Author Archives: R.D. Walker

The Prisoner’s Dilemma strikes again!

coopbet

John Kasich broke as soon as the deal was made and the alliance is dead.

Four days ago, the star-crossed, state-splitting alliance of Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio made its debut.

Three-and-a-half days ago, it began to show serious cracks.

And on Thursday, it seems, the arrangement reached its nadir.

Speaking to reporters before a rally with Carly Fiorina, his would-be running mate, Mr. Cruz was asked about the status of the agreement, which stipulated that Mr. Kasich would cede Indiana to Mr. Cruz if Mr. Cruz abandoned plans to campaign in New Mexico and Oregon. (Mr. Kasich instantly complicated matters by urging Indiana voters on Monday to support him, anyway.)

“I recognize that the media is all eager to talk about an alliance. There is no alliance,” Mr. Cruz said. “Kasich and I made a determination where to focus our energies, where to focus our assets, where to focus our resources.”

To understand the Prisoner’s Dilemma reference, and how it doomed cooperation between Kaisch and Cruz, go here.

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ISIS bumblefucks around a battlefield

As much as it pains me to echo Barack Obama, this video really does make ISIS look like the JV team.

I must say, however, I like their replica of the Deathmobile from Animal House.

I have to conclude from this video that, for minimally trained troops, hunting ISIS would be fun and easy.

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Economists on free trade and NAFTA

First, I must confess that I hesitated to post this. It is, after all, an appeal to authority. While I agree with these particular authorities, it doesn’t really follow that the findings of the poll are all that they seem.

We are all aware, for example, of the fallacious and fraudulent claim that “97 percent of scientists agree” that anthropogenic global warming is a threat to mankind. It has been well documented that scientists don’t agree on anything regarding climate science other than the most broad statement that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and humans are adding to its content in the atmosphere. Beyond that, agreement begins to collapse.

We should study and do our best to understand why the world is as it is rather than relying on the word of the so-called “experts”.

Now, having said that, this is the result of a survey of economists attending a conference in Chicago last month. These are specialists from across the political spectrum. While that do not agree on all policy preferences, there is wide agreement that both free trade and NAFTA have benefited the United States economy. Have a look.

Poll Results _ IGM Forum

Digging into the respondents’ comments, you will discover a very broad agreement that, while the net effect on the economy of free trade and NAFTA are positive, the positive effects are not distributed equally. Here is a selection of comments.

Note that not everyone is better off.

The “gains” are positive a general additive sense, but that does not avoid costs to some.

Trade creates tremendous benefits but causes substantial job losses Do current policies fully compensate displaced workers? Probably not.

The world’s endowment is allocated more efficiently under free trade, making the avg person better off. Individuals may face adjustment costs.

Gains are sufficiently large to finance the compensation of workers in losing sectors.

Description of the gains is right, and long run employment might be higher too. We can try to compensate short run job losers.

None were willing to say, however, that the benefits do not outweigh the costs.

There is robust economic theory telling us that the overall gains from trade for any country are likely to be substantial.

Although difficult to estimate, there is little evidence of negative effects of NAFTA and the positives are obvious.

Estimates used by CEA of the effect of complete free trade are as large as $500 billion per year – enormous even if off by a scalar.

Regarding the question as to whether is NAFTA good or bad for the United States, we are often arguing past each other. Economists agree that free trade and NAFTA are very beneficial to the United States as a whole. There is also general agreement that it has resulted in losers and that the losers have not been compensated for their loss from the net economic gain of freer trade.

The short answer, therefore, is that NAFTA has been overwhelmingly good for most but very bad for a few.

This is, however, in contradiction with Donald Trump when, in his speech yesterday, he said, “NAFTA…has been a total disaster for the United States”.

He is wrong. Dead wrong. And not just as the result of this appeal to authority. He is wrong by everything we know about trade, commerce, macroeconomic policy and from a a review of empirical data.

Regarding NAFTA, Trump continues…

Never again, only the reverse — and I have to say this strongly — never again; only the reverse will happen. We will keep our jobs and bring in new ones. There will be consequences for the companies that leave the United States only to exploit it later. They fire the people. They take advantage of the United States. There will be consequences for those companies. Never again.

This is a recipe for disaster. If a President Trump attempted to “correct” by reversing a policy that has been a huge economic benefit for the United States, the result would be catastrophic.

There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen. ~Frédéric Bastiat

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News from the nation with the world’s largest proven oil reserves…

emptyShelvesVenezuela

There isn’t enough money to print money.

