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2018-02-18 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 255 references
[Comments enabled]  

It's not real important that you're unable to throw a grenade to the minimum reasonable safe distance, right?

The United States Army will no longer require recruits to show they can throw hand grenades 25 meters because many of them can’t throw the explosive far enough, it revealed on Friday.

The Army says that starting next summer it will remove the requirement from its Basic Combat Training because it takes too much time to teach enlistees to throw grenades at an adequate distance.

So let me see if I get this right: You "pass" basic training (after which you're potentially deployable in an infantry role, right?) without being able to toss a grenade far enough so it will not kill you when you use it.

Then, if you wind up called to go do something like, oh, toss a grenade for real at a real enemy, you haven't demonstrated you're competent to get it clear of your own unit.

Exactly what sort of stupid do you have to be in order to "pass" alleged "soldiers" through a basic training class who cannot use one of the basic weapons that they're supposed to be able to use without accidentally scoring "own goals" on themselves and others on their own side of the war?

I'm sorry folks, this is beyond idiocy -- and Trump, I remind you, is now CIC and thus fully responsible for this stupidity.

Let me guess -- next up will be you don't have to actually be able to accurately shoot either.

It's not like someone in the Army is expected to be able to use a gun, right alongside that grenade -- right?

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2018-02-16 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 488 references
[Comments enabled]  

Reaction to my article yesterday was swift -- and predictable.

So has been the political reaction to the shooting at Parkland -- the hard-left, which includes Nancy "gottapassittoreadit" Pelosuck and many others -- who immediately called for more gun control.

There's even Faux Snooz who ran an OpEd talking about conservatives "taking a stand against mass-murder."

Of course it's still all about guns in the media -- and on Capitol Hill.


Of course there's this lie trotted out when it comes to semi-automatic firearms:

Hunters or those who enjoy shooting clay pigeons don’t use semi-automatic weapons.

Actually, an autoloading shotgun, that is, a semi-automatic weapon, is indeed relatively common when shooting clay pigeons.  It's also commonly used to shoot at live ducks and other fowl.  All legally, I might add.  For emphasis: Pheasant, in particular, are delicious and you can't buy them at Publix.

Then there's depredation, which is a very legitimate act (ask any farmer or someone who has various rodents destroying crops and other things on land); those are commonly hunted with semi-automatic firearms.

Never mind all the people who enjoy shooting at targets as a sport, whether just personally or in matches of skill under formal competition -- many of whom use semi-automatic firearms while doing so.  In fact, the most-common civilian-owned firearm for this purpose might just be the AR-15, right near the Ruger 10-22.  Both are semi-automatic.  If your only exposure to guns is by watching movies you might try it sometime; you'll likely gain a bit of respect for how hard it is to shoot well.

Finally, nearly all modern cops are carrying semi-automatic firearms every day while on duty.  Nearly all pistols are, indeed, semi-automatic firearms.  Shall we go back to revolvers?  Oh wait, those fire rapidly too, and a very cheap speedloader, which is nothing more than a piece of plastic of the correct dimensions, can reload them almost as quickly as a magazine swap.

And may I remind you that the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with hunting.  It exists for the specific reason that one may need to shoot one or more *******s, and if you need to do it you need to do it right now and continue doing it until said *******(s) are no longer a threat because if you do not you are going to die.  *******s that need shooting come in many forms and one type of them choose to shoot up schools, at which point having an autoloading (semi-automatic) weapon on your person at that instant in time is in fact critical to winning said fight.  The Second Amendment exists because the Founders recognized that your right to continue living when faced by one or more said *******(s) pre-dates and cannot be subsumed by a government and is personal to you.  And yes, the definition of said ******* at the time included agents of a rogue government and might in the future; in the instant case when the 2nd Amendment was written those *******s that needed shooting right now had sworn allegiance to a King.

Liz doesn't give a **** about the truth, in short.

