Sunday, November 29, 2015

Oh? So unions are still the biggest political influence buyers?

And there I was reading MSM and thinking that the Koch brothers were the only political donors in America....
Toggle percentages
Total Contributions
To Dems & Liberals
To Repubs & Conservs
Pct to Dems & Liberals
Pct to Repubs & Conservs
1Service Employees International Union$224,273,550$222,520,804$1,294,16999%1%
3American Fedn of St/Cnty/Munic Employees$94,708,977$93,739,954$671,75599%1%
4National Education Assn$93,656,468$89,590,047$3,192,34497%3%
5Fahr LLC$80,409,603$80,409,603$0100%0%
6American Federation of Teachers$70,769,128$69,987,011$348,050100%1%
7Las Vegas Sands$70,417,242$30,950$70,379,4110%100%
8Carpenters & Joiners Union$70,069,398$65,240,497$4,682,02693%7%
9National Assn of Realtors$69,556,807$24,973,895$26,678,03548%52%
10Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers$66,273,173$65,000,555$997,41899%2%
11United Food & Commercial Workers Union$64,072,657$63,589,291$306,750100%1%
12AT&T Inc$62,395,194$26,064,645$36,178,56242%58%
13Laborers Union$58,350,719$50,642,172$3,479,56694%6%
14Perry Homes$55,513,249$22,300$55,220,9490%100%
15Goldman Sachs$54,453,925$28,376,553$25,992,02252%48%
16American Assn for Justice$49,343,405$45,745,238$3,452,31793%7%
18Soros Fund Management$46,644,808$45,511,318$1,090,45098%2%
19Contran Corp$46,091,117$655,868$45,333,0991%99%
20Plumbers/Pipefitters Union$45,314,065$41,043,291$1,517,87096%4%
21United Auto Workers$44,540,584$43,606,279$233,380100%1%

And Obama is like a third base coach waving every runner in...

...In Denmark, more than half of convicted rapists are Muslims. In Norway, there has been a dramatic spike in rapes. In Oslo, 10% of females over the age of 15 have been raped by Muslim men with Muslim men guilty of 100% of the rapes against Norwegian women. Rape in Oslo is now so common that hotels hand out key chain alarms when people check in and increasingly Norwegian women only go out in groups. As is the case throughout the West, anyone who speaks the truth about this is labeled a “racist...
Read the whole thing here 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Europe still not understanding the concept of free speech

Controversial French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala has been jailed for two months by a Belgian court for making anti-Semitic jokes during a comedy show in 2012. Above, in a Paris courtroom in 2013

The Daily Mail reports:
Controversial French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala has been jailed for two months by a Belgian court for making anti-Semitic jokes during a comedy show in 2012.
Dieudonne, who is known for his use of jokes based on ethnic stereotypes, has repeatedly been convicted of racism in France and fined for hate speech. He insists he is not anti-Semitic.
The court in Liege found the comedian, known by the stage name Dieudonne, had spread racist ideas by making discriminatory, anti-Semitic and Holocaust-denying remarks in the 2012 gig in nearby Herstal...  
Freedom of speech means allowing people to say things that we may disagree with and indeed find repugnant.  Europe has trouble understanding this concept despite the recent Charlie Hebdo tragedy.

Google's spam detector is really good

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernard Sanders’ economic plan triggered Gmail’s “phishing scam” antenna, with the mail system saying the senator’s liberal campaign promises — including lower prescription drug prices and free college for all — sound like frauds. 
“Be careful with this message. It contains content that’s typically used to steal personal information,” Gmail said in a bright red warning box that appeared at the top of a message sent by Mr. Sanders’ campaign Friday, laying out his “Agenda for Working Families.”...

Without double standards liberals would have no standards

If yoga is banned as a form of "cultural appropriation", sombreros and mustaches worn at theme parties or Halloween are deemed racist, and the use of native American names and imagery by non-native Americans is considered disparaging why is it OK for other cultures to "appropriate" all things American like baseball caps (and of course baseball), blues/country/rock and roll music, muscle cars, cowboy hats and so on?

If the new PC logic is followed the Greeks should having been writing furious screeds when Tennessee named their football team the Titans, the Irish annually incensed when everyone and their brother becomes Irish on St Patrick's Day, and  Chuck Berry et al outraged when the likes of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones appropriated their music....

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The 21st Century is not proceeding as I expected

The Guardian, a newspaper that makes the New York Times look positively right wing, is always chockful of absurdly liberal articles, but two pieces this week stood out.

