The entire state of Massachusetts has announced, earlier today, that it is running for the presidency of the United States in 2020, now doubling the number of Democrat hopefuls.
The stock market closed around 26,500 last Friday afternoon, although at 9:30 that morning, it was at 26,160. That’s a 1% difference. Interestingly, it was at 26,500 on Thursday afternoon, so even if you were one of the very few affected by little drop, you made your money back.
Crazy, huh? Here’s how CNN reported this: Dow Futures Plummet 400 Points After Trump Renews Tariff Threat on China.
Plummet! Yes, like if gas goes down three cents a gallon, we can say its price plummeted.
Or if Joe Biden’s polling numbers go from 39% to 38%, we can say his support has plummeted.
Or if CNN’s ratings drop another 1%, we can say viewership has plummeted.
The Czar would love to link that headline for you, but CNN already revised it to Global Stocks Drop After Trump Risks ‘Full-On’ Trade War with China. You might click on that link later and see if it’s been changed again.
So why the hyperbole? Why would CNN portray an hours-long dip in the Dow as a plummet, which implies a disastrous free-fall?
Probably because the economic news is really good, and Democrats can’t win a presidency unless the economy is rocky. So by using scare words, you create the perception among Americans that, hey, maybe things aren’t so good right now. This way, you can create enough fear, uncertainty, and doubt to encourage Americans to hold off on buying the house, that car, or that new washer/dryer combo with the wireless smart-app feature that texts you when your laundry is done. And, just maybe, you get enough Americans to hold off that you can trigger a slowdown.
Any slowdown is a recession to the news media, regardless of how many quarters of non-growth you see. RECESSION LOOMS, the drumbeat goes, on so many media stories today.
Recessions get Democrats elected, even if they have to cause them themselves.
Consider this headline: Dow Briefly Dips 1% Before Regaining. Know which media outlet carried that one? None of them.
Here’s another thought for you. Summarizing the CNN story, we learn that President Trump threatened new tariffs on Chinese goods. We learned that three global markets saw their indices drop by single-digit percentages, but the Dow and oil futures made up what they lost.
We also learned the Chinese were annoyed, and that a real trade-war between the US and China would cause a reaction. No kidding. But after a week of record-breaking highs, Friday morning’s dip was the biggest dip in weeks, just before recovering.
That doesn’t sound so bad. But you know what the article doesn’t explain? How exactly does Trump’s threat correlate to this small, momentary dip in the global markets? Sure, they happened at the same time, but you know what else happened Friday morning?
Lots of stuff. There’s no direct link—presented in the article—between the Trump statement and the plunge. Could there be? Absolutely, and almost certainly there was some effect; but if so, it was minor.
Here’s a bit of advice: whenever any news outlet “explains” why stocks drop or rise, check to see if most other financial sources generally agree. They won’t. If you Google Friday’s drop, you’ll see that many diverse sources cite the Trump threat as the cause, specifically using the word “plummet,” indicating they’re all using the same source and not doing independent research.
And this requires no explanation: few financial folks will ever cite a specific cause for why the market does anything. Phrases like “on fears of,” “as a result of,” or “in expectation of” are bullshit explanations to pad out the story. The only real story is that prices are trending up or trending down (bulls and bears), and finding a specific explanation for day-to-day shifts are imaginary. It’s like blaming colder temperatures tomorrow on magazine sales or on a sea cruise cancellation.
The political origin of this style of reporting is obvious, as well. If the economy keeps booming every couple of weeks, Republicans are going to coast into an easy victory in 2020. Since this outcome is unacceptable, you will see two counter-strategies employed by Democrats: the first is RECESSION LOOMS, in hopes that consumer confidence is shaken enough to cause a real one, and the second is all sorts of twisting and gyrations to convince voters that the Democrats are actually responsible for the good times.
We’re already seeing a bit of the latter: but because Democrats promised America that Trump’s economic policies would wreak utter devastation on the land, there’s precious little to cite as proof. As a result, we have already seen the claim that the powerhouse economy was the result of President Obama, not Trump. Except, as you know, Obama isn’t running in 2020; this has less effect.
What if President Obama were president today?
