Tuesday, August 4, 2015

- The Man Who Shot Michael Brown

I found this story in the New Yorker about Darren Wilson, the cop who shot Michael Brown, surprisingly even handed - for a journalist (who as a group are the most despicable scum god ever created). But one thing strikes me as important.

Black people always assume any engrained animosity is about skin color, but white people think it's about behavior. If a white person behaved the way that Michael Brown behaved (as described in this article) then I'd have stood on the sidewalk and cheered for Darren Wilson as they came to get the body. I'd have happily defended him from any mob.

There is no sin in being poor. There is no sin in being under-educated, or not having made the most of your life. And there is certainly no sin in being black. But there is definitely something wrong with the behavior described in this article by black people. They do not behave like people who have a stake in the society or like they want to make the world better. And I'm not just talking about Michael Brown. They behave more like the citizens of Lagos, than they do the citizens of Reykjavik. And having come from a poor background and receiving only a meager public school education, I do see a sin in that.

Black people claim that they act badly because they're treated badly, and white people say they're treated badly because they act badly. For my part, I know I have no control over how other people will feel about me. I only have control over how I will behave. Black America might want to think about that when the accusation of 'racist!!!" loses it's present power. And so long as the only requirement for being accused of being a racist is being born white, that most certainly is going to happen.

Monday, August 3, 2015

- Blind Stupidity (awaiting Darwin's Wrath)

In the wilder parts of North America, there is nothing more dangerous than a mother bear with her cubs. There are countless stories of people being killed by accidentally stumbling in to that kind of situation. But don't tell that to Kaylee Heck who believes "it's so cuuuuuute!!!"

Sheer, blind, idiocy. But with any luck, Ms. Heck will believe her own BS and decide to be the one to feed the baby bear when she runs into one "in her pool or on her swingset", or "playing" on the NJ golf course.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

- Winning the Abortion Argument

With the recent Planned Parenthood kerfluffle, I was contemplating Goya's famous painting of Cronos Devouring His Young
The painting still has a shocking and even repulsive effect on the observer.

All liberals believe in abortion as a right and necessary to the survival of the species, as long as they are not the ones being forced to table, legs akimbo.

According to the Liberal Victim Value Index (Coined by Sultan Knish), a fetus with a heart, liver and lungs as well as harvestable organs is still far inferior to Cecil the Lion.

Gently remind the liberals that they have probably aborted an entire legion of voters as well as many more future liberal leaders.  We all know that the pool of future black and Latino leaders has been consistently narrowed by abortion. Last stat was 90,000 black babies a year. After all, Sanger wanted it that way...

Go one step further. If a person is supposedly born LGBTQ, it is quite possible that whole generations of future queers have been routinely harvested for organs by Planned Parenthood.

Checkmate.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

- A Word On Bitcoin

I found this story very interesting, and since I have been asked from time to time about Bitcoin, it seems like this would be a good excuse to discuss it.

I don't really know much about the technical specifics of Bitcoin. I get the general principle (and I did design program trading systems for a living for a couple of decades so I might be understating my knowledge just a tad), but that's about it. But from a higher 'market's perspective, something always troubled me about Bitcoin.

It always seemed to me to be too easy to fake - too easy to lie about. I couldn't actually tell you how one might do that specifically. When it comes to imagining the vices of others I'm more of boy scout than I usually care to admit. But I've always felt that there was something unbalanced about it. Like it didn't have all the natural checks and balances involved in it that would keep people from trying to get away with something.

Let me try to explain it this way. People don't electronically rob banks very often, but they don't avoid it because it would be hard to get the money out. That would be relatively easy; even I can figure out a couple of ways that would probably work. The real problem with that kind of theft is "What are you going to do with the money once you have it?" It only becomes spendable currency if you have a bank someplace willing to endorse the validity of your ownership of it. And banks are amazingly reluctant to accept massive electronic transfers from anonymous people where the source of origin for the electronic transfer isn't well documented. It's the Bank's agreement on a rule set which keeps that kind of theft from occurring.

Bitcoin tries to remove that constraint by replacing the agreement on rule set with our universal agreement on the rules of mathematics. It tries to make the literal electronic bits and bytes the thing. That's tricky. And if it works, it makes the currency much more steal-able than the bits and bytes in electronic banking transfers by removing that check on electronic theft.

Now before you all try to lecture me about why that isn't so, please recall that all you'll really be telling me is that you personally can't think of a way to game it any more than I can. But there is always (ALWAYS) someone out there who is smart enough to undo the best ideas of mortal men if the stakes are high enough. The theoretical existence of the possibility all but assures it's inevitability. If Bitcoin becomes what it's supporters want it to be, someone somewhere will figure out how to game it. Even mathematical irreducibility is no defense from the larceny of the human heart.

With that said, frequent readers will recall one of the things that I think the Bitcoin market currently has going for it and will be a strong influence on it's long term prospects.

Blythe Masters, the former head of commodity trading at JPMorgan, much reviled in Zerohedge circles, has left her position as the most despised woman on Wall Street, and taken the helm of a Bitcoin firm. I've known Blythe a long time and I do think that her involvement in that market speaks volumes for it's long term credibility. But it's a specific kind of credibility that the market gains from her participation.

