Friday, May 22, 2015

Free Advice That Is Actually Worth Something

I have a very smart (and free) tip for any of the 197 Republican candidates for President. 

On the campaign, make it a salient point that you will ensure that the American armed forces will be oriented towards protecting the American homeland and American interests abroad, and will not be ridiculously distracted by a focus on global warming climate change. 

Only the looniest, true-believers actually believe this "climate change is a threat to national security" bullshit.

I Was Right? Obama Will Leave a Smoldering Wreck of a Democratic Party

Flashback time:  I said Obama, despite multiple seeming successes, would destroy the Democratic party.  Here is just one of my numerous assertions to that effect:
As long-time readers of this blog know, I have advanced the theory - from almost the very moment that Barack Obama was elected - that he would be a disastrous President and that he would destroy the Democratic Party.
It's all subjective, of course, but there are folks that try to quantify the relative strength of the political parties, and here is some of their recent thinking...
One of the most underappreciated stories in recent years is the deterioration of the Democratic bench under President Obama's tenure in office. The party has become much more ideologically homogenous, losing most of its moderate wing as a result of the last two disastrous midterm elections. By one new catch-all measure, a party-strength index introduced by RealClearPolitics analysts Sean Trende and David Byler, Democrats are in their worst position since 1928.
Hmmm.  Sounds pretty close to what I said...years ago, mind you.

(h/t Instapundit)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

New Research Conveniently Says Exactly What We Want It to Say...

Fake studies are quite common, and ones that fit the narrative are more likely to be so, wisely counsels Glenn Reynolds...

Hmmmmm.....

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tell Me Again Why the Future Belongs to China?

Remember when multi-national corporations were tripping over themselves to do business in China?  Some knew it wouldn't end well.

Well, here is a story that is indicative of what doing business in China is really like.  A giant Brazilian mining company that ships oodles of iron ore to China spends $135 million per ship to build monster ships to ship the iron ore.  Then China says that the ships can't dock at its ports for "safety" reasons.  So the Brazilians build a $1.4 billion terminal in Malaysia to unload the ore from the monster ships to smaller ships that can dock in China.  Having been sliced to ribbons financially, guess what, the Brazilians have to sell the monster ships to China for $110 million apiece. 

So China makes the Brazilians bear all the construction risk, screws them with some regulatory BS, nearly bankrupts them and gladly takes the goodies off of the rubes for a song.

And yet people still believe that China is the global economic leader of the future...?  Sorry folks, not after shenanigans like this they won't. 

NY Post Asks: Why Are Contributions to DeBlasio's Charities Plummeting?

Because he's a putz.

Well, here's the detail...
It’s not that you’ve hurt their feelings, Mr. Mayor: The rich are giving less to charities you control because they expect you to waste the money.
Contributions are plummeting to nonprofits like the Fund for Public Schools and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.
The Wall Street Journal notes that donations to the Mayor’s Fund (run by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray) dived 63 percent, to $19 million, last year from $52 million in the final year of Mike Bloomberg’s term.
The shocker is that anybody is giving him any money.  OK, it's not a shocker, there are a lot of stupid, rich people in NYC.

Shocker: Third Worlders Act Like Third Worlders in the First World

Hey, here's a little bit of basic, albeit politically-incorrect, wisdom - when you allow people from the Third World to take control of parts of your society, those parts of society will become Third World.

Just remember, all these "Asians" were invited and paid for by lefty government officials who wanted to transform the electorate.  So, Labor got its votes and Britain got sex trafficking of young girls.  Fair trade off, no?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Bad Ole' Days Coming Back to NYC

Hey, don't say I didn't warn you.

Violent crime soars, de Blasio splits town
He’s on the road again.
As violent crime soars in the Big Apple, Mayor Bill de Blasio has far more pressing matters to deal with — touting his progressive agenda in two more out-of-state locales.
The Wages of Apathy strike again.

Monday, May 11, 2015

American Poverty

As lefties prattle on about income inequality, more uncomfortable data about the true state of American poverty.  We have only relative poverty within our borders.  Measured in global terms, we don't have poverty.

Our problem is that our poor people are fat and watch too much TV.  If you've ever been to, say, Delhi or a Brazilian favela you know that American poverty is a high class problem.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Mediocre Putz Strives to Be Tomorrow's Progressive Icon

The deep left has to arrive at a standard-bearer in post-Obama era.  There are, obviously, a few logical candidates but no clear winner (no, not even Hillary).  Which means there will be competition for said role.

That has to be the explanation behind this.  I'd worry if I was a "progressive." 

DeBlasio is a putz who was elected by the affirmative vote of all of 17% of NYC voters, and he's managed to sputter and flail in his early tenure as mayor here.

I pray DeB is the best they've got.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Greece: The Truth Is Hiding in Plain Sight

Remember when I saw a Nobel prize-winning economist say, "Well, different people do better (economically) at different times."  How about that for taking off the high-octane analytical hat and chalking things up to basic common sense observations, huh?

I am reminded of that watching respected Finance/Economics professor (and my former professor) Charles Calomiris suggest simply that Alexis Tsipras just might be nuts.

