global site, the Chinese internet titan’s platform for international brands. Kroger said the site will launch Wednesday with an initial product offering that includes dietary supplements and private-label products. For Alibaba, owner of China’s two most popular e-commerce websites, Kroger’s products could provide a leg up in the nation’s fiercely competitive online grocery market. Walmart owns a 12% stake in JD.com Inc., Alibaba’s biggest rival in China.

Jack Ma: 5 years to 24 hour delivery in China and 72 hours anywhere else.

Some good writing and talking

August 15th, 2018

A:

What the hell is with all of this taxpayer-funded animal torture and why has it all taken so long to be discovered? It seems like every time we shut down one sketchy program, another surfaces. Regardless, I’m going to find and whack these moles (no moles are harmed in the course of my activism, jokers) out of existence. The latest kitten is out of the bag following yet another an investigation by taxpayer watchdog group White Coat Waste Project, which exposed the deadly kitten experiments the agency has been secretly funding with hard-earned tax dollars and performing at their laboratory-turned-slaughterhouse in Maryland for nearly half a century. Since at least 1970, the USDA has been breeding 100 kittens per year, feeding them Toxoplasma-infected raw meat at just two months old and collecting their feces for two-to-three weeks to harvest the parasite used in other experiments. Then, the department simply kills, bags and incinerates the kittens like they’re trash, despite admitting — along with expert authorities like the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — that virtually all of them are healthy after the experiments because the cats shed the parasite following just one Toxoplasma exposure, become immune and won’t transmit to humans or other animals.

B:

If you followed the news last Friday, you know that my longtime friend Kristin Davis testified before Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury, that my longtime associate and wingman Andrew Miller was held in contempt for his refusal to testify for the grand jury, and that a subpoena was dropped on Randy Credico who, despite his public denials, was the source who first told me that Wikileaks had the goods on Hillary and would release them in October. It was a Deep State Trifecta! Andrew Miller’s contempt citation is a bit more complicated and his appeal may be problematic for Mueller down the road. Mueller is running a criminally abusive, constitutionally unaccountable, professionally and politically incestuous conspiracy of ethically conflicted cronies colluding to violate my Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights and those of almost everyone who had any sort of political or personal association with me in the last 10 years. He has conducted a supposedly comprehensive investigation of a very narrow and limited issue as an open-ended, totally limitless Grand Prosecution, with absolutely no articulable or even identifiable criminal predicate to substantiate it as a lawful investigation, even under ordinary circumstances. Mueller’s team of partisan prosecutors seek to prove the unprovable — that I received allegedly hacked e-mails from the Russians or Wikileaks and passed them on to Donald Trump. This threadbare false narrative is harped on endlessly by the slugs at MSNBC and other despicable “fake news” outlets.

Good writer, and we heard him speak recently. Clear, logical and simple. We didn’t know, however, that Nixon was in favor of school on Saturdays.

Stone’s a dog, but apparently a good doggie. Woof!!

Back to numbers, briefly

August 15th, 2018

WSJ:

data also pointed to economic headwinds. Retail sales grew, but not as sharply as analysts had expected. And unemployment ticked up to 5.1% last month, from 4.8% in June, the National Bureau of Statistics said. Spending on fixed-asset investments in China’s nonrural areas grew 5.5% in the January-July period from a year earlier, the Bureau of Statistics said. The figure matched a record low in 1999, according to data tracker Wind Information, and is down significantly from the 8.3% growth recorded for the first seven months of 2017.

The value of homes sold for the January-July period rose 16.2% from a year earlier, official data showed Tuesday. That compared with a 14.8% gain for the first half of the year. Property investment, including commercial and residential real estate, for the first seven months of the year rose 10.2% from the previous year. That compared with a 9.7% increase for the January-June period. Most of the growth was in so-called second- and third-tier cities that have looser property controls. Major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai imposed homebuying restrictions, such as raising down-payment ratios and capping the number of home purchases, to prevent the market from overheating.

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission on Saturday reported that new loans by Chinese banks totaled 1.45 trillion yuan ($210.40 billion) in July, up 75%, or 623.7 billion yuan, from the same period last year, according to preliminary statistics. The regulator also said new lending to infrastructure projects stood at 172.4 billion yuan in July, up 37% from June.

Mixed bag with credit expanding again. BTW, we don’t think Turkey is a big deal, but we’ll see. Some good Turkey background here.

BTW, we don’t think it’s a small thing that Giuliani has been tasked with going after Brennan. Stay tuned.