Nor do the rest of the media and political organs of this nation.

But you should, if you want to reduce or even eliminate these "rage monster" attacks.

That is what we'd all like to see happen, right?

Your interest in this isn't just a political side show using dead kids as props, right?

I referenced this article from 2013 on the matter that I wrote in yesterday's missive.  In it I pointed out that the prescribing information for these drugs -- specifically drugs known as SSRIs -- makes note of the risk of giving them to people 24 and under, especially if they have an un-diagnosed bipolar disorder.

That's because the risk is real and the manufacturers know it.

It is very, very difficult for a common MD to detect bipolar disorders in their patients.  The reason for this is simple: Someone who is depressed will often ask a doctor for help, but someone who is manic thinks they're on the top of the world and never asks anyone for anything!  Even a trained psychiatrist has to catch the person in the manic state, or exhibiting signs of it.  A "family" or "primary care" physician who might see someone a couple of times a year maximum as opposed to a psychiatrist who is seeing someone on a weekly or similar basis?  The odds of that primary care physician catching a latent bipolar condition is damn near zero simply due to lack of time and exposure and I remind you that during depressive phases bipolar people are depressed!

We hand out SSRIs to people who complain of any sort of symptom of depression, including teens and young adults, like candy in this country and have since Prozac was first introduced in 1988.

It was not long after that when the mass-shootings by young "rage monsters" started.  Go look it up.

In 2015, two years after the 2013 article more or less, I wrote another of my many articles on SSRIs that have been featured since The Market Ticker began publication.  In it I made reference to two studies -- formal, scientific studies.

The first dealt with an infamous study by Glaxo known as "329" related to Paxil conducted in 2000.  The problem with the original study was that the data analysis was faulty.  The US Government claimed the company marketed it intentionally off-label to children and adolescents which is illegal, and charged them criminally.  They ultimately paid a $3 billion fine but nobody went to prison.

Then the hammer came down: Re-analysis of the original study data showed that the drug didn't work in adolescents with depression.

But it was in fact much worse than that -- not only didn't the drug work it had a rate of serious adverse effects, including suicidal gestures, that were five times higher than those taking a sugar pill.

How many people are dead of self-inflicted injury due to taking a drug that, the data appears to show, not only doesn't work on that particular patient population it makes it more likely you will kill yourself?

But we still prescribe drugs in this general class to adolescents.

Lots of adolescents and young adults.

For depression.

These drugs are still being prescribed to adolescents and young adults.

If you think the crazy ended there with willful refusal to pay attention to scientific evidence, it didn't.

It in fact is worse than one study on one drug.  A lot worse.

A second group took data from over 800,000 Swedish nationals -- an extremely large data set -- who were prescribed SSRIs and analyzed the data for coincidence with violent crime convictions.

Remember now, SSRIs are allegedly for depression, and depressed people tend not to commit violent crimes.  They may become suicidal but not homicidal or violent toward others.

Or are they, when SSRIs are involved?

According to the data about 3% of the young people under the age of 24 who took these drugs had a violent crime conviction -- and that is double that of the next age cohort and double that of someone in the same age cohort who wasn't taking the drugs.

More-damning there was no drug-associated increase in violent crime among patients older than 24.

So we have a class of drugs where at least some of them appear to not work at all in the younger age group (15-24) and all of them appear to potentiate, in a small number of the people taking them in that specific age group, extreme violent behavior.

We also know that a gross over-representation, in terms of percentage of offenders when it comes to school shootings, are persons taking such drugs and virtually all of them are in the 15-24 age bracket.

This is probably not a coincidence given what the studies say about both the effectiveness and safety of these drugs in that specific age segment.

So tell me again why the FDA hasn't banned the use of these drugs in people under 25, and why the government hasn't prosecuted doctors for prescribing these medications to a specific age group that has a known association not only with suicides but also with violent criminal activity -- especially when the re-analysis of the infamous 329 study showed that at least one of these drugs was worthless in terms of actually providing therapeutic benefit to those in that age group.

