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Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [Corruption]
2017-10-14 11:25 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 1631 references
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Ok, time for a round-up on the latest insanity in the Vegas shooting.

Let's deal with the "security guard" first.  He's "disappeared" -- well, not really.  He suddenly canceled several interviews, his house is now under "guard" by a firm that was decertified (expired license) in Nevada, and a family member allegedly told a member of the press that he's under a "gag order."  The "security guard" doesn't appear to have ever been registered as a private security officer in the State of Nevada, which, if his job description met what one thinks of as a "security guard", is a legal requirement to work as same in the state.  Further, he apparently has union representation (that is, he's a member of a trade union.)

Ok, let's go through this because the conspiracy nuts are going insane at the moment.

First off, a "gag order" can only be issued by a judge.  They're not secret.  Second, both the FBI and LVMPD have repeatedly claimed that there are no other shooters (and never were), and no other suspects.  The only suspect is dead, so there's nothing to "gag" because there's nobody to put on trial.

So if there's a "gag order" (a real one), let's see it.  Best guess is that it doesn't exist.

What about the other inconsistencies -- especially the apparently lack of a private security officer license?

Occam's Razor folks: I'll bet he's an illegal immigrant.

His name is a common Hispanic first name but an extremely rare US one.

If he's an illegal immigrant he can't register for a security guard license.

This of course means that both his union and Mandalay Bay (MGM) knew, or recklessly and intentionally averted their attention from his lack of citizenship, and that would explain the "gag"; one or both have warned him that if he opens his mouth they will throw him to the wolves.  Up until this point it was great for both Mandalay Bay and the union; the union got dues, Mandalay Bay got a suppressed-wage and compliant worker.

The reason to shut him up is obvious; he has a nice car over there, and an apparent nice life.  If he's illegally in the United States, however, all that goes "poof" like a fart in a church if he gets caught and ICE comes after him, and what's worse is that just perhaps that there's a security guard who allegedly is supposed to be licensed and isn't could bring ICE into all the casinos and hotels in Las Vegas, where they would likely find thousands of illegal invaders working in said hotels in various capacities, including, if this guy really is an unlicensed "guard", those where licenses are supposed to be required.

Of course all of this is illegal as hell up and down the line but in our country if you're a corporate executive nobody gives a **** and nobody goes to jail either, so why not do it since it's profitable?


(ed: Update, 10/18/2017: The guard apparently is going to be on the Ellen show.  Good. Let's see if she asks him about the reports that there are two people (one of them him) using "his" Social Security number!)

Second, the conspiracy garbage about "gun-running."

Folks, have you ever bought or sold a gun?  No, you haven't if you're running that crap.  What's the one thing that is never in the immediate proximity of a gun when it's being sold or bought?  Ammunition for said gun.

Why?  Duh.

If the "deal" goes bad (whether legal originally or not) the last thing you want is for the party that gets pissed off (no matter which party that might be) to have the ability to use the gun(s) right there to kill the other party.  Therefore there is never ammunition with or in the firearm(s) and there most-certainly is never a crap-ton of loaded magazines for said weapons within "grab-and-go" range.  What do you think these sort of deals are -- a ****ing movie?  No!  You get shot and you really die unlike on the TV and thugs (along with gangsters) understand that quite well.

So the "gun running" garbage that is being run is utter and complete crap folks; get your head out of the damned TV and movie screen and use your brain for 10 seconds, or you could just walk into a gun store or gun show and see for yourself.  Note that all the firearms in both cases either have an empty magazine in them or no magazine at all, with the exception of the sidearm that the store employee might be carrying.  It's pretty hard to get shot with a gun that has no bullets.

There are people claiming that there were a "lack of muzzle flashes" from the 32nd floor.  No there weren't.  I saw several in the hand-videos of people who were crazy enough to point their cellphones at the source of the shooting instead of making their first, best and only act to get the hell out of there and/or behind hard cover.  Yes, the flashes were (in relative terms) muted.  So what?  It's never actually dark in Vegas, especially on the side of any of the casino hotels.  Have those people running this crap ever been there?  The buildings are lit up like daylight 24x7.  The fact is there were muzzle flashes, they looked a bit brighter than they'd look in the daytime, and that's about right given the general level of illumination on the side of every casino hotel in the city.  If you're running this sort of conspiracy crap shut up and sit down.