Charm offensive

August 14th, 2018

Harvard prof:

On one hand, universities must be open to diverse viewpoints, including those that conflict with mainstream opinion or may seem threatening to specific groups. On the other hand, there is the danger of normalizing and legitimizing what can only be described as an odious presidency.

RTWT. Wow. Aw come on Mister Professor, tell us what you really think of us.

Added fun: The young: born to be riled.

Deep, Deep, Deep in the weeds

August 13th, 2018

How deep? This deep. HT: Clarice. BTW, over at Pacifica they’ve made an elegant transition away from Russia, since the US is now sanctioning Russia, Turkey and Iran, among others. Now it’s all about the reckless starting of WWIII – “Goebbels wanted a wall” with Poland. Ugh. Sigh.

What question would you ask?

August 13th, 2018

Suppose there’s a holdup in the Bronx and Brooklyn’s broken out in fights, and there’s a traffic jam in Harlem that’s backed up to Jackson Heights. Also there’s a Scout troop short a child and Khrushchev’s due at Idlewild. What question would you ask? Answer: who’s Khrushchev and what’s Idlewild?

Gilder’s new book

August 13th, 2018

From the Amazon page:

“Google’s algorithms assume the world’s future is nothing more than the next moment in a random process. George Gilder shows how deep this assumption goes, what motivates people to make it, and why it’s wrong: the future depends on human action.” — Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal and Palantir Technologies and author of Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

“If you want to be clued in to the unfolding future, then you have come to the right place. For decades, George Gilder has been the undisputed oracle of technology’s future. Are giant companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook the unstoppable monopolistic juggernauts that they seem, or are they dysfunctional giants about to be toppled by tech-savvy, entrepreneurial college dropouts?” — Nick Tredennick, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, QuickSilver Technology

The Age of Google, built on big data and machine intelligence, has been an awesome era. But it’s coming to an end. In Life after Google, George Gilder — the peerless visionary of technology and culture — explains why Silicon Valley is suffering a nervous breakdown and what to expect as the post-Google age dawns.

Google’s astonishing ability to “search and sort” attracts the entire world to its search engine and countless other goodies — videos, maps, email, calendars. And everything it offers is free, or so it seems. Instead of paying directly, users submit to advertising. The system of “aggregate and advertise” works — for a while — if you control an empire of data centers, but a market without prices strangles entrepreneurship and turns the Internet into a wasteland of ads.

The crisis is not just economic. Even as advances in artificial intelligence induce delusions of omnipotence and transcendence, Silicon Valley has pretty much given up on security. The Internet firewalls supposedly protecting all those passwords and personal information have proved hopelessly permeable.

The crisis cannot be solved within the current computer and network architecture. The future lies with the “cryptocosm” — the new architecture of the blockchain and its derivatives. Enabling cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, NEO and Hashgraph, it will provide the Internet a secure global payments system, ending the aggregate-and-advertise Age of Google.

Federalist review here. We’ll let you know what we think after reading the book.

Highbrow and the Hipster, Starlet and the Phony Tipster

August 12th, 2018

A tune from the last post. Amusing moment: we’ve not read nor seen The Fountainhead, but recently caught the last few minutes, the trial and aftermath. When Gary Cooper signed the contract of the antagonist who never wanted to see him again, our reaction was: put a bullet in your head, which he then promptly did. Great screenwriting! WFB did not like the author BTW. Patricia Neal was only 22 when she made the movie; she really helped make A Face in the Crowd into something special. She also has a modest connection to Rocky Horror, yikes!

Serious Question

August 11th, 2018

We can’t get this far into the corrupt weeds of an FBI that is making J. Edgar Hoover look good. Heck, you don’t need Efrem Zimbalist Jr., when his associate Edd “Kookie” Burns could easily have done a better job than these corruptocrats, with or without comb.

Prez DJT is crystal clear on the big picture, and it will be very interesting to see the media and PR team (Giuliani, Hannity, etc.) decide to play it. Our view is that everything that is still being slow-walked should be declassified now, and criminal charges should be filed ASAP in any case where the evidence supports it. Oh yeah, our serious question: what exactly does this fellow Sessions do all day?

Update: no answer so far on Sessions, but we have a new question: Surfside 6, what’s that?

