The Market Ticker
Commentary on The Capital Markets

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Unless, of course, you're a Christian.  Then Congress and other organs of government will make lots of laws that dictate how your religion must operate, such as what they've apparently done here.

Two Christian ministers who own an Idaho wedding chapel were told they had to either perform same-sex weddings or face jail time and up to a $1,000 fine, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court.

So about that Catholic Synod recently...

The Church teaches: "No grounds whatsoever exist for assimilating or drawing analogies, however remote, between homosexual unions and God's design for matrimony and the family." Nevertheless, men and women with homosexual tendencies should be accepted with respect and sensitivity. "Any sign of unjust discrimination in their regard is to be avoided."

Uh...... got handcuffs?

Now here's the problem, in a nutshell: None of this has anything to do with who you love and what gender they are.  If you think so you have rocks in your head.  If you promote this from a public-policy standpoint you're a financial rapist.

Most people know about the so-called marriage penalty which applies generally to those who are married and have two incomes in the family.  Most of the time you wind up penalized for being in this situation compared against one of you filing head-of-household (if you have kids) and the other as single.  Not always, but most of the time.

The government of course loves gay couples in this regard if they can be "married" because a very large percentage of them will have no children (which is generally not true for heterosexual couples.)  

But where the real screw job comes in is when you get older!

See, Medicaid covers nursing home care -- after you spend all your assets down first.  Here's the problem -- your assets are joint if you're married, and that's a huge problem if one of you gets sick and the other is not.  Before you can avail yourself of that program you must dissipate the marital assets first, which means your surviving spouse is ****ed after you die.  (While there is allegedly "spousal impoverishment" protection in this regard it's crap in point of fact and will screw the surviving spouse; the annual income that can be "protected" in this fashion is only around $23,000.)  And oh by the way, if you try to transfer assets to get around this you will run into lookback and penalty clauses designed to prohibit that.

The only other meaningful exception is your primary residence (with a cap on value) if your spouse (or a dependent offspring) is still living there.

Marriage should be between you and a religious order, nothing more or less.  It most-certainly should not result in your most-loved individual being hosed should you get older, because we all do.  Yet it does, will, and as the noose of ever-higher medical scams continues to tighten this becomes a larger and larger problem that bites more and more people.

Heh look over there, gays -- you signed up willingly to get reamed like this 10, 20 or 30 years down the road -- and I bet you didn't understand that when you argued for "marriage equality", did you?

Be careful what you wish for -- you might get it.

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)
 

So about that so-called "degree" you're sporting, son....

More than 3,000 students at the University of North Carolina -- nearly half of them athletes -- were enrolled in a "shadow curriculum" over a two-decade period that involved no-show classes and bogus grades, according to a report released by the school on Wednesday.

In other words the so-called "degree" documented exactly nothing -- and it was not limited to athletes either.

This of course means that for an employer the only thing you can do is treat all degrees from this place as worthless, until and unless they are all revoked, every person involved is identified, those who participated in any way are prosecuted for fraud (since said credentials were then used to defraud employers) and imprisoned.

None of which, by the way, is likely to ever happen.

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)
 

Well well, now this is interesting.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY • The official autopsy on Michael Brown shows that he was shot in the hand at close range, according to an analysis of the findings by two experts not involved directly in the case.

The accompanying toxicology report shows he had been using marijuana.

Those documents, prepared by the St. Louis County medical examiner and obtained by the Post-Dispatch, provide the most detailed description to date of the wounds Brown sustained in a confrontation Aug. 9 with Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson.

A source with knowledge of Wilson’s statements said the officer had told investigators that Brown had struggled for Wilson’s pistol inside a police SUV and that Wilson had fired the gun twice, hitting Brown once in the hand. Later, Wilson fired additional shots that killed Brown and ignited a national controversy.

This makes for a few interesting new observations, dove-tailing with what I had previously suspected and so-stated.

First, one of the wounds in Brown's hand was apparently caused when the cop's gun went off in the SUV as residue was found in the wound.  That does not happen unless the gun discharges very close to where the bullet goes in.  The lack of stippling (powder burns external) is unusual but not unprecedented, and the presence of residue in the wound is solid evidence of a contact (or near-so) shot.  Further, tissue evidence was recovered from the police SUV and matches Brown.

This would appear to many to exonerate Wilson (the cop.)  Not so fast, kemosabe!

Had the fatal shot been delivered in the vehicle that would be true, but that's not what happened.  The discharge of the firearm in the SUV, in a tightly-confined space right near the ears of both Brown and Wilson, means they were both almost-certainly temporarily deafened by the blast.  This means that Brown could almost-certainly not hear any commands given by Wilson after that, and Wilson could almost-certainly not hear anything Brown said beyond that point in the encounter either.

The tox report shows recent (but undifferentiated, that is, not quantified) marijuana consumption; that is, he (presumably) smoked weed some time close to the encounter, but whether he was actively high at the time cannot be discerned with any sort of reliability.