On the claim of a so-called "second shooter": Oh really?  Where is/was he or she?  There's at least one nutjob running around on the web claiming to have done "forensic acoustic analysis."  Nonsense.  Las Vegas is literally full of echoing surfaces for sharp sounds -- like gunshots, never mind that he did fire from two locations pointing in different directions which would present different acoustic profiles to a fixed-point microphone.  There's nothing in terms of ballistic evidence to support the "two shooter" claim -- nothing.

Next up are the general facts related to this clown and his selection of weapons and tactics.

I'll deal with tactics first, since it's simpler.  He obviously went to a lot of trouble planning this out, it appears he made at least one and maybe two "dry run" room purchases at other music festivals in recent months, and he picked a very good vantage point from which to shoot.  Not a perfect vantage point, but a very good one -- and maybe the best he could come up with under the circumstances.  All of this points away from a "snap decision" but it fits the "Rage Monster" profile, which is usually someone who thinks about the act, plans it (frequently in exhaustive detail), maybe even wargames it over some period of time and then does it.

Let me put something forward that nobody other than myself is making clear to anyone, and I'd like to know why: This idiot knew nothing about firearms beyond what the average person sees on TeeVee and in the movies.  In this regard the fact pattern on this violence is utterly common when it comes to "Rage Monster" attacks but fits neither terrorism (those folks usually have at least some familiarity with guns) or any other sort of organized group.  This guy demonstrated through his choices and actions a complete lack of skill at-arms to such a degree that it is obvious he had never hunted, never served in any sort of armed unit (e.g. military) and he almost-certainly never even shot at paper at a gun range with any sort of frequency.  In other words he was almost completely unskilled in the selection and use of firearms; his level of understanding was approximately equal to someone who has never fired a weapon.

Let's count up the points of ignorance on guns alone, shall we?

1. He allegedly shot intentionally at the fuel tanks beyond the fence at the airport, if the cops are to be believed.  The closest tank (use Google maps) is roughly 2100' away at ground level, or ~700 yards.  Incidentally the stage is about 1,000' from the hotel, again at ground level (or more than 300 yards.)  Both of those must have their distances adjusted (increased) to account for elevation when it comes to bullet effectiveness; the "shooting distance" is computed as the "flat" distance but the round still travels an arc, not a straight line.  Nobody with any degree of experience with weapons would choose an AR-15 to shoot at a high-strength fuel tank 700yds away as the odds of penetrating it at that range are somewhere between low and zero.  Further, he had tracer rounds (that use a phosphorus mixture to leave a burning trail, and could have lit the fuel inside if he did penetrate the tank wall) but didn't use them on said tank.

2. He was at the far end of the effective range of an AR-15 (~300ish yards) to the festival for a moderately skilled shooter (of which he obviously was not) but was using an Eotech reflex sight on at least one of the weapons instead of a scope.  An Eotech is a decent close-quarter (under 100yds) battle sight (in other words, it's a decent sight choice for a defensive weapon you envision potentially using on your property) but it offers nothing in terms of useful accuracy at 300+ yards.  The usual compromise for someone that doesn't have 20 year old eyes (this guy was old enough that I suspect his vision is nowhere near as acute as the average 20-year old military inductee) and wants to shoot in the 100-300yd range with that sort of sight is a flip-to-side magnifier behind said Eotech for longer range shooting which can be immediately flipped out of the way should you need to shoot at close-quarters.  Those flip-to-side mounts and magnifiers are expensive (nearly as much as the sight itself!) and he didn't have one behind his Eotech.   More to the point tactically you wouldn't have different sights on a collection of weapons you intended to rapidly switch between during such an attack, simply because your sight picture will change and you would want a consistent sight picture during the event.  Finally, even a moderately decent scope is a lot cheaper than an Eotech+flip-to-side (like by half or more) and for varmint hunting (a decent use for an AR15) they're a better choice since they're both cheaper and at least as accurate at the range you likely will use the weapon.  In short the value in an "Eotech" sort of sight is that you can shoot "both eyes open"; this has value in a close-quarters situation as it can keep you from being blindsided by an attacker.  "Both eyes open" shooting is of zero value when engaging in long-range shooting and is a ridiculously stupid choice for a weapon intended for such a use.

