Friday, August 28, 2015

Michael Barone on the Impossibles

Click over to Townhall, if you haven't read it already, and check out Barone's analysis.

He missed the boat, like so many of us, in 2012, but he generally does better than the majority of pundits and political prophets.  His two impossible things are the expansion of the Republican voter base, due largely, right now, to Trump, and Hillary being shut out from the Democrat nomination yet again.

Barone is suggesting Biden, but I think Elizabeth Warren is the most likely alternative.  The Democrats are not going to nominate Sanders.  Hillary is not a good candidate.  She can't shed the scandals like Bill or Obama.  Biden is brain-damaged.  Warren, aka, Fauxahontas, would run about as well as Obama did.  Then, too, a Biden/Warren ticket might be viable. 

In boxing slang, Trump vs. Sanders might be the battle of the Tomato Cans.  Of course, I have trouble believing the Republicans will allow Trump to be nominated or that he is even completely serious about his candidacy. 

On the other hand, the rank and file of the GOP are so sick of the Establishment that Trump is gaining momentum, in part because he is willing to go on the attack.  The media are more afraid of him than he is of them, so it seems, and that is refreshing.  Regardless of the eventual GOP nominee, Barone sees the possibility that Republican turn-out could be must higher in 2016 than in 2012 or 2008.   

They could still nominate Jeb Bush, with the same result as in 2008 and 2012.

We're probably doomed economically no matter who wins.  I may end up sitting this one out. 

I have been buying a few more silver coins along.  The other day I got four '64 Kennedy half-dollars and 500 rounds of Aguila .22LR.  Zombies or meltdowns, it doesn't matter to me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Rogue EPA

Those of us who like to eat should be concerned about the EPA and its "clean water" rules that effectively allow government control of most farm land.  Brownfield talks about maps coming out from the American Farm Bureau showing the extent of the EPA's WOTUS regulation.

It essentially labels every gully on a farm as a "tributary":

"And then we show the next map that adds newly regulated so-called tributaries. And, then we show some expanding zones of regulation that move out from these newly regulated ephemeral tributaries.”

Steen adds, “It’s going to be a lot of farmers that will have these features running across their farm fields, and they’re going to have to avoid them or else face the risk of a Clean Water Act violation and penalties.”

I'm sure this could not possibly have any impact on the price of meat, wheat, corn, or beans, right?
Corporate farms will be able to meet the requirements, afford the fines, or buy an exemption.  Family farms won't.  

Monday, August 24, 2015

National Knife Day

While the equity markets are "correcting", this might be a good time to visit Midway where they are having a one-day 10% discount on knives for National Knife Day. 

Didn't know there was such a thing, or I had forgotten.

Anyway, the shipping is free on orders of $25 or more and no sales tax for those not residing in MO. 

The markets have been on a big slide, along with crude and some metals, e.g., copper.  The dollar is down against the euro and the yen, and bond yields are falling.  All that is perhaps more interesting than the equity drop, but I'm not qualified to figure it out.

One wonders if perhaps the Fed is pulling money out of bonds to try to stem the bleeding in stocks.  I think trading on the NYSE will be suspended if the drop goes below 7.5% in a day.  That would be on the order of a 1200 point drop in the Dow, and as of High Noon, Eastern, it has recovered significantly to be less that 300 points down.

The Plunge Protection Team went to DEFCON 1, and the world is saved for one more day.

Full disclosure:  Long, knives.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Copper Tone Tan

No, this isn't about Shaun King's secret to passing as a POC.

This is about Dr. Copper and the charts over at the Market Oracle.

Meteorology and economic forecasting exist to make astrology look good.  Actually, reading the gibberish on those copper charts is a lot like listening to an astrologer explain a horoscope. If you have nothing better to do, click on over and take a look.

What it boils down to is that copper has been well under $3.00 for quite some time now, and there is no indication that it will rise any time soon (last check here was $2.28).  The various governments can say all they want about housing starts and growth, but if there is no big demand for copper, and no particularly high demand for oil, it probably means that things are not really coming out of the recession.

I don't think it is reasonable to deny that governments around the world are cooking the books.  In the real world we have unemployment near the levels of the Great Depression.  I don't believe China's numbers, but I'm not particularly convinced by our own BLS numbers. 

