What’s Holding the Arab World Back?
The Fussy Attack of the Domesticated Conservatives, by Kurt Schlicter.
You know what you won’t find in the major papers or on the mainstream networks, besides timely exposés of Democrat megadonors who are also megaperverts? Conservative columnists who don’t foam at the mouth over Donald Trump and who actually support conservative policies. Instead, you’ll find a bunch of journalistic Jeb!s, because the liberals hiring them know that squishes gonna squish.
Look, far be it from me to tell my enemy when it’s making a mistake, but because the media only hires nominal conservatives who already agree with liberals, liberals have no idea what real conservatives think or why. This is the reason they end up baffled when they lose and lose and lose again – sure, Felonia von Pantsuit was also stupid and drunk, but you get the point. As Sun Tzu observed, and I believe this is a verbatim translation from the original Chinese text, a wise general must seek to know and understand the true nature and schemes of his enemy lest he end up as forlorn and humiliated as a foxy fern in the Miramax head office. …
What’s missing are, of course, actual conservatives who generally support the president we elected. There are a few of us. Instead, we get Salon-selectees like Jennifer Rubin, the WaPo’s shrill, naggy voice of every liberal’s favorite kind of conservatism – the limp, ineffectual kind. … The conservatism the mainstream media pushes is really conservatism; the rest of us have moved on from the old conservatives as submissive, bow-tied weenies model. …
But when the lib media claps its hands, there’s always some pseudo-con eager to please. Really, the please-hire-me cons’ capering and clowning for liberal approval is getting embarrassing.
Australian ABC displays obviously partisan hypocrisy again, by Andrew Bolt.
Four Corners’ Sarah Ferguson had Hillary Clinton complain that Julian Assange helped steal last year’s election from her by leaking emails hacked by Russia. The show’s executive producer Sally Neighbour retweets a post saying “Assange is Putin’s bitch“.
I felt like vomiting when I saw the signs. ‘Dich the witch” is bad enough but “Bob Brown’s bich’ is so deeply and utterly offensive to any woman …
The Beginning of the End of Progressive Domination? By Bruce Thornton.
For over forty years the left has been successfully reshaping American culture. Social mores and government policies about sexuality, marriage, the sexes, race relations, morality, and ethics have changed radically. The collective wisdom of the human race that we call tradition has been marginalized or discarded completely. The role of religion in public life has been reduced to a private preference. And politics has been increasingly driven by the assumptions of progressivism: internationalism privileged over nationalism, centralization of power over its dispersal in federalism, elitist technocracy over democratic republicanism, “human sciences” over common sense, and dependent clients over autonomous citizens. …
The two terms of Barack Obama seemed to be the crowning validation of the left’s victory. … He governed as the most leftist –– and ineffectual –– president in history. Deficits exploded, taxes were raised, new entitlements created, and government expanded far beyond the dreams of center-left Democrats. Marriage and sex identities were redefined. The narrative of permanent white racism was endorsed and promoted. Tradition-minded Americans were scorned as “bitter clingers to guns and religion.” Hollywood and Silicon Valley became even more powerful cultural arbiters and left-wing publicists. And cosmopolitan internationalism was privileged over patriotic nationalism, while American exceptionalism was reduced to an irrational parochial prejudice.
The shocking repudiation of the establishment left’s anointed successor, Hillary Clinton, was the first sign that perhaps the hubristic left had overreached, and summoned nemesis in the form of a vulgar, braggadocios reality television star and casino developer who scorned the hypocritical rules of decorum and political correctness that even many Republicans adopted to avoid censure and calumny. Yet rather than learning the tragic self-knowledge that Aristotle says compensates the victim of nemesis, the left overreached yet again with its outlandish, hysterical tantrums over Trump’s victory. The result has been a stark exposure of the left’s incoherence and hypocrisy so graphic and preposterous that they can no longer be ignored.
