Thursday, May 31, 2012

- Wrong Headedness

Contrary to the image held by our professional news media, I think George Bush won't be remembered as our country's worst president - far from it. But to be fair I don't think he'll be one of the greats either. He was a middling guy doing a middling job, at what can fairly be described as one of the hardest positions in the world - for a Republican.

For a Democrat, who can count on the press corps to fall in line lockstep to his agenda, vet his past not at all, and concoct ready excuses for him for his every impropriety or error, it's a much easier gig. George Bush had a pack of wild attack dogs, Barak Obama has a cheeleading squad.

But with that said, I think I can be certain that George Bush tried, in the face of incredibly harsh criticism, to do what was right for the country. I believe that history will eventually confirm for us that the few times he failed to do the right thing, political expediency wasn't a motive. He did things he knew would be unpopular (especially with the media) but he did them anyway because he felt they must be done. Right or wrong that's really all you can ask of a mere mortal. His only errors,like most peoples, were as a result of wrongheadedness.

Ironically this is the same problem Barak Obama has. His problem is not that he despises America or wants to destroy it. On the contrary he wants to make it better. I'm convinced that he is not a bad man. But he is almost entirely wrongheaded about how the world actually works. He's been taught that theory is the same as evidence and that intent is more important than effect, so he misunderstands basically everything about what happens after his policies are enacted. That doesn't actually make him a bad man, just a bad president.

So let's hope that in the future we as a people can avoid electing anyone that's too 'wrongheaded' about how the world works, and that we can teach the media not to be so wrongheaded itself.

It would really help the way things work out.

- Announcing A Future Venture

My brother is so worked up about the latest bit of Bloomberg tyranny that I thought I'd drop one more post out here to help get his mind off it.

The movement to let states tax the internet is apparently gaining steam. It's supporters include such conservative stalwarts as Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels and a number of other Republican governors. A full list can be seen here.

So if this happens, I won't protest. My brother and I (along with a few lucky early stage investors) will simply go into the drop shipping business.

You register your address with an online company based only in a no sales tax state. Then you have all your online packages shipped to one of our addresses assigned to you. On it's receipt we re-ship it to you. You have to pay increased shipping costs but for any item where the price tag is high it pays off quickly.

Since the purchase itself doesn't include shipping to a tax state, the seller doesn't have to collect the tax. And since we are only selling you the shipping service, that's all we have to charge a tax on. The savings in many cases will be significant - and we'll have online calculators based on sales prices, package size, and destination to help you calculate if it works for you to use us.

This can even be done with most online book, or software purchases, although it might prove a bit more complicated depending on the licensing sche3me in use. Remember, high tax rates increase the incentive to avoid them.

And if we decide that we're too busy doing what we're doing, I'm sure MANY other people will have similar ideas. Look for them as soon as the tax is approved.

- A Nasty Little Fraction Of A Man

In many corners the lilliputian mayor of New York, megalomaniacal Mike Bloomberg, is consdered a laughingstock. And the reason is things like this:

New York Plans to Ban Sale of Big Sizes of Sugary Drinks

It's true, he's a nasty condescending little fraction of a man who gets his jollies bossing people around. But the problem with NYC is not Mike Bloomberg, it's what comes after him. The one good thing about Bloomberg is that he has absolutely no interest in anyone's opinion but his own. And NYC politics usually involves nothing more than the sock puppet candidates of various powerful political factions dividing up the taxpayer funded pie. Bloomberg may be a jerk, but he's an honest jerk. And for NYC that's a big improvement over business as usual.

When Bloomberg ran for his third term, he did so in open defiance of the law imposing term limits on the mayor. Typical. "Laws are for the unwashed masses not me." says the traditional liberal mantra. But as bad as he is, he makes the cast of characters waiting in the wings on NYC's liberal left look like a sideshow of mental dysfunction. With the war on the finance industry coming from Washington, things are going to change in NY. And I suspect no one will remember or care about Mikey's stupid law about soft drinks.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

- Soledad Obrien Schooled By John Sununu

It's tough to find anyone in the media who is further in the tank for the Democrats while claiming to be 'non-partisan' than Soledad Obrien. I think she's a boob. Not smart, not informed, wrongheaded about her political views. But like most people in the media she does know how to bully people when it comes to conversation.

And then she met John Sununu.

I'm sure you'll find this as satisfying as I did.

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In a related note, America is not fooled by Soledad's protestations that she's an objective source of news. And they're tired oh hearing her 'in the tank' nonsense. Is CNN really cared about ratings, they should try actually asking a few questions about who the hell Barak Obama actually is.

- Responsible For Trump?!

This is the best Team Obama can manage?

So if I understand this right, John McCain was "willing to lead" by taking a position he was overwhelmingly criticized for and probably lost him the election, but Mitt Romney isn't "willing to lead" because he can't ...what... reign in Donald Trump?

Just because the left wants to call "an unwillingness to put up a fight" in the election "leadership" doesn't make the rest of us see it that way. By that same token I'm sure they think it's a shame we didn't have the "courage" to surrender to Hitler during WW2, and to Stalin after that. If only we had been "willing to lead" in those desperate moments when the Japanese were attacking Pearl Harbor - just think of all the lives that could have been saved. Good god.

Besides, am I suppose to buy into the idea that Donald Trump, press hound and self promoter extraordinaire, is really nothing more than a Romney sock puppet? Are you people kidding me? This is the best you've got?

The reason I think Barak Obama will get pounded like cheap veal in the election is that nothing has worked out the way he thought it would. That's partly because of his economic incompetence, but to be fair, it's also partly a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Either way though, he has none of the tools he expected to. The economy is still teetering, the class warfare has failed to rouse any but the loopiest "occupy" people, and the idiot citizens (according to the left) haven't accepted the brilliance of having their betters in the government run their lives for them.

So now he has nothing left to use except that core leftist tenet, he's going to attack virtue as if it were vice. People who are religious will be depicted as "extremist". the Tea party, a bourgeois movement if there ever was one, will be painted as a revival of the Klan. Someone who works hard will be an 'exploiter' and someone who reclines on their couch complaining will be a victim. But Americans don't like this story.

Romney may not be the very best candidate, and he may not turn out to be the best President, but Obama has been a catastrophic failure and it will be impossible for him to hide that. He's as good as finished.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

- Brilliant Conservative Marketing

A company is marketing pre-keyed Romney bumper stickers in the hope that it will get liberals to spare your car of any further damage.

Knowing how determined liberals can be when offered the opportunity to permanently damage someone else's hard earned property for political reasons, I'd say the odds of this saving you is really only 50 - 50 at best. It's just as likely it will give them the idea to make the rest of your car's paint job match.

But it's definitely a clever idea.

- Obama's Investment Management Skills

I have this loose theory that those in government want to use taxpayer dollars to have 'cool jobs'. The people who build plans for sports arenas (which almost never pay off) would actually rather own a sports team. The people who want government to fund social services would actually rather be doing charitable work but they don't want to have to worry about how the money is spent.

By those accounts then, Obama and his staff would like to be bankers and investment managers, but they don't want to have to worry about having to turn a profit. They have funneled huge dollars into investments that will never pay off in any fiduciary way, but have yielded HUGE benefits in the form of campaign contributions and union strength (which is the same as campaign contributions except further out on the forward curve).

Obama's never run a lemonade stand, and doesn't look like he'd be any good at it if he tried. But since he's trying with our money, at least he doesn't have to worry about his friends all going broke. He'll never have to pay the bill, we will.