Venezuela’s epic shortages are nothing new at this point. No diapers or car parts or aspirin — it’s all been well documented. But now the country is at risk of running out of money itself.

In a tale that highlights the chaos of unbridled inflation, Venezuela is scrambling to print new bills fast enough to keep up with the torrid pace of price increases. Most of the cash, like nearly everything else in the oil-exporting country, is imported. And with hard currency reserves sinking to critically low levels, the central bank is doling out payments so slowly to foreign providers that they are foregoing further business.

Venezuela, in other words, is now so broke that it may not have enough money to pay for its money.

Meanwhile, back in the USA…

socialist

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“The main problem with the notion of self-defense…”

The Huffington Post offers up the two stupidest sentences on the Internet today. Careful, you may actually lose IQ points in reading this.

The main problem with the notion of self-defense is it imposes on justice, for everyone has the right for a fair trial. Therefore, using a firearm to defend oneself is not legal because if the attacker is killed, he or she is devoid of his or her rights.

Evidently we must disarm everyone including the police because, when a violent attacker is shot, he is denied his day in court. Amazing.

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Trump says US foreign policy should put US first

trump-vision-and-plan

He says many things. Good things. Tremendous things. America first. Very good. He is the only one to say these things, trust me. I know.

Here is a sample.

We’ve picked fights with our oldest friends, and now they’re starting to look elsewhere for help. Remember that. Not good.

Fourth, our rivals no longer respect us. In fact, they’re just as confused as our allies, but in an even bigger problem is they don’t take us seriously anymore. The truth is they don’t respect us. When President Obama landed in Cuba on Air Force One, to leader was there, nobody, to greet him.

Perhaps an incident without precedent in the long and prestigious history of Air Force One. Then amazingly, the same thing happened in Saudi Arabia. It’s called no respect. Absolutely no respect.

Frankly, there is little to disagree with in the speech. I mean, it is generally the sort of thing a conservative would say. In fact, it sounds about like a speech your brother-in-law might make during half-time on Thanksgiving. Lots of Obama bad. Lots of America first. Pretty much off-the-shelf platitudes but it was just fine anyway.

Well, until he got to this…

NAFTA, as an example, has been a total disaster for the United States and has emptied our states — literally emptied our states of our manufacturing and our jobs. And I’ve just gotten to see it. I’ve toured Pennsylvania. I’ve toured New York. I’ve toured so many of the states. They have been cleaned out. Their manufacturing is gone.

Never again, only the reverse — and I have to say this strongly — never again; only the reverse will happen. We will keep our jobs and bring in new ones. There will be consequences for the companies that leave the United States only to exploit it later. They fire the people. They take advantage of the United States. There will be consequences for those companies. Never again.

Under a Trump administration, no American citizen will ever again feel that their needs come second to the citizens of a foreign country.

That’s just a third-rate, left wing, progressive, collectivist hustle. It’s right out of the Barack Obama “economic patroitism” playbook. “Why should you decide how to run your business? If you have a business, you didn’t build that.” You owe the collective and Trump is the bill collector.

Other than that it wasn’t bad but I did get the feeling it was written over beers on the back of cocktail napkins at the bar down at Ernie’s Tap.

Some people might disagree.


You be the judge. Transcript here.

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Ted Cruz fades back and attempts a Hail Mary into the end zone

cruz-fiorina

It’s a damned long shot.

Ted Cruz formally named Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate on Wednesday — a last-ditch move to regain momentum after being mathematically eliminated from winning the GOP presidential nomination outright.

“After a great deal of consideration and prayer, I have come to the conclusion that if I am nominated to be president of the United States that I will run on a ticket with my vice presidential nominee Carly Fiorina,” Cruz said during a rally in Indianapolis.

Indiana votes Tuesday in the next GOP contest. Cruz must have a strong showing in the Hoosier State to help block rival Donald Trump from securing the 1,237 delegates necessary to win the nomination, and keep alive his hopes of a contested Republican National Convention.

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Some Mexicans really like Señor Trump

He spends a lot of money manufacturing his products there.

It turns out Donald Trump understands the benefits of international trade.

“The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.” ~ H.L. Mencken

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It looks like Trump just about has it in the bag

masyrt

Last night Donald Trump did something that he hasn’t done before: He outperformed the polls. In five states where it was widely expected Cruz would fare poorly, Trump did even better than expected.

If Trump wins Indiana, it is definitely over. If Cruz wins Indiana it is probably over. Last night Trump called himself the presumptive nominee and that was a fair statement.