First, the now decidedly leftist Democrats refused to acknowledge their political miscalculations. Rather than admit that their party has drifted too far left beyond the beliefs of the bulk of the states’ citizens, they shifted blame onto a whole catalogue of miscreants: Russian meddling, a careerist FBI director, their own lap-dog media, endemic sexism, an out-of-date Electoral College, FOX News, and irredeemable “deplorables” were just a few. Still high on the “permanent majority” Kool-Aid they drank during the Obama years, they pitched a fit and called it “resistance,” as though comfortably preaching to the media, university, and entertainment choirs was like fighting Nazis in occupied France. The bathos and ridiculous hyperbole of their whining exposed for all to see their rank egotism and lack of discernment and judgment.
This childish behavior came hard on the whole “snowflake” and “microagression” phenomenon in colleges and universities. Normal people watched as some of the most privileged young people in history turned their subjective slights and bathetic discontents into weapons of tyranny, shouting down or driving away speakers they didn’t like, and calling for “muscle” to enforce their assault on the First Amendment. Relentlessly repeated on FOX News and on the Drudge Report, these antics galvanized large swaths of American voters who used to be amused, but now were disgusted by such displays of rank ingratitude and arrogant dismissal of Constitutional rights. And voters could see that the Democrats encouraged and enabled this nonsense. The prestige of America’s best universities, where most of these rites of passage for the scions of the well-heeled occurred, was even more damaged than it had been in the previous decades. …
Read it all.
hat-tip Stephen Neil
The Deep Unfairness of America’s All-Volunteer Force, by Dennis Laich.
When the Gates Commission set up the rationale for the [U.S. All-Volunteer Force (AVF)] in 1970, it did so at the behest of a president, Richard Nixon, who had come to see the conscript military as a political dagger aimed at his own heart. One could argue that the decision to abolish conscription was a foregone conclusion; the Commission simply provided a rationale for doing it and for volunteerism to replace it. …
After 16 years of war it is plain to all but the most recalcitrant that the U.S. cannot afford the AVF — ethically, morally, or fiscally.
The land forces in particular are still having difficulties fielding adequate numbers—even with lowered standards, substituting women for men (from 1.6 percent of the AVF in 1973 to more than 16 percent today), recruitment and reenlistment bonuses totaling tens of millions of dollars, advertising campaigns costing billions, massive recruitment of non-citizens, use of psychotropic drugs to recycle unfit soldiers and Marines to combat zones, and overall pay and allowances that include free world-class health care and excellent retirement plans that are, for the first time in the military’s history, comparable to or even exceeding civilian rates and offerings.
A glaring case in point is the recent recruitment by the Army of 62,000 men and women, its target for fiscal year 2016. To arrive at that objective, the Army needed 9,000 recruiting staff (equivalent to three combat brigades) working full-time. If one does the math, that equates to each of these recruiters gaining one-point-something recruits every two months—an utterly astounding statistic. …
Moreover, the recruiting and retention process and rich pay and allowances are consuming one half of the Army’s entire annual budget slice, precluding any sort of affordable increase in its end strength. …
This end strength constraint creates the need for more and more private contractors on the nation’s battlefields in order to compensate. The employment of private contractors is politically seductive and strategically dangerous. To those enemies we fight they are the enemy and to most reasonable people they are mercenaries. Mercenaries are motivated by profit not patriotism—despite their CEOs’ protestations to the contrary—and place America on the slippery slope towards compromising the right of sovereign nations to the monopoly of violence for state purposes.
Today, more than 300 million Americans lay claim to rights, liberties, and security that not a single one of them is obligated to protect and defend. Apparently, only 1 percent of the population feels that obligation. That 1 percent is bleeding and dying for the other 99 percent. …
The last 16 years have also generated, as wars tend to do, hundreds of thousands of veterans. The costs of taking care of these men and women are astronomical today and will only rise over the next decades …
In fact, when one calculates today’s U.S. national security budget—not simply the well-advertised Pentagon budget—the total expenditure of taxpayer dollars approaches $1.2 trillion annually, or more than twice what most Americans believe they are paying for national security. …
The AVF has compelled the nation to transition its reserve component forces from what they have been since colonial times — a strategic reserve — into being an operational reserve. That’s military-speak for our having used the reserve components to make up for deeply felt shortages in the active force. Nowhere is this more dramatically reflected than in the rate of deployment-to-overseas duty of the average reservist, now about once every 3.8 years.
