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2017-05-23 12:25 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 670 references
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There is this ugly and pervasive "political" view that Islamic Terrorism is some "new thing."  It usually comes with some line of crap about how we've "created" these monsters by invading their nations and displacing "their" people, and that "we" (the western world generally) are responsible.

This is a bald lie.

Islamic terrorism dates back centuries.  It was a problem in the form of piracy and slavery in the early days of our Republic -- long before we had a military that could invade anything.  The "big lie" is proved again in the present by these people attacking nations that have formally eschewed any sort of association or funding for any sort of "military adventurism."  Yet they get blown up and shot just the same.

The root of the problem is not complicated.  Their very "holy book" proclaims that one who is not Muslim has, in fact, three and only three choices: Slavery, conversion or death.

In the United States we have Freedom of Speech.  It's written into our Constitution and in fact is the first freedom guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.  In "muslim" nations blasphemy is typically a serious crime.  It is one thing to look askance at someone who says "God doesn't exist"; it is quite another to throw them in prison.

Similarly "slandering a prophet" is frequently a crime.  It is a fact that Islam's "holiest" prophet took children as his wives, and yes, that's plural.  Leave polygamy out of it for there are arguments for that if you're trying to "be fruitful and multiply"; nobody in the modern world believes that marrying a child is acceptable and yet to merely speak critically of such behavior with regard to certain people in these nations is a criminal offense.

Our so-called "muslim nation partners", including Saudi Arabia, criminalize homosexuality.  It is a criminal offense for which one can be imprisoned for years or even killed.  Some of these nations also practice female genital mutilation: they cut off the clitoris of young girls so as to deny them sexual pleasure at any time in their life.

It is true that the majority of the victims of islamic terror are in fact muslims.  That's because there are two "branches" or "sects" of Islam and they hate each other with a white-hot passion.  This more than occasionally has led to wars and various forms of terrorism over the millennia.  Is it any surprise that such terrorism often hits muslims when there are two branches that hate one another with enough passion to kill?

You can look through the Bible of both Christian faiths and the Old Testament of same (commonly known as the Pentateuch) which is functionally the same as the Jewish Torah, and find various demands for ostracism given certain behaviors or worse.  If you're unfamiliar with where to find such prohibitions and declarations of punishment look in Leviticus 20 for starters -- there's a nice list there.  But those faiths grew up over time and with damn few exceptions none make argument for actual execution or imprisonment for same in the modern world.

Muslims have refused to grow up, in short.

They've only had 1,000 or so years to do so and have continually refused including state-level actors such as Saudi Arabia while time and technology have marched on and replaced spears, sailing ships, cannon and longbows with modern firearms, howitzers, missiles, chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and more.  The religiously insane are no longer limited to taking lives one at a time; they can now put together concoctions and wear them into a stadium, murdering dozens.  It is only a matter of time before some of these nutjobs come up with enough fissile material and sufficient ability to fashion a crude nuclear device at which point you can be assured they will use it.

At what point do a civilized people demand that this madness stop?  And with what force are we willing to demand that it does?  I argue the time has long passed to say "enough damnit" and put forward the premise that if you support this ideology -- not just with money but with your judicial system in any form or fashion then civilized people are done with all who hold such views and all of their enablers.

Let's bring this into the present and our current multi-billion dollar technology companies.

Neither Twitter or Facebook will ban a user for espousing that someone who insults a prophet or religion, specifically in relationship to Islam should be KILLED.  Even a fairly-specific threat to murder a specific person if that someone doesn't "stop" maligning a religious practice or belief does not cross their lines.

Folks, if you are making possible the continued operation of these firms by your presence and use of them then you are contributing, in a real and present sense, to the spreading of this hate and the religious ideology that it is acceptable to kill persons who disagree with a given view of a particular religion or religious person.

This makes YOU PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE in part for what just happened in Manchester; you made possible the recruiting, you made possible the gloating and you make possible here, now and today the communication channels that these people use to churn themselves and others into the frothy madness that then results in the murder of innocent people by suicide bombers.