Cruz has actually performed pretty badly during this campaign. Trump won with evangelicals(!) in the South. This is a man who was pro-abortion until about 20 minutes ago. He has been married three times and his current wife is imaged nude all over the Internet. He is a New Jersey casino and strip-club owner who boasted about bedding the wives of men with whom he was acquainted. To this day he defends Planned Parenthood. This is a man who and says he’s never asked for God’s forgiveness because he has nothing for which he needs be forgiven. Evangelicals.

Trump beat Cruz with fiscal conservatives. This is a man who has made the case that making America great again involves using the power of the administrative state to put increased restrictions on trade and commerce. A man who said he would perform the mathematically impossible task of paying off the national debt in eight years while cutting taxes, increasing military spending, increasing infrastructure spending and making no cuts in Social Security or Medicare.

It is inexplicable.

If Trump is the Republican nominee, the election of 2016 is already over. We lost. Again.

I don’t think America is the nation I thought was.

Vote Libertarian.

635880696822808711308942186_gary

Update: I take it back. I said it in frustration and haste. Don’t vote Libertarian.

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Justice involved, asylum seeking, travel occupied individual pleads guilty to emergency response opertations

es

In fairness, he did use the gender appropriate locker room.

An asylum seeker from Iraq accused of raping a ten-year-old boy in a toilet cubicle at a swimming pool in Vienna pleaded guilty in court yesterday.

Twenty-year-old Amir A., who is from Iraq and married with a child of his own, claimed that was a “sexual emergency” when he attacked the schoolboy last December at the Theresienbad in Vienna’s Meidling area.

The young boy was swimming at the pool by himself and had befriended a 15-year-old boy, who was with the Iraqi man. When the youngster went off to the showers after his swim the 20-year-old followed him and pushed the boy into a toilet cubicle, where he assaulted him.

Later during his police interrogation, Amir A. attempted to excuse himself, saying that it had been a “sexual emergency” as he hadn’t had sex “for four months”.

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It’s true, men can use the ladies’ room at Target

You don’t even need to put on a show of being a Transgenderfied American. Just head on in.

The reality, of course, is that there aren’t enough gender-metamorphosis involved individuals for this to be a matter for which Target or any business should be willing to take a controversial stand.

What Target is doing is virtue signalling to the much larger group of non-transposed people who feel noble and righteous when they make a show of abandoning traditional gender boundaries. They are Target’s real target.

I any case, fellas, if you ever wondered what the inside of the ladies room looks like, Target says come on in and take a tour.

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“Justice Involved Individuals”

polit

“Justice Involved Individuals” is Newspeak for “criminals” and it is featured in this Orwellian Obama Administration press release.

In an effort to help young people involved in the justice system find jobs and housing, the U.S. Departments of Justice and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced $1.75 million for Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) and nonprofit legal service organizations to address the challenges justice-involved individuals face when trying to find work and a place to call home. …

“The future of our nation depends upon the future of our young people – including young people who have become involved with our justice system,” said Attorney General Lynch. “By helping justice-involved youth find decent jobs and stable housing after they return home, these critical grants provide a foundation for a fresh start and offer a path towards productivity and purpose. In the months ahead, the Department of Justice will continue helping justice-involved youth enrich their lives and improve our country.”

Damn. This sort of thing makes me want to go to a palliative involved place of conveyance, negotiate the vending of a spirit involved beverage and consume it with other inebriated-Americans until I become a compotation involved citizen.

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“Never trust the wizard.”

Peggy Joseph learned something that Trump supporters still need to learn. Pay attention guys.

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American’s aren’t supposed to idolize and glorify politicians

If there should ever come a day that I find myself running to catch sight of a man so that I can revere and venerate him, it had better be Jesus Christ returned to earth or I will rate my life a total loss.

We laughed at this crap when it was Obama worshipers. It is no different now.


There is something in the human psyche that makes humans worship and venerate leaders. We have seen it all through history. Don’t succumb to it.

ngDUO2f

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Ten Reasons for Republicans to support Donald Trump

askmewhy

1) Because you believe that what the economy needs to get back on track is a new round of governmental restrictions on trade and commerce.

2) Because a biannual roundup of illegal immigrants and transporting them to interment camps for processing and their eventual deportation to their nation of birth sounds like something that is actually doable in America.

3) You are a conservative who supports massive increases in federal spending on infrastructure.

4) Because you believe that NATO has no strategic value and is a nothing more than a scam to extort money from the United States.