3. He had bump stocks on said rifles (to increase the rate of fire) and, on at least one of them, a bipod.  Those two don't go together at all.  A bipod will quite-effectively make a bump stock worthless (that is, not work.)  A bipod enhances accuracy by stabilizing the muzzle end of the gun while a bump stock destroys accuracy and essentially requires that you hand-hold said weapon.  These two items make no sense whatsoever on the same weapon, yet they were apparently present.  Further, there are reports the shooter was left-handed. The bump stocks I saw on his guns were for right-handed shooters which means to use them (and he clearly did) he would have taken even more degradation in accuracy by shooting from his "weak side", especially for an unskilled and unpracticed user.

4. He had a crazy number of guns for such an attack -- unless he was scared they might malfunction (and there's plenty of evidence they did due to his choice of magazines.)  One plus a backup (two) for each shooting position, or four guns, makes much more sense.  Two is one, one is none you know.  Beyond that, plus (maybe) something short-barreled to grab for in-close defense if/when SWAT assaults his position he was simply increasing the risk of getting caught before he had time to execute his plan.

5. Nearly the last weapon you would choose for shooting people at that range would be an AR15.  It's simply the wrong tool.  Among other things you don't get bullet upset or fragmentation beyond about 150yds with a 5.56 caliber weapon which materially limits the damage done per hit unless you strike a vital area.  Far more effective at that range would be anything chambered in 7.62x51/.308 of which there are a lot of choices including the AR10 and M1A.  There are also plenty of sporting rifles in that caliber, some semi-automatic, that are extraordinarily (murderously so) accurate; it's a very popular caliber for both hunting and intermediate-range competitive target shooting.  For the latter purpose there are cartridges manufactured that provide extremely high accuracy when used in a quality weapon; coupled with a scope and bipod, plus of course a level of skill in the user, they would have been monstrously-effective.  Indeed, you could take a standard AR15 lower, put a different upper on it that uses a different cartridge with far better long-distance accuracy and carried energy and use that.  Instead the shooter elected to buy and employ a bunch of standard AR15s, and the raw number of guns he had showed that he certainly wasn't cash-limited in his choice of weapons.  In other words despite his high body count he was pretty damned ineffective and a material part of that outcome was due to his selection of weapons for the assault.

6. You have to be crazy to use a bump stock on a weapon if you intend to shoot at something 300+yds from your position.  They simply trash accuracy, and it's quite hard to hit what you aim at 300yds away to begin with.  It requires both a reasonable selection of a weapon and cartridge to start with and then a decent degree of concentration and steadiness on the part of the person doing the shooting.  Bump stocks, by their design, cause you to abuse your muscles and the dynamics of holding the weapon in a fashion that destroys the accuracy of your fire.  Inside of 100yds it matters much less, but there was nothing for him to shoot at inside of 100yds (that didn't even get him to ground level from the 32nd floor!)

7. What evidence is there that he even bothered to zero all 20ish rifles?  That's a fair bit of work and someone had to have seen him, somewhere, doing it -- if he did.  Of course from all the other indications of insanity I suspect the answer is "he didn't", which just further contributed to his inaccuracy.

8. He had his head up his ass in terms of tactics, assuming of course that the point of his scheme was to commit mass-murder and escape.  The cops say he "intended to get away."  Oh really?  Was it the 50lbs of Tannerite in his car that gave them that idea?  Gee, how do you "get away" after you drive screws through the door so it can't be easily kicked in?  You do realize doors open for both entry and egress, right, and cutting one off also cuts off the other.  Speaking of that Tannerite putting it in a plane (he knew how to fly), mixing nails into the container, flying it into the festival intentionally and shooting the Tannerite as he did so would have likely killed a huge number of people between the explosion, the nails, pieces of aircraft that turned into shrapnel and the fuel that would have been sprayed all over everything and ignited. It's not like there isn't an airport runway within 30 seconds of the festival site, right?  Oh wait..... (PS: Stealing an aircraft is ridiculously easy and anyone who's ever flown or been in a light general aviation aircraft one knows that.  He owned one, so yes, he knew how easy that would be.)

As for the LVMPD quit covering **** up, especially whatever you know about that "guard's" legal status vis-a-vis being in the United States and why he doesn't show up on the Nevada License site as holding the license he would almost-certainly need to be a security guard.

Oh, and quit playing with the timeline too.

Among other things the LVMPD has claimed both that the security guard approached the ajar door of the shooter's suite (at which point he took 200 rounds of un-aimed fire in his direction, presumably because he was detected by the shooter's cameras) and that the door was secured from the inside with screws driven into the frame, requiring SWAT to blow it open to get in over an hour later.  Both of those things cannot be true, so in which instance did LVMPD lie and why?

