Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Ann Coulter: Old Muhammed Had a Farm, Jihad, Jihad, Oh!

From Ann Coulter:

Contrary to the lyin' media's lie that Trump is the liar, he isn't. At least not all the time. But this week, he got off a true whopper.
Trump's claim that he was pulling out of the Iran deal in order "to protect America's national security interests" is a big, fat lie.

Iran has killed lots of American troops in the Middle East but has done nothing to any Americans here on our own soil.

Obviously, I'm not saying anyone was asking for it, but here are some rules to live by: If you don't want to be falsely accused of rape by a stripper, don't invite strippers to your lacrosse party. As of Monday, if you don't want to get beaten up, don't date Eric Schneiderman. And if you don't want American troops getting blown up in the Middle East, don't send troops there when we have absolutely no national security reason for doing so.

There are a lot of crazy people in the Middle East.

America has zero defense interest in rearranging that part of the world, and we don't have a particularly good track record of doing so, at least since Jimmy Carter withdrew our support from the Shah of Iran in 1979.

What actually is in America's national security interest is preventing crazy foreigners from coming here.

So it's particularly dispiriting to have the president constantly demanding that we amnesty "Dreamers" and import ever more cheap foreign labor for farmers who are too lazy and selfish to mechanize. Easier to offload the cost of their human workers on you, taxpayer.

But the president has an idee fixe that we're all going to starve if we don't bring in guest workers for the farmers.

Guest workers are more of a threat to our national security than Iran is. Leave aside the tens of thousands of Americans killed every year by Mexican heroin, illegal alien drunk drivers and straight-up murderers, whom the government refuses to count.

Even in the exceedingly narrow category of "Americans killed in Islamic terrorist attacks in our own country," farmers' guest workers have killed more people than Iranians have.

Howling about their need for illegal aliens to harvest "highly perishable crops" in 1986, farmers demanded a special amnesty for farm workers. As a result, we got the Agricultural Amnesty Act -- and, with it, not one but two of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers.

The blast killed six Americans and injured more than a thousand. On the plus side, strawberries that day cost a nickel less than in 1985.

One farm worker was Mahmud Abouhalima, or "Mahmud the Red," as he was known in the terrorist community. Basically your stock farm character, straight out of Norman Rockwell. He was among the 100,000 farm workers to apply for amnesty from the gently waving wheatfields of Midtown Manhattan.

A cabdriver, Mahmud had never been anywhere near a crop. His agronomic experience consisted of driving the getaway car for Rabbi Meir Kahane's assassin. (The assailant initially got into the wrong taxi. Even terrorists can't tell one Arab cab driver from the next.)

Say, how hard is it to lie about prior farm work compared to lying about how old you were when you snuck into the country illegally "through no fault of your own"?

Luckily for Mahmud, "farm workers" weren't required to prove anything. In the blizzard of class action lawsuits brought on behalf of illegal aliens trying to get in on the 1986 amnesty, the courts concluded that illegals couldn't possibly be expected to provide proof! How dare the government even ask? After all, they were just simple farm boys.

Instead, the government was required to prove applicants had not worked on a farm. Nearly 90 percent of the applications were approved.

Pop Quiz:

1) Will "Dreamers" be asked for any form of proof that they entered the country before age 16?

Answer: No.

2) Will "Dreamers" be asked for any form of proof that they were brought here "through no fault of their own"?

Answer: No.

The other 1993 World Trade Center bomber who was in this country because of the farm worker amnesty was Mohammed Salameh. He'd come to the U.S. on a tourist visa at age 19 in 1988. He was poor and had no skills, but someone at the U.S. consulate in Jordan "took a chance" on Mohammed.

Despite arriving two years after the time to qualify had already expired, he applied for an agricultural amnesty.

Luckily for Mohammed, merely submitting an application for amnesty prevented the applicant from being deported. For three years, our government puzzled over whether someone who arrived in the U.S. in 1988 could have worked on an American farm prior to May 1, 1986.

After Mohammed was finally denied amnesty as a farm worker, he applied for a general amnesty, abruptly forgetting his life behind a plow and mule and claiming he had lived continuously in the United States from 1982 to 1986, despite -- again -- having arrived in 1988. The government was still working on that brain-teaser when he bombed the World Trade Center.

One more rule to live by: When you come from out of nowhere to beat 16 more experienced candidates as well as the most qualified woman ever to run for president by promising to keep us out of Middle Eastern wars and to put America first, what the voters are trying to tell you is that they want to stay out of the Middle East and put America first.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Kunstler on the Deep State's War on Trump

From Kunstler's Clusterfuck Nation:

It was refreshing to read the response of Federal Judge T. S. Ellis III to a squad of prosecutors from Robert Mueller’s office who came into his Alexandria, Virginia, court to open the case against Paul Manafort, erstwhile Trump campaign manager, for money-laundering shenanigans dating as far back as 2005. Said response by the judge being: “You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud. You really care about getting information that Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump and lead to his prosecution or impeachment or whatever.”

Judge Ellis’s concise summation was like a spring zephyr clearing out a long winter’s fog of unreality in our national politics — the idea that Mueller’s mission has been anything but the Deep State’s ongoing crusade to nullify the 2016 election. In the meantime of the past year, Mueller has been additionally burdened by obvious misconduct in the FBI and its parent agency, the Department of Justice, which makes Mueller himself look like the instrument of a cover-up, or at least a massive organized distraction from the misdeeds of the Deep State itself.

