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Commentary on The Capital Markets
2015-11-30 07:34 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 70 references

And yet again UofC shows why you should shred any resume you get from any of their grads.

The University of Chicago announced Sunday that all classes and other activities planned for Monday on its Hyde Park campus will be canceled after FBI counterterrorism officials informed the university of a gun violence threat to the campus.

University President Robert Zimmer sent an email to students and staff warning them of a threat posted online by an unknown individual, which specifically mentioned "the campus quad" at 10 a.m. Monday.

President Zimmer is a coward.

Assuming the threat is credible (and the FBI apparently thinks it is) there are a very small number of people who threatened to do something evil with a gun.

There are thousands of people that attend, either as students or employees, at UofC.

Tell them to bring their guns.

Want to try to playing Allah Akhbar or similar?  Go ahead when everyone around you is carrying.  It'll last 2 seconds and you'll get exactly one round off -- maybe -- before you're dropped where you stand.

See, nobody has eyes in the back of their head.  This means that while you can try something like this in an armed society you won't get anywhere doing it and your horrific plan will simply turn into a suicide, which suits me just fine.

Instead today our "first response" is for thousands to cower in fear?

May I remind you that on June 6th, 1944 thousands of Americans, most of them young boys, faced German machine guns and artillery pieces while storming a beach and dropping out of the sky?  They went, many of them died within seconds and all knew exactly what they were facing before going.  They went anyway and they prevailed.  If they hadn't gone you'd be speaking German right now.

No, I do not want anyone who has the UofC's response to such a threat working for me and you shouldn't either.

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This is one of the dumbest articles I've seen to date:

The National Security Agency’s sweeping authority to collect phone-record data expired Sunday, despite evidence that such programs helped European officials track down the perpetrators of the recent Paris suicide bombing attacks and prevented other attacks.

North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told “Fox News Sunday” that investigators in France and Belgium found a cellphone number, then were able to see other numbers to which it had contacted, thwarting another attack and leading to at least a dozen arrests.


And you want to know what the reality of that was?  The seized the cellular device and the terrorists were using ordinary, unencrypted text messages.

In other words they weren't very smart, and further, ordinary police work, complete with warrants, was enough to catch them before they hit Paris -- if the good guys were on the ball, which they clearly were not.

After all they let at least one and perhaps a couple more of these clownfaces into the EU in the so-called "refugees" without first verifying if they were refugees or terrorists!

The same was true before 9/11.  There was more than enough information available, all developed lawfully and without intruding on our civil rights, to stop the attack.  There was a report from the Florida flight school to the FBI, there was at least one of the hijackers who tried to get into the country, failed, and then came in through a different border and wasn't stopped the second time and even more-incredibly one of the hijackers (Muossaoui) was actually arrested in August yet they never searched his apartment!  He too had aroused suspicion by taking flight training, in his case in Minnesota.

Note well that this guy was busted formally for immigration violations.  We had every right to remove him from the country right then and there.  We didn't, just like Jeb Bush's Administration in Florida granted Driver Licenses to the majority of the terrorists despite them not being either permanent residents or citizens.

These are often called "missed opportunities" by those who are being kind to the government.

I call it criminal gross negligence, because it is.

The government can come talk to me about needing to rewrite the 4th Amendment when and only when they actually use the tools they already have, and those prove insufficient.  Thus far there has been exactly zero evidence in support of that with 9/11 or any of the other evil acts that have taken place in similar character, including those that just occurred in Paris.

A bungling government is at least as bad as a malignant one and perhaps worse, since once they have data like this it never goes away and if they can't manage to handle and use it properly what makes you think they can keep it from being stolen by people who would use it for evil intent?

Now there's something to think about -- oh wait, someone already has stolen a lot of data of similar character, haven't they?

OPM anyone?

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It is often said that one cannot "paint the whole" of the police forces with the brush of a few bad cops -- like, perhaps, the one who allegedly murdered a teen in Chicago.

That may be true, right up until one of two things happens:

1. Others willfully and intentionally cover up, tamper with evidence, or otherwise obstruct an investigation.  Then it is entirely fair to lump them in with the person who committed the offense and even charge them with felonies.  Indeed, it is expected that you would do so.

2. Others, including voluntary associations and trade unions, back the accused in what he or she did.  In that event every member of the association or union that does not immediately resign is properly painted with the same brush.


On its website, the Chicago lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), has posted a bail fund appeal for the officer, Jason Van Dyke, who is accused of shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times just six seconds after emerging from his patrol car on a street in Chicago on Oct. 20, 2014. An earlier link on the FOP's front page to a GoFundMe campaign was removed after the fundraising site said it violated a policy against its use by criminal defendants.

The FOP also is paying the lawyer representing Van Dyke, Daniel Herbert, himself a former FOP member the union pays to represent Chicago cops in misconduct cases. Funding such a defense is a common practice among U.S. police unions. 