Such an operational tempo causes extreme problems for both civilian employers and for National Guard and reserve units. What employer, for example, wants to hire a young man or woman who will be gone for a year every four years on average, when that employer can reach out and hire someone from the 99 percent who will likely not be absent?
If the sons and daughters of members of Congress, of the corporate leadership, of the billionaire class, of the Ivy Leagues, of the elite in general, were exposed to the possibility of combat, would we have less war? From a socio-economic class perspective, the AVF is inherently unfair.
In its last years the Roman empire hired barbarians to do its fighting for it, instead of using soldier citizens.
hat-tip Stephen Neil
How Millennials Became ‘Generation Meh’, by Teresa Mull.
There exists a prevailing opinion that Millennials are boring. As a member of the generation born between 1980 and 2000, I can attest that this view is for the most part true.
People — myself included — love to criticize Millennials, to the point that the term “Millennial” has become belittling (though if you prefer there’s also the less-than-flattering moniker “Generation Me”). Ben Shapiro recently declared in Breitbart that Millennials are “the worst generation.” A Washington Post article on “Five really good reasons to hate millennials” observed, “The Millennial hit-piece has practically become a literary genre unto itself.” …
A Business Insider article reported earlier this year that Millennials are stereotyped as “infamously narcissistic, entitled, lazy, and arrogant.” Oh, and boring. Don’t forget boring, which inherently comes with the self-centered territory, since no one is ever as interested in you as you are. …
A barman in Leeds, England fumed to The Economist that “Kids these days just want to live in their f***ing own little worlds in their bedrooms watching Netflix and becoming obese.” In an article speculating about why Millennials are disillusioned with drugs, sex, and rock n’ roll, Vice noted, “Smartphones have increased…‘isolated socializing,’ which leads to less drinking and drug taking.”
So instead of meeting up, making bad decisions, and having fun together, Millennials are busy obsessively trying to impress others with their pseudo-enviable lives through filtered and Photoshopped images on social media. Life then becomes a never-ending search for validation by one’s peers—or virtual peers, anyway. …
How did the millennials get this way?
Millennials were raised by Baby Boomers. Helicopter parenting came into vogue while we were kids. Small families, too, became the norm, and there was a dearth of siblings to keep the others from thinking too much of themselves. …
We were raised in a politically correct culture that has, to quote Mel Brooks, been “the death of comedy.” Our parents and educators worshipped at the altar of “self-esteem” and offered us as child sacrifices. With such little fun to be had and nothing to do but take ourselves seriously, we failed to develop an interesting identity …
Our parents created “Generation Me” by constantly telling us how great we were. Everyone was a winner. Everyone got a trophy. Nothing — save competition —was ever off limits. Saving sex for marriage, giving your child a normal name, staying married, and other traditional moral principles had been completely unwound from the pillar that holds a Christian society together by the time Millennials came along. …
The traditional values of faith, family, and freedom that have been the basis of American culture since its founding were replaced for Millennials by relativism, the Self, and fascism. …
We were raised with, and sometimes by, a big and ever-growing government. With more government comes more regulation, and regulation makes everything regular, including people.
Millennials don’t know how to rebel, but in our defense, we never really had anything to rebel against, because the generation that invented the Free Love Movement didn’t have “no” in its vocabulary. … Instead of defying authority in the youthful rite of passage, we actually embrace “the man” as a cornerstone of comfort! …
Millennials have managed to take the attitude towards life that prompted Hunter S. Thompson’s youthful, maniacal consumption of American culture (and a whole lot else) and snuff it into a whiny little expression that isn’t even really a word so much as the sound a baby would make: “meh.”