Here is another take on that theme:

- Donald Trump Makes An Excellent Point

It's no secret that I'm not a big Donald Trump fan, and I'm certainly no birther. But I was listening to him ramble about his pet Obama issues this AM on Squawk and he made an excellent point I hadn't thought of.

He says that he want's to see Obama college transcripts not to criticize his poor grades but to see what he wrote about his country of birth. If he passed himself off as a foreign student then Obama would have been guilty of fraud, a serious crime that may have included obtaining grants and loans under false pretenses. It would have been the kind of Fraud that the liberal intelligentsia would fully support - as evidenced by their 'no big deal' reaction to Elizabeth Warren fraudulent claims of being an American Indian. But it would still be fraud. And I think it would explain the lockstep way that his transcripts have been locked up tight at three different universities.

I think it's possible that Obama is refusing to release them simply as an effort to avoid criticism of his poor performance, and I think it would be a mistake for his political opposition to obsess over his transcripts to that end. Who cares if he got good grades... I certainly don't. But if he lied about his place of birth on his applications or even worse - was ambiguous about it having different answers in different places, then I think it would meet the criteria of an impeachable offense.

Fraud is a very big deal - particularly something like that which points to more serious character issues. And right or wrong, if he claimed it on his transcripts I think it would raise genuine and valid concerns about the other claims he's made.

Anyway... good one Donald. Nice catch. So nice in fact, that I would like to formally apologize for making fun of your hair at that party all those years ago.

- What Do you Imagine The Odds Are....

...that the naked Cannibal shot in Florida this past weekend was part of the Tea Party? Now what do you imagine the odds are that he was part of the Occupy Movement? The answer to that question should tell you all you need to know about those two respective groups.

The Occupiers are unthinking drones manipulated by academics who, for the moment have seized the halls of power. But when this election rolls around they're probably going to be tossed out on their behinds. And when they are, the Occupy movement will have no reason to hold back any more. They will become a manifestation of the violent uprising that people like Frances Fox Piven have been cheering for since the 60's.

That's when they can stop pretending that what they want is to build something new, and acknowledge the fact that what they really want is to see the world burn.

I caught a pretty serious cold in the midwest last week and I'm still recovering. So rather than write something pithy, I'll drop this on you and all the Occupy Zombies that haven't been shot... yet.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

- Christie Is Not One Of Us

...says Andrew C. McCarthy. By all means read his detailed piece. But it totally reinforces my political 'litmus test'.

He doesn't mention it specifically, (because I suspect McCarthy may share Christie's view) but Christie is anti-gun. Allowing the citizens to keep and bear arms is to vest the citizenry with power. So any politician who is anti-gun, is against giving the citizenry power. And since the power has to go to someone, it usually goes to them.Christie is a perfect example.

When your only choices are a philandering bi-sexual accused of bribery (former governor Jim McGreevey), a union bought and paid for scofflaw who's firm steals his client's money (Jon Corzine) and a big government progressive Republican who would be considered a liberal Democrat anywhere else in the country but can at least handle simple math, the choice is easy. Remember, Mike Bloomberg was a Republican too.

Until we can untangle the union stranglehold and shatter the political machines, in NJ, Christie is the best we can do. But he's a lousy choice for national office.

Friday, May 25, 2012

- HBO: The Propaganda Network

I don’t have HBO at home, so I’m spared their idea of objectivity. But I’ve been traveling this week and I’ve come down with a cold so I spent a lot of time in the room staring at the TV and trying to recover. In the process, I’ve been treated to a week of HBO’s shameless propagandizing and manipulation of the historic ‘narrative’.

I don’t mean Bill Maher, I won’t watch that buffoon. but I did make the mistake of watching a few minutes of their 2008 film "Recount" which provides a hysterically slanted version of the Florida recount drama that resulted in George Bush winning the presidency against Al Gore.

The movie is filled from stem to stern with silly overstated tripe about how noble and admirable the Democrats are and how self centered and evil Republicans are. But I was struck by one particularly obvious deviation from the facts that the movie made. Al Gore originally requested a hand recount in only a few Democrat dominated counties around Palm Beach, which would of course give him an advantage statistically. Any new votes found would be far more likely to be Democrat votes.

The Bush campaign's response to this request was “If you want a recount that’s fine with us. We’re happy to allow it without a protest, but you have to recount the whole state.” The reason for that was also obvious. A full state recount would include the deeply Red panhandle counties and would eliminate any Gore advantage that a partial state recount would bring. Both those acts are blatantly partisan, but these are electoral campaigns and partisanship is their business. The Democrat response to the Republican offer was an equally partisan “Get Stuffed” or something to that effect. Their lawyers in the real world made the case for only the limited recount, and the drama inevitably played out as it did.

But in the movie it was portrayed as the exact opposite. In the movie’s ‘dramatized’ dialog, the Republicans argued amongst themselves only to “prevent every vote from being counted” while the Democrats argued for only the most noble position of getting every vote counted. When the Florida supreme court mandated a full state wide recount the Democrats are shown cheering even though the exact opposite reaction was probably true in real life since that was the official position of the Bush campaign that the Gore legal team was trying so hard to prevent. It’s literally a case of the “Big Lie” being turned into dramatic fare. And I think I know the reason for it.

The Democrats know that given how lazy America’s public school teachers have become, many high schools will use that dramatized version in history classes as an engaging way to convey the events of the election. Students will watch the movie as if it conveys the real position of the parties involved, and a whole gang of newly mis-informed leftists will find their way into the electorate.

And who could blame them? The movie makes a persuasive case for the Democrat view – even if the view it attributes to the Democrats was actually closer to the Republican view. The Hollywood activists who slanted the movie probably feel like if they couldn’t seize the moral high ground in real life, they’d do it in a work of fiction instead. And then they just have to let teacher laziness be to blame if the kids mistakenly attribute those fictional details to the positions in real life. It’s a brilliant piece of revisionism, that would have no doubt made Trotsky proud.

As I watched the continual distortion, I found myself wondering if the actors involved in the movie are at all ashamed of being a part of such a blatant effort to reinvent reality. They are all 'propagandists" now after all. But I would guess not. They’re probably too dim to understand the facts anyway, and "pretending things" is their business. But HBO certainly knows that this is simple propagandizing. And the rest of us should be aware of it too.

Conservatives really need to put some effort into retaking this portion of US culture before it gets too far. Assuming it hasn’t gotten there already. We’ll probably know the answer to that question in just a few more months.

And I really can’t wait to see what HBO does with Obama’s life story.

- Taking The Yakuza Thing One Step Too Far

Japanese man cooks, serves own genitals

I had a former co-worker who ran the Banker's Trust trading operation during the Japanese Economic crisis. When I found out that he had lived there for years I asked him:

"Did you learn any Japanese while you were there?"

"Not a word." he said

"Why not?" I asked

"Because they don't have anything interesting to say." was his response.

The Japanese are a very foreign people to western sensibilities. I might not go in for all that Bizarre Thai sexual perversity, but I think I mostly understand where it comes from. But the Japanese are often a mystery to me. And the weirdest of the Japanese might as well be from another planet.

- An Index Of Hate Crime Hoaxes

I'm posting this here because it's going to be such a useful reference in the coming months. Courtesy of Takimag, Gavin McInnes offers us his 10 favorite Hate-Crime Hoaxes.

If you think indexing them like this gives people the impression that there are more hoax white on black hate crimes than actual white on black hate crimes, then I would tend to agree with you.

Not listed among them are the claims that were made by Grandma Nancy and the Congressional Black Caucus (pictured above), who lied when they accused Tea Party members of shouting racist slurs at them as they went to "deem" Obamacare as having been passed. You may recall that Andrew Breitbart offered a large reward for anyone who could produce a tape of the slurs, and even though they were surrounded by reporters and cameras at the time, no one claimed the reward. It was another white on black fiction repeated endlessly by the mainstream media, but it wasn't actually a crime.

