Archive for the 'General' Category

Member of Congress says that Climate Change = World War II

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

A representative in Congress from NYC:

the part of it that is generational is that millennials and people, in Gen Z, and all these folks that come after us are looking up and we’re like, the world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change. You’re biggest issue, your biggest issue is how are going to pay for it? — and like this is the war, this is our World War II.

Yeah, we’re sure life is tough for you, like it was for so many Americans who had a bad day back then. Will anyone push back against this idiot? Apparently not these guys and gals:

George Akerlof, Robert Aumann, Angus Deaton, Peter Diamond, Robert Engle, Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen, Oliver Hart, Bengt Holmström, Daniel Kahneman, Finn Kydland, Robert Lucas, Eric Maskin, Daniel McFadden, Robert Merton, Roger Myerson, Edmund Phelps, Alvin Roth, Thomas Sargent, Myron Scholes, Amartya Sen, William Sharpe, Robert Shiller, Christopher Sims, Robert Solow, Michael Spence and Richard Thaler are recipients of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Paul Volcker is a former Federal Reserve chairman. Martin Baily, Michael Boskin, Martin Feldstein, Jason Furman, Austan Goolsbee, Glenn Hubbard, Alan Krueger, Edward Lazear, N. Gregory Mankiw, Christina Romer, Harvey Rosen and Laura Tyson are former chairmen of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers. Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan and Janet Yellen have chaired both the Fed and the Council of Economic Advisers. George Shultz and Lawrence Summers are former Treasury secretaries.

More wimpiness here. You realize that the elevating the trivial and trivializing real horror and hardship increases the likelihood of really bad stuff happening, and the US is definitely on that course.

VDH

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

Too much detail and we don’t really like writing about this, but it’s really good stuff.

Trouble ahead, trouble behind – slowest growth in 28 years in China

Monday, January 21st, 2019

WSJ:

In the southern technology and export-manufacturing center of Shenzhen, for instance, many private makers of electronics, textiles and auto parts furloughed workers more than two months before the Lunar New Year holiday, which begins in February, according to business owners and local officials. The neighboring city of Guangzhou saw growth slump to 6.5% last year — well short of the 7.5% annual target set by the city government—as trade tensions hit the city’s manufacturing sector hard.

Some economists and investors have said China’s economy is far more anemic than the government’s 6.6% rate of expansion for 2018. They note the government’s move on Friday, just ahead of Monday’s data release, to cut the 2017 growth rate to 6.8% from 6.9%

We’ve spent a decent amount of time in both Shenzhen and Guangzhou BTW. Oops: via SCMP: China set to report slowest economic growth for 28 years.

Also via WSJ: The eurozone economy enjoyed its fastest growth in a decade during 2017, a 2.4% expansion that ECB’s economists expected to see continue through 2018. The World Bank now estimates growth slowed to 1.9% last year and will slip further to 1.6% this year.

Addendum: Casey Jones you better watch that speed, or lack thereof. Hey, we saw the Dead in Brooklyn a long time ago, when Pigpen was still with us. So rewriting the Dead: trouble behind, trouble ahead,

Silly Soundtrack Central

Monday, January 21st, 2019

About time to memorialize brain soundtrack silliness. From now on they’ll appear here. We started with the Dead. Then wash your feet. How about eau dee cologney and tutor turtle. Some are actually weird, BTW. Worms.

We’re doomed, DOOMED!!!

Sunday, January 20th, 2019

WSJ:

Global climate change is a serious problem calling for immediate national action. Guided by sound economic principles, we are united in the following policy recommendations.

I. A carbon tax offers the most cost-effective lever to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and speed that is necessary. By correcting a well-known market failure, a carbon tax will send a powerful price signal that harnesses the invisible hand of the marketplace to steer economic actors towards a low-carbon future.

II. A carbon tax should increase every year until emissions reductions goals are met and be revenue neutral to avoid debates over the size of government. A consistently rising carbon price will encourage technological innovation and large-scale infrastructure development. It will also accelerate the diffusion of carbon-efficient goods and services.

III. A sufficiently robust and gradually rising carbon tax will replace the need for various carbon regulations that are less efficient. Substituting a price signal for cumbersome regulations will promote economic growth and provide the regulatory certainty companies need for long- term investment in clean-energy alternatives.