Firstly the following headline caught my attention:

Tinder needs to stop acting like there are only two genders in the world

To be fair I did not know until I read the article that Facebook has 58 gender options.  Shame on you Tinder.

The second headline that generated a double take was an opinion piece on the movie Zoolander 2:

Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of a trans model hurts anyone who has been boxed in by statements such as ‘men don’t cry’ or ‘women are nurturing’. Gender is a prison we all live in

The odd thing is I don't feel particularly imprisoned...


Shock: The New York Times reports that higher wages will lead to job losses

Despite the Editorial Board of the New York Times insisting repeatedly that increases in wages will have a negligible impact on employment at least one reporter at the New York Times, in an article today - "U.A.W. Contracts Change Math for Detroit Automakers" -  has apparently decided that pay raises may in fact have a negative consequence:
...But for automakers, the pay raises will add to the pressure to maintain profits and could spur a shift of less-profitable car production to Mexico from the United States...
It's not clear that the New York Times Editorial Board reads its own newspaper, but it may want to re-think its glowing October 26th editorial - "Auto Workers Point the Way to Higher Pay" - that concluded:
...Politicians need to follow where the autoworkers are trying to lead: Toward a future of higher pay and rising living standards...
The reality is Detroit automakers are leading to a future of fewer, but better paid union workers, and the off-shoring of tens of thousands of other good jobs. The few benefit at the expense of the many all wrapped up in a cloak of progressive munificence. 

The only reason for politicians to follow the lead of the autoworkers is to secure the support of the labor unions.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Oh how the mighty have fallen

Obama's Syria policy has gone from this in 2013:

To Obama saying at a recent press joint conference with Francois Hollande that he hopes:
...we can start looking at Mr. Assad choosing not to run and potentially seeing a new Syria emerge...

Really?  Obama is reduced to hoping he won't run for another term.  (Do dictators even have terms?)

Yes, Ezra.  You were right not to believe Obama's Syria policy was working so splendidly... 

HT Instapundit

I'm guessing that Rick Astley will be more effective than Obama at thwarting ISIS

From the Daily Mail:
Internet activists are trying to disrupt ISIS by tricking its online jihadists into wasting their time watching 80s pop star Rick Astley. 
The Anonymous group is trying to impede the terror group's social media activism by infiltrating its propaganda feeds and misdirecting followers to Astley's hit song Never Gonna Give You Up...

Monday, November 23, 2015

Bank robbers are focussing on their brand management

What is it with Princeton?

Why, yes it is. On the other hand, it seems pretty obvious from their snuff films that ISIS does lots of joyous celebrating after each beheading. But why rely on hearsay? “I suspect that you have the funds to visit Raqqa and come to your own conclusions,” Bob Owens tweets in reply. “I suspect you’ll come out a head.”

Bob Driscoll

Not really awkward when you have no shame....

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Healthcare: Sometimes less is more

One of the more surprising — and genuinely scary — research papers published recently appeared in JAMA Internal Medicine. It examined 10 years of data involving tens of thousands of hospital admissions. It found that patients with acute, life-threatening cardiac conditions did better when the senior cardiologists were out of town. And this was at the best hospitals in the United States, our academic teaching hospitals. As the article concludes, high-risk patients with heart failure and cardiac arrest, hospitalized in teaching hospitals, had lower 30-day mortality when cardiologists were away from the hospital attending national cardiology meetings. And the differences were not trivial — mortality decreased by about a third for some patients when those top doctors were away... 

...One possible explanation is that while senior cardiologists are great researchers, the junior physicians — recently out of training — may actually be more adept clinically. Another potential explanation suggested by the data is that senior cardiologists try more interventions. When the cardiologists were around, patients in cardiac arrest, for example, were significantly more likely to get interventions, like stents, to open up their coronary blood vessels...

Read the whole thing here

Government steals more than crooks (and no that does not count taxes)

In 2014, the federal government confiscated some $4.5 billion from Americans through civil asset forfeiture, according to a recent report from the Institute for Justice, a nonprofit libertarian law and research organization.

That’s a figure which has been growing rapidly in recent years—as recently as 2008 it was “just” $1.5 billion, and there’s compelling evidence that law enforcement agencies use this license to bolster their budgets in lean years.

In the words of one officer, civil asset forfeiture funds are “kind of like pennies from heaven. It gets you a toy or something that you need is the way that we typically look at it to be perfectly honest.”

