Friday, February 28, 2014

It's 1968. Or 1935. Take Your Pick.

I am agog.

I am aghast.

We are witnessing history unfold in disastrous form yet again, not fifty years removed from the lessons of past.  It's 1968 and the tanks are rolling into Prague.  OK, 2014 and Ukraine - same difference.  The US is dithering and dissembling.  Authoritarianism is on the march and democracy and liberty are cowering in the corner.  We are all but missing "peace in our time."

This never ends well.

The decision to elect a community organizer to the highest office of the land in the unipolar power country is not paying dividends.  OK, enough with the ironical.  It's coming back to haunt us and the world in frightening fashion.

Again, all predicted.  By myself and the likes of that idiot Sarah Palin and that out-of-touch rich guy Mitt Romney.  And about ten thousand others.  That's how obvious it was.  Yet we elected him anyway.

Shame on us.  Deep shame.

God help us as these things end up with decades of advancing tyranny or massive conflagration of war, sometimes both.

What makes it worse is we have this supreme dickhead in the oval office.  The unbelievably arrogant dickhead making cracks about the 80s calling wanting their foreign policy back.  Well, fuckface, the the 1930s are calling and they want their appeasement, weakness and fecklessness trophy back.  Neville Chamberlain wants his Weenie of the Century award back.  The French want their Maginot Line Greatest Farce Ever Back.

These "progressives" will plunge us into war again, these stupid, stupid motherfucking lefties with their  inability to see or identify evil and their goddam lust for the lack of power.

God help us all.

Again, Romney Was Right; Plus, Bonus Delicious Conspiracy Theory

The "What if George W. Bush Had Said/Did It" game has been entertaining these past few years and it has some life left in it, as no doubt Obama and his ilk will be blaming ChimpyHitler for alot of things for years to come.

But...I think the game that has the most longevity in it is the "Mitt Romney Was Right Game".  Latest installment here.

I'm thinking that Putin might have been behind all those undetectable credit card campaign contributions to Obama.  Who would you rather have in office, the guy who thinks you are the #1 geopolitical adversary or the guy who promised "more flexibility" after he got re-elected???

UPDATE:  This is what your C-in-C is doing while Russia invades steals a major country on the edge of Europe at the point of a gun.

Good and hard, America.  Good.  And.  Hard.

Occupational Hazards in Georgia

Iranians playings with Molotov Cocktails in Georgia (our Georgia).
The FBI says a Georgia Tech graduate student was burned by a Molotov cocktail at his apartment in the 200 block of 10th Street, not far from Piedmont Park.
Atlanta police spokeswoman Kim Jones said Saamer Akhshabi suffered third-degree burns over 90 percent of his body. Lighter fluid and a charred pillow and mattress were found inside the apartment, along with the Molotov cocktail and several plastic bottles filled with gasoline and kerosene.
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, along with the Atlanta Police Department and Atlanta Fire-Rescue are working to investigate the circumstances behind the incident. Homeland Security was also notified of the explosion.
Akhshabi was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital. His biography on Georgia Tech’s website says he’s a PhD student in the school’s College of Computing and attended the University of Tehran in his native Iran before coming to Georgia.

Wait, why didn't they send OSHA?  This appears to be occupational or simply a hazardous materials accident, along the lines of the workplace violence that happened at Ft. Hood.

Told You So

I warned you all about Obama's fecklessness and how our choice to be weak (and it is a choice) would invite expansion by the world's autocrats and empire-seekers.  Now we have Vlad Putin carving up Ukraine.

I warned that John Kerry was a dangerously misguided and supercilious man.  I present without comment:
As 150,000 Russian troops menacingly hugged the border of Ukraine, Secretary of State John Kerry said not to worry — he’d received assurances from the Kremlin that it wouldn’t be an aggressor despite a Russian flag hoisted above a parliament building in the Crimean peninsula.
The cherry has been placed on top of the Sundae of Fail that is Barack Obama.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

This Is Needless Misery

"We can't be the world's policeman."  Sure, I guess.  Tell it to these folks.

Background here.