IV. To prevent carbon leakage and to protect U.S. competitiveness, a border carbon adjustment system should be established. This system would enhance the competitiveness of American firms that are more energy-efficient than their global competitors. It would also create an incentive for other nations to adopt similar carbon pricing.

V. To maximize the fairness and political viability of a rising carbon tax, all the revenue should be returned directly to U.S. citizens through equal lump-sum rebates. The majority of American families, including the most vulnerable, will benefit financially by receiving more in “carbon dividends” than they pay in increased energy prices.

We’re not doomed because of the silly climate nonsense of course. But consider the backers of this stupid proposal:

George Akerlof, Robert Aumann, Angus Deaton, Peter Diamond, Robert Engle, Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen, Oliver Hart, Bengt Holmström, Daniel Kahneman, Finn Kydland, Robert Lucas, Eric Maskin, Daniel McFadden, Robert Merton, Roger Myerson, Edmund Phelps, Alvin Roth, Thomas Sargent, Myron Scholes, Amartya Sen, William Sharpe, Robert Shiller, Christopher Sims, Robert Solow, Michael Spence and Richard Thaler are recipients of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Paul Volcker is a former Federal Reserve chairman. Martin Baily, Michael Boskin, Martin Feldstein, Jason Furman, Austan Goolsbee, Glenn Hubbard, Alan Krueger, Edward Lazear, N. Gregory Mankiw, Christina Romer, Harvey Rosen and Laura Tyson are former chairmen of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers. Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan and Janet Yellen have chaired both the Fed and the Council of Economic Advisers. George Shultz and Lawrence Summers are former Treasury secretaries.

With fools like this in charge, we are really DOOMED, and we’re not kidding. How many of these distinguished and accomplished dopes could answer our favorite question, which is this: to the nearest percent, how many parts of CO2 in 1000 parts of air? – to which of course the answer is zero.

PS: CO2 is good.

Extra PS: things are not going to get better (though there’s now hope at the end of the piece).

Art of the Squeal

Saturday, January 19th, 2019

Business as usual. Better offer than we would have made, but he knew they’d reject it anyhow. Their plan evidently is Lights! Camera! Action! starving children, etc.

Oddity of the day: a guy on the left who likes DDT but strangely thinks health care in Cuba is better than US. Weird.

Are you now or have you ever been?

Saturday, January 19th, 2019

Well, we’re definitively part of the VRWC. We saw the screeching, screaming report that the Trumpster told Cohen to lie to Congress, and then the Mueller denial of same. (First the media’s daily freak-out.) Then we saw DiGenova on Hannity say that Mueller’s unusual upfront denial was caused by his not wanting to get on the wrong side of incoming AG Barr Day One, which is precisely what we thought, and others think as well. A little CYA in the disgusting corruption of FBI and DOJ. It’s a nice thing that the crooked deep state is scampering a bit.

What’s happening in Chongqing?

Friday, January 18th, 2019

SCMP:

Over the first three quarters of 2018, the city’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by only 6.3 per cent, below the national average of 6.7 per cent and the lowest reading since Chongqing was designated as a provincial-level city in 1997.

Few will be surprised if it misses its yearly target of 8.5 per cent set at the beginning of the 2018, nor would it be alone.

This week, the mayor of Guangzhou, China’s fourth largest city by GDP, announced that it missed its 7.5 per cent growth for last year. Wen Guohui blamed plunging export orders and weak private investment.

A series of weak economic indicators paint a bleak picture for Chongqing. In the past, fixed asset investment (FAI), which includes infrastructure spending, contribute close to 90 per cent to its annual GDP, based on statistics from 2017.

For the first 11 months of last year, FAI grew only 7 per cent, compared to 10 per cent from the same period in 2017, according to the city’s statistics bureau.

Meanwhile, retail sales increased by 6.8 per cent after inflation, falling from 9.8 per cent a year earlier. Industrial output grew by a paltry 0.6 per cent in real terms.

Some interesting charts here. Meanwhile, CNBC quotes some people: Hofer said now is the time to get into Chinese markets. “I think it’s perfectly okay for investors to take on China exposure now.” OK then.

