What We Know For Sure

Here’s what we now know for sure:

  • Trickle down economics is a sham.
  • The world was actually a better place with Saddam in power
  • The American Enterprise Institute’s successful Romneycare plan in Massachusetts was in fact scalable into a successful nationwide Obamacare plan.
  • Financial recessions ARE different from demand recessions.
  • Outlawing something doesn’t make it go away. It turns the market over to organized crime, and the settling of disputes occurs with violence rather than in courts.
  • There is nothing structural for the foreseeable future that will slow the increasing wealth capture by a shrinking group of plutocrats.

Shape-Shifting Reptilian Humanoids

Shape-Shifting Reptilian Humanoids

Shape-Shifting Reptilian Humanoids

Most world leaders, including quite a few U.S. presidents, and the top financial 0.1% are actually seven foot tall shape-shifting reptilian humanoids from a different planet who start wars and are responsible for horrific events of all kinds in order to promote fear and hatred, which gives them strength and reproductive capacity.

Maybe you already knew that.

Threat and Error Management

Treat and Error Management has been a part of air carrier training for the last half dozen years or so. It’s a mental training process to identify potential threats early so as to prevent them from becoming a major problem, and to manage flight’s inevitable human errors early enough to insure a safe outcome. It’s also a great mental framework for normal walks of life.

I recently entered into a Facebook conversation about defensive weapon carriage by realtors and pointed out one of the new threats needing management by adding a weapon to the realtor’s handbag: incorrectly brandishing a weapon in a misperceived defensive situation during an otherwise commercial professional setting could have serious future career and financial repercussions. There is a rich history of weapons mistakes made by law enforcement and military. The layman professional will certainly have a greater propensity to make more mistakes than continuously trained weapons handlers.

Just mentioning this potential situation to avoid was roundly disparaged by contributors who I assume find weapons carriage the answer to everything modern. It was a threat to a preconceived belief. Kill it.

To not be able to talk about a complex idea because a simple preconception blocks the way is a threat itself. A threat to the blocked mind. It reminds me of one of Barry Rithholz’s points that he’s learned by blogging for ten years.

People lie to themselves. When confronted with facts that directly disagree with their beliefs, most people prefer to disregard the facts. Psychologists even have a name for this sort of perception error: cognitive dissonance.

For a data guy like me, this is both utterly fascinating and somewhat disturbing. I have repeatedly admonished readers about letting things like politics and narrative divert them from reality-based, data-driven investing.

Whenever I encounter someone who refuses to accept reality, all I can do is shrug and remind myself that someone has to be on the losing side of the trade. It might as well be him.


For future reference, here is the Wiktionary definition of Pusillanimous. Most often used colloquially as pussy.

Showing ignoble cowardice, or contemptible timidity

The soldier deserted his troop in a pusillanimous manner.

1882 — Mark Twain, On the Decay of the Art of Lying.

Therefore, the wise thing is for us diligently to train ourselves to lie thoughtfully, judiciously; to lie with a good object, and not an evil one; to lie for others’ advantage, and not our own; to lie healingly, charitably, humanely, not cruelly, hurtfully, maliciously; to lie gracefully and graciously, not awkwardly and clumsily; to lie firmly, frankly, squarely, with head erect, not haltingly, tortuously, with pusillanimous mien, as being ashamed of our high calling.

The Leftists and The Rightists

A Pre-historic Mammoth Hunt

A Pre-historic Mammoth Hunt

My problem is that referencing an identifiable American group as “the rightists” seems even more stupid than identifying “the leftists.” And not just because of the old joke “the rightists” are “the wrongists.” Or because it’s so hard to say. But because none of them actually really exist. They are all a figment of a Madison Avenue marketing campaign to attract advertisers to sell more product. And Americans love to fall for it like it’s free candy thrown at a Fourth of July parade.

New York – New York

River Visual 13 KLGA

Trying To Make It Real Compared To What?

The great thing about conveniently forgetting history is that we don’t have to compare conditions of the present to conditions of the past. We make the old conditions “conversationally illegal”, because historical facts are inconvenient. They’re easily disputable and time consuming to verify. Usually shifting the whole discussion away from the target idea into fact checking mode. Far easier and politically expedient to just bitch about what is at present.

Compared to what? Strike up the cowbell:

For example, reminisce about these health care issues that were addressed by the Affordable Care Act:

  • projecting double digit health insurance rate increases into the distant future, transitioning the entire US economy to health care and its financing,
  • six month waiting periods for coverage with new employers,
  • being excluded from insurance due to pre-existing conditions,
  • annually renewable individual policies that were essentially fake, especially after being needed,
  • college grads with poor job prospects but poorer health insurance prospects,
  • employment entrapment for fear of losing health care, and
  • being continually one slip away from the risk of bankruptcy.

We can remember the past, or we can just bitch about how the new system isn’t perfect out of the box and isn’t free of costs. It’s disingenuous, but that’s politics. God forbid that the Democrats led by a black man roll out a successful health care plan that puts 28 million new people into the health system. We’ll have to keep them from voting.

Market Based 2nd Amendment Position

The Murder Of Sieur de La Salle

The Murder Of Sieur de La Salle

Just to be clear, the 2nd Amendment does NOT have to be changed. Ever. What has to be changed is the currently accepted notion for the related costs of gun use to be socialized across the entire population. The costs of the right to own and bear arms should be attributed exclusively to gun users through a combination of insurance, surtaxes, licensing, and registration. The rest of the population should be free of that financial encumbrance.

Just because it’s a “right” doesn’t mean it’s free. For example, “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” are “unalienable rights”. What if they were also free?

Change will require the Roberts court to recognize their life-costly discontinuity with reality, and then backpedaling with a single decision. Attributing social costs to those responsible will be the only way to tamp down the man-toy revolutionary mania.

[Click image for a larger size.]