Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Reliance on Experts and the Theranos Debacle

Very interesting article on how we rely on experts in a fake meritocracy.
Thus we arrive at Holmes. We must not view her as a mistake; she is exactly what this system is designed to create. Theranos’ blood-testing machine was not a failure at all. A fake meritocracy produces a fake resume with a fake Steve Jobs presenting a fake device doing a fake job. Expecting otherwise is like complaining the actor playing Hamlet doesn’t really stab the actor playing Polonius: what do you expect? We built the set ourselves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Did this apple really fall far from the tree?
Plus this is all part of the "Scary World" Doctrine. The idea behind Theranos was that a single drop of blood can screen you for 100s of "very bad things" using some magic machine. The idea that you actually need to be screened was a result of this "Scary World" Doctrine. So what if you have a 30% chance of having such- and-such genetic disease? I'm sure some pharama company will make lots of money trying to mitigate that risk maybe if you take their drug for 30 years.

My favorite "SWD" was a commercial from some drug company that had a bunch of kids spouting scare statistics like "I am 30% likely to develop clinical depression" etc. It was such a manipulative ad. Using kids to scare people into the "mommy-bear" response has to be the height of dirty tricks. That all falls into this idea that people rely on experts to save us from this "Scary World."

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Saudis Blink: Going to Cut Production After all

Well time for those oil stocks to head higher.
The decision at this week’s meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Algiers to cut production was necessitated by Saudi Arabia’s tattered finances. The kingdom has the highest budget deficit among the world’s 20 biggest economies, it’s enduring a delay in its first international bond issue and now faces fresh legal uncertainty as the U.S. Congress voted Wednesday to allow Americans to sue the country for its involvement in 9/11.
I think they are tired of running a deficit to try to put those US shale companies out of business. Market share is worthless if it leads you to financial ruin in the meantime.

Okay Saudi's: Advice for a Major Play in the "Great Game" Buy Out American Shale Companies

I think the Saudi's should seriously consider dipping into ARAMCO and start buying out big shale players in Oklahoma and Texas. Since they couldn't put them out of business to hold onto market share they can simply buy them out instead.

There are a few companies that should be on their shopping list. First of all the Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund is about $2 Trillion so they have a huge war chest. They can first buy EOG which has a $51 billion market cap. That is 10% of Texas output right away. Then buy Devon which has a market cap of $21 billion which will give them 5% more oil and 8.8% of the natural gas. Then buy Chesapeake for a song at $300 million which given them access to the Utica shale in Ohio. Finally buy Whiting which is worth $2.2 billion and you have access to the Bakken shale.

So for about $90 to $100 billion when you add a 30% markup they would control quite a bit of the shale production in the US. Even if they just bought out just one of these companies, and aggressively bought shale assets around their headquarters, it would go a long way to controlling the market share that they don't have access to.

You would think this would never pass muster with the White House. But remember Hillary can be bought. If she wins they can peel off $1 billion of those investment assets and send it right to the Clinton Foundation. Suddenly Treasury and the EPA will look the other way on any Saudi buyouts. Then they can protect their main assets by slowing down shale production in the US. A Saudi owned EOG will suddenly find that "some of their projections on shale were greatly exaggerated" so there must be production cuts. That is how they need to play the "Great Game." Exploit the greedy Clinton's to protect your major assets. Its a no brainier play.

Traditionally Republican Arizona Republic Chooses Hillary #DumpTrump

Well it seems that quite a few people are on that #NeverTrump bandwagon.
In a passionate editorial, the largest newspaper in Arizona argued that Republican Donald Trump was fundamentally unfit for the presidency. It was the first time the Republic had endorsed a Democrat.
“Trump’s inability to control himself or be controlled by others represents a real threat to our national security. His recent efforts to stay on script are not reassuring. They are phony. The president commands our nuclear arsenal. Trump can’t command his own rhetoric,” the paper opined.
The "controlled by others" part sounds a bit ominous but other than that I agree 100%. He cannot control himself and tries to wing everything. This is not an era of "winging it" with threats from ISIS, Russia, China, North Korea etc. Add this to a global sea change in the world economy and we need smart steady people in charge and not "shoot-from-the-hip" types.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Gigi Hadid Elbows Some Prankster Scumbag in the Face: Good for Her