Very cool stuff

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

CBS:

Calvin Parker says he and his buddy Charles Hickson were fishing in 1973 on the banks of the Pascagoula River, just north of where Ingalls Shipyard now sits, when a “real bright beam appeared all over us and it kind of blinded me for a second and when I got my vision back, I seen three bulky looking creatures coming toward us.”

Parker said the creatures were “probably 4, 4 1/2, 5 foot tall…built like football players. But I noticed they kind of moved mechanical wise and they was floating off the ground. By the time we stood up and turned around, they was there on us all at one time,” he told WALA in a rare interview. “Two of them got a hold of Charlie, one of them got a hold of myself and instantly I felt like, I just got relaxed.”

Parker, who was 19 at the time, claims he and the 42-year-old Hickson were levitated into a space craft. “There was an examination room, what I call it, and the ole big ugly creature that brought me in, he took me and laid me on the examination table and he just backed up out of the way. I couldn’t move or anything. All I could do was look,” Parker said.

A device about the size of a deck of cards then came down from the ceiling. “It hovered about a foot in front of my eyes and then it went to the right side of my head and it clicked, went behind my head and it clicked went to the left side of my head and clicked and then straight to the front and then it shot back into the ceiling,” he said.

Then a “more feminine looking creature came out. She looked completely different than what I called the robot,” he said. She “had regular fingers and came over and pinched me on the side of the cheek and then she took her finger and ran it down my throat and got it behind that thing that hangs down back there and tried to come up in my nasal cavity and that is when it started hurting and I started choking and I got scared and she just kind of telepathically told me ‘Don’t be afraid we aren’t going to hurt you.’”

Parker said the aliens then dropped him and Hickson on the river bank. They called the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office to report the incident.

Former Jackson County Captain Glenn Ryder said he told the men to come in to the station. To test their sincerity, Ryder said deputies secretly placed a tape recorder into an interrogation room and left the two alone.

“I got to get home, get to bed or get some nerve pills or something, see the doctor or something. I can’t stand it. I’m about to go all to pieces,” Parker was recorded saying at the time. “I tell you, when we get through, I’ll get you something to settle you down so you can get some damn sleep,” Hickson responded.

“Something happened to them, said Ryder. “You don’t fake fear. He was scared. He was scared out of his mind.” The men would also take lie detector tests and pass.

(1) Hey, what do you expect when there are 2 trillion galaxies. (2) At least we know what this episode was not entitled.

Not Either / Ohr, but Both / And

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

SC on the summer of 2016: “Ohr warned the dossier was not vetted. The FBI, however, used as the bulk of evidence from the dossier to obtain a secret warrant.” Dozens of FBI and DOJ officials knew the whole thing was a scam from the get go. These people are all criminals and we hope Mr. Lifson is correct about what will happen to them.

And here’s something as bad or worse.

$83 billion stimulus in one day, future growth revised down

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Fortune:

China’s central bank on Wednesday offered financial institutions $83 billion in liquidity as part of a wider economic stimulus. The move sets a record for a single day.

On Tuesday, several Chinese government institutions told investors they would be spending more and providing policy support to sustain the economy. Measures included certain tax cuts. Those reassurances followed Monday’s news that China’s international trade was down amidst its trade war with the U.S.

Eight of 12 Chinese provinces that have reported 2019 growth targets have revised them downward, reports the South China Morning Post. “The news is clear—the economy needs help,” Natixis economist Trinh Nguyen told Reuters. Earlier this month China also reduced banks’ reserve requirements to the tune of $116 billion.

SCMP: “The northern industrial port of Tianjin, which was found to have inflated its growth figures in recent years, slashed its 2019 target to 4.5% for 2019 from 5% last year. The westerly Xinjiang region significantly lowered its growth target for 2019 to 5.5% from 7% last year.”

Not good when you have to lower even the fake numbers.

The downward spiral continues

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Castro? And not Castro Convertibles. Left, Left, Left, Left, Left.

Debt up again

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

SCMP:

China’s banks extended a record 16.17 trillion yuan (US$2.4 trillion) in net new loans last year the People’s Bank of China said on Tuesday, as policymakers pushed lenders to fund cash-strapped firms to prop up the slowing economy.

The new figure, well above the previous record of 13.53 trillion yuan in 2017, is an indication that the bank has been moderately aggressive in using monetary policy to stimulate the economy, which slowed sharply as a result of the trade war with the US.

