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2018-04-21 06:40 by Karl Denninger
in Foreign Policy , 85 references
[Comments enabled]  

Well well.....

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced Friday that his country will be suspending missile testing and closing a nuclear test site, several reports said.

"From April 21, North Korea will stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles," the Korean Central News Agency said, according to Yonhap News. "The North will shut down a nuclear test site in the country's northern side to prove the vow to suspend nuclear test."

I'm not sure I believe it, but if true it will mark what no other President has accomplished -- obtaining an actual closure of the North Korean nuclear and missile program.

Of course that which you stop doing you can start again any time you'd like. North Korea did suspend its development of nuclear reactors -- including power reactors -- before in the 1990s.  There's controversy over whether they were playing games or actually did comply, and the US screwed them.  What I do know is that President Bush called them part of the "Axis of Evil" in 2002, and that we were supposed to provide material help with their light water, proliferation-resistant use of nuclear technology to produce energy, and we effectively reneged on that.

So how real is it this time?  I have no idea.  But what I do know is that there are plenty of broken promises on both sides through the last couple of decades, and trying to tick your fingers off on who broke which promise gets somewhat old -- and pointless, when you get down to it.

Oh, and then there's the announcement overnight that Kim Jung-ICBM says no more tests are necessary as the work for mounting nuclear warheads on ballistic rockets is finished.

So are they going to hand what they have over -- all of them, in an absolutely-verifiable way?  Why do I think the answer is "No"?

The left's caterwauling about Trump's position on North Korea, however, sure looks pretty crappy about right now.  I will remind you that Obama managed to achieve exactly nothing when it came to this problem during his eight years in office.  Exactly what, if anything, convinced Kim-Jung-Nutjob that the odds favored him being turned into a ball of expanding gas if he didn't cut the crap doesn't really matter.  What matters is whether this time its real.

We'll have to wait for a while on that; Trump is of course tweeting away, but that may be unwise.  It would take only one rocket fired from North Korea to toss an egg in Trump's face, never mind that we don't know exactly how many bombs he has, so were I him I'd be waiting until I had hard verification that actual success had been achieved first.

You may be waiting a while on that....

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2018-04-20 13:12 by Karl Denninger
in POTD , 73 references
 

 

Email kairia.rocks@gmail.com to buy this original piece now! On canvas, ready to hang and enjoy.

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2018-04-20 11:51 by Karl Denninger
in Federal Government , 231 references
[Comments enabled]  

I never thought I'd write a Ticker in which I agreed at a 100% level with anything that a Democratic Senator, especially Schumer, wants to see happen.

The day has come and Hell is below freezing for the first time in history.

Specifically, Leader Schumer’s new legislation would:

Decriminalize Marijuana: The legislation would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level by descheduling it, which means removing marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act of 1970;

Respect States’ Rights: The legislation would maintain federal law enforcement’s authority to prevent marijuana trafficking from states that have legalized marijuana to those that have not;

Level The Economic Playing Field: The legislation would establish dedicated funding streams for women and minority-owned marijuana businesses;

Ensure Public Safety: The legislation would wake targeted investments in highway safety research to ensure federal agencies have the resources they need to assess the pitfalls driving under the influence of THC and develop technology to reliably measure impairment;

Invest In Public Health: The legislation would invest in public health research to better understand the effects of THC on the brain and the efficacy of medicinal marijuana for specific ailments; and

Protect Children: The legislation would maintain federal authority to regulate marijuana advertising in the same way it does alcohol and tobacco advertising to ensure that marijuana businesses aren’t allowed to target children in their advertisements.

I can only quibble with one element of this -- the "dedicated funding streams" that are by definition discriminatory.  Codifying discrimination in law is bad -- always.

But seriously, we're quibbling here.  The nation desperately needs an objective, scientific standard for impairment.  Colorado's is known (scientifically) to be wrong (in other words, people not stoned are flagged as "DUI", albeit as a rebuttable presumption rather than as a dispositive fact.)  This needs to be fixed on a uniform basis so that individuals (and businesses) can know whether they're impaired as a matter of law, just as can be done today with a $100 hand-held device you can put in your car, or a bar can install to deter people from driving while intoxicated.  Science can and will get there, quickly, but only when there are no barriers to said study, as right now it's literally impossible to get both the funding and approval to do so.

