Unhinged

December 2nd, 2016

Exhibit A. Exhibit B. Exhibit C. As we’ve said many times, the real problem here is that these unhinged people really believe the nonsense they spout. “There’s a horrible elephant in the room, and we have to kill him; the only problem is that he’s invisible!” How do you fix something like that?

Paper ballots, ID that proves citizenship

December 1st, 2016

What on earth is so complicated about common sense?

Miscellany

November 30th, 2016

The jokes in this piece are funny; question: just how dumb do you have to be to not understand that if people are fleeing a country, something is very wrong with the guy running it. This piece is interesting but still a lot of blah-blah speculation. Finally, VDH serves up one of his darkly humorous pieces. The madness will continue and we don’t have a clue when it might stop.

Outside the Mainstream

November 29th, 2016

Enforcing existing laws. This country has nearly lost its mind.

No comment

November 28th, 2016

These comments by our old buddy Michael Lewitt might be interesting to you.

Tilting at windmills

November 28th, 2016

A compilation of some NYT guys:

can I ask a question? One of the issues that you actually were very careful not to speak about during the campaign, and haven’t spoken about yet, is one very near and dear to my heart, the whole issue of climate change, the Paris agreement. it’s really important to me, and I think to a lot of our readers, to know where you’re going to go with this. I’d hate to see Royal Aberdeen underwater. You’ve talked about the impact of the wind farms on your golf course. People, experts who are lawyers and ethics experts, say that all of that is totally inappropriate. I don’t think anyone objects to, you know, doing all forms of energy. But are you going to take America out of the world’s lead of confronting climate change? Well, since we’re living on an island, sir, I want to thank you for having an open mind. We saw what these storms are now doing, right? We’ve seen it personally. Straight up.

Other Guy: I do have an open mind. And we’ve had storms always, Arthur.

NYT Guy: Not like this.

Sadly, the chairman of the NYT really believes this nonsense. There’s quite a lot of talk about wind farms, windmills, and you won’t be surprised to see that there’s a gotcha angle in much of it.

Words to live by?

November 27th, 2016

NZ:

University of Arizona emeritus professor says in 10 years, humans will cease to exist. Abrupt rises in temperature have us on course for the sixth mass extinction – similar to one that happened about 252 million years ago that culminated in the “great dying”. That event was the worst of the mass extinction events in our planet’s history and saw all complex life cease, leaving microbes and fungi to rule the planet. “I think we are heading for something like that this time around, too,” McPherson said. “I just don’t see how very complex, very complicated organisms that depend upon so many other species, such as humans, I just don’t see how we get through that.”

This has got to be made up, but it’s fun so we’ll post it. Question: why did we waste all that money getting rid of the smog in LA and the nasty air at the coke ovens and steel mills around Pittsburgh? HT: PL

For future reference

November 26th, 2016

When the journalists and other luminaries pause to praise the “medical care to all” in Cuba, and other great Castro accomplishments, you have at hand a list of serilous nincompoops, whose words should count for nothing in a rational world. Since Cuba’s GDP per capita is about 10% of that in the US, and it apparently spends 10% of its tiny GDP on medical care, health services must be poor. Its propaganda department seems to be extremely well funded in this area, however.

Yay

November 25th, 2016

BTW Castro was a billionaire. Good riddance. Feel free to compare these reactions.

Possibly related

November 25th, 2016

Something called Fashionista:

we will continue to monitor Mrs. Trump’s fashion moments for any real significance; we’re a fashion news website, and that’s what we do. And, yes, Fashionista has covered the sartorial choices of plenty of men and women whose general beliefs or opinions may not align with those of our editors, and we’ll continue to do so in the future. But those men and women weren’t about to take the country’s highest political office, and all we can really do now is take a stance. So if you’re looking for a site that plans to catalog Mrs. Trump’s looks each time she steps off of Air Force One or makes a public appearance, this is not the place.

We hope fashion does not go the way of manufacturing. WSJ: “Suicides could lead to more suicides or new economic consequences”

Bonus unfun: watch video #2. The madness will not cease because its proponents deeply believe in their own nonsense.