- This would Be Fun: Romney/Paul

It's an outlier and might not even be that helpful to Romney (I hadn't really thought about it). But I think it's a matchup that would be fun to watch.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

- On The Hustler/S.E. Cupp Forgery

LookingSpoon Brilliance. (This one's for you Chess.)

- Pondering The Perfect End

When I was a kid, I worked in a nursing home for a stretch. It was a pretty good job for me given how limited my skills were at the time, and it didn’t pay so badly. Back then nursing homes were almost exclusively staffed by women, but they needed at least one man to help lift the heavier patients. So by working on the over night shift (we never called it the graveyard shift) I managed to make as much money as an LPN on days – even though I knew absolutely nothing of medicine, and precious little of anything else.

The place I worked was considered one of the very best private care facilities of its kind, but it was still a horrible and often humiliating experience for the patients there. And it was an interesting learning experience for me. I had already changed hundreds of diapers by the time my daughter was born, and had spent a considerable time dealing with people at their weakest and most vulnerable. Back then no one had ever heard of Alzheimer’s, and a broken hip so limited your mobility that it was a death sentence. Now the only downside to them is that you set off the metal detectors at the airport. My father in law has two.

It was the first time I had ever watched someone die as well. A woman was brought in unconscious, in obviously poor condition and wasn’t expected to live for very long. While making the rounds the next Saturday evening I and another staffer (a non nurse) happened to be there at her last moments. In fact, I was taking her pulse at the time. The girl who was with me over reacted badly, and went running terrified down the hallway screaming the news at the top of her lungs while looking for a nurse. This was greeted with looks of abject horror from the Boy Scout Christmas carolers and visiting family who were crowding the hallway. That was the girls’ last day by the way.

Anyway, John Derbyshire is waxing philosophical about the approach of the end, but his many fans should be carefully not to think too much of that. I saw him last weekend and he looked pretty good to me – certainly no closer to the end than when we met a few years ago. His chemo is finished and he was cheerful and in good spirits. If he was a little tired so too were we all. Sporting clays is more exhausting than it looks.

In the way of optimism, part of our discussions last weekend included plans for the future that extended years, which you don’t usually bother with if you don’t think you’ll be there to see them through.

I think it’s likely that he’s just being a little grim. Now that’s something that’s actually pretty easy to believe about him. It could just be the weather or something. Like Clemens, any reports of his demise are being greatly exaggerated. It’s just that this time it’s John doing the exaggerating.

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Just to waylay any concerns about the well being of our man Derb, here is John posing for a quick photo at our sporting Clays Shoot last Saturday. Pictured with him also are his son Danny, and Peter Griffin, animated star of the popular Fox TV series "Family Guy".

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

- Barak Hussein Obama: Tea-Bagger

Oh My....

- Missing Milton Friedman

This election is going to be a referendum on Capitalism. And the free market has never had a better advocate than him.

I continue to blame the entire rise of the 'new left' on Dr. Friedman. Because if he hadn't gone and died.....

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

- Soliciting Racism

I was reading about Obama's Arkansas problem, and something occurred to me. Liberals will endlessly accuse conservatives of racism, and our denials mean nothing because "That's just what you would expect a racist to say." But I wonder if there is anyone - literally a single soul in all of America - who voted against Obama specifically for his race? Was there someone out there who was saying to himself, "I like the whole redistribution of wealth and healthcare nationalization thing, and raising taxes on the most productive seems like it's only fair to me. I'm a lifelong supporter of the Democrats and their policies, and I would normally vote for Obama, I just wish to god he wasn't black!"

This sounds ridiculous of course, and it is. And it certainly doesn't sound like a conservative. Conservative are the most reliably colorblind people I know. Some liberals manage it as well, but they are always quick to accuse others. Meanwhile the only people I've ever met who never even think about race are all conservatives.

The fact is, there are lots, and lots, and lots of reasons not to vote for Obama that have nothing to do with his race. But to a liberal, that seem like nothing but code words and excuses coming from conservatives. When you look at it that way it's clear this kind of thinking defies all logic and reason. But those aren't priorities for liberals and it doesn't slow them down at all.

Anyway I was thinking, I wonder if I could put a call out - a sort of solicitation of racism. I'd ask you guys to go to anyone you knew and get them to post their anonymous reasons for objecting to Obama's race right here on this blog. At least then we'd get to hear first hand how it's actually objectionable to someone. We wouldn't just be worried about liberal straw men - the invented criminals of America's racist regime. And we could make it fully anonymous so no one would be afraid to speak up.

But then it occurred to me. If you make it anonymous, then you immediately get liberals who post the kind of racist rants they imagine conservative s would make if they were more honest about their racism. The irony of doing this in the name of honesty while pretending to be conservatives, would be totally wasted on them. To them something like that would seem only fair, and that it "should be" an important part of the political dialog even if it's totally made up.

This is why it's so difficult to have an honest conversation with a liberal. They blend together the real world and the things they imagine as if they can't really tell the difference. Which seems like a shame to me. It would really be helpful if it were possible to engage them honestly.

So anyway, I'm interested. If you guys can find someone who is explicitly objecting to Obama's race then I'd appreciate knowing about it. I don't mean some vague nonsense that liberals think is a 'dog whistle', I means someone who would otherwise vote for Obama but explicitly won't because of his race.

If it's anyone but David Duke's inner circle, I'd be shocked.

- Luckily There Was No Concealed Carry Allowed

One more "gun free zone" story, slightly closer to home:

2 Canadian Tourists Killed In Random Atlantic City Stabbing Attack

OK - foreign tourists couldn't carry anyway. But how did the guy with the knife know they weren't American? He might not have been sure where they were from, but since NJ has barely issued any concealed carry permits to a private citizens in the last 25 years, he could be certain that they weren't going to be armed.

- This Poll Tells Us ... Nothing

I think it will be tough to find a story that has been more thoroughly misrepresented by the mainstream media that the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case. The liberal media and the PC race baiters conspired to try to lynch a man who did nothing wrong. On the contrary, he was only trying to do the right thing by his community and in the end, was only defending himself.

But the media ginned up a totally fictional story about a white (actually latino) guy who stalked and murdered an innocent black teen in cold blood, because he hated his skin color. It was an out and out lie. It was a complete fabrication right from the get go. And their invention even included careful editing the audio tape that preceded the shooting in order to distort the facts and make George Zimmerman seem as guilty as they could.

But the truth has since come out and opinions are changing.

So this poll about how the public feels about the shooting is really irrelevant. It tells us nothing except that the media was caught with it's editorial hand in the cookie jar. And as the 'actual' facts have been released (of course) the public got it right. It's a shame we couldn't get the actual facts from the media in the first place. Just think of how helpful that would have been.

If I were George Zimmerman I would sue NBC news for their creative editing of the audio tape. that's at least part of the reason his life has been turned upside down.

- From The "Guns Don't Kill People" File

From the UK where guns have been banned for decades, comes this chilling tale:

Father, 56, fighting for life after being stabbed trying to shield dying son from frenzied attack by hoodie gang outside pub.

For the record, in the British press "Youths" typically means Muslims. As is the case with the intentionally vague US press, I have no idea if that's actually the case here.

- Still Don't Like

I put an update on this post about Facebook that I think is worth checking out.

- Sen. Jeff Merkley, An Idiot With An Agenda


Is the problem the lack of regulations on Wall St or the sheer unwillingness of the legislators to understand risk at any level?