True we can't solve the world's problems, but can't we at least lay out a set of principles and then incentives and disincentives for leaders around the world not to do this to their people?  We could tackle alot of this simply by making it easy to offer good governance and hard to offer misery.  This is where I part ways with doctrinaire libertarianism.  We can affect nations' behavior relatively painlessly, and on this evidence, we should.

Russia Makes Its Move

You think Vlad Putin is laughing his ass off at this?  Much as I dislike Vlad, he craps bigger than Kerry.

Granted, this is just maneuvering around the chess board for now...but it could escalate.  Did somebody say "war is coming"?

Why yes, someone did.

Al Hunt & Co. Says All You Millennials Are Gonna DIE !!!!!!!!

Gun deaths.  The numbers are what they are, you can't really change the dimensions of the issue, but you can change the language that you use to describe them in order to suit your proposition.

Quick recap.  There are about 33,000 deaths related to firearms every year in America.  Take out suicides and we're looking at about 12,000 deaths by a firearm.  Of those, roughly 70-80% are gang or drug-related violence.

Both sides of the debate do their tricks with the numbers (although by far, more tricks and more dishonest tricks on the gun control side), but these are the roughly undeniable parameters for empirical analysis on the matter.

So, how does an enterprising editor/reporter deal with a vanishingly small "problem" that they want to conflate into a huge problem?  Language.  The typical rhetorical trick is to attribute the violence that a gun can do to the gun, thus "gun violence."  Not people violence or criminal violence, but "gun violence."  This is scary, because there are indeed alot of guns out there, more than there are people.  So if every gun could just spontaneously whack one of us, we're toast.

Another way to rhetorically draw attention away from the numbers is in rebranding the victims.  That is what one of Al Hunt's minions, named Zara Kessler, does is this piece.  Gangbangers and drug dealers, who represent the vast majority of deaths by firearm, are now "millennials."  I am not saying that all the young people who die by gunshot in America aren't millenials in the technical sense, they are, but calling them millennials sounds so much better than gangbangers or drug trade participants.  We use the word "millennial" to describe a prototypical person of a certain age.  It's an amalgam of commonality, a shorthand for a broad group.  Yet the preponderance of victims of gun-related homicides are a small segment of society that is anything but typical.

Kessler, through linguistic legerdemain, wants you to think that a typical young person is at great risk regardless of lifestyle choices and behavioral risk.  This is patently not the case, nor is the millennial generation at all different from past cohorts.  Every generation has a subset of individuals who engage in extremely risky behavior and suffer disproportionate death and misery as a result.

Kessler has penned a classic in the genre of FUD and all I can think about while reading it is the G n' R classic..."Know where you are?  You're in the jungle, Baby...your're gonna die!!!"

Monday, February 24, 2014

What Does Obama Have Left? Close to Nothing.

I track the Lightworker's poll numbers for a variety of reasons, not least of which is that I believe his declining polls numbers are a positive indicator for stock market returns.  There have been several milestones along the way to the oblivion of the Era of Hopenchange.  Naturally, there were the respective southward crossings of 50% and 40%. There was the likeability threshold - while most Americans have increasingly disapproved of Dear Leader's actual performance, they have maintained their personal approval of him, felt he was trustworthy and likeable.  That aspect went by the board a few months ago.  One of the final pillars of Obama's standing with the American people is the stature that Americans feel he has around the world.  That last pillar has finally crumbled

What is left?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Boast Not of Leaders

I don't think I've ever quoted a Bible verse on this blog in the nearly eight years that I've been blogging.  Other bloggers do it for sure.  But today's first reading was as fitting as it can get given the abysmal political leadership on display across the world.
Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise.
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness” and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” So then, no more boasting about human leaders!
Indeed, we have little to boast about in our leaders.

As it relates to one political leader of note.  The press is starting to notice a world in disarray and, in some quarters, placing some culpability.   Of course, I love to say I told ya' so, so, here it is.  I told ya so.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

What No One Will Say

The civilized world is looking on at events in Ukraine and Venezuela and expressing support for the students in Venezuela and the protestors at the barricades in the Maidan AND condemning the violence and oppression unleashed by the Maduro and Putin Yanukovych regimes.  And yet no one will say it...these people need guns.