Lucky thing she wasn't packing or that guy might have gotten more than an elbow in the face.
Luckily, it turned out to be an obnoxious prank, and Hadid acknowledges the fact that it could have been worse. “I know people are put in much worse situations every day and don’t have the cameras around that provoke social-media support,” she wrote.
But there was no way for her to have known that. “I remember taking the time, as it all felt slo-mo, to look at him, a stranger, and my first reaction was: ‘Get me out of this situation.’” Her gut instincts kicked in, and we are glad they did because it proved any member of that squad — Hadid included — will always be safe with those reflexes around. But, more important, it sent a powerful message to young women that, famous or not, prank or not, no one has a right to touch your body without your permission. 
She is 100% right about this. No one should put their hands on you and not expect some kind of violent response in return. I know this Vitalii Sediuk asshole thought she is just some little model so he can do whatever he wanted. Just lift her up and carry her around like a mannequin. Instead he got more than he bargained for.

The Debate looks Like a Record Setter at 80.9 million but Doesn't Beat Super Bowl's 100 Million

I guess people thought it would beat the Super Bowl but I guess they were wrong.
Some 80.9 million Americans watched the first, raucous, U.S. presidential debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump on television, smashing a decades old record for such events, CNN said on Tuesday.

The figure includes the approximately 45 million who watched the 90-minute debate on the four main TV networks, as well as millions more who watched cable channels, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and other smaller outlets, CNN said.

If confirmed, the audience, due to be finalised later on Tuesday, beat the 80.6 million record set by the Jimmy Carter-Ronald Reagan TV presidential debate in 1980 but fell short of the 100 million viewers some analysts had predicted for the face-off.
That 80 election was a sea change as well. The malaise of the Carter years (with Islamic terror/race riots) vs. the optimism of the Regan decade. I guess we have the malaise of the Obama years (with Islamic terror/race riots) vs. the optimism/fear-mongering of Trump. History sure rhymes sometimes.

Kite Blasts Higher After Great Non-Hodgkin lymphoma Data Released #CAR-T

Now this is some great data.
Some 76 percent of patients taking the drug, called KTE-C19, showed significant tumor shrinkage, including 47 percent who had no remaining signs of cancer at least three months after receiving the treatment, Kite said.
So that is a 50-50 chance of complete remission after three months of treatment? That is an incredibly good deal. I am convinced CAR-T and immunotherapy are going to lead to a cure for cancer in the next decade or so.

I'm Sorry Lester Holt Was a Terrible Debate Moderator

I like Lester Holt the newsman but Lester Holt the debate moderator was awful.
In the early going, it looked like it was going to be an ideal, Jim Lehrer-style performance from Lester Holt, the “NBC Nightly News” anchor. Lehrer was so boringly nonpartisan, so unwilling to play gotcha that he was always hotly in demand to moderate debates. For the first half or so, Holt gave simple, broad, open-ended questions and let the candidates go at it. He didn’t venture into live fact-checking, didn’t much quarrel with the nominees, didn’t ask persnickety questions.
I do not agree with this at all. He lost control in the beginning and Trump and Hillary just talked over each other without any moderation at all. Holt said you have 2 minutes on such-and-such topic and Hillary or Trump went way past the time. I really hate when people talk over one another so-much-so I usually change the channel when it happens on Fox News. I should have done it for the debate because the beginning was just the candidates talking at the same time with Holt sitting there and letting it happen.

As to the debate, it looked like Trump was flustered and unready while Hillary was smug and smarmy. The whole time I was thinking I wish it was Jeb Bush against Joe Biden. That would have been a decent choice instead of these two train wrecks. Also Trump kept sniffing so much I thought he did a little cocaine before things got going. In any case I'm going to watch the next debate but I really hope Martha Raddatz and the Town Meeting Format does a much better job on Oct. 9th.

Friday, September 16, 2016

I Guess I'm on the Same Side as Clooney on Hating Trump #DumpTrump

I guess welcome to the #DumpTrump wing of the political debate.
“It’s a very funny thing, odd for me to be on the same side of an issue as Bill Kristol and Charles Krauthammer and George Will and people like that,” Clooney said in an interview with Chris Wallace for “Fox News Sunday” set to air this weekend. Clooney’s understatement about the conservative commentators: “Usually we’re not on the same side.”
This is the reason why I think Trump is going to lose in a landslide. We have the mainstream GOP allied with a Hollywood liberal like Clooney to make sure Trump loses. Very strange company indeed.