We could also fire a couple of the non-teaching "assistants" in the schools (non-teachers have risen over 100% in employment in the schools over a period where enrollment has gone up 9%) and hire in their place one or two armed guards per school.  It's a fact that all of these clowns come expecting zero effective resistance.  Or arm the teachers; we already ought to be testing them for mental competence and stability anyway, since there are plenty of other problems with unstable teachers (e.g. sleeping with students, etc) to justify that.  If the football coach that put himself in front of students (and was killed) had been armed it might have all ended right there in a very different way.  And what's with fire alarms being able to be pulled, forcing everyone out into the halls?  There's no reason for that given cameras and such; they should all be silent, ring in the office only, and once office personnel confirm there actually is a fire then the klaxons can sound to tell everyone to get out.  That would have prevented "weaponizing" the fire alarms by the shooter, never mind putting an immediate end to the disruption that many schools suffer when unruly kids "pull" them maliciously to interrupt classes.

But back to the drug issue....

If you're actually interested in making a positive difference -- that is, materially reducing these sort of attacks -- then your effort should be focused on eliminating the prescribing of these medications, which the re-analysis of the 329 study says do not work and thus are not of therapeutic value, to those under the age of 24.

It might just be that simple given the data available.  You can bet, however, that the drug companies and politicians won't like it if that turns out to be the case as they will then have to answer why they have intentionally ignored the scientific evidence for years and as a direct result there are dozens of dead kids -- including those who attended Parkland.

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2018-02-15 08:46 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 979 references
[Comments enabled]  

The usual sycophants are screaming for more gun control immediately, of course.

They are intentionally and maliciously ignoring this:

“I know she had been having some issues with them, especially the older one. He was being a problem. I know he did have some issues and he may have been taking medication.

"Rage Monster" medication?

You know, the same general class of medication that the Columbine shooters -- along with a huge, in fact ridiculously-high percentage of all school shooters between Columbine and today -- were on?

They're called SSRIs and they're dangerous when taken by people under 25.

Why isn't the first line of inquiry finding out if this guy was on a class of drugs -- prescribed -- that are known to cause this behavior in a small percentage of people under the age of 25?  If he was why aren't we holding the physician who prescribed them accountable as having prescribed a drug known to cause violence to someone in the known risk class -- and charging him or her as an accessory to murder before the fact?

I have long held and written in these pages that these drugs should only be prescribed to those under the age of 25 for those in residential facilities where they can be monitored 24x7.  For reasons we do not understand these drugs stop having that side effect in full-fledged adults (although they still are implicated in potentiating suicides), but in teens and young adults they are dangerous in a small but non-zero percentage of those who use them in that they turn the user into a homicidal maniac.

They're handed out like candy for emotional disturbances and there is a very high correlation between people who do these things and their prescribed use.  These drugs may well be useful in an appropriate subset of the population but it simply must not include those under the age of 25 who are not institutionalized.

These sort of incidents essentially never occurred until we started using these drugs in young people.  Then, suddenly, they did.  Depression isn't a new problem that just magically appeared all at once; it's been with mankind since there was mankind.  What changed was the prescribing of these "wonder drugs" and the risk appears to be specifically isolated to teens and near-teens. 

Psychotropic medication, specifically in this case SSRIs, are dangerous in those under the age of 25 in that there is a known small but real risk of them potentiating a "Rage Monster" style attack when given to people in this age group.  This risk is specifically noted in the prescribing information (it notes the possibility of potentiating a mixed/manic state with aggression if given to someone who is both under 25 and bipolar) but we still hand this crap out to kids and near-kids and there appears to be no good way to know who will have that sort of reaction to consuming them in advance.

As study statistics show while the risk is small it's real and when you give these drugs to millions of people in that age group on a statistical basis you are going to wind up creating some number of these monsters.