That CNN headline would probably look like this: Obama’s Tough Trade Talk Lowers Prices for First-Time Investors. It’s exactly as plausible.
As President Trump’s second term grows increasingly likely by the day, expect to see more RECESSION LOOMS headlines. Who knows? Maybe the Democrats will be lucky enough to genuinely cause one. They certainly have willing helpers in the media.
‘Puter watches Morning Joe from time to time if only to see how far Joe Scarborough can sink. If one needed proof Progressivism is sexually transmissible, one need look no further than Scarborough post-ugly bumping with Mika Brzezinski, his cohostess, one-time adulterous slampiece, and now wife.*
This morning, Scarborough railed against Attorney General Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s performance on FoxNews’ Sunday political talk show featuring Chris Wallace. Mr. Pompeo’s mortal sin? Daring to change the subject from Russian interference in the 2016 elections to the Mueller report, emphasizing no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Scarborough spent more than 10 minutes in a state of incredulous indignation, stating no one in America could possibly be dumb enough to believe Pompeo’s spin. The hired sycophants Steve Rattner, Mike Barnicle, and Tom “the Expert” Nichols dutifully nodded, tugging their beards and interjecting that yes, indeed, Right-leaning Americans are that dumb.
‘Puter shook his head sadly. The Morning Joe elites (our intellectual and moral betters) had missed the obvious. It is not necessarily that America’s Right and Right-leaning voters trust Pompeo (or, for that matter, Trump). It is that America’s Right and Right-leaning voters know to a moral certitude we cannot trust media.
Yes, Trump is unbelievable. America knew that when it elected Trump president. It’s baked into America’s conception of Trump the man and Trump the president. America expects Trump to lie, to lie frequently, and to not apologize or even acknowledging his obvious lies when called on them. America doesn’t care.
But America expects its media to tell the truth to the best of its ability, to get the story right, to be as neutral as possible. For too long, media has not been any of these things. Media abandoned reporting facts in favor of narrative creation, which based on media performance seems to mean “lie your face off in supine service of the Democrats.” Media has lied, spun, buried, and killed stories to protect Democrats and to unjustly smear Republicans. Media has squandered any claim to factual authority it may have had in favor of being Democrats’ booty call. The Right has not missed or misunderstood media’s undeclared war on the Right.
It’s not that Right-leaning Americans trust Trump, it’s that Right-leaning Americans do not, cannot, and must not trust media. The sooner media understands this, the sooner it can attempt to salvage what little dignity and authority which may remain.
‘Puter bets media won’t even make an attempt.
* ‘Puter’s had the notion to jot down some thoughts on examples of stupid things guys will do for tail, but since this is a family blog, he thought better of it.
Anyway, forget about all that: Avengers: Endgame is out in theaters, and the Czar took up nearly his entire weekend watching it once. No doubt, you’ve got questions, so here’s our spoiler-free take on the movie.
Is it as long as they say?
Yes, all told, counting all 22 Marvel Studios movies that play into this, the movie is about 778 hours long.
When should I go to the bathroom during the movie?
Anytime you like! The Czar openly advocates urinating in the theater seats. Everybody else does.
Are there any good ways to ruin the movie for others?
Certainly! Feel free to park your car in the theater and leave the brights on. Or shoot off fireworks during the scary parts. The Czar took a different approach today and hurled a full hornet hive like a football right into the front seats.
How crowded was the theater?
Very, but not as bad as the crowd waiting for the next showing. And we hear the one after that was even longer! Frankly, if you haven’t seen it by this point, the lines will be over six miles long. So don’t bother.
Are there any surprise cameos in the movie?
Lots. Seeing Wayne Gretzky back in full uniform was great, as was Carl Ballantine. If you’re looking for cameos from other Marvel Studios movies, this one is chock-full, including the guy from Iron Man who nods at the press conference at the end, Guard #2 from Thor: the Dark World, and Irate Customer from Age of Ultron. One of the boys swears he saw Confused Kid from Iron Man 3, but that’s doubtful seeing how that actor’s relationship soured with the studio.
Anybody coming back from previous movies?
Yes! The assistant standby painter in Endgame is the same one as Black Panther.
Popcorn any good?