Outstanding yuan loans were up 13.5 per cent at the end of 2018 from a year earlier, according to the central bank data. In addition, debt issued by private enterprises increased by 70 per cent year-on-year

Par-tay!!

He lied again!

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

WaPo:

Wendy’s, unlike McDonald’s, makes it a bit tricky to determine what type of burger is contained in a particular package. The calculations below assume that the Wendy’s burgers are all doubles, that the chicken sandwiches are Wendy’s spicy chicken and that the salads are the Southwest (McDonald’s) and full BBQ Ranch Chicken (Wendy’s). The pizzas we figured were Domino’s Favorite Feast.

Another problem is that stacking flat hamburgers makes counting hard, as does obscured views of the various piles. So below, our estimates of the number of each item and, thanks to the aptly named FastFoodMenuPrices.com, an estimate of the cost of each item.

And, finally, the White House had a unique system for distributing the french fries. The fries, which appeared to be from McDonald’s, given the accompanying ketchup packets, were transferred into White House-branded cups, making it hard to determine how many there were at the outset. (In his taped remarks, above, Trump only revealed that there were “many, many fries.”) We figured an estimate of 200 large fries was about right.

According to our count, Trump spent about $2,911.44 on feeding the team. A sixth of that is the fries alone, though, so take with a grain of salt. (The fries; also the estimate.) Half the cost was incurred at McDonald’s alone.

Update: Some people have noted that the McDonald’s sandwiches and nuggets would be on the 2-for-$5 menu. If so, the total drops to $2,437.11. It also explains why there are so many more McDonald’s products than Burger King.

This total includes 319 sandwiches, 177 of which were hamburgers. Perhaps Trump’s “300” hamburgers figure referred to all of the sandwiches — or perhaps they weren’t all put out at the outset. (The low number of Whoppers and pizzas certainly does suggest that some food may have been held in reserve.) That the staff who were passing around Wendy’s on serving trays took those sandwiches directly from the table, however, seems to suggest that what you see in the photos was what was purchased.

Was it indeed enough food? We didn’t see photos of the aftermath, so we don’t know exactly what might have been left over. But we do know that the team alone is made up of 120 players, weighing over 27,500 pounds combined. So, the average Clemson player weighs about 230 pounds.

Thanks to the also-aptly-named CalorieKing, we can also determine how many calories were waiting in that room: About 310,000 — excluding sauces and dressing. The spread also made up somewhere around 16,000 grams of fat. In other words, each player could eat about 2,600 calories of food assuming our counts and estimates above are correct. Football players apparently need about 50 calories for every 2.2 pounds each day when undertaking their heaviest workout periods, meaning the spread covered about half the team’s necessary caloric intake for the day of the championship, if not a few weeks after. Hopefully, though, they left some food for their coaches and other attendees.

There is one other asterisk worth noting. In other comments, Trump — in true Trump fashion — suddenly more than tripled the hamburger count.

Trump says they bought “1,000 burgers” for Clemson. “It was piled up a mile high,” he said. FACT CHECK: At two inches each, a thousand burgers would not reach one mile high.

There are at present 2200 comments and 92% condemn you know who.

Update: the ignorant morons (ahem!) liked the burgers, but won’t be invited for drinking tea with pinky extended in the WaPo dining room.

100% Proof of Russia’s Control of the Evil Criminal Racist President

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

Russia’s Olympic athlete Ivan Drago used to hang out with Donald Trump. Drago killed Apollo Creed, proving beyond the shadow of a doubt that Trump is a racist and under the control of Russia. Who could disagree with such clear evidence?

Chihuahuas yapping

Monday, January 14th, 2019

The reference is to a nice Roger Kimball piece. A zillion years ago a lady who lived across the street from a friend of ours had two of these creatures. We called them yap-yap dogs. Nowadays you don’t have to go all the way over to Pacifica to hear the same thing; just turn on a “news” network.

Bye Bye

Sunday, January 13th, 2019

B727, 39 years.

Blast from the present

Sunday, January 13th, 2019

From January 13, 2019: Frank Bruni, formerly the New York Times’s White House reporter and now a columnist for the paper, has a long, long op-ed that is unintentionally revealing. It is headlined, “Will the Media Be Trump’s Accomplice Again in 2020?” As though the press were pro-Trump in 2016! “We have a second chance. Let’s not blow it.” A second chance to help a Democrat beat Donald Trump.

