Monday, September 30, 2013

Documentary Review: A Place at the Table

Why do I watch these color by number, progressive documentaries? So you don't have to. The latest I gave the MST3K treatment to was "A Place at the Table". It is all about food insecurity and the growing number of Americans who are hungry. It is two ice cream scoops worth of prog ideology with cathedral sprinkles like blaming Reagan and complimenting the private food bank system but blasting it. The truest words were spoken by Raj Patel, a social justice cathedral apparatchik, when he said that food insecurity is about poverty and we don't like talking about it. Then he mentioned income inequality. It always comes down to that and never individual's decisions. Right now the Left wants everyone to believe people are too dumb to make simple decisions but all deserve the right to vote.

Ten things I noticed that the documentary makers did not:

1. The spotlighted child in Colorado suffering hunger pains was in a single mom household.
2. The attractive welfare mom in Philadelphia was a single mom who had her second child when she was making $9/hour. She said she earned too much for food stamps, but the documentary showed a graphic where $24,000 in annual income is too much for food stamps. Math: $9/ hour x 2080 hours per year (40 hours x 52 weeks) is less than $24,000. She was upset that people would treat her like she was on a different level for using welfare. Yes, yes they might, and they have a right to, since by signing up for welfare you are effectively saying "I sign away my sovereignty because I cannot take care of myself." It is natural to look at people differently when one works and one collects from a government program.
3. The mother of four boys who was wicked fat in the south working in a grille that looked like it served great tasting food did not have a man in the picture. Hmmm, so three single moms run households with economic problems. Is this a pattern to discuss in the documentary or just coincidence? No biggie, it's just a coincidence.
4. The obese girl down south had a mom buying buckets of cookies. It infuriated my wife that they kept saying food was expansive to buy yet this woman was buying cookies with her limited funds.
5. The statistic of 1 in 2 children receiving food assistance overlaps very well with the number of children born to single moms in the last decade.
6. The schools get a subsidy from the Feds for cafeteria vendors. They use $.90-$1 per student per meal on food, rest is on admin and other expenses. They can only afford cheap stuff. ABSOLUTE LIE. The Fed money is a subsidy. A subsidy is not meant to cover the entire cost of an item but help people afford them easier. Both consumers and producers in a market will respond to the subsidy, and in some markets, producers and consumers can make the subsidy the price point. The subsidy money does cover other expenses, but the truth is that the school system chooses a vendor that will create a meal cost that is exactly the same cost as the subsidy. The schools do NOT want to pay for more expensive food, and the private food service companies meet their demand. Any school can pay more if they choose, but they do not do so. It's not evil Reagan; it's thousands of local school districts screwing over kids.
7. Network television ran a special on hunger in America, which was the rallying cry for President Nixon and the overwhelmingly Demcorat Congress to forge the anti-hunger government programs, expanding school meal programs and food stamps. Media shaped the debate.
8. The price of food has gone up significantly since 2000 because of loose money policies. All food would be cheaper if the commodity boom, which is tied to Greenspan and Bernanke's low interest rate policies, had not happened.
9. Lower skilled workers would be earning more if we did not have our helter skelter open borders immigration policy. Food would be affordable if our lower class earned more. In addition, how many of these recent immigrants are part fo the swollen ranks of the hungry? This is NEVER mentioned.
10. The hungry number is a steady climb, and truly skyrocketed during the credit bubble pop of 2007-2009. Our depression that the documentary crew did not mention. Pay attention to how much the hunger counter moves under which presidents. The follow chart only goes to 2006, but calls into question the movie's hunger counter.

The studio that put this together used good music and production values. Participant Media is a full fledged propaganda organ of the cathedral. You might not recognize the name, but their movies and documentaries have filled your friends' heads with talking points. Here are some of their well known productions that have massaged the mainstream debate arena: Syriana, Good Night, and Good Luck, Fast Food Nation, An Inconvenient Truth, Darfur Now, Food, Inc., Waiting for "Superman", The Help, and Lincoln. That is a who's who of SWPL coffee shop references. In step with modern day liberalism, there is a pattern of using blacks as pieces for manipulating an audience. It is also a great list of hole filled, reality challenged, drenched in progressivism films. Produced in 2012 right in time for the election, this documentary uses children as props for everyone, minorities as props for liberals, and ties it all together in the final message of "vote for more government solutions". You may not feed these poor souls in a soup kitchen but listen to this doc, those soup kitchens don't fill the gap, so vote for more government programs.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cruise Missiles - New or Old Tech?

Cruise missiles are a favorite of modern presidents. Like it's cousin the drone strike, it is impersonal, no US casualty risk, and is sold as limited warfare to the American electorate. There is a wow element to them as well. These guided missiles were part of the new tech wow-fare of the first Iraq War. While descendants of Von Braun's V1 + V2 rockets, these missiles are a symbol of US military tech superiority. They are also old news.

That is an ad for steel in guided missiles from 1952.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Two Inflation Classics

An absolute classic on what happens to a society when sever inflation hits is "When Money Dies". Rudolf Havenstein played the role of Ben Bernanke, but the book probes the human element to hyperinflation. The trauma of losing the Great War hit to the newly formed nation's core and culminated in the hyperinflation whirlwind. Behind all of the trillion and quadrillion looking numbers, there were families, singles, widows and disillusioned Germans and Austrians suffering and searching for any relief and stability. Something Stefan Zweig mentioned in his memoir was that the high inflation period allowed people to live rent free for a few years, but getting food, goods and services was the problem. Good thing diabetes was not a problem then in Austria. As the introduction reads, the madness that was the hyperinflationary period in Germany already involved Hitler.

A little known paper on handling hyperinflation is "The Hyperinflation Survival Guide". The hyperinflations of South America are the main focus. A perverse feature of the hyperinflation periods was that businesses playing with their money in foreign exchange or speculative investments were wiser than those who put their money back into their productive businesses. At the core of all hyperinflations is the idea that you might as well rip up any contracts you have because the rules are gone. In the end, only a responsible central authority can shut down rampant inflation. This is geared more towards business managers, purchasing departments and even accounts receivable/payable employees. It is still a good read despite being over 20 years old. Having read it years ago, it is where I first read that even inflation in the teens would cause what feels like hyperinflation elsewhere. Our financial position has only weakened since this essay's publication.

Both of these are long reads, but good ones for an understanding of odd economic situations with the human element thrown in to remind economics readers that people are at the core of the numbers game.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cheating, Beating and Male Privilege

I previously wrote on Thibault Hutin's stupidity with cheating Martina Hingis. She and her mom and mom's boyfriend attacked him in a violent showdown. The quote I find interesting is the translated phrase, "My upbringing forbids me to beat women". In the context of the group assault on him, this statement reveals a lot. The white, straight male Hutin sits atop the privilege hierarchy in the minds of Tumblr's social justice crew, so cuckoldry and assault do not exist for him. Let's see how that hierarchy and societal conditioning worked for Hutin.

Here is a man cheated on multiple times, who gets into an argument with his soon to be ex-wife and a group of three people (two being women) pounce on him. He is beaten so badly that he ends up tossed out of a window head first. Hutin did not defend himself because his upbringing forbid him from beating women. I wonder if his upbringing programmed him to forgive her for cheating on him when he caught her red handed a year or so ago. Maybe that is just an excuse for why he got beat down, but a 3-on-1 attack is a tough spot. This guy is soft and a whiner, but he is a product of his family and society. In progressive thought, it works for thug and murder, so why not whining equestrian riders and doemstic attacks?

Is he not allowed to defend himself? Does a group attack involving even one woman mean he must huddle up like a turtle? The concept of not hitting women is so ingrained in him that he doesn't defend himself. It all sounds a bit weird, but as seen across America, how many women would use their dainty hands to slap or a weapon to hit a man if they didn't have the state behind them to automatically cart away the bigger participant in the dispute? Think tubby Amber Portwood slaps her 300 lb baby daddy on national television if the courts were not so active as to turn a small, domestic dispute into a legal system maze, affecting their family for two full years? No chance because chubbs Portwood does not step knowing full well the force of a 300 lb man not fearful of the Nanny State. The 300 lb fool did not hit her back because he knew the consequences. He has been conditioned. ANother straight, white male flexing privilege by being humiliated and struck on national television.