Look out for September. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Catching Up

The last couple of weeks have been pretty active around my place and at work.  I've lost track of everything that's going on news-wise.  It's funny.  I don't feel that I've missed anything. 

I saw a headline at Ace of Spades that called Trump "The Clown Genius".  That is a good summation.  I had a conversation with a woman recently who said, "I hope we can agree that someone like Donald Trump deserves to be mocked." 

I said, "Sure.  Name a media personality, office holder, candidate or politician of any kind that doesn't deserve to be mocked."

I personally would not mock Ben Carson because he is a genuinely intelligent, caring, good man.  I wouldn't mind having him as president, but I'm not sure he has grasped how big and cumbersome the juggernaut has become.  I don't know how much good he could do in the presidency.

One very positive effect of Trump's injection of himself into the arena has been to force the GOP to talk about immigration.  It's very clear with regard to the illegal invaders that the population at large is diametrically opposed to the ruling class, including the media.  The opinion-makers are failing when it comes to convincing most of us that being invaded by third-worlders is a good idea.  

I have been hanging around with some young people.  Some things we probably disagree on.  However, I am encouraged by how much libertarian sentiment I hear expressed.  That is a hopeful sign.  They haven't surrendered to the statist mindset.  Conservatism is good when there is freedom to conserve.  I think, though, what we need at this point is some libertarian roll-back of tyranny to our older traditions of individual rights and responsibilities.  This younger generation might rise up and do it. 


Friday, August 7, 2015


An example of irony deficiency: an ESPN host asks why we take Trump seriously.

ESPN, where you spend your whole day wrapped up in the outcomes of children's games.  

You know that syndrome they talk about where people are too dumb to realize how dumb they are? 

Seriously, think about this.

Al Franken is a senator.  Obama is president.  Biden is vice-president.  Hillary Clinton ..., etc.

The bar is in the subbasement, on the floor.   It can't go any lower. 

Lawrence Welk's bubble machine had more gravitas than Joe Biden. 

Calling Hillary Clinton a corrupt, arrogant pig of a politician is an insult to the corrupt, arrogant pig-politician community.

But Donald Trump, who is not the guy I would pick first to run the country, is not to be taken seriously.

I think I got it.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Holding the Formation

I was reading about Bronze Age warfare recently.  I get the impression that the tactics were more or less elegant in their simplicity.  The side that broke and ran got slaughtered.  The side that held together won.  I doubt that they use Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians as instructional material at West Point, but the Apostle was probably thinking of exactly that kind of warfare when he called upon Christians to stand.

Despite advances in weaponry over the years, the very oldest weapon is still the most effective: Fear.

Whether we are talking about Muslims gangs in Iraq, Mexican drug cartels, or the Iranian nuclear program, the purpose of many of their actions is to instill terror and dread in the hearts of those who might oppose them. The way to defeat an enemy is, short of destroying him completely, make him fear you more than you fear him.

If you do not want to fight, either because of morals, because you have better things to spend time and resources on, or because you do not want the collateral damage and losses that come with conflicts, the very best way to avoid it is fear.

Yes, there are cases where a frightened, terrorized opponent will attempt a preemptive strike against an adversary that he fears.  He believes at that point that he has some chance to succeed.  Sometimes a desperate opponent will attempt a suicidal strike, attempting to, in effect, alter the balance of fear.  Thus, instilling fear in the enemy is not 100% effective in forestalling violence, but it is better than being in fear of the enemy.

We are in a culture war.  We -- traditionalists, non-post-modern, normal people, are losing because we are being cowed into silence.  We fear the labels that will be attached to us: racists, homophobes, chauvinists, bigots, islamophobes, etc.  In turn, for fear of being thoroughly ostracized, we cannot label or threaten our opponents.  The battle ground is the popular media, and it is almost completely controlled by the opposition.  We can't call perversion perversion.  We can't call treason, crime, hatred, intolerance, or persecution by its proper name else we are haters and ignorant.  We can't call the Islamic State Islamic.  We can't oppose a bad "deal" with Iran lest we lose Iran's "trust" when the issue is not whether or not Iran can trust us but that we must trust the lying hard-liners in Iran.