Bruni’s piece displays a remarkable lack of self-knowledge. Republicans should be happy to note that he still has no idea why Trump won in 2016: he thinks Hillary was a fine candidate, and it was the press’s fault for not being sufficiently anti-Trump.

Through the first half of 2016, as Trump racked up victories in the Republican primaries, he commanded much more coverage than any other candidate from either party, and it was evenly balanced between positive and negative appraisals — unlike the coverage of Clinton, which remained mostly negative.

The press, including the Times, promoted Trump during the primary process because they thought he would be a weak candidate, and helping him to the nomination would guarantee Hillary’s victory. Since he won the nomination, the press’s coverage of Trump has been the most relentlessly negative of any politician in American history. The Times’s own coverage has been obsessively–almost comically, in a black sort of way–hateful.

Bruni’s arrogance when he describes the role of the liberal press–which he consistently refers to as “we”–is breathtaking:

Above all, it [the liberal press’s “success or failure”] will have an impact on who takes the oath of office in January 2021. Democracies don’t just get the leaders they deserve. They get the leaders who make it through whatever obstacle course — and thrive in whatever atmosphere — their media has created.

That is the function of the press–to create an “obstacle course” sufficient to defeat President Trump.

The funniest thing about Bruni’s column is that, for expertise on how to cover a presidential election, he turns to Dan Rather! Seriously:

“The shadow of what we did last time looms over this next time,” the former CBS newsman Dan Rather, who has covered more than half a century of presidential elections, told me.

Bruni uses Rather as a Greek chorus, the voice of wisdom. Without irony.

Bruni’s theme is that the press needs to stop paying attention to the Trump spectacle and instead focus on substance. He doesn’t mean it, though. He certainly doesn’t have in mind talking about Trump’s strong economy, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, reduced regulations, foreign policy successes or judicial appointments. On the contrary, this is the kind of thing he has in mind:

I think that we’ve improved since then, and all along our efforts have included significant in-depth reporting. The Times’s acquisition and exhaustive analysis of confidential financial records of Trump’s from the 1990s — and its conclusion, in an epic story published in October, that he used questionable schemes to build his wealth — is a sterling example.

Heh. If Bruni thinks that is a “sterling example” of how the liberal press can defeat President Trump next time around, I can already hear the GOP cheers–“Four more years!”

Blast from the past

Sunday, January 13th, 2019

September 9, 2004: Today’s big Boston Globe story on President Bush’s Air National Guard service is based on memos to file from the personal records of the late Lieutenant Colonel Jerry B. Killian: “Bid cited to boost Bush in Guard.”

The Globe story is itself based on last night’s 60 Minutes report: “New questions on Bush Guard duty.” The online version of the 60 Minutes story has links to the memos. Killian died in 1984; CBS states that it “consulted a handwriting analyst and document expert who believes the material is authentic.” Readers Tom Mortensen and Liz MacDougald direct us to the FreeRepublic post and thread (see post no. 47) to this effect:

Every single one of the memos to file regarding Bush’s failure to attend a physical and meet other requirements is in a proportionally spaced font, probably Palatine or Times New Roman. In 1972 people used typewriters for this sort of thing (especially in the military), and typewriters used mono-spaced fonts.

The use of proportionally spaced fonts did not come into common use for office memos until the introduction high-end word processing systems from Xerox and Wang, and later of laser printers, word processing software, and personal computers. They were not widespread until the mid to late 90’s.

Before then, you needed typesetting equipment, and that wasn’t used for personal memos to file. Even the Wang and other systems that were dominant in the mid 80’s used mono-spaced fonts. I doubt the TANG had typesetting or high-end 1st generation word processing systems.

I am saying these documents are forgeries, run through a copier for 15 generations to make them look old. This should be pursued aggressively.

UPDATE: Thanks to all the readers who have written regarding this post. Several have pointed out that the Executive line of IBM typewriters did have proportionally spaced fonts, although no reader has found the font used in the memos to be a familiar one or thought that the IBM Executive was likely to have been used by the National Guard in the early 1970’s. Reader Monty Walls has also cited the IBM Selectric Composer. However, reader Eric Courtney adds this wrinkle:

The “Memo To File” of August 18, 1973 also used specialized typesetting characters not used on typewriters. These include the superscript “th” in 187th, and consistent ? (right single quote) used instead of a typewriter’s generic ‘ (apostrophe). These are the sorts of things that typesetters did manually until the advent of smart correction in things like Microsoft Word.