Yeah, let's get back to basics here folks.  SYRIZA, Tsipras's political party, literally means "Coalition of the Radical Left".  Let's parse this.  First, they don't even hide it the way normal Euro lefties do behind some vague, anodyne moniker like 'People's Democratic Movement' or some such non-descriptive nothingness.  Not just Left, but Radical Left in case you are interested in degrees of leftism.  And not a disciplined, uniform group of radical lefties, but a coalition.  In other words, a hodge-podge amalgamation of all manner of radical lefties.

Yeah, I'd say the truth in Greece is hiding in plain sight.  Further reason, in my opinion, to cut 'em loose.

UPDATE:  And sure enough, the stupid Greeks are still poking sticks in people's eyes as they run out of money...

"Mousetrap"?

Yeah, seriously...mousetraps work because mice are highly simplistic and unevolved creatures.  That's racism, straight up!

What Stalinist Glories?

OK.  But what past glories are we talking about?

Bread lines?  Killing Polish people?  Fighting a war where you lose 14% of your population and roughly half of your young men?

Those past glories?

Monday, May 04, 2015

Black/White Balkanization Is Political, Not Racial

In a post I wrote last August titled "Media Headscratching:  Why Are There So Many Fergusons in America?", I posited that there is so much racial balkanization in America simply because blacks and whites want different things out of government - it is not so much racial balkanization as it is political (or policy) balkanization.   This post by Elizabeth Price Foley brings the contrast out quite well - it is sharp and across the board.

Blacks and whites simply have much different policy preferences, and when one prevails, it drives out the other.  Baltimore, like numerous other places, has achieved a critical mass of black influence in government institutions, and, predictably, those institutions have delivered what black constituents, by and large, want.  As a result, whites have left those places (and to a large degree many blacks as well).
Blacks and whites want different things from government (of course this is generalizing, but generalizing fits the reality), and each tend to get what they want.  The result is racial balkanization because you can't have these things exist in the same locales.  Whites repeatedly vote for business-friendly/law and order politicians and blacks repeatedly vote for the regulatory state and redistributionist economics (they do this in concert with a coalition of white liberals).  The heavy hand of government is what blacks have said over and over is what they want.  For good or ill, whites have, by and large, said 'you may have it' and left places like Detroit, Cleveland, Newark
While it may offend some tender sensibilities (of white liberals mostly), the racial balkanization we see in America is a result of the design of our system and, perhaps perversely, a sign that our system works.  Our federalist system ensures at least 50 fairly independent policy laboratories, and our multi-level structure (federal, state, city) ensures even more, almost exponential, policy variety.  Our system says you may have your policy views prevail right here and I will have mine prevail over there - you may have your high-taxes and lax policing here and I will have my low taxes and stricter policing over there.  The fallout has seemed to play out along racial lines although the design and operation of our government structure is purely political. 

That is not sinister, it is just a fact of life.  All groups have a political culture, just like they have an artistic or linguistic culture.  That is why you have Vladimir Putin, because no matter what you call the Russian political system, Russians have a political culture of czarism, they want/need a protective and nationalistic authoritarianism.  It's their culture.  People want to live under certain conditions, the problem becomes when only one group gets its way and imposes its way on others - this is playing out quite visibly in Ukraine and the Middle East.  In America, we are same except we have a system that prohibits, relative to the rest of the world, just one group from getting its way. 

Did Bubba Just Go All Latrell Sprewell?

Did Bill Clinton just go all Latrell Sprewell on us...?
"I gotta pay our bills,"
Lest anyone who was not a NY Knicks fan in the 1990s forget...

Friday, May 01, 2015

Baltimore Crisis: It's the Fault of Lead Paint

This is the dumbest thing you will read all day, maybe all year.  It is not a culture stripped of family structure, marinated in high-risk/self-destructive behavior and short-term gratification, and a political elite maniacally focused on the spoils of power rather than on social well-being...

No...it' s lead paint.
The problem is not black culture. It is policy and politics, the very things that bind together the history of Ferguson and Baltimore and, for that matter, the rest of America.

Specifically, the problem rests on the continued profitability of racism. Freddie Gray’s exposure to lead paint as a child, his suspected participation in the drug trade, and the relative confinement of black unrest to black communities during this week’s riot are all features of a city and a country that still segregate people along racial lines, to the financial enrichment of landlords, corner store merchants and other vendors selling second-rate goods.
This might as well be filed under the heading "Higher Education Bubble' as this guy is a college professor. 

Life is too short to fisk the numerous and egregious inanities of this argument, but newsflash for the professor, lead-based house paint was banned in 1978.  Everybody older than say 35 had exposure to lead-based paint (I did) but we all seemed to turn out OK.  It is a virtual certainty that Freddie Gray had minimal exposure to lead paint, and it is a virtual certainty - because the lead paint-cognitive development link is bunk cooked up by the plaintiffs bar - that Freddie Gray wasn't held back in life because of lead paint.  Just because his family was involved in a lawsuit over lead paint, doesn't mean it played any role.  Trial lawyers notoriously recruited poor inner city residents to feed their lead paint lawsuit industry, promising scraps to people like the Gray family so they could bully major corporations into expedient settlements that mostly enriched lawyers.