I was never a Trump supporter or voter, but it seems to me he deserves to succeed or fail as President on his own merits (or lack of). It’s much more disturbing to me to see the runaway train that federal prosecution has turned into, along with orchestrated intrigues of FBI and DOJ officials at the highest level. These are of a piece with the creeping surveillance of all Americans, and the collusion of multiple intelligence agencies with social media companies and what used to be the respectable organs of the news, especially The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN — all of which are behaving like Grand Inquisitors in a medieval religious hysteria.

Judge Ellis’s remarks also speak to a growing consensus that the Russia “collusion” or “meddling” story is a phantom, if not a fabrication of the FBI itself, and that Robert Mueller’s appointment to investigate it was illegitimate from the start. In any case, it seems, for now, to be going nowhere, except maybe ricocheting back at itself — because more and more it looks like Mueller is there only to defend the reputation of the agency. Also, for now, the FBI and DOJ are engaged in a war of wills with both houses of congress. Senator Charles Grassley, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and members of the House Intelligence Committee are battling Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for official documents that he refuses to produce. It only makes the FBI and DOJ look like rogue agencies.

Now Judge Ellis is asking to see unredacted memoranda spelling out Mueller’s exact commission as Special Counsel, to determine just where his authority begins and ends. Ellis is apparently familiar with the stratagems casually employed by overzealous federal prosecutors that can look like dirty pool — for instance, turning witnesses with janky charges, setting perjury traps, or, in the separate case of General Flynn, threatening to bankrupt a person for lawyers’ fees to defend himself against Mickey Mouse charges.

The Deep State — and when I use that term, I mean the swollen, entrenched, permanent federal bureaucracy and their water-carrier corps of lobbyists, policy wonks, contractors, and media mouthpieces — may not get away with this inquisition. It’s possible that Judge Ellis may, at least, send the Manafort case to a different jurisdiction, the US Attorney for the Eastern District Court of Virginia, if he doesn’t throw the case out altogether on the grounds of prosecutorial overreach. The latter would be a blow against Special Counsel Mueller. It ought to be grounds for his dismissal. And what’s left of the Russia case after that? General Flynn’s guilty plea for lying to FBI agents about whether he had a conversation with the Russian ambassador?

Behind the disintegrating RussiaGate campaign is a much deeper, darker swamp of official misconduct at the FBI and DOJ, for which there is already a ton of evidence that has been made public and which seems worthy of prosecution.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

An Example of a Retirement Investment Portfolio

Just for fun, I thought I'd share my current portfolio. Note that it could change on a moment's notice.
This is portfolio for a retired person of 60 years old. You can see that, with a 42% allocation to short term bond funds (with a 2 to 3 year ave duration and yields about 2.5%), that I'm risk averse.

My average dividend yield is about 5%. Many of the positions below were recently added back to my portfolio based on my assumption that interest rates have peaked and that the world's economic growth is slowing and that will likely keep a lid on interest rates. If that assumption changes, my invested allocation will drop quickly.

I just added a small short position this morning on the equity market's euphoria over "conciliatory" words from China's president Xi. That position might change at any time.

Let me know if this kind of information is interesting to you.

I've indicated most positions using symbols. 

PositionAllocationDividend Yld
Short term Bond funds - VCSH, IGHG, EALDX41.80%2.66%
Short Positions - SPY-2.82%
Net Long Stocks24.19%
Preferred Stock CEFs - FPE, HTD, FFC, DFP6.37%6.93%
BDCs - ARCC, TCPC, SUNS, PFLT3.07%9.31%
Gold/Silver Mining Stocks/Commodities0.00%
Treasury/Agg Bond/Govt Bonds - TLT8.43%2.55%
Muni Bond CEF Funds - AFB,KTF,BKN,MNP, VPV,BBN10.50%5.69%
Corp Bond Funds0.00%
Stock Allocation
Consumer Discretionary0.00%
Utilities - UTG, DUK, MO4.05%5.66%
Gas Dist Utilities0.00%
Telecom - T, VZ, BCE1.98%5.15%
Commodity Stocks - GGN0.59%
Oil/Gas- RDSA, TOT, BP2.40%5.00%
REITS - NRZ, RFI, WPC, VTR, EPR8.73%8.23%
Other Misc Equity0.00%
Tax Advantaged Equity Income Funds0.00%
International stocks 0.00%

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Re-Post From 2012: Ridiculous Chinese Claims On S. China Sea

With a three aircraft carrier flotilla heading right now to disputed waters to challenge China, I thought it might be useful to re-post this explanation of how we've gotten to this ridiculous position. It's all Chinese insanity. The Chinese are insane mercantilists (unfair traders who basically block imports, except raw commodities, from most of their trading partners and run huge trade surpluses to enrich themselves). Then they make absurd claims on ALL of the South China Sea including territorial waters that many neighboring countries are lawfully exploiting.  A tribunal in The Hague has ruled against these ridiculous claims on the entire S.China Sea. The Chinese have overstepped. They have one old aircraft carrier that they brought from the Russians. But they are building more. It's time to stop their unfair trade and their unfair claims.

