Questions and Observations

Free Markets, Free People

Economic Statistics for 18 Nov 15

Today’s release of the minutes of the October FOMC meeting hint strongly that an interest rate hike may be in the cards for December.

The Atlanta Fed reports that annual inflation expectations for business were unchanged for November at 1.8%.

Housing starts fell sharply in October, down -11.0% to a 1.060 million annual rate.

The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose 6.2% last week, with purchases up 12.0% and refis up 2.0%.

Dale’s social media profiles:
Twitter | Facebook | Google+

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Economic Statistics for 17 Nov 15

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey improved a bit, but still stayed deeply negative at -10.74 in November.

The Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% at both the headline and core rate in October. On a year-over-year basis, the CPI is up 0.2% overall, but 1.9% less food and energy.

The Fed reports industrial production fell -0.2% in October, while capacity utilization in the nation’s factories was unchanged at 77.5%. The production drop is misleading, since it includes big drops in mining and utilities. Manufacturing actually rose 0.4%.

The NAHB’s Housing Market index declined -2 points to 62 in November, signaling some weakness in home construction.

Growth in e-commerce sales remained strong in the 3rd quarter of 2015, up 4.2%.

Net foreign demand for US long-term securities rose to $33.6 billion in September vs a revised $20.8 billion in August.

Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales rose very slightly to a weak 1.2% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 1.1%.

Dale’s social media profiles:
Twitter | Facebook | Google+

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Mother Jones: Quit mocking GOP over Syrian refugee stance

Even Mother Jones know the Democrats are on the wrong side of this issue:

Here’s the thing: to the average person, it seems perfectly reasonable to be suspicious of admitting Syrian refugees to the country. We know that ISIS would like to attack the US. We know that ISIS probably has the wherewithal to infiltrate a few of its people into the flood of refugees. And most voters have no idea how easy it is to get past US screening. They probably figure it’s pretty easy.

So it doesn’t seem xenophobic or crazy to call for an end to accepting Syrian refugees. It seems like simple common sense. After all, things changed after Paris.

Mocking Republicans over this—as liberals spent much of yesterday doing on my Twitter stream—seems absurdly out of touch to a lot of people. Not just wingnut tea partiers, either, but plenty of ordinary centrists too. It makes them wonder if Democrats seriously see no problem here? Do they care at all about national security? Are they really that detached from reality?

They just cancelled a soccer game in Germany due to very hard intelligence that terrorists planned to bomb it.  And, of course, Paris.

Why wouldn’t it be “reasonable” to be suspicious of admitting Syrian refugees to those who are supposedly intellectually above average on the left?

That, my friend, remains the question, doesn’t it?


Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

France, the Democrats and reality

One of the three in the title doesn’t belong there:

I watched, incredulously, as all three contenders in Saturday night’s Democratic presidential debate — Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley — refused to say the slaughter was the work of “Muslim” extremists.

Clinton blamed “jihadis.” But despite prodding, she would not speak of the Islamic elephant in the room.

Sanders stood by his earlier claim that climate change, not creatures in suicide vests, presents the biggest threat to this planet because it makes poor people into terrorists by interfering with their crops or something.

At that point, I switched to the Syfy channel to get a bigger dose of reality.

And probably got much more of a dose of reality than the Democratic debate.

Imagine claiming “climate change” was the “biggest threat to the planet” when terrorists are blowing up people in France.  Or the simple fact that the climate really hasn’t shown any change in over a decade.

Who are “jihadis” and what religion do they represent, Ms. Clinton?

And who’s two memes, “ISIS is the jayvee” and “other civilized countries don’t have this sort of problem (referring to mass killings), were utterly destroyed?  Not to mention watching the French president show what leadership means by hitting ISIS immediately, repeatedly and hard?

Oh, that would be our Commander-in-Chief, the semi-retired and totally disconnected Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, the importation of 10,000 Syrian refugees will continue as planned.

