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If you're dumb....

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. –  A 16-year-old girl has been gored by a bison in Yellowstone National Park while posing for a picture near the animal.


The Park Service says she and others were between 3 and 6 feet from the bison when she turned her back to the bison to have her picture taken. The bison took a couple steps and gored her.

You have to be nuts to get within a half-dozen feet of an animal of that size and then turn your back to it.

But heh, vanity wins over common sense, right?  Oh look, an extra hole in you!

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2015-05-18 06:37 by Karl Denninger
in Musings , 125 references


When you commit a felony as a person, and actually get a judgment entered against you (whether you plead guilty or are found guilty) there are usually lifelong consequences.  In many states you cannot vote.  In all states you cannot own (legally) a firearm.  Getting a passport becomes extremely difficult (and often impossible.)

Now we can argue over whether these disabilities on a continuing basis should attach to you; I argue that in most cases they should not once you have served your sentence including any probationary period involved.  Why?  Because we have a basic premise in this country that once you have served said sentence you have "paid your debt."  Nonetheless, today this is true for you, I, and well, pretty much any other ordinary person.

It has never been true for banks, and now they're about to do it again.

The banks are also scrambling to line up exemptions or waivers from the Securities and Exchanges Commission and other federal regulators because criminal pleas trigger consequences such as removing the ability to manage retirement plans or raise capital easily.

In the past, waivers have generally been granted without a hitch. However, the practice has become controversial in the past year, particularly at the SEC, where Democratic Commissioner Kara Stein has criticized the agency for rubber stamping requests and being too soft on repeat offenders.

Negotiating some of the waivers among the SEC's five commissioners could prove challenging because many of these banks have broken criminal or civil laws in the past that triggered the need for waivers.

A few years ago I wrote a Ticker on this very subject -- the repeat offenses of these institutions, many of them being sufficient (three or more) to trigger three strikes laws among ordinary people.  Three strikes laws typically result in an life prison term; no parole, no nothing.  The equivalent for a corporation would be the permanent revocation of the corporate charter.  Boom, gone, done, finis.

But no, we won't see that, even though some of these institutions will have nicely exceeded three strikes -- will we?

Now tell me again why you, as Americans, should sit still for this blatantly discriminatory treatment?

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Ah, the worm turns....

Wedding bells will ring later this year if the Supreme Court decides that gay couples are constitutionally entitled to marry. But health insurance, more than romance, may nudge some couples down the aisle.

Amid a push that has made same-sex marriage legal in 37 states and the District of Columbia, some employers are telling gay workers they must wed in order to maintain health-care coverage for their partners. About a third of public- and private-sector employees in the U.S. have access to benefits for unmarried gay partners, according to a federal tally, but employment lawyers say the fast-changing legal outlook is spurring some employers to rethink that coverage.

But see, access to benefits for unmarried heterosexual partners have typically not been available.

Of course that's discrimination, but nobody cares because it's discrimination against the "wrong" people.  Just like it didn't matter when the discrimination was against blacks years ago, now if you're heterosexual or worse, heterosexual and Christian, you're often just plain hosed in this regard, denied equal access to the same "benefits" that gay people get.

That ought to be illegal and prosecuted but it damn near never is.

Now, however, this is changing.  If you live in a state where you can get "married" as gay people, then employers are fully within their rights to tell you that if you want those benefits then go get married!

Now this poses a particular problem because with "marriage" (as the state defines it) you also get to have all the "fun" that comes when your relationship ends.  Specifically, you are no longer in charge of how that's negotiated in the first place or later on, and the state will make that decision for you including changing the terms after you get married.

Ask anyone who got married in the 1950s or 60s and have a reasonable presumption that unless they did something truly awful (like abandonment, addiction, abuse or adultery) their financial and family rights would be respected how that worked out for them in the 1970s, 80s and beyond.  Make sure you're prepared to be pelted by eggs.