Risk is not hard to grasp. I found poetry and organic chem to be difficult espescially if I wasn't exposed to the intricacies everyday. It's fair to say most sane people and most people that would purposefully tune into financial news broadcasts would have a pretty solid concept of risk and the nature of risk in the confines of investment banking.

Sen Merkley - an idiot with an agenda - decides to come on Financial TeeVee to tell you, me and anyone else that has managed a business or set-up more than one personal account, that he will insist JP Morgan should have been making loans available to the general public (a whole nother aspect of risk that this dope must have forgotten about - subprime anyone?) rather than maintain a hedge. He was reminded that this was JPM's money, not TARP not Tax money, not Client money (although the shareholders ultimately benefit from ameliorating risk). Facts are not good enough for Jeffy! He's got an agenda!
"woulda-shoulda-coulda"... is Jeff's solution to a molehill not becoming a mountain.

Sure, it's a knee-jerk post on my part, but after witnessing this dope on CNBC stick to his guns I am reminded that this guy is probably one of the "smarter" members of the US Senate... Oh we reap what we sow indeed!

I want to add that it is the pre-text of "woulda-shoulda-coulda" that usually breeds failure.

Here's the video that ruined chess' fritters :)
http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000090999&play=1

ikaika

Monday, May 21, 2012

- The Boberg XR9

Guys, someone asked me about this today. Anyone have any thoughts?

- Our Broken Politics (And Our Idiot Journalists)

The next time a journalist tells you are politics are broken, I want you to think of a teen age girl sitting behind the wheel of a car which is stopped on the side of the road. What's wrong with her car? "It's broken" she'll sadly tell you. It's the same with journalists and our political system. There is nothing broken about it that we didn't intentionally break. But that they can't seem to figure out what specifically is wrong doesn't means the answer is some great mystery.

In a word, it's gerrymandering. Nancy Pelosi can come out with a statement that she would like to intentionally infect African children with Cholera in order to depopulate Africa and help global warming, and while there may be a grumble at how poorly thought through this is, she will absolutely get reelected. The reason this is so is because there is a consensus in her district about all things political. Her constituents would sooner vote for a crazy Democrat than a sane Republican. There is a similar thing in some Republican districts, but like most things which involve a perversion of our constitutional process I suspect it's probably worse for Democrats.

What those idiot journalists should really be thinking very seriously about is changing the gerrymandering rules. Whats a good solution? I don't know, but someone certainly does. How about a rule stating that no district can have irregular borders or more than 5 sides? How about no interior angle greater than 180 degrees (no concave angles)? The idea being that the districts should be kept simple in structure and not include those long thin spider legs like my district in NJ has always had.

The same rules would apply to Republicans of course so it's certain to be fair. But the problem is our journalists are even more clueless than our politicians. It never occurs to them that an issue like geography could have an effect on how diametrically opposed our politics has become. Instead of whining about how broken our political system is they should be thinking of ways to make it less safe to be a politician. Make more districts more of a horse race, and things will operate much more smoothly.

Does that mean we can "move forward" (one of my most hated political terms) or that Congress will "get more things done"? Maybe, maybe not. It does mean that more reasonable people will be part of the conversation. Instead of 10 people who are in districts safe enough for them to think like Nancy Pelosi we'll only have two (or whatever). The rest will be afraid of getting reelected and will therefore be more responsive to the vox populi. That can only improve things because 'the people' are far more willing to accept the reality (because they have a stake in it) than our carefully protected politicians currently are.

- Don't Like!

Maybe they won't be charging specific user fees, but the users of Facebook have to pay something because they're the ones with the money. If they don't pay user fees they'll have to pay in terms of desktop space,or annoyance factor or something. Ads pop up or pop under, or do something that require you to do something to them to make them go away. This will annoy some small portion of the existing users. Most won't care, but some - a few at least, will think that the upside of Facebook isn't worth the hassle of all the haranguing to buy things.

Well the Ads will be focused!" say the Facebook fans. OK, but I'm already interested in sport shooting so I don't need Facebook's Ads to tell me what's going on in that business. I'm not shopping on Facebook, I'm just socializing. (I'm not actually on it at all, I'm just saying) So the Ad's don't really mean much. Does Remington Imagine that I had never head of them until their Facebook Ad shoved itself into the middle of my conversation with my cousin from Houston? Do they imagine that's the moment to tell me about some new product offering or to alert me to a special deal? I don't think so. Mostly I will just find it annoying because I was doing something else.

Eventually, Facebook will run out of new users. So long as they still bring in new users fast enough to make up for the users dropping off, everything is fine. But when they run out and that number takes a down tick, it's all over for Facebook. They will need to incrementally increase the money they get from each user, which forces them to increase the burden on each user, which alienates a few more, increasing the burden even further, and so on, and so on, down and down and down until they are Myspace.

Mark Zuckerberg will end up a billionaire either way, and good for him. But I don't see this as the revolutionary product he claims. He hasn't invented a new way to socialize, he's just shoved a computer into the process of actual socialization, and put an ad over the top of it. But in the end it's still your life. There are lots of ways that you can relate with your friends and your family without paying anyone. And the higher the cost/burden gets for Facebook, the more appealing those other methods will become again.

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I wonder how long it will take before the dolts at CNBC figure out that it was mostly the existence of "SecondMarket" the private stock distribution market that undermined the Facebook IPO. I know they've already mentioned that by letting Facebook run their own underwriting and pay no fees they eliminated the incentive for the banks to support the stock. I'm an entrepreneur of sorts so I appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit. But no one succeeds alone. Maybe if Mark Zuckerberg were a little older he'd have realized that.

I got the ultimate sell signal for Facebook this past weekend. I spent 2 hours on Saturday chatting with two beautiful young girls - ages 19 and 22. One was a 6 foot tall 120lb Russian girl with long blonde hair. The other was a petite half English half Chinese girl who could not have been any cuter if she were riding a unicorn. Both were intelligent, charming, and full of big smiles. If I were their age and single, either one of them would have needed a huge club to fight me off. They are what every young man (and a considerable number of older men) are looking for.

But neither has a Facebook account. They don't see the need.

Tick Tock on the Facebook thing.

- The New Samaritan

I'm gonna keep a few in my car, just in case.

- Who Should Limit The Banks

Who would you rather have limiting the behavior of your banks? Someone like Paul Krugman whose propensity for distorting his views to score infantile political points has become legendary, or someone like me whose only agenda is to punish the banks for financial reasons?

Actually, my only real motive is to benefit myself and my investors, but if the banks do something stupid and I exploit that stupidity for gain, I have absolutely no qualms about seeing them suffer for it. The money I manage may be quite small relative to the big banks. But take my behavior, and the behavior of my equally well informed peers in aggregate, and we become a terrifying wolf pack for the banks to cope with. Avoiding our snapping jaws becomes a top priority for them. Remember, JPMorgan lost 2 Billion, but they lost it to hedge funds. Do you imagine JPMorgan will be making that mistake again - whatever the regulations say?

This is the theory behind deregulation of the banks. The principle is that I and the people like me, who are in the markets for a living and have proven by virtue of our consistent profits that we know what we’re doing, will be better at limiting bank behavior than some random bureaucrat looking only at theories, who has no skin in the game. He's only interested in bossing people around. I'm interested in feeding my family.

If you have wolves surrounding you in every direction, you tend to be very careful when you go outside. This is by far the best way to limit bank behavior. Banking is already the most regulated industry in America and those regulations haven't seemed to prevent much of anything. In fact, the only thing you really need to write regulations against is collusion. Getting all the bank heads together to do a single thing (like TARP for instance) represents a hazard to the people.