Wait, I am completely off-base here! There is still a patriarchy out there oppressing women in America and Western Europe, so keep your guard up ladies and callt he authorities at the slightest sign of attack or loosely defined creep behavior. Pay no attention to the woman who married a younger man, cheated on him, faced no consequences and then beat the crap out of him with her mom and mom's boyfriend. In our progressive utopia, Hutin is just another example of male privilege.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Deregulation: Bipartisan + Cathedral Fueled

Deregulation. Ask the common American which president they associate deregulation with and Ronnie Reagan will most likely be their answer. Fighting the government beast was his crusade. The problem with that familiar narrative is that it is a lie useful to the media. Reagan did not do much of anything for deregulating the American economy. He did dramatically change the tax code and go on a military spending spree that helped our military-industrial complex, therefore protecting revenue streams for our productive economy. In American history, deregulation was a process that had many events outside the Reagan window. Spending a little time evaluating the facts, deregulation was a bipartisan process that the cathedral pushed on behalf of the common man.

Tucked away in a Fortune magazine from 1977, Paul Weaver's article "Unlocking the Gilded Cage of Regulation" explains the story of deregulation's promise for America. The post-1932 iron triangle of big business, congress and the bureaucracy was being challenged and in the words of Paul Weaver was looking corroded. The promise of deregulation was the Milton Friedman mantra of markets will solve problems. Markets are suppose to be free so that they can be efficient, and efficient means good. The economic problem of the mid-'70s was high inflation, and it did doom both Ford and Carter's presidencies. Deregulation was proposed as a solution to the high inflation problem. In the article, the issue of the FED being loose with monetary policy in the face of inflation is not cited. Budget deficits are absent from the article. There is no mention of Nixon closing the gold window and allowing the dollar to float, destroying the Bretton Woods agreement and sending all nations on a hunt for a store of value.

There was no need to mention severing the basis for valuing all commodities because economists and civil servants had the answer. Weaver writes that "economists agreed that government regulation was a major cause of the high and rising cost of living". Not one citation of the '74 oil embargo that created cost push inflation in the American manufacturing based economy. Academics were not the only ones pushing the deregulation line. Civil servants were the driving force inside the government. The deregulation proposals were around since Nixon's first term, but had languished due to more pressing matters. In Weaver's words, second and third echelon figures in the administration used patrons higher up like Roy Ash (Director of OMB) and William Simon (Treasury Secretary) to put proposals in front of President Ford. Weaver calls this crew a cabal.

Problem with this push for deregulation was that the first targets were transportation related that had a heavy union presence. This would be tough for a Republican president to attempt when facing re-election. While deregulation was ideologically appealing to the free market GOP, there had to be an edge for the Democrats. While accomplishing nothing of substance, congressional hearings on transportation managed to get Senator Ted Kennedy on the side of deregulating transportation for the savings it would provide Americans. The narrative was set. Deregulate to save the little guy money. With a Democrat in the White House, deregulation rolled through Congress in the late '70s with Jimmy Carter there so sign bills into law. Carter could do so in the face of the unions because where else were they going to send their campaign cash? Airline deregulation had the good fortune of, in the word of one pilot, bringing the bus stop to the sky. One item conspicuously absent from Wikipedia's deregulation page is the absence of the 1980 deregulation of deposit institutions that brought usury back into Americans lives. That was to protect banks from poor borrowers. That does not fit the narrative.

Deregulation took a breather for a solid decade or so with Reagan signing some international dereg acts, but nothing major. The low hanging fruit had been picked. On the narrative front, Americans were being reminded how Reagan wanted to destroy the environment safeguards that were newly installed in the '70s. Reagan was handcuffed by his party membership. Deregulation would have to wait for another Democrat to enter the White House and bring all of those free marketers dreams to life. NAFTA, the Telecom Dereg Act, and of course the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999. Check the vote totals. These all passed Congress with large majorities because the GOP could claim ideological victory and the Democrats could claim it saved the little man money. When Bill Clinton signed the law to make student loans non-dischargeable, it was hailed as a new law that reduced the cost of borrowing for poorer students. Debt slavery was not mentioned.

The Fortune article was right in more ways than it could imagine. Near the end of the article, Weaver discusses the weakening hold of the old iron triangle and the pressure from new businesses and new avenues of change. What Weaver was hinting at was the decade long process of the old post-war productive economy and sound money policies wandering for new, solid footing before finding it in the petrodollar, Volcker era FIRE economy. Weaver did make an observation that few dare admit today when he wrote, "the central political trend of recent decades has been the decline of the traditional interest aggregating political party + the rising influence of the press, the public interest group, the intellectuals and the professions". Kenneth Galbraith would call the professions the technostructure, and that was the educated, technical managers and experts that managed our economy and cuddled up to government planning. Some readers would look at Weaver's ascendant coalition and call it the cathedral.

GOP Invisible Primary Stock Update

As politics chews up more of people's time, it would only be natural that the old process of presidential elections would become longer and more obvious. With a presidential election less than twelve months ago, it seems odd that so many politicians are jostling for position and grandstanding but this is the invisible primary season. Do not believe the online dictionary that says the invisible primary starts when a candidate announces but before primaries. The invisible primary season starts once the elected officials take office prior to the next presidential election. For us, the invisible primary season is '13-'14, while the real primary fighting kicks off in '15. In our hyper-political age, it started right after the election (as Rubio showed). Let us take a look at the contenders.

Before we review the GOP, it is fair to say the Democrats have Hillary Clinton and then roadkill. It is hers for the taking if she can last. This means that she will have been a potential POTUS candidate in the media's whispers in '04, '08, '12 and '16. She at least knows how Obama won and seeks to pander to it: black turnout. If you are wondering how Obama was made presidential timber, the media manufactured the wood. A part time law school lecturer with no acomplishments was allowed to be in a survey for the 100 greatest Americans of all time by a major media outlet. That was just one of many glowing media puff pieces. Interesting invisible primary moves by Obama and HRC in '05-'06 were their nay votes during the Roberts and Alito nominations for the Supreme Court. Got to prove your further left than the norm. The drawn out Democrat primary process of 2007-2008 was awful and changed how the primary season is handled. It was so long and painful that Americans forget how the 2000 and 2004 primary seasons truly began and ended within four months. It further affected the invisible primary season by forcing folks to start earlier like our first candidate.

Senator Marco Rubio - Stock Not Listed Anymore
This fool read the NY Times the week after the election and jumped on the suggestion that the GOP needed some Latino outreach. His invisible primary started week one after Romney's loss. He made his invisible primary issue immigration without checking any opinion polls on how voters felt about it, especially his party's voters. He is now soiled and dirty from working with Schumer and Reid without accomplishing anything except destroying his chances at the nomination. He now has to hope someone picks him for a VP for the Latino vote of Florida. Had he stayed quiet and bandwagoned on any other issue, (banks, Obamacare, domestic spying) he'd be Golden Boy.

Former Governor Jeb Bush - Stock Down
Go home. Stop it. Along with a connected friend, I assume Jeb is just floating trial balloons on the Bush name for his son's run in the 2020s. He butted in with immigration along with Rubio, and it did not help with the grassroots. Still, his access to huge donors is unmatched. In a weird way, Rubio's fall helps Jeb as they are seen as an either/or swich with regards to running.

Governor Chris Christie - Stock Slightly Down
After the Hurricane Sandy Obama lovefest, I thought it was over for him. He has laid low and plotted his re-election campaign this year as his launching pad during the invisible primary. He did side with the establishment on the domestic spying issue, and with guns, he's sketchy. He is a good campaign trail guy. He has had a TIME magazine cover so he's cathedral approved. He will debate well, and had he run in 2012,would have buried Obama. If he cracks 60% in NJ, watch the working class white vote percentage. The higher that is, the more likely he flips Midwest battleground states and the party nominates him.