UPDATE 2: Reader John Risko adds:

I was a clerk/typist for the US Navy at the Naval Underwater Systems Center (NUSC) in Newport RI for my summer job in 1971 when I was in college. I note the following with regard to the Killian memos:

1) Tom Mortensen is absolutely correct. Variable type was used only for special printing jobs, like official pamphlets. These documents are forgeries, and not even good ones. Someone could have at least found an old pre-Selectric IBM (introduced around 1962). Actually, I believe we were using IBM Model C’s at the time, which was the precursor to the Selectric.

2) I also used a Variype machine in 1971. I fooled around with it in my spare time. It was incredibly difficult to set up and use. It was also extremely hard to correct mistakes on the machine. Most small letters used two spaces. Capital letters generally used three spaces. I think letters like “i” may have used one space. Anyway, you can see that this type of machine was piloted by an expert, and it would NEVER be used for a routine memo. A Lt. Colonel would not be able to identify a Varitype machine, let alone use it.

3) US Navy paper at the time was not 8 1/2 x 11. It was 8 x 10 1/2. I believe this was the same throughout the military, but someone will have to check on that. This should show up in the Xeroxing, which should have lines running along the sides of the Xerox copy.

4) I am amused by the way “147 th Ftr.Intrcp Gp.” appears in the August 1, 1972 document. It may have been written that way in non-forged documents, but as somone who worked for ComCruDesLant, I know the military liked to bunch things together. I find “147 th” suspicious looking. 147th looks better to me, but the problem with Microsoft Word is that it keeps turning the “th” tiny if it is connected to a number like 147. And finally……

5) MORE DEFINITIVE PROOF OF FORGERY: I had neglected even to look at the August 18, 1973 memo to file. This forger was a fool. This fake document actually does have the tiny “th” in “187th” and there is simply no way this could have occurred in 1973. There are no keys on any typewriter in common use in 1973 which could produce a tiny “th.” The forger got careless after creating the August 1, 1972 document and slipped up big-time.

In summary, the variable type reveals the Killian memos to be crude forgeries, the tiny “th” confirms it in the 8/18/73 memo, and I offer my other points as icing on the cake.

UPDATE 3: We have received so much information from readers that it’s hard to keep up. Reader Fred Godel points us to Kevin Drum’s Washington Monthly “Smoking gun update” stating that the White House has released copies of two of the memos and left their authenticity undisputed.

Reader John Burgess adds:

I’m afraid the Post 47 at Free Republic is not compelling. By 1969, I was using an IBM Selectric typewriter, with proportional type balls. They were widely available in the public sector-and thus readily available to the military. I do not recall having used a Palatine typeface, but Times Roman was certainly common. While I do think the entire argument about “Bush/AWOL” is bull, the raising of type faces is not useful. In fact, it’s counterproductive because it’s demonstrably false.

Reader Chris Rohlfs points to another “document in Bush’s record (http://www.cis.net/~coldfeet/doc27.gif) which, if real (I got that link from here) appears to have some typing from the same typewriter. Look at the word ‘Recommend.’” Reader Larry Nichols adds:

What a freakin’ joke! I served in the Air Force for 21 years — 1968 to 1989 — the first 7 as a Personnel Specialist and the remainder as a PSM (Personnel Systems Manager). I also spent 2 years as an inspector at Hq SAC, Offutt AFB, NE in Omaha, inspecting Personnel Offices at all 26 SAC bases. As a PSM I had to know every job in Personnel, including the proper filing of documents in individual military records. Memos were NOT used for orders, as the one ordering 1LT Bush to take a physical. This would have done as a letter, of which a copy should have been sent to the CBPO (Consolidated Base Personnel Office) to be filed in 1LT Bush’s military record. Memos DID NOT get filed in personnel records.

I first used a computer in the Air Force in 1971 while stationed at Albrook AFB, Canal Zone. The computers were used only for updating records data. The Air Force was the first branch of the military to use a mainframe (Burroughs B-3500) computer for updating military records. Punch cards were used up until then. There were no Word Processors used until the late 1970’s or early 1980’s. Typewriters were still used extensively until the mid-1980s. These memos appear to be bogus.