5) You think it would be good policy for the United States to arm Japan and South Korea with nuclear weapons.

6) You want a federal database tracking all Muslims including US citizens but believe a national database of gun-owners is unconstitutional.

7) Because you actually believe that Trump is self-funding his campaign (Really?)

8 ) You oppose abortion but you think billions in federal funding of Planned Parenthood is good policy.

9) Because you think it is possible to cut taxes, increase military spending, leave Medicare and Social Security alone and still pay off the national debt in eight years

10) You, like Donald Trump, think Vladimir Putin’s strength as a leader is something to admire and America needs more of that sort of thing.

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Obama: Merkel is “on the right side of history”

As the savior of the world, she has his blessings…

President Obama today defended German Chancellor Angela Merkel for how she has handled the Syrian refugee crisis, even as she faces political backlash for her policy.

Merkel announced last year that Germany would accept hundreds of thousands of refugees. But just last month, a political party whose platform opposes Merkel’s open-door refugee policy made historic gains in state elections — an outcome seen as a referendum on the chancellor’s migrant position.

Obama praised Merkel, saying that he is “proud” of her and the German people.

“She is on the right side of history on this,” he said in a press conference as Merkel stood beside him. “She is giving voice, I think, to the kinds of principles that bring people together rather than divide them. And I’m very proud of her for that and I’m proud of the German people for that.”

That phrase, “the right side of history” reeks of Marxism and the inevitable “march of history” as laid out by Kark Marx. Here is Marx in the Communist Manifesto…

“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guildmaster and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, that each time ended, either in the revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.”

He was arguing that human history was on an inexorable march to a particular outcome and the march was predictable. The proletarian workers were on the “right side of history” and the corrupt bourgeoisie were on the wrong side.

Be wary of anyone who speaks of history as if it has a right and wrong side. This is a Marxist instinct as they believe they can foresee the march of future history.

“Communism is the riddle of history solved, and it knows itself to be this solution.”
― Karl Marx

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In Britain, Obama explains how he saved the world…

Obama was asked by asked by student in London what he wanted his legacy to be.

I don’t think I’ll have a good sense of my legacy until 10 years from now when I can look back with some perspective and get a sense of what worked and what didn’t. There are things I’m proud of: the basic principle that in a country as wealthy as the United States, every person should have access to high quality healthcare that they can afford. Saving the world economy from a Great Depression, that was pretty good.

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Weekend Stuff

1) Pick one…

ctdg

2) Does the sight of a lotus pod creep you out?

3) Would you rather be a genius no one believes or an idiot everyone believes?

4) Which one?

Tropical Cabin
cabin

More below the fold…

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They are coming for your guns…

This isn’t a conspiracy theory. They are coming right out and saying it. Chelsea Clinton explicitly states that Scalia’s death will mean that her mother can and will appoint a SCOTUS justice who will tilt to the court in a way that will allow the majority to debauch the clear meaning of the Second Amendment.

Meanwhile Chelsea’s mother had this to say.

“Any right that requires you to take extraordinary measures to access it is no right at all,” Clinton recently lamented as she spoke about the persistence of the anti-abortion movement’s activism. Women won’t have a true right on this issue, she says, “as long as we have laws on the book like the Hyde Amendment, making it harder for low-income women to exercise their full rights.”

She was talking about the Hyde Amendment which prevents the use of government funds for abortions. Her argument is that, without government subsidies, the right to abortion is being repressed.

By that logic, gun buying needs to be subsidized by the government.

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Socialists act just like monkeys

It’s science!

Punishment of non-cooperators is important for the maintenance of large-scale cooperation in humans, but relatively little is known about the relationship between punishment and cooperation across phylogeny. The current study examined second-party punishment behavior in a nonhuman primate species known for its cooperative tendencies—the brown capuchin monkey (Cebus apella). We found that capuchins consistently punished a conspecific partner who gained possession of a food resource, regardless of whether the unequal distribution of this resource was intentional on the part of the partner. A non-social comparison confirmed that punishment behavior was not due to frustration, nor did punishment stem from increased emotional arousal. Instead, punishment behavior in capuchins appears to be decidedly social in nature, as monkeys only pursued punitive actions when such actions directly decreased the welfare of a recently endowed conspecific. This pattern of results is consistent with two features central to human cooperation: spite and inequity aversion, suggesting that the evolutionary origins of some human-like punitive tendencies may extend even deeper than previously thought.