This crap must be stopped right damn nowHow many rage monsters do we have to create before we ban the prescribing of these drugs to that age group in non-institutional settings and start charging physicians and other 'professionals' who write said scripts with being accessories before the fact to acts of violence perpetrated by their patients if they prescribe them anyway?

While it is not yet confirmed that Cruz was on one of these drugs it's a decent bet he was and you can also bet the media will not dig into it and the FBI and other authorities will try to keep that information from coming out, if it is in fact the case.

This we must not tolerate.

Second, since we're on the subject of the medical "scam" system in this nation and its likely complicity in this event may I note that in the time between the shooting and this morning more Americans died from the medical monopolists in preventable "errors" and in fact more die this way every single day.  Worse, they die after being asset-stripped, in many cases to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, yet not one person is ever charged in such deaths.

Why not?  Those who prescribe SSRIs to teens are not Marcus Welby, they're Josef Mengele -- as are those in the medical system who do things like performing an optional surgery on someone with congestive heart failure, pancreatitis and cirrhosis instead of first draining the tens of pounds of fluid from that person's abdomen, stabilizing those other conditions and demanding the person stop drinking and thus grossly reduce the risk of complications -- complications that in the instant case I'm familiar with did happen, nearly killed said person and ran up a six-figure hospital bill they sent to the taxpayers because they "decided" to do the original operation despite actual knowledge of these co-morbidities and the grossly-increased risk they presented.

When it comes to guns there are 50,000 gun laws on the books.  The Second Amendment says every one of them is unconstitutional but we don't care; we pass them anyway.  They will never stop someone from committing an act like this for the simple reason that someone willing to commit murder does not care how many other laws they violate first.  Adam Lanza killed his mother to get her gun; he clearly did not give a crap about gun laws and neither have any of the others who have done similar things.

Finally, let me note this: Every single cop who showed up did not do so with a baseball bat; they all came with guns.  If we are not going to stop prescribing these drugs to teens and young adults then the only other alternative that will make an actual difference is for damn near every adult in every school and other "soft target" like this must be armed and prepared to offer meaningful resistance if such a jackass shows up.

You do not stop a madman with a gun with harsh language just like you don't stop a charging grizzly bear by talking with it.  

You shoot him.

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2018-02-14 14:02 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 194 references
[Comments enabled]  

Oh please...

The latest twist in the tangled tale of what happened between President Trump and an adult film star more than a decade ago has taken a new turn Tuesday, with Trump’s longtime personal lawyer claiming that he paid the porn star $130,000 out of his own pocket.

This "disclosure" came out of a reply to the FEC that received a complaint from a watchdog group that believed the payment amounted to an illegal campaign contribution (and which would if it flowed through same.)

I ain't buying that what Trump's lawyer is selling, although lying to the FEC would be a felony.  But the idea that even a longtime attorney would pay such an amount out of his or her own pocket just because stretches credibility well beyond the breaking point.

We're not talking about a few shekels here folks; $130 large is quite a lot of money for anyone, including a high-priced lawyer.  As for Cohen's refusal to answer any sort of follow-up questions (such as, for example, whether Trump knew about it) that doesn't surprise me either.

I remind you that the FEC has no authority to go further than investigating whether or not campaign finance laws were broken nor should they.  I also remind you that there is no obligation of anyone to disclose how they spend their money generally, although certainly funds flowing in that amount wind up with tax implications somewhere (whether they're earnings, "gifts", or whatever.)

Do I believe that Mr. Lawyer Dude paid her out of his own pocket?  Yeah, that's probably true, particularly considering that lying to the FEC is a crime and there's a decent chance of getting caught if you lie as well.

But do I believe there was no quid-pro-quo somewhere that was worth more than $130 large to Mr. Lawyer Dude?

Oh hell no.