There’s no arguing with “meh” because you can’t debate feelings. The 60s radicals may have come to the wrong conclusions, but at least they were asking the right questions. With Generation Me, or Meh, there is no longer argument; we simply exchange emotional reactions summed up by platitudes: “You’re sexist!” “You’re racist!” …
Millennials were raised to seek and receive praise. It’s all we know, and we aren’t growing out of it. We’re afraid to lose our sense of approval and will do whatever it takes to fit it.
hat-tip Stephen Neil
‘Partition’ is mainly about Islamization of France, about what’s going on in France, in schools, hospitals, at work, in sports clubs, etc. I am not talking this time about terrorism itself, but about the way France decided whether the French government – like it or not – collaborated and accepted some kind of arrangements with Islam. …
There are at least two things that are important about the Islamization. The first one is that you cannot be always blind with this problem. For 20-30 years we let down our rules, our principals, our republican ideals; we negotiated with Islamists. We are totally blind to this kind of small signals that some parts of France were becoming Islamized. …
My book is made of many, many reports in France. It is not a theoretical book – it is a book written by a reporter. We went there, we went to the schools, to the hospitals, to the cities where people and police never set foot to see the reality and just to talk about the reality. A lot of French people, especially a lot of French journalists and French politicians never go there. It is very important today to be a reporter in these areas where nobody sets foot anymore. This is a testimony of our modern time. …
I say that there is no solution, because it is too late; there won’t be any solution. You can’t send them back to their country – they are French – the French cannot send them back. What France will become in the next 10 or 20 years will be a kind of new Lebanon in some places in France.
For example, take some suburbs in Paris: they will have their own set of rules, they will have their own laws, their own principals, maybe even their own police. It is already the case. The fact that in France right now in many places France has no control in these areas. We accepted it already and we won’t fight back to get these suburbs back to France. It is already done – we already lost the war against them.
So the rich people in France will be in the fancy neighborhoods of Paris, far from the problems, and then the poor people will have to deal with Islamism on a daily base. This is the way we accepted that already. …
Integration has failed in France, but not only France – in many other countries, because we buried our republican principal to actually mimic what exists in Great Britain, in Canada, or in the US; accept that you could be French, get French citizenship without even speaking French, without even going to the Republican French School, get French citizenship, without living like the French. France is not a new country of immigration – it has a very long story of immigration. People in the 1920s came to France from all over Europe – from Poland, from Russia, from Armenia, Italy, and there was no problem to integrate them, not problem at all…
hat-tip Stephen Neil
Epidemic of South African Farm Murders Continues as Gunmen Shoot Elderly Victim Dead, by Jack Montgomery.
Another South African farmer has been reported killed after three gunmen attacked his homestead — part of a sustained campaign of violence across the country. …
OFM, a radio station based in Central South Africa, put the farmer’s age at 69, and quoted police spokeswoman Pelonomi Makau as saying the killers were driven off by his son following a high-stakes altercation:
“They saw three suspects hiding at a fence who shot at the farm owner,” she said. “He died at the scene and the son managed to fight back the suspects. He managed to confiscate a firearm, knife and cell phone from the suspects. They then fled the scene.”
The killing is just the latest in a series of murders which the government has been accused of encouraging, and which have made farming in South Africa the most deadly occupation in the world.
South African farm killings — where victims are typically members of the country’s white, Afrikaans-speaking minority — are often extremely brutal in nature, involving prolonged periods of torture. …
They are little-reported even within South Africa itself — the government directed police to stop releasing information about victims’ ethnicity in 2007 …
Brutality of this sort is far from unique, with civil rights group AfriForum writing that “the horror experienced during farm tortures is almost incomprehensible” in 2014. …
White South Africans fear the killings have the tacit support of the ruling African National Congress, with President Jacob Zuma defending the singing of the revolutionary song ‘Kill the Farmer, Kill the Boer’, and one his MPs crying out “Bury them alive!” during a recent parliamentary debate.
President Zuma called for South Africa’s constitution to be amended so farmland can be seized without compensation in March this year, possibly in response to former African National Congress youth leader Julius Malema founding a surging new political party with the rallying cry: “People of South Africa, where you see a beautiful land, take it, it belongs to you!”
