6 Minute Test

July 6th, 2015

Would it be better to be a kid at that time or this one? We’re sure there should be all kinds of trigger warnings about micro-aggressions, and so forth. Ha Ha.

61-39 isn’t 43-43

July 5th, 2015

WSJ:

With more than 87% of votes counted, preliminary results showed more than 61% of voters had cast ballots against creditors’ demands in the historic referendum — a heavier-than-expected victory for the “no” campaign against the austerity policies demanded by Greece’s lenders, the rest of the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund. Mr. Tsipras might soon find it difficult to deliver on his promise to secure a more lenient bailout deal from Europe, where other governments, led by Germany, are in no mood to offer Greece more generous terms.

So there will be no civil war due to the 43-43 split forecast by pollsters, but there will be huge problems with this outcome. Let’s go back 5 years, when everyone was speculating about contagion: who’s next after Greece? Once again that may be an issue. For example Italy is awash in government debt at 135% or so of GDP. Increased concessions to Greece by the IMF, EU and ECB translate into an obvious political strategy elsewhere: hold a referendum.

Gone and almost forgotten

July 4th, 2015

AL:

we have Judge Douglas giving his exposition of what the Declaration of Independence means, and we have him saying you Germans are not connected with it. Now I ask you in all soberness what are these arguments? They are the arguments that kings have made for enslaving the people in all ages of the world. You will find that all the arguments in favor of king-craft were of this class; they always bestrode the necks of the people, not that they wanted to do it, but because the people were better off for being ridden. That is their argument, and this argument of the Judge is the same old serpent that says you work and I eat, you toil and I will enjoy the fruits of it. Turn in whatever way you will whether it come from the mouth of a King, an excuse for enslaving the people of his country, or from the mouth of men of one race as a reason for enslaving the men of another race, it is all the same old serpent

CC:

It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning cannot be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions.

Not much of this in the public square today. Rather the opposite often, not to mention a wholesale loss of common sense.

How can either YES or NO work?

July 3rd, 2015

Bloomberg:

43 percent intend to reject the budget cuts demanded in exchange for financial aid, while 42.5 percent will accept the conditions. The survey of 1,042 people was conducted by the University of Macedonia Research Institute of Applied Social and Economic Studies. The margin of error was 3 percent. An Ipsos survey released late Friday showed a razor-thin margin, with “yes” at 44 percent and “no” at 43 percent.

Meanwhile, retail sales are off 25% from 5 years ago, international payments mechanisms are essentially frozen and the supply chain is broken — and the country is split down the middle on what to do. If the referendum were a vote on civil war…

Realignments

July 2nd, 2015

RCE:

the Saudis and Russians signed several memoranda of understanding including the development of nuclear power plants in the Kingdom, with the Saudis planning some 16+ plants. The two sides also plan on setting up working groups to study other possible energy joint ventures in Russia. Russia also agreed to the construction of railways and metro subways for the Saudis. Russia is also believed to have agreed to supply advanced military defense equipment to the Kingdom, despite the Saudis being long time arms customers of both the UK and U.S.

Also: Steyn on the current trajectory. Spengler on the possibility of a cultural 180. Bruni demonstrates why many conservatives dislike big business almost as much as big government.

Frostbite Falls Trigger Warnings

July 1st, 2015

Let’s ditch horrible reality and once again visit Frostbite Falls. It’s not PC. Fearless Leader smokes! So does Natasha! Guns everywhere. FL calls colleagues Schweinhund before he kills them, the former apparently now a crime in England. BTW, compare and contrast Oklahoma and Montana. What a country!

Finally, there’s a chance that many states might have their own Frostbite Falls.

Parallel universes

June 30th, 2015

It’s a rotten, dangerous world out there. Then again incense and peppermints might win: “this dream is the one that will prevail, in the end. That’s the lesson of history: Brutality and fear can keep people down for only so long. The Nazis learned this; the Soviets learned it.” Neon rainbow, yay! And while we’re at it, won’t comic books change the world? We’re pretty sure that comic books won WWII and the Cold War.

