Sunday Reads (26 February 2017)

Some good reads and views for the week ahead:

The Z Man describes a confluence of factors which is causing Progressivism to falter.

Related – One such factor is the lack of victims to champion. “Black guys getting pushed around by rednecks at the polling booth make for sympathetic victims. Mentally unstable men in sundresses wanting access to the girl’s toilet are not good victims.” Chris Cuomo found this out over the weekend, receiving backlash over a tweet of his lambasting the intolerance of a hypothetical 12 year old girl who would want to see male genitals in her changing room.

John Hussman calls for caution (not for the first time, in fairness) with respect to the new found optimism of what the Trump economy might bring, and more specifically what the post-election market rally has already brought. “As Benjamin Graham observed decades ago, “Speculators often prosper through ignorance; it is a cliche that in a roaring bull market, knowledge is superfluous and experience is a handicap. But the typical experience of the speculator is one of temporary profit and ultimate loss.””

The public isn’t buying the narrative-spinning efforts of the mainstream media, with over 50% believing it has been overly critical of President Trump.

Trump vs The Failing New York Times has been a running battle for a while now, and the latter claims that it is winning that battle, evidenced by growing subscriptions. Public statements don’t quite jive with the idea that the Times is going from strength to strength, highlighting yet another example of its narrative-spinning and reality being on opposing sides.

Andrew Napolitano laments the rise of the Deep State, and the commensurate decline in the ideals the United States was founded on.

Stefan Molyneux’s take on the Milo situation.

Multiple leftist media outlets have commented on the fact that South Korea will soon have the highest life expectancy in the world, and predictably credits universal healthcare for the rise. This ignores the fact that healthcare is subordinate to lifestyle choices as a driver of a lengthy life. The South Koreans clearly have better diets, devoid of the processed food that is such a staple of the American diet. Many of these articles also point out the fact that SK once had a very low life expectancy, and rocketed up the charts as their wealth grew. Which points to the embrace of freer markets and capitalism enabling a massive rise in wealth, better nutrition and education, and thus longer life expectancy. It compares favorably to their communist neighbors to the North, who also have universal health care.

One of the authors of The Fourth Turning describes his thoughts on Stephen Bannon, and the relevance of his theory of history as moving in cycles, 20 years on from the release of the book.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Reads (15 January 2017)

Some interesting reads for the weekend:

  1. UK PM Theresa May is set to outline the formal terms of Brexit. The FT puts forth a preview. The Telegraph expects the speech to be in line with Eurosceptics, and those most on the right.
  2.  

  3. As the annual Davos gathering of the elites approaches, the founder of the World Economic Forum declares that ‘it’s important to listen to the populists,’ and that ‘we have to take it (populism) seriously.’ It is interesting that just now is when views of ‘populists’ should be taken seriously, but I suppose that after the monumental events of 2016, the elites have little choice.
  4.  

  5. One such elite who is refusing to cave is Paul Krugman, who has dialed up the Krugman Delusion to new heights since the election. Zero Hedge is worried for his safety.
  6.  

  7. In a similar vein, leftists are showing how tolerant they are by sending death threats to opera singer Andrea Bocelli for the crime of singing at Trump’s inauguration. Bocelli buckled under the pressure and now will now perform. Jennifer Holliday has also pulled out for similar reasons
  8.  

  9. Further still, leftist groups, showing how accepting and tolerant they are of the election results have planned for mass disruptions and violence throughout the week.
  10.  

  11. Trump vs The Media: The press is furious after a report suggested that Trump could remove the press corps from the White House and into a different location, citing size issues for now.
  12.  

  13. In the wake of the ‘fake news’ confrontation between Donald Trump and CNN’s Jim Acosta, Brian Stelter sticks up for his CNN colleague and bemoans the fact that the ‘fake news’ term has been co-opted by everyone to now mean ‘anything I don’t like.’ He might be right, but it was his ilk that started using it in this manner.
  14.  