Not bad, although we blew through a medium bucket in the same time we normally go through a small…meaning, about 20 minutes into the movie.
Seriously, couldn’t the have cut anything out of this film to make it shorter?
The directors swear that cutting even two seconds of this movie destroy the entire structural narrative; however, there are definitely a few scenes that warranted some editing down. There’s a scene where Black Widow reads an entire phone book trying to remember the name of a pizza place (“all I remember is it had a vowel in it,”), War Machine takes an online course in college-level trig, and right at the beginning, Hawkeye attends a complete, three-hour, Greek Orthodox mass.
Bring the pets or nah?
Leave the animals at home. The movie is loud, you have to pay attention, and the theater is carpeted.
Is this another one where that guy does that thing?
Yep, he totally does.
Not that President Trump needs to be reminded that he sometimes says dopey stuff, but the news media suffers from a form of priapism where he is concerned, turning every news story into a rant about him, or linking every other world event big or small to a goofy tweet of his.
This isn’t a new thing. One of the advantages of having been born in the mid-13th Century is that the Czar has been able to track news stories all the way back to America’s founding, and the reader will not be reminded that the media did their best to bury, deny, or obscure anything damaging to the President’s predecessor, or rewrote, rephrased, reframed, or distorted his faults into something positive.
Nor will you require an explanation that the media hates hates hates Republicans but obsesses over the perfection of their Democratic opponents in every conceivable way. Picture a high school freshman running the yearbook committee, and that’s your media to a tee.
Yeah, this has been going on for a while. For a long time, in fact. Indeed, the Czar got to thinking about just how unbearably long this has been going on.
Who was the last Republican president for whom the media gave any respect?
Certainly not George W. Bush. He was consistently portrayed as a moron who defied imagination, as a worthless theocrat who connived a stultifyingly transparent plan to invade a peaceful country to cover up his lust to seize oil.
Nor George H. W. Bush, that doddering old fool who couldn’t grasp how a grocery store scanner works, and who messed up the economy so bad that only a brilliant technology visionary like Bill Clinton could set it right. Dana Carvey made a small fortune ripping on the guy—until he actually met him in person, and developed such an admiration for the man that he stopped doing his impressions for him outside of a quick quip or to do his voice in an anecdote about their meeting.
Remember Ronald Reagan‘s treatment? A senile catnapper who was so disoriented that he was certain to launch World War III by his forehead hitting the button on his desk when he passed out. This was a guy who listened to his wife’s astrologer and spent his few waking hours noshing on jelly beans—when he wasn’t masterminding a complex arms-for-hostages deal.
Gerald R. Ford was so inept that he couldn’t do math, fell down constantly, and obsessed about college football. He was so dumb that he once locked himself out of the White House taking the dog out for a crap. Plus, he pardoned Richard Nixon of all people, which shows you what a total idiot he was.
We only have to mention Richard M. Nixon. Anyone who’s heard of him can list his weaknesses: his paranoia, his sociopathy, his corruption, his inability to relate to normal humans without an embarrassing gaffe, and his Machiavellian plotting. Curiously, one of his biggest weaknesses (the Czar believes) was his inability to realize the media would hate him unequivocally. Nixon spent too much time trying to win them over, charm them, throw them bones, and try to befriend them—and they always punished him for it. He seemed incapable of understanding their hatred of him was political and not personal. As long as he was a Republican president, no matter what he did—running through liberal programs, sustaining and then aborting the Vietnam War, appointing liberals to positions—the media treated him like crap.
And what about America’s general, Dwight David Eisenhower? Didn’t America beg him to run for president after proclaiming him one of the greatest generals in history? Yes, until he ran as a Republican. Most of us tend to forget he was undeclared until he made his decision, and Democrats largely believed he would run as one of them. Once he ran, the press turned on him quickly, declaring him a colorless dimwit who spent too much time on the golf course and not enough behind the desk. His support for civil rights, which has been erased from the Democrats’ memories, was blasted at the time, with revolting terms used to describe him; yet, at the same time, he was consistently berated for not doing enough to further the cause. No matter what course Eisenhower chose, he was criticized severely.