Non-violent, peaceful protests have established their moral authority, but now the government has taken the gloves off and will happily resort to killing, so the Venezuelans and the Ukrainians fighting for their freedom need to fight fire with fire.

Naturally, the riot police and government goons would not be so emboldened to kill if they knew that they might get shot in return.  With more evenly balanced firepower the actual violence might not be so high.

I'll bet you dollars to donuts that the Venezuelans in the streets and the Ukrainians on the Maidan wish they had something akin to our 2nd Amendment.  As for us, we might take this time to appreciate that we have the 2nd Amendment as we see government forces elsewhere gun down their own citizens.

UPDATE:  This is interesting, the Ukrainians are making noises about enshrining a right to keep and bear arms into their constitution...

Logical Disconnect of Liberalism, Number #17

'What's a logical disconnect of liberalism?' you ask?  Well, if you have to ask, you may be at the wrong blog, but let me help you anyway.

It's maintaining that "choice" is a sacred value of womanhood in terms of whether a woman can terminate a pregnancy, but abandoning "choice" as an intrinsic good when it comes to where that woman can send her child to school.

It's maintaining that capitalists will do anything for profit, except for hiring minorities - they will gladly impair their chances at making money in order to deprive brown people of employment.

It's maintaining that sin taxes discourage bad behavior but that income and other taxes don't discourage economic activity.

It's maintaining that women are every bit as equal and capable as men in all things, except that we need to abolish the requirement for doing pull-ups so that women can be Marines.

OK, you get the point.  Well, just for shits and giggles, we have another one to add to the list, and it happens to be topical.  From Instapundit in bold:
Connecticut’s Outbreak of Civil Disobedience.
“This successful example of mass defiance horrifies the editorial board of the Hartford Courant, which shudders at the sight of the masses not obeying an order that, history, tells us, never had a shot at wide compliance. But compliance with gun registration would have been a historical aberration. Gun restrictions of all sorts breed defiance everywhere they’re introduced.” I love the people who say you could never deport all the illegals, but who think you could lock up all the gun owners.

Friday, February 21, 2014

We Are the Knuckleheads We've Been Waiting For!

Hello readers.  Just back now from a week hanging with the Quebecois on the slopes with the Baseball clan.  While away I got almost no news, because as we all know they only report hockey scores in Canada.  Wanna know what is going on in Ukraine?  Forget it.   Wanna know the score of the Owen Sound Attack v. Windsor Spitfires game, you got it.

Alas, I jest.  Our good neighbors to the north are indeed a great lot and great world citizens to boot.

Anywho, while away I did miss this bit of winning salesmanship.  Holy shit.  Do these people understand how effing stupid and arrogant they sound at the same time.

Good God, the ex post facto scrambling to polish this turd is setting new records in mind-blowing disconnects.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Optimistic View of Our Fiscal State

I am a major doom-and-gloomer when it comes to the fiscal health of the USA.  I don't think our core fiscal problems are insurmountable, but I think we are destined for inevitable haircuts that will be painful throughout broad swaths of society.  Plus I think we are at a tipping point, where our fiscal profligacy can and will bite us in the ass in a very big way.  I have some respectable company in this regard.

Well, it is important to be cognizant of the other side of the argument.  IMHO the best blogger making the case that our fiscal position is not too bad is Scott Grannis.  Here is what Scott has to say:
Today Congress decided to suspend the debt ceiling until March 2015. Is that a big deal? No, because we no longer have a budget crisis. The federal budget deficit has fallen to a mere 3.3% of GDP, and that's not scary at all. If recent trends continue, the budget deficit could be less than $400 billion by the end of this year, and that would probably be only 2.5% of GDP.
Grannis is, however, not saying all is rosy, just that there is a way out, if we are wise enough to take it
The biggest problem we face today is that the economy is operating at only 90% of its capacity (see above chart). We need policies that grow the economy, and the best way to do that is to create incentives for the private sector to work harder and invest more. What better way than to slash corporate tax rates and marginal tax rates on incomes (which in many cases are approaching 50-60%)? It's almost a no-brainer, but hardly anyone gives tax reform a chance these days.
If you were going to take anyone's word for it, I'd take Grannis's (certainly over mine).  Still, we do agree on one thing - the supply-side of economic thought has been kicking the demand-side's, or Keynesianism, ass all over the playing field.  In the long run, that is a major positive of paradigmatic importance. 