Blythe is smart, ruthless and extremely well connected. She is often described as the person who invented Credit Derivatives, but that's really just "know nothing" shorthand for a woefully underinformed class of business journalists. There are still a few of us out there who know that isn't precisely so.

The idea of a credit derivative was actually crafted by the big brain PHD's working at JPMorgan in the early 90's, and Blythe had very little to do with the inspiration, if anything at all. But what Blythe did very much do was invent the "market" for credit derivatives. Which in point of fact was probably a more difficult task.

Any yahoo with a little time on his hands can come up with an idea. But to see the execution of that idea through and develop it into a thriving business, is a talent much more rare than the ability to conceive of the inspiration in the first place. Contrary to what we're all constantly told about Silicon Valley, ideas themselves are worth exactly nothing. It's fulfillment and execution of the idea which is so massively rewarded.

But Blythe has a very specific talent in that regard. For all her strengths as a business leader, she is (in my opinion) something less than charming. She is not the kind of person who can inspire. She is not 'loved' by the people she leads - more probably they are intimidated by her. Time and maturity have probably smoothed over her roughest edges as they do for all of us. But she is by no means the kind of person who inspires loyalty from the people below her whose interests may not be perfectly aligned with her own. That's not exactly a requirement for her role, but it would be if the plan is to build a business from the ground up in the way our popular culture imagines it done.

That's all my personal read of course, but it's an opinion which I know to be widely shared. And for that reason, I doubt that's what she's trying to do. What I have always suspected is that she, like the rest of us whose strive for success, will stick to her strengths. And her strength is not as a visionary, or as a ground up Steve Jobs like figure. Her strength is in using her personal credibility and copious rolodex to facilitate institutionalization. What I strongly believe she's trying to do, is to find a way to convince the globe's entrenched financial interest to see Bitcoin as worthy of their involvement as another place where their interest is in control and management of financial resources.

To the zerohedge crowd, bringing in a bunch of big players to control the stability of a market probably looks like corruption of it's libertarian purity. There's probably something to that. But that's not the whole story, or particularly fair take on it. In point of fact, Bitcoin's 'purity' is a strength and a weakness in the way I described above.

Without powerful entrenched interest directly involved in preserving the stability of that market, it can never be the kind of thing that it's supporters imagine it growing into. Someone somewhere needs to hold a gun to everyone's head and tell them to play fair. Or in a darker future where the role of Ms. Masters is played by some burly guy named Igor and his gang of henchmen, to play the way they want it to be played.

Right now, Bitcoin has no such cop. But from the global list of potential candidates for this role, the people Blythe probably has in mind will be considerably more 'fair' than almost all of the others. Will they game it a bit to take a risk free cut for themselves off the top? That's the way I'd bet. But that's infinitely preferable than virtually every other option. Instead of trading and settlement rules subtly skewed to give the big players a tiny advantage, it could just as easily be an arbitrary and capricious enforcement body run the Russians or Chinese, or the Yakuza the Mexican Cartels or whoever. And they may think the right way for things to be structured is to put a literal bullet in the head of anyone who makes a big profit, however it was made. To them, that may very well be a perfectly good way to keep things going the way they want it to go.

In short, while markets may spring naturally from civil society, stability of those markets does not. My more libertarian minded friends always seem to forget that one of the costs of the rule free market is that everyone gets to make their own rules. They don't see the source of the stability of the modern world in the same way that fish don't see the water they swim in. Instead their world view just assumes that will continue without anyone to expending the energy to keep it that way. This is tragically untrue. And Blythe's contacts are with the very people who can and will ensure that (more or less fair) stability.

Are they the best bad choice? Maybe. I guess it depends on how you look at it. But I strongly suspect that in the decades to come, stability will become and increasingly precious phenomenon and when it does, Bitcoin will be glad of the long term influence of someone like Blythe Masters.

Without the influence of her, or someone just like her, Bitcoin will always be the Panamanian dollar of the electronic commerce world. Useful if left with no other choices, but not something stable enough to be relied upon. But with that institutionalization (or if you're a purist corruption) it stands a much better chance at becoming something to take seriously.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

- Dear Bob H. of Beaverton Oregon

Dear Bob, In an article expressing outrage over the death of Cecil the lion, I read your warning comment to Walter Palmer the dentist who shot the dangerous apex predator. I quote you here: "Keep your eyes open- someone is going to beat the living s**t out of you. I am jealous it will not be myself!". Well I have a solution for you Bob - a way to both vent your rage and address your jealousy, all at once.

I know none of the specifics of Cecil's death, nor do you, and I have never killed a lion myself, though I hope to one day. I have however killed a substantial number of Deer, many with a compound bow. Several of them I did not eat, and two of them I skinned and their hides now make up the carpet in the bedroom of my manhattan apartment. So by your standards I'm as reprehensible a human being as Dr. Palmer. So by all means let's make the most of this.

