Questions and Observations

Free Markets, Free People

Someone, anyone, give Bernie Sanders an economics book

I’ve been reading about Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders announcing for the presidency.  In reality all he’s likely to do is make Hillary seem “moderate” in comparison.

I guess what I don’t understand is why someone like Sanders is even taken seriously.  Read Ed Driscoll at Washington Monthly’s “Political Animal“:

And despite Clinton’s great strength, [Sanders is] also perhaps the most credible seriously lefty candidate in living memory. He’s no Dennis Kucinich, doomed to become a figure of fun.

Really?  When have any “lefty candidates” of his pedigree been “credible”?  Socialism?  It’s now credible?  Where?

Venezuela’s bolivar is collapsing. And as night follows day, Venezuela’s annual implied inflation rate is soaring. Last week, the annual inflation rate broke through the 500% level. It now stands at 510%.

That’s just the latest example.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg there.  The Bolivar is now more valuable as toilet paper (something that is impossible to get in the Socialist paradise of Venezuela) than money.

And now this “credible” socialist wants to take us down the very same path:

In his campaign “launch” yesterday, Sen. Bernie Sanders presented one of the most succinct, easy-to-summarize policy agendas we’ve seen from a presidential candidate in a long time. More progressive taxes. Breaking up the big banks. A constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. A carbon tax. A single-payer health care system. Expanding Social Security. Universal pre-k. Free college tuition. A trillion-dollar infrastructure program. A $15 an hour minimum wage. And a reversal of international economic policies that promote/allow job exports.

“Free” health care, “free” tuition, “free” pre-k, $15 minimum wage, more taxes to include a carbon tax, anti-capitalist laws to cripple the producers and spending of a trillion dollars on “infrastructure” (didn’t we just do that a few years ago?).  This is “credible?”  He is “credible?”  In what universe?

Would someone please, please send Sen. Sanders a freaking book on economics?

Oh, and Ed Driscoll too.

~McQ

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Economic Statistics for 26 May 15

Declining aircraft sales pushed April durable goods orders down -0.5%, but ex-transportation orders rose 0.5%.

The FHFA house price index rose a lower-than-expected 0.3% in March. The index is up 5.2% on a year-over-year basis.

In contrast to FHFA, the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price index rose 1.0% in March, but is still at a similar 5.0% year-on-year gain. 

The May PMI Services Index flash from Markit fell -1.4 points from April’s final, coming in at 56.4.

New home sales bounced back strongly in April, with a 6.8% increase to a 517,000 annual rate.

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose 0.2 points to 95.4 in May.

The Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index is still soft, but rose into positive territory in May, rising from -3 to 1.

The State Street Investor Confidence Index rose 6. points in May, to 120.8.

The Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey continued to decline in May, falling -6.8 points to -20.8, while the production index fell from -4.7 to -13.5.


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Amnesty injunction upheld

A win for the rule of law:

A federal appeals court upheld an injunction against President Obama’s new deportation in a ruling Tuesday that marks the second major legal setback for an administration that had insisted its actions were legal.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of Texas, which had sued to stop the amnesty, on all key points, finding that Mr. Obama’s amnesty likely broke the law governing how big policies are to be written.

“The public interest favors maintenance of the injunction,” the judges wrote in the majority opinion.

So, uh, “no” to rule by executive order seem pretty apparent.  Also, the court noted those who opposed, or at least the one dissenting judge did:

“The political nature of this dispute is clear from the names on the briefs: hundreds of mayors, police chiefs, sheriffs, attorneys general, governors, and state legislators—not to mention 185 members of Congress, 15 states and the District of Columbia on the one hand, and 113 members of Congress and 26 states on the other,” he wrote.

Or, just about everyone else in America.

The dissenting justice felt it should be left between the President and Congress.

Well, now it is.

Before it was decree by executive order. So, in essence, the dissenting justice got what he wanted, even though he apparently doesn’t realize it.

~McQ

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Boston U, Grundy hire update

What a debacle the hire of Saida Grundy has been for Boston U.  8 years ago, Ms. Grundy apparently plead down two felony accounts for a misdemeanor in an act of irrational jealousy in which she tried to hurt, bully and harass someone she’d never met:

Grundy used the identity of a Virginia woman in a jealous fit over a man in late 2007 to create online accounts in the woman’s name, including one on an adult website for people looking for trysts, according to a police report obtained by the Herald under a Freedom of Information Act request.