You further this activity by being on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by providing them with the market capitalization and advertising revenue that they rely on to exist.

Facebook and Twitter, among others, have decided that selling advertising targeted at savages who threaten to murder those they disagree with is more important then your life and you personally and continually approve of that decision by being part of their "user base" -- which is all they have to sell to the advertisers that make their operation as businesses possible.  They could instantly banhammer anyone who levels such a personalized threat but they refuse and you allow them to continue to refuse by funding their madness right alongside the islamic nutjobs.

Deal with it because those concert-goers blood is on your hands.

And yeah, this means that's now my message and purpose for being on both.  To make sure people understand that they are fomenting and furthering terrorism since these firms will not remove the accounts of those who express such threats.

I have personal experience with this when I ran my ISP (MCSNet) in the form of a different but somewhat-related "ethnic difference."  I had users from one "side" on my system -- who were welcome despite having "very strong" views and expressing them regularly -- right up until they posted an actual threat to commit a violent unlawful act.  Then they were done -- no second chances, no maybes, no ifs ands or buts.  Done, baked, account gone, terminated, finished.  Period.  Yes, this meant that I never again got a nickel from anyone "on that side" of the "debate."  That's the choice when it comes down to it: You either do the right thing or you sell yourself and your users for blood.

No, this doesn't mean we should bomb all these people back into the stone age -- until and unless they bomb or shoot at us.

But it does mean that civilized people must hold social media and realted firms accountable in full for their continued provision of tools and technology used to foment violence and froth these nutjobs into a state of mind where they will murder either individually or en-masse with a vest full of homemade explosives.  Those firms who refuse to immediately cancel accounts for blatant threats that inherently disrespect our very First Freedom must be driven from the marketplace of free ideas and markets.

Further, on a national level it does mean no trade with those nations that refuse to act on this same principle -- period.  No deals.  No immigration or "refugees."  No visitors, no ships, no nothing leaves their airspace or borders and I don't give a damn how much money you have or who's ass -- or hand -- you kiss.  We burn any bonds they bought in the past on the South lawn in a ceremony of peace.  In a world in which a "simple" ship full of alleged goods could instead have a makeshift nuke in the cargo hold, any land vehicle can be packed with explosives and any aircraft can (and some have) be carrying a bomb that kills all on board and perhaps many on the ground there simply is no argument remaining for allowing any passage of material or persons across the borders of such "nations" onto the land and airspace of civilized people.

While we should and in fact must not seek war, if those who refuse to respect human rights at the most-base levels want war then we'll give them war.  But they should be warned -- someone who has declared they will murder simply because someone prays the wrong way, insults a prophet or eats a ham sandwich has declared that they lack the capacity for critical thought and thus has become inimical to humanity as a whole.  Since they not only threaten to blow up or shoot anyone who disagrees they've repeatedly demonstrated they mean it if they demonstrate that they cannot be persuaded otherwise through peaceful means via direct and hostile action the choice of either "shoot them now or let them shoot us later" looks pretty obvious from my point of view.

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2017-05-23 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Federal Government , 266 references
[Comments enabled]  

He knows folks.

He knows its coming, and yet he's going to take it out of your ass, and he has the entire GOP with him in doing it too.

What's "it"?  The medical cost explosion, which has run about 9% compounded for the last 30 years or so and which shows exactly no sign of slowing down, as I've noted repeatedly.  In fact Obamacare only got one year of flat spending in Medicare and Medicaid.

One.

After which it went right back to where it was.

As I have repeatedly shown by the numbers just taking one condition (Type II diabetes) and changing how we deal with it -- turning it from a drug pusher mentality into one that is managed through changes in what one eats, a change in approach that works for virtually everyone with the condition to a material degree and has a good probability of returning blood sugar to normal without the use of any drugs at all would virtually eliminate the Federal deficit.