Still, if you are under 45, don't count on receiving Social Security, make other plans.

The Wages of Apathy

Bill DeBlasio continues his pattern of stepping in small piles of shit.  In the face of a brutal snow storm - and when nearly every suburban school district closed - DeBlasio kept the schools open.  Not just that, he had his Schools Chancellor go to the media and proclaim that it was a beautiful day out.

What is it with this people?  Fine.  You made a decision, just say "this is why we made our decision" and live with it.

Expect more of this, the guy is an idiot.  Also, it is worth remembering that he was elected to office via the affirmative votes of a grand total of 17% of the voters in New York City.  His administration will be a case study in the wages of apathy.

Marrying Up and Down

Fodder for some very interesting discussion here.
PERHAPS THIS REALLY REFLECTS THE DECLINING VALUE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: More Educated Women “Marrying Down.” “Nearly 21% of married women in 2012 were better educated than their spouses, a threefold jump from 1960, according to the Pew Research Center. By contrast, a bit less than 20% of men had more formal education than their wives.”
This reflects the sad obsession we have with formal education.  Marrying "up" or "down" is judged solely on an educational credential.  I suspect the women marrying "down" are actually marrying quite well in terms of things like integrity, values, commitment, and strength of character.  But we don't measure these things.

And this is another salient point...
If they’re marrying plumbers and electricians, while holding degrees in women’s studies, they’re marrying up in terms of income. And, in fact, we find out this: “About 58% of better-educated women earned less than their husbands. Only 39% of women earned a higher salary.”
If you've got a worthless degree and are increasingly unemployable (as the jobs that go to these marginally valuable degree holders vanish), why are you considered "up" on the scale?

Come to think of it, this might be a business opportunity - a dating service for women with silly degrees looking for burly men...

Why Aren't 20% Paying Their ObamaCare Premiums?

I know that it shouldn't be this way, but sometimes I am aghast at how poorly informed the general public is about the issues and policies that we are obligated to live under.  Pundits are scratching their collective heads guessing how many of the Obamacare enrollees have failed to pay their first premium.

This NYT article reports that the number is 20%.  How could one fifth of enrollees fail to pay?  Easy.  I'll bet that at least that amount thought ObamaCare would be free.  Truly.  This gives me an opportunity to bring up a favorite subject of mine - Peggy Joseph.  Remember her?  Does anybody believe that there aren't hundreds of thousands of ill-informed Peggy Josephs out there that assumed ObamaCare would be free, and once they got their bills were surprised that they had to pay?

UPDATE:  The Powerline guys posit another explanation.
It also appears that some people signed up for multiple plans. Once they selected the plan they really wanted to purchase, they never took the trouble to return to (who would want to) and remove themselves from plans they had previously selected. 
I'm still going with an army of Peggy Josephs.

My ObamaCare Prediction Scores One

I predicted long ago, that Obamacare would 1) induce older doctors to retire, and 2) make many doctors go the "Visa, Mastercard, American Express" model of cash for service.

Well, Powerline has the story of one such doctor in Arkansas.
I have recently moved into a small, 1300 square foot leased space, and I have cut my staff down to one full time employee, and two part time employees. I hope to be able to survive on cash patients, a few other smaller private insurance plans, and “out of network” patients. In addition to dropping the large Blue Cross PPO, I have also opted out of Medicare, and only see those patients on a cash pay basis. I have included an attachment of a photo of my billboard that went up here in town a few days ago, as well as a link to my Web site, where my cash prices are listed for all to see.