Governor Bobby Jindal - Stock Up
Jindal has been using the media well, making moves in his state, and he has been plotting a presidential run since childhood. He's also the youngest guy here, so he can wait. He's a smart, competent guy. In another smart move, he has focused his arguments as him defending his state from DC and Obama. An outsider presentation and position against the Wall St-DC cabal would work for Jindal.

Governor Scott Walker - Stock Up
The guy's signature reform worked for municipal budgets and hurt the school unions (woohoo). Downside for him is that he has to run for re-election in 2010, so he has to focus on Wisconsin before he could roll out with a pet issue. He is a Koch boy for fundraising purposes, plus Tea Party folks like him, and unlike timid establishment guys, he discusses thinking big. He is my dark horse pick. A re-election win and outsider presentation against the Wall St-DC cabal would work.

Governor Rick Perry - Stock Up
He might be entirely done. Yes, he blew a nomination just waiting for him, but he can recover. Reagan mortally wounded Ford in '76 and bounced back to win it all in '80. His problems were back surgery that put him out of commission right after entering and being anti-banker having a minor league team run his major league debut. Texas has been a bright spot in the US economy, and if Christie is the only executive in the mix, Perry could take him on, win South Carolina and then sweep the Midwest and Southern red states while Christie re-enacts McCain in '00. He had a smart message of getting government out of your life. Presenting his stewardship of Texas and boosting the productive economy that "makes" jobs, he could position himself as an outsider against the Wall St-DC cabal would work (shhh, it's a winning formula no one will use but should).

Senator Ted Cruz - Stock Way Up
Cruz is a bit of an opportunist who seemed to search for an invisible primary issue, but unlike dum-dum Rubio, he picked a good one in fighting Obamacare. Cruz also backed Rand Paul on his droning crusade. There is something that his filibuster stunt, like Rand Paul's anti-drone filibuster, shows about him. He knows it is politically useless with how the system works now to filibuster, but it signals to voters, "Hey, I'm not one of those out of touch career guys here. I care!". I'm fighting for you, yeah whatever.

Senator Rand Paul - Stock Way Up
Paul inherits his dad's name, built in fandom, and the libertarian flavor. Sen. Paul has consistently voted against the tyranny items like indefinite detention, droning and domestic spying. He also laid out a budget cutting plan that even a 5 year old could understand. Vogue did a puff piece.

If I had to bet right now, I'd say it ends up with Christie as the nominee with Paul as the VP. If Cruz and Paul both run, it is to outlast the other to get the VP selection like what Bachmann tried in '12 for Romney. If one stays out, they had a deal with a specific candidate. (Side note: An HRC strategy guy told me HRC did this with Evan Bayh and Mark Warner in '08, but once they both announced they wouldn't run, she locked in then Gov. of Ohio Strickland. Lesson: Don't Trust a Clinton). Every Senator thinks they can sit in the Oval Office but few make the leap. Senators do not make it to President except in rare occasions like Kennedy buying the election (razor thin '60 win spending ungodly sums of money + Mafia favors) and Obama's catehdral handled, tornado move from state senator to elected POTUS in 4 years. In descending order, I'd predict Christie/Paul, Christie/Cruz, Jindal/Cruz, Jindal/Paul, Walker/Paul, Walker/Cruz, Perry/Paul, and Perry/Rubio (Perry wouldn't pick Cruz). It will be an uphill climb for them, but do not underestimate HRC's ability to screw up elections. The fear all rational Americans should have is if we have reached a point where the takers will vote for their team no mater what to keep the take going. Outside of anyone's control listed here, if the US does have a dollar crisis, it will hurt the Democrats as they hold the White House, and they have chosen not to prosecute the Wall Street banksters.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Modest Birth Control Proposal

At present, the US has a myriad of problems all of which are linked to the big problem of devolution and decline. We might need to expand our horizons, think differently and look for stones that would kill multiple birds. Connecting multiple threads, the US (and world) has an education problem as well as an underclass problem as well as a social dysfunction problem as well as a social welfare expenditure problem that all seem to tie back to a dysgenics problem due to lax morals and unrestrained impulses of teens. It is time Americans get real about the problems around us and as governor, I would propose a "Norplant or No Welfare" policy.

To use the words of President Obama, a pregnancy is a punishment for young girls. Abortion is framed as a really difficult decision that young women need in order to alleviate the burden of a child (adoption = too hard). Birth control is a near scared "right" that women will vote for over all other issues, including civilizational decline. I'll stop mocking liberals. Pregnancy in school messes with our graduation rates. Teenage pregnancy is also one of the leading markers for someone who will drop out, live in poverty, have children that exhibit dysfunctional behavior, and a host of horrible things. Teen pregnancy also stretches the social safety net and kicks more tax dollars to people for popping out a kid while unmarried. Despite nearly universal sex education and the availability of cheap and easy to access birth control, teenagers are pretty stupid or just do not care. Norplant solves this.

Let us draft a proposal. On the 13th birthday of a daughter, the parents (or legal guardians) of said daughter have the choice of:

1. Their daughter will receive a free Norplant implant that will be effective until her 18th birthday (Norplant lasts five years). In the event that their daughter gets pregnant while on Norplant (99% unlikely), they would be eligible for welfare benefits for said child.


2. They decline the free Norplant. In the event that their daughter gets pregnant, they nor their daughter cannot claim any welfare benefits. They will be denied all programs and have to pay for the child themselves.

Is Norplant safe? Perfectly safe. Is it effective? Over 99% effective at preventing pregnancies, and the stupid teens don't have to do anything. Is this admitting defeat to teenage sex? No. It is fighting the negative outcomes in a different manner. Conservatives want to gripe about free birth control? You already pay for birth control, but this one would be a small outlay for a huge savings. This localizes the consequences of choices to the teen and their parents. No one is forced to use Norplant. You reject the cornucopia of birth control around you, you will pay for the results. Teenagers are bad about maintaining schedule of pills, which is avoided with Norplant. Norplant is 99% effective and lasts five years without the teen doing anything. Through Obamacare and insurance mandates, we are already subsidizing birth control. I would hope that everyone would want to see this smorgasbord of birth control put to effective use.

In addition to these programs, I would suggest the following add-ons. If a women turns 18 and was in the Norplant program with their parents, she would have a one time option of re-upping the Norplant at age 18 to carry them through the next five years. Those feisty young women will shout that it is her body, therefore it is her decision. I'm right there with you, but with the above conditions. The other add-on would be a far more important one, but if a woman childless or with child signs up for social welfare programs, she must get a Norplant implant. Social welfare programs will last as long as her Norplant lasts. If a woman rolls off of a social welfare program and Norplant and is pregnant within one calendar year, she will be ineligible for further social welfare benefits. The progressives may be upset, but even one lonely, undergraduate voice at Harvard thought this might be a good move in 1993. This is a simple program. We just need a good propaganda campaign. A child living in poverty is a crime against that child. It is a soft form of abuse. Let us not place one more child in the clutches of an impoverished home. Think of the children.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Long Experiment on Sports Genes

How much of sports performance is due to genetics and are we on our way to an athlete caste? Genes play a huge role, but we do not want to admit it because of what it might say about other areas of competition. An athlete caste is likely on the way. We should see this come into play more as the premium on a physical edge increases. Just how many people can run a 4.6 or be 6 foot 3 and add lots of muscle? Now be both. There might be a real life laboratory for sports gene testing in the household of Brynn Cameron.

Brynn Cameron is a 5 foot 10 former basketball player for the USC Trojans' women's team. She was a scholarship athlete and very attractive. Her brother Jordan Cameron is an NFL tight end who has a nice blend of height, strength and speed. The test of genes and sports will be with her sons, not due just to mommy, but due to their dads. Son number one is the son of Matt Leinart. Leinart was a pretty amazing college quarterback who had flashes of awesome as a rookie, but was unseated by one of God's answered prayers to Kurt Warner in Arizona. He never quite got it together with constant discussion of his lack of focus and satisfaction with being a handsome, millionaire athlete. Leinart is 6 foot 5, has a 36 inch vertical, decent arm, and has a good quarterback build. Their combined DNA should be good for molding a professional athlete of some sort.