Here's the re-post:

Have a look at a map showing Chinese territorial claims versus claims of it's SE Asian neighbors. (UNCLOS, referenced in the map below, is an acronym for UN Convention on Law of the Sea.)  Most of the world operates within the UNCLOS agreement which gives each country the right to exploit waters out to 200 miles for their own exclusive economic use. It is the basis for every offshore leasing programs for every country in the world including the US. Only China is making ridiculous claims that contradict the UNCLOS.

Obviously this is outrageous. It is also totally inconsistent with any modern maritime agreement or tradition. The Spratlys and Paracels islands are basically uninhabited, but the Chinese have made a big "show" by recently putting a military garrison on one of them. From the New York Times
China recently established a larger army garrison and expanded the size of an ostensible legislature to govern a speck of land, known as Yongxing Island, more than 200 miles southeast of Hainan. The goal of that to allow Beijing to “exercise sovereignty over all land features inside the South China Sea,” including more than 40 islands “now occupied illegally” by Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia.
In the past several weeks, China has steadily increased its pressure, sending patrols with bigger ships and issuing persistent warnings in government-controlled newspapers for Washington to stop supporting its Asian friends against China.
Not only are their claims ridiculous and unreasonable, now the Chinese are using military force and intimidation to defend the ridiculous. As recently as July 2012, there was a stand-off with China and the Philippines recently regarding a Chinese show of force near the Scarborough Shoals off of the Philippines (see map above). Both sides had military vessels in the area and tensions were running high.

All of this is about oil and gas resources by the way. Vietnam has ongoing offshore leasing, exploration and production activities that include foreign operating companies within their 200 mile limit (just like the rest of the world). According to The Economist:
On June 21st Vietnam's parliament passed a maritime law that reasserted the country's claims to the Spratly and Paracel Islands (see map below). China called this a “serious violation” of its sovereignty. It responded by declaring that a county-level government which supposedly governs the two archipelagoes and much of the rest of the South China Sea from one of the Paracel Islands, had been upgraded to the administrative level of a prefecture. Chinese media described this notional jurisdiction, Sansha, as by far the biggest prefecture in the country (though its population of a few hundred people is heavily outnumbered by gulls and its ill-defined territory is mostly water). Some Chinese internet users speculated excitedly about who might be appointed mayor, but reports on some websites that a 45-year-old hydrologist had got the job were later dismissed as a spoof.
Tensions rose further with an announcement late last month by CNOOC, a Chinese state-owned oil company, that it was opening nine blocks in what China calls the South Sea to international bids for oil and gas exploration. These reach to within 37 nautical miles (68km) of Vietnam's coast, according to PetroVietnam, a Vietnamese state-owned oil firm.
The association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN, met several weeks ago and the Chinese, with the help of Chinese client-state Cambodia, squashed all evidence that this conflict was even discussed much less settled. I don't know who the Chinese think they're kidding. Do they think the rest of the world is stupid?

The American statement backs the multilateral approach to the disputes championed by ASEAN. Its members are still smarting over their failure—for the first time in the organisation’s 45-year history—to agree on a joint statement after their annual foreign ministers’ meeting, which they held last month in Phnom Penh. It was blocked because Cambodia, a faithful Chinese client, refused to accept wording on the South China Sea demanded by some of its fellow members.
China are communist imperialistic pigs hellbent on driving their economy forward at breakneck speed because the communist party's only legitimacy is that they are creating jobs for their citizens. This includes running roughshod over the environment, human rights, trade policies, their own citizens and/or international law.  They will do anything to stay in power.  They even threaten their SE Asia neighbors with raw and unlawful displays of military force. To feed their perverted drive for legitimacy, they'll distort world's commodity, currency and financial markets and they'll also do anything to hush and silence critics. We see the true colors of the Chinese Regime at work here. 

It's time to stop their unfair trade and their unfair claims.  I hope Trump takes them on.

Dem's Plan to to Assure Electoral Dominance: Make the US a 3rd World Shit-hole

From Julia Hahn at Brietbart from 2015:

Fifty years ago today, Ted Kennedy began changing the face of the United States by ushering the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act through Congress. That legislation resulted in the fundamental transformation of the demographic, economic, social, and political landscape of nation, exactly the opposite of what its supporters promised.

The Kennedy immigration law abolished the national origins quota system, which had favored immigrants from nations with a similar heritage to our own, and opened up American immigration visas to the entire world.

While about nine in ten of the immigrants who came to the United States during the 19th and 20th century hailed from Europe, the 1965 law inverted that figure. Today about 9 out of every 10 new immigrants brought into the country on green cards come from Latin America, Africa, Asia or the Middle East.

The size of the numbers also grew exponentially as well. According to Pew Research Center, 59 million immigrants entered the United States following the Act’s passage. Including their children, that added 72 million new residents to the U.S. population.

In 1965, according to Pew, the country was 84 percent white, 11 percent black, 4 percent Hispanic and less than 1 percent Asian.

In 2015, as a result of Kennedy’s immigration law, the country is now 62 percent white, 12 percent black, 18 percent Hispanic and 6 percent Asian.

Pew projects that in forty years time, “no racial or ethnic group will constitute a majority of the U.S. population,” as “whites are projected to become less than half of the U.S. population by 2055.” Therefore, by 2065, the nation would be 46 percent white, 24 percent Hispanic, 14 percent Asian and 13 percent black.