I Have to Agree: Hillary Needs to Aim her Economic Plan at the Middle Class

I think these are great ideas for an economic plan.
What could Clinton do differently? Plenty. She could join a majority of economists in defending free trade, as she did not so long ago. Instead of flip-flopping on deals such as the Trans Pacific Partnership, which she used to support but no longer does, she could explain with authority why such deals are in our interest and back it up with new ways to help those disenfranchised by trade and present a small number of big ideas for making America the world’s most desirable economy (again). She could steal Trump’s good idea about growth: Set a target of 4% annually and declare it a national priority akin to winning a war. And then demand that we change the rules so every talented √©migr√© in the world wants to come to America, and can.
The first part will probably be problematic because Unions hate free trade because it makes their jobs go to other countries and thus depresses their revenue from dues. If Hillary gets back to how she was before people "Felt the Burn" Unions would jump all over her. It's not like they would suddenly back Trump so maybe she could get away with it.

The second thing would be a great idea. The "4% GDP Moonshot" would be a great economic slogan and if America achieved it there would be prosperity all over the country. Hell, if she got 4% GDP growth anytime in her 4 years she would easily be remembered as one of the best economic Presidents we could have hoped for. Also if she got away from the rhetoric that 4% GDP growth only helps the wealthy since it would go a long way toward the idea that high growth will lift all boats.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Entitlement Alert: Time to Avoid Ashly a Freshman at UCLA #ToxicPeople

Wow, I guess people like this is what safe-spaces and such are made for.
“Okay so I’m not sure why neither of you responded back to my emails, but I don’t really care as long as you both know this and understand that I’m not going to settle for anything less than what I’m gonna tell you that I’m gonna get once I arrive in the dorm. I’ll take the top bunk. I DO NOT want the single bunk where it has a desk underneath the top bunk so don’t try to leave me that. I’m also taking one of the white closets. There should be two white closes and I’m taking one of them. I don’t care which one it is, just know I’m taking one of them.

“I want the desk that’s near the window. Plain and simple. I don’t care about who gets the bottom bunk but just know that what I stated above is what I’m expecting once I arrive at the dorm and I won’t be in the mood for any arguing or other nonsense because one of you two decided to deliberately disregard this email. IF needed be I’ll turn it into a bigger situation so don’t try me.

“Sorry but not that sorry for the attitude. I don’t like being ignored because that’s just rude but that’s what you both decided to do so I decided to make it clear now on the kind of person I am and what I will and will not take.

“So as a final reminder: I am getting the top bunk of the bunk bed with the bed on the bottom, I am getting one of the white closes and I’m getting the desk near the window. That’s fair enough to ask considering that I’m giving up fighting for the top bunk.”
That last paragraph is something a sociopath would write. No arguing or compromise just taking or it will "turn it into a bigger situation so don't try her." I would move out on this monster so fast it would make your head spin.

Here is a Deal: Trump Should Release Tax Returns in Exchange for the Clinton Foundation's Returns

I think it is idiotic the whole idea that anyone needs to release their tax returns and I agree with this assumption by Donald Trump Jr.
When asked why his father has not released his tax returns as presidential candidates have traditionally done, Trump Jr. said, “Because he’s got a 12,000-page tax return that would create … financial auditors out of every person in the country asking questions that would detract from (his father’s) main message.”
Yeah pretty much. People will comb through the thing for anything funky and make that a big deal. So this same scrutiny should be paid to the Clinton Foundation. Have everything right out in the open so both sides can look for discrepancies. Hillary's personal tax return is nearly worthless compared to the Foundation's which will probably have a ton of scary stuff in it. It could conceivably exonerate her if it doesn't contain anything but that is not very likely.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Obama Relaxes Hatred of Israel with $38 Billion Military Aid

I wonder if there will be Iranian military aid to keep a detente in the region?
The United States agreed Wednesday to provide Israel a record $38 billion in new military aid over the next decade. The pact is a sign of the two nations' close alliance despite major differences over Iran's nuclear program and other policies.
Although like all Obama White House plans there are strings attached
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a critic of the memorandum of understanding between the two allies, called it important but slammed a provision that would limit Israel from seeking additional U.S. funds except in times of war.