Grundy got one year of probation after pleading guilty to malicious use of telecommunication services, a misdemeanor, according to online court records and Dan Dwyer, the court administrator at Washtenaw County Trial Court in Michigan. Two felony charges, identity theft and using a computer to commit a crime, were dismissed.

The cyber harassment took place in December 2007 when Grundy was at the University of Michigan, where she earned a master’s degree in sociology and a doctorate of philosophy in sociology and women’s studies in 2014.

The victim told police in Charlottesville, Va., that someone was creating accounts in her name and posting her personal information online, according to the police report.

A detective traced the suspect, identified as Grundy, to Ann Arbor and reached out to police there.

During an interview with detectives at her home in May 2008, Grundy said she had never met the victim but “this was a jealous thing regarding another man,” according to the police report.

She claims it was a bad decision by a 24 year old.  Yet we saw last week that she’s either not learned a thing or is still prone to bad decisions.  This was highlighted with her bullying a white rape victim on line.

Boston U’s reaction?  “Meh”:

In a statement Wednesday night, Boston University said: “A number of years ago, when she was a student at the University of Michigan, Dr. Grundy made a mistake. She admitted the mistake, accepted the consequences, and brought closure to that case. Eight years later, we do not see any reason to reopen it.”

In other words, character doesn’t matter when it comes to “diversity”.  Diversity always wins out.  Boston U would rather inflict a racist bully on it’s student population than admit it’s made a wrong decision in hiring her.

Oh, and the department she will teach in?

On Monday, BU’s African American Studies faculty posted an online message welcoming Grundy, saying she had been hired after a nationwide search and chosen from over 100 applicants. The post mentioned Grundy’s tweets and said they’ve been “shocked by the number of voicemails left and the hostile emails sent to our office and our individual accounts. … However, most troubling was that among the numerous that were serious expressions of dismay were many vile messages, explicitly racist and obscene, that consider cyber-bullying a substitute for frank discussion and freedom of speech.”

“Physician, heal thyself.”  You’re welcoming a cyber-bully into your bosom, for heaven sake.  You ought to be ashamed.

~McQ

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Economic Statistics for 21 May 15

Existing home sales fell -3.3 % in April to a worse-than-expected 5.04 million annual rate, as weakness continues in the housing sector.

The Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey fell -0.8 points in May to 6.7.

The Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators jumped 0.7% in April, mainly on increases in building permits. Oddly, the jump in permits hasn’t yet shown up as strength in the constructions sector.

The Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index fell -8 points in May to a deeply negative -13.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index improved from -0.42 in March to a still-negative -0.15 in April.

May’s flash reading for the PMI manufacturing index fell -0.4 points to a 16-month low of 53.8.

Initial weekly jobless claims rose 10,000 to 274,000. The 4-week average fell 5,500 to 266,250. Continuing claims fell 12,000 to 2.211 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index slipped -1.1 points in the May 17 week to 42.4.

The Fed’s balance sheet fell $-20.8 billion last week, with total assets of $4.480 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $4.0 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $22.8 billion in the latest week.


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Delusional and desperate

I’m speaking of our POTUS. Yesterday at a commencement ceremony at the Coast Guard Academy, he declared that climate change was the biggest threat to our national security out there.

No. Really.

Even the ever malleable Jeb Bush couldn’t take that:

U.S. Republican Jeb Bush said on Wednesday that the Earth’s climate is changing but that scientific research does not clearly show how much of the change is due to humans and how much is from natural causes. While President Barack Obama and many scientists believe humans are largely to blame for climate change, Bush said the degree of human responsibility is uncertain. The former Florida governor challenged Obama’s determination earlier in the day that climate change is now a threat to U.S. national security.

It’s not just the degree of of change caused by humans in question but the effect of CO2.  But we “deniers” know that.  That and the fact that without a doubt the “evidence” which the alarmist have used has been fudged make any reasoning person “skeptical” of the declared “science”.   Add in the abysmally wrong models as well as the temperatures from the last 17 years and anyone who isn’t a skeptic has blinders on and isn’t interested in science.