Not to be outdone, Ms. Cameron has been hard at work gold-digging and seducing. She recently had a son with Blake Griffin. Griffin is the high flying power forward for Team Lob (the Clippers). Griffin is 6 foot 8.5, solid build, vertical of 35.5 (wait that's Leinart's, too?), and is an ugly guy a few years younger than Ms. Cameron. Griffin plays in Los Angeles, which last I heard has millions of attractive women in and out of the city looking for an 'in' with Hollywood. He was shagging an older woman with a kid. Come on Blake, wrap it up! She timed the baby just right as Blake's extension worth $16 million alone next year, escalating to $21 million in year five, is ready for some child support splitting. She was getting $15,000 a month from Leinart, but he's been cut by Bills, earning NFL paychecks is in his past. Brynn sure knows how to pick them.

Maybe Ms. Cameron will not go all Marinovich on the boys and push them into professional sports. She might also consider the genetic head start she has with these two and see how their 2 year old check up charts read for height. Some 99 percentile readings and quick reflexes might persuade her to spend more time with daddy and a private coach. Cameron herself was a division one athlete. Leinart is done with his career, what else does he have to do? Griffin will be done before his kid hits 10 (seriously, he is injured often). They have the genes, and they have the in-house coaching. Will they walk that path? Will they make it? We will see. If I had to bet on two brothers both earning division one scholarships, there is not another family I would bet on in front of these two half-brothers. The Cameron household will be a long form experiment on the hereditary nature of sports genes.

"Americans" and State Sponsored Terrorism

The mall massacre in Kenya is yet another reminder of the dangerous daily lives of the billions in the third world. It is also a reminder of the foot soldiers of Islam being at odds with the constantly stated status of Islam as a "religion of peace". These were Somali Muslim terrorists at work, but wait, the terror group, al-Shabaab, claims that Americans were part of their assault crew. Some were from Minnesota, Missouri and even Maine. One might think those boys from rural states stick out in east Africa. They do not. These are not the American tribes that war with each other in the political realm. These "Americans" are Somali-Americans. America and Americans are finding new definitions of what it means to be American and what it means to be a state sponsor of terrorism.

The Somali-American experience is similar to other current political asylum immigrant stories. Crappy third world country has a post-colonialism, destabilization period. The US enters the fray to help a side either unilaterally or with the UN. The media tells everyone how bad it is over there, and boom, we need to help these people. In America, the Somalis quickly learn the welfare game, move to safe states with great welfare programs, and pop out some anchor babies because that will secure their status. They do not get along and assimilate with African-Americans, which is odd because one of their first retail purchases is the latest black fad clothing. People mock whites and Asians who dress in "urban" gear, but nothing is phonier than a 6 foot 90 lb coal black Somali speaking a foreign tongue and rocking FUBU gear in Maine. In America, Somalis get welfare and a safe ride, but in Britain these asylum seekers get beaucoup benefits. The flow does not stop (Somalia, Sudan, etc.), and no one is allowed to stop it or even voice displeasure.

A leftist would argue that we're all immigrants, but seeing that the previous wave of immigration stopped in the mid 1920s and immigration was overwhelmingly from the same continent, this is not quite the same thing. Somalis inability to assimilate and the idiocy of allowing them to American shores is exposed through the al-Shabaab attack. A Minnesotan recruited by a terrorist group to fight back in the homeland for another country is not an "American". Even Irish-Americans, who incredibly fond of reminding people of their Irish ancestry, did not participate in IRA activities. Rahm Emanuel and his fellow American Jews have fought for the IDF, but that does not mean anything with regards to loyalty. This Somali conduit is not new as these Somali-Americans have been making a run for the homeland to fight or blow themselves up for jihad. Progressives use euphemisms for illegal immigrants and infiltrators like undocumented immigrant because within 10 years, they or their children will be a new grievance group that will have to find a voice in the political realm. They will be called just as American as you because they will vote, due to their welfare dependency, for the coming progressive utopia.

This is part of the lie. It is part of being the seat of the empire. It also might want to cause these progressives and their friends in the media and civil service pause. This might be a stretch, but is this not state-sponsored terrorism? State-sponsored terrorism has a wide definition, and that can be expanded to fit the needs of the speaker.

Also known as "state supported" terrorism, when governments provide supplies, training, and other forms of support to non-state terrorist organizations. One of the most valuable types of this support is the provision of safe haven or physical basing for the terrorists' organization. Another crucial service a state sponsor can provide is false documentation, not only for personal identification (passports, internal identification documents), but also for financial transactions and weapons purchases.

Eliminating the notion of time delay, these Somalis are allowed safe haven in the United States by the federal government over the wishes of the American citizenry. Initial arrivals give birth to future jihdists ambitious Americans who will enjoy the medical care of the first world. Through the use of government welfare, these Somalis receive housing, protection, and financial aid that we all know would have much more purchasing power in the third world. Their mosques and little Mogadishus would be safe locations to plot and strategize. These Somalis would be communicating and organizing using telecommunications that the US supposedly can read at will and will only do so if it is terror related. If the feds are not stopping these men, a failure to act or stop them condones or implies consent. If not, then maybe PRISM is an overpriced sham. America has aided groups that the left would label terrorist in the past to fight Communism. Obama has just waived special rules to aid known terrorist groups in Syria. These Somali-Americans are just taking the next step in the multicultural empire's odd course by being homegrown terrorists coddled and aided who return "home" spread ruin around the globe. It's the American way.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

History Does Not Repeat But Can Rhyme

"Spend! Spend! Spend! Under the guise of recovery - Bust the government - Blame the capitalists for the failure - Junk the constitution and declare a dictatorship" - It worked for FDR and his cronies as we are still living under their framework for a government. It is not a dictatorship of one man but of the immortal bureaucracy. This cartoon is from the Chicago Tribune in 1934, well before FDR's first re-election. Obama critics would say, "Obama's doin' the same". Not quite. He's just continuing the system FDR's Harvard educated pinkies created.

*Source: 1934 Chicago Tribune

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Alternative Avenues to Sci-Fi + Fantasy

If Vox is right that Sci-Fi/Fantasy have been invaded by the PC police, it might be good for authors not totally in line with the commissars or fearful of being purged to look elsewhere. This isn't new as Bradbury mentioned this push for inclusion half a century ago. If another genre were to be built up and proven successful, don't worry, those leeches would worm their way in and ruin it within 50 years. It would be 50 years of peace though for the rest of our lifetimes. One would think in imaginary worlds it would not matter but >gulp< diversity uber alles. Let us think of other genres that would allow one to skirt the PC Nazis.

1. Historical Fiction - Speaking of Nazis, go back in time. With a history based framework, one can explain why women and men have more traditional roles or why certain groups are not represented or represented in numerically and technically appropriate ways. The Interwar Period has enough intrigue and stories to mine as does early stages of the Cold War. A serieson the tragedy of decolonization might be interesting. Mad Men, Downton Abbey and Neil Stephenson make good use of this trick.

2. Bronze and Iron Age Fiction - If you love fantasy, go back in time to a more tribal setting for humanity that resembles fantasy. You might be thinking Middle Ages settings, but the bastards will shove the foreign, 'other' warrior bullshit down your throat. Go back further and prior to the Roman Empire, which has somehow been tainted by some books, movies or premium cable shows as if the demographics of Rome were southern California. Hollywood types believe, because the Romans had the Mediterranean coast of Africa, that Bantu tribesmen were the majority of administrators. The Bronze-Iron Age allows for swords, tribes, odd religious beliefs and the ability for you to make up languages since there is a lot missing on them.

