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?

Paris in the the spring

June 16th, 2015

Some things don’t change, some do. There’s a mini-grève going on aptly called Project Escargot or something; it’s a protest against Uber. Bus strike to follow on Saturday. More: the electronic generation of passes for admission into the Paris Air Show has been wildly incompetent, much worse than buying something from Amazon in, say, 1998. There are way too many working age men sitting around on sidewalks as we took local streets from CDG to the city, and the demographics appear to have changed considerably since our brief moment living in the city 35 years ago. Our Laotian cab driver said the drug culture is out of control; his brother is a salesman at LV, and sees customers with 2-3 inch thick stacks of ten euro notes coming in to buy bags and such. Finally, we noticed a non-descript building in the 19th guarded day after day by heavily armed soldiers. Can you guess why? No need for a handbasket anymore…

What the heck is this thing?

June 15th, 2015

Limits of government power:

No town or person shall be forced to build bridges over rivers except those with an ancient obligation to do so. No sheriff, constable, coroners, or other royal officials are to hold lawsuits that should be held by the royal justices.

If at the death of a man who holds a lay ‘fee’ of the Crown, a sheriff or royal official produces royal letters patent of summons for a debt due to the Crown, it shall be lawful for them to seize and list movable goods found in the lay ‘fee’ of the dead man to the value of the debt, as assessed by worthy men. Nothing shall be removed until the whole debt is paid, when the residue shall be given over to the executors to carry out the dead man’s will.

If a free man dies intestate, his movable goods are to be distributed by his next-of-kin and friends, under the supervision of the Church. The rights of his debtors are to be preserved.

No constable or other royal official shall take corn or other movable goods from any man without immediate payment, unless the seller voluntarily offers postponement of this.

No constable may compel a knight to pay money for castle-guard if the knight is willing to undertake the guard in person, or with reasonable excuse to supply some other fit man to do it. A knight taken or sent on military service shall be excused from castle-guard for the period of this service.

No sheriff, royal official, or other person shall take horses or carts for transport from any free man, without his consent. Neither we nor any royal official will take wood for our castle, or for any other purpose, without the consent of the owner.

We will not keep the lands of people convicted of felony in our hand for longer than a year and a day, after which they shall be returned to the lords of the ‘fees’ concerned.

The writ called precipe shall not in future be issued to anyone in respect of any holding of land, if a free man could thereby be deprived of the right of trial in his own lord’s court.

There shall be standard measures of wine, ale, and corn (the London quarter), throughout the kingdom. There shall also be a standard width of dyed cloth, russet, and haberject, namely two ells within the selvedges. Weights are to be standardised similarly.

In future nothing shall be paid or accepted for the issue of a writ of inquisition of life or limbs. It shall be given gratis, and not refused.

In future no official shall place a man on trial upon his own unsupported statement, without producing credible witnesses to the truth of it.

No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.

To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.

Freedom is in the details. Cookies. Frisbees. Saving a poor animal. A cup of lemonade. Etc. HT: PL

QED

June 14th, 2015

NYT (a pathetic piece):

At least 55 people, the highest pace since the early 1970s, have been killed in Baltimore since May 1, when the state’s attorney for the city, Marilyn J. Mosby, announced the criminal charges against the officers. Victims of shootings have included people involved in criminal activity and young children who were simply in the wrong place. A 9-year-old boy was shot in the leg over the Memorial Day weekend. Another boy, Kester Browne, 7, a Chinese-language student at an international school, was fatally shot along with his mother, Jennifer Jeffrey-Browne, 31. They were two of the city’s 42 homicide victims in May. At the time of her announcement, Ms. Mosby’s charges were seen as calming the city. But they enraged the police rank and file, who pulled back. The number of arrests plunged, and the murder rate doubled in a month.

As we just said, but still to the NYT 75% of the piece is about grievances. Tick Tick Tick.

Genug es Genug

June 13th, 2015

At about 2:30 of this Dutch Treat. There’s plenty of insanity to rail against; here’s some. And here’s a golden oldie critique of a particular form of delusion.

It would be nice if it doesn’t take a war to stop the madness

June 12th, 2015

Insanity: letting less than 3% of the population define what is normal, and mercilessly punish everyone who doesn’t go along. Insanity: DNA doesn’t matter, but your feelings on any given day do. Insanity: accepting “science” from fraudsters whose charts eliminate the MWP. Insanity: not throwing illegal scum out of the country. Oh well, there’s also insanity that’s funny-sad.

Oddly enough, the pace of the acceleration of insanity has us optimistic for a change: what goes around, comes around, but this time faster. Intimidating the police into not doing their jobs will have a short half-life, because there’s this thing called cause and effect. Microagressions and speech codes have begun eating their own. Hey, if Howard Stern’s daughter has become orthodox, anything’s possible!

Rowing to Fishtown

June 11th, 2015

WaPo discusses a study by a Left organization:

Morsy and Rothstein examined new research that details racial and class differences in child-rearing styles among parents, suggesting that parenting styles account for some of the differences in school readiness between black children from low-income families and white children from more affluent homes. White adults spend 36 percent more time than black adults reading to young children, and three times more time talking with and listening to them, according to research Morsy and Rothstein cite. White parents not only read more to their children, they offer more guidance and are more strategic about helping children build their literacy skills. By age 6, white children typically have spent 1,300 more hours engaged in conversations with adults

Americans are all headed to Fishtown, the way things have been going, and the only difference is that some are getting there faster than others. Of course, somebody could pass a law making it illegal for Bruce and Caitlyn to have children out of wedlock.