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2021-08-04 08:09 by Karl Denninger
in Federal Government , 573 references
[Comments enabled]  

I'm not sure how you could actually make for a worse situation.

The eviction moratorium was "allowed" to expire, so they say.  Except that's not what happened.

Landlords and others sued, it went to the USSC, and the decision was taken to force expiration as-scheduled rather than issue an immediate injunction.  There had been conflicting decisions from lower courts which is how you basically always get into the USSC in the first place.

Kavanaugh issued a rather-stern warning: Any future extension had to be done by Congress, as the CDC had exceeded its authority.

I don't really care what the CDC claims in terms of authority.  The Constitution is very clear: The government can take private property for public use but must pay for it at fair market value.  Money has time value, which is why you must pay your mortgage or rent on a given day.  You can pay early (voluntarily surrendering the additional time value) but not late without being penalized.

I remind you: Trump did this originally. Yes, Biden continued it, but who did it in the first place, knowing damn well what the 5th Amendment says?

If the government wishes to suspend that obligation for an alleged public purpose, no matter how good the purpose and how just it must pay the money that it prevented the landlord from receiving.  It can, entirely constitutionally, create a debt by the person who it pays on behalf of but it cannot threaten to fine and throw people in jail for collecting a privately-contracted housing agreement.

We can have a debate over whether the CDC is acting wisely but that's not the purpose of this column; indeed, such a debate becomes whole of government really, really quickly -- including DHS/HHS busing known Covid-positive illegal immigrants all over the United States and dropping them in communities with zero quarantine requirements and even without notifying local officials so they could show up and impose one.

But this column is about the very narrow question: Does the last clause of the 5th Amendment still exist?

And if it does not, since I do not recall any formal, constitutional process to revoke it, perhaps you can inform me in the comments why anyone should pay any attention to any law at any level -- local, state or federal?

After all if the highest law of the land -- that which all other laws must conform to -- is toilet paper then perhaps its time for us to start drafting a document that begins "When in the course of human events...."

Then again, if you want to know why the CDC and Biden did this, just read this column and note the date.  We have allowed this to go on for decades, haven't we?

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2021-08-03 06:00 by Karl Denninger
in Housing , 388 references
[Comments enabled]  

The political screaming class must really think we're stupid.

Well, maybe we are.  Just look at the last 18 months or so.

We're told that we must prevent evictions because there's a "pandemic."  Well, during said "pandemic" we paid people to stay home.  We hiked the minimum wage.  We're told, by the numbers, that per-capita income has gone up.  That means people have more money, not less.

So what, over the last 18 months, did those people spend the money on?

Obviously, if they're facing eviction, what they didn't spend the money on is their rent.

Why pay the rent when you can't be evicted for not paying it?  Why, let's instead buy..... booze!  How about bong hits!  Weed stores are essential businesses.  So are liquor stores.

Paying people to not work was thought of as compassionate.  What if it was really training them to, well, not have to work and expecting that their landlord would simply swallow all of the taxes and operating expenses, including of course maintenance on the building and grounds, of their residence?

The last employment situation report says that the average hourly wage is up $1.05 over the last year to $30.40.  Among production and non-supervisory employees there is not one category in the table (B-8) that shows an hourly wage under $15 and several are more than double that figure.

There is almost-literally a help-wanted sign in every single business window in America.  This begs the question; is the "beggar" you see standing on the corner less than 100' away from a store with said sign in the window truly broke and homeless or is he driving a Lexus and grifting you?  More than once I've seen the latter; said "beggar" walks to his car strategically in a parking lot, removes the tattered shirt and changes into some perfectly-good shorts and a shirt which happens to be in the very nice late-model car he has the keys to.

I used to find such people sad examples and believed that most of them probably were actually homeless and down on their luck.  The more-ragged were likely drug or alcohol-addicted and perhaps mentally compromised as well.  Years ago when I lived in Chicago it wasn't uncommon for me to offer one of the street bums my doggie bag from a nice restaurant and have them turn it down; all they wanted, you see, was a fiver so they could get a cheap snort of booze or their particular drug of choice.  "Hungry and homeless" eh?  Well, the latter perhaps, but the former not so much.

