Thursday, March 26, 2015

Connect The Dots? Fine, How About THIS Dot...?

In the WSJ today Max Boot asks us to connect the dots...
Let’s connect the dots.
Data point No. 1: President Obama withdrew U.S. forces from Iraq in 2011 and is preparing to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2016, even while keeping a few more troops there this year and next than originally planned.
Point No. 2: The Obama administration keeps largely silent about Iran’s power grab in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, even going so far now as to assist Iranian forces in Tikrit, while attempting to negotiate a nuclear deal with Tehran that would allow it to maintain thousands of centrifuges.
Point No. 3: Mr. Obama berates Benjamin Netanyahu for allegedly “racist” campaign rhetoric, refuses to accept his apologies, and says the U.S. may now “re-assess options,” code words for allowing the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state over Israeli objections.
Further dots are that we are now Iran's air force in Iraq and Iran is looting our intelligence files in Yemen, and, of course, we all know that Iranian-born Valerie Jarrett is Dear Leader's maximum Svengali...

but, one more dot that seems to be lost in the wind, that I would like to have connected to all this...remember all those clearly illegal credit card campaign donations that Obama received?  It was never reported by the mainstream media, but if you were paying attention during both campaigns, the Obama camp turned off the identifying mechanism that would have blocked foreign, and thus illegal, campaign contributions coming in via credit card.  These amounted to tens, maybe hundreds, of millions of dollars. 

THAT is the dot I want connected.  We are tossing decades of friendship with Israel, we are similarly tossing decades of justifiable wariness over Iran and we've created space for Islamists all over the Middle East.

Someday we are likely to have the dots between Obama's foreign policy and all those illegal credit card donations connected, and it is likely to be shocking and awful to contemplate.

Orwellian Onslaught From Hillary Camp Begins

Hmmm, suddenly all of the words that aptly describe Hillary's distasteful personal and political characteristics are somehow now "coded sexism."

Funny how that works.

If you need a primer on the whats, hows and whys of this tyranny of language, please go back and read, re-read, or re-re-read this.

Of course, the only response to this is something along the lines of "Take your f##king coded sexism and ..."

Monday, March 23, 2015

Drippiest, Most Viscous Irony of the Day

The irony here is dripping heavy, wit a fierce viscosity...
Teaching kids takes so much effort, staffers at John Dewey High School in Brooklyn have found a quicker way to fix persistent failure rates, sources said: Just let them pass.
Investigators are probing accusations of a massive grade-fixing scheme by educators desperate to boost the graduation rate at Dewey, The Post has learned.
Multiple sources claim Dewey is cutting corners by passing kids with the help of a shady “credit recovery” program that students sarcastically call “Easy Pass.”
Academic fraud in public education is nothing new, but this school is named after that saint of "progressive education," John Dewey.  And it about sums it up.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Poles Fear Putin, Arm Up

The Poles took a beating in WWII.  Roughly 2.7 million ethnic Poles and 3.0 million Polish Jews perished at the hands of Hitler's Nazis.  The Soviets, for their part, contributed tens of thousands of additional murders.  Those Poles that were spared got decades worth of effective slavery under an authoritarian communist government.  Lots of fun.

So, what was the one lesson that they - or any people - would take away from such a bitter history?

Guns.  You need them.  And lots of 'em.  And you need to know how to use them.

Even the New York Times can figure this much out.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

President Putz Strikes Again

I will never cease to be amazed that we gave Mitt Romney the Heisman in favor of this petulant dickhead...

...funny in that depressing sort of way, Mitt Romney was right about everything except one thing..."

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Irish in America

From "No Irish Need Apply" to "Check Your Privilege" in two generations...not bad.

If you told my immigrant grandparents that their grandchildren would be so successful and integral to society that they would constantly be hectored to reflect on their good fortune, they would have done the sign of the cross and danced a jig!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Again, Socialism Is Not Compassionate

I made this point in the context of Greece's woes, that collectivist, statist, socialist systems are the least compassionate because they blow up, leaving everybody in the lurch without any alternatives.
Leftists are constantly telling us that government run healthcare is compassionate. What is compassionate about a system that breaks down catastrophically with no incentives to get people what they need? Take out the central-planning of the Greek healthcare system you might have a chance to get treatments to patients, albeit at higher costs. What is more compassionate, meeting patients' needs at higher cost or having them go without needed medicines altogether?
Now it's Venezuela's turn to make the point.  (Although I find the rich first world's obsession with healthcare a bit off-putting, it's a nice problem.  When there is no food to eat, that is a first order problem.)

The most compassionate system is the system that is sustainable, that will persist and be there when it is needed, theoretically in perpetuity.  Socialist systems are not those kind of systems, they break down all the time, thus they are NOT compassionate.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Canadian Media Repeat Obvious Anti-Gun Myth

In Barack Obama's last two years - his unleashed years - gun control is on the docket.  However, a first gambit had not gone too well as a proposed ban on M855 ammo was beaten back.  Still, the show must go on and the media has to do it's part.  As gun blogging gurus at TTAG like to point out, it is a conscious MSM strategy to minimize gun ownership so that gun owners can be depicted as 1) a crazed minority and 2) a tedious barrier to legislation that Americans overwhelmingly support.