  15. US troops deployed to Poland. The latest in the Russian-hysteria from globalist actors in the West. A particularly interesting tidbit is the fact that in most of the stories on this, you will see some reference to ‘NATO’s eastern border,’ as though NATO is an actual country.
    Related – George Kennan, respected diplomat who had been there/done that with respect to US-Soviet Cold War relations, absolutely rubbishing what comprises the current ‘establishment’ views on Russia, back in 1998.
  16.  

  17. Stefan Molyneux tells the Truth about McCarthyism
  18.  

  19. Trump vs. The Deep State – CIA director John Brennan has some tough talk for Trump with respect to Russia and his recent comments about the intelligence community.
  20.  

  21. Related – Ron Paul discusses Trump vs. CIA

That’s your lot, until next time.

Midweek Reads (10 January 2017)

Some midweek reads for your consideration:

  1. Jeff Sessions is set to have his confirmation hearing today. Here is a lengthy piece from the New York Times about his life and career.
  2.  

  3. Related – The first time Trump and Sessions met was back in 2005 when Trump was called to testify about the renovation of the UN building. Trump laughed at the idea that it would cost $1.5 billion to do the job, and thought it would only take half that. Sessions thought Trump was a ‘breath of fresh air.’
  4.  

  5. Also Related – Corey Booker stands to testify against Sessions, making it the first time on sitting senator has testified against another up for a Cabinet position.
  6.  

  7. Meryl Streep made waves at the Golden Globes by using the recognition of her life’s work as a platform for bashing Trump. As thin-skinned as that is, Piers Morgan takes further issue with the basic hypocrisy of Streep, stemming from her 2003 support of Roman Polanski.
  8.  

  9. Deutsche Bank thinks Trump’s plans could double GDP growth, as long as the Federal Reserve doesn’t hike rates too quickly.
  10.  

  11. That expectation has been seen in exploding small business euphoria
  12.  

  13. John Hussman correctly thinks we should pump the brakes on the excitement, given current market valuations are more than stretched. It can be both true that Trump’s plans are going to be beneficial, while observing that there might have to be a valuation adjustment first before Trump’s plans can really take off.
  14.  

  15. The Washington Post doesn’t want us to use the term ‘fake news’ anymore, because it has been co-opted by those on the right. This, from the publication that posted a totally false, incendiary article about the Russians tampering with the power system in Vermont. Vox Day explains that the term failed because the leftist media which coined it simply had far too many instances of disseminating ‘fake news’ than their adversaries that the term has rightfully stuck to them instead.
  16.  

That’s it for now, until next time.

 

Sunday Reads: Merry Christmas Edition (25 Dec 2016)

A Merry Christmas to one and all. Take this time to reflect, recharge the batteries, eat good food, watch the gridiron, prepare for Boxing Day cricket and football, and be merry. Then prepare to bunker down and do it again for 2017:

  1. Vox Day with some nice words about the greater meaning of Christmas in humanity.
  2.  

  3. Stefan Molyneux hosted a 5 hour interview marathon with several people who had a massive 2016. Includes the likes of Paul Joseph Watson, Vox Day, Bill Mitchell, Mike Cernovich, and much more.
  4.  

  5. Mark Zuckerberg’s sister, Donna, attempted to destroy Quintus Curtius and other ‘manosphere’ writers for taking an interest in the Classics. Her main beef is with the fact that the Classics don’t conform to modern day SJW though, so she is taking those who wish to draw the correct messaging from them, as opposed to the SJW-sanitized version, to task. Quintus made her pay for disturbing a resting lion who was minding his own business here, and on Roosh’s Kingmaker podcast here.
  6.  

  7. More from Quintus, this time articulating through the story of a World War I officer how to achieve a sense of security through action.
  8.  

  9. The history of Boxing Day
  10.  

  11. Vintage: Christmas in the 1920s
  12.  

  13. An old classic, A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas. The reading by Thomas himself (here), and the written version (here)
  14.  