As far as an Officer Effectiveness Report (OER) on Bush, unless he was under a supervisor for X number of days during a reporting period, no report could be written. Under special circumstances, a report could be written with only 60 days of supervision. The period may cover an extended period. Example: FROM 1 JUN 1970 THRU 15 DEC 1971 (more than 1 year) DAYS SUPERVISED: 60. The “vanilla civilian” Liberals and Journalists should quit trying to talk and write about things they know nothing about. In Sen. Kerry’s case, that includes almost everything!

Finally — finally for the moment — reader Joshua Persons writes:

I’ve written a post regarding the forgery post on my weblog (click here). Mostly a rehash, but I googled and found a comparable, unrelated government memo from 1972 for visual comparison. Check it out at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/pubs/72e30.pdf .

UPDATE 4: Charles Johnson has written to let us know that he has resolved the issue: “Bush Guard documents: Forged.”

UPDATE 5: Reader Timothy Sampson writes:

There is no confirmation of authenticity by the White House. See Kevin Drum’s update:

I now have copies of the memos the White House released, and they are just versions that CBS faxed to the White House the day before the 60 Minutes segment aired. There’s no indication that the White House had its own copies of these memos and had been sitting on them. Apologies.

UPDATE 6: Reader Elbow Elbow provides this “link to the PDFs of the memos the White House released.” We are unable to confirm that the White House has “released” anything other than copies of the memos it may have been provided by CBS.

UPDATE 7: INDC Journal has posted an interesting summary of the review of the memoranda by forensic document examiner Dr. Phillip Bouffard: “Are the National Guard documents fake?”

UPDATE 8: The signatures on the CBS documents do not appear to be authentic. Check out the two signatures below, courtesy of Michele Catalano of The Command Post. The one on the left is an actual signature of Lt. Col. Jerry Killian. The one on the right is from one of the CBS documents. It’s not even close; in fact, it doesn’t even look like the person who signed it made any attempt to copy Killian’s signature:

Since I posted this, a number of readers have written to disagree with me–they think the signature on the right is a crude effort at forgery. Dafydd ab Hugh’s characteristically thorough and brilliant analysis is too long to include here, and Diana Magrann also argues persuasively that the signature is an attempt at a forgery.

UPDATE 9: Reader Andy Devlin takes issue with John Burgess, quoted above:

From 1973 until late 1982 I was a repairman for the Office Products Division of IBM. I can assure you that the comments on your site by Mr. Burgess regarding the Selectric typewriter are incorrect. The Selectric was available only in mono type. At that time my customers who wanted proportional type used either the IBM Executive typewriter or IBM Composer. The Composer was an expensive and complicated piece of equipment which would normally be found only in printing and communications departments. I doubt that it would be used to write memos to file.

UPDATE 10: Reader Jon-Erik Prichard adds what strikes me as an especially persuasive point:

[A]nother aspect of the type on [the August 18, 1973 memo] suggests, perhaps proves, forgery.

1. The type in the document is KERNED. Kerning is the typsetter’s art of spacing various letters in such a manner that they are ‘grouped’ for better readability. Word processors do this automatically. NO TYPEWRITER CAN PHYSICALLY DO THIS.

To explain: the letter ‘O’ is curved on the outside. A letter such as ‘T’ has indented space under its cross bar. On a typewriter if one types an ‘O’ next to a ‘T’ then both letters remain separated by their physical space. When you type the same letters on a computer next to each other the are automatically ‘kerned’ or ‘grouped’ so that their individual spaces actually overlap. e. g., TO. As one can readily see the curvature of the ‘O’ nestles neatly under the cross bar of the ‘T’. Two good kerning examples in the alleged memo are the word ‘my’ in the second line where ‘m’ and ‘y’ are neatly kerned and also the word ‘not’ in the fourth line where the ‘o’ and ‘t’ overlap empty space. A typewriter doesn’t ‘know’ what particular letter is next to another and can’t make those types of aesthetic adjustments.