United States of Argentina

One of the sad things that we "joke" about over here on this side of the political spectrum is that, in response to the typical conservative complaint that Obama will turn us into France, becoming like France is the best case scenario.  More likely Obama is turning us into Argentina

Argentina cooks its economic data and steals its citizens' retirement savings.  Well, here in Obama's America we are cooking the books.  What's next?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Yeah Baby...The U Word Is Back!

Oh how I've missed this.  But never fear, "unexpectedly" is back.
"Retail Sales in U.S. Unexpectedly Fell 0.4% in January"
This could be the one word to describe the Obama presidency for the history books - we elected a radical, America-hating socialist who's never had a real job, who nobody has ever heard of, and who rose from the precincts of the deeply corrupt Chicago political machine...and all this bad shit befell the nation...totally unexpectedly.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Don't Say I Didn't Warn You...They Will Steal Your Money

Let me continue to beat this horse - there is a plan behind the exploding debts of the federal government.  No responsible government that has even an iota of concern for the health of the nation would allow the debt accumulation that the Lightworker administration has allowed.

The plan is to confiscate wealth.  And the plan will be much easier after years of demonizing the 1% and after someone else does it first - namely Europe.  So, sit right back and listen to the daily news, yet again, report on "income inequality" and watch as Europe prepares to steal its citizens' property.

Zero Hedge is on it.  Granted they are a little bombastic from time to time, but here they are just reporting what we can all read on Reuters.  Read it and weep - every weaselly, euphemistic, Orwellian bullshit formulation you could think of to describe private property confiscation is there.  Just a taste...
"The Commission will ask the bloc's insurance watchdog in the second half of this year for advice on a possible draft law to mobilize more personal pension savings for long-term financing" 
 Yeah, mobilize that savings, you authoritarian dickheads.  Because...
"the economic and financial crisis has impaired the ability of the financial sector to channel funds to the real economy, in particular long-term investment."
Ah, nope.  Try - nobody will lend you profligate mediocre schmucks any more money to pursue your laughable utopian bullshit scams anymore.

It's coming.  A few more years of railing on the 1% and after the EU does it, it'll be easy to pull off here.

Ray Nagin Gonna Be Behind (Chocolate) Bars

Dispatches from the 21st Century Plantation Known As New York City

Special privileges for connected folks.
A politically connected Brooklyn pastor was arrested for a pair of open warrants — but was spared a night in jail after Mayor de Blasio called an NYPD boss to inquire about his close pal .
Hours later, Bishop Orlando Findlayter was yukking it up with Hizzoner at the head table at a Bed-Stuy breakfast Tuesday with guest speaker Rev. Al Sharpton and 200 other pastors.

The NYP's cover is delicious...

Of course, no one will say it in today's Racial Guilt Society, but the victimology caucus - the Al Sharptons of the world - are happy to have a plantation model pervade society, just so long as they are running it.

More Evidence: Obamacrats Great for the Rich, For Poor...No

Via Mark Perry here is more evidence for what I call the "Obamacrats' Remarkable Feat."

No new comment is needed, I have explained this all before in great detail - despite all the rhetoric and posturing, under Obamanomics being an owner of capital assets is your only refuge and not all that bad, but being a worker is extremely difficult.  This is the economy that Democratic economic policy has inevitably created.  It was thoroughly predictable because I predicted it.

CNBC on myRA Scam: Bleh!

I noted the hideousness of Lightworker's myRA scheme, announced in conjunction with the SOTU.

Normally Obama-friendly CNBC weighs in.
So here's the irony: The myRA will actually have the working poor financing the government's deficit spending. By creating accounts that invest in a government pool, it's yet another way for the Treasury to raise funds without having to sell bonds in the public markets. 
It will come as absolutely no surprise when several years from now we all view myRA as a grossly underutilized creation with costs that far exceed any benefits. Unfortunately, though noble-sounding, this is just another feel-good program that will do little but provide sound bites for politicians and waste billions of taxpayer dollars

In the first blurb, from the Obamacrats' perspective, this is likely a feature, not a bug - all that tax the rich stuff is not aimed at raising money, it's aimed at getting votes.  You get the money by going where it is and going after easier marks.  The rich a) don't have enough money that you can get at, and 2) are too smart for this kind of scam.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Canada Wins Gold...for Fiscal Prudence