That of course ignores what could be done in general were we to simply enforce the same principles and premise that stands at the root of every other commercial transaction in a free market: You must be provided a price and consent to it before goods or services are rendered, and you may not be extorted into buying something you didn't want through discriminatory conduct.

These basic principles are ensconced in law both at the State and Federal levels -- via 15 USC Chapter 1 at the federal level and in both state and federal levels via various consumer protection and unfair trade practices legislation -- none of which has been enforced against anyone in the medical field for some three decades despite standing on the books today with no exemption for firms in said fields.

But..... no.

Instead Trump will propose to take roughly 25% off the Food Stamp program, mostly through requiring able-bodied people to work to receive benefits, and if they don't they get cut off.

He will propose to play with Medicaid, both cutting it directly and shifting it to the states.  Trump is of course well-aware that it's going to blow up the federal budget, so why not throw the hand grenade at the state budgets before it explodes?  Such a nice guy, when he could instead direct his AG to enforce the damn law and collapse cost.

There's a 10% increase in there for the DOD.  Warranted or not it will be trashed by the Democrats, of course.  But it's not the big news, really.

No, the big news in in the other places -- specifically the food stamp proposal and Medicaid.

Of course Trump claims he'll balance the budget in 10 years.  They always do, and always fail.  Even Clinton failed; he claimed it, he claimed success, but he in fact stole from the Social Security fund to make his numbers "balance"; if you stripped that back out he ran a deficit every single year of his Presidency.  He was so successful in running this lie and you lapping it up, by the way, that every President since has run the same scam with their "accounting."

Further, the fact of the matter is that whatever the President sends up is not really a budget at all, since all revenue bills must originate in the House (so says that pesky Constitution.)  It's better to think of it as a Santa Claus wishlist that Timmy sends off dutifully every year around Thanksgiving, and maybe his parents, having intercepted it, give him some what he asked for.

Maybe.

Too bad we won't hold any of the *******s in DC accountable -- especially when Mr. Law and Order won't enforce the damned law first and address the actual problem that is destroying America.

Meh.

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2017-05-22 11:47 by Karl Denninger
in Foreign Policy , 269 references
[Comments enabled]  

Oh really?

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia—The World Bank announced Sunday at an event with Ivanka Trump, the U.S. president’s daughter and senior White House adviser, that Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates have pledged a combined $100 million to a fund that will assist women entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Oh do come on.

The social media fawning over Trump's (and Ivanka's) involvement in this is nauseating.  And no, it has nothing to do with any parallel to the Clinton Foundation (there isn't one) either.

It has to do with this, which the WSJ did note:

Women live under restrictions in Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. The U.S. State Department has noted such issues in its past human-rights reports, but American officials haven’t publicly raised these concerns in Saudi Arabia during Mr. Trump’s visit. Saudi Arabia, where women aren’t permitted to drive, in particular excludes women from most aspects of public life and business.

Restrictions?

Women are treated as chattel in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and many other muslim nations.  They're forbidden to drive, own businesses and in general conduct themselves as adults!

Oh, and these constraints?  They're dictated by said religion, which belies the entire concept of a great religion of peace, in that it by definition in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and elsewhere where such treatises have the force of law they treat half the population as sexual subservients and, effectively, slaves to men.

Do these constraints vary from muslim nation to nation?  Yeah.  So?  There is no muslim nation in which Sharia Law is practiced that protects rights equally between the sexes.  None.

Never mind homosexuality being flat-out illegal (and seriously so at that) in many of these nations with punishments (if you get caught) ranging from long terms of imprisonment to, in some cases, death.

If that's not enough should you dare speak out about such things you're likely to stand accused of blasphemy and be jailed or worse.  Yes, the "great religion of peace" prohibits debate that can be construed as maligning its precepts, acolytes or "prophets."

Human rights?  Only for men, and only if you love and pray -- both in the right way, of course.

Heh, I get it -- business is business and selling a bunch of guns to these guys is, well, business.

But I do wonder how long it will be before some of those weapons are used to kill our own people and whether Trump will stand accused as an accessory before the fact when, not if, they are -- because he is one.