The last few months have disabused me of this notion; someone who is actually hungry and homeless can have a job in 15 minutes.  They might not like that specific job, but it's a job.  Some of them -- like the local Kroger -- are even are advertising they pay daily which removes the argument that you can't go to work because you need the money now, not in two or four weeks.  Work today, get paid today.

But even that doesn't do it.  The other day I was in said Kroger and half the self-checkout lanes were shuttered.  Why?  They only had one person on to watch over the shoppers and keep them from walking out with a full cart of groceries they didn't pay for.  Do you really think they wouldn't have immediately hired someone who is facing eviction when they have a sign in the window offering to do exactly that?

I'm out of patience -- and tolerance -- for the screaming class of political pantywaist nonsense peddlers, no matter which issue it may be on.  When it comes to economics at a personal level its quite-clear: Why work when someone will pay you to sit around and get stoned?  We've done exactly that, and instead of paying rent with the money what was bought was beer and bong hits.  We're told we're "racist" if we restrict EBT to actual nutritious food instead of junk, packaged, obesogenic crap and thus the local gas station convenience store lets you use EBT to buy things that make you fat and, I remind you, that makes you more-likely to die of the coof.

Given that we knew more than a year ago that being obese was a serious risk factor for Covid-19 wouldn't an intelligent thing to do be to slam the door on that bull**** and restrict government food assistance to actual healthy food?  Of course it would have.  If it's a fast carbohydrate then you can't buy it with EBT.  Oh, but that would been inconvenient say the screaming harpies.  Indeed it might have -- but it also might have kept some people alive when we didn't pay them to pack on another 50lbs.

Never mind the other part of the problem at present, which is that the landlords all have to pay their property taxes but are not getting any income.  Does Blackrock care about this?  No, they go to the Fed and get a nice zero-interest loan to pay them with.  Can the small property owner -- the small-business landlord -- get that zero-interest loan?  Of course not.  He or she is forced to sell -- to Blackrock, of course, which also gets another zero-interest loan to buy them out at a loss, then jacks up the rent.

A hand up is a job.

A hand-out is the destruction of the work ethic and generation of more Beautiful Ones, except when it comes to humans for some odd reason they're not all that beautiful when smiling at you with teeth rotted out from smoking meth.

Then again, in the mouse experiments, we didn't put mouse-sized crank pipes in MouseTopia, did we?

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2021-07-29 06:49 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 739 references
[Comments enabled]  

Ever hear of MouseTopia?

Someone brought it up on my forum; I knew about it, having read a couple of articles decades ago.  It was very interesting because it applied to a creature that, many believe, is rather stupid -- that is, driven by simple primal instincts.  Eat, drink, avoid being eaten by a cat and, of course, screw.

The mouse, to be specific.  

As it turns out it's a bit more complex than that.

A scientist built what should have been utopia.  A closed system with no shortages of water, food, places to nest and, of course, no predators.  The expectation was that the handful of male and female mice would, without any pressure to contain their numbers, eat, drink and screw themselves literally to death, consuming all space available since there were no other constraints.  There was no problem with clean air, water, food or the means to dispose of waste; ergo, population would expand exponentially until all space was consumed.

You know, like it was predicted in the 1970s and such with humans.

It started as predicted but rapidly did not work out that way.

Long before the mice reached physical constraints bad things started to happen.  The social order of raising little mice and imprinting on them what was necessary to turn them into prolific creatures broke down.  Eventually the mother mice stopped allowing their babies to nurse and the young mice stopped caring about anything at all, other than eating, grooming and sleeping.  Some got extremely aggressive and started attacking and raping anything that moved -- even where there was no possibility of reproduction (e.g. raping other males.)  The birth rate fell, infant mortality soared and, ultimately, reproduction stopped entirely.

There was no equilibrium reached nor was the limit resource exhaustion, which was the original expectation.  Instead the social order broke down and ultimately the entire population under test went extinct.

Several permutations followed in an attempt to try to figure out what the hell was going on, including removing some of the mice from that environment once reproduction had ceased and transplanting them into a new environment where there were only a few mice.  The transplanted mice refused to breed and all eventually died out anyway, despite now being in a spare space with, once again, no predatory pressure and lots of resources.

As far as I know nobody has ever identified exactly what changed, when, or how to interdict it.  Perhaps its as simple as "without adversity against which a species must struggle society eventually fails and even the most-base reproductive drive is lost."