Hey, take the day off

November 24th, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Small beer

November 23rd, 2016

WSJ:

The draft goes further than the 2011 policy in spelling out different categories of nonbank lending commonly called “shadow banking,” a market estimated at 58 trillion yuan ($8.4 trillion), or some 80% of gross domestic product. In the proposal, the regulator urges banks to step up corporate governance, such as by assigning a department to oversee off-balance-sheet risks and employing external auditors

Hmm. There are off-balance sheet loans for 80% of GDP and the lenders are “urged” to get auditors and set up credit monitoring departments? How very 1920’s of them.

Eek, an evil giant mouse that will devour the earth

November 22nd, 2016

Guardian:

The chances of successfully mitigating climate change and holding global temperature increases to below a manageable 1.5 degree rise has nosedived. Trump, a man who believes that climate change is a “hoax”, wants to pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement. Even if that ends up taking time, he can decimate US federal agencies engaged in efforts to move to a greener society. He will probably cancel Obama’s Clean Power Plan, and slash federal funding for renewable energy. It’s not for nothing that Noam Chomsky has said that the Republican party is now “the most dangerous organization in world history.” Their commitment to collaborating in climate change denial – and therefore, the destruction of our futures – is absolute, and they will now control the White House, Congress and the supreme court. Deliberately manufacturing doubt about climate science in order to protect the profits of a few fossil fuel companies might just turn out be the biggest crime in human history.

A somebody said, I’m melting.

While the clock ticked

November 21st, 2016

Stratfor:

although 2016 has brought stronger-than-expected growth to China’s property sector, it has largely been concentrated in the country’s wealthiest cities and has come at the expense of creating more available credit. At the same time, this growth has had uneven effects on real estate investment and construction. Individually, each of these factors suggests that credit is becoming a less and less efficient means of driving growth in the construction sector, which will limit Beijing’s options in monetary and fiscal policymaking in 2017. But combined with what appears to be a push by Beijing to limit increases in home prices — which will put an even bigger drag on real estate investment and construction — the future of China’s housing sector looks grim.

For most of China’s deeply indebted companies, another protracted slump in the housing sector could be catastrophic. On top of their climbing debt-to-equity ratios, Chinese housing and construction firms have seen the maturity periods of new debt shrink over the past few years. Now, Chinese enterprises are issuing far more short-term debts than they did before: In the third quarter of 2016, 82 percent of all Chinese corporate bonds had maturities of less than three years, compared with just 36 percent in the same quarter of 2010. (The picture is even grimmer in the construction sector itself.) In other words, more and more Chinese businesses are taking out loans to repay existing debts, rather than to fund long-term investments.

Combined with tighter controls on home-buying and heftier debt burdens, this deepening dependence on short-term loans all but guarantees that more Chinese companies in construction-related industries will default on their debts or declare bankruptcy next year.

Meanwhile, SNL is as funny as ever.

Change of pace

November 20th, 2016

WSJ:

Cybercriminals who once earned millions by breaking into individual online bank accounts are now targeting the banks’ own computers, with often-dramatic results. In Taiwan and Thailand earlier this year, the criminals programmed bank ATMs to spew cash. Gang members stood in front of the machines at the appointed hour and collected millions of dollars. Earlier this month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned U.S. banks of the potential for similar attacks. The FBI said in a bulletin that it is “monitoring emerging reports indicating that well-resourced and organized malicious cyber actors have intentions to target the U.S. financial sector.” In Taiwan, Taipei city police on July 10 received a report of currency lying on a First Commercial Bank ATM in the city’s Da’an Precinct. Reports of loose cash at other ATMs soon followed. ATMs were “abnormally spitting out bills,” police said in a written statement a few days later. By July 11, criminals had collected more than 83 million New Taiwan dollars (US$2.6 million) in cash — without using ATM cards.

Get the cash, yeah! More fun than reading you know what, though we must admit this 84% figure is very interesting if true, and this is kind of funny too.

Town and Country becomes Town v. Country

November 19th, 2016

In business school they used to teach you that in marketing there ought to be consistency among Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. Tiffany for some things, Woolworth for others. NYT for some advertising, Daily News for other. Brooks Brothers versus Bond. And on and on. We’re pretty sure that e-commerce has blown up a lot of this.