Yup, Syfy would seem to deal in reality much more than our President and the Democrats.


Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Observations: The QandO Podcast for 13 Nov 15

Allons enfants de la Patrie, [Arise, children of the Fatherland,]
Le jour de gloire est arrivé! [The day of glory has arrived!]
Contre nous de la tyrannie, [Against us is tyranny,]
L’étendard sanglant est levé. (bis) [Its bloody banner raised. (repeat)]
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes [Do you hear, in the countryside,]
Mugir ces féroces soldats? [The roar of their ferocious soldiers?]
Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras [They’re coming right into our arms]
Égorger nos fils, nos compagnes! [To cut the throats of our sons, our women!]
Aux armes, citoyens, [To arms, citizens,]
Formez vos bataillons, [Form your battalions,]
Marchons, marchons! [Let’s march, let’s march!]
Qu’un sang impur [Let their impure blood]
Abreuve nos sillons! (bis) [Water our furrows! (Repeat)]

On the podcast page.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Another day, another academic asylum goes berserk

This time, Claremont Institute.  I want you to read four articles.

First the LA Times:

Dean Mary Spellman at Claremont McKenna stepped down after she sparked a campus protest and hunger strikes by two students this week over her email to a Latina student saying she would work to serve those who “don’t fit our CMC mold.”

Spellman later apologized, but her remarks appeared to be a tipping point for students who have pressed the campus for months for greater diversity among faculty and staff and more funding for multicultural services.

Apparently “mold” is a trigger word.  She was addressing a student who wrote a guest editorial in the student newspaper.  The email?


Oh, my Lord.  She must not have been thinking. “Our CMC mold”, anyone knows that means … white people, right?

BANG! Off with her head (for what should at best have been considered an email attempting to help, but possibly poorly worded and needing a bit of an explanation)!

And, as you can tell, they figuratively got her head.  Of course, the LA Times does its best to give the student complaints credibility.

OK, second article from the college itself, the Claremont Independent:

At the demonstration, students vocalized their demands, emphasizing that they want everything done on their own terms. “We don’t want a center for free speech meant to educate white students,” one protestor asserted. “We want a center that supports marginalized students first and foremost.” When students demanded that President Chodosh commit to giving them a temporary and eventually permanent space on campus, he initially said that he could not commit to a temporary space, but is working on a permanent space at this time. But after about 5 minutes of students speaking out against him, President Chodosh said he would love to transform the Hub, CMC’s student food store and central lounge, to provide them with a temporary space. In a swift, executive decision, CMC Student Body President Will Su dedicated part of the student government office as a temporary space, ordering the administration to give these students a permanent space immediately.

“To the administration as a whole, we require greater diversity in our faculty and staff,” stated the protest leader. “The need for such programs to educate the student body is eminent [sic] by the numerous microaggressions felt by students of color.” Students of color called out racially-insensitive professors for making them feel unsafe. “We want mandatory and periodic racial sensitivity trainings for all professors,” one protestor stated. “How are students supposed to learn in the classroom when they don’t even feel safe? When their own professors, someone who is supposed to be a mentor to them, a teacher, doesn’t even respect their identities? We want more diverse course offerings for critical race theory, community engagement, and social justice issues.”

In other words, this isn’t about learning diversity, this is about cookie-cutter Social Justice Warrior learning.  And they want the student body as a whole to have to endure these offerings as well.  This isn’t about diversity, this is about control.  And it’s about control of the orthodoxy and who gets to decide its direction.  A little reminiscent of the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, no?  Certainly a branch of the same tree.

The third is from the Daily Beast which includes this:

A black male student emerged from the crowd and went to the center, saying, “It’s literally your jobs to take care of us when we don’t feel safe on this campus.”

Amazing, no?  Still thumb sucking adolescents engaged in throwing a tantrum because they’re apparently afraid of … words and ideas they don’t like.  Or “mean people”.  Or … something.