The Canadians are not just kicking ass and taking names in the Olympic winter games, they are gold medalists in fiscal discipline.  They've been on a multi-year jag of fiscal prudence and they've just released their new budget which has a modest deficit, which is actually a hidden surplus.  Our neighbors up north are showing how it is done.  Oh, and I don't see any evidence of the world coming to an end or pestilence upon the land plunging Canadian society ever further into a race to the bottom where misery and despair reign over the vulnerable.  Life in Canada is probably quite normal with this balanced budget.  Go figure.

Good for our friends up north.  Let's be nice to them, they could end up owning a chunk of us when we go belly up.

Is the Orwellian Tyranny Already Here?

Exhibit A:  Whilst representing yourself as a "Soldier of Allah", murder 13 people while shouting "Allahu Akbar" and you are committing "workplace violence."

Exhibit B:  Simultaneously, believe in your constitutionally guaranteed Second Amendment rights and smaller government and you are a "terrorist."

That's certainly Orwellian. 

And the story of the day, which highlights the lie/story of the year, is this and (holycrap) this.

Is Tom Blumer crazy to wonder, "Is It All Over and We Just Don't Know It?"

More and Again...Obama Down, Stocks Up

The market is up today and alot of focus is naturally on the first official utterances of Janet Yellen.  Ho Hum.

Readers know that I ascribe the robust stock market to the declining power of Obama, the most economically destructive political force that the nation has seen in decades.  (And have from the very beginning.) Note, this is what I said last July:
Expect further Obama weakness and, concomitantly, further market strength.

I think today we are seeing more of this phenomenon.  Make no mistake about it, the further delay of the ObamaCare employee mandate is a milepost on the continued decline and drive toward irrelevance of the Lightworker.  The law is in grave danger of collapsing and/or going away via corrective legislation.  And this is all good for stocks.

UPDATE:  Drudge with the merciless pounding of juxtaposition.

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Quick Venture Into TimesWorld

Hard to believe, but something really weird happened today.  I didn't sleep at all really last night and was so tired.  How tired?  This tired - I bought the New York Times.  Yes, it snowed here in the metro NYC area and my WSJ didn't get delivered.  When this happens, I just buy the WSJ at the train station where I begin my morning commute into the 21st century plantation that is NYC.  So, I whipped out my $2.50, grabbed the paper and boarded the train.

I perused the front page, flipped through the sections to see a sports section (this should have tipped me off, but we've established I was tired).  The front page, A1 above the fold, AND the sports section had headline articles about a good-but-not-great college football player from a good-but-not-great football program (Mizzou) that was contemplating the NFL draft.  Huh?

So, I thought to myself, this is weird, why is my paper writing - twice - about a marginal college football player?   Then I woke up and saw the distinctive font across the top of the page...I had bought  the New York Times, something I haven't done in 15 years.  The New York Times!  Of course, that is why the big story of the day is about a college football player.  Because he's GAY!   What could be cooler in Timesworld than a gay football player?!?!  Very little except for maybe a black President or a Sandinista mayor.

It all made sense.  And after realizing that the world was as it should be, I folded up the paper and laid it on the seat, for someone else to read, wishing I had my $2.50 back and realizing why I hadn't purchased the NYT in 15 years.

Q and A: Pretty Easy

A professor of "leisure studies" asks a question.
"Why Do Republicans Want Us to Work All the Time?"

Answer:  We don't.  We just want you to work long enough to be able to pay for all of your own shit, so that we don't have to.

UPDATE:  Of course, this is so elementary that this sentiment is breaking out all over.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Amtrak News

This looks awesome, but they'll still lose money (lots of money) running the Bar Car.

Government:  The only people who lose money selling booze or running a gambling operation.

From "You've Got Me" to "I'll Stay Away"

It must be hard to go from the guy who says "Don't worry, you've got me" to the guy who is promising his fellow Dems that he is going to help out and stay away from them this election season.

All thoroughly predicted here.