Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Joan Walsh's Speech At Danzig

In the process of having some fun at Dean's expense, I spent a little time going over Hitler's pre-war and invasion of Poland speeches. I'd previously read that Hitler was a great devotee of the atheist Nietzsche and to one extent or another was a fan of Darwinian natural selection. In 10 Books That Screwed Up The World, Benjamin Wiker describes Hitler's obsession with racial and cultural fantasies. Finally, I came across Hitler's speech at Danzig following the invasion of Poland. It's racial and cultural lunacy. Dig these passages.
One thing has been clearly proved in the last twenty years; the Poles who had not founded that culture also were not able to maintain it. It has been shown again that only he who is himself culturally creative can permanently maintain real cultural performance.

Thirty years would have been sufficient to reduce again to barbarism those territories which the Germans, painstakingly and with industry and thrift, had saved from barbarism. Everywhere traces of this retrogression and decay were visible... 
There is a difference whether people of lower cultural value has the misfortune to be governed by a culturally significant people or whether a people of high cultural significance has forced upon it the tragic fate of being oppressed by an inferior.

In this inferior people all its inferiority complexes will be compensated upon a higher culture-bearing people. This people will be horribly and barbarically mistreated and Germans have been evidence of this fate for twenty years.
Now check out Joan Walsh's loopy, race-crazed screed at Slate, The Year In Whiteness.
Maybe it was the very fact of enjoying a wonderful Christmas with my family and friends, against the manufactured backlash to a nonexistent “War on Christmas,” that let me appreciate the perilous mental state of a small but noisy and paranoid swath of white America. Somehow over the holiday it became clear: 2013 was the year white grievance mongering became an uglier and even more lucrative racket.
It goes on and on with only the Koch Brothers and Dick Cheney left out of the hate fest. There's Phil Robertson, Sarah Palin, Fox News, the whole panoply of  "people of lower cultural value" leading the way for paranoid whities. It's fascinating, in a perverse, demented sense.

I suppose I ought to offer some kind of alternate take on the data points that Frau Walsh interprets through racialist eyes, but why? Does anyone actually think the Poles were somehow culturally inferior? OK, I suppose I'll give it a half-hearted try.


There, that's as much as she's worth, probably more.

Update: A white Christian singing happily about inter-racial marriage? Consider Joanie's little racialist mind blown. One can just see her rocking back and forth on her bed, biting into her pillow, screaming into it, begging for the image of conservative Christians of all races happily singing together to go away.

In the end, there's only one possible response to the crimes of the culturally inferior whities.

Monday, December 30, 2013

How Many Fiancées Do You Need, Anyway?

The Puppy Blender is at it again, agitating about the War on Boys. Meanwhile, feminists are yapping at each other about who is the most feministy or something like that. Our buddies at Legal Insurrection are chiming in as well. Apparently, the war between the sexes, such as it is, has reached a critical phase.


When I read about this or that school outlawing gun-shaped waffles or some educator prattling on about how we desperately need more female scientists and engineers, I have to shrug. As the head of a family of four unwed young adults, these changes alter national statistics, but don't alter the general equation.

Our boys need to find young women who will make good wives and mothers and our daughter needs to find a young man who will make a good husband and father. One apiece. That's it. If Tiffany in El Cajon happens to have been taught crystal healing and aspires to be a career-obsessed lawyer or Daniel in Normal Heights is in touch with his sensitive side and is studying Medieval Literature with a minor in living at home and downloading porn, good for them. That's two candidates down. Two out of ten million or so.

Instead of freaking out every time some poor sap who's been indoctrinated into the current rage of political correctness blathers on about victim groups or bans some Christian symbol, it would probably be a lot better to just smile and move on. In the end, strong men and nurturing women who have needed skills, spend less than they earn and go to church will win out. We always have.

Bell bottoms came and went, too. Western civilization didn't end.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Too Manly To Blog

I'm using power tools, drinking beer and watching football in my garage. Theology, cats, economics and general carping and whining will resume tomorrow.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Don't Wait To Give Of Yourself

... because you'll be missing too much fun.

My most recent session at Catholic Charities started with an elderly Russian fellow who spoke only broken English. He was so delighted when I said "Thank you" to him in Russian that he fished around in his pockets and gave me one of those chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil. And I thought I was there to give him things.

Later, there was an elderly black man wearing a N'awlins Saints ballcap who talked football with me. He wasn't really a Saints fan as he was from Texas. He told me that he stopped rooting for the Cowboys when Roger Staubach retired. I almost fell out of my chair! He said he was now a Tomboy as in a fan of Tom Brady. That was great.