3. Post-Apocalyptic Dystopian Novels - Set the framework up where there is a reason why things are drastically different from today. One could even write in viruses that affected certain groups more than others or STDs that caused people to re-evaluate things and value traits that society used to strive to embody. Maybe to appease the PC gods, you make the disappearance of a group or an event part of an evil secret for the protagonist to discover. Reduce the number of people in total on the planet and this helps explain the lack of precious others.

4. All Robots - OK, so you can't let go of doing sci-fi or space stories. Use an all robot cast. If you make a robot a black or Asian robot, then you would be accused of racism (he wrote the robot to say "Dayyy-um"), so just use plain robots. This kind of hurts reader-character connections, but with the number of Aspies walking around, I think you will be fine.

5. Crusades Tales - I'm backtracking a bit because this will involve Muslims depending on which Crusade you select to use, but in these tales the Muslims are the bad guys. They have a real reason to be there, so a writer would use Muslims as a diversity shield from PC attacks. Women are involved, but women will be pilgrims not sword wielding 21st century, Joss Whedon created superhumans. Religion would be acceptable as a topic of character's conversations because that was the entire point of the Crusades. If marketed correctly, I bet they'd sell well with evangelicals. Side Note: After decades of watching Joss Whedon stuff, I think the guy has "sub" fantasies involving some really tough, petite woman killing people and then using him for rough, BDSM sex, calling him insulting names the entire time.

6. Pirate Tales - Now I am just being specific within the historical fiction genre like the Crusades tales. Yes, there can be diversity. Yes, there could be women pirates, but ahem, the reality is few i number scattered over the large oceans. Non-pirate women could also be in traditional roles. You can even sneak in religion due to the Protestant/Catholic warfare of the era.

Besides recommendations, here's a question: why the hell are Lady MacBeth types not adored by the feminists? Why do these pushers always want to see physically imposing, warrior women? Disregarding the entire catalogue of female monarchs, rulers and all-around dastardly ladies (Matahari) who did wield power, is rather lame but the way that modern progressives explain that today is always better than yesterday. Catherine the Great had her husband killed and took over Russia. Theodora and other women in Byzantium had tremendous influence and control of the empire. These women and characters based on them (advisers, schemers, soft power manipulators) are not enough because only chicks with swords slicing through orcs count as progress!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Brainwashed Out of Furs

Fur is murder!

"I wanted us to be the good guys." - club owner who barred Naomi Campbell from entering in a fur.

Twenty years ago, they were already questioning if it was economics or the PETA protestors that was driving the fur sales drop. The fashion industry sold $1.9 billion worth of furs in the US in 1989, yet only $1.27 billion in 2012. Adjusting for CPI, $1.9 billion in 1989 is $3.52 billion in 2012 dollars. That is a catastrophe.

What was the last fur ad you saw? These are from the 1970s. Was it selling or protesting furs? Those are not old ladies in the advertisements, so it is not a generational issue. Odds are, the last woman you saw in a fur was Carmella Soprano when Tony gave her that stolen full length mink. Fictional Tony is one of the few left who appreciate fur. The tastemakers thought fur horrible. Enough of the unwashed masses now reflexively believe furs are evil, and no longer a consumer purchase that signals that they have finally "made it". This is a shaming movement, but it is effective brainwashing. The urbanization of the US population helps chip away at the case that furs are a part of life with positives and negatives and have been used for centuries for clothing. Are furs anymore evil or cruel than countless other consumer goods and articles of clothing? Who decided that? Not the dead Congolese child Coltan miners that make your Iphone happen.

To answer New York magazine in 1994, not a chance.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

FED Helicopter Drop for Joe Sixpack

Quantitative easing looks played out. The press and public (that is aware) see QE as a sop to the banks and wealthy. Obama said that we have to get away from the bubble and bust mentality. Larry Summers pulled his name out of the running for FED chairman. There is no war in Syria right now. Sequester is still in effect. The economy still slowly chugs along, hovering around the 1% growth line. How will the mandarins keep the machine moving? It appears that the US economy needs trillion dollar deficits just to squeeze out +2% growth. If there is no taper yet budget deficits are coming down slightly, how do they fill the deficit beast to get to the FED's $85 bil/month line? With the coming FED chair confirmation process approaching and an election coming in 2014, the political class may propose a new and exciting program: a FED-financed tax cut.

The Fed-financed tax cut gets the big thumbs up from the economists that Jim Pethokoukis cites in his article, but make no mistake, this is a helicopter money drop. The Economist spotlighted it this summer. The FED even said taxes, not the sequester, is a drag on the GDP. This is the nuclear option in the words of Jim Reid via zero hedge. It is unconventional. Much shorter, these fools have run out of ideas. Due to the credibility trap between Wall Street and Washington, it is politically infeasible to get the banks to write down bad debts and properly handle derivatives that are concentrated to a level over 95% within several entities (data from 2011). Only a handful of banks own those financial weapons of mass destruction in large amounts. Those banks have an amazing defense between interconnectedness, percent of total US assets owned and campaign fundraising capabilities. Even though debt write downs and a restructuring of the TBTF banks would be a government revenue neutral quasi-tax cut and makes sense in a balance sheet recession, it will not happen. Therefore, we are following Bernanke's plan.

A FED-financed tax cut is a weapon in Bernanke's arsenal. This is a further step in the Bernanke "Deflation: Making Sure "It" Doesn't Happen Here" playbook. In a coincidence to his order of mechanisms for handling our current predicament, he mentions this move in the speech after all of the QE talk followed by purchasing foreign government and domestic government debt with a short statement:
"A broad-based tax cut, for example, accommodated by a program of open-market purchases to alleviate any tendency for interest rates to increase, would almost certainly be an effective stimulant to consumption and hence to prices. Even if households decided not to increase consumption but instead re-balanced their portfolios by using their extra cash to acquire real and financial assets, the resulting increase in asset values would lower the cost of capital and improve the balance sheet positions of potential borrowers. A money-financed tax cut is essentially equivalent to Milton Friedman's famous "helicopter drop" of money."
If bending the long term UST yield curve did not work, the FED could buy foreign debt and domestic debt. Check-check-check. Broad based tax cuts are next in line. Despite being laid out in Bernanke's playbook, this is why I think the next FED chair will be someone considered new and different taking policy in a new direction (spin, not reality). It is straight from Bernanke's plan but needs a new salesman. Obama and Reid just need to talk enough GOP house members into supporting the tax cut portion while ignoring the FED financing, dollar dilution portion. Boehner and his merry band of cathedralized republicans will go along for the ride. Considering the fact that the Senate Democrats were close to swallowing their tongues and voting for a Syria strike just to save Obama's face (too late), any tax cut aimed at 'the people' will be an easy sell. Knowing how a modern Congress works, there will be provisions for the fat cats and businesses galore in any deal. Everyone will get a tax cut and be happy in spring of 2014 just in time for midterm elections.

This will do nothing the the long term problems we have but exacerbate the federal debt situation. Will Americans use the money to pay down debt as they still have a tremendous debt overhand from the financial crisis? If so, banks prosper per Bernanke. Will Americans use it for consumption? Possibly, so China Apple and Walmart will move more consumer goods. This can be framed as little people getting a square deal, but what does a one time helicopter drop of $1500 or even $3000 do for the average American? Next month's bills still roll in. This does not relocate a manufacturing plant. Empty homes will still stand empty. Health care and insurance is definitely not dropping in cost. College tuition isn't dropping. One thing this will do is place a lot of cash in the economy at once chasing after whatever is out there. Hard assets, agriculture and precious metals would be winners.