BTW, that VDH is so silly to ramble on about Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War. Who remembers them? TV had barely been invented at the time…

Our two drachmas

June 29th, 2015

FWIW, we’ll be surprised if Greece does a deal with the EU etc to stay in the euro. Alexis Tsipras doesn’t seem to have that much room to compromise, given his newness and ideology (and rhetoric). Moreover, as we noted the other day, this has been playing out in slow motion for a decade or more. However, we don’t see 2008 at the moment, with all its craziness, because oil isn’t $147 a barrel, and the CDS’s can’t be as insane as they were back then. As always, prepared to be wrong, but that’s our view at the moment.

Plus ça change

June 28th, 2015

Bloomberg:

Greece moved to avert the collapse of its financial system, shutting its lenders as of Monday, a measure that will deepen the recession and risk driving the nation toward an exit from the euro. The move to husband resources followed the collapse of aid talks with the international creditors late Friday and the European Central Bank decision to freeze its lifeline to Greek banks. With cash flooding out at a record pace and its financial backstop gone, Greece would become the second euro-area country, after Cyprus in 2013, to declare a bank holiday and impose capital controls. European officials, meantime, discussed quarantining Greece from the rest of the currency bloc

Hey, what were people talking about 5 years ago? How about 10 years ago?

Shanghai, Greece, Orwell and other matters

June 27th, 2015

Just the other day Shanghai was at 5132. It touched 4139 yesterday. Oops! Meanwhile, Greece has a referendum scheduled for July 5 but an IMF payment due on Tuesday. Oops! In news closer to home, this paragraph had us thinking about Orwell. Orwell, BTW, would not be invited to give commencement addresses today. The world is a tough place, but let’s not notice that, ok? Let’s have tenure and fluffy thoughts; those mean people are far away, aren’t they? As we say almost every day now, this will not end well. (Ah, yes.) HT: AT

Look! Something shiny!

June 26th, 2015

Anthony Kennedy:

A second principle in this Court’s jurisprudence is that the right to marry is fundamental because it supports a four-to-six person union unlike any other in its importance to the committed individuals.

What a damnable species-ist this Kennedy fellow is! On a more serious note, Larry Elder mentioned this John McWhorter piece the other day. This country has some deep and terrible problems but dealing with them is too difficult so we get baubles.

Super fun bonus: Roger Kimball on satire. Super double fun bonus: bye-bye comity.

That old Toyota ad

June 25th, 2015

You asked for it; you got it. Heh. Good idea. Except Toyota was an excellent product.

That’s nice

June 24th, 2015

AP:

Speaking Tuesday night in comments broadcast on Iranian state TV, Khamenei said demands that Iran halt the research and development portion of its nuclear program constitute “excessive coercion.” “We don’t accept a 10-year restriction. We have told the negotiating team how many specific years of restrictions are acceptable,” Khamenei said. “Research and development must continue during the years of restrictions.” “Lifting sanctions can’t depend on implementation of Iran’s obligations,” he said. Khamenei also said he rejects any inspection of military sites or allowing Iranian scientists to be interviewed.

More AP info here. Maybe Caitlyn and Bruce can play a duet as our modern Rome burns.

It’s even simpler than that

June 23rd, 2015

NYT:

he claimed the pending deal would shrink Iran’s nuclear program, so that if Iran later “decided to break the deal, kick out all the inspectors, break the seals and go for a bomb, we’d have over a year to respond.” Unfortunately, that claim is false, as can be demonstrated with basic science and math. By my calculations, Iran’s actual breakout time under the deal would be approximately three months

It’s even simpler than that. If you want to destroy the great satan and the little satan, and you believe in suicide bombing, breakout time is somewhat irrelevant. For more fun: Ron Radosh.