Herbert Hoover was so incompetent that he routinely ranks as one of America’s worst presidents, which would have been news to Americans for most of his administration who found him intelligent, thoughtful, and willing to listen to opposition. At the time, of course, the media ridiculed his boring technocratic theories, felt he was incompetent at understanding the Federal Reserve System, and of course he supported Prohibition. His public image was already tarred long before the Crash.
Calvin Coolidge, by all measures one of America’s best presidents, was seen as a joke of a president. His terse speaking manner and odd sense of humor was not viewed as a positive by the media of the day; in fact, his intellect was frequently questioned. Likewise, media of the day greatly disliked his 9-5 hours, believing that a good president, like Wilson, would travel the world and put in sufficient time promoting big government programs.
And what can be said for Warren G. Harding? Even before the media became riveted with a series of scandals tied to his administration, they were attacking his anti-union views, his tax cuts for the rich, and celebrated his own shellacking in the mid-terms. To be accurate, the bulk of the scandals tied to his administration were revealed after his untimely death; however, the suspicions began among the press fairly earlier than we like to remember.
Anyone remember who was a Republican president prior to Harding? Right, it was William H. Taft, who rather disliked the media. Tired of his words being turned against him, Taft avoided press conferences, gave few interviews, and shunned comments to reporters. This stems from his candidacy, during which the media ridiculed him as a puppet to his predecessor….
Teddy Roosevelt! He loved the press, and they him. Teddy gave frequent conferences, offered the media quarters inside the White House, and let them have run of the place. The Czar learned today that the press only ganged up on him over the Panama Canal; the Czar honestly cannot recall that being the case, but there you go. Teddy was the guy. He was the last American president that garnered respect from the media.
Over a century ago.
Illinois introduced the Firearm Owners Identification Card in 1968. The FOID card is easily obtained—today, you pay a $10 fee (to cover the cost of a background check and the materials) and it’s good for ten years—and is necessary to purchase a firearm, buy ammo, rent a gun at the range, and basically even get to hold on in your hands at the store.
Frankly, the Czar never thought much about it: there’s no minimum age to getting one, and in theory a 6-year-old could apply for one and would probably receive it, provided a legal parent or guardian co-signs the application. Of all the extra steps some states make you go through, Illinois makes it a breeze.
So there it is. Not much to think about for Illinois residents, right? It’s butt-simple to get, and as long as you have one, you’re good to go in this state (provided you’re not concealing it, which is an extra set of steps). It places no limits on how many you can have, or buy, or how you store it your home. It fits easily in a wallet, and the Czar has used his as legitimate photo identification when asked to produce more than just a driver’s license.
The law’s text is childishly basic: “No person may acquire or possess any firearm…within this State without having in his or her possession a Firearm Owner Identification Card previously issued in his or her name by the Department of State Police under the provision of this Act.” (430 ILCS 65/4(a)(1)) That’s pretty simple.
Or so we thought.
Vivian Brown is an older individual who lives in far southeastern Illinois. There is a .22 bolt-action rifle in her home just in case, allegedly in the house for decades from before the FOID era.
Local law enforcement were informed that she was shooting it in her yard, according to rumor. Incidentally, that’s not necessarily illegal in Illinois: prohibitions about firing a weapon on private property are municipal, and many unincorporated areas allow it. However, whatever Ms. Brown’s municipality exactly is, she wasn’t doing that. And law enforcement agreed.
However, they asked to see her FOID card. She doesn’t have one, and took the position that she doesn’t need one since the rifle never leaves the house, she didn’t purchase it, and is safely put away. No matter, the responding officers decided, you don’t have a FOID, you can’t have a gun.
She got a lawyer. And the lawyer brought it to court.
Judge Stanley took the case. Basically, it’s a simple matter: the Illinois State Police were sympathetic and suggested if she just pays the ten bucks, she can get the FOID and keep the gun. But Judge Stanley thought about this and listened to the prosecutor’s argument that if there’s a gun in the house, there has to be a FOID card on hand.
Judge Stanley realized that if you have a FOID card and your spouse does not, if you leave the home without your spouse, the spouse is in violation of the law. If mom and dad keep a gun in the nightstand and go out for dinner, the babysitter or little junior needs to have a FOID card, or the law has been broken. At least, that’s true if anyone in the house knows there’s a weapon on premises. The shorthand version is that if the family is aware there’s a firearm on the property, everyone needs to have a FOID card to avoid breaking the law.