Due to America's size, debt levels and recent inflation stability, if we see 10% or 20% inflation, America would experience pain similar to developing countries going through hyperinflation. This is an old research paper on hyperinflation in South America in the '80s, but it's an interesting read. The classic "When Money Dies" is another great economic read on periods of high inflation. Hyperinflation does not have to happen for there to be problems. Due to so many Americans on the dole and a significant chunk in salaried positions or in non-unionized hourly jobs with the threat of global wage arbitrage, the mechanism for employees to catch up to an inflationary cycle is nonexistent (unlike the '70s). Americans could use this cash to pay off debt, which would flood our banks with more money, making formerly questionable debt holdings healthier or cleared. Everything else will remain elevated in cost. If you think Americans could get a jump on the banks and pick up hard assets before they do, think again. The big banks have the fastest computers that can make trades without delay, off hours and without service fees all with the trillion dollars they have parked with the FED.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

LA Times Whitewash of Aaron Alexis

What the hell is up with the LA Times? Did anyone read this article? Who could have known? Who could have seen this coming? Speak to us oh Buddha. The LA Times article comes off as sympathetic to Alexis' plight of life as an immature, cheap asshole. The NY Times is a bit tougher on Alexis. CBS paints the agitated young man picture. Willful ignorance or narrative writing is at work in the LA Times blurb on the good Budhhist chanter /slash/ angry man. Is it too easy to say the guy was a bit mentally off, an asshole but liked to participate in Buddhist ceremonies? Yes. Let us chant "aaaauuummmm" and bathe in the whitewashing light of the LA Times.

LA Times: "Alexis wore a golden amulet of Buddha around his neck, she recalled, yet also carried a concealed .45-caliber handgun. To a Fort Worth neighbor and a Seattle construction worker, Alexis — accused of gunning down workers at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday — was a brooding, menacing figure quick to brandish and fire a gun"

If he had been wearing a cross, there would be no juxtaposition in the article of the peaceful religious imagery with a gun. Buddhism is a good religion on the organized religion spectrum as it is part of the Eastern tradition. We also read he was quick to brandish guns per a neighbor.

LA Times: "Alexis seemed to hold grudges. He was upset over a salary dispute with his employer, a government subcontractor called The Experts, according to an official close to the investigation. Alexis was investigated by police in Fort Worth and Seattle for firing a handgun in incidents involving disputes with a neighbor and a construction worker. He also had a string of Navy disciplinary infractions leading up to his discharge in January 2011. But there was little indication from his available public record that he was capable of escalating from petty disputes to a mass shooting."

Earlier it was that he bristled over his Navy service. In this line, we are told he holds grudges over slights. At this point in the article, we've read he fired a handgun in multiple disputes with people and had discipline issues in the Navy. The Times still says there was "little indication" he'd jump from petty disputes (gunshots = petty) to a mass shooting. This is where my disgust with the media's framing sets in as what is there to tip us off to a mass shooting by psychos that happen once a year in a nation of 300 million? Not everyone is killing kittens and talking to Satan on the subway before snapping. Some mentally disturbed people are self-destructive. These are truly random events... that all involve people with mental illnesses (Cho, Holmes, Lanza, and Alexis). Even more insulting is later on as the Times describes the two shooting incidents.

LA Times: "In Seattle in 2004, a construction worker told police that Alexis had stared at him and fellow workers every day for a month — and occasionally brandished a handgun — at a construction site next to Alexis' residence. The worker said he had never spoken to Alexis, but Alexis suddenly fired three shots from a Glock 30 handgun into the worker's parked car one day in May 2004. Alexis later told police that the worker had "mocked" and "disrespected" him. He said he had experienced an anger-fueled "blackout" and did not recall the shooting until an hour later, according to the police report. Seattle police said Alexis' father told them his son had "anger management problems," according to a police department blog."

The man shot at people or symbolic possessions of people after nonexistent or minor disputes. Blacks out due to anger at a person who claims he never spoke to Alexis. When does shooting over nothing get minimized by the media? If you commit a horrific crime and are a member of an approved victim group, you get everything minimized. With the 2010 shooting at a neighbor's apartment and then this 2004 story, it seems pretty easy to see how a crazy guy who shoots into empty cars for disrespecting and mocking (his story) might snap later. This is not a hard jump for my brain to make. The article ends with his bitching about not being promoted for being black, which runs counter to the military and other contractors overlooking his violent encounters to employ him. The ending is a statement by a friend that if he had his Buddhist amulet on then, shucks, Alexis wouldn't shoot people with it on because Buddhists don't do that. Imagine a Christian trying to get away with that in the LA Times. Great ending with saying we didn't know what was going through his mind.

That is an appropriate ending and true. We can take a look at his past and connect some dots. The entire article is to show a troubled man who was a mystery, but had redeeming good qualities, yet was quick tempered due to feeling slighted. The simple view of immature and violent guy snapping is too easy. We need to create a fallen angel. Don't hate this violent ne'er do well. Feel for him. He is a victim >sniff sniff< of the racist world >sniff sniff< around him.

Modern Reservations

American Indians live amongst the rest of America but are mostly confined to the reservation system. These reservations have some traits that everyone can see in their mind's eye: 99% Indian, poor living mostly off federal government programs, alcohol and drug abuse, gang violence, rape problem, high rate of child abandonment, and the US law officials do not go there and are not sovereign. Reservations are generally sovereign entities so businesses are cautious about engaging in contracts with them. Reservations are found out West due to the Indian Wars and initial contact conflicts in the East, South and Midwest. Socially, being part of the tribe is strictly enforced and while they dress in blue jeans and Western clothes, there is still an Indian flair to it. Family structure is set up more along Indian custom. Everyday non-Indians generally do not got here, but white social workers do. These places are segregated from American society. There is a spirit of hope and ethnic pride mixed with depression. Discussion of oppression and a history of conflict and contrast with European society is part of the modern ethos.

Check out the NY Times 2010 census maps with the racial/ethnic distribution filter on. Is there another group with all of those same characteristics that is found with greater frequency in one region but when found elsewhere are practically cordoned off into areas where the cops do not go, sovereignty is in the community and racial composition is nearly homogeneous? These areas have high rate of alcohol and drug abuse, high utilization rate for government welfare programs, child abandonment, gangs, and rape problems. That group also dresses in jeans and Western clothing but with an ethnic flair. Their families are structured along with old ethnic customs. Outsiders rarely enter except for the police, random social workers and/or government officials for photo opportunities with armed escort. There is always talk of hope and ethnic pride but a steady dose of depressing news and life. There is plenty of talk of oppression, discrimination and the history of conflict and contrast with European society.

Difference beteen these groups goes back to how the two groups interacted with European society on the North American continent. One seems to want to self segregate while the other seems to want to confiscate engage with the society of European descent and heritage off the reservation. It my boil down to an indifference to being considered equal in stature vs. desperately seeking approval and validation even when vociferously shouting that they don't care about white approval. The greatest difference here is the proximity of concentrated blocs of citizens next to euroedescended groups and negative crime externalities. We talk of government created and subsidized Indian reservations, but no one ever mentions if we have financially created and government subsidized de facto black reservations. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

FED Chair: Still Not Betting on Yellen

Summers is out. Yellen must be in, right? Wall Street traders think so. The Washington Post isn't so sure. They do have alternatives though to Yellen. Annie Lowrey at the New York Times still portrays Yellen as the frontrunner with only Don Kohn a throw in candidate (quick Annie, ask hubby Ezra to phone the White House). I expected Summers to be the next FED chair, and I am very happy to see him out of the running. Not just his history but his personality did not seem to be a good fit for what has become the prime position for control of our political economy. In one of my posts, I mentioned as a throw away thought that Summers may be a stalking horse for someone else. That might not be the case. This is all amateur conjecture, but what if Yellen is the stalking horse? She can be the contrast to the real contenders. My uninformed and wild prediction: Roger Ferguson will be the next FED chair.

Ferguson has a tremendous cathedral resume. The Wapo gives him tremendous praise in this article (he was so calm during 9/11 when he said lending would continue). Three separate degrees from Harvard, studied at Cambridge, and was a Clinton era (Rubin) former FED head who worked on international banking system initiatives. He is just the sort of jerk who helped create the crisis. Ferguson is a neo-Keynesian, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (Rubin), a member of the Group of Thirty (Geithner), a former president of the Harvard Board of Overseers (Rubin, again), and wait for it, black. His wife was a commissioner of the SEC in the run up to the financial crisis, so we know turning a blind eye to the crooks on Wall Street is welcome in their home. The neo-Keynesian part is a key though as QE has grown long in the tooth and everyone has soured on it except Wall Street. There will be new policies pushed, and Ferguson's background makes him a more secure lackey for the boys in the executive branch. Sorry Janet, but just like HRC in 2008, victim coalition priorities show that the first black whatever means more than the first female whatever.