Rhetoric carries the day.

Why was a half-witted, half-black, half-queer radical like Barack Obama able to win the presidency twice?  He is a master of rhetoric, and, because he is a protected class, he cannot be criticized.  He must be allowed to carry through on the deal with Iran while we are forced to ignore the obvious fact that his closest adviser and puppet-master, Valerie Jarrett, is an Iranian.  No conflict of interest there, is there?  I am a racist, hater, islamophobe for even noticing such a thing.

That's how it works.

Why is Donald Trump leading among Republicans?  Is it because of his foreign policy experience?  The number of times he's been bankrupt?  In Trump's defense, at least the man has done an occasional honest day's work -- unlike the current occupier of the White House.  Primarily Trump's appeal, like Bernie Sanders among the socialists, is his rhetoric, his willingness to wade in and refuse to break formation and run by apologizing.

Rule #1 for Republicans ought to be: NEVER APOLOGIZE.  (Actually, that's rule #2.  Rule #1 is refuse to talk about rape. "Rape is illegal.  We should execute rapists."  That's your position on rape.  After that, shut up.)

Our problem is when one of our number falls, instead of closing ranks around him or her and continuing to hold the line, we turn on the fallen and join in the stabbing and jabbing.  The other side does not do that.

The reason we call people like McCain, Graham, and Jeb Bush RINOs is because they are the ones leading the way in breaking rank and turning the attack on the guy next to them.

When Gideon called Israel together, as told in Judges chapter 7, about 32,000 men showed up.  Gideon was instructed to tell those who were "fearful and trembling" to go home.  Twenty-two thousand walked off the field.  God knew that an army with only a few resolute fighters is better than a larger force, most of which will give way at the first contact with the enemy.  The line loses its cohesion.  The flanks collapse and the courageous warriors are isolated, overwhelmed and destroyed. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Advocates of Violence

Louis Farrakhan can say this:

I am looking for 10,000 in the midst of the millions, 10,000 fearless men who say death is sweeter than continued life under tyranny. 

Death is sweeter than to continue to live and bury our children while the white folks give the killer hamburgers.

Death is sweeter than watching us slaughter each other to the joy of a 400-year old enemy.

The Koran teaches persecution is worse than slaughter. Then it says, retaliation is prescribed in matters of the slain.

Retaliation is a prescription from God to calm the breaths of those whose children have been slain. So if the federal government will not intercede in our affairs, then we must rise up and kill those who kill us. Stalk them and kill them and let them feel the pain of death that we are feeling."(emphasis at Zero Hedge link)

But, friend, do not even think it if you are paler than a brown paper bag.  

Farrakhan is an idiot.  He is a "minister" in the same way as Jim Jones, and, for all it's trappings, the Nation of Islam is a prison gang composed of thugs and petty criminals.  

Monday, August 3, 2015

Hard-working Invaders

Marvin Castellanos-Rivera just doing the crime Americans won't do.  Alleged, of course, since everyone deserves due process -- which is one the reasons for the invasion.  This part annoys me somewhat: 

During the interview, Castellanos was very concerned about being deported from the United States,” the detective wrote in the probable cause statement. ... Defendant is also a flight risk; defendant told officers that he has been deported prior to this incident. Defendant stated that he was allowed to come back into the country for a month to take care of child support issues. (emphasis added)

Beside the issue with the alleged perpetrator, here's a lesson in what not to do:

The woman told police that she was walking north on Market Avenue near College Street while talking on her cellular telephone shortly after midnight Sunday.  She said a man came up behind her, pushed her into a wall, grabbed her cell phone, covered her mouth, and held a knife to her throat.

It's a bad part of town.  It is a bad hour to be out alone, and it's a really bad time and place to not be paying attention to your surroundings.  A concealed carry permit will not do you much good if you walk around with in what Col. Cooper would call "Condition White".

The area was not deserted, and a passerby intervened to cause the attacker to flee -- without violence, by the way.  Another passerby on a bicycle helped police locate and identify Castellanos-Rivera.  It's nice to know there are still people around who will defend the weak.