That $4.5 billion figure is shocking on its own.

But it’s even more shocking when you put it in this perspective: in that same year, FBI records show burglars took only $3.9 billion from Americans.

So in 2014, the federal government took more money and stuff from Americans than actual burglars did.

Our government is “getting really good at separating the citizen from their property — not just really good, criminally good.”...

For more go here

Friday, November 20, 2015

Why stop at simply changing the names of buildings at Princeton?

NBC reports:
Princeton University's president, under pressure from African American student activists, said Thursday night that the school would begin a process to consider expunging the legacy of former President Woodrow Wilson from campus. 
The agreement — signed by Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber — ended a 32-hour sit-in at the president's office...
Well if we are going to go down this road lets do it properly.  As Steven Hayward points out:
...Princeton—hey wait a minute! The place is named for a prince! Patriarchal privilege alert! Change the name! I’ve got it: let’s go back to it’s original name: the College of New Jersey...

Monday, November 16, 2015

At least 1 1/2 of these companies produces anything tangible

When it comes to the direction of the market, pardon the "market", only 5 companies matter.
That is the opinion of Goldman's chief strategist David Kostin, who observes that just "five firms – AMZN, GOOGL, MSFT, FB, and GE – totaling 9% of the equity cap of the index have accounted for more than 100% of the S&P 500 YTD return. Stated alternatively, without these stocks the index would have posted a 220 bp lower total return or -2.2% YTD."

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Obamacare: Insurance many cannot afford to use

The New York Times reports that while 15 million people have gained health insurance thanks to Obamacare many cannot afford to use it: 
Obama administration officials, urging people to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, have trumpeted the low premiums available on the law’s new marketplaces. 
But for many consumers, the sticker shock is coming not on the front end, when they purchase the plans, but on the back end when they get sick: sky-high deductibles that are leaving some newly insured feeling nearly as vulnerable as they were before they had coverage. 
“The deductible, $3,000 a year, makes it impossible to actually go to the doctor,” said David R. Reines, 60, of Jefferson Township, N.J., a former hardware salesman with chronic knee pain. “We have insurance, but can’t afford to use it.”...
But who cares?  Obama can say more people are insured regardless of whether they can afford to use it or not.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Mizzou poop swastika: Shouldn't jews be feeling (more) unsafe?

And I still haven’t a clue why this was seen as targeting black people. Wouldn’t the natural target be Jews? I’m assuming there are some Jews at Mizzou who might be ripe for some persecuting. 
And then, lo and behold, because research is my middle name, I decided to find out. I located this article in the school paper written very shortly after the incident occurred, and amazingly enough, the appearance of the excremental swastika was indeed initially treated as being anti-Semitic in intent. But the Jews on campus and their spokespeople were relatively low-key about it. And here I thought Jews were supposed to be so emotional: 
Jeanne Snodgrass, executive director of Mizzou Hillel, a nonprofit organization and Jewish campus center, said she was contacted by Residential Life about the incident. 
“Unfortunately sometimes things happen, and I think that the university is responding appropriately and dealing with it very seriously,” Snodgrass said. 
Snodgrass apparently successfully resisted the urge to instead say “unfortunately sometimes shit happens,” for which I salute her.
For more go here

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Alan Dershowitz nails the hypocrisy of the PC culture pervasive on campuses today

“It is free speech for me, but not for thee. Universities should not tolerate this kind of double standard… If you’re going to be a college administrator or a professor, if you have tenure, you have to speak back to the students,  you have to call these things what they are: double standards, hypocrisy, bigotry, McCarthyism, and the fog of fascism is descending quickly over many American universities.”

The entire, generally indefensible, rationale behind tenure is that professors will feel free to express views that are not in sync with popular opinion on campus.  Where are their voices as first amendment rights are being trampled?  Where is their outrage?  

Who would have thought CNN would ask a vaguely probing question of Hillary

If Ben Carson’s tale of a “full scholarship to West Point” is going to get reviewed and fact-checked, why not some fact-checking of Hillary Clinton’s more implausible claims? To give credit where it is due, CNN checked out Hillary Clinton’s repeated claim that she tried to join the Marines...
...“It seems so unusual that a Yale-educated lawyer who worked on the anti- war campaigns of [Eugene] McCarthy and [George] McGovern, who had just moved to Arkansas, whose husband was about to become the attorney general of the state, would decide to want to join the Marines."
Unusual?  You think?