If the poor black community and their media apologists want to white wash the serious social pathologies of the inner city with conscience-salving distractions like lead paint, expect nothing to change.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Whoops, My Bad...Sorry Baltimore

You would think that after burning down one city (Ferguson, MO) at the loss, though tragic, of a highly imperfect cause celebre, people would be more circumspect before burning down another one before all the facts come in.  (Lest anybody get into a lather, I am going on the facts as laid out in the prosecutor's report, that Michael Brown was not an innocent and and wholly blameless in his own demise.)

Of course not.  Doesn't fit the narrative.  Burn now.  Demonize now.  Sermonize now. 

Find out that the kid whacked his head on the door later...?

What do we have to tolerate next?  Shall we burn down Cleveland if a black man dies even remotely near a police officer regardless of the circumstances of his death.  Are we to rack up millions in damages just to feed the outrage beast?  Well, for at least the next two years, perhaps.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

No Words. OK, Actually Two Words...

It's high time to stop candy-coating life in America.  Fortunately I've been refraining from coating the candy for a long while.  I've talked about this a lot - from a purely political perspective there are places in America where the hopes and dreams, at least in terms of political power - the wherewithal to affect outcomes - of minorities has come to pass.

Yes.  Minorities…oh shit, let's just get raw…blacks wield a lot of political power, overwhelming power even, in a handful of places in America and have for some time.  New Orleans.  Newark.  Detroit.  Oakland.  Cleveland.  Baltimore.  (I could go on…Camden, East St. Louis..)

Let's just admit it, blacks run these cities lock, stock, and barrel; and, they are uniformly terribly run and uniformly shitty places to live.  Despite geography - Oakland is about as different from a geographic and economic perspective as can be from, say, Cleveland - and historical patrimony, all these cities seem to display the exact same level and concentration of poverty and social pathology.

And it took years.  Detroit's story is well-known - it used to be the 4th largest city in American and one of the richest.  That was in 1960.  It took 50 years to destroy Detroit via multiple and sundry ways, but electing a "hip-hop mayor" is an indicative tidbit of the long arc of pathetic supply and demand of political leadership that was decisive in the downfall of a great American city.  (Please note, that today - in 2015 America - we are producing more cars annually than we've ever produced, so don't give me no BS sob story about the auto industry.)

What is my point?  This.

This Congress?  Really?  Baltimore is a burning, festering shithole, where thugs are given "space" to destroy property because of this Congress?

There is only one reaction.  F**k you.

F**k you, you mealy-mouth charlatan.  You rank political opportunist.  You amateur hack.  You dime store, faculty lounge, pseudo-intellectual twit.

I hope we banish you to some God-forsaken island where you can read all the Frantz Fanon and Saul Alinsky to your heart's content, and America will be free to tell the story to our children how we got suckered.  Not just suckered, but screwed.  Screwed by a cheesy, lying, narcissistic phony, who couldn't have (and didn't) make it in the real world for a nano-second.

This man has brought America so low.  Until such time when we can say 'Good riddance'…God Help Us.

UPDATE:  John Nolte has it exactly right.  Baltimore is it's own problem and a Democrat problem.  America doesn't own Baltimore and America is not responsible.  It is a failed example of Democrat-led, union-coddling, corrupt, racialist machine politics.  They own it. 

UPPDATE:  Wow, Nolte doubles down...Baltimore riots are "nothing more than infomercials for U-Haul and the NRA."

Zoinks. Is Black Baltimore a 100% Out-of-Wedlock City?

Roger Simon has a great point. 

If 72% of all black births in the USA are out of wedlock...let's pause for some remedial math here, that's the average across the entire country...I'm guessing that the out-of-wedlock birth rate in the poor, black neighborhoods of Baltimore has to be over 90%. 

For a societal pathology with dread consequences, it's effectively 100%...that single digit percent doesn't matter in the least. 

Frankly, it's a wonder Baltimore didn't self-immolate sooner.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

What Matters? Black Lives or Our Nanny State Laws?

This is the best example of the irrationality at the heart of modern leftism - they purport to care (and care extremely, it seems at times to the exclusion of all else) about minorities.

Eric Garner - dead because he was selling black market cigarettes, which were "black market" to avoid the onerous taxes imposed on them by nanny-state politicians that want you to smoke less.

Freddie Gray - dead because nanny-state politicians want to prohibit the carrying of knives in belief that they are eliminating heinous crimes.

Don't enact laws that you aren't prepared to enforce with the, sometimes deadly, full weight of law enforcement.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Barf-Inducing Hillary Hypocrisy of the Day, Day 3

Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Epstein can apparently write this article with a straight face...
Hillary Clinton Comes Out Swinging at CEOs and Hedge Fund Managers
She needn't have even gone outside of the building to do any research.  Bloomberg did a whole spread on Clinton mega-funder and mega-buddy Mark  Lasry (he hired Chelsea at his hedge to give a nice start in the working world).

And he's just the hedgie that comes immediately to mind...there are dozens of others that the Clintons have funding the Clinton Machine.