Monday, March 14, 2016
Curiosity Shopping: A US judge has entered a summary judgement ordering Iran to pay $10.5 billion to the victims of the Saudi 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and their insurance companies, not because Iran had anything to do with it – it was mostly the work of Saudi-funded Saudis – but because the Iranians declined to dignify the charges by replying to them.
Theory And Practice: In theory, negative interest rates will encourage people to invest. In reality, it will encourage people to put money in mason jars and bury them in the back yard. Same with Draghi and his latest attempt to ward off the coming depression in Europe – make companies an offer they can't refuse – then stand back and watch them refuse. The public is nowhere near as stupid as economists and central bankers.
Bigger Brother: Obama, at the SXSW technology conference, tried out his new standup routine with a deadpan declaration that the government cannot allow you any privacy on your smartphones because you might someday be a terrorist. Or a Sandersnista. And besides, your insurance company needs to monitor your diet app and Fitbit data.
Chickens, Roosting: After Trump supporters (and the police, but that's redundant) began roughing up Trump protesters in Chicago and several other cities, Donald said that he did not condone the violence, that he was “just the messenger”, that police were not tough enough on “leftie protestors” and that he hoped his “tone is not that of causing violence,” as he and Fox blamed supporters of “our communist friend” Bernie Sanders. Trump then threatened to send some of his thugs to break up Sanders' events. He also justified a supporter who physically assaulted a black man as a way of making America great again – and promised to press charges against protesters in order to ruin their lives.
THINK: Okay, so the AlphaGo computer beat real world-class human Go players. Why's that a big deal? Because AlphaGo was not programeed to play Go, it was programed to learn how to play – and it did. Quickly. Well enough to imply it can learn lots of other games, like investing... or living. AlphaGo uses a generic technique for learning, one that can master all sorts of things that humans in offices get paid to do today. And the things that soldiers get paid to do, too.
An Open Records Record: If you would like to have copies – electronic copies, push a button copies, no paper involved, no printer, no labor – of the emails showing how city employees dealt with the lead poisoning, it'll cost you $172,203. Which may go a long way toward explaining how the city ended up in so much trouble in the first place.
Tribulations: Mr. Krugman has been ranting on about how globalization is the work of gods and kings and omniscient economists while justifying the harm various free-looting agreements have done to the US by ignoring the lost jobs, the lost manufacturing plants, the lost tax base, and the lost stature of economists who support looting on a global scale. Then he turns to Trump and Sanders and claims they would “rip up America's international agreements” and damage “our credibility and standing in the world.” What credibility? And our main “standing in the world” is that of a serial invader and overthrower of governments; one which routinely creates a fine mist out of random Muslims in the service of international capitalism. Ah, but I drone on...
Half-Measure: California will soon permit “medically assisted suicide”, assuming you can find a doctor brave enough to let you die.
Matchmakers: Doctors have managed to fool a patient's immune system into accepting a kidney transplant from a donor who is not a biological “match”.
Government Math: Canada spends $2.5 million overseeing the half-million dollar seal harvest. Be a lot cheaper to stop clubbing the little fellas and just give the couple of million to the “hunters.”
A Parting Shot:
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 8:07 AM