Finally, you and the Fibbies obviously can't find your ass with both hands.  How else does a (dead) suspect's house, which you breached violently and then searched, get broken into by burglars while you have it under surveillance?  Either cops broke into it (with your explicit permission so they could literally loot it) or you lack the basic ability to do your damn job and your entire department needs to be defunded since you are all a sufficiently-bad waste of oxygen that you deserve to get lost in the desert and expire. The rank incompetence during and immediately following the event with regard to getting on this guy is bad enough but this tops the list when it comes to getting paid to do literally nothing and nobody in your state should sit for one second more of that crap.

I'm not buying what you're selling -- I don't know why or what you're covering up but that you are is evident from the ever-changing timeline and your failure to address the inconsistencies, including said "Security Guard" who is a ghost according to the requirements of Nevada law to hold that position.  You knew damn well what was going on there within hours of the event and have intentionally blackballed all discussion of same.

As for the nuts, however, go away.  There's plenty to go around here in terms of incompetence or worse without descending into the tinfoil hat garbage heap; you dishonor those who died through no fault of their own by running that crap in public.

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2017-10-07 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 412 references
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How do you go after an industry when every single organ of the media plus virtually everyone in the political sphere lies blatantly and misleads with criminal intent to rob you on a daily basis?

The Trump administration will issue a rule on Friday to sharply limit the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage mandate, a move that could mean hundreds of thousands of American women would no longer have access to birth control free of charge.

That's a lie.

They then double down with this lie that ought to be treated as a felony act of fraud:

The action by the Trump administration is almost certain to spark fresh litigation. The National Women’s Law Center — which estimates that in 2013 alone, the contraception requirement saved women $1.4 billion in oral contraceptive costs — has vowed to challenge the administration in court.

The "contraception requirement" has not saved a single woman one penny in oral contraceptive costs.  It has in fact cost women more money than its absence would have.


Because always and everywhere the cost of "insurance" is given by a mathematical formula:

$ (Cost) = (P (event) * $ (Event)) + profit (to the insurance company)

P = probability.

If P(event) is 1.0 (in other words, you are already taking contraceptives, in this case, or you intend to) then the cost of running a contraceptive purchase through insurance as opposed to paying cash will always cost you more because the insurance company has to get paid for the process of handling the money; without such compensation the company would go broke.

Further, there are other extraordinarily perverse incentives that increase cost dramatically when "insurance" is involved in a routine thing.  One of them is that the price of a given item tends to become obscured because you never see the actual bill.  This means that the providers (including the pharmacy where you fill said prescription) have a strong disincentive to not post prices and give you comparisons between different brands of a given thing because all you see is your "co-pay", if there is one.

Since a pharmacy like most businesses usually operates on a margin basis (that is, a percentage markup) their incentive is to sell you the most expensive thing they can get someone else to pay for if the amount out of your pocket doesn't change.  Would you rather make 10% of $10 or 10% of $200?

The problem with this scheme is that it's a fraud upon you and ought to be treated as a felony against you.


Now let's add to that this fact: No matter how you get your "insurance" you pay for it -- every single damn dime of it.  If you work and have it through your employer the average cost for your family's "coverage" is now $17,000 a year and some 80% of that price is due to these frauds.  That's $17,000 in salary you don't get but would if your employer didn't have to pay that much.  If the cost of your insurance was 80% less (that is, about $3,500 a year) then you would receive an immediate $13,500 a year raise!

Think about that folks -- for the average middle-class family what would $13,500 in increased salary mean to you?  That's an utterly enormous amount of money; more than $1,000 a month!  It would pay your entire grocery bill with some left over.  It would almost cover a $250,000 home mortgage payment.

The average middle-class family is being literally screwed out of a house by this crap and everyone in the political class and media including the Washington Post which is owned by Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, is intentionally lying to you on a daily basis for the explicit purpose of maintaining and expanding this fraud that bilks you out of the mortgage payment on a middle-class house each and every year.

Instead of demanding that those who steal a house payment from you every month go to prison or even hang in the public square you instead buy into the idea that you should whine about a drug that costs $10 a month to buy for cash.

If you tossed the jackasses in prison who were stealing $13,500 from you every year you wouldn't care about paying $10 for your birth control pills over-the-counter.

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2017-10-06 09:00 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 689 references
[Comments enabled]  

Let's start with all the medical personnel in the Vegas Metro Area.