But, with Iraq collapsing, Saudi Arabia buying nukes while Iran develops them, Lybia in chaos and a haven for ISIS, Syria imploding, Yemen falling to extremists, Egypt cozying up to Russia who is taking the Ukraine bit by bit and China is challenging us in the South China Sea, global warming climate change isn’t even on the radar screen as far as national security problems go.

No, the cult of climate change is precisely what Bush said it is:

The problem is climate change has been co-opted by the hard-core left and if you don’t march to their beat perfectly then you’re a denier.

And we all know what they want to do with “deniers”, don’t we?

So why are we hearing all this nonsense in the midst of all this chaos in the world?

In his frantic search for something positive for us to remember him by, President Obama has lately turned to “climate change,” casting it in recent weeks as a matter of health, of environmental protection, of international obligation, even as a matter of his daughter’s health. She suffered an asthma attack as a child, and he thinks the changing weather had something to do with it. Nothing has worked so far to persuade the public that everyone is doomed unless the government steps in to change the weather. President Obama is likely to find that manufactured climate hysteria won’t work.

Legacy.  He’s screwed absolutely everything else up during his tenure as president.  This might be his last shot at what he thinks will be a positive legacy.  If implemented, it would likely be just like the other monstrosities he’s now trying to run from.  But he’s going to try.

And reason 2?

With six months to go until the next global climate treaty talks in Paris, environmentalist and former US vice president Al Gore has declared that ‘the future of the world depends’ on their outcome. Lord Nigel Lawson, former energy secretary in Margaret Thatcher’s government, delivers his assessment of the prospects of the world reaching a new climate deal.

Everyone with consciousness knows nothing is going to change when they meet.

Spiegel journalist Axel Bojanowski calls it the “big climate show”. Although big declarations are being made, behind the scenes “creative steps” and “tricks” are the real order of the day. One example of trickery comes from Russia, Bojanowski writes: Although Russia has announced it wants to reduce emissions 25% by 2030 compared to 1990 – this is in fact trickery. Because of the collapse of its industry during the 1990s, the country is emitting only half as much CO2 as it did in 1990. That means with respect to climate targets, Russia intends to emit more CO2 in the future.” And not less! In Paris do expect the signing of a “binding international treaty”, but one that will be chock-full of non-binding requirements. The circus (which no one takes seriously anymore) thus will continue.

But … he can then claim, legacy.  Because it’s not something actually having an effect, it’s the intent that’s important in the post-modern world.  So, as we’ve seen in the past, he’ll talk the talk and consider that to be “action taken”.

Somehow, however, money will migrate from your wallet to the government’s in all this while whatever it is the alarmists want done won’t get one iota closer to happening than before.

It’s all about income redistribution and that’s precisely what will be the outcome to this “national security problem”, just hide and watch.

~McQ

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Hypocrisy in academia … what a surprise!

As you can probably tell by the frequency of these sorts of posts, I’m fascinated by watching the left’s civil war, especially in academia.

On the one hand we have defacto speech codes on college campuses that describe anything considered to be hurtful to be “hate speech”.  And, of course, you can’t utter “hate speech” without sanction and shaming by the left – or being shouted down if you dare to introduce a topic that doesn’t conform with the ideology of certain vocal minorities.  “Safe spaces” and “micro-aggression” along with “trigger warnings” are the what, as Kathleen Parker calls our “swaddled class”, use to attack those who apparently threaten their pseudo-well-being.

On the other hand, we see real hate defended – or at least that’s the case at Boston U where this execrable excuse for an assistant professor has just been hired:

 On Friday, her new employer’s spokesman, Colin Riley, told FoxNews.com that the tweets came from Grundy’s personal Twitter account and that she was “exercising her right to free speech and we respect her right to do so.”

Then, amid a deluge of angry emails from former students, the school sought to amend the comment.

“The University does not condone racism or bigotry in any form and we are deeply saddened when anyone makes such offensive statements,” Riley told FoxNews.com Saturday.

Well, isn’t that nice – defending what in anyone  else would have been termed “hate speech”. (What Dr. Grundy said can be seen here.)  Obviously she thinks all of this is acceptable even if she is woefully wrong (in terms of history).  Quite simply she’s a “troll.”  Anyone of the opinion that’s how she’ll likely be in the classroom as well?  Yeah, me too.

And then there’s where she went after an apparent rape victim simply because she’s white.