  15. Finally, Winston Churchill’s 1941 Christmas message from America, given just a few week after Pearl Harbor: 

    Let the children play and have their night of fun and laughter.  Let the gifts of Father Christmas delight their play.  Let us grown-ups share to the full their unstinted pleasures before we turn again to the stern task and the formidable years that lie before us, resolved that, by our sacrifice and daring, these same children shall not be robbed of their inheritance or denied their right to live in a free and decent world. 

    And so, in God’s mercy, a happy Christmas to you all.

Sunday Reads: 18 December 2016

    1. Roosh’s Kingmaker Podcast is recent, but very good. His latest effort, discussing the political nature of man is the best of the lot so far. My favorite point is the fact that despite the fact that The Powers That Be may make things unjust, men will always find a way around the roadblocks.
    2. In a similar vein, Vox Day discusses the growing phenomenon of SJWs banning dissenters to the Cultural Marxist playbook from popular social media, and subsequently trying to shame them when they set up shop in alternative settings.
    3. The Saker outlines the Neocon panic in light of ‘Russian hacking,’ with respect to Trump’s election, Syria, Russia and Iran, leading to a looming crisis point.
    4. Stephen Cohen, Professor of Russian Studies at Princeton and NYU remains one of the few figures in the mainstream old media and academia who has backed Trump on The Russian Question right throughout. He continues to do so in the face of the ‘Russian hacking’ allegations in this must-listen interview with NPR.
    5. Speaking of old media, the New York Times is vacating about 8 floors in its building, a move which it is spinning to be a positive.
    6.  John Hussman on the state of the market: It’s not that obscene valuations or syndromes of extremely overextended conditions are irrelevant for long-term and full-cycle market outcomes; it’s that the uniformity or divergence of market internals is critical in evaluating shorter segments of the market cycle. Put simply, what concerns us most here is the fact that we’re observing extreme overvalued, overbought, overbullish conditions in combination with unfavorable market internals on our measures, including yield pressures across interest-sensitive securities.
    7.  Peter Schiff discusses the markets after the Federal Reserve’s Interest rate decision.
    8. Cultural Marxism was dealt a stunning blow in 2016, but it’s far from dead. Oxford University wants to banish the use of ‘gendered pronouns’ in favor of the likes of ‘ze’ and ‘hir.’
    9. A look inside the hell that has been Venezuela’s hyperinflation-induced economic crisis.
    10. Nicholas Kristoff in the NYT tries to address the pitfalls of the leftist idea of championing diversity – except in thought. That his correct message falls on deaf ears in the comment section suggests continued defeat for leftists going forward, as their intolerance of opposing views will continue to give them problems in a world inching away from their worldview.
    11. The WSJ disabuses the idea that fake fact-checkers from Facebook can combat the ‘fake news epidemic.’
    12. Finally, from the humor department:

      The fact that someone like SJW All-star Chris Kluwe, hater of the 2nd Amendment, promoter of SJW faux values such as ‘equality’ and ‘diversity,’ is all of a sudden peddling ‘Rule of Law’ talking points is incredibly rich. The idea that a legion of Warcraft playing, neon-haired, skinny jean wearing hipsters, armed with futuristic MacBooks and Venti Starbucks lattes can successfully lead an insurrection against a confirmed Trump election is funny, to say the least.

Until next time.

 

Five for Friday

The Al Smith charity dinner was last night in New York City, featuring Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump:

Trump gets started at about 7:40. It is supposed to be a lighthearted affair, filled with self deprecating humor and good fun. Neither candidate really adhered to that, Trump much less so.

What was prevalent more than anything else was the contempt and disgust Trump has for the ‘elites.’ These were the people who have been lambasting him for the last 18 months, for having the audacity to step outside the prescribed path. Despite his wealth, these are not ‘his people.’

At the start, he played nice, and delivered several good jokes, getting far more laughs than Hillary did later on. He then veered off the road and went full shitlord, doing a political impression of The Red Wedding. The boos he engendered did him more good than bad, as they were an audible confirmation that Trump is not of that class, and that his candidacy is consistent.