Now we’ve seen something similar in the political realm as well. There used to be things called Democrats and Republicans. At the very top, a Republican was Democrat-Lite. You know, he’s a member of the Party of Hate, but not really such a bad fellow, despite being an inferior Product at a Chamber of Commerce Price, hanging out in some segregated country club Place. You know that he’s not so bad because he always graciously tipped his hat to those in the Promotion business. That model worked for decades but got upended in the last year and a half.

As was famously said: “The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.” Indeed, they’ve often never had a real job in their lives, yet somehow find themselves at the top of the Promotion business, the duties of which include enforcing Political Correctness and the Establishment’s Conventional Wisdom on people 2-3x their age.

Pause for effect. Their job experience consists of commenting on what other people do or say. What kind of job is that? But they know they are members of the Party of Good, and the members of the Party of Hate confirm their special status by deferring to them and apologizing for saying things not in the Promotion department’s thesaurus. That’s a lot of power.

So along comes a guy who says the most outrageous things, and the Promotion Department can’t shut him up. (BTW, there’s an excellent piece in the Hollywood Reporter on the new media assistant-in-chief, Steve Bannon.) Astoundingly, the guy wins. And because he doesn’t genuflect before the Promotion Department, he must be a real Hate, Hate, Hate member of the Party of Hate. And so must be the people covering 80% of the country’s area. There used to be Town and Country. Not anymore. When Country comes to Town now, it’s freakout time.

Things are bad now, and we think they’ll get worse before they get better.

We’ll see what happens

November 18th, 2016

WSJ:

Democratic mayors in cities including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Providence, R.I., among others, said they would challenge any new administration move to crack down on illegal immigration. Many billions of dollars could be at stake. For instance, San Francisco alone gets about $1 billion annually from the federal government, both directly and through the state, according to Ben Rosenfield, the controller for the city and county. The city is “assessing budget impacts from possible federal actions,” but support for public health and human service programs could be affected, he said. The term “sanctuary city” is ill-defined, said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

Hmmm, Wikipedia seems to have an idea what it is. This is going to be a very big deal. WSJ: “a traveler could drive 3,600 miles across the continent, from Key West, Fla., to the Canadian border crossing at Porthill, Idaho, without ever leaving a state under total GOP control; 67% of non-college-educated whites nationwide voted for the GOP candidate.” The freakout will continue nonstop.

Every day a new low or two, and then….

November 17th, 2016

In case you hadn’t heard, it’s the end of the West as we know it. Sweden says so! And get a load of the links at the bottom of the story. More: NBC and Bloomberg beclown themselves, because someone “Leaves Press Behind for Steak Dinner.” Outrageous!

Okay, let’s change the subject. Back in 2008, we bemoaned the deadly $147 a barrel price of oil, even as Saudi Arabia was ramping up production. Since then we’ve had the shale positives and now a 20 billion barrel oilfield discovery in Texas. Time to be fully energy independent and drain the Mideast swamp.

Other than that, how was your day?

November 16th, 2016

A linguistics professor:

On Nov. 8, the most powerful country in world history, which will set its stamp on what comes next, had an election. The outcome placed total control of the government—executive, Congress, the Supreme Court—in the hands of the Republican Party, which has become the most dangerous organization in world history. Apart from the last phrase, all of this is uncontroversial. The last phrase may seem outlandish, even outrageous. But is it? The facts suggest otherwise. The party is dedicated to racing as rapidly as possible to destruction of organized human life.

The freakout continues. It’s not going away, and they’re even doubling down on Bannon. Crazy. (For contrast, subtlety and enjoyment, read this.)

The funny and the unfunny

November 15th, 2016

This is pretty funny. This, and this are not, particularly after the calm, soothing 60 minutes interview the other day. The academy and the media just underwent the conclusion of Dr. Strangelove. We disagree with Scott Adams, however, on the way that things will get cured. Those who have just been nuked are not going to quit any time soon. That’s why we advocate confrontation, and select the absurdity of climate change as a Rock of Gibraltar to stand upon. Hmmm. Maybe we should change the title above; it is pretty funny to watch these people freaking out.