Seriously, it all went downhill in Dallas when he left. Image source.
The best customer of all was an older British gentleman who was from Middlesborough, a town just a few miles south of ... Newcastle. Howay the lads! He was so happy to have someone listen to his stories that he spent a good ten minutes regaling me with tales of English accents. He said the people from the very southern end of England had accents so severe that he couldn't make heads or tails of them. He said that in the 1950s, there was a British movie about these people that actually had English subtitles. Hilarious!

I should pay to work there, I swear.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Another Post On Camden, Probably Because I Lack Imagination

... and can't think of anything else.

One of our sons read the Rolling Stone piece discussed earlier and had an interesting take on it.

What's the plan here? Essentially, as soon as the police presence was reduced due to budget cuts, the residents of Camden fell upon each other like wild beasts. The only thing keeping them from turning Camden into Mogadishu is a subsidized military presence. What's the path to a future where the Camdenites aren't continuously straining at the leash, striving to get at each other?

When I mentioned that the most recent graduating class of high school seniors managed to have only three students test as "ready for college" on the SAT*, the reaction was even more pronounced. The people of Camden aren't even trying. The SAT isn't nuclear physics and it's not written in ancient Aramaic. "College ready" isn't a hopelessly high bar to average students.

I agree with those sentiments. I'd suggest that the answer to our son's question of how to achieve some kind of sustainable success in Camden lies in missionary work. The post-modern, Ivy League, secular culture has turned Camden into a nest of self-destruction through self-gratification. The experiment in secular morality has failed and failed miserably. Now that we're two generations into this, cultural memory of better times and a better way to live are mostly forgotten.

To get it back, we're going to have to go full Marquette and Joliet on the place.
* - That's three as in uno-dos-tres out of something like 1200-1500 882.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Androcles And The Smaller Catican Guard

I had something else to blog about, but a medical emergency within the Catican staff took precedence. Out on maneuvers with the Catican Guards (we must keep them fit and ready at all times, you know), the smaller Guard picked up some thorns in her paw while hiking part of the Pacific Crest Trail. Through expert medical techniques, a thorough understanding of paws and some Benadryl liquid, we managed to remove all the thorns.

The smaller Guard is now resting quietly* and will be able to return to her normal duties tomorrow.

* - This is a bit of a stretch. The smaller guard doesn't do anything "quietly" as she is quite the wiggly little thing. Let's just say she's wiggling quietly. Or something like that.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Every Good Thing

... by The Afters. It's a great song for this time of the year when we've got family all around, but are really busy doing ... what is it we're doing this time of year other than loving those around us and rejoicing in the birth of Christ?

Oh yeah, shopping*.


* - In our family, we've told the kids not to shop for presents. My wife and I take care of all of that so the kids can relax. The youngest is 17, two are in college and the fourth is starting out in his career. They don't mind fewer gifts and they love the chance to enjoy every good thing without the stress of shopping.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Camden, Yet Again

Rolling Stone has decided to get into the Camden act with a lengthy article, Apocalypse, New Jersey. It's pretty standard liberal fare, with budget cuts and union contracts and race discussed, ad naseum. It's also a pretty good hit piece on Chris Christie, who slashed state subsidies to the city, resulting in mass police layoffs.
On January 18th, 2011, the city laid off 168 of its 368 police officers, kicking off a dramatic, years-long, cops-versus-locals, house-to-house battle over a few square miles of North American territory that should have been national news, but has not been, likely because it took place in an isolated black and Hispanic ghost town.

After the 2011 layoffs, police went into almost total retreat. Drug dealers cheerfully gave interviews to local reporters while slinging in broad daylight. Some enterprising locals made up T-shirts celebrating the transfer of power from the cops back to the streets: JANUARY 18, 2011 – it's our time. A later design aped the logo of rap pioneers Run-DMC, and "Run-CMD" – "CMD" stands both for "Camden" and "Cash, Money, Drugs" – became the unofficial symbol of the unoccupied city, seen in town on everything from T-shirts to a lovingly rendered piece of wall graffiti on crime-ridden Mount Ephraim Avenue.