There is change in the wind though from a policy standpoint. The media shanked Occupy in time for Obama to calm his left flank, appear moderate and win re-election. The Wall Street boys got their bailouts and QE for years, but these were purely monetary policy levers. The left's collection of lower barbell and socially conscious voters are searching for their new champion. Like the right's grassroots looking for fresh faces to separate from the current corrupt Wall St.-DC structure, the left is desperate because that is all they have. Populist Democrats died somewhere in the late '90s. Google Elizabeth Warren, and the first four suggestions have two that say "for president" or "2016". She is a smart lady and understands the banking world very well, but I would never want her anywhere near the nuclear launch codes. The Democrat bench is that empty that she is in the mix and polling nearly even with Biden (well behind HRC). Populism is selling. The political class will pivot to throw a sop to the little people that make up the 99%. The ideas are already being floated out in the media for next steps, and Syrian intervention (MI complex juice) is still not out of the question.

These officials all have constant communication with different interest groups guiding policy. Yellen might have been the stalking horse all along. Yellen is the stand-in for Bernanke's policies in the crisis. I'm a bit confused why the president would not want Bernanke to say in office for one more term to unwind the mess he has created, but the heat is too high on Bernanke. Being his number two, Yellen is the Bernanke-status quo proxy. It is obvious Obama does not want her through White House leaks, which means the Rubin crew does not want her. Maybe it is her statements saying we need to confront TBTF or regulate Wall Street more, but it might just be personality and political loyalty. Summers may have been too much the old deregulation era hand. The person sitting in the FED chairmanship will have to react to whatever blow ups pop up from Bernanke's actions. The plans of mice and Washington men will bump into reality in the coming years. The debt to GDP ratio, foreign US Treasury holdings and overall dollar situation in 2014 will be far different than they were in 2006. Beyond dollars, the Syrian smackdown from the public and foreign powers must not have registered. Our political class still believes they make policy in a vacuum.

Don't Pay NCAA Players

The media is really pushing the pay NCAA players idea. It is not just the lame sports media that is pulling the cart. Time magazine is in on the action. The chatter is not new but has grown in volume in recent years. It's time to pay players! Why? It's sharing revenue made by schools on the backs of players! Why do they have to and what isn't sharing about what they do now? No one is asking Apple to share more revenue with workers. It's a farce! Yes, but so is the compensation structure at most large businesses. Coaches get paid exorbitant salaries! Yes, and they scheme and plan their teams to bowl games that have huge payouts for the school (ex: Iowa + Kirk Ferentz). It'll make things more fair! How and for who? It will stop booster benefits! No it won't. The farce is the idea of paying athletes for any of the proponents reasons. Paying NCAA players will not solve any problems and only create new ones.

Paying Players Would Be Easy + Get Rid of the Sleaze Factor!

Let us grant your wish: colleges can pay players. What sports? Where does the money come from? Is there a salary cap? Does each college have a specific cap if their ticket sales raise much more revenue? Is there an auction for recruits? How does this fix the problem of third party payments? Football and men's basketball programs float the rest of the NCAA programs. If money coems from their revenues, then other sports will get cut. Do we just pay men's basketball and football players? Isn't that sexist? No salary cap means mega-programs will buy up all the blue chip talent. Merchandising, advertisement whoring and naming rights auctions to boost revenue will further invade the college game as it does the NFL. This still does not fix the third party, sleazeball issue. Third parties like boosters and fans of the program can still offer Johnny Manziel thousands of dollars for anything even if he gets $500,000 from Texas A&M. Wealthy Ole Miss grads living in Tennessee may start adopting kids deliberately to send them to Ole Miss. That does not change.

Beyond not changing, the opposite of naive expectations would occur. Third party interference would become worse. Without a cap but to maximize resources, wouldn't boosters funnel more money to the program's coffers for a roster edge rather than any other avenue to alleviate the problems of the world? With a cap on player payments, there would be an incentive for schools to coordinate with third parties to pay top notch recruits under the table to hold down their cap number. The creative leased cars and tattoos issue would be emphasized, meaning that the NCAA would still have to police teams as they do now. To combat creative compensation, the NCAA would have to institute the death penalty on programs. Anyone caught gets a five to ten year scholarship and television penalty. There is no way that the NCAA will do this with the television revenue on the line for conference deals, which is the source of so much of the NCAA money that covers everyone's costs. There is a reason Notre Dame said goodbye to Michigan but kept USC in their new ACC friendly schedule; they need the USC game for their NBC television deal.

The System is a Joke and Unfair Towards Players!

I'll fight a cliche with another cliche. Name me any large institution worldwide today that is not a joke. Unfair is how much plyers get in relation to regular students. Don't knock the value of scholarships and other goods for players. Scholarships that cover all or half of tuition are coveted by average Americans for their smart yet not as athletically gifted children. A lot of mid-level athletes get scholarships to mid-level programs compared to the mid-level scholars who get squat from mid-level schools. That has value. Per diems for food when traveling, grad students write your papers one on one tutoring, access to special fitness facilities, diet advisers and other fringe benefits all add up. Let us not forget the legal benefits they get in having their crimes often washed away or cleaned up compared to the average 16-25 year old American male. How many women are raped per year on campus by athletes? No one knows for sure. Lemarcus the slow, black and fat 18 year old is in jail for feeling up 14 and 15 year olds against their will, not rewarded with a scholarship to play at Ohio State.

A fringe benefit might be status for simply playing for the team. I'm sure the jock chasing groupie benefit is a tremendous benefit. Many young women do not understand the rarity of players being drafted and making it in the pros, therefore they get knocked up to create their revenue stream. I work with one right now. She fell for the "I'm going pro" line. He played at Indiana State University (big, white farmboy lineman). I can't name anyone from that college who made the NFL (few in NFL history). No way is she screwing Cletus in her physical prime without him wearing a helmet on Saturdays.

What do the schools owe these players beyond the previously mentioned great benefits? Nothing. The NBA draft is two rounds, and the NFL draft is seven rounds. That means less than 300 players get drafted between the two revenue generating sports. A majority of those drafted will play professionally for less than five years, meaning they have a lifetime ahead of them. A majority of those who play end up broke within five years of retirement. The payment a majority of players receive is a degree paid for by the school for the rest of their lives. That is their stamp of approval for employers and a decent life if they want one. Even at bowl division schools, players realize the small probability they will make big money in the pros (incentive to 'roid up).

Arggh! I'm angry at the system. It's modern day slavery >avoids mentioning voluntary status + all player benefits< because a majority of the NCAA organization is white while blacks make up a significant percentage of players in the revenue generating sports! Give me my pound of flesh!!!

Whoa, slow down. Looks like the PC sports journalism media has been mainlining social justice crack. Please go back to caring about Russia and gays or the Washington Redskins. No? If it is just to pay players for effort, then nothing gets fixed and once again, the problem remains of who to pay and how much. Here's something for the wolves. Here is a real solution that will help many players that the schools exploit because the kids don't use the school (eye roll):

All merchandise sold with a player's likeness shall have a sliver of revenue set aside in an escrow account to sit for years in the player's name (similar to the NFL). This would include shirts, jerseys, video games, DVDs etc. that specifically use a player's likeness. Michigan sold many #16 jerseys and t-shirts with Denard Robinson's face or image on them. We know who is #16 even if his name is not on the jersey, so he should get a cut. This money would sit in a money market or T-bill account until the player leaves school and/or reaches age 25. This does give a slight advantage to schools with larger fan bases, but they usually compete against each other for the same recruits. This program would also compensate players for the school directly using them to generate revenue. Seeing how fast fans take to a quarterback, it is hard to argue that ticket paying or even television fans watch for one specific player compared to prior players of the same position at that school (example: USC quarterbacks).