Sicut in caelo et in terra

June 22nd, 2015

Paragraph 169f:

As far as the protection of biodiversity and issues related to desertification are concerned, progress has been far less significant. With regard to climate change, the advances have been regrettably few. Reducing greenhouse gases requires honesty, courage and responsibility, above all on the part of those countries which are more powerful and pollute the most. The Conference of the United Nations on Sustainable Development, “Rio+20” (Rio de Janeiro 2012), issued a wide-ranging but ineffectual outcome document.

International negotiations cannot make significant progress due to positions taken by countries which place their national interests above the global common good. Those who will have to suffer the consequences of what we are trying to hide will not forget this failure of conscience and responsibility. Even as this Encyclical was being prepared, the debate was intensifying. We believers cannot fail to ask God for a positive outcome to the present discussions, so that future generations will not have to suffer the effects of our ill-advised delays.

Oh yes, and air conditioning is bad too, because business or something. The Conventional Wisdom is under the ownership of ignorant fools.

Introibo ad altare Gaia, and so forth

June 21st, 2015

From here and here

It makes me think of people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit a distrust, doesn’t it? The great powers had the pictures of the railway lines that brought the trains to the concentration camps like Auschwitz to kill Jews, Christians, homosexuals, everybody. Why didn’t they bomb them? The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. These situations have caused sister earth, along with all the abandoned of our world, to cry out, pleading that we take another course. Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last 200 years.

Tracinski actually has read the work of this knucklehead. More at WaPo.

Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and other Asians need not apply

June 20th, 2015

The good news is that you can be insane and make a comfortable living, as this piece demonstrates. Not only that, you can get a PhD and teach the young your screwy vision of the world. Here’s a quote: “There was a time in my 20s when everything I learned about the history of racism made me hate myself, my whiteness, my ancestors and my descendants. I remember deciding that I couldn’t have biological children because I didn’t want to propagate my privilege biologically.” Thank God for small favors.

Tick Tick

June 19th, 2015

NYT:

“the European Central Bank on Friday increased its emergency funding of the country’s financial system after efforts failed on Thursday to broker a deal on Greece’s flailing bailout. It was the second time this week that European Central Bank officials had conferred over the troubled Greek lenders. The central bank has effectively kept the banks on life support with billions of euros in emergency funding as anxious depositors accelerated their withdrawals” to a billion a day

Merkel wants a deal before the banks open after the weekend. Hard to see a politically viable deal when the recently elected Greek leadership’s rhetoric has been so tough and straightforward.

We take this occasion to recall that five years ago, the instability in Greece and the eurozone was one factor causing the Dow to drop 900 points in a trading session. By comparison, everyone seems to be under-reacting today. We’ll see.

Birds of a feather, and other matters

June 18th, 2015

First the lighter idiocy:

One guy: “The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. These situations have caused sister earth, along with all the abandoned of our world, to cry out, pleading that we take another course. Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last 200 years.” Another guy: “we have a profound responsibility to protect our children, and our children’s children, from the damaging impacts of climate change. I am committed to taking bold actions at home and abroad to cut carbon pollution, to increase clean energy and energy efficiency, to build resilience in vulnerable communities, and to encourage responsible stewardship of our natural resources. We must also protect the world’s poor”

Re that last comment about helping the poor around the world, how about cheap energy, a great and easy thing to do? Oh, never mind, there’s no talking to fools of this magnitude.

As for the profoundly disturbing idiocy, don’t make a soap opera, make a hanging, and a fast one at that. We don’t care if he’s nuts or on drugs, hang him and do it next month. Q: What kind of a country is it in which Sirhan Sirhan and Charles Manson are still alive after the horrible things they did in the 1960’s? A: one where deterrence does not exist.

Dopey is not just a Dwarf

June 17th, 2015

Can you even think that, let alone say it these days? So hard to know on this swiftly moving ship of fools. Related thoughts from Hinderaker and Tracinski, who BTW had precisely the same reaction to the McAllister piece that we did. Question for the day to some: have you ever considered that if you notice a micro-aggression, it’s because you have a micro-brain?