And if you don’t, as Ms. Brown didn’t, then you can go to jail for possessing a weapon without a FOID.
Judge Stanley ruled against the State, and decided that not only was it okay for Ms. Brown to have a rifle without a FOID, he declared that the entire law about FOID cards was unconstitutional. Why? Because Ms. Brown was a soft test of a premise that an Illinois cannot defend himself or herself in the state without a FOID. It’s inherently unreasonable to think that a person, facing a home invader, will go online, fill out the form, submit a photograph and $10 check, and wait for the card to arrive in the mail weeks later before legally shooting the bastard.
The Illinois Attorney General’s office complained about the ruling, stating that this isn’t the intent of the law. View her case as a reminder that if you have a gun, just get the ID. It’s super-easy to get. And you’re all legal. So, they asked the judge, would he reconsider his ruling?
And the Judge did. He reconsidered it really hard, and produced an even longer opinion listing dozens of ways the FOID requirement violates not just the Second Amendment, but also the Fourteenth. He recommended the Illinois Supreme Court take a look at this and see if he was right.
Guess what happened: the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to do just that. And historically the Illinois Supreme Court has been pretty gun friendly, especially in recent years. Many state legal experts believe they will sustain Judge Stanley’s opinion, and if not, it goes to the United States Supreme Court, who will probably affirm it. Or, if the Illinois Supreme Court drops it, it still goes to SCOTUS; in that case, the Czar understands, they will probably decide against hearing it…which affirms it.
Anti-gun lobbyists here in the Land of Lincoln are sort-of freaking out about this. Thanks to Judge Stanley, it seems that the FOID’s days are numbered. They’re not over yet—so far, only Ms. Brown has been given a pass on this. But thanks to her, the rest of us may see the FOID eliminated.
This, by the way, should be great news for other states with even more difficult requirements (say, um, New York). Illinois hopes our Supreme Court knocks it out; the rest of you should hope it goes to SCOTUS.
Tonight, the official “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” published this image mocking a recent tweet by President Trump. I’m sure the people involved with the show thought it was pretty funny and believed it to be honest and true as well. If you wonder who is helping tear apart democracy* in this country, look no further.
At its core, the message embodied in this post is simply, “yeah, with no evidence, let alone conviction, of wrong-doing, we should remove a sitting, duly elected, federal official from office.”
I’m sure the show, and all involved, will hide behind some lame excuse at trying to be funny. It isn’t. It is advocating tossing the rule of law out of the window and ignoring an election that, by all evidence, was conducted according to the laws of our country.
This is stupid, dangerous, and provoking. And, furthermore, it betrays a common flaw by those on the liberal side of the spectrum: short-term thinking. Imagine if, if the parties involved were reversed in 10 or 15 years. What would they say if some conservative media figure said something similar?
The whole “orange man bad” theme continues to live on and will continue to undermine any credible advancement of real policy platforms from the democrats.
* By the way, the United States follows democratic processes in our federal republic system of government.
The world is ending once again, in case you’re missing it. Today’s skyfall is the failure of the Green New Deal in the Senate. Except, of course, it wasn’t really the Green New Deal; the vote was only for a resolution to take up the proposal as an actual bill. But no matter: as far as you know, Republicans thwarted the Democrats once again in their plan to save the world.
Well, not exactly. Because the vote was for a resolution, the goal was really to see if there was enough support for it in the Senate. Not Congress, just the Senate. So naturally the Republicans managed to defeat the Democrats 53 to 45, based on the six seats they must have stolen from a fair election.
But not really. The resolution was defeated 57-0. Not a single Democrat voted for it; and if you’re quick with math, you’ll note that three Democrats (and whatever the hell that whackjob from Maine is) also voted no. Therefore, the tricky Republicans voted while the rest of the Democrats were out saving horses from a burning barn.
No, not so fast. Those Democrats were all present, and they voted “present,” because they were protesting the outcome of the Mueller report. Or the Jussie Smollett story. Or that thing that happened with the other thing.