Moving forward, Pew projects, births to current Americans will be vastly outnumbered by new arrivals unless Congress hits the “pause” button on issuing new green cards. If that doesn’t happen, Pew projects an immigration flow so large that nine-tenths of all new residents will be immigrants or their children. In a 2012 report, the Center for Immigration Studies observed that: “if the level of immigration the Census Bureau foresees in 2050 were to continue after that date, the U.S. population would reach 618 million by 2100 — double the 2010 population.”

Those numbers could go even higher as many politicians, most notably Senator Marco Rubio, are pushing to dramatically expand the number of green cards, foreign workers and refugees. These limitless immigration expansions are sought by donors who want to keep workers’ salaries as low as possible.

Today, after five decades of large-scale immigration, real average wages are lower than they were in 1973, shortly after the green card gusher began.

Because foreign workers do jobs for such low pay, their incomes are padded with welfare. A census data report authored by the nonpartisan Center for Immigration Studies recently found that “immigrant households use welfare at significantly higher rates than native households,” with more than half of U.S. immigrants on welfare.

Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald has observed foreign-born Hispanics and their American-born children use welfare at rates which vastly exceed those of native-born whites. “Native-born Hispanics collected welfare at over twice the rate as native-born whites,” Mac Donald writes.

Moreover, the Hispanic population accounted for almost the entire increase in poverty from 1990 to 2004. As Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson has reported:

The number of Hispanics with incomes below the government’s poverty line [rose] 52 percent; that [represents] almost all (92 percent) of the increase in poor people,” Samuelson writes. “Among children, disparities are greater. Over the same period, Hispanic children in poverty [rose] 43 percent; meanwhile, the numbers of black and non-Hispanic white children in poverty declined 16.9 percent and 18.5 percent, respectively.

The impact of the Kennedy-backed bill is also evident on the nation’s education system. After five decades of providing visas to poor nations, a majority of public school students are minorities, a majority of students now qualify for subsidized school lunches, and U.S. test scores have plummeted. As the liberal-website Vox recently observed:

The results for last year’s SAT test-takers are in, and they’re not good: the lowest on record in the last decade… The pool of test takers is more likely to include poor and nonwhite students than before… SAT-takers have become more racially diverse, largely because a greater share of test-takers are Hispanic now than in the past. The share of students from poor families and those who learned English as a second language have increased… as the pool of test-takers has gotten more diverse and poorer than in the past, the average score has fallen slightly from year to year. To some extent, that’s to be expected.

Increased spending, combined with race-based affirmative action policies, have been widely instituted to try to equalize the results between white and soon-to-be-majority students. But the “achievement gap” remains.

The failing schools, in turn, feed into gangs.

As Heather Mac Donald explains:

California, with one-quarter of the nation’s immigrants and its greatest concentration of Mexicans and Central Americans, is the bellwether state for all things relating to unbridled Hispanic immigration, including crime. The Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study, conducted by sociologists Alejandro Portes of Princeton and RubĂ©n G. Rumbaut of the University of California, Irvine, followed the children of immigrants in San Diego and Miami from 1992 to 2003. A whopping 28 percent of Mexican-American males between the ages of 18 and 24 reported having been arrested since 1995, and 20 percent reported having been incarcerated—a rate twice that of other immigrant groups. Anyone who speaks to Hispanic students in immigrant-saturated schools in Southern California will invariably hear the estimate that 50 percent of a student’s peers have ended up in gangs or other criminal activities.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Repost From 2014: China Causing More Trouble in SE Asia; Sticks a Fat Finger in Obama's 'Asia Pivot' Eye

In a heavy-handed move to assert broad and outrageous territorial claims, there are now 86 Chinese vessels, ships and an oil rig inside of Vietnam's offshore territorial waters. Local news reports that 3 Chinese military ships are surrounding a Vietnamese marine police vessel this morning and water cannon use continues against Vietnamese ships.

In response, in the past two days, there has been rioting by Vietnamese people against Chinese businesses in both the North and South of the country.  From Reuters,
Thousands of Vietnamese set fire to foreign factories and rampaged through industrial zones in Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces near Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday, officials said. Protests continued on Wednesday.
The doctor at a hospital in central Ha Tinh province said five Vietnamese workers and 16 other people described as Chinese were killed on Wednesday night in rioting, one of the worst breakdowns in Sino-Vietnamese relations since the neighbors fought a brief border war in 1979.
"There were about a hundred people sent to the hospital last night. Many were Chinese [Sadly many were Taiwanese who were mistaken for mainland Chinese.]  More are being sent to the hospital this morning," the doctor at Ha Tinh General Hospital told Reuters by phone.
Hundreds of Chinese working in the zones have fled, most to neighboring Cambodia and others by air.
"Yesterday more than 600 Chinese people from Vietnam crossed at Bavet international checkpoint into Cambodia," Cambodian National Police spokesman Kirt Chantharith told Reuters.   Bavet is on a highway stretching from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's commercial centre, to Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh.
Why are the people so mad?  Well, maybe it's because, China claims the ENTIRE South China Sea as THEIRS -- not giving a damn that most nations abide by the UNCLOS  (the UN Convention on Law of the Sea) economic exclusion zone of 200 nautical miles.  Have a look at a map below showing Chinese territorial claims versus claims of it's SE Asian neighbors.