Remember all the world attention showered on South Africa in the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s, when whites were on top? Now the situation is reversed, obvious injustices are rife, and the world media says .. nothing. Must be galling if you are a white South African, It would almost seem as if the world media is … racist.
If the colors were reversed, we call know the world’s media would be screaming “genocide!”
Meanwhile, in Zimbabwe:
hat-tip Stephen Neil
Identity politics the focus of Australian university courses, by Rebecca Urban.
An audit of the 746 history subjects offered across 35 Australian universities this year has revealed that 244 — about one-third — focused on identity politics, meaning that history was taught from the perspective of a particular interest group, with indigenous issues, race and gender being among the most popular themes.
The rise of such subjects, which include “A history of sexualities”, “Masculinities, nostalgia and change” and “Politics of sex and gender” appears to be at the expense of traditional studies in Western civilisation.
There were 241 subjects that could be considered core to understanding the history of Western civilisation, such as ancient civilisations, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, or the Cold War.
Only three universities — the University of Notre Dame Australia, Federation University and Campion College — offered a full suite of subjects in that area. …
Identity politics is too simple to explain most of history:
According to the research paper, The Rise of Identity Politics — An Audit of History Teach ing in Australian Universities in 2017, identity politics is the idea that individuals are best defined by their collective identities rather than their individuality.
“It reduces the complexity of the past into this basic idea of race, gender and sexuality,” Dr d’Abrera said.
“How can we reduce the Renaissance to that? Or the industrial revolution to this idea of a male privilege that oppressed people?
“It’s a big problem that means when people finish their history degrees they don’t necessarily know what happened in the past. Or they have this idea that everything that happened was due to a struggle between the oppressor and the oppressed.”
And identity politics encourages discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, gender, etc. Bigots love it.
hat-tip Stephen Neil
Weinstein Is a Model of Liberal Values, by James Delingpole.
Hypocrisy is the very essence, arguably even the defining characteristic, of liberalism.
“Do as I say, not do as I do,” has long been the watchword of the liberal elite – in Hollywood, in publishing, in the mainstream media, in academe, in politics, in the corporate world – that polices our culture.
Which is why we should relish every moment of what John Nolte is calling “biggest scandal by far in Tinseltown history” and “the Great Unraveling“. It’s the payback we on the right have been yearning for for years – not least because these liberals spend so much time telling us that we conservatives are the bad guys and insisting that the moral high ground is all theirs.
I wrote about this when I first publicly outed myself as a conservative with a 2007 book called How To Be Right: The Essential Guide to Making Lefty-Liberals History.
Under the entry “Left Wing”, I wrote:
Left-wingers are: devil-may-care; good in bed; raffishly tousled; cool; sexy. They: sympathise with the underdog; hate injustice; respect the working class and people of all races and creeds, regardless of looks, physical ability or gender; nurture the environment ; have great taste in music; oppose violence; loathe inequality; are kind to children and small furry animals with lovely bright eyes and darling floppy ears and expressions on their sweet pink little mouths you could almost mistake for a smile.
All of which goes to prove how incredibly principled right-wing people are. If they wanted to they could chose the political affiliation which miraculously confers on them all these wondrous things. But they don’t because for right-wingers truth is more important than social convenience.
You could point out, correctly, that there are plenty of examples of prominent conservatives who have behaved badly too. But here’s the difference: conservatives are not in the business of trying to appease their consciences by creating a year zero and remaking the world according to a warped “progressive” philosophy which seeks to deny human nature.
Conservatives recognize that man has feet of clay and is prey to the sins of the flesh, which is why we have stuff like the Constitution, and property rights, and the rule of law, as well as more subtle social codes -– created by quintessentially conservative organisations like the church, the military, the golf club, etc –- in which our wilder instincts are modified by custom, tradition, stigma and the corresponding rewards for becoming a “pillar of society.” Our philosophy works with human nature, not against it.
Liberals, on the other hand, are on a mission to change not just the world but to improve the character of humanity itself. Or so they delude themselves.