Um, alas. No, the Democrats voted present because they want to keep their jobs. The entire Green New Deal, which originated with that goofy house across the street, is a nakedly socialist power grab that would destroy the country. And every Democrat in the Senate knew it.
How do we know it’s socialist? Because it’s a save-the-earth policy. Follow us on this one.
As you probably know, every proposal, bill, or plan to Save the Earth from Global Climate Catastrophe is a socialist paradigm. We know this because if you strip all the nouns out of a typical Green proposal, you can drop in socialist terms and the structure still holds. This reverse Mad Libs analysis is pretty easy to do: basically, the government takes over everything, distributes assets and money globally, is beholden to no one, and suddenly everyone is saved forever by minds much smarter than you.
And thus we learn that those horrible, anti-science Republicans somehow and narrowly voted against saving the world.
Did you know that the Green New Deal could be paid for with the same amount of money we spend each year on defense? If you didn’t know that, and the Czar didn’t, because he heard the cost of the Green New Deal would cost multiples of our entire Gross Domestic Product, you will be happy to learn that it must only cost $686 billion. No, in fact, that’s exactly backward. The Defense Department is getting that amount—smaller than other years—which comes as a surprise to many Green New Deal supporters who heard that Defense pulls in trillions.
Still, you have to be upset. After all, the United States has 5% of the world’s population and uses 80% of the world’s energy. Doesn’t that sound terrible? Actually, one suspects that’s actually a really good thing: the United States is using its energy to produce really amazing things that benefit the entire world.
But wait a minute, wait a minute…80% of the world’s energy? The Czar wasn’t aware there was a maximum amount of energy available to us. After all, 18% of our nation’s energy is renewable, which is an amount that also stuns a lot of people. Yes, it’s that high. And ready for more? Another 20% on top of that is nuclear-based, which while not strictly renewable (there’s uranium to be mined and waste to be carefully stored), is safe and pollution free. You know, a lot of the remaining 62% could be replaced with nuclear power, leaving some clean-burning coal and natural gas to round out the balance to produce more power.
About all that would leave is that awful, polluting petroleum energy sources. Except, even today, those account for less than 1% of America’s energy consumption.
In other words, we might account for 80% of the world’s energy usage, but we’re actually not producing very much pollution at all. The better question is why isn’t the rest of the world catching up to us?
Maybe because they’re morons and don’t have the resources to produce it. No, that can’t be it: because the statement “80% of the world’s energy supply” assumes there’s a 100% limit, with only 20% left for anyone else. Where else do we see this zero-sum logic?
Right: socialism. There’s an idea present in almost all socialist doctrine that runs along the line of “there’s only so much of X, and the rich have most of it.” You have heard it from Bernie Sanders gripe about the one-percent-of-one-percent, from Obama decrying the rich hogging 99% of available healthcare, or Clinton’s yelping about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.
It’s poppycock, of course. There isn’t a finite amount of energy available: there’s enough uranium in the world to produce 100% of the world’s current power demands for over a millennium, and enough light-water fuel to add a few hundred on top of that. And the sun, well, that produces both solar and wind power. The earth’s gravity will produce hydroelectric power and geothermal power for billions of years.
This makes one wonder: if the United States is using 80% of the world’s current electrical output, when is the rest of the world going to catch up?
Evidently, we’re wrong about something, here. The Czar also learned this morning that the United States produces most of the world’s pollution. Sure, you and the Czar thought this was China and India, but a whole bunch of sources will agree that those countries have drastically reduced their pollution output, while the United States has not.
That sounds bad, provided you don’t look too closely at the basis for the claim. China and India have reduced their polluting emissions…but they’re still the worst. They drop from the top only if you look at reductions as a percentage, and not as a unit. In other words, if a thief steals $100,000 from Bank of America, he’s less deserving of punishment than a thief who steals $25,000 from the Oakdale Bank of West Summit, because the percentage of the total cash taken from Bank of America is a lot, lot lower than Oakdale’s. You get into real trouble when you rank two different entities solely by percentages.
That’s as dumb as suggesting California needs more senators than Wyoming does because they have more people. And no one could be that stupid, could they?
