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Commentary on The Capital Markets

This makes me chuckle....

A 16,000-signature Change.org petition asking Facebook to remove the "feeling fat" status update option has led the social media giant to eliminate the emoticon.

Let me make something clear: If you want to turn someone into a narcissist, coddle them.  Tell them they're "special" even when they're not.  If they're fat and express it, tell them they're not and that "it doesn't matter."  Keep telling them this when they're diabetic, their kidneys fail and they're on dialysis, all preventable by the way if you had just opened your damn mouth and told the truth.

After all this molly-coddle crap we wonder why we have a bunch of young people -- and some not-so-young -- that can't face reality?  Who fancy themselves as so special that the world owes them a handout -- and a Lexus?

Zuckerburglar, screw you.  With a rusty, running chainsaw.

As for those poor fools who can't face reality -- and their own limitations (most of which could be overcome with some effort) -- don't come crying around me, because I'm well-known for being rather, uh.... blunt.

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It's going to be amusing to see people try to explain this one away...... and the obvious implication for what we should do as a society if we give a damn about violence -- and the health of people who are addicted to drugs.

With the medical marijuana law cutting profits for street dealers, police believe that drug-trafficking organizations are turning to far more dangerous opiates, flooding the streets with cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

Tempe Police, the DEA and the Arizona Attorney General's Office attacked that trend in Operation Terminus, a 30-month investigation that resulted in the dismantling of what investigators described as an extensive drug trafficking network that stretched from Sinoloa, Mexico, to Phoenix, Los Angeles and Indianapolis.

In other words there's no money to be made selling pot on the black market any more.

So what's the proper response?  Legalize the rest of it and sell those substances in pharmacies to anyone who shows ID for 21.

That would instantly destroy the financial incentive to traffic in drugs and thus the profit center for these criminal gangs. It would collapse their funding, eliminate the violence associated with said trafficking and at the same time eliminate the many thousands of felony arrests and incarcerations that mere possession and use, along with low-level sales, generate.

In other words it would turn what are now costs to the government into people who could potentially earn incomes and thus pay taxes.  But even if it didn't, because those who are drug-addled simply wouldn't (or didn't) get off their ass and gets jobs it's cheaper to cover the welfare costs than those associated with imprisonment.

It's time to stop being stupid, America.

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Ok, this is just plain old-fashioned bad.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for February, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $437.0 billion, a decrease of 0.6 percent (±0.5%) from the previous month, but up 1.7 percent (±0.9%) above February 2014. Total sales for the December 2014 through February 2015 period were up 2.9 percent (±0.7%) from the same period a year ago. The December 2014 to January 2015 percent change was unrevised from -0.8 percent (±0.3%).

Meh.

Unadjusted car sales were up, so those who claim this was weather are smoking something funny.  You don't shop for a car in bad weather, given that you have to drive said car (and be exposed to said weather!)

Everything else, pretty-much, was in the toilet.  Electronics stores, building materials, food and beverage (down big; 8%!), gasoline (down slightly although fuel prices were up quite a bit in February.)  Destroying (once again) the "weather" argument clothing was up.

However, sporting goods, general merchandise and internet (non-store) were down -- as were food service (restaurants) and bars.

It looks like the market thinks that "bad news is good news" -- it's once again chuckle-head time if you ask me.

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Start here folks, with the conclusions:


Click for a full-size copy in a new window.

For those who are having trouble understanding the above:

  • Atherosclerosis is not initiated by cholesterol and fat (lipids) into the arterial wall, as you have been told.

  • The disease and its progression, when analyzed, is not consistent with the presence and concentration of anything in the blood circulation (e.g. cholesterol), as you have been told.

  • There is no biologically-significant correlation between cholesterol levels in the blood and atherosclerosis, and high cholesterol levels are not prerequisites for severe disease development -- neither in humans or experimental animals under controlled laboratory conditions, contrary to what you have been told.

  • Mortality (that is, death) caused by coronary heart disease has no correlation with cholesterol levels for either gender.

  • The lipid hypothesis is incompatible with the data that is known and this false propagation of said premise has occurred.

Over the five year period ending in 2012 statin prescriptions have climbed more than 17%.  

Lipitor went on sale in 1997; the fifth drug in the series.  The class of drugs already included three with billion-dollar annual sales.  Lipitor generated more than $125 billion in sales during the next 14 years.

Here's the problem: The above study that I cited the conclusions from was published in...... 2001 -- here's the cite: Experimental and Molecular Pathology 70, 103–119 (2001)

So, given this, where was the investigation of what appears to be a flat renunciation of the premise that lowering cholesterol is desirable, or doing so will prevent or ameliorate heart disease?

Further, the assertion is made in this paper that the presented model for how coronary artery disease occurs and progresses is factually wrong; that is, you're being sold a flat-out lie by the medical community.

And given what this paper claims -- now what?

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In my back yard, almost....

The 11 service members that include seven Marines and four soldiers who vanished after their Black Hawk helicopter crashed Tuesday night on the Florida Panhandle coastline are presumed dead, a military official told The Associated Press.

Search crews struggled with dense fog Wednesday morning but were able to locate debris believed to be from the Army National Guard helicopter-- a UH-60 Black Hawk-- that crashed during a routine exercise at about 8:20 p.m. Tuesday.

My condolences to the families and friends of those missing and presumed dead.  I know exactly where the incident occurred; it is a common training area.  While conditions are foggy now it was not bad last night; I was out in Ft. Walton running yesterday evening at approximately that time, which is only about 20 miles from the apparent site of the accident.

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