Beyond that, the only thing you need to keep the financial markets working well is access to information. Reveal the pertinent information in aggregate so that no individual actor is put at risk unfairly, and short sellers will prevent every bubble we will ever see – forever. It’s a self correcting system that will always take all new information into account.

That’s the real strength of ‘free’ markets. They learn WAY faster than some bureaucrat. They are nature’s way of bringing a kind of preventive medicine into civil society. Instead of waiting for the blowup and reacting to it afterward like a policeman does, it gets ahead of the issue and prevents it like an armed guard does.

Make the information public to the wolves, and the wolves will keep your sheep (and your sheepdogs) in line. When all the sheep run a single direction (like during a market bubble) the wolves will pick off the first few, and drive the rest back. And when the sell off comes they’ll be buying in the falling market to take profits on their positions, and will keep the run from turning into a catastrophe.

All we really need to do is get disinterested "know it alls" like Obama, Congress, and Paul Krugman out of the loop.

Friday, May 18, 2012

- Obama's War On Catholics

You don't have to agree with the religious teachings of the church, but you should be willing to defend the religious freedom of the church whether you agree or not.

- Obama The Great

Kind of like Catherine The Great, only with dogs in the story instead of horses.

- Sticking With The "Racist Murderer" Theme

The NYTimes is sticking with that whole "George Zimmerman is a murdering racist" theme even as the evidence supporting that view crumbles around them. The best indicator on how this narrative is going for the race baiting industry though is that we haven't heard from Jesse Jackson in a while.

Al Sharpton tends to go down with the ship. One can only assume it's because he has no problem being caught in a blatant lie. It happens often enough that it's not much of a shock to anyone. Think Tawana Brawley, white interlopers, and the totally fictional Duke Lacrosse rape.

But Jesse is a little slicker. He imagines he has some credibility left to save - and he probably does inside the beltway (who knows what those people really think.) So he'll work his way to the back of the room as the racist narrative decays, and when the media jury comes back (can't have a media trial without a media jury) and the public begins to accept that they've been hoodwinked by the media again, he usually has some 'regrettable' other business far, far away.

More and more, that's the way it's looking for the Trayvon Martin shooting. It would take real determination on the part of a reader, but I'm sure if you scan the back sections of the South Chicago community papers you'll find some reference somewhere that has Jesse distancing himself from this whole mess. It will be quietly done, but it will be done. There is no upside left in this circus for him anymore.

This also raises an interesting election year issue. The hardest portions of the racist political machine - the New Black Pathers, the Jeremiah Wright's, the Louis Farrakhan's and the like, will still be out there demanding the head of a 'white Latino' or whatever it is they're calling George now. If there isn't some action on this, it might be seen as Obama 'letting them down'. Remember, they don't want justice in the way that you and I use the term, they want blood. They're convinced that the justification already exists even apart from the Trayvon Martin shooting, to string up a few white boys.

And they are going to be out there lobbying for more legal action taken against George Zimmerman whether there is justification for it or not. In their minds he's already guilty of being a 'racist' (as are the rest of us) and they will be depicting this as a case of Obama letting a guilty man 'slip through their fingers'. But if Obama allows Eric holder to follow what I would expect is his first instinct, and charge George Zimmerman with a hate crime in the face of increasing evidence of his innocence, it will cost him moderate voters. In effect, the New Black Panther's are setting up a political 'with us or against us' situation for Holder and the Obama administration.

Another issue is Eric Holder obvious motivation for achieving 'racial justice'. He's come out and said that blacks in America should have a different standard of law enforcement, and that his Justice department will enforce things like election laws accordingly. In other words, while not as idiotically outspoken and Farrakhan or the New Black Panthers, he's given the distinct impression that he'd like to see the legal equivalent of a few "white Latino's" swinging from the Florida tree as well - the details of the specific case treated as a secondary concern.

So even if Obama is nothing more than distracted by his electioneering, it's possible Holder will act on his own for the sake of "racial equity", and the blowback from moderate voters will reach Obama.

It's a mess for Obama - to be sure. Even in the face of the Duke Lacrosse fiction, the invented Tawana Brawley fraud and the countless other false accusations of racial motivation for perceived crimes, it's unusual to have a story blow this far out of proportion. And although no one in the mainstream media seems to want to admit it, it's Obama that has created this new racial intensity. The race baiting industry saw Obama as the election of one of their own, and they now see him as someone who has failed to deliver white scalps.

To be fair, I don't think Obama sees himself that way - or for that matter that he feels the way the race baiters do on racial issues. Thanks to his elite upbringing and affirmative action, his race has never been anything but a benefit to him personally. It gave him a pass on issues that others would have to suffer through. It allowed him to be elected President without anyone from the press even taking a cursory look at his background or past. And he cares far more about his own vanity and getting reelected than he does about achieving what in Jeremiah Wright's view would be called "racial justice".

But like it or not, he's America's first black President. And while his election is meaningful to all Americans, nothing is preventing some of them from having irrational expectation because of it.

Given the public evidence, I don't see any way that a jury in Florida will convict George of anything now. In truth, given the evidence I think they had the right idea by not charging him in the first place. And with all the attention the case has gotten nationally, I don't see him being convicted in federal court either. It would be too costly for Obama. It's tragic that Trayvon Martin was killed, but it looks very much like it wasn't George's fault. Let's hope the book and movie deals give him the resources to survive the civil proceeding as well.

PS. I think we can all expect black voter turnout to fall to unprecedented lows after Romney is elected - in part because part of the black community will believe that Obama failed to deliver the white lynchings that they all originally wanted. They thought they were electing an American Robert Mugabe who would seize the assets of White people and distribute them to his supporters. On that front, thankfully, Obama really has been a failure for them.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

- Trayvon Martin Had Drugs in System

So I guess it was a hate crime after all. Why do I say that? Because between the physical evidence and witness testimony supporting George Zimmerman's story, and now this tid bit, the Florida DA will never get a conviction that won't be instantly over turned on appeal.

And that means that Eric Holder will have to charge George Zimmerman with a Hate crime because you don't need any evidence to convict someone of that, and the black community must have their pound of flesh.

Link on the picture.

- Eduardo Saverin's Taxes

I'm not sure what Eduardo's tax liability is, at this point probably no one is absolutely certain. But I do know for certain that ABC news has gotten the story wrong. US citizens are already liable for taxes on their income for 10 years after the surrender their citizenship. Any skilled tax attorney can tell you that - and Eduardo's people certainly know it. So there is nothing new in that specific area about Chuck Schumer's newly proposed tax tantrum. What is different is that Schumer's bill will prevent Eduardo from returning to the US.

His lawyers would certainly know better than me, but I suspect Eduardo is making the claim that since he already had joint citizenship with Brazil, it was as a Brazilian citizen that he did his work with Facebook. And if that's their claim, then I suppose they can make the further claim that he isn't liable for the punitive tax that comes after his citizenship is renounced.

I don't know, I'm not a tax lawyer, but it seems like it might be do-able if you have the kind of money it would take to fight the battle in tax court - and he certainly does.

As I said, US citizens are liable for taxes on income for 10 year after surrendering their citizenship, unless they surrender their citizenship "specifically" to avoid taxes. Then it's viewed as tax evasion and you go to prison. I wrote all this up here, when I was researching a similar move myself. But this is cap-gains not income, and Eduardo is a Brazilian citizen (at least partly) so I guess his people think he can make a fight of it. They'll probably settle with the government for a portion of what they think they're owed.