***********************************************

Former Joint Chiefs of Staff vice chairman General James Cartwright is in a whole heap of trouble for mishandling classified information – he faces up to five years in jail and a massive fine. Unfortunatley for Cartwright, he is not Hillary Clinton, otherwise he would have been made Democratic nominee for president.

The Washington Post handles this disgraceful situation quite well, pointing out the hypocrisy:

“There is a lack of proportion just based on the facts that one figure, Cartwright, is getting severely punished and others so far have escaped the process,” said Steven Aftergood, director of the project on government secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. “He is being singled out for prosecution and public humiliation. It’s an implicit rebuttal to those who argued that other senior officials such as Clinton or Petraeus got off scott free or got too light of a sentence.”

 

In its statement announcing the conclusion of its three-year investigation of Cartwright, the FBI emphasized that his prosecution showed that the Justice Department is willing to go after senior officials.

 

“The FBI will continue to take all necessary and appropriate steps to thoroughly investigate individuals, no matter their position (emphasis added), who undermine the integrity of our justice system by lying to federal investigators,” said Assistant Director in Charge Paul Abbate.

 

That statement reveals that the FBI is trying address public criticism that it gives senior officials like Petraeus and Clinton special and favorable consideration, Aftergood said.

The DOJ seems to be acting politically here, saying, ‘SEE, SEE, IF YOU VIOLATE THE LAW WE WILL PROSECUTE!’ The only problem is that Cartwright doesn’t have the political connections Clinton does, and thus doesn’t have the immunity she does. This saga only confirms the public suspicion that the system is rigged against the average person.


***********************************************

Obamacare costs are spiking across the country:

  • Approved Hikes Just Under 20%: Colorado, Florida and Idaho
  • Approved Hikes 20% to 29%: Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland
  • Approved Hikes 30% to 49%: Alabama, Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas, Mississippi, Texas
  • Approved Hikes 50% to 92%: Arizona, Illinois, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee
  • Approved hikes 93%: New Mexico

Obama has defended this, trying to compare it to buying a starter home, and making improvements as you go along. The problem is, if you buy a starter home and it immediately starts falling apart, you made a mistake and didn’t do your due diligence in appraising it properly.

 

***********************************************

The usually excellent John Hussman summarizes the condition of the stock market bubble and investor attitudes:

I started this comment with a 126 year-old quote to emphasize that every cycle in history warns investors against relying on speculative extremes to be permanent. I recognize that some of you are going to insist on re-learning this the hard way. We’ve certainly learned our own lessons about the ability of zero interest rate policy to postpone the kind of market collapses that reliably followed overvalued, overbought, overbullish syndromes in other cycles across history (see the “Box” in The Next Big Short for the full narrative). But that temporary suspension of consequences entirely depends on investors remaining inclined toward risk-seeking (which we measure from the behavior of market internals). Following a brief post-Brexit strengthening in a few trend-following components, market internals have deteriorated again. The danger is that investors seem to believe that easy money supports overvalued financial markets regardless of market internals or the attitude of investors toward risk. The failure of investors to grasp this critical subtlety is likely to be the source of a great deal of pain over the completion of this market cycle.

Not much to add from me there, the whole thing is a must read.

***********************************************

Finally, CH discusses the gaslighting of Trump supporters being done by the media via manipulated polling in his trademark colorful manner:

The next question is, “how do rigged polls help thecunt? If she’s losing in reality, rigged polls will just make her more blissfully ignorant of her incoming defeat.”

 

The answer lies in the psychology of humans, and is related to Game and picking up women. If you create a perception of success or desirability, the voters (women) will assume you are going to win (bed them), and will paradoxically make your path to victory smoother.

 

There is a school of thought that says poll rigging can hurt more than it helps, by instilling in thecunt’s degenerate freak mafia a smug complacency about her inevitable victory, which will depress turnout as her supporters stay home to passively watch her victory unfold. I don’t buy this. It’s a misunderstanding of human nature, specifically the part of human nature which loves to “crush your enemies and see them driven before you”. If thecunt’s supporters feel emboldened by favorable polls, they will be MORE likely to swarm the voting booths to get a chance to participate in the bloodbath.