Cops started calling in sick in record numbers, with absenteeism rates rising as high as 30 percent over the rest of 2011. Burglaries rose by a shocking 65 percent. The next year, 2012, little Camden set a record with 67 homicides, officially making it the most dangerous place in America, with 10 times the per-capita murder rate of cities like New York: Locals complained that policing was completely nonexistent and the cops were "just out here to pick up the bodies." The carnage left Camden's crime rate on par with places like Haiti after its 2010 earthquake...
As expected from a hipster rag like Rolling Stone, there's nothing whatsoever in there questioning why the residents voluntarily turned feral. It's bad form to criticize things you love to do yourself, so sleeping around and smoking blunts is not the problem, the problem is a lack of subsidies and media attention. The author, Matt Taibbi, clearly has no interest whatsoever in being labeled a prude and his article is suffused with the foundational assumptions that underlie the kinds of attacks that our friend Renee faces all the time.

What's missing from the article is any kind of vision for the future where Camden is self-sustaining. The residents are little more than wards of the State and pitiable creatures who, quite naturally in Taibbi's mind, turn to crime and depravity as a matter of course. Nothing else can be expected of them, and the rest of us seem condemned to support and absolve them for the rest of our lives.

That's not going to happen in a nation where massive government borrowing is being financed with printed money. Whether Mr. Taibbi likes it or not, the residents of Camden are on their own and people like Matt need to start factoring that into their articles.

This is all your fault because you aren't giving them enough money.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Camden Revisited

Camden, NJ, is the large city with the highest percentage of single parents. It's an outstanding example of the fruits of moral relativism. Yesterday, I saw this.
(NEWSER) – Just how bad are things in Camden's schools? So bad that only three students there managed a "college ready" SAT score in 2013, new superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard revealed yesterday. He called the number a "kick-in-the-stomach moment."
There are 80,000 people in Camden. Assuming a life expectancy of 80 years and a linear population distribution, both making it seem better than it is for these stats, that's 1,000 high school seniors.

And only 3 are college ready.

If it weren't for southern, white Christian prudes, more Camden kids would be ready for STEM careers.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Everyone Is Suffering

... and the NAACP will freak out if you say otherwise.

Phil Robertson had this to say about his relationship with blacks in his life:
"I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person," Robertson told GQ writer Drew Margary. "Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field.... They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues."
For his apostasy, the NAACP labeled him a racist. The very thought that he got along with blacks and they were happy! Outrageous!

One of the things I've enjoyed working with the poor and the homeless is how un-racially-conscious they are. It's nothing to see a young black man sharing some of his food with a Hispanic dude or to see a black woman making sure that an elderly Asian woman gets seen first, even though the Asian can't speak a word of English and the black woman could have gone ahead of her. When the whole Zimmerman thing was going crazy and we all needed to have a National Conversation on Race, nothing changed downtown. Everyone got along just fine in that little, very racially diverse world. Also, despite being poor to the point where they needed to come to us for food, they were a pretty cheerful lot.

Hmm. I seem to be speaking heresy, just like Phil. Can this be our little secret? I'd really appreciate it if none of you told the NAACP that I'd written these things.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Crisis Is Happening Long Before STEM Decisions

There's a good article in IEEE Spectrum debating the notion that there's a crisis-level shortfall in the number of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians (STEM). I would argue that such shortfalls come and go as people respond to economic incentives. If there aren't enough truck mechanics, the pay will increase until enough people become truck mechanics. At any point in time, there are career fields that have too many people and some that have too few. That's not a crisis, that's normal.

Arguments in favor of Doing Something and Making It A Priority talk about wasted human resources and the like. I agree with the concern for wasted human resources, but it's happening long before any career decisions that might lead to work in the STEM fields. The more I work with the poor and homeless and talk to my friends in the prison ministry, the more I see how the destruction of marriage is snuffing out successful lives before the kids even get to kindergarten. The lost souls we see on the street escaping abuse, turning to drugs, relying on prostitution or robbery to make a living and the folks in our overflowing prisons are totally dominated by this crisis demographic.

With some work, I can help a kid with math and science capabilities get into a STEM career, provided he has a stable and supportive environment at home. If he doesn't have that environment, no matter how much I push STEM, my friends and I are far more likely to see him in prison or down at the food bank.

In related news, Phil Robertson was suspended from his A&E show, Duck Dynasty, for supporting the crucial building blocks of STEM.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

On The Irrelevance Of Robert Fulton

Pondering yesterday's visit to my daughter's school where the teachers were focused on the racial aspects of their topic areas and whose classrooms were festooned with racial posters, I wonder what has come of learning about the lives of people like Robert Fulton.