You'd think that would be a human or at least primate construct, but as these experiments showed you'd be wrong.  Social constructs, even if they're not what we think of as "social" at all, are inherently and inescapably part of necessity with any sexually-reproducing animal.  If you lose that you lose the entire population of a species as without reproduction the outcome over time is certain.

One of the claims is that "inequity" causes such outcomes.  Really?  When everyone has access to enough, how is there inequity?  Isn't inequity really a codeword for I don't have to lift a finger to have everything I need -- or even want?  Doesn't this inherently come from destroying the natural selective process of being better and doing better leads to better outcomes, which by definition cannot wind up in equality of result?

And isn't getting rid of that dynamic, when you get down to it, a recipe for disaster?

Look at the last 18 months.  Despotism is nothing new and seizing opportunity when a hidden bogeyman comes to call isn't new either.  How many times have High Priests shown up with various nostrums, from waving crosses to Holy Water to blood on doors to ward away evil?  Is it not true that 100 times out of 100 such persons were, in fact, completely full of crap?

The man who discovered that washing your hands before delivering babies prevented women from dying was literally drummed out of medical practice and pursued even beyond that to the point he was driven insane.

Is what we're seeing now really any different than what we've seen before?

They cut your head off as a heretic, didn't they.

What are social media companies doing today?

Something to start your day thinking about....... and whether we're headed for the same outcome as the mice.

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2021-07-26 12:00 by Karl Denninger
in POTD , 295 references
 

 

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2021-07-26 08:04 by Karl Denninger
in Energy , 508 references
[Comments enabled]  

...... the Chinese were doing what I pointed out was likely to happen back when I wrote Leverage as it applies to energy policy.

Chinese government scientists have unveiled plans for a first-of-its-kind, experimental nuclear reactor that does not need water for cooling.

The molten-salt nuclear reactor, which runs on liquid thorium rather than uranium, is expected to be safer than traditional reactors because the molten salt cools and solidifies quickly when exposed to the air, insulating the thorium, so that any potential leak would spill much less radiation into the surrounding environment compared with leaks from traditional reactors. 

The article goes on to try to explain why we haven't commercialized the technology and lies in the process of doing so.

In point of fact there was one material engineering issue that we had not resolved, and it's not clear China has either -- they may have ignored it.  That is online reprocessing of the fuel, that is, the ability to do so while the reactor is running without exchanging the working fuel load out for a new one.  In a small modular reactor they may not care; in that sort of design you can potentially take the "capsule" of the operating portion of the reactor and transport it somewhere to do that. The general "SMR" design has been toyed with before in this regard, but whether the Chinese have attempted apply that to LFTRs is not well-described in this article.

Nor does it appear that China has turned the other advantage, that of the rather nice match between operating heat levels and CTL technology, an advantage which I described here back in 2011.  That's where, IMHO, the real future lies with this sort of move forward, although it does not surprise me terribly that the source article leaves that out.  After all the premise of every alleged "science" goofball these days is not to ground their work in physics and chemistry, but rather to base it on virtue-signaling stupidity using the word "green" as often as possible despite the fact that anything involving the use of battery storage vessels for energy in a vehicle is wildly inefficient and thus not green at all on a full life-cycle basis.

Not that the Chinese have ever given a crap about the environment in that regard (and there's no reason to believe they will in the future either); killing their own people is considered sport if it makes them a buck, so there you have it.

But as I pointed out when I wrote that article.....

Incidentally, China and India appear to have figured this out as well; I'm not the only one with a brain.

We had better lead on this or we're going to get trampled.

Yep.

Thank yourselves Boobus Americanus; between allowing a flood of illegal invaders into the nation (Obama., Trump and Biden), screaming about everything except sustainable solutions that are good for hundreds of years when it comes to energy (all three as well), untested jabs rushed out (thanks dudes), lockdowns, turning people into NPCs and now the man who slaughtered tens of thousands in the time of AIDS that is still strutting around with a hypodermic and diaper in-hand demanding you use both while doing nothing to resolve the fact that behind every single unit of GDP -- that is, economic output -- is a unit of ENERGY China has continued forward and, it appears, is about to bring online what we could have focused our attention on over the last 10 years.

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