But I guess that isn't enough for Chuck Schumer. He wants anyone who has done something as evil and reprehensible as "Founding Facebook" to be punished more aggressively than that. That Chucky is a real piece of work, but at least when it comes to capitalism (and gun rights, and protecting the border, and a dozen other issues) you know where he stands. He's the kind of politician who would make a great totalitarian dictator.

%%%%%%%%%%UPDATE%%%%%%%%%%

The moral case here is pretty clear, and the Liberals have gotten it wrong again. If you read the ABC news comments you'll see that people support Eduardo's move by (my rough count) about 25 to 1. Those that don't are under the impression that Eduardo made his money at the expense of Americans, and he should therefore be forced to pay whatever the Americans want. This is an idiotic position, and is not how Economics works in the real world.

Which probably explains why people overwhelmingly support his move to limit his tax liability. They would all do it themselves if they could. Americans don't hate the rich, they want to be the rich. And if they get there, they don't want Chuck Schumer picking their pocket from 12,000 miles away.

All this really does is expose a little more of what the liberal mindset really is. It's an immoral code, based on envy, greed, the lust for power, and the desire to control other people's lives. You can do anything you want under liberalism, so long as it's no better than anyone else. If you do, you become a target like Eduardo Saverin.

Under the Democrats it's "From each according to the demands of the government, to each according to the way they vote, their race, gender, and whether they represent a key electoral demographic in a carefully selected swing state, or have acted as a bundler for the campaign."

Chuck Schumer is an immoral man. I just wish he wasn't so shameless about it.

%%%%%%%%%% UPDATE #2 %%%%%%%%%%

Since Schumer and his fellow Democrats are so determined to make this into a country where we put up walls to keep people in, I thought this might be a good time to remind everyone that we in NJ have our own "Exit Tax" as well. It's collected as a percentage of the gain on the home you sell in NJ. If you're a full time resident you can then claim it on your state tax return and get it back, but if you're moving out of state, they just keep it.

So Jim McGreevy and the NJ Democratic legislators actually beat Schumer to it. Chalk up one more first for the East Germany of the United States.

- On The Facebook IPO

If you think Facebook is really really awesome, then let me ask you a question. How much would you be willing to pay to use it? I don't mean a monthly user fee, they aren't THAT stupid. But in terms of your attention and your 'desktop' space. How about a pop-up Ad? How about a pop-under Ad? How about both?

My point here is obvious.

In order to monetize this product they will need to take something from it's users. Very soon, the user count will stop expanding for Facebook, and when that happens, the only way they will show continued growth is by taking more from each user than they took before. As soon as they do that, the user base will shrink. This is just math.

I'm not buying Facebook. And if you're the kind of person who buys a stock because the CEO is in his 20's and wears a hoodie, then in my opinion, you're going to get what you deserve.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

- From Our Friends At The Looking Spoon

Why Liberals Think The Tea Party Is Full Of Crazy People

- Obama's Coming Shellacking

Brett Decker at the Washington Times see's the election roughly the same way I do.

If you keep watch on the tone of the Democrats over coming months things will be very interesting. Think of them as petulant and immature teens. When things are going great they parade triumphantly thought the streets. But as things start to look bad for them they don't dig in and work harder, they start to blame people.

That's when their contempt for the voter will come out in force. You'll see big Democrat names start to whine and complain. It's going to be quite a show, and the display itself will further turn off future voters. They'll see the Dems as "never having meant it in the first place", and will come to realize that individual responsibility is the only way to go.

It should be big fun.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

- Time Magazine Cover: Nov 12, 2012

Just doing my part to save the folks at Time a little labor. The can feel free to use this cover for their first issue after election day.

Yes, I know it's only May 2012, and the election isn't for months yet. But I've already made my call, and this is just adding some color.

- CNBC: OK This Is Getting Ridiculous...

It's been non-stop demands of "off with their heads" from the CNBC crowd the last 2 days - far beyond anything resembling a reasonable level, even for them. Clawbacks? Seriously?! On paper losses from an open position? What happens if the position recovers it's loss and and then makes another 20% tomorrow, will you re-credit the accounts of the people you clawed back?!

Have you people lost your freakin minds?

The lesson we should all take from this my fellow Wall Street brethren is, let it be a cold day in hell before you go to work at a US bank again. If they can do this to Jaime Dimon's crowd (I wonder who's cheerios he peed in) then just imagine what they'll do to someone without juice.

To hell with those people.

By the way, as an MFGlobal client who is still waiting to get his cash back (not his positions... his CASH) I really appreciate that you gave that story the same attention as this one - CNBC losers.

Journalistic credibility really isn't worth anything anymore.

- Europe's Immediate Future

I have my own views about Europe's immediate future (which as I understand our resident EU expert differs with, but politely respects my right to hold an opposing view). I'm of the opinion that if the Brussels bureaucrats can't find a way to band aid things together legally, then they will simply change the law. The referee is part of the game there, and the people aren't going to win against them.

In other words, I think the departure of Greece from the EUR is being reported prematurely and that it will yet be cobbled back together for at least one more round of transfer payments. And until widespread violence is imminent, things will continue more or less as they have been for the last few years. But I digress.

I was reading this VDH bit in the corner and it got me thinking. The writing is exemplary of course - it always is with VDH. And after hearing his view of how things are going there, a question popped into my head immediately, and with unusual clarity.

"I wonder how things would be different in Europe if instead of Communists they had a Tea Party too?"

- Mug Shot's Of The Year: 2008 Edition

In my business, good ideas start with the smartest people who at that moment, also happen to have access to the most salient information. (In my space we say "the lowest cost of information", but it means basically the same thing.) The next group who 'get' that very same idea are the smart people with slightly less information... then average people with less info access... then slightly below average people with average access and down and down etc. Eventually, everyone gets that idea. But by the time that happens - when the cabbies and shoe shine guys are telling you to buy a stock - it's almost certainly time for you to sell it to them. This isn't a new idea. This story has been around for ages.

But I find it's the same way with ideas outside of the markets too. My experience is that stupid people tend to adopt the habits of people they think are smarter than them. Often they don't realize they're doing it. Even more often they don't realize that the people around them are smarter than they are. But I find the message gets there somehow (maybe by osmosis) far more than you would suspect.

Which is why I find this 2008 story fascinating. These are mugshots, and are therefore arguably photos of some of the country's stupidest residents. I say this not pertaining to their race (which is mixed) but only because they have been both stupid enough to commit a crime, and stupid enough to get caught doing it. And I think that makes their choice of fashion particularly interesting.

I know it's an older story, but I think it will play a part in this year's election. If all the stupidest people you know plan to vote one way, and all the smartest another, I think the influence will be felt.

- Ask A Stupid Man A Question...

I've read a lot of under-informed politicized nonsense about the finance industry over the years but this piece from Michael Hiltzik at the LA Times could very well take the cake. Risk management is my business, and as an expert in the industry with a long and successful track record, I can say without a moment's hesitation Michael Hiltzik couldn't find his... hat... with both hands and a map.

It's not just that he's ignorant on the topic. It's as if he's gone out of his way to be as horribly misinformed as possible, and has then done all he could to spread that misinformation to others like some kind of contagious disease. Not only us he wrong the basic principles of managing market risk, but without even a fragile base to build upon he's still managed to get all the subtleties wrong as well. He is like a man bent at the waist with his head in a bucket, demanding to know why no one is saving him from drowning. To paraphrase an old wives tale, "ask a stupid man a question, you will certainly get a stupid answer." As it turns out, Michael Hiltzik is that stupid man.