'Nuff said.

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Obama has once again tried to turn a nutjob shooting people at a Planned Parenthood clinic into a call for "more gun control", as if somehow passing more laws against murder will make murder less prevalent.

May I remind you that you may only prosecute someone for the first murder, no matter how many they commit or how many other crimes they commit before, during or after, because you can only serve one life sentence or give someone the death penalty once.

It is therefore idiotic to pretend that passing more laws on guns (the 50,000+ already on the books aren't enough?) will stop murders.  A person willing to commit murder has already decided that the law is no object to their evil intentions, irrespective of whether you like it or not.

But then there's this case -- a 9 year old boy shot by a gang because the gang didn't like his Dad.

Where's Obama on that calling for these criminal gangs to be dismantled and every single one of the people involved being tossed in the hoosegow for life?

And why isn't that shooting his poster child for gun control?

You know the answer, right?

It has a lot to do with the race of the shooter in the two incidents..... and the utterly common incidence of the second sort of thing in Chicago -- where a nutjob shooting up a Planned Parenthood clinic is -- fortunately -- very rare.

Obama's sons are always ignored when they do things like this, aren't they?

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It just never ends, does it?

Microsoft MSFT +0.00% has been on a roll lately. Its massive Windows 10 update ‘Threshold 2’ has far more good features than bad ones, the ‘free upgrade’ rules have been improved and even Microsoft’s Black Friday 2015 deals are surprisingly great. But a new discovery has been made which isn’t good news – at all… 

What Microsoft did was rename the "telematics" service from DiagTrack to "Connected User Experiences."

Uh huh.  They didn't get rid of it, which is what they wanted you to think.  Instead they renamed it.

So Forbes caught it; I've not yet been "offered" Threshold 2, so it's not on my machines yet.  But this is a reminder that free never exists and the price is usually something you think is no big deal but in fact is a very big deal indeed.

I will keep reminding you that not is free never actually free but what's worse is that the data collected, once collected, is never deleted and that while there are plenty of "benign" or even helpful things that someone can do with data they collect on you, there are also very malignant things that can be done too.

There is something that everyone needs to understand about companies like Facebook and similar that claim large "revenue per user" figures: Someone is paying them that money.

You've probably never paid for advertising and such, unless you have either run a company that bought it or were involved in a larger marketing organization for a large firm.  I have, because I did when I ran MCSNet.

Here's the calculus that intelligent businesses put into such advertising buys: They must return at least 10x what is spent on them in revenue.

This is is because nobody has a 100% profit margin; even if you sell a service with no direct hard costs (like an ISP does) there are a lot of costs!  I had to buy hardware to run the ISP, I had to buy telecom services and most importantly I had to pay people -- that is, paychecks and benefits to employees -- which is almost always your largest expense as a business.

All of that comes off the top before anyone sees anything called "profit."

So look at what Facebook, for example, claims.  Their claim is that a US/Canada user provides $10.49 in revenue per quarter, or about $42/year.

Think about that.  You don't pay Facebook anything.  So exactly how does Facebook make $42 a year off your being on their site?  They sell your eyeballs to people for that $42.

What does that have to return to the buyer to be worth it?

About $400 -- and that's just one company in the Internet space.

Facebook is not free for you.  It costs you about $400 a year to use it on average, but you don't see the price directly.  You do pay it though -- you must, or they couldn't operate as they wouldn't have that revenue.

Now contemplate how that happens, then multiply by the number of applications and other things on your phone, your tablet and your computer that collect data about you -- such as exactly where you are 24x7 and what you do while online -- and send it off to mother.

If you think this doesn't go into various pricing decisions that are individualized to you -- such as your car and other forms of insurance -- you're dead wrong.  Whether you'll pay more than someone depends highly on how your "individual risk" is assessed; these firms do not make money by being wrong about how risky you are.

Why is Microsoft doing this?  Because Facebook and others have gotten away with it without you revolting; if you'll put up with Facebook doing it why not Microsoft?

But this of course leads to the obvious question: Exactly how many $420 extractions per year, all by stealth, can you absorb?

If you're wondering how you get bled to almost-literally nothing in this world today, that's one way it happens.  You're tricked into believing that something like Facebook is "free", while the company discloses that you are "worth" $42 a year to them in direct revenue that someone else forks up and then must multiply by a factor of 10 or more in order for their investment to be worth it.  That money all comes out of your pocket whether you recognize it or not, and it happens simply because you use Facebook and thus give those firms the ability to buy the data that they then use against you to extract that $420!

Start thinking of your "relationship" with these businesses in this way and you might wake up a bit.

You might also decide that this isn't such a good deal, especially if that $420 means something to you.

Or, perhaps, you might decide that having $420 taken from you every year by stealth while it is claimed that your use of said resource is "Free and always will be" is perfectly fine.

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