Most of this is about potential oil and gas resources by the way.  Vietnam has very active offshore leasing, exploration and production activities including foreign operating companies in their 200 mile economic exclusion zone (like many countries around the world), and according to The Economist
On June 21, 2012 Vietnam's parliament passed a maritime law that reasserted the country's claims to the Spratly and Paracel Islands (see map below). China called this a “serious violation” of its sovereignty. It responded by declaring that a county-level government which supposedly governs the two archipelagoes and much of the rest of the South China Sea from one of the Paracel Islands, had been upgraded to the administrative level of a prefecture. Chinese media described this notional jurisdiction, Sansha, as by far the biggest prefecture in the country (though its population of a few hundred people is heavily outnumbered by gulls and its ill-defined territory is mostly water). Some Chinese internet users speculated excitedly about who might be appointed mayor, but reports on some websites that a 45-year-old hydrologist had got the job were later dismissed as a spoof.
Tensions rose further with an announcement late last month by CNOOC, a Chinese state-owned oil company, that it was opening nine blocks in what China calls the South Sea to international bids for oil and gas exploration. These reach to within 37 nautical miles (68km) of Vietnam's coast, according to PetroVietnam, a Vietnamese state-owned oil firm.
China has been inflaming the region with their outrageous territorial claims for years.  They have even used military force and intimidation in recent years to step on it's regional neighbors.  As recently as July 2012, there was a stand-off with China and the Philippines recently regarding the Scarborough Shoals off of the Philippines (see map above).  Both sides had military vessels in the area and tensions ran high.

Add the fact that China claimed a wide air exclusion zone far outside of it's boundaries which disrupted international air travel routes and affecting Japan.  The Chinese are also claiming the disputed Senaku islands that are also claimed by Japan. The US has nothing to challenge this thanks to our timid leadership.

So, everyone in SE Asia now hates the Chinese (and Japan).  But at least Japan has been a good neighbor for the past 70 years.

All of this is more evidence that the post-WWII world order is under serious assault due, in part, to Obama's intentional effort to weaken US influence abroad.  Weak or inept leadership invites bad behavior by the world's bad actors.  It leads to wars not peace.   Obama's laughable "Asia Pivot" is a case in point.  It's obviously laughable to the Chinese. The oil rig placement was done just after Obama's region-wide tour and was done seemingly to poke a finger in his face.  As to weak and/or inept leadership, think about Putin's triumphs in Syria and Ukraine. The Chinese continue to provoke nearly all of it's SE Asian neighbors plus Japan despite the US "Asia pivot" promises (while Obama reduces our military strength like the good Liberal that he is).   

China are communist imperialistic, mercantilist pigs bent on driving their economy forward at breakneck speed -- all in the name of "GDP."  This is necessary because the communist party's only claim to legitimacy is creating jobs and a modicum of hope for their citizens (while racking up massive debts, accumulating huge trade surpluses and foreign currency reserves vis-a-vis with everyone else). They will do anything to stay in power. This includes running roughshod over the environment, human rights, their own citizens, trading partners and international law.  They even will threaten their SE Asia neighbors with raw displays of military force.  To feed their perverted drive for legitimacy (because they are illegitimate), they'll distort world's commodity, currency and financial markets and they'll also do anything to hush and silence critics. We see the true colors of the Chinese Regime at work here. 

Stock Markets: Is Past Prologue?

From a ZeroHedge post:

Exponential (blow-off) tops tend to follow similar patterns of peaks then reversals (crashes).  There's one more relevant historical market comparison and that's the 1962 JFK bear market mentioned here.

Monday, April 2, 2018

A Theology or the 21st Century: Simple But Powerful

In my blog posts entitled "A Theology for the 21st Century," "A Theology for the 21st Century: Faith is not Believing the Unbelievable" and "A Theology for the 21st Century: An Open Letter to Atheists and Non-Believers", I have tried to briefly explain a few aspects of my faith underpinnings mostly formed about 40 years ago during my college years.

In these blog posts, I occasionally intimate that traditional religions go too far with their complicated dogmas and are too confident or too certain in their proclamations. And their use of religious language is too rigid, too rote and often stale or uninspiring. Too many literally interpret the Bible without understanding the many problems with ancient languages & linguistics and the difficulty in understanding the ancient cultures and their history. Finally, we must recognize the use of myths throughout the Bible yet still appreciate and understand their important meanings and symbolism. Biblical literalism or fundamentalism is a dangerous Biblio-idolatry. All of our scriptures come from very ancient times after all, so none of this should be a surprise. Scholars can and do spend their entire lifetimes studying the Bible and the cultures of that time.

Some people might read the posts in this series and accuse me of being "Chrisitan-lite" or that I am a Christian apologetic. I'm OK with that. Everyone is entitled to their opinions.  But there's something to be said about not going too far and keeping it simple. Even simple theological principles can do wonders.

Take Alcoholics Anonymous for example. They lay out a simple 12 step plan that includes the most minimal theology imaginable, a good bit of wisdom and a simple emphasis on community. These 12 steps and the resulting small communities of self-professed "sinners" have changed millions of lives and saved millions from the ruin of alcohol or drug addiction worldwide.  Here's the 12 steps:
  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take a personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Like the 10 commandments, these 12 steps contain enough inspiration and wisdom to have saved millions of lives worldwide since 1935. The basics are a) acknowledging God as you understand him. b) You must make an honest moral inventory of ourselves and c) Confessing to God your sins d) asking God to help remove our sins and e) making amends to people you're wronged and asking forgiveness. They let each person define what God is to them -- not much dogma there!