I'd address the specifics of his piece but there really isn't much point. I think it suffices to say that on this topic he is a imbecile. And even worse, he's a imbecile who doesn't realize he's an imbecile, and is hoping that his audience is at least as imbecilic as he is. If anyone remembers his useless diatribe tomorrow, it should only be as an example of how silly a piece of baseless anti-capitalist propaganda can make it's author look to those better informed than he is. In this case, that's very nearly everyone.

I think it's tragic that the LA Times holds its own credibility in such low regard, that they allow him to publish such utter nonsense.

Monday, May 14, 2012

- Quick... Someone Check Mitt's Trunk!

The New York Times (of all people) has Romney ahead of Obama by 3.

It must have absolutely killed them to publish it.

- OverSold Conservatism

I'm a fan of Jonah Goldberg, and I'm sure his book has lots of meaningful and important things to say. But to be perfectly frank, I'm sick of getting it shoved down my throat everywhere I go. That's at least partly my fault of course. My online reading selection is no fault of Jonah Goldberg's. And I've cut way back on my NRO consumption recently anyway. But I have to admit, that pop-up ad in the corner isn't exactly helping to pull me back in.

As I'm sure you can imagine, I'm a little reluctant to do the very thing I'm complaining about - and I wouldn't if I didn't think this particular interview was worth it. But I think this one is better than some. If you're as tired of the same 5 'sound bites' (that he's been repeating so often that Chuck Schumer is calling him a camera hog) as I am, then I'd start in the middle of the clip. That's where all the interesting stuff begin (IMHO).

Sunday, May 13, 2012

- That Will Really Help Black Voter Turnout

I'm tellin ya guys... cheap veal.

- The "Bribe" To Silence Reverend Wright

This is gonna sting. According to Reverend Jeremiah Wright, representatives of the Obama campaign offered him money to shut up.

All I can say to that is, "G**Damn!" that's a BIG story.

This has got to have the folks at the NYTimes losing their minds. They can't pretend this is isn't there.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

- And Then Reality Krept Back In...

The AP says that there is widespread disappointment in Obama.

Who could have possibly seen something like that coming.

- The Sun Never Sets On RadioDerb

From the far flung Aegean wilderness, John Derbyshire continues to soldier on, bringing us all the latest version of RadioDerb. Lucky for him, the prolonged exposure to the benign climate and pastoral setting has made the aboriginals too lazy to riot. We'll see how things go for him when the Belgian Army shows up to enforce the local Tax laws.

But until then, here is the latest version of RadioDerb. Well worth your time.

Friday, May 11, 2012

- Heaven Help The Banking Industry

I just watched Carl Levin discuss what is, or is not a "hedge" on national TV over this JPMorgan non-story. The end clearly must be upon us.

The JPMorgan loss was 2 billion dollars on a 100 billion dollar book. Do you know what we call a loss like that in the hedge fund world? In about 1 in 5 cases we call it a normal Tuesday. It may be a big deal for JPMorgan's shareholders, and for the risk manager who obviously had (or didn't have) some correlation that he thought he did (or didn't) actually have. But to the broader market and all those megalomaniac bureaucrats who dream of ruling a huge bank through micromanaging regulation one day, this should be a total Non-story.

In the hedge fund world a 2% loss is 1/10 of your maximum draw down - not a big deal at all. For someone like me it isn't even something to lose sleep over. Even the fact that this has given Carl Levin a chance to pontificate on TV for half an hour (eliminating any remaining doubt that he might actually understand the financial markets after all) is taking the issue FAR too seriously.

America's biggest mistake after 2008 was allowing the government to interfere in the free market. This will all but guarantee another collapse eventually, even if we can't see where yet. Let's not make that same stupid mistake over a piddling little thing like this.

I know 2 Billion sounds like a lot of money, but it's really no big deal. It's about equivalent to what the Federal government borrows every single day... before they break for lunch.

%%%%%%%%%%UPDATE%%%%%%%%%%

Oh jeez... they also got an opinion from that paragon of the financial services regulatory industry, Eliot Spitzer. Who as you may recall originally made his name by filing pointless and unjustified lawsuits against any investment bank who had the temerity to turn a profit. By all means lets get someone over to the Federal Prison and ask Bernie Madoff his view. How about getting some input on global risk practices from Jon Corzine?!

Oh how horribly shamefully useless CNBC has become.

- The Unlikely Source of the Stand Your Ground Law




While I understand that this law had a history of test cases (in Florida) the drafting of the bill and similar Pro-Gun legislation were the product of this woman's experience and commitment to minimizing the victim class.
The unlikely source for the story Bloomberg.com.
She's a Democrat too and one of the NRA's most influential members. Read on and think of the cowardly surrender doctrine that constantly emerges from her party.
Marion Hammer

ikaika

- George Zimmerman's Real Backstory

I got a link to this story in my email the other day from a friend of this blog Matt. It's a much more detailed and accurate version of the background on George Zimmerman, than most of the media is willing to tell.

I was encouraged by the fact that it came from Reuters, since I have several friends and contacts there. Nice to know they're still interested in doing a little actual journalism every once in a while.

- Those Who Can't...

I live in an upper middle class town in NJ not unlike many others, in a modest home appropriately sized for my small family. It's a nice quiet suburban life, free from ostentation.

My daughter attends the public school, which is considered among the best in the state. But as a public school in deep blue teacher's union dominated NJ, it's also a science lab for the progressive left's theorizing and idiotic "special programs". Every few weeks there is another special team rolling through promoting diversity, anti-bullying, the pro-gay political agenda, and the other far left talking points that have been embraced by the teachers union. But it's turning out that achieving results with those programs is harder than the far left initially thought. They aren't fooling the kids, like they had hoped to.

In my daughter's middle school in particular, the promoters of those programs have a real problem in that most of the students are smarter than most of the teachers. They don't know more - they're kids, that would be ridiculous. But they are smarter. Their parents are bankers, lawyers, doctors and professionals. At home they're constantly exposed to the kind of thinking that's required to achieve success in the private sector. Many of them are also children of immigrants from Israel, the eastern bloc countries or east Asia who have been conditioned to be cynical of the 'collective' and anything other than individual effort leading to individual success or failure. In effect they know more about how to process ideas if they want achieve success, than virtually all of their teachers do.

This is the reason the 'diversitoids' have become a joke to Americas youngest generation. This is why my daughter and her friends think it's funny to call me a racist every time I reach for the coffee creamer. In the end, it's because all the nonsense being promoted in the schools is coming from people who are too obviously stupid to convince anyone of anything that can't be objectively confirmed by outside evidence.

As an example, yesterday the 'conflict resolution team' broke into my daughter's regularly scheduled science class to emphasize the importance of making eye contact and nodding while talking to each other. When they asked the class "Can you think of any other gestures which might be used during a conflict resolution?" My ever polite daughter held up her personal suggestion for a "gesture" behind her second hand so only her giggling friend could see, and the whole class broke into hysterics anyway. The joke was obvious to everyone except the people running the program. To them, it was all a deadly serious part of 'socialization' and an important part of these children's development. The kids laughed at them all the same.

We on the right tend to complain that the schools are populated by far left ideologues, but we forget that they're teachers too. Those who can't... teach, and those who can't teach, teach education. So while the people in America's public schools are doing all they can to turn them into mini indoctrination camps for the progressive vision, it's actually turning out that they can't actually accomplish that either.

This is an unintended benefit to having driven all of our least competent thinkers into the education establishment. An inability to achieve in the private sector is what drives those people into education just as it's what pushes them toward the leftist vision in the first place. And once there, that trend of being unable to actually 'do' anything seems to continue for them. That comes as a big relief to me.