The problem remains those gunshot wounds to the head.  The round to the top of the head was recovered in the lateral right facial area with a 12cm travel path.  The other round to the head is the one that exits the jaw and re-enters the upper right chest.

The forensic findings are roughly congruent with the previous private autopsy and present the same problem in terms of physics for those two wounds.

However, there is one further finding -- and that is entrance wound #5 which is unpaired.  

This shot may be that which the entire situation turns on -- specifically, exactly when was that shot delivered.  The problem for Wilson is that the path is not straight-on, but rather downwardimplying that it did not produce Brown falling forward (and thus providing a clean explanation for exactly how the other two shots got delivered to his head in the orientation they were, without Brown being on his knees or otherwise in a submissive posture) but rather was delivered while he was either (1) falling forward or (2) below Wilson's plane of fire (that is, Wilson aimed downward because Brown was on his knees!)

This autopsy also contains no documentation of the sort of abrasion damage that would be expected on the exposed surfaces of the body and clothing if a perpetrator was in a charge toward the officer and was shot with immediately-fatal effect, falling forward at a high rate of speed onto pavement.  Since this is the official autopsy we can thus reasonably conclude that Brown was not in fact in a "bull rush charge" at the moment he was shot in the head.

So all I get from this report is that there is in fact forensic evidence of a struggle in the SUV and the discharge of the officer's weapon, which left forensic evidence in the vehicle and on the deceased.  That looks solid.  

However, that still does not result in the remaining shots being justified unless the officer was being charged by Brown at the time he fired, and the forensics fail to document that as having happened.

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)
 

smiley

I was among the first people to try out Apple Pay the moment it came available on Monday. It was convenient, fast, and it seemingly worked without incident ... until I logged in and checked my debit card bill.

As it turns out, I've been charged twice for every single purchase I've made with Apple Pay at various stores.

A quick search of Twitter found many other people experiencing this same exact problem.

Of course with debit cards there is a huge potential problem here because if you overdraw your checking account using one you're going to get monkey-hammered for as much as $39 for each overdrawn item.

Yeah, I'm sure Apple will "fix it", but the point remains that this so-called technological marvel was supposed to make this sort of thing impossible because a given token issued by the software for a given payment would only be good once.

It looks like it was good at least twice, eh?

Oops.

Update: There are reports that Bank of America was involved in some way with their clearing process -- nonetheless, as Apple's branded offering, screwups are theirs -- period.

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)
 

Hoh hoh hoh hoh hoh hoh hoh....

By estimating that zero stimulus would be consistent with a 10 percent quarterly drop in equities, they calculate it takes around $200 billion from central banks each quarter to keep markets from selling off.

What?

Note that central bank "stimulus" is not real.  An example will suffice.

Let's say there are exactly two things in the world of economic value -- $100 and 100 bushels of corn.

What's the likely clearing price -- that is, what you would exchange one bushel of corn for?

$1, right?

Remember, other than time preference there is nothing else in the economy to express value through than corn and dollars.

Ok, so now the central banks simply double the number of dollars.  That is, there now exists $200.

What is now the likely clearing price for one bushel of corn?

$2.

So the "price" of markets "not selling off" is the theft of that $200 billion a quarter, or $800 billion a year, from you in the form of your purchasing power.  In other words that $800 billion a year is stolen from you.

If you were taxed to the tune of a few thousand dollars a year so people with stocks would not see the price of their stock decline, and it was literally given to those people who owned stock, you'd be outraged.  The lower-income people who can't afford to and don't own any stock would likely revolt -- and quite-possibly violently so.

So let's now have a full and fair discussion about your silent consent to this now-admitted theft......

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)
 

Main Navigation
Full-Text Search & Archives
Archive Access
Get Adobe Flash player
Legal Disclaimer

The content on this site is provided without any warranty, express or implied. All opinions expressed on this site are those of the author and may contain errors or omissions.

NO MATERIAL HERE CONSTITUTES "INVESTMENT ADVICE" NOR IS IT A RECOMMENDATION TO BUY OR SELL ANY FINANCIAL INSTRUMENT, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO STOCKS, OPTIONS, BONDS OR FUTURES.

The author may have a position in any company or security mentioned herein. Actions you undertake as a consequence of any analysis, opinion or advertisement on this site are your sole responsibility.

Market charts, when present, used with permission of TD Ameritrade/ThinkOrSwim Inc. Neither TD Ameritrade or ThinkOrSwim have reviewed, approved or disapproved any content herein.

The Market Ticker content may be reproduced or excerpted online for non-commercial purposes provided full attribution is given and the original article source is linked to. Please contact Karl Denninger for reprint permission in other media or for commercial use.

Submissions or tips on matters of economic or political interest may be sent "over the transom" to The Editor at any time. To be considered for publication your submission must include full and correct contact information and be related to an economic or political matter of the day. All submissions become the property of The Market Ticker.