Here's the biggest thing: it is that like-minded people, who have admitted their sins, get together as a community where they must be honest with themselves, God and other members, share the common theology outlined above and work toward physical and spiritual health. As a community they are committed to helping each other. Most people in AA have a sponsor who is available at anytime to help someone else if they are in trouble, at risk of relapse or in crisis.

Remember, community is really the same as church. AA is a type of Church then. 

The magic is a) accepting a higher power in our lives, that we are powerless or even insane without this understanding (beware Atheists) b) that there is wisdom, helping and healing to be derived from prayer, c) having a realistic and truthful understanding of our faults and sins, c) sharing and helping others brings healing and growth. In fact, you could say that when two or more people who gather in His name, He is there. Helping and healing should be understood as miraculous and has a cosmic dimension.

The AA program is working around the world even in Buddhist countries who don't technically have a theology.

The other thing that supports AA's success is that many of their members come to AA at their "wits end"or at "rock bottom"where nothing else has worked, so they are powerfully motivated for change. They are ready to receive these messages. We live in time where many people are in a existential or spiritual crisis but don't have a substance abuse problem could still benefit from such a program. Anyone could. 

Alcoholics Anonymous shows how a simple a theology guiding a faith community can impact millions and millions of troubled lives all over the world. It's simple and powerful.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Diversity is a Disaster: European Edition

Western countries are in the grip of "globalist" idiot-leaders who want "diversity"-- meaning they want to erase borders and foolishly allow mass migration of peoples who are very or totally different in culture, median intelligence, language and religion into previously homogeneous cultures. I discuss this in my blog post "Homogeneous Cultures Are Peaceful: Diversity is a Disaster."

Whereas "protecting" and "promoting" blacks is one major effort of US Leftists, in Europe the most desperate propaganda and totalitarian methods are designed to "protect" and remediate the horrible reputation of the hordes of Muslim invaders that have been allowed to surge into Europe from their own failed countries.

Islam's terrible reputation is well-deserved. Their 1400 year history is full of violence and murder and it continues today with at least a dozen violent war zones occurring today around the world. Islam is much more than a religion, it's also a political movement -- really the modern day Nazi Party. They are taught to hate Jews, gays and anyone or any culture who is not Islamic. And like Nazis, they are fanatics and supremacists. This is so despite the fact that every majority Muslim country or community is either a complete failure, or nearly so. But that's why millions are fleeing into Europe: the entire Arab/Muslim culture in the Middle East is in collapse. Their "culture"is generally a massive failure with a few exceptions in Asia.

Most people, except Leftists, can see that Muslims are not even remotely compatible with liberal democracy yet this population is being championed, protected and coddled by Western Leftists who are blind to their considerable evil (including Obama). This is true even after some 35 Islamic terrorist attacks have already plagued Europe in the last 18 months alone! A smaller number of Islamic attacks have occurred in the US as well.

Only a handful of European elites have allowed this to happen, and no one else was or is given a choice or a vote.

The poster child of this idiotic fantasy and ignorance is Sweden's Leftist leader's policy of importing Arab and North African Muslims. This insane policy continues despite massive evidence that they are creating a huge cultural disaster. Leftists are stubborn, stupid people who are immune to any facts and reality that conflicts with their insane ideas. These people have essentially ruined Sweden and they must be driven from office and power by force if necessary.

This disaster is best described by a Swede:
"Sweden is in the process of destroying a civilization that took 1,000 years to build. It floods its cities with aliens who dislike the food and climate, feel uncomfortable with the taciturn, reserved Swedes around them, mostly cannot work for months or years for language reasons, and end up festering in angry and unemployment-plagued parallel societies in the suburbs. I don’t care what the stats are made to say. What I know is this. When I first stayed in Sweden, three decades ago, crime of any kind was a rarity. When I last stayed there, a few years ago, it was a daily occurrence. I don’t need BRAA reports to know that everything in Sweden has changed. You name it: murder, non-fatal shootings and stabbings, burglary, rape, rioting, vandalism, molestation, benefit swindling: all of these things are now daily occurrences in large parts of most cities, and in nearly all of Malmo. In cities, young women do not dare to go out alone at night. That’s a banal observation that hides an awful truth: Sweden has lost the most valuable thing any society can have: civic trust. For decades Swedes could trust strangers to do the right thing. Well, they can’t any more. In fact, a lot of them simply avoid certain parts of town, and look away from certain faces. That too is new. The old Sweden—the real Sweden--never really had places you could not feel safe in. But thanks to mass immigration, all that has gone, as it has gone in our country too."
This sort of unvarnished truth is hard to come by as there as a Political Correctness totalitarianism that has descended on Europe (and Sweden) by Leftist elites -- designed to manipulate the masses and hide even the most obvious truths such as the disaster of Muslim migration. And opposing opinions must be stifled by highly propagandized media messages and totalitarian "hate" laws --which are massively abused (as should be expected).  Orwell's 1984 is now a reality in Europe. A similar effort is underway in America too as the hand-full of corporate media outlets have turned into just massive liars and propagandists.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Homogeneous Cultures Are Peaceful; "Diversity" is a Disaster

Homogeneous populations are peaceful. "Diverse" populations are not peaceful but full of strife and conflict.  Diversity is never a good idea. It is in fact the cause of most of the world’s conflicts: Shia and Sunni, Jew and Arab, Hutu and Tutsi, Tamil and Sinhalese, Hindu and Muslim and, in America, black, white, and brown. "Diversity" is now causing of the dissolution of America AND Europe is next.