AP is now reporting that the lady in question now believes her gag agreement is now void since said lawyer has now publicly disclosed the payment.   This could get quite amusing in short order.....

And as for the "gag order" that was allegedly part of the payment I also do not believe that was the first time Stormy Daniels had gagged.

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2018-02-14 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 188 references
[Comments enabled]  

This is the sort of "story" that passes for "news" or even "a feature" today.

A couple’s plan for a better life has been sunk.

Nikki Walsh, 24, and boyfriend Tanner Broadwell, 26, decided nearly a year ago that they were tired of working.

“How can we live our lives when we’re working most of the day and you have to pay so much just to live?” Walsh, who booked time-share tours for a living, said to The New York Post.

Heh, I know someone like that.  My daughter.  She doesn't buy into the "traditional" rat-race, and if you read my column you know that she's finding her way -- including by selling artwork she produces on her own and working various jobs.

It's a perfectly good choice; you can be "rich" by either having a lot or needing a little, and it's surprising how little you really need.

But -- as someone who has been around the water all my life, and as someone who has owned boats up to 45' in length, all of which I ran and maintained myself, this sort of story really pisses me off.

See, being on land is one thing.  You have a few thousand or even a few hundred, if you have somewhere to run if things go sideways, you can get your ass to the nearest Greyhound station and life will stop sucking really, really badly.

That's not say that having your tail between your legs is fun -- it's not.  But it's not one of those it's all gone moments, you know.

Second, these two bought a 50 year old sailboat -- and a 28 footer at that.  The make and model isn't specified but this much I know -- if you don't know boats pretty well, and what to look for, then that 50 year old boat might be barely floating.  Which means it can go from "floating" to not pretty damn fast.

Second, while "sailing the world" in a 28 footer is possible and people have done it, it's not to be taken lightly.  There just aren't that many truly offshore-capable sailing vessels -- or powerboats for that matter.  There's a hell of a difference between a boat intended for coastal use and one you intend to take into truly blue water for oceanfaring.  They are not the same thing.

Now add to this that the story says these two were novice sailors.  In other words, they didn't know what they didn't know, which is the most-dangerous sort of ignorance.  I'm not personally familiar with John's Pass (although I do know where it is and have run Clearwater Pass several times as there's a nice city marina there when in transit) but they found out the hard way that not knowing what you're doing can be a severe problem when they grounded the boat -- and sunk it.

This much is clear though from looking at the chart which any minimally competent boater should have done well before trying to navigate it: The relatively deep water channel is very narrow and there are very shallow areas right up against it which someone with experience knows means it's very possible that the exact demarcation between "plenty of water" and "aw crap" is likely not exactly as-marked.

In other words unless you know where the shallows are you pick your day and time to run that thing and you do it dead slow where either instrumentation or eyes are sufficient to alert you what happens, happened.  This may well mean that at a given time when you wish to run said pass (in either direction) it simply is ill-advised and you don't go at that time.

It's one thing if you're local and navigating it frequently. 

It's another if you're not.

So boo hoo, hiss hiss, they learned the hard way.  They had no hull insurance, quite-possibly because they bought the boat without a survey and no insurance company will write hull insurance without one, especially on a 50 year old hull.  They also didn't know what they were doing, and I suspect no insurance company would have written on it anyway given their intended plans and lack of experience.  Unlike a car there is no legal requirement for insurance on a boat -- if it sinks, tough cookies, and if there's environmental damage as a result guess who gets the bill (you!)

But now we have these two playing the "gofundme" scam for..... what, exactly?

I say screw that and nobody should give them anything.  Look, chick-a-dee and guypal, life teaches lessons.  Some of them are cheaper than others.  This one's not all that expensive as lessons go -- nobody got killed or seriously hurt and it was only your property that got destroyed, not someone else's where you get immediately sued.  Suck it up, figure it out, and move on.

Panhandling because you were stupid ought to earn a big fat wad of spit in response rather than sympathy.

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