Wednesday, October 18, 2017

There Were Democrats Who Warned Them Not to Go There

I mentioned in July that well-known alt-right publication New York Times had pointed out the obvious corruption in the Uranium One deal to the benefit of the Russians.  The Hill now reports:
Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.
Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.
They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.
10/18/17 Fox News report Senate Judiciary Committee is starting to ask questions about this.   Maybe we can see both Clintons and Obama to go to prison.

Sore Muscles

And not from statins or the gym, but from yesterday's emergency honey-do project.  We have a split rail fence, which will not keep Rosie (the springer spaniel puppy)  in, so my wife and I put 400 feet of rabbit netting on it, held in place by zip ties.  She is now confined; wears herself out without being walked; and seems to be doing better about elimination in the right place.  But boy am I sore!

Conspiracy Theorists

My friend Dave Burnett informed of the correct response to conspiracy theorists: one up them!

"We never went to the Moon!"

"You believe in the Moon?"

"The Bush Administration blew up the World Trade Center."

"I've never been in the WTC.  How do you know it existed on 9/10?  Do you know anyone who ever worked there?"  (Phrase carefully, I have seen the giant inflatable balloons commonly called the WTC from New Jersey in 1999.)

Please: add your own favorite conspiracy theories and snappy comebacks.  I am sure my clever readers can come up many golden moments.

Who Knew We Had Time Travelers?

Maryland police charged a black man with a hate crime after he allegedly spat in the face of a disabled white man and shouted “all white people are evil.”
Marquis Evans-Royster, 27, walked up to a 52-year-old homeless disabled white man while on a city bus, WJLA-TV reported Monday. Authorities maintained Evans- Royster told the man he owed him because of slavery.
“You owe me for making my grandmother a slave,” Evans-Royster said to the man. According to police, he also turned to other passengers on the bus and yelled, “All white people are evil.” He also allegedly told two of the bus’ white passengers they should be dead. 
Homeless white guy: all that white privilege.  A 52-year-old enslaved this guy's grandmother?  He is a time traveler?  Let's do the math since Mr. Evans-Royster cannot.  Slavery ended in 1865 -- 152 years ago.  So 152-27 (his age) means he was born in 1990.  His mother must have birthed this hater no earlier than 1945, and her mother 1900.

Did his public school not teach history or math?  And obviously not manners or self-restraint.
"It speaks to the state of the times," said 70-year-old Tyrone Kenney, a black man who came of age during the American Civil Rights Movement. "People are desperate, they're looking for leadership, they're looking for guidance, but they're not getting it at home, they're not getting it from government. It's a period of time I've never seen before."
Not  getting it from government: Trump made him do it!

Where the Democrat Enthusiasm for Islamic Refugees May Take Us

CAIRO — A crackdown on gay people in Egypt intensified in recent days as security forces raided cafes in downtown Cairo and courts delivered harsh prison sentences, further driving the nation’s LGBT community underground.
More than 60 people have been arrested, human rights activists said, since a concert last month by a rock group where some members of the audience waved a rainbow flag — photos of which went viral on social media and caused public outrage.
Security forces have also detained people at their homes in the middle of the night, and have used apps and online chat rooms to entrap those believed to be gay. Some cafes frequented by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community have been shut down.
Regular readers know that I think America's embrace (including by most Republicans) of the LGBT movement was a serious mistake.  But 1950s American disapproval of homosexuality was fairly liberal compared to Islam's view.  Best of all, the articles suggests Christians are part of this.

Watch for Yield Curve Inversion

10/18/17 CNBC:
The bond market is warning that trouble could be on the horizon, either from an economic slowdown or an eventual recession.
The yield curve, a set of interest rates watched closely by bond market pros, has gotten to its flattest level since before the financial crisis. The spread between 2-year note yields and 10-year yields this week reached near the lows, at about 0.75, it has been since before the financial crisis.
"Yield curve inversion" is when long-term Treasury bond yields get lower than short-term bond yields.  I bought 30 year Treasurys in 1994 that paid me 7.5% annually from 1994 to 2016, when they matured, paying me a slight capital gain.  These can be good times to buy bonds for low-risk, often better than inflation returns.

What if the Vegas Shooter Had No Access to Guns?

He was rich enough to wire $100,000 overseas. Could he have bought a gasoline tanker, driven into the crowd, opened the tank upstream from the survivors and thrown a match?  Here's what I found when researching just recent vehicle mass murders.

In the last few years, there have been multiple motor vehicle mass murders in Europe and Australia (84 killed with truck in Nice, France[1], 12 murdered in Berlin, Germany with truck[2], 3 killed with SUV, 1 by stabbing in London[3], 5 with truck in Stockholm[4], 13 murdered with truck in Barcelona, Spain.[5]  While these were terrorist mass murders, others have been mental health-related (6 murdered with car in Melbourne, Australia[6]

[1] Angela Dewan, Jason Hanna and Euan McKirdy, Attack in Nice: Truck Driver Identified as 31-Year-Old Tunisia Native, CNN, July 16, 2016.
[2] Anschlag in Berlin Zahl der Verletzten liegt bei 56, Berliner Zeitung, Mar. 6, 2017.
[3] 'No evidence' Khalid Masood had links to IS or al-Qaeda, BBC, Mar. 27. 2017.
[4] Simon JohnsonNiklas PollardRebecka Roos, Uzbek suspect in Swedish attack sympathized with Islamic State: police, Reuters, Apr. 9, 2017.
[5] Barcelona attack: four suspects face court after van driver is shot dead,
[6] Holly McKay and Cassie Zervos, Blackburn South woman dies in hospital after Bourke St rampage, [Victoria, Australia] Herald Sun, Jan. 30, 2017.