These people are our hope for the future?

Well, not really.  The wheels will come off this little parade when it heads into the real world.

But all is not lost.  There was this, also from the Claremont Independent, entitled “We Dissent”.  And they tell it like it is.  A snippet:

First, former Dean Mary Spellman. We are sorry that your career had to end this way, as the email in contention was a clear case of good intentions being overlooked because of poor phrasing. However, we are disappointed in you as well. We are disappointed that you allowed a group of angry students to bully you into resignation. We are disappointed that you taught Claremont students that reacting with emotion and anger will force the administration to act. We are disappointed that when two students chose to go on a hunger strike until you resigned, you didn’t simply say, “so what?” If they want to starve themselves, that’s fine—you don’t owe them your job. We are disappointed that you and President Chodosh put up with students yelling and swearing at you for an hour. You could have made this a productive dialogue, but instead you humored the students and allowed them to get caught up in the furor. 

Above all, we are disappointed that you and President Chodosh weren’t brave enough to come to the defense of a student who was told she was “derailing” because her opinions regarding racism didn’t align with those of the mob around her. Nor were you brave enough to point out that these protesters were perfectly happy to use this student to further their own agenda, but turned on her as soon as they realized she wasn’t supporting their narrative. These protesters were asking you to protect your students, but you didn’t even defend the one who needed to be protected right in front of you.

And there’s much, much more … hitting every nail visible right on the head.

Enjoy your weekend.  This too shall pass.  But it is incredibly entertaining and certainly indicates how the left can manage to consume itself because, for the most part, the utopia it is trying to build and human nature just don’t get along at all.   And, of course, that means that their only resort is to apply totalitarianism in dealing with others.



Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Economic Statistics for 12 Nov 15

The Labor Department’s JOLTS survey rose to 5.526 million job openings in September from a revised 5.377 million in August.

The Treasury reports that October’s budget deficit was $-136.5 billion, 12.2% higher than last October. Total spending was up 3.9% on the year.

Initial weekly jobless claims were unchanged at 276,000. The 4-week average rose 5,000 to 267,750. Continuing claims rose 5,000 to 2.174 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 0.5 points to 41.6 in the latest week.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose  $2.3 billion last week, with total assets of $4.492 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $1.5 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $28.4 billion in the latest week.

Dale’s social media profiles:
Twitter | Facebook | Google+

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Ithaca College protests and demands president step down because of … racism.

And the copy cat outrage spreads.  You know, because racism!

Students at Ithaca College have started to protest the college president days after University of Missouri students successfully got their president to step down.

The protest was organized by the group People of Color at Ithaca College to express their concerns about racism on campus. They called for a vote of no confidence against Ithaca President Tom Rochon, as well as for Rochon to step down.

During the protests earlier today, The Ithaca Journal reports, one student asked, “How can a campus dedicated to preparing us for the real world not actively foster growth to our consciousness of oppression and privilege?”

There was a die-in and a silent demonstration amid the day of protests, all to get administrators to take their concerns seriously.

No mention of their concerns or their legitimacy, but hey, Mizzu’s weren’t legitimate and look how that turned out.  As one person wrote, no one claims to have seen the “poopswastica” supposedly found on a bathroom wall in a day and time when students take pictures and videos of themselves clipping their fingernails.  But somehow the phantom swastica wasn’t recorded (Nor has anyone come forward to claim to have seen it).

So if that worked for Mizzu, why not Ithaca?  After all, racial claims carry weight, just because … or at least they used too.  Until too many incidents were proven to be the work of minorities themselves.  But hey, if you’re a college student, you’re sure you know what racism is and you’ve been assured by the “victims” that it exists everywhere.  Therefore its as credible an excuse as any to get rid of a president.

Yup … the inmates are running the asylum.

Of course the irony and the humor is to be found in the fact that these little islands of insanity are the product of the professors and administration.



Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Buy Dale’s Books!