Wise countries like Korea and Japan have a long-standing understanding that a homogeneous culture preserves peace and relative tranquility. And it continues to work very well even today. They don't have any race riots or religious wars or any discord of one group getting welfare benefits and another grouping paying for the benefits. They have one dominant culture that includes everyone.

The US also used to be very homogeneous because US immigration policies historically preferred white, English-speaking and Christian northern Europeans for nearly our entire history. (Yes, a good amount of Asian migration too.) All of that worked beautifully because we imported people: 1) from the same highly evolved culture, 2) that are competent adults with high levels of median intelligence, 3) that have high or even unrivaled academic, moral and educational standards and achievements, 4) possess good creativity and intelligence driving huge prosperity, 5) that hold similar religious views with similar ethical traditions and a strong work ethic. For theses reasons and for most of our history, there was no state welfare system as families, local and faith communities, and local and state governments were all competent in taking care of their own. And economic freedom was so great that certain highly competent entrepreneurs (all white men) built-out our nation's entire industrial economy and infrastructure employing millions. The US government was small enough to be irrelevant.

It used to be that local communities where allowed to persist unmolested complete with various community standards --otherwise known as freedom. Kids in West Virginia went to high school during hunting season with a shot gun mounted in their trucks so they could hunt after school. Nothing like that existed in Boston or New York.

Then the Liberal Left and their activist courts intervened. Suddenly Christmas manger scenes or prayers were not allowed. The Ten Commandments can't be displayed in public buildings without challenges from insane Leftists. Homosexuality, which was quietly tolerated, is now taught to our kids at our schools (whether parents want it or not), Blacks were forced to co-exist with Whites through court-ordered desegregation.

Desegregation of previously peaceful but poor and exclusively black communities forced black kids into white high schools where 90+% can not compete with white kids. On average, Black kids are literally at the bottom of academic achievement compared to other students. Very few can perform proficiently at 12th Grade high school level. Most Blacks are not graduating from high schools leaving them with few legitimate options in our de-industrialized economy. It isn't working!  It's not changing either. You're not even "allowed" to talk about any of this.

Then in the US, the Left and Globalists allowed mass immigration of relatively uneducated, often illiterate and unskilled, non-English speaking Latinos with no financial means to come in massive numbers with all the problems that come with that---the welfare of our nation or affected communities be damned.  Of course every one of our laws governing immigration were ignored and broken. All of these people came seeking work, not holidays.  And seeking work lawfully requires work permits which, in turn, requires some evidence that the migrant can do something that native-born Americans can't do. This is true in every country in the world including the US.  I can't go to any country in the world and just settle-in or work. To immigrate to another country and work  requires that I apply in advance and show that I have financial means or a job arranged, provide a CV to show that I have desirable skills that local people in the host country don't have,  provide a police report from my home country, medical certifications and other bureaucratic hurtles.  It all must be done in advance. 

Every country on earth enforces these similarly strict rules of immigration for work or any kind of residency permissions EXCEPT stupid America. Instead in dumbass America we allow masses of people into our country who often have little to offer our country. Worse, our economy is not creating enough jobs for anyone. All this devastation to secure votes and give corporations cheap labor. I don't blame Latinos for taking advantage of our idiocy.

First generation Latino immigrants are in a somewhat better situation than native blacks as their cultural roots and family structure are much more intact. But what's never discussed is that subsequent Latino generations, where more than half don't graduate from US high schools, many turn to gangs, and illicit, criminal activity similar to ghetto blacks. The resulting black and brown ghettos are immature, uncultured, depraved, violent, primitive and basically have no place in our previously advanced civilization. Isn't diversity wonderful?

Thanks to pricks like Obama and cunts like Hillary Clinton, suddenly half our country has REALLY lost it's mind as militant Blacks, Latinos, Lesbians and various other "victims" have taken control of the Democratic Party. Now white men are under attack as the source of societies ills (also called "projection" in psychological terms). White boys and men are now supposed to become de-masculinized or they are "too white"as claimed by incredibly ignorant minorities. Females, gays and transsexuals are approved for combat duty whether it's well-advised or not. What is good for the country or military is irrelevant. Only propagating various unproven, false and nonsense memes matter ---a kind of mass insanity  These people are obsessing about and told that they can select their gender and sexual identity at will as if it were some kind of smorgasbord. All of this because the now hijacked Democratic party and the Left are profoundly ignorant, disconnected from knowledge of our cultural roots and our Judeo-Christian heritage, our history, science, psychiatry or any other facts. These ignoramuses are running rampant tearing down anything that they don't like or understand. And if you present them with facts, they want to shut you up.  What's missing from all this?  REALITY!

Ah, the fruits of "diversity."

The Left will never get it because they are utterly stupid and ignorant of, history, logic or facts. They just want to act on "feelings." They are desperate to create what they believe should be. But everything they believe is wrong! They are very disrespectful people. They hate America, they hate everything that is good and wholesome in this country and they hate anyone that disagrees with them.  They are the stupidest people on earth because they never listen and never learn. No one can tell them anything. They will never see that their agenda, including diversity, is a disaster.  They must be driven from our courts, the government, the media and must be driven from anywhere where they have power over other people by force if necessary. The Left IS the disaster.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Market Analogy to 1962 JFK and 1987 Stock Market Crashes

This next week, week of March 26th, is going to be interesting.

