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2017-10-15 19:17 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 201 references
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Just three days folks.....

Get ready to rumble!

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2017-10-15 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Environment , 263 references
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..... the Anartictic sea ice was disappearing....

All but two Adelie penguin chicks have starved to death in their east Antarctic colony, in a breeding season described as "catastrophic" by experts.

It was caused by unusually high amounts of ice late in the season, meaning adults had to travel further for food.

Uh....... how does Al Gore say "oops"?

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2017-10-14 18:05 by Karl Denninger
in Musings , 112 references
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Here it is!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d65P-UkIyiM

Those are some clean subways, my friends.....

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2017-10-14 11:25 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 1540 references
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Ok, time for a round-up on the latest insanity in the Vegas shooting.

Let's deal with the "security guard" first.  He's "disappeared" -- well, not really.  He suddenly canceled several interviews, his house is now under "guard" by a firm that was decertified (expired license) in Nevada, and a family member allegedly told a member of the press that he's under a "gag order."  The "security guard" doesn't appear to have ever been registered as a private security officer in the State of Nevada, which, if his job description met what one thinks of as a "security guard", is a legal requirement to work as same in the state.  Further, he apparently has union representation (that is, he's a member of a trade union.)

Ok, let's go through this because the conspiracy nuts are going insane at the moment.

First off, a "gag order" can only be issued by a judge.  They're not secret.  Second, both the FBI and LVMPD have repeatedly claimed that there are no other shooters (and never were), and no other suspects.  The only suspect is dead, so there's nothing to "gag" because there's nobody to put on trial.

So if there's a "gag order" (a real one), let's see it.  Best guess is that it doesn't exist.

What about the other inconsistencies -- especially the apparently lack of a private security officer license?

Occam's Razor folks: I'll bet he's an illegal immigrant.

His name is a common Hispanic first name but an extremely rare US one.

If he's an illegal immigrant he can't register for a security guard license.

This of course means that both his union and Mandalay Bay (MGM) knew, or recklessly and intentionally averted their attention from his lack of citizenship, and that would explain the "gag"; one or both have warned him that if he opens his mouth they will throw him to the wolves.  Up until this point it was great for both Mandalay Bay and the union; the union got dues, Mandalay Bay got a suppressed-wage and compliant worker.

The reason to shut him up is obvious; he has a nice car over there, and an apparent nice life.  If he's illegally in the United States, however, all that goes "poof" like a fart in a church if he gets caught and ICE comes after him, and what's worse is that just perhaps that there's a security guard who allegedly is supposed to be licensed and isn't could bring ICE into all the casinos and hotels in Las Vegas, where they would likely find thousands of illegal invaders working in said hotels in various capacities, including, if this guy really is an unlicensed "guard", those where licenses are supposed to be required.

Of course all of this is illegal as hell up and down the line but in our country if you're a corporate executive nobody gives a **** and nobody goes to jail either, so why not do it since it's profitable?

Right?

Second, the conspiracy garbage about "gun-running."

Folks, have you ever bought or sold a gun?  No, you haven't if you're running that crap.  What's the one thing that is never in the immediate proximity of a gun when it's being sold or bought?  Ammunition for said gun.

Why?  Duh.

If the "deal" goes bad (whether legal originally or not) the last thing you want is for the party that gets pissed off (no matter which party that might be) to have the ability to use the gun(s) right there to kill the other party.  Therefore there is never ammunition with or in the firearm(s) and there most-certainly is never a crap-ton of loaded magazines for said weapons within "grab-and-go" range.  What do you think these sort of deals are -- a ****ing movie?  No!  You get shot and you really die unlike on the TV and thugs (along with gangsters) understand that quite well.

So the "gun running" garbage that is being run is utter and complete crap folks; get your head out of the damned TV and movie screen and use your brain for 10 seconds, or you could just walk into a gun store or gun show and see for yourself.  Note that all the firearms in both cases either have an empty magazine in them or no magazine at all, with the exception of the sidearm that the store employee might be carrying.  It's pretty hard to get shot with a gun that has no bullets.

There are people claiming that there were a "lack of muzzle flashes" from the 32nd floor.  No there weren't.  I saw several in the hand-videos of people who were crazy enough to point their cellphones at the source of the shooting instead of making their first, best and only act to get the hell out of there and/or behind hard cover.  Yes, the flashes were (in relative terms) muted.  So what?  It's never actually dark in Vegas, especially on the side of any of the casino hotels.  Have those people running this crap ever been there?  The buildings are lit up like daylight 24x7.  The fact is there were muzzle flashes, they looked a bit brighter than they'd look in the daytime, and that's about right given the general level of illumination on the side of every casino hotel in the city.  If you're running this sort of conspiracy crap shut up and sit down.

On the claim of a so-called "second shooter": Oh really?  Where is/was he or she?  There's at least one nutjob running around on the web claiming to have done "forensic acoustic analysis."  Nonsense.  Las Vegas is literally full of echoing surfaces for sharp sounds -- like gunshots, never mind that he did fire from two locations pointing in different directions which would present different acoustic profiles to a fixed-point microphone.  There's nothing in terms of ballistic evidence to support the "two shooter" claim -- nothing.

Next up are the general facts related to this clown and his selection of weapons and tactics.

I'll deal with tactics first, since it's simpler.  He obviously went to a lot of trouble planning this out, it appears he made at least one and maybe two "dry run" room purchases at other music festivals in recent months, and he picked a very good vantage point from which to shoot.  Not a perfect vantage point, but a very good one -- and maybe the best he could come up with under the circumstances.  All of this points away from a "snap decision" but it fits the "Rage Monster" profile, which is usually someone who thinks about the act, plans it (frequently in exhaustive detail), maybe even wargames it over some period of time and then does it.

Let me put something forward that nobody other than myself is making clear to anyone, and I'd like to know why: This idiot knew nothing about firearms beyond what the average person sees on TeeVee and in the movies.  In this regard the fact pattern on this violence is utterly common when it comes to "Rage Monster" attacks but fits neither terrorism (those folks usually