Fulton is best known for his work on steamboats, but he was also a pioneer in submarines as well. He was quite the entrepreneur, seeking funding from anyone who happened to be nearby, swearing allegiance to them if he thought it would bring him financial backing. He studied as an artist and then an engineer and his accomplishments were considerable.

Unfortunately for the children of my daughter's generation, it's doubtful she will hear much more about him than to associate his name, in a dim and distant way, with steamboats. Her classes are so full of tales of bigotry and how people suffered under racial discrimination that there's not much room left for businessmen, inventors or explorers.

In this video, Robert Fulton gets his groove on.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Why The Black Santa Matters

A short post on a topic I hadn't planned to touch, but whose meaning seemingly just leaped out at me and grabbed my legs*.

I stopped by my daughter's public high school just now to talk to the History and English teachers. I was looking for some extra credit she could do over the Christmas break. Both teachers discussed race. In History, I was encouraged to have her see movies and write about slavery. In English, it was slavery and Hispanic discrimination. There was nothing aggressive about it, it was all very matter-of-fact as if that's the sort of thing that should take up at least 85% of all class time.

Of course people who marinated in the public education system for 16+ years think Santa doesn't have to be white. Just how weird would you have to be to even suggest otherwise?

St. Nicholas of Myra. A black man, to be sure. Just like George Washington.
 * - I hate it when that happens.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Little More On David Brooks And Authoritatianism

Yesterday, I had some fun with Dean's excellent post wherein he was shocked to see yet another NYT columnist come out in favor of authoritarian rule. I linked to Leni Reifenstahl's Nazi propaganda film, Triumph of the Will. Doing a little more digging today, I came across this wherein was this tidbit.
The film's most enduring and dangerous illusion is that Nazi Germany was a super-organized state that, although evil in nature, was impressive nonetheless.

In reality, Nazi Germany was only well organized to the degree that it was a murderous police state. The actual Reich government was a tangled mess of inefficient agencies and overlapping bureaucracies led by ruthless men who had little, if any, professional administrative abilities. From the Reich's first hours in January 1933 until the end in May 1945, various departmental leaders battled each other for power, and would do anything to curry favor with a superior Nazi authority and especially with Hitler, the ultimate authority.
I found that interesting as I had always associated organization and efficiency with the Nazi state. Clicking around the Interweb, I found lots of corroboration. Why I had thought that the Nazis were any different than the Soviets, the Peronists or the Italian fascists, I'm sure I don't know.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

NBC Sports For The Win!

In the past, I've been harsh on the way NBC Sports managed its English Premier League rights. My biggest complaint was that unlike Fox Sports, which owned the rights last year, NBC didn't offer games on demand. This meant that for those of us on the West Coast too tired to get up at 4:30 AM to watch Manchester City vs. Arsenal, we'd never have a chance to see the game.

Things have changed. Dig this.

All of this weekend's games, on demand, held for a full week for our viewing pleasure. NBC's video quality has always been stellar, so the replays are excellent. Also, there's a new feature on the site where you can turn off the scoreboard ticker tape at the top of the screen so none of the games are spoiled for you.

NBC Sports, I love you again!

Leni Reifenstahl Refutes Dean

Our normally coherent buddy Dean over at the Monastery of Miscellaneous Musings has managed to blow a gasket and has come down hard on the inimitable David Brooks. David, who writes for the race-obsessed New York Times* and is famously known for enjoying snappy dressers, has come out in favor of more power for the Administration. Together, race obsessions, snappy uniforms and total power handed over to the State add up to a classic tale of success and effectiveness, documented by dear old Leni Reifenstahl.

Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer, Deano. Get with the pogrom. Err, program.

* - Under the definitions laid out in the Nuremberg Race Laws, Zimmerman is most certainly a white-Hispanic.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Let's Pretend

So here we are, it's December 13, and there's been nothing even remotely like the number of complete transactions required to make ObamaCare work properly for the insurers in terms of creating balanced risk pools or even enough completed transactions to recover from the millions who have lost their health insurance. The latest banana republic decree from La Casa Blanca by el presidente and his henchcreatures is that insurers should deem that people who have completed some minimum amount of registration on the website to have actually paid their premiums.

Sort of the way the law was deemed passed instead of actually, you know, voting on the thing.