The nut wounded some 500 people.

The medical scam system has now almost-certainly bankrupted all of them with charges that are 5-10x what they would be in a transparent, price-posted and everyone-pays-same market.  What's even better is that many insurance policies explicitly exclude any sort of "act of war or terrorism", and they define what that means, so you can bet this event will "count."

Of course you're not in a position to negotiate when you have just been shot and are flat on your back bleeding out.  That's exactly the sort of circumstance -- an exigent and genuine emergency -- that leads the state of Florida and most other states to jail you if you attempt to gouge people on, say...... gasoline.

That's true in fact for basically every service or good in an emergency in virtually every state, save one: Medical services.

There the states and federal government let the providers **** with you impunity.

Every one of these hospitals, physicians and every single employee of same should be under indictment right now for financially screwing every one of those 500 shooting victims.

First they were victimized by being shot.  Then they got financially raped, and most still are being raped, by the hospitals, doctors, nurses and other medical providers.

This conduct needs to be treated as the felony that it is under 15 USC Chapter 1.

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2017-09-27 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 1131 references
[Comments enabled]  

The screaming coming from Puerto Rico is deafening.....

SAN JUAN, P.R. — Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló of Puerto Rico said on Monday that the island was on the brink of a “humanitarian crisis” nearly a week after Hurricane Maria knocked out its power and most of its water, and left residents waiting in excruciating lines for fuel. He called on Congress to prevent a deepening disaster.

How does Congress "prevent a deepening disaster"?

It cannot.  You cannot change the laws of physics nor magically make things that are broken become not-broken.  There is no issue with funding in the current paradigm; the problems are logistical.

Those issues arose because of decades of intentional mismanagement, grift and fraud including by the Governor himself and the rest of the Puerto Rican government, which has taken on debt over and over while squandering it on social programs instead of taking care of critical infrastructure needs -- like basic maintenance to the electrical grid.

Hurricanes are natural disasters.  The storm that hit Puerto Rico was not a "global-warming enhanced" event, or anything that was the fault of anyone in DC, the mainland, or elsewhere.  It was a natural event that occurs from time to time.  Puerto Rico, like most other places, hasn't been hit "in the face" in a long time.  This doesn't change the fact that it is always a risk in such a place, that prudence demands that reserves must be maintained as part of ordinary practice and infrastructure hardening implemented, so that when such disasters occur their impact is blunted.

The island's government refused to do that. Wall Street banks and "investors" didn't care that the island government refused to do that, and bought the debt anyway, smug in the belief that the US taxpayer would bail them out if something bad happened.

Well, something bad happened.

We must not bail any of them out.

Yes, we must help Puerto Rico to the extent we can, and we are.  However, those who lent the island money must remain fully exposed to the risk of loss; that's why they got the coupon they negotiated for, it's why there's an interest payment on borrowed money and especially over the last few years it's why their debt had traded at a high discount -- the risk of non-payment.

Now that risk must become realized.

No bailouts for the Wall Street -- and main street -- folks who bought that garbage paper on the back of a natural disaster.  Uh uh.  There has to be a price for this sort of stupidity, and that's the price, for it is the only check and balance on them doing it again.

The lesson here is that if your government is squandering basic infrastructure maintenance and repairs so as to hand out cash to various people and favored groups, pretending the bill will never come due, yes it will, yes it does, and yes you will get hosed when it does.

In addition people should carefully consider the realistic carrying capacity of a given landmass in a given state of infrastructure development and maintenance.  Those who live in Puerto Rico currently did not, and sadly they are paying for that decision now.

We cannot perform magic in this instance.  It will take months to rebuild the infrastructure on the island if not years.  It will take money too, but what we must not allow is for the banksters and politicians who made bad bets and engaged in fraudulent and outrageous conduct to be bailed out by the rest of America.  No, no and no.  Those who made those bad bets must eat them and Puerto Rico, while it should and will receive assistance, must operate on a fiscally sound basis.

These are adult politicians and banksters who decided to screw the people and they must not be allowed to get away with it.

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2017-09-25 12:40 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 255 references
[Comments enabled]  

Anthony Weiner got 21 months in prison for sexting a 15-year old.

That's a good start.  Now when will we see equally-vigorous looks into the dozens if not hundreds of other lawmakers that are also "interested" in people for sexual purposes that are not legally adults?

Oh, that would be never, right?

Uh huh......

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