This is the most truly disgusting thing about Weinstein and his liberal ilk. I’m not in any way wishing to play down the awfulness of the suffering experienced by those young women.
But what I am saying that their individual stories of hardship are a drop in the ocean when set against the damage that powerful figures like Weinstein and the “liberal” agenda they represent have done to our broader culture.
I’m thinking about the many thousands of young women who — courtesy of perhaps $300,000 provided by their hapless parents — will have their brains filled with feminist drivel on courses like that one at Rutgers: post-modernist, grievance-mongering tosh which will render them embittered, warped and almost entirely unfit to pursue a productive career or enjoy a happy family relationship.
I’m thinking of all the young men who, unlike Harvey Weinstein, aren’t powerful enough to get their sex by coercion but instead have to resort to more old fashioned methods like getting drunk and making a clumsy pass which, in the old days, might have got either a straightforward response or a rebuff, but which — thanks to Harvey’s liberal culture — now runs the risk of a UVA-style rape claim. …
Why hypocrisy is intrinsic to the liberal governing elite:
One of the most basic principles of a fair and just society is that everyone – and most especially those at the top of the food chain – has to be equal before the law. If they are not, then what constraint is there on the lawmakers? What is to stop politicians passing ever more iniquitous or damaging laws if they know that they won’t actually have to obey them themselves?
Liberals like Harvey Weinstein think it’s acceptable to create a world where they get to be allowed to behave as debauchedly as Goering at one of his country lodges, while the little people – that’s you and me – have to have every last detail of our lives overseen by the political correctness Gestapo.
They do the raping; you take the rap. That’s liberalism. I think it sucks. Don’t you?
He paints himself as the Che Guevara of Chinese crony capitalism, a billionaire insurgent vowing to bring down the system from the comfort of his $68m New York home.
“My only goal is to change China,” Guo Wengui, an eccentric and exiled Chinese property magnate, declared earlier this month on the eve of a key political convention in Beijing that he is promising to disrupt with electrifying revelations of skulduggery at the pinnacle of Chinese power. …
For months, the flamboyant real estate mogul has been disgorging reams of salacious – and largely unsubstantiated – allegations into the public sphere about some of his homeland’s most powerful figures. “They are just a tiny group of mafiosos, pure and simple,” Guo said during one of his most recent assaults on China’s house of cards. …
Writing in the Washington Times last month, Guo claimed China had become “the most corrupt, tyrannical and brutal state on earth, bar North Korea”. Only he – and his American hosts – could save it from “tyranny and barbarism”.
But Guo, an international man of mystery whose very age remains shrouded in secrecy (depending on who you believe he was born in 1967 or 1970), is an unlikely and — to many unconvincing — advocate for democratic change.
He made his fortune as a politically savvy developer, whose reputed contacts with top party officials helped him wangle a string of lucrative projects. By 2014 Guo was China’s 74th richest person, worth some £1.77bn according to a ranking of its top movers and shakers.
Last week Guo — now mired in legal disputes and with many of his assets frozen — slipped off that ranking of China’s super rich. But one of Beijing’s most unusual skyscrapers — the dragon-shaped Pangu Plaza – stands as a permanent monument to his success and, many suspect, his intimate and potentially explosive knowledge of the notoriously corrupt intersection between Chinese business and power. …
According to his telling, Guo fled to the US in 2014 after discovering he was to be detained as part of Xi’s war on corruption, and later set up camp in a luxurious 18th floor apartment in Manhattan’s Sherry-Netherland hotel overlooking Central Park. …
Meanwhile the hyperbole-prone mogul claims he has suffered “multiple kidnap and assassination attempts, unprecedented in the last 100 years of Chinese history” while in the US. Last month he asked for asylum claiming his safety was at risk because of his status as “a political opponent of the Chinese regime”.
hat-tip Stephen Neil
Massive US fund backs climate change at Australian energy company, by Cole Latimer.
One of the world’s largest pension funds will vote with activists against Origin‘s board over the company’s approach to climate change risk disclosure at its looming annual meeting.