Speaking of yes, the whole notion of top polluters is a real mess to figure out. Did you know America is the second-worst producer of carbon dioxide? China is first, by the way.
Actually, the United States is far behind China. And know who is third, right behind America? The European Union, which as we know is the Greenest Damned Paradise on Earth. You thought India, with its slums? Or Russia, with its lax safety? No, America and Europe are practically hand-in-hand in carbon dioxide output. The next time a European takes you to taks about America’s rejection of global climate initiatives, feel free to remind them that their carbon dioxide makes them a nearly equally major problem.
Okay, well let’s question about whether carbon dioxide is a pollutant. It’s true you can’t breathe it like you can nitrogen and oxygen, but trees and plants sure do. And its ability to trap solar radiation is definitely a thing. But how much CO2 is too much?
Gosh. nobody really knows. But there must be a maximum amount, right? And each day, we must get closer to that. Zero sum.
All right, let’s concede that we really don’t know how much carbon dioxide is bad. Studies from the last fifty years aren’t exactly in agreement, and predicted levels for destruction have either been safely exceeded or have not actually been reached in their predicted time frames. Let’s drop the whole thing.
Surely there are other things America is doing that are bad for the environment. What about air pollution? Aren’t we producing a lot of toxins in the air with all the coal we burn? You’d think so, but America ranks eighth from the bottom of a list of countries producing toxic air. Given how much coal we cleanly burn, that’s not a surprise. China, though, is at the top of the list.
Polluted water? China. Not the United States, which is far, far down that list. In fact, some of our industrial water is cleaner than what comes out of most kitchen taps around the world.
What about countries who dump plastic in the ocean? Well, America is really far down that list. Really far. China, of course, is at the top, and if you aren’t seeing a pattern by this point, the Czar isn’t sure what to tell you.
Indeed, when you look at environmental catastrophes, America seems to be down the list by quite a bit, except for carbon dioxide emissions. Which, conveniently, seems to be at the center for all Green initiatives requiring the government to take over private industry.
Know where government has taken over private industry? China.
It’s not a surprise the Green New Deal failed. Even Democrats know that if they support this nonsense, they’re going to get kicked like a jackass at election time. It’s just socialism in a different crisis—a crisis created by playing with numbers that make America look worse than it is.
There’s nothing New about that Deal. And it’s no longer Green.
Just as a reminder to our readers and anyone new to the site, GorT is an eight-foot tall, time-traveling robot. By virtue of that ability, GorT sees things coming years ahead of time. Case in point: the growing grumbling by many, mostly on the liberal side of the political spectrum, is that the large tech firms (Google, Amazon, Facebook), need to be “split up” for monopolistic reasons. However, those advocating this don’t understand the big picture. A monopoly is an organization using its power to charge higher prices and earn greater profits. There are cases to be made that these companies aren’t acting monopolistically:
- Amazon’s fiver year net profit margin is 1.3% – Microsoft’s is 18.9%, eBay is 21.4%, and WalMart is 2.7% Amazon is hardly running up its profits.
- Amazon adjusts its prices frequently – cutting those to match or beat competitors and raising them when it can to see what the market will bear.
- Amazon’s Web Services business repeatedly cuts prices – many times as they improve the service and add capabilities – can you say the same of Verizon? Comcast?
As I stated almost six years ago – these companies care about the data. The services they offer they could (and sometimes do) give them away for free. Tesla hasn’t yet, but the telemetry data from their cars – which gets uploaded at each charging session – is incredibly valuable. I could see a future where their cars are really cheap for this reason. Sen. Warren and others calling for these break ups don’t get that. They see a company that “controls” eCommerce or one that “controls” social media or one that “controls” internet searching. But that’s wrong. These companies are using their avenue to get access to data that we, as consumers and users, are giving them for free. We willingly post information to Facebook or Twitter. We buy products via Amazon because it’s efficient in both cost and timing. We “google” things because it’s easy and quick.
Imagine the information that is at the tips fo these companies’ fingers – even if you anonymize the source away from a specific person to a generic demographic: what are popular subjects/information (Google/Facebook), what products are people buying by demographic (Amazon), etc.