We also need actual medical studies to be able to figure out not only what works scientifically and what's anecdote when it comes to various maladies, but also what specific compounding, or choice of administration routes, works best when it comes to various ailments.  There is a high probability, for example, that many ailments are best handled with preparations with little or no THC in them; such treatments would not only be ridiculously cheap in an unscheduled commercial environment but have zero impairment associated with them.

De-scheduling and leaving it to the states also means, however, that even if the science is either not yet done or inconclusive if a particular individual finds that some preparation relieves their symptoms they're free to use it for that purpose without interference, risking a prison sentence or winding up on some government "list."

And finally, the 50 State political laboratories model is one that I've never heard out of a Democrat before.

Never.

But that model is not only "correct" politically it's the only model that's valid under our Constitution.

The People get to vote with their feet.  Those who believe that there is something "unholy" about weed can move to a state that refuses to recognize the medical and social benefits from decriminalization or even full legalization as a matter of state law.  If you want to live in a state where the people have decided that it should be a crime to smoke or possess a joint, have at it.  Those who believe that such a position is not only stupid it's criminally insane can move to a state that believes that individual rights, personal privacy and medical benefit are plenty of reason to treat marijuana and its derivatives like alcohol.

The line in this proposed bill is in the correct place; the Federal Government has the explicit delegated power to regulate interstate commerce, which includes weed, but has no power to regulate commerce that takes place solely within a state, Wickard .v. Filburn's lie notwithstanding.

Now Senator, can we have a conversation about the medical scams and get a similarly-reasoned and rational response out of you in that regard?

You might actually give me a reason to vote for a Democrat.

PS: Press releases and even introduced bills won't get there.  Actual passed legislation is required.  "Trust me" has no value in this nation any more and hasn't, especially among Federal legislatures and the Executive, for decades.

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2018-04-20 09:41 by Karl Denninger
in Musings , 113 references
[Comments enabled]  

So, if I want to be "done" there's an easy way to do it.

Sell my LLC -- that runs this joint.

What do you get?

The Ticker -- the (registered) Trademark, the site, the domains, etc.

HomeDaemon-MCP -- as I've posted before.

Permanent RTU (right to use) on the forum / blog code -- we can talk about the source and right to distribute; I might be ok with that too.

And maybe I'll do guest articles from time to time too.

What is this?  A "Make me Move" sort of deal.

You know how to find me (look to the right, fool -- the link is right there.)

Yeah, I'm thinking about it, and it's cheaper now than later -- like next year -- when I can kill the "mandatory" Obamacare policy (which I don't need) and keep as much cash flow as all of the above can generate but the lower income-tax liability on the earnings.

So, if you want it, this is your opportunity to get it -- whether its to have it or to just shut me up.

smiley

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2018-04-20 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Health Reform , 153 references
[Comments enabled]  

Pick one folks.

Those are the only two options.

The "entitlement" game is back on, of course.  But let's toss something else into the mix while we're at it -- the that that it has now been admitted that actually curing people is not, and never will be, the goal of our "medical scam, er, system."

The translation: if you develop a new drug that cures people rapidly, then patients will not need to take the drug on an ongoing basis, and that limits the amount of money a company can make.

The analyst asks: "Is curing patients a sustainable business model?"

The "problem" appears to be particularly great if the disorder in question is a transmittable disease. 

.....

Their introduction (Sovaldi, .et.al.) was a landmark event -- for two reasons. First, they provided a near-certain cure for hepatitis C in 12 weeks. Fantastic! Second, they were among the first of a series of drugs to be priced at exorbitant levels. When Harvoni was introduced, a 12-week course in the U.S. cost $94,500. Interestingly, in India, the same 12-week course of treatment cost only $900. (I assume that the company was still making a profit on its sales in India.)

Was this outrageous pricing good enough for Goldman Sachs? Apparently not.

Therefore we cannot actually cure any transmissible, but chronic, condition.  If you do then there are no new patients and no more money.  Q.E.D. that won't be the model that is pursued.

It gets even worse when it comes to cancer:

Over the last five years, cancer research has seen the “greatest advances,” including a new approach to treating the complex disease as a “chronic disease,” instead of trying to cure it.

“We have seen the greatest advances in cancer medicine in the last five years with drugs targeting the immune system moving into the clinic and showing remarkable response rates with quite a few different malignancies,” Lisa Coussens, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Cell, Developmental & Cancer Biology, said to Fox News at the American Association for Cancer Research annual conference.