 

No, let’s dispel with this notion that the rigged system is a stroke of providence that will hurt thecunt in the end. The rigged system operatives know exactly what they’re doing, and that is why Trump is right to call them out on it.

 

Big ol’ rigged polls serve thecunt in three ways:

 

  1. Perception of desirability/success/inevitability.
  2. Demoralization of Trump supporters. (Bad polls can depress turnout for the candidate who is behind)
  3. Most importantly, rigged polls give cover to thecunt conglomerate to engage in vote fraud.

 

On that last point, the calculus works like this: If the polls are accurate and going into the election there is a small MOE difference between thecunt and Trump, then it would be harder for thecunt to pull off vote fraud without Trump contesting it and shining a light on all the DNC crookedness. If, otoh, the clown world polls are rigged and going into Election Day thecunt leads by double digits, (even if in reality she’s tied with Trump), then committing vote fraud becomes a lot more plausibly deniable, (media hack: “oh come now, trumpenpleb, why would the hillary campaign commit vote fraud when all the polls showed her coasting to victory?”)

***********************************************

Weekend Reading, Plus Debate Preview

First, the debate:

Pat Buchanan thinks Trump can win the debate if he merely exceeds the very low bar which has been set for him:

With only a year in national politics, he does not have to show a mastery of foreign and domestic policy details. Rather, he has to do what John F. Kennedy did in 1960, and what Ronald Reagan did in 1980.

 

He has to meet and exceed expectations, which are not terribly high. He has to convince a plurality of voters, who seem prepared to vote for him, that he’s not a terrible risk, and that he will be a president of whom they can be proud.

 

He has to show the country a Trump that contradicts the caricature created by those who dominate our politics, culture and press.

I tend to agree. This debate is almost entirely about Trump. He is the reason behind all the hype, he is the reason why there will be potentially a Super Bowl level audience. At the same time, he has a higher burden of proof. Right now, the substantial portion of the electorate that is on the fence with him has concerns over his ‘temperament.’ He has been made out to be a loose cannon that will go off at the slightest provocation. Some have intimated that the next major global conflict may arise because of a Tweet.

Trump is also made out to be totally clueless when it comes to policy, in particular foreign policy. These narratives have more or less stuck to Trump, and his success has come in spite of them. The debate offers Trump the opportunity to show the nation that he is taking the office of the presidency seriously. He has to show some basic awareness of the global situation around the world, avoiding a Gary Johnson Aleppo situation.

Stylistically, Trump would do well to avoid the bombast that was a feature of his Republican debates. This is not because it is a negative in and of itself, but because it is overkill. It feeds into the narrative that he is a loose cannon. If Clinton tries to play it tough, in an attempt to show she isn’t afraid to back down to ‘bullies,’ Trump turning the tables and being the smiling charmer that he can be would be devastating.

If Clinton reverts to her natural Typical Politician demeanor, Trump might have to be a bit tougher. He will have to be careful though, due to his reputation and because of the fact that Clinton is a woman. Despite the feminist Strong Independent Woman rhetoric which underpins her candidacy, there’s no doubt in my mind that the ‘sexism’ card will be used if Trump is seen in any way as bullying. Indeed, Obama intimated that it was sexism that was the only reason the election is close.

A word on the moderator, Lester Holt. Due to the fact that the media is in opposition to Trump, I expect the debates to be a Hillary + moderator tag team versus Trump. Undoubtedly, Hillary Clinton, along with Holt, will attempt to play on the loose cannon narrative in an attempt to create some sort of memorable moment of Trump exploding. Trump will score a major blow if he explicitly points this out in real time. There will surely be a moment when the moderator tries to go out of bounds to get Trump. It may be some sort of obscure historical fact, or digging up an old tweet or Trump quote in an interview. If Trump is able to get through this moment, and even reframe it to his advantage,  it’ll be a win.

As for the substance, Hillary Clinton will obviously be more ‘informed,’ in the sense that she is far more skilled at delivering memorized, focus group tested, inane political talking points than Trump is. In comparison, Trump will sound less scholarly.