In a nutshell, if you are, say, Aetna, you have to pretend that Jim Schwartz in Topeka has paid his first premiums not because he actually did, but because somewhere in the system someone created the vestiges of an account for Jim Schwartz. Reality has been swept away at one more layer, this time at the private sector. As I see it, the stratification is something like this.
  1. Government borrowing. In reality, we don't have enough tax receipts to cover all of our "compassion." Let's pretend that handing out cash to people with no requirements on their part save need is an investment and we'll get that money back in the future somehow.
  2. Government printing. In reality, there's not enough idiots in the world with dollar bills falling out of their pockets to lend us the money we need for our "compassion," so we'll just print what we need. Some day in the future, we'll sell this debt on the open market because at that point, the number of idiots with cash will be much, much larger.
  3. Fake payments to private companies. In reality, we can't tell who has signed up for insurance and who hasn't, who can afford their premiums and who can't, but we have an obsessive need to show our "compassion," so we're going to pretend that the payments have been made and everyone can get the healthcare we think they should.
#3 has just been reached with the latest set of fixes to ObamaCare. The next logical step will be for the government to force banks to accept pretend deposits from the insurers so they can make payroll.

Playing "Let's Pretend" is fun.

It's real if we say it is.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Biggest News Story Of The Year, Bigger Even Than ObamaCare

... is this one, where California's high speed rail project has been blocked by government regulations.

Government has become so huge, so intrusive, so permeating that it has created a set of regulations that even it can't follow. While ObamaCare is Chernobyl, something spectacular and stunning, the growth of government regulations is more like the Dust Bowl - all-encompassing and stifling.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

If It's Tuesday, This Blog Post Must Be About Japan's Debt Crisis

This can't be good.
TOKYO—Japan's $1.2 trillion public pension fund should start selling domestic bonds, and could unload more than two-thirds of its holdings of such debt, the head of a pension-reform panel said Monday.
To review, here's the Japanese plan for success:

  1. Run up a monstrous debt
  2. Raise taxes and spend all that money and more on "infrastructure"
  3. Print money at warp speed and buy government bonds, trying to increase inflation 
  4. Hold interest rates on government bonds at ridiculously low levels so that any inflation at all makes them total losers as investments
  5. Watch your major bond holders sell them and take their money out of the country
  6. Print more money to buy that government debt as well
  7. mumble mumble mumble
  8. Win!
PS - I'm not sure why Tuesdays have become Japan debt crisis blog post days. It just happened that way.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Open Thread - What Does It Mean To Be A Man?

Driving home from my folks' house after Thanksgiving, my 21-year-old son and I were alone in the car when he brought up the topic of what it means to be a man. I'll leave my own definition out of it right now because I'd like to hear yours without my input. So here's the question for you to answer in the comments:

What does it mean to be a man?

Thanks in advance for your comments!

PS - OK girls, if you think there aren't any good guys out there, the lad is about to finish an engineering degree, he surfs and plays sports, plays guitar and bass in a garage band and he goes to church.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

You're On Your Own, Herschel

The leader of the world's only remaining superpower said this recently:
PRESIDENT OBAMA: There are times where I, as President of the United States, am going to have different tactical perspectives than the Prime Minister of Israel -- and that is understandable, because Israel cannot contract out its security. In light of the history that the people of Israel understand all too well, they have to make sure that they are making their own assessments about what they need to do to protect themselves. And we respect that. And I have said that consistently to the Prime Minister.
It's probably not a good idea to tell a nuclear power who has credible reasons to feel existentially threatened that America isn't totally on board with its basic fears. (T)hey have to make sure that they are making their own assessments about what they need to do to protect themselves translates into don't expect us to help.

Message received, Mr. President. You can go back to your golf game, we've got this one covered.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

You've Got To Have Passions

This morning, I got up at 4:30 AM to catch the Newcastle United - Manchester United game. I made my coffee, poured it in my Newcastle mug, put on my Jonas Gutierrez jersey and hung out with our Toon Army-colored Maximum Leader and watched the game on my laptop.

We won, 1-0. It was the first time Newcastle had won at Old Trafford, ManU's home field, since 1972. When Cabaye's shot went in, midway through the second half, I was screaming soundlessly, bouncing around the room. I sat there biting my nails for the last 15 minutes of the game, praying they'd hold on. It was electric.

I've never been to Newcastle. Up until the 2010 World Cup, I wasn't even a soccer fan. My daughter's soccer coach in 2010 gave them homework to watch two complete World Cup games every week and I got hooked. When the World Cup was over, I latched on to the English Premier League because it's simply the best sports league in the world. When picking a team, I went for someone who wore black and white - with our Maximum Leader being a tuxedo cat, what else could I do? Newcastle it was and so it began.