However, the response rates do not indicate that medical doctors and scientists are getting closer to a cure – or if that is still the goal.

“With regards to a cure for that, it’s really not a realistic goal. I don’t know if cancer is a disease that can be cured. I think for most of us, the goal is management where we think about cancer like other chronic disease,” Dr. Coussens said. “50 years ago diabetes was a death sentence, now it is a chronic disease that is managed.”

Of course that "management" means ever-present cash flows for the rest of the person's life.

And pay attention to this specific statement form the American Cancer Society:

“Cancer isn’t always a one-time event. Cancer can be closely watched and treated, but sometimes it never completely goes away. It can be a chronic (ongoing) illness, much like diabetes or heart disease,” the website says.

Uh huh.

You mean like diabetes, specifically Type II diabetes, right?

Type II diabetes has a near-zero cost means of containment if not reversal, available but nobody is out there in the mainstream advocating it.  It's simply this: Stop eating carbohydrates except for green vegetables.

It works in nearly everyone who does it and it costs nothing.

But the medical system refuses to put this out there and so does the government as the primary means of addressing that condition.  As I pointed out quite some time ago in The Low-Hanging Fruit this one condition is responsible for about 25% of all Medicare spending -- and a likely similar amount off Medicaid.

Last year the Federal Government spent $1,443 billion on those two programs.  The states spent an additional $204 billion on Medicaid matching payments (their "share" of the total in 2016; I do not have 2017 numbers available yet.)  That totals approximately $1,600 billion dollars; getting rid of $400 billion of that overnight would make an enormous different in the federal budget deficit (in fact it would wipe out two thirds of last year's deficit entirely!) without disadvantaging one person -- in fact their health would improve and morbidity in the form of blindness, amputations and disability would massively decrease.

But literally nobody has, since I published that article over a year ago, picked up that ball and attempted to run with it at either the state or federal levels.  Nobody -- and I do mean nobody -- in any of the government roles involved will do anything to tamper with the over one and a half trillion dollars a year that the medical scam imposes in cost on the public even though it is not just a monetary cost it is also a human suffering cost that these policies promote and enhance.

This crap has gotten so brazen that now even Goldman Sachs and the American Cancer Society are willing to come straight out and state, in public, that the model of "medicine" is not to actually cure or fully mitigate diseases and conditions any more -- it is, rather, to develop drugs and therapies that have the exact same profile of consumption as an addictive drug in that the person in question becomes compelled to spend on same forever.

We already have such drugs -- they're called opioids and the drug industry makes billions selling them.  The problem is that they have both a tolerance response and a lethal dose; perpetual, life-long use thus has a high probability of the two curves intersecting at which point the person taking the drugs dies and doesn't buy any more of them.

But if you can find a way to effectively compel someone to take expensive drugs for cancer or diabetes forever, without that "coffin corner" problem then you can effectively "addict" them without the "side effect" of their eventual accidental suicide.

THIS IS THE BUSINESS MODEL OF "MEDICINE"  TODAY AND IT IS BANKRUPTING THE NATION.

The people promoting and practicing this need to be exposed for who and what they are and then put into a plastic chipper -- feet first.  We must put a stop to this, right here and now.  The option to defer that choice no longer exists; we have state pension fund shortfalls driven to a large degree by these ruinous policies and "expenses" that have exactly nothing to do with the best option available for people at large but rather are intentionally designed to screw the public out of trillions of dollars a year and keep them sick.

The entire business model of so-called "medicine" in this country is a scam.  We can collapse that business model and expense by 80% almost overnight starting with The Low Hanging Fruit and moving on from there to a few simple legislative and law enforcement changes.

We either do it -- and do it now -- or the United States will fiscally collapse as the ever-spiraling higher percentage of GDP consumed by these rapacious bastards will overtake government and private revenue at both a state and federal level.  There are real proposals available to do so, starting here and here.

There is no "entitlement problem" with Social Security.  The entire problem lies in the medical system and its business model which must be changed using existing Anti-Trust law along with voiding all special protections they have gotten passed, such as preventing cross-border drug price arbitrage.  If we do not begin to execute on this now the point of no return on both the state and federal side will be reached and that will be the end of our ability to deal with this other than by government fiscal collapse, massive civil unrest or even civil war.

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