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2017-05-21 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Education , 584 references
[Comments enabled]  

I have tried to warn young people and their parents.

Not only do they not want to hear it, they make excuses -- like "oh, I can work for the government for 10 years and no matter how much I rack up in loans they'll forgive it."

That appears to be going away:

Trump is making good on Republican campaign promises to get government out of the business of student lending, and recently lifted limits on fees debt collectors can charge some defaulted borrowers. The Washington Post has reported he will propose major changes to loan repayment in his forthcoming budget, including eliminating a program that erases student debt for public-sector workers after 10 years of payments.

As I said several years ago in this column: If you in any way encourage or enable your young adult to take on this ball and chain, given that there is no way they have the life experience to understand what they're agreeing to in full and how badly they can and will get ****ed you deserve to be eaten by your progeny if they get screwed as a consequence -- and they're at least somewhat likely to have exactly that happen.

The only answer to the high college cost problem is to remove all government supports and "enhanced" treatment of such loans so they are fully able to be discharged in a bankruptcy just like any other consumer or business loan.

That would instantly collapse the cost of college because nobody in their right mind would lend someone $100,000 to get a degree in social services or similar.  Ever.  But no!  Instead of collapsing the cost of college by 80% you keep arguing for more and more "loan access" instead.

Assume the position and lube up -- oh, and if you own a house today and are expecting to sell it to a millennial some day?  Forget it -- they won't have any money or credit to buy it with which means that even if you have either no children or they didn't get screwed like this you still have every reason to demand that the right thing be done and if you don't then you deserve the outcome when it occurs.

smiley

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2017-05-19 06:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 367 references
[Comments enabled]  

Robert Mueller has been named special prosecutor for the "Russia investigation" with regard to Trump's campaign.

Mueller, a former FBI head and federal prosecutor, is well-respected by both sides of the aisle -- and with reasonably good cause.  I'm aware of no material accusations of misconduct during his tenure and he has a reputation for being honest -- and tough.  He has also worked with Comey before -- extensively.  The conflict of interest issue is obvious -- and, from the point of view of the DOJ, irrelevant.  You take from that whatever you wish.

In my view of events this is generally good in that it will lead to a dispositive outcome.  If, as Trump asserts, there were no untoward actions by his campaign, his staff and those close to him during the campaign or afterward with regard to Russia then the Democrat narrative will be demolished and laid rest in a pile of ash.

However, if there is evidence of obstruction or worse, actual collusion of some sort with the Russians then all Hell is going to break loose.

The problem for those who are preening for a "Trump Trade" is that either outcome leaves such a trump-trade expectation in the dustbin.

Let's assume that the now-being-repeated video that "there was no obstruction" proves up.  So what? The Democrats are not going to let this go and will argue they've been railroaded.  Now what?  Anything that has to go through regular order is not going to happen and remember that due to how the process works under reconciliation you have to get the AHCA, or whatever it turns into in the Senate, through before you take up taxes since you can't score the tax bill otherwise.

If there was collusion, on the other hand, then Trump is burnt toast and it makes zero difference who in his campaign did the colluding.  Whether it was him or anyone else in his campaign if there's any sort of fire to go with the smoke his administration is finished in practical terms even if they don't impeach him (and the Republicans won't, by the way, so you can forget about that.)

Finally either way the House is likely to flip Democrat in 2018.  This is just math; the party in power nearly always loses seats and frequently loses the majority after the first two years of a new administration where the Presidency changes hands.  The day that happens you can forget about passing anything having to do with actual tax cuts and I remind you that the 2018 mid-term campaigning is due to start pretty much as soon as Congress comes back from summer recess!

If you think there will be tax reform given the present environment you need to get the crack pipe out of your mouth as you are a drug-addled fool.  Trump had the opportunity to get this done, and to fix health care (for real; see my proposal to the top right) but he simply does not have the luxury of time into a midterm election in which he is nearly-certain to lose seats in the House and probably will lose the House majority.

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