2. The kerning and proportional spacing in each of the lines of type track EXACTLY with 12 point Times Roman font on a six inch margin (left justified). Inother words, the sentences break just as they would on a computer and not as they would on a typewriter. Since the type on the memo is both proportionally spaced and kerned the lines of type break at certain instances (i.e., the last word in each line of the first paragraph are – 1. running, 2. regarding, 3. rating, 4. is, 5. either). If the memo was created on a typewriter the line breaks would be at different words (e. g., the word ‘running’ is at the absolute outside edge of the sentence and would probably not be on the first line).

3. The sentences have a wide variance in their AMOUNT of kerning and proportional spacing. Notice how the first line of the first paragraph seems squished together and little hard to read but the last line of the first paragraph has wider more open spacing. Even the characters themselves are squished in the first line (as a computer does automatically) and more spread out on the last line where there is more room.

There’s no way a typewriter could ‘set’ the type in this memo and even a good typesetter using a Linotype machine of the era would have to spend hours getting this effect.

UPDATE 11: CBS is sticking to its story. It’s not entirely clear which story, however. Initially, CBS spokeswoman Kelli Edwards said:

As is standard practice at CBS News, each of the documents broadcast on ’60 Minutes’ was thoroughly investigated by independent experts, and we are convinced of their authenticity.

Later, however, Ms. Edwards sent out an email that appeared to revise the nature of the “authentication” process:

CBS verified the authenticity of the documents by talking to individuals who had seen the documents at the time they were written. These individuals were close associates of Colonel Jerry Killian and confirm that the documents reflect his opinions at the time the documents were written.

So what CBS is now saying is not that the documents are authentic, but that the opinions they express are authentic, based on the hearsay reports of anonymous persons alleged to be close associates of Col. Killian, who recall his views of thirty-two years ago. This is what passes for “authentication” in the mainstream media.

UPDATE 12: In the August 18, 1973 memo “discovered” by 60 Minutes, Jerry Killian purportedly writes:

Staudt has obviously pressured Hodges more about Bush. I’m having trouble running interference and doing my job.

But wait! Reader Amar Sarwal, citing Peter Nuss, points out that General Staudt, who thought very highly of Lt. Bush, retired in 1972.
The more I look at these “memos,” the more obvious it appears that they are inept forgeries.

UPDATE 13: By the way, this is Rocket. I’ve been pitching in on these last few updates. Reader Theresa McAteer makes a good point:

I went to the “other document” cited by Chris Rohlfs (from the anti-Bush webpage “awolbush.com”) where Bush requests – on 5 Sep 73 – to be discharged. I note that Lt. Col. Killeen’s response is dated 6 Sep 73, and it is directed “TO: 147th Ftr Intcp Gp/CC”

Note: the “th” in “111th” and “147th” – from Killeen’s part of the memo — are not in superscript. As of 6 Sep 73, Killeen’s typewriter did not have the superscripting key. Yet on the CBS-produced “memo” dated 18 August 1973, it does.

Actually, several of the documents on this “awolbush.com” are from the Texas ANG in this 1972 and 1973 period (the same period as the alleged memos). NONE of them have a superscripted “th”, and ALL of them are in the same old 1970s-era typeface I remember from my college days (and NONE of them are in the typeface used in the alleged memos).

She’s right. On the left is Killian’s genuine typed memo of September 6, 1973. No superscript, and an authentically 1970’s look. On the right is CBS’s fake August 18 memo. Note the superscript, and the generally modern, word-processed look. Click to enlarge.

(See original)

60 Minutes is toast.

FINAL UPDATE: Lest this post become too unwieldy, we will close our updates here, and begin with new posts on the subject. Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard has consulted with several experts who agree that the documents are, in all probability, a hoax. That will be our first new post on the subject.

Some brief nice things

Sunday, January 13th, 2019

Here’s a nice thing from Batman, which we never noticed at the time in 66/67, apparently missing Same Bat Time Same Bat Channel, and also a

A very very sweet piece from Thomas Lifson on his new puppy. Awwwww.

Finally, we were looking for something to say about Stanley Kubrick, but the near term opportunity appears to be way off in March, since he departed this world on 3/7/99. We saw 2001 in a Cinerama theater in 1968 – pretty amazing.

Dr. Strangelove – has anyone come close to this? The Shining (so odd that King did not like this). Full Metal Jacket with our favorite D’Onofrio. Barry Lyndon with that terrible actor. And the one about Dolores on the dotted line. Amazing good stuff.