When my daughter started school I was very concerned that her teachers would lie to her about how the world works, and that it would do her some indirect harm. I imagined having to spend hours undoing the damage that her teachers would do . But since seeing how naturally she and her friends ridicule their teacher's positions and laugh at their attempts at indoctrination; and even more how readily they recognize them for what they are, my fears have largely subsided.

It's all a big joke to them, the same as it is for the rest of us.

- Gun Culture Comedy

You may have heard on the news about a southern California man put under 72-hour psychiatric observation when it was found he owned 100 guns and allegedly had (by rough estimate) 100,000 rounds of ammunition stored in his home. The house also featured a secret escape tunnel.

My favorite quote from the dimwit television reporter: “Wow! He has about a quarter million machine gun bullets.” The headline referred to it as a “massive weapons cache”.

By southern California standards someone owning 100,000 rounds would be called “mentally unstable”. Just imagine if he lived elsewhere:

In Arizona , he’d be called “an avid gun collector”.

In Texas , he’d be called “a novice gun collector”.

In Utah , he’d be called “moderately well prepared”, but they’d probably reserve judgment until they made sure that he had a corresponding quantity of stored food.

In Montana , he’d be called “The neighborhood ‘Go-To’ guy”.

In Idaho , he’d be called “a likely gubernatorial candidate”.

In Wyoming , he’d be called “an eligible bachelor”.

In Wisconsin , he’d be called “a deer hunting buddy”.

And, in Alabama , we just call him “Bubba”.

HT

- A New Era In Winter Sports

As usual, if you want to know what the hell is going in in Washington, you need to read the foreign press. Yes, I got this from the Corner, but this piece from the telegraph is so full of gems over the fawning Washington press corps, that you have to read it. My favorite:

Here’s the problem with the press coverage of Barack Obama: the mainstream media is so overwhelmed by his charisma that they often miss the important details. Every decision, speech, policy statement or impromptu visit to the bathroom is presented as a piece of “history” – the dawn of a new era. The Prez could go seal-clubbing and much of the media would see it as a new epoch for winter sports. “Barack Obama Becomes the First President to Kill Six Seals in Under One Minute,” the New York Times would proudly report, while Twitter would be all abuzz with how hot he looks in snow shoes.

Just to be perfectly clear, by my reckoning Obama has always been in favor of gay marriage. I think that's the consensus. Favoring the minority over the majority (particularly at the expense of religious institutions) truly is a mantra of the American left. Coming out and saying so wasn't brave as much as it was simply Biden "damage control". But it will cost him politically so now he's got to do everything he can to make it seem like no big deal.

And I'm sure the press corps will be more than happy to oblige. After all, it's not a conspiracy, it's a consensus.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

- Meanwhile In An Alternate Universe...

I don't watch "regular" TV, but my daughter has dragged me into what has become a "Big Bang Theory" addiction. The tall thin man explaining the game is Dr. Sheldon Cooper a CalTech Physicist (originally from lovely Galveston Island in east Texas) with a 186 IQ. He and his Asperger's syndrome are the centerpiece of the show.

I don't think anyone would call me THAT geeky, but I certainly am geeky enough to think that this is the funniest show produced on network TV in a dog's age. One thing I do find a little troubling because of what it says about me is that even when they descend into what's supposed to sound like incomprehensible techno-speak I understand every word, including the technical citations, and the mistakes.

Anyway, I'd highly recommend the show.

(I'd be kicking all this around with my buddy Gary the Physicist from central Texas, but for some reason he isn't returning my calls lately.)

- Gay "Marriage" Is Not "Normal"

The real debate about gay marriage is about defining "normal". The "gay" lobby (do they have a more PC term to describe themselves) wants to compel America to accept a gay partnership as a 'normal' thing, and are accusing everyone who doesn't do so of ... guess what... no not racism but close... bigotry.

I've said this many times. I don't care who anyone is sleeping with (so long as it isn't someone living in my house). I am as disinterested in the sex lives of homosexuals as I am heterosexuals. I have zero energy available to devote to it. I simply don't care. I have many, MANY, better things to concern myself with than the sex acts of others. So how I could possibly be described as bigoted on a topic about which I possess absolutely no opinion?

The secret answer to this riddle is, of course I'm not bigoted, nor is the rest of the roughly 60% of American who are opposed to gay marriage - as I am. What we are concerned about on this topic, is being bullied by a small minority to redefine our definition of 'normal'. The gay lobby is trying to compel us through the courts to call a cat a cow. The two are simply not equivalent in my view.

With that said though, there are ways in which marriage is treated differently under the law which I think some change might be appropriate to allow homosexual couples to fully participate in society. The tax penalty for one. If you want to pretend to be married, you're going to have to pay for the privilege, just like we 'actually' married folks. Areas like hospital visitation and other 'restrictions' should be repealed to allow homosexual couples to avoid special (arguably negative) treatment. But that doesn't mean I'm going to call it a marriage. You may call it what you like and I have no objection. But don't think for a minute I'll let you compel me to think of it as 'normal'.

It may inevitably be common, like single parenthood. But it won't be 'normal' to me. It will be a state of disadvantage for the children that actual marriage is designed to benefit - just like single parenthood is. It will be an example of someone who is putting their own satisfaction and their own selfishness ahead of the child's benefit - just like all those 'parents' who see their children as little more than an accessory. the only difference will be that it will be obvious at a distance.

I don't think single mothers should have their children snatched away by the state, and I don't think gay couples should either. But marriage isn't about who you're sleeping with, it's about children. And a small minority does not get to define the way the majority see's it's own traditions. You may call a yarmulke a 'beanie', but don't think you'll ever convince the rabbi or the rest of the congregation to do the same. Gay 'marriage' is not normal. It's an artifice designed to placate the ego's of the participants, and I am not going to think of it (or treat it) as a 'normal' circumstance no matter what the courts say.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

- Why I Respect Bob Beckel

Bob Beckel is one of the hosts on the first rate FoxNews show The Five. Some might call him the token liberal on a show designed to be "The View" for people with brains. In practice, he's really not much more than a water carrier for the Obama administration. He's dead wrong on Economics particularly on the role that labor unions have played in America's economy. And I don't think there is a single topic I would agree with him on.

But I have to admit, I respect Bob Beckel.

He does what no other liberal I can think of will do - he steps into the fire and tries his best to have a rational discussion with conservatives. He doesn't shout them down. He doesn't accuse them of racism, he doesn't dismiss them as idiots or sub-humans. The man goes on fox News and does his best to defend the liberal position. I think he's dead wrong, but I admire any man who can do what he does - even with limited grace.

So here's to you Bob. I've put up the most flattering picture of you I could find as a salute. I disagree with you in every way I can think of, but I find your effort truly admirable.

- The Academic "Race War" Of Ideas

When you read this piece it seems pretty clear to me that America already is in the middle of a race war. It's metaphorical of course - there are no bullets flying. But there are victims none the less. A few rare clear thinkers are questioning the traditional racial preference - racial victimization nonsense, and are paying for it with their careers.

The idea that racism is a motivation for much of what occurs in American and is responsible for the difference between the economic trajectory of White America and the economic trajectory of Black America is a fantasy that much of the broader population has already given up. My daughter calls me a racist as a joke every time I put milk in my coffee, and an idea has to die a long painful death before it becomes comedic fodder for 12 year olds. No one worthy of any intellectual respect takes the ideas of racial preference seriously anymore. And it's time for our political, academic, and publishing institutions to come to grips with that.

If electing America's first black President could leave us a legacy of being able to have a rational discussion about race with the left, then it won't all have been bad. But so far that doesn't look like it will be part of his legacy either. It's also tragic that an institution like National Review has turned out to be the tip of the spear for knuckling under to the racial preference mob.