Now I read the Newcastle United blog, know all the players, have Newcastle shirts, a sweatshirt, the mug and the jersey. When they lost this week to Swansea, it was awful. Right now, life is rainbows and sunshine. Tonight, our Maximum Leader will get celebratory tuna and I'll still be walking on air.

Yohan Cabaye after scoring the winning goal today. Note: the yellow jersey is not their normal colors.
In some ways, this craziness is a waste of time and money. I could be doing more productive things with all of this energy.

But it wouldn't be nearly as much fun.

Pelican Sunset

I'm up early to watch the Newcastle - Manchester United game, so I thought I might as well blog early. This week the sunsets have been fantastic and yesterday I was finally in a spot where I could capture one. I love the way the pelicans are skimming across the water right in front of a glorious sunset. I left it large, so I think it's worth a click to see the full image.


Thursday, December 05, 2013

Never Mind, Japan Is Saved!

They've gone and done it! They've cracked the code over in Tokyo. Those crafty Japanese have figured out how to get their economy going full speed. They're going to raise taxes and have the government spend the money.
TOKYO—The Japanese government on Thursday unveiled details of a ¥5.5 trillion spending package to mitigate the expected drag on the economy from an upcoming sales tax increase in April, bundling steps to encourage corporate investment and employment, as well as handouts for low-income households.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Drawing Strength From Unexpected Places

Last week, Catholic Charities was closed the day after Thanksgiving so I didn't get to hang with my homies downtown. Adoration was closed for the weekend as well at the local church that usually has it 24/7. I was surprised how much these two little things affected me. My family was all around and we all had a good time with positively no drama. Still, there was something missing.

Listening to Pandora, I found this song that hit that spot of melancholy just right.

Update: Catholic Mom has something similar about how her faith has changed her life. Good stuff, that.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Your Tuesday Japan Update

Japan continues to print mountains of money, monetizing their out-of-control government's debt. The goal is to finally see some inflation as they've had recessionary deflation for years and years.

TOKYO—Prices in Japan posted strong gains in October while the labor market also improved, indications that the country is on its way to shaking off 15 years of deflation.

The government said that the core consumer price index, which excludes fresh food prices, rose 0.9% in October from a year earlier. That was the highest since November 2008, matching the rise forecast by economists. It marked the fifth straight month of increases.
Err, don't get excited just yet.
Many economists say recent rises in core CPI are largely due to increased costs of energy and other imported goods on the back of the yen's depreciation rather than growing demand for products
All that inflation must mean a growing economy, right? Not really.
TOKYO—Japan's economic expansion appears to be back in slow motion, with new figures showing corporate investment, a key driver of broader growth, yet to take off as the government hoped...

According to the survey, capital spending declined 0.5% from the April-June period on a seasonally adjusted basis, instead of growing modestly as estimated in the preliminary GDP data released on Nov. 14. That suggests the GDP figures for the quarter will likely be revised down.
This seems to indicate that there might be something more complicated at work and that piles of printed money may not make an economy flourish after all. Crazy, I know, but it could be true.

Meanwhile, our genius vice president, visiting a nation in a total demographic death spiral where they're selling more adult diapers than baby diapers, is praising Japan for putting more women in the workforce.

He's brilliant. Just brilliant.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Public Schools As Rube Goldberg Machines

Laurel Sturt, a brave and caring 10-year veteran of teaching in some pretty gnarly public schools, gave an interview published in the Atlantic. Here's part of what she had to say:
How did your attitude towards teaching evolve over your ten years in the Bronx?

I went in as an idealist. I’d seen all the movies, seen all the poor kids and heroic teachers. But those movies were fake. They started out with a real story but turned it into a happy ending when there wasn’t one. It was grueling. You had to save these kids, but if one was running around the room or dancing on the tables or beating another kid up, you had to deal with it yourself. They’re unhappy kids and they’re going to look for fights to express their frustration. We need legions of psychologists in the school to get the kids the therapy they need. We need wraparound services, community services that give mothers prenatal care, home-visits, teaching parents to read to kids, health services, food. It has reached an emergency level.
Emphasis mine.

Err, you know those legions of psychologists and social workers and community organizers you say we need? We might be able to replace them with married parents.

Married parents? That's just crazy! You might as well say we just need to drop an apple out of our hands to witness gravity at work!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Judge Judy's Agony

Signs wrong line on legal form, sends self to gas chamber. Under her TV show rules, no appeals are possible.