And it's always good to get a little assist from foreign media to add a little bit of that "Hey look, foreigners think we're crazy" sneer to the campaign.  Today, it is the Canucks with the assist, furthering the obvious falsehood that gun ownership in America is declining.  This has been debunked over and over...the facts are:
- Gun sales are way up
- Background checks (to be able to buy a gun) are way up
- Permits to own or carry a gun are way up
- Instructional attendance is way up
- NRA membership is up
- Pro 2nd Amendment sentiment is way up
and yet we keep hearing that it is a small group of yahoos taking their gun collections from 1 to 47 guns that is driving all this.  Um, no.  To get a taste of the strong evidence debunking this myth, go here.

BTW, another statistic you'll hear in support of this theme is that gun ownership per household is declining.  That stat likely suffers from one of the same flaws that drives the declining ownership myth - there is a difference between people who own guns and people who own guns and will tell a pollster about it.  But it also suffers from a flaw that economists have pinpointed regarding "household" data.  The sharp rise in divorce and the decline of the nuclear family has severely distorted household data.  For instance, a married couple where the man earns $50,000 and the woman is a homemaker is one household with a household income of $50,000 naturally.  They get divorced and now the woman is forced to get a job, and she earns $30,000.  Now we have two households with an average household income of $40,000, a decline of 20%.  Same with guns.  That married household, if they owned a gun and got a divorce, becomes two households with one not owning a gun, a decline of 50%.  One of the divorcees would have to go out and immediately purchase a gun to preserve the household gun ownership ratio created by the divorce.

Bottom line.  Don't believe that gun ownership is on the wane or getting concentrated among a fringe element in society.  Gun ownership is exploding.  Barack Obama has not been called the Greatest Gun Salesman of All-Time for no reason.

David Brooks Tells His Readers They've Fucked America Up

I don't read David Brooks any more, but I happened onto this via Instapundit (and without warning, damn that Reynolds character!).  Here's a nugget for you...
But it’s increasingly clear that sympathy is not enough. It’s not only money and better policy that are missing in these circles; it’s norms. The health of society is primarily determined by the habits and virtues of its citizens. In many parts of America there are no minimally agreed upon standards for what it means to be a father. There are no basic codes and rules woven into daily life, which people can absorb unconsciously and follow automatically.

Reintroducing norms will require, first, a moral vocabulary. These norms weren’t destroyed because of people with bad values. They were destroyed by a plague of nonjudgmentalism, which refused to assert that one way of behaving was better than another. People got out of the habit of setting standards or understanding how they were set.
Truer words have not been spoken or written.  Funny though, the relativism has been unleashed and the norms have been destroyed by the very type of people who employ Brooks at the Crimes and the people who read it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Teachers Who Hate to Teach Is A Failed Business Model

We all know about the Higher Education Bubble, right?  If you read Instapundit you do.  Well, here is another in the long list of Cassandras warning us of the impending explosion.  It doesn't break new ground, but I got a chuckle out of this line...
Law schools are run by the faculty for the faculty. A former colleague once put it like this: “If we could run this law school without students, this place would be perfect.”
You don't have to be on the inside to know that this attitude is pervasive.  I bought my first house from a college professor, and, while attempting to make small talk with him, I asked him what he taught.  His verbatim reply, "Teach?  Oh my, I don't teach!"

Any business where you hate your customers will ultimately fail.

World Historical, Above The Fray Leader Laments New Local Law

Watching Dear Leader whine like a child is a beauteous thing. 

First there is the Iran letter.  As Byron York correctly points out - he can dish it out, but can't take it.  He's crapped all over congressional powers for years now, but moans when his powers get crapped on in return.

Second, there is this, which is more amazing than the Iran example.  To begin with, it's small ball.  One law, one state.  I don't recall the Lightworker moaning too much when Michigan or Indiana recently passed a similar law.  Not a peep about the same law on the books in 24 other states.  Finally, this is so clearly a state issue, he looks, once again, out of touch and/or hostile to our federalist system.  Hostile is my take.

Of course, this is raw politics, Walker is emerging quite smartly as a GOP contender for 2016, and there is no level that Lightworker won't stoop to play a little politics.  Ironic that the guy fancies himself an above-it-all, world-historical mover of great forces of history, and yet he voluntarily, consistently, chooses to play small ball.

DeBlasio's NYC: Homeless At the Airports

Rent control and massive subsidies for the homeless, and guess what?  Record homeless, who have to take shelter in the airports.

Gotta love that progressive governance.

Peak Official Idiocy

We've reached Peak Idiocy by our buffoonish masters - governments are buying negative yield bonds.