Ms. Grundy, a newly hired black sociology professor who recently apologized for tweeting that white males are a “problem population,” is now accused of mercilessly mocking Meghan Chamberlin in a Facebook thread on Feb. 25, Fox News reported.

The woman who wrote, “my name is *Sai*, but you can call me Dr. Grundy,” posted the comments after Ms. Chamberlin took issue with an article on racism and sexism by The Grio that the Facebook thread had linked to, Fox News reported.

“I LITERALLY cry and lose sleep over this,” Ms. Chamberlin wrote, adding she had been raped as a child, Fox reported. “What this article did was tell me that I’m not aloud [sic] to ask for help… Because I am a WHITE woman… So when I read this article… you do understand what that does to me, right? It kills me…”

“‘I literally cry’…. While we literally die,” replied the woman identified as Sai Grundy, using the same profile photo the Boston University professor used on tweets she acknowledged last week, Fox News reported.

“[T]ry this article. A white woman explaining this issue to other white women… who manages NOT to cry while doing it!” Ms. Grundy wrote.

Ms. Chamberlin responded: “No really. I got it. You can take your claws out, thanks.”

To which Ms. Grundy exploded:

“THIS IS THE [expletive] I AM TALKING ABOUT. WHY DO YOU GET TO PLAY THE VICTIM EVERY TIME PEOPLE OF COLOR AND OUR ALLIES WANT TO POINT OUT RACISM. my CLAWS?? Do you see how you just took an issue that WASNT about you, MADE it about you, and NOW want to play the victim when I take the time to explain to you some [expletive] that is literally $82,000 below my pay grade? And then you promote your #whitegirltears like that’s some badge you get to wear… YOU BENEFIT FROM RACISM. WE’RE EXPLAINING THAT TO YOU and you’re vilifying my act of intellectual altruism by saying i stuck my “claws” into you?”

Ms. Chamberlin responded: “I am choosing to ‘exit’ this conversation. You don’t know me. I don’t know you. It’s really as simple as that.”

Ms. Grundy responded: “YOU DONT HAVE TO KNOW ME. what you SHOULD know is that you don’t know more about this issue than marginalized women. And instead of entering this conversation with an iota of humility about that, you have made it a celebration of your false sense of victimization. now go cry somewhere. since that’s what you do.”

This is someone who is going to teach sociology to students? This is a person committed to “diversity” and learning?  Given her Twitter tirade, what white student is going to bother taking her class?

Let’s face it, she’s a racist.  And yeah, I don’t buy this new definition that you have to have “power” and not be a “minority” to be racist.  That’s the usual leftist copout.

She’s as racist as they come.  She also indulges in hate speech.  And she has every 1st Amendment right to do that, a right I defend completely.

However, the exercise of such a right in the manner in which she has exercised it has consequences.  Far fewer students than might have taken her class will take it now.  And many alumni are promising never to contribute another dollar to the school if she’s employed there.  Not only that, Boston U’s reputation has taken a horrible hit.

Debora Tyler gets to the essence of Grundy’s trolling and tirades:

Professor Saida Grundy recently introduced herself as a new faculty member at Boston University with a blast of obscene and abusive bigotry against a race and gender student group.  A brief refresher in the psychology of scapegoating explains why she must be terminated: blaming a racial or gender group for social ills is an intransigent form of ignorance that blocks the capacity for complex problem solving. Isn’t that capacity a quality required of professors?

The AP reported she made statements “critical” of white students. This is an example of AP leftwing bias. She did not make “critical statements.” The hate she expressed is typical of classic scapegoating, paralleling the Nazi transference of blame against Jews. Professor Grundy characterized the entire group of white college males as a problem population. From her tweets: “white masculinity isn’t a problem for america’s colleges, white masculinity is THE problem for america’s colleges… for the record, NO race outside of europeans had a system that made slavery a *personhood* instead of temporary condition.” We can overlook her tweets’ problematic capitalization and punctuation, but must Boston University students be forced to suffer her baneful and ill-informed opinions? Her assertion about the unique “personhood” of European slavery is particularly, and stunningly, ignorant.

Boston U. must be so proud …

~McQ

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Economic Statistics for 19 May 15

The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index fell -2 points in May to 54.

April housing starts soared 20.2% to a much better than expected 1.135 million annual rate, while permits were 1.143 million.

Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales softened to 1.8% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s already-soft 2.1%.


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