Since you were brave enough to exclaim to the world your rage at sport hunting in general and Cecil's death in particular, I want to volunteer to be the target of your anger. You may not be able to get to Dr. Palmer, but you can get to me. Please, come try to beat the S**t out of me instead. I'll hit back of course, but I'm sure that's a small price to pay for the chance at social justice that you seek.

If you're afraid you won't be able to find me, my office is on the corner of 42nd and Park avenue. I can be taken by suprise most days (if that's the kind of man you are) walking to and from my office along Lexington avenue, from my apartment at 26th street and Park. I usually get to the office about 7:00 AM, and leave between 5:00PM and 6:00PM. I'm 6 foot 1, 190 lbs, with brown hair. Photos of me can be found on John Derbyshire's website, so you'll have no trouble identifying me. Look for me in the 'hunting' section.

Or if you prefer, I'll be in Seattle in a few weeks and will be happy to come on down to your home town of Beaverton, to give you the chance to express your rage. It's been years since I've knocked out another man's tooth or broken his nose, so I'll look forward to the opportunity too. Just contact me via the email on this website.

I don't think you will though. Because like all liberals, you're a coward. A spineless, whiny, little girl who hides behind the huge mob of liberal rage and the anonymity of the internet. You're not a man, you're a child. And I think if you ever had to stand face to face with a man capable of defending himself against your slack jawed thoughtless anger, you'd pee your pants and beg him not to hurt you, and no more.

Prove me wrong you quaking little pansy. You can come here or I will come there. I'm as guilty as Dr. Palmer in your eyes. And until it's been proven absolutely that Dr. Palmer was complicit in any laws broken (if in fact there were any), I'm happy to stand in for him.

Yours in utter, total contempt and disgust,

Tom C. from RFNJ

- We Shall Over Comb

President Trump. Ugh. I feel dirty just typing it. But I do have to admit, there is a certain cultural symmetry to it. We have become a circus sideshow of a culture. Our men are women, are women are desperately trying to be men. Forget Bruce Jenner, or unconstrained hypergamy, or "the right" to gay marriage, or the rest of it. Even our special forces soldiers are commanded to march around in high heels for god's sake. It's not like this is still a proud nation with a healthy vision of itself anymore. And Trump would be the perfect barker for the circus sideshow we've become. He knows how to draw a crowd and to keep the cameras focused on him. And in terms of policy, he'd have to be an improvement over Obama.

Those of us from the New York City financial world have a very specific view of the man and that view isn't shared by most of America. Most Americans say something like "If he can do it there he can do it anywhere right?" But that's dead wrong. Donald Trump's skill is not in finding and identifying business inefficiency and improving it for financial gain. His process has been more about using the money he has (starting with his inheritance) to twist the eternally corrupt (overwhelmingly Democrat) New York political machine to serve his interests instead of the interests of his competitors. Honestly, any idiot can do that. And to those of us who really do understand the financial world, when we look at Trump the first thing we think is that any idiot has.

I've written often about what an intelligence snob I am and how insulated I was working at the hedge funds where I was employed. When I was working at Caxton, even the girl who answered the phone had an IQ of 140. And I had forgotten just how stupid 'average' is when compared to the pond I swam in. Well Trump is a man of more or less average intelligence with a talent for self aggrandizement. That's important in today's America, because fame is all that seems to matter anymore.

The government works so hard to keep the entrenched interests ... entrenched, that there isn't any room for innovation, creativity, or inspiration. Those things are 'boring' to today's Americans. But furthering that entrenchment IS something that Donald Trump knows a lot about. The only thing that's different about him is that rather than being bought off for campaign contributions, lobbyists will have to buy him off with promises of future business relationships. Obama can be bought by GE for the price of a nice dinner, a plane flight to Palm Springs, and a round of golf. For the same support President Trump will want a 5 year guaranteed business co-venture when he leaves office, and a chunk of real estate in Fairfield CT (or some such). That's what the BIG difference in a Trump presidency will be.

As such, what he represents is instability in the political 'market'. All the old relationships with the Democrat and Republican parties will have to be tossed off and new ones will all have to be made. Rulings and new laws will seem 'willy nilly' and erratic. But what they will really represent is a new order in Washington. A new way of doing business. And if you believe that new way will actually serve the interests of the common American then you're delusional. Trump is many things, and has done many things. But he's never done any of them for free. And his presidency will be about putting a larger slice of America in his pocket than anything else. There is no side benefit to common Americans in any of that.

We've had our day in the sun. America should already be described in the past tense. The ideas have been shattered, and the ideas were the only thing that held us together in the first place. The narcissistic idiots that make up the majority of the voting public, can never be brought back from where they are to a position of mental seriousness. Our journalists cannot be convinced to give up their severe liberal bias. Our collective minds have been closed, and they won't be reopened. There is no way to express the founding principles of a constitutional republic in 140 characters or less.

We have stage 4 cultural cancer. There will be no more recovery. And at a time like that, Trump may be just what the country needs. Not because he'll make things better, I'm totally convinced he won't. But because he'll make the transitional to total anarchy entertaining. Today's Americans can tolerate anything but boredom. And the Trump-Kardashian ticket is the cultural equivalent (and perfect predecessor) to the Administration of "Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho." Which is when the 'fun' will really start.