Doe, a deer, a female deer

August 10th, 2018

Post:

A woman has filed a human rights complaint against a Toronto shelter for female recovering addicts, claiming staff forced her to share a small double room with a pre-operative male-to-female transgender person. The formal complaint against the Jean Tweed Centre, which runs Palmerston House, followed Kristi Hanna’s efforts to inquire about her own legal rights in this unusual situation, only to be told by Ontario’s Human Rights Legal Support Centre that, by describing her new roommate as a “man,” Hanna was the one engaged in illegal discrimination.

It is amusing to see how careful the newspaper is to avoid calling the guy ‘him.’ Even grosser news here. These guys are sure a lot more aggressive than gals.

Now a modest wish as things continue to develop on the political side. We would like to see Clapper, Brennan, Mueller, etc. deck themselves out in dresses as they claim discrimination after they are all arrested for their grossly criminal behavior.

Another blast from the past — and present

August 9th, 2018

Cúcuta has been in the news because Ambassador Haley was up there critiquing Venezuela and offering a little money. It’s where we crossed into Venezuela while on a business trip with a mining company 42 years ago, if memory serves. Not too fancy an area. We don’t remember which side of the border we were on when we saw an outdoor butcher shop with slabs of meat hanging outside on wooden rails. Notably, it’s the only place in the world we’ve been where we saw kids with rickets walking around. If we have the pictures we will post them. Very sad and ugh.

While the clock ticked

August 9th, 2018

We suggested at one point using Twilight Zone episode titles, but here’s one from the Hardy Boys. Here’s today’s communication from another universe; today’s jog featured Democracy Now! and Mr. Disgrace to the Profession.

Ah, clarity

August 8th, 2018

Ohio.

Russkies.

Space aliens.

Question

August 8th, 2018

What was the last TV show with lyrics to its theme song; not: “Meet Cathy, who’s lived most everywhere, From Zanzibar to Berkeley Square, But Patty’s only seen the sights. A girl can see from Brooklyn Heights.” We were on a plane with her once and she was very nice — it was PanAm, so that dates us. Also, that song is what we had in the brain when we first walked into Berkeley Square. So what was the last TV show with lyrics? We note that there’s a lot of weirdness out there, with “secret lyrics.” Those don’t count.

Very odd

August 8th, 2018

Winner of Ohio 12 in 2016: 251,266. Anticipated winner this time: around 101,574. What’s going on? Bonus fun from I’ve got a Secret — certainly more fun than 150,000 votes going Poof!!

Serious times

August 8th, 2018

Express:

Mr Trump has said he would “fully enforce” the measures being reimposed as a result of the US withdrawal from the 2015 JPCA deal aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons – prompting a defiant stance from EU leaders. In today’s early morning tweet, the US President this morning said: “The Iran sanctions have officially been cast. “These are the most biting sanctions ever imposed, and in November they ratchet up to yet another level. “Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States. “I am asking for WORLD PEACE, nothing less!” Mr Trump’s words were an apparent response to yesterday’s joint statement released by the all 28 EU member states, including UK, France and Germany – which were also parties to the 2015 accord along with Russia and China, In it, signatories – including UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt – expressed “deep regret” at the US move.

The statement added: “The lifting of nuclear-related sanctions is an essential part of the deal; it aims at having a positive impact not only on trade and economic relations with Iran, but most importantly on the lives of the Iranian people. “We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran, in accordance with EU law and with UN security council resolution 2231. “This is why the European Union’s updated blocking statute enters into force on 7 August to protect EU companies doing legitimate business with Iran from the impact of US extra-territorial sanctions.” European firms have been told not to comply with demands from the White House for them to stop doing business with Iran. Those who decide to do so will need to be granted authorisation from the European commission, with failure to do so leaving them at risk of being sued by EU member states.

The EU: Ugh. Thank goodness we don’t have a college professor for a president in these serious times when our Left has completely lost its mind.

Bonuses: (1) Man, it should be easier pretty soon to find a VC interested in sponsoring an alternative to the Unholy Trinity, lotsa money to be made; (2) Michael Anton talks Projection. Lotta that going around.

Mairzy Doats

August 7th, 2018

Say, what was going on when that funny song was written? Here’s a hint: a version went to #1 three months before D-Day and related battles. You remember that D-Day thing? It was back when those awful Americans and their allies were sacrificing hundreds of thousands of men to save the world so that the Jeong Show could air. Ah yes, things were pretty easy back then. So easy in fact that hip and fashionable Americans excluded English service number 230873 from participating in a D-Day commemoration. The good news? Well, we won WWII and the Jeong Show turns out to be anti-Hitler.

Ha Ha.