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Republican to replace Democrat on $20 bill

tubman202

That’s right, a gun toting, fundamentalist Christian member of the Republican Party will replace a Democrat president on the $20.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Wednesday will announce plans to both keep Alexander Hamilton on the front of the $10 bill and to knock Andrew Jackson off the front of the $20 in favor of Harriet Tubman, sources tell POLITICO.

Lew is expected to roll out a set of changes that also include putting leaders of the women’s suffrage movement on the back of the $10 bill, and incorporating civil rights era leaders and other important moments in American history into the $5 bill.

The idiots at the Treasury Department refused to even consider my submission.

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Bill Nye the Pseudoscience Guy

You refusing to get on board with the climate alarmist hysteria is affecting Nye’s life and he wants your ass in jail.

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Changes at the USMC

The ongoing plan to make the United States military an eco-aware, non-gendered social justice organization with a minor sideline in warfighting continues to progress.

The Marine Corps has proposed a new fitness plan for females that does not require them to do any pullups to meet physical standards.

While female Marines will strongly be incentivized to do those pullups to achieve a high score, they can opt for the “flexed-arm hang” instead. For example, females can’t score higher than 50 points for a flexed-arm hang, but just one pullup will net them 51 points, Marine Corps Times reports.

“I think this is a great way to implement the change as it gives an incentive to increase a score without the fear of failing the PFT,” Col. Robin Gallant told Marine Corps Times. “As women work on them to increase their score, they can be confident that they won’t fail a PFT. I think this is a huge benefit and I’m glad it might become a reality.”

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Fractured Fairy Tales

cake

Once upon a time in a magical kingdom called Austin, Texas lived a gay man. They gay man went to the flagship store of the liberal Whole Foods chain and ordered a cake.

It was a very special cake and he asked that it have “LOVE WINS” in icing on its top.

Working at the LGBTQ friendly store was an LGBTQ cake decorator. The evil LGBTQ cake decorator put more than “LOVE WINS” on the cake. Right there in the middle of the cake the cake decorator wrote “FAG” in incing.

Now the cake decorator knew the cake would be in a box with a great big window on the top. The cake decorator knew that everybody who buys a cake with a custom message on the top reads it as soon as they see it. The evil cake decorator knew that would mean that he would be instantly fired for putting the slur on the cake. He didn’t care. It was worth losing his job. He was just that evil and just that stupid.

When the gay man came to the store, he picked up his cake and, although it was visible and right in front of his nose, he never looked at the decorations that he specifically ordered. He carried it through the store to the cashier and never looked at it. He placed it on the check-out counter and never looked at it. He carried it out to his car and never looked at it. Only when he got in his car did he see the great big word “FAG” right in the middle of the cake.

The gay man went home and made a video about his experience and called a lawyer to sue the LGBTQ friendly grocery store chain for his pain and suffering.

Do you believe any of that? Nah, you shouldn’t. That was a fairy tale.

The likely reality is different. The likely reality is that the gay man wrote fag on the cake in order to extort money from Whole Foods. That is the position of the store and, in fact, Whole Foods has called him a liar and promised to counter sue. They claim, in fact, they have proof he is lying his ass off.

See, the label on the box and the color of the box seems to change between when the cake left the store and the SJW made his video. Whole foods has released a video. That’s the SJW in the orange shirt at the lower right cashier. Check it out.

More at Hot Air

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The death spiral continues apace…

The nation’s biggest health insurance company pulls the plug on Obamacare.

UnitedHealth, the nation’s biggest health insurer, will cut its participation in public health insurance exchanges to only a handful of states next year after expanding to nearly three dozen for this year.

CEO Stephen Hemsley said Tuesday that the company expects losses from its exchange business to total more than $1 billion for this year and last.

It turns out that, if you can’t be denied for preexisting conditions, people will only buy insurance when they are sick. That is a hell of a deal. Pay a few bucks for a month or two of insurance and collect tens of thousands from insurance companies.

Who could have predicted that? I mean, other than EVERYBODY!

Insurers say they have struggled, in particular, with customers who have signed up for coverage outside regular enrollment windows and then dumped expensive claims on their books, a problem the government has said it would address.

A dozen nonprofit health insurance cooperatives created by the ACA to sell coverage on the exchanges have already folded, and the survivors all lost millions last year.

You know who approves of UnitedHealth’s decision to kick Obamacare to the curb? Investors in UnitedHealth.

UnitedHealth shares jumped 2.2 percent, or $2.79, to $130.60 in morning trading Tuesday. The company also raised its forecast for 2016…

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