This won’t matter as long as Trump sticks to his main messaging, perhaps reminding the public that all of the knowledge Clinton and those of her ilk possess has had disastrous real world results in the Middle East, the economy and elsewhere. All talk no action.

Personally, I believe the mainstream media will declare Clinton the winner, no matter what happens, apart from a health issue on her part.

Other Things to Read this Weekend:

An accurate take on the recent goings on in the Syria Conflict:

What happened in Syria is painfully obvious: the Pentagon sabotaged the deal made between Kerry and Lavrov and when the Pentagon was accused of being responsible, it mounted a rather crude false flag attack and tried to blame it on the Russians.

 

All this simply goes to show that the Obama Administration is in a state of confused agony.  The White House apparently is so freaked out at the prospects of a Trump victory in November that it has basically lost control of its foreign policy in general and, especially, in Syria.  The Russians are quite literally right: the Obama Administration is truly “not-agreement-capable”.

 

Of course, the fact that the Americans are acting like clueless frustrated children does not mean that Russia will reciprocate in kind.  We have already seen Lavrov go back and further negotiate with Kerry.  Not because the Russians are naive, but precisely because, unlike their US colleagues, the Russians are professionals who know that negotiations and open lines of communications are always, and by definition, preferable to a walk-away, especially when dealing with a superpower.  Those observers who criticize Russia for being “weak” or “naive” simply project their own, mostly American, “reaction set” on the Russians and fail to realize the simply truth that Russians are not Americans, they think differently and they act differently.

Staying in the vein of American interventions, some Libyans are starting to regret the backing of the US in getting rid of Gaddafi:

As stated by Libyan medical student, Salem:

 

“We thought things would be better after the revolution, but they just keep getting worse and worse.

 

“Far more people have been killed since 2011 than during the revolution or under 42 years of Gaddafi’s rule combined.

 

“We never had these problems under Gaddafi.

 

“There was always money and electricity and, although people did not have large salaries, everything was cheap, so life was simple.

 

“Some of my friends have even taken the boat to Europe with the migrants because they feel there is no future for them here.

 

“I would like to escape this mess and study abroad but I have been waiting a year for a new passport and, even when I do get one, it will be hard to get a visa because all the embassies left in 2014.

 

“So now I feel like a prisoner in my own country. And I have started to hate my own country.”

From the consistently good Jefferey Snider at Alhambra: Like Everything Else, History Repeats (Almost Exactly) Because Power Truly Corrupts:

As with almost everything with regard to global monetary policies, the Fed merely copied the Bank of Japan with about a decade lag (give or take a few years). The idea of “lower for longer” wasn’t made in the USA, it was designed and first implemented overseas by the Japanese. Every policy statement since the FOMC’s December rate decision could have easily just reprinted what I quoted above.

 

And US monetary officials are making the same mistake the Japanese made; they would only get as far as a second rate hike in early 2007 because of it. The reason is the same as now – they mistook the absence of contraction as if it were the start of stable, renewed growth. Not paying any attention to actual monetary conditions, it didn’t matter how narrow the data was in furtherance of that interpretation; BoJ policymakers saw what they wanted to see and used that as if the appropriate standard. In their case it was the CPI back on the plus side (but only temporarily), while in the US since 2014 it has been the official unemployment rate that excludes far too many.

Speaking history repeating, Fannie and Freddie are reverting to housing boom tactics to spur on home buying:

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are lowering mortgage standards.  On Monday, the two government-backed housing giants revealed a new program designed to boost mortgage origination among first time buyers and those with low to medium incomes. The new program, which will initially be limited two non-bank lenders, will allow borrowers to include the income of residents that aren’t actually on the mortgage, as well as make it easier for borrowers to include income from second jobs.

 

While these changes may strike some as sensible, anyone who has seen The Big Short would have valid concerns in the oversight of these looser lending standards – especially when you consider that the companies responsible for mortgage origination will not be the ones holding the mortgages, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will. It’s always easier to make loans when you know the taxpayers are the ones that will be holding the ris