The S&P 500 has hit it's 200 day moving average again. It's possible that it'll bounce and then it's up, up and away. Here's a weekly S&P 500 chart showing last week's steep drop:

Weekly Chart of S&P 500, Week Ending Mar 23, 2018

Global Macro Monitor has zeroed on a market analogy from 1962 when JFK was president. At that time, inflation was rising and JFK had a spat with US steel producers. He threatened them and made them roll back prices. The stock market had roared higher into 1962 as in 2017 and January of 2018, but took a sudden 30% swoon.  Here's the analogy between then and now.

Suddenly the 2018 Market Action is worse in comparison to 1962. There was a 30% quick bear market that was "buyable"

There is a possibility, with computer algorithm trading, High frequency traders, and all of the trend following, that we'll see another 1987 event:

Another Possible Market Analogy to the US Stock Market in 2018; the Crash of 1987

Below is a summary from Global Macro Monitor of the current market action vs the 1962 market and the 1987 Crash. The upshot of these severe and sudden downturns without recession is that they were all a place to buy equities. Beware of re-tests that might shake you out.  

Friday, March 23, 2018

The US Economy on Life Support -- Masking Economic "Depression"

In my blog post, Why Our Economy is in an Ongoing Depression and Will Only Get Worse, I focus on very unfavorable demographic trends for all of the major economies-- all except Africa. (Africa is irrelevant in economic terms.)

When populations are shrinking and aging, which is the reality for most of the major economies taken together, then demand also declines. If demand is declining, then growth turns into outright decline. The problem is that all the debt outstanding was issued based on the assumption that the issuer's revenue will GROW so that it will able to pay both principal plus interest.  However, if the issuer's revenue SHRINKS, then they won't have a surplus to pay interest and principal. In shrinking economies, defaults soar.  Debt defaults with shrinking economies is nearly the definition of economic depression.

The only reason that Depression is not evident or reported is because government spending (using debt) has masked shrinking economies both here an especially Europe. Without debt spending, Western economies would be shrinking, ie., we would be in multi-year economic depression. The US (and most of the world) is basically on life support. See the following charts.

The Great Financial Crisis Caused a Depression That Continues Today. Only Deficit Spending (Debt) is Masking the Reality of Economic Depression

The Great Financial Crisis of 2008 Caused a "Depression" That Continues Today. The Underlying Economy is Actually Shrinking Without Ever Rising Debt

A basic lesson about macroeconomics. The equation below shows how GDP is calculated:

GDP  =  Consumer spending + Gov't Spending + Investment Spending + Net Exports.

In this GDP equation, debt doesn't matter. And it doesn't matter if consumers or governments are borrowing money to spend --and both are. Also note that, since the US runs a consistent and large trade deficit, our "net export" part of the equation is strongly negative (We're a net importer). This is why President Trump is determined to address excessive trade deficits -- to make it less negative which will improve GDP. He's also OK with increased government spending (and more deficits/debt) since it adds more to GDP.  He's hoping that all these measures will also stimulate investment spending when manufacturing is repatriated. Investment spending has been notably absent since the GFC. There's an intellectual consistency with Trump, but few give him credit.  He's doing all the right things, but against demographic and many other headwinds.

Real economic growth potential comes from two simple factors: it is the simple sum of productivity growth plus population growth. Productivity growth is the increasing output from labor and capital which, in normal times might be 2%.  But since 2007, it's only been growing at about 0.4%. Again, if Trump can convince companies to spend money on plant and equipment, productivity should improve toward more normal levels. But it's hard for productivity to improve if population growth is low or negative and demand is low.

Population growth used to be about 2 or 3%, so, adding population and productivity together, then historically real economic growth used to be 4 to 5% prior to year 2000.  In recent years, population growth (which includes immigration or emigration) has been 0.5% but is set to turn negative in the future.  (See Why is Our Economy is in Depression and Will Get Only Worse).  So real growth going forward, barring large increases in immigration, should be expected to be only average about 1%. Worse, as population growth further stagnates and declines, that 1% growth will drop or go negative for long periods in future decades, ie., economic depression. Remember the problem with debt servicing (and an additional problem of rolling-over debt).

The US economy is not performing at anywhere near growth trends prior to 2007 and year 2000. You can see the stagnation in the charts below:

What Modern "Depression" Looks Like: It's a Prolonged Deviation From Trend. Something Bad Happened in 2007
You can seet that the US growth trend has deviated markedly from long-term trends leaving a huge gap in what output should have been. No one at the Federal Reserve appears to understand what is going on. Some of it is due to the collapse of Eurodollar liquidity which is just one reason in a litany of reasons as to why our economy is reaching the end of a long road.

Although headline unemployment is at near-record lows, which 'sounds' good, but it masks a loss of millions of workers that left the workforce out of desperation, went on government assistance or retired. Since 2007, job growth has not kept up with population growth for the first time in US history.

Unemployment Headline Misleads As Millions Have Left Labor Force
Ten years after the Great Recession of 2008/2009, our economy has not adequately recovered and is in fact on the "life support" of ever increasing debt and easy money. There is plenty of risk that this is unsustainable. If asset markets reverse sharply, which could easily cause a recession, then our ugly reality may re-assert itself. The future looks extremely uncertain.