This is unfathomably dumb.  Governments should be issuing negative yield bonds...

Monday, March 09, 2015

Greeks To Flog Europe With A Wet Noodle

Sad.
Varoufakis said on the weekend that if the country’s creditors raise requests that aren’t acceptable to the government, then the people of Greece may have to decide on how to break the deadlock. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras also signaled the referendum option is being considered.
“If we were to hold a referendum tomorrow with the question, ‘do you want your dignity or a continuation of this unworthy policy,’ then everyone would choose dignity regardless of difficulties that would accompany that decision,” Tsipras told Der Spiegel Magazine in an interview published Saturday.
Translation:  Lend us lying deadbeats even more money or we'll get the Greek people to say that you're hurting our dignity. 

Ah yes, the wet noodle of Greek dignity.  I'm sure the Germans are scared.

Lest I be repetitive...let Greece fail.

UPDATE:  I guess the Greeks realized that they wielded a wet noodle, so had to upgrade to full-on blackmail.

Is China Going to Implode?

Remember my Five Pillars of the New Financial Reality, a quick and dirty guide to investing reality for this early 21st century?  Of course you do.

Well, #4 was "The Future Does Not Belong to China."  Here's what I said:
Also, to believe that the future is Chinese, you need to believe that something like 250,000 elderly communists can successfully plan and manage an $8.4 trillion economy for the benefit of 1.3 trillion people.  No way.  If leadership doesn't screw it up, China will grow acceptably but always be an economic follower.  If they screw it up, well, China explodes.  Heads China loses, tails they tie.  Bad bet.
This weekend's WSJ Review section's front page feature was the "The Coming Chinese Crackup."  It's a good read and lends credence to my view.  You only need to hear stories of Chinese buying up real estate with suitcases of cash to see Shambaugh's point.  For example, that building boom along the Gardiner in Toronto is supported by oceans of Chinese cash.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Awesome. Rick Perry: No, Obama's Iran Deal Is Not Binding Post-Obama

I said that a smart GOP presidential candidate should say that he won't be bound by any "agreement" with Iran that is not ratified by the Senate.

Apparently Rick Perry is that smart candidate...

"It's Good to Be Here Amongst You Rubes..."

That would be an apt opening to the Lightworker's speech in South Carolina today...

..but Bloomberg News felt the need to dress it up a tad more.

(Bloomberg) -- As President Barack Obama travels to South Carolina to speak with black college students Friday, the most recent jobs report highlights an economy in which they’re faring worse than just about every other demographic group.
The unemployment rate for blacks between the ages of 18 and 29 was 16.2 percent in February, about twice that of whites and almost triple the jobless rate for all U.S. adults, according to an analysis of federal data by Generation Opportunity, an Arlington, Virginia-based group for young adults that advocates less government.
The disparity underscores how the nation’s first black president has overseen an economic recovery that bypassed many poor blacks, deepening racial inequality. Somewhat lost in the wake of a damning report on racial discrimination by Ferguson, Missouri, police and on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the march for voting rights in Selma, Alabama, the Obama administration has proposed a flurry of economic and policy initiatives to try to help blacks.

BREAKING NEWS: Obama Thug Government Strikes Again

I can't find a link, but the DOJ is going to charge Senator Menendez (D-NJ) with corruption.  Sen. Menendez just happens to be the most vocal opponent to the unfolding Obama disaster on Iranian nukes within his own party.  The WSJ reported this morning that the Corker-Menendez bill working its way through the Senate, which would impede Obama's Iran appeasement goals, is 3 votes shy of a veto-proof majority.

Wow.  More proof that progressivism eats its own.

UPDATE:  Developing...

Thank God for the 22nd Amendment...there is no limit to the thuggery these people will unleash to get their way.

Again, Economy Is Improving Because Obama's Days Are Numbered

Someone named Glenn Thrush wonders why Republicans don't praise Obama for the jobs numbers. 

Well, that is kind of silly, expecting your political opponents to praise you; but, perhaps one reason is because Obama did nothing to cause these good jobs numbers (btw, it is still open to debate whether these numbers are good in the first place).

I have said it over and over, the economy is picking up because Obama is spent and he's outta here in two years.  How do I know this?  Well, my job entails talking to CEOs and CFOs all over the country and reading economic and financial reports all day long, and that is what you learn.  Companies have been hiding under their desks for six years due to the reign of the Obamacrats, but two solid electoral rebukes and the blessed 22nd Amendment mean it is time to get back on the horse and get back to business.

What is basically happening is that the "Job Market Vigilantes" are standing down.

The Warren Buffett-Obama Oil Express Is On Fire

Hey, remember me taking about Warren Buffett's "oil by rail" boom made possible by Dear Leader's six year filibuster on the Keystone XL pipeline?  Here and here.

Well, one of Warren's oil trains is off the tracks and on fire.

In the age of Obama it is necessary, sadly, over and over to state the obvious, so here goes - pipelines are safer than trains.