The California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), a US-based pension fund that has $US340 billion ($431 billion) in assets under management, has announced plans to vote against Origin’s board and support three climate change-related resolutions at the company’s meeting on Wednesday. …
Origin has wholeheartedly rejected the proposed resolutions, stating they are not supported by the board, and intend to use undirected proxies to vote against the resolution. …
CalPERS has been pushing its own climate agenda, Climate100, which is a global initiative to put financial and ethical pressure on 100 of the world’s largest carbon emitters.
Anyone done any due diligence? We have, but the world’s governments didn’t. Hmmm. Book soon.
US immigration population hits record 60 million, 1-of-5 in nation, by Paul Bedard.
A huge boom in immigration, legal and illegal, over the past 16 years has jumped the immigrant population to over 43 million in the United States, according to a new report.
And when their U.S.-born children are added, the number grows to over 60 million, making the immigrant community nearly one-fifth of the nation’s population, according to federal statistics reviewed by the Center for Immigration Studies.
Over 80% of immigrants to the US since 1965 vote for the Democrats. In 1965 sweeping changes were made to immigration law that allowed in huge numbers of third world immigrants.
Black Humor in the USA.
I took down my Rebel flag (which you can’t buy on EBAY any more) and peeled the NRA sticker off my front window. I disconnected my home alarm system and quit the candy-ass Neighborhood Watch.
I bought two Pakistani flags and put one at each corner of the front yard. Then I purchased the black flag of ISIS (which you CAN Buy on EBAY) and ran it up the flag pole.
Now the local police, sheriff, FBI, CIA, NSA, Homeland Security, Secret Service and other agencies are all watching my house 24/7.
I’ve NEVER felt safer and I’m saving $69.95 a month that ADT used to charge me.
Plus, I bought burkas for me to wear when I shop or travel. Everyone moves out of the way, and security can’t pat me down. If they say I’m a male wearing a burka, I just say I’m feeling like a woman today.
Hot Damn…Safe at last!! ~ God Bless America
Taking advantage of our two main foes, Islam and PC/big government.
Why Stock Market Valuations are Not Justified by Low Interest Rates: Beware, by John Hussman, who is a moderately prominent US fund manager and analyst.
It’s such a comforting, even satisfying assumption; the idea that “lower interest rates justify higher valuations.” The idea is one of the most basic principles of finance. Indeed, investors could consider it a law of investing. Except for the fact that it’s an incomplete sentence. Unfortunately, the convenience of investing-by-slogan, rather than carefully thinking about finance and examining evidence, is currently leading investors into what is likely to be one of the worst disasters in the history of the U.S. stock market. …
At present, the most reliable measures of U.S. equity market valuation — the measures that are best-correlated with actual subsequent market returns in market cycles across history — are 2.75 times (175% above) their historical norms. Given that depressed interest rates are matched by commensurately low U.S. growth rates, little or none of this premium is actually “justified” by interest rates. Rather, the S&P 500 is likely to post negative total returns over the coming 10-12 year horizon, with a likely interim loss in excess of -60%.
Moreover, even if the growth rates of nominal GDP, S&P 500 revenues, and other fundamentals were to literally double to historically normal rates, yet Treasury bond yields could be held 2.5% below their historical median for another decade, the combination would only “justify” a valuation premium for the S&P 500 of about 2.5% x 10 years = 25% above its corresponding historical valuation norms. We’re already 175% above those norms. There’s no way to make the arithmetic work without assuming an implausible and sustained surge to historically normal economic growth rates, a near-permanent suppression of interest rates despite a full resumption of normal economic growth, and the permanent maintenance of near-record profit margins via permanently depressed real wage growth, despite an unemployment rate that now stands at just 4.2%.
There’s little doubt that the general level of long-term interest rates should be markedly lower than historical norms. But that’s because prospects for long-term growth are also markedly lower than historical norms. Again, the problem is that this combination deserves no valuation premium at all. Expected future stock market returns would be commensurately lower even in the absence of a valuation premium. That’s just how the arithmetic works.