Breaking up these companies isn’t the solution as it only would impair or destroy the advantages that these technologies give us. The real challenge is understanding how to work and govern in a data driven economy. As Jeremiah Smith wrote in a HackerNoon article last year:
The issue with data is that creating an open marketplace for it presents a unique set of challenges as it is an intangible non-rival asset unlike virtually all things which are commercially traded today.
This is the time for innovative thinkers in business and government to start addressing the “data economy”. Maybe we can price our data and when a company like Facebook or Amazon uses it, we get a royalty-like payment. Let these companies continue to innovate, but let’s understand what we’re giving them in return for what they’re providing. I frequently complain that my Verizon bill for FiOS and cell service keeps rising, but I’d argue that I’m not get proportional increases in services capability. My phone is still chock full of apps I don’t want that Verizon has a deal with those companies to load and present to me. But Amazon’s Web Service cuts their prices as they become more efficient and gain more customers. Is that really a bad thing?
Another Marvel movie opening weekend, and another tsunami of movie critics complaining that audiences continue to suffer from superhero movie fatigue, while of course Captain Marvel is set to hit about a half-billion dollars in less than 72 hours. The Czar reassures movie fans that the future looks more like Avengers 8 than it does Oceans 8.
Anyway, on to the review of Captain Marvel.
Does this movie run on Diesel or E85?
This movie does not run on fuel. You may bring a gallon of whatever you wish into the theater.
Is this movie good for dogs and cats?
Yes, clearly. But cats will enjoy it vastly more than dogs.
Is the de-aging effects used on Samuel L. Jackson good enough to use on my wife?
At this point, they’re good enough to use on Kirk Douglas.
Is it true that Brie Larson is wooden and uninteresting in her performance?
Wow, this one is difficult to answer. This movie is a bunch of plot twists and crazy reveals, and the stiff performance by Brie Larson is a deliberate one. To explain why would reveal a bit of a twist that the movie makes pretty clear. The bored delivery is used a lot in the trailers, but is not indicative of the whole performance.
Czar, I can’t figure this out. One one hand, people are saying this movie is a fascist ad for the United States Air Force, and others are saying it’s a SJW’s dream of feminist empowerment. Make up my mind!
As the Czar has said a few times, be very careful about criticism of Marvel Studios movies. They’re the top dog in profitability, and have been for years. They clearly will be for many more. And as the Czar has also said, these movies are generally right-of-center.
The movie is a fun, entertaining romp very much as good as the first Captain America film (not the best of the Marvel movies, but worth seeing. No, there is no social justice whomping over the head; yes, the USAF was heavily involved in the technical details of some dog fights, and yes, the Air Force did not allow women to fly combat missions in 1995. But most of the comments about this movie being a leftist fantasy were fake, generated by those on the Left. Remember when conservative folks blasted Thor because non-whites were used as Asgardians? Guess who wrote those? Lefties. And when white people reported they were frightened away from seeing Black Panther? Yep—hoaxes, generated from those on the Left, again.
Same thing here. Yeah, she’s a woman. And yeah, she beats up guys. There’s even a clever use of a certain song by No Doubt; but that isn’t to hit you over the head but be a sly wink at taking people for granted.
In fact, nearly all the criticism the Czar has heard about this movie is unfounded once you see it. Once again, it’s folks on the Left hoping that the folks on the Right—who are spending about a half-billion buck this weekend to see it—will stay home to tank the right-of-center franchise for good.
Because here it is: the Marvel Studios movies are about the only thing the Left is having a very difficult time controlling.
And the thing about that is that Disney and Marvel Studios both aren’t really making these hard-right movies. They’re simply making them for the broadest* possible appeal, which means fun and entertaining, and not enough SJW lecturing.
Isn’t Captain Marvel also Shazam, which is coming out?
Sorry, even Dr. J. should know** that Marvel Comics owns the rights to the name Captain Marvel, and when DC Comics got the licenses to the Fawcett Comics characters in 1972, they were forced to change that character’s name to Shazam forever. Which mean that in reprinting original Shazam comics from the early days, they were forced to retcon the name. So, no, there is definitely no overlap or coincidence between the two characters. Just a long story about licensing.
* Shut up, Puter.
** But apparently doesn’t.