This is not perfect but no system is. Not every player would get paid, but please see above, who deserves to get paid in the money losing sports or crappy programs? Who deserves to get paid when they are a no name in the program? Who assigns value to whom? None of these guys should be paid. Is any large company kicking extra money to the cogs of the machine? No. This entire debate is a joke because our nation is so screwed up that it overvalues sports in a time of decline. These young men are paid in free education, glory undeserved, attention unearned and fame from way too many who wouldn't be caught alone with them in an elevator. It is one of the circus attractions to our bread and circus society, and the semi-educated agitators that hold the megaphone want the gladiators to be paid.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Collapsing Countries: Nigeria

Technology and science find a way to discover more oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The world needs the good news because the rest is pretty awful. This is exciting tech stuff for a variety of reasons in that it is a domestic or secure source of oil, it will cut US oil imports at a time when traditional imports are in fluid situations, it may set us up longer term to have a different view of Middle East issues, and it creates domestic jobs (thank you, roustabouts). The industrial problem of the last decade has been cheap oil, as that looks pretty well gone. Why else would anyone be drilling through 10,000 feet of water and then miles of crust? The problem the world faces today with oil is that so many sources are behind politically problematic borders (Iran, Venezuela, Mexico) with development hampered by relations with the West (yes, even Mexico) or nations ripe with turmoil (entire MENA region). Another major supplier is in turmoil and off the Western radar screen. One nation that gets less attention but matters is Nigeria, and Nigeria looks to be on the verge of another civil war.

Nigeria has already had a civil war that killed millions that the West ignores in the average high school history class historical parade of atrocities and horrors. That war was within a decade of the end of colonialism and a few years after the Western press deemed it a successful story of decolonialism. This one looks a little different as it is a very distinct religious split of Muslims in the north versus Christians of the south. The Atlantic is quick to reinforce the horrible legacy of colonialism, yet quietly skips over the fact that after the first civil war the entire nation rebounded quickly due to oil revenue. Nigeria's oil provides a high majority of government revenue and foreign reserves. Like other Western outlets, they do not want to admit that this is very much an arm of global Islamic expansion. None other than Col. Gaddafi funded the destabilization of Nigeria.

Security sources disclosed that they had been aware of the intention of Col. Gaddafi to instigate the destabilization of Nigeria with a view to bringing to fruition, his proclamation early this year, that Nigeria would disintegrate into several parts unless the country was divided into two, with North going their own way and the South forming their own country.

Saturday Vanguard was told that it was in his bid to make this happen, that Col Gaddafi massively funded the construction of Mosques and other Islamic Centers of worship in Kano and other cities of the North. He was also said to have embarked on several humanitarian donations and visits to Kano and these other Northern states, most times unannounced, after which he would journey back to his country.

Gaddafi was using mercenaries from Nigeria in his army, so it makes sense that there was a diplomatic or social connection between the two countries outside of traditional channels. Muslims have had political power in Nigeria since its independence. They did not push the Islamist line a generation or two ago. The Atlantic never cites Gaddafi's work, which would have far more direct impact on contemporary issues than the British who left over fifty years ago. One commenter even cites the drawing of borders on a map over a century ago, which does affect the current situation but not like the Muslim dictator who was pumping million into a restless region. The UPI wire headline says that Christians are the ones threatening the nation with a religious war despite the article's reported facts that the Christian are responding to Muslim atrocities. No matter how obvious the villains, the media still must drag out the same tired narratives: "colonialism = bad" and "Christians attack Muslims".

Nigerians themselves are openly asking if a secession or dissolution referendum is the safer and better long term option. Nigeria suffers from corruption and overcrowding has strained infrastructure to the brink, forcing citizens to consider all avenues for change. Articles on Nigeria facing a new civil war have been around for years, so the resolution of the last civil war was nowhere close to being satisfactory for all combatants. They do not have a solid foundation for avoiding such a conflict. Nigeria is considered on the verge of becoming or already a failed state. Nigeria does have immense natural wealth in natural resources. Most importantly, Nigeria is an oil wealthy nation, so control of those resources is a critical calculation in who pushes for what outcome. Like seemingly all sub-Saharan African nations, they have a high fertility rate. The nation is 50-50 Muslim-Christian yet total fertility for Muslim regions is roughly 7.0 versus the Christian south's 4.7. If the Muslims just inflame and agitate but wait, they can control the entire nation and the oil revenue. If the nation splits now, the southern regions reap the oil rewards.

Nigeria's position as an oil exporter to the US has diminished. There is still hungry China to their east, and Nigeria's 2.2 million bpd production itself has importance on pricing due to the margins of the market. China is definitely watching the situation as invesment in Nigeria grows. Oil is over $100 a barrel, and excess worldwide capacity is limited if present at all. With the Middle East on edge, and Libya's oil industry virtually shutdown, all producers, and more importantly, exporters matter. Maybe the Nigerians will work it out and get back to the uneasy but livable truce after their civil war. Probably not as it is a religious matter, and militant Islam and jihad is still on the move. Technology is a better savior for US concerns. It is a better bet that the US will find another Thunderhorse platform pumping out significant barrels per day before Nigerian Muslims and Christians peacefully settle things. Good luck and God speed oil workers. May you keep the precious juice flowing.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

1955 Cheer Ad About Child Abuse

The little boy just spilled gravy on a tablecloth. His mom is of a high enough socioeconomic class to lay out a tablecloth for a meal she serves, but she gets angry easily. Her son does not see his mom get burned up and wonders what she will do. He knows. His friend knows. He was going to get it. "It" being a licking. Thankfully the other kid's mom was there to calm the child beating mom down with the good detergent. Buy Cheer so you don't beat your kids because kids talk. Even if whupping your kids is commonplace in your neighborhood, no one wants to beat their kids over things that simple Cheer can fix. Life is hard and you break down easy, so buy Cheer.

This advertisement would never happen now. First, only lower class ruffians hit their kids. Second, moms are forever portrayed as incredibly competent domestic goddesses that products only serve at their side not save from anger and bad behavior. Third, how many women cook meals at home that require gravy, use tablecloths and do the laundry? Products are not advertised as helping them avoid the dark side of their personalities. A mom is already great. Ads never show a mom angry or "burned up". When spills, tears and bad things happen, ad moms get that ">tilted head< you're annoying me you idiot, but I still love you" look. The product only supplements her quest for perfection to compete with other moms.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Note on '70s Cover + Party Bands

If you go to a small casino, middling bar or on a booze cruise, there is a good chance that the live music entertainment will be a '70s cover or party band. They all are white guys in '70s garb with cheeseball names like "Motor Booty Affair". Without a doubt, the lead singer or guitarist will rock the curly permed hair, giant sunglasses and facial hair ensemble. My wife has no clue why the cover bands rock this aesthetic because she knows '70s Mom rock and then the heavier stuff with lead singers like Robert Plant and Roger Daltrey. The perm is present for many '70s rock bands, but the shades and beards are not. There is a man who rocked all three throughout the '70s. She does not know the highly successful, music nerds who tricked mainstream listeners into buying their music: ELO.

Shades, beard and permed hair. No one will know I'm ugly.

ELO's lead singer was Jeff Lynne. The man always rocked with shades, curly hair and a beard. He is the figure these '70s party bands are channeling. The bands have a member copying Lynne, yet they never play ELO music. They will always play KC and the Sunshine Band's tunes and "Play That Funky Music White Boy". These bands will persist with the last gasp being this decade as we are in a '70/'90s nostalgia wave. The late Boomers and old Gen-X crowd that remembers these songs is in their mid 40s to mid 50s. Once they stop hosting parties or being the main ticket purchasers of booze cruises, the '80s cover bands will dominate. The '80s cover bands have been popular in recent years and will continue to be well liked as they represent the last era of pop music not influenced by hip-hop. Before Simon LeBon wannabes annoy me on corporate booze cruises, I will toast a drink to the Jeff Lynne copycats fronting Fresh Funk Boogie Fever.