Today’s obscene market valuations are largely the result of a) ignoring the growth side of this relationship, and b) activist central bank policies that have repeatedly driven short-term interest rates to levels that create a mentality of yield-scarcity among investors; where they stop quantifying the effect of rates and simply decide that “there is no alternative” to blindly speculating in risky assets regardless of their valuations. That’s what created the mortgage bubble that ended in the global financial crisis, and it’s what has created the “everything” bubble today.
Interest rates have been set by bureaucrats rather than by the market since early last century. This is the main job of central banks: setting the price of the most important item in our transactions, namely money. (The central banks literally mandate certain overnight interest rates, and the longer dated rates follow suit. Though the bond prices are determined by free and open markets, the market has to guess what the central banks next edict will be.)
Having bureaucrats rather than the markets set prices didn’t work for the Soviet economy, and it’s not working for ours.
By the way, defenders of central banking point out that price setting theoretically ameliorates the ups and downs of the markets, which were wild before central banking. Not really. The ups and downs were due to fractional reserve banking, introduced into the West around 1700 — after being effectively banned for centuries by religious edict. Before 1700, there were no bubbles: the first big bubble was the Tulip bubble, in 1720.
Before 1700, interest rates stayed at a very steady 6%. Up until central banking in the 20th century, prices of goods remained basically stable for centuries, without significant inflation (though with more instability after 1700).
After a century of central banking, we have had massive and persistent inflation (a US dollar buys much less than 5% of what it could purchase in 1912) — and interest rates are now stuck at ridiculously low levels “to support the economy”.
No laughing matter if you are trying to live off savings. Retiring with a million dollars used to mean an interest income of $60,000 per year from low risk bonds, but as many retired folks today know all too well, it just ain’t so anymore. Blame central banks.
That scarcely anyone knows the role of central banks in creating this mess, or even where money comes from, is a testament to an early form of political correctness — it is politically incorrect to talk about where money comes from, or who benefits. (Ever notice that there are trillions of dollars around today, when even a couple of decades ago a billion dollars was a lot? Who made that money? For whom? Did you get any? Who benefits?)
When the markets revolt against the central bankers, as they inevitably will, the fallout will be massive. Many people who think they are wealthy will find out that they aren’t anymore. Money is essentially a promise of being able to buy in the future roughly what its purchasing power is today. But not all those promises can be kept — too many of them have been issued.
The amount of money sloshing around the world, compared to GDP, is way higher than it has ever been: the great monetary bubble of 1982 to 2007 saw the ratio of “money” (mainly bank credit) rise from its usual 100 to 150% to around 375%, where it has remained since. When it drops back to the usual level, all asset markets will plummet (with one obvious exception). In monetary terms it will be a double or triple Great Depression (which started from 200% and fell back).
The central banks are trying to stave off the inevitable with near zero interest rates, and some printing (“quantitative easing”). Eventually they will try to inflate away the debt to restore more normal money levels. It could take decades to play out (like in Japan, which entered this stagnancy in 1990), or it could be triggered by some unforeseen event and be over in a couple of years.
In the meantime, ever noticed how the mainstream media is utterly quiet about the foibles of banking and where they have led us?
This tactic is spreading in the West, suppressing anyone who doesn’t go along with PC. It works, so we will see something similar in Australia soon.
hat-tip Scott of the Pacific
A local council in the United Kingdom has banned a rare bookseller from having a stall in Loughborough Market after someone complained that novelty mugs she had for sale could be “offensive to Muslims”.
The mugs, sold by 56-year-old stallholder Tina Gayle, featured Knights Templar iconography and their Latin motto, which is based on the words of Psalm 115:1 — “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.”
Ms. Gayle told MailOnline the council sent her a letter asking her to remove the mugs, and when she said this was ridiculous and refused, she received an outright ban from the market. …
“No Muslims have ever complained… in fact I don’t think I’ve ever sold a book to a Muslim.
“If I only sell books on people who haven’t killed someone, I’d be reduced to [gardening expert] Alan Titchmarsh,” she added.