On the other (positive) side we have two states, Alabama and Oklahoma, that are considering getting the state out of the marriage business almost entirely, a position I've advocated for a long time.  While neither of them may be doing this "right" (in that they likely do not intend to allow couples to file their own contractual partnership documents that are enforceable, and instead will insist on their "state standard" versions) it's still progress.

In any event I have to chuckle, in that this looks to me to be an example of the infamous warning: Be careful what you wish for -- you just might get it.

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Elizabeth Warren and DeBlasio present the usual nostrums that liberals love to put forward, but they are intentionally misrepresenting the record of the last 50 years -- and they know it.

In this land of big dreams, there was never a dream bigger or more important than the one so deeply rooted in our values that it became known as the American Dream. Across generations, Americans shared the belief that hard work would bring opportunity and a better life. America wasn’t perfect, but we invested in our kids and put in place policies to build a strong middle class.

We don’t do that anymore, and the result is clear: The rich get richer, while everyone else falls behind. The game is rigged, and the people who rigged it want it to stay that way. They claim that if we act to improve the economic well-being of hard-working Americans — whether by increasing the minimum wage, reining in lawbreakers on Wall Street or doing practically anything else — we will threaten economic growth.

They are wrong.

The authors go on to advocate for "protecting" Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, a higher minimum wage, forced paid "family leave", "reining in the cost of college", "infrastructure spending" and similar.

Here's the problem: It wasn't "trickle down" economics that caused the problems we face today.  That had exactly nothing to do with the expansion in the cost of college, for example -- how could it have?

Why do you think college is so damned expensive?  The professors will tell you it's not their salaries, which haven't expanded much.  No, it's other things -- it's ridiculous palatial-style accommodations in place of block-style dorms, fancy-pants recreational facilities and football stadiums and a tripling of the "administrators" in the colleges who don't teach a single hour of class.  It's also so-called "professors" like Warren herself who get paid six-figure salaries to teach a single class.

How is such an edifice supportable?  Only through making "money free" -- that is, government programs that not only hand out "money" (really DEBT) like candy to anyone who asks but then also, at gunpoint, prohibits the discharge of that debt if you go bankrupt!

Thus is lost all market discipline in the cost of college, and the entirely-predictable things happened: The cost of college went from a cash transaction anyone could handle by delivering pizzas while in school to something that now often adds up as a $100,000 or greater debt burden on a graduating young person that follows them through life and destroys their economic future.

Who caused that?  Elizabeth Warren's politics did.

Is there one good idea in her and DeBlasio's missive?  Yes, there is -- ending trade deals that are nothing more than wage and environmental arbitrage plays -- but not just stopping new ones, repealing all the existing similar agreements such as NAFTA.

As for "fair enforcement of laws" Warren could go after the medical and insurance industries, which combined operate as an effective cartel and are the cause of much of the destruction of the middle class and family economic health on their own -- but she doesn't.  My evidence for this?  60% of all bankruptcies are caused by medical debt and the share of the economy consumed by the medical system as a percentage of GDP has expanded by 600% over the last 50 years.

How?  The same way it happened in the educational system; the government came in with their mandates and enforced those mandates with guns.  What other explanation is there for a drug (e.g. Sovaldi) sold for $90,000 here for a course of treatment while the same drug from the same company costs under $1,000 in places like Bangladesh.  Such a disparity could never exist without government goons threatening to arrest you and throw you in prison for buying, in a free-market transaction, said drug in Bangladesh and then bringing it to the United States for sale.  The same is true for various routine procedures such MRIs, never mind "forced transactions" such as when you're having a heart attack.

If you charge someone a buck more a gallon for gasoline in the path of a hurricane you go to prison in the State of Florida (and most other places) but if you charge someone 600% the price of a cardiac procedure in Japan here in the United States when they're having a heart attack (and thus unable to choose to fly to Japan) that's not only legal, it is considered "perfectly fine" by Warren and her ilk.

Cut the crap Elizabeth and Bill; your "policies" with regard to government "support" of both medical care and education have caused much of the rot in the American economy.

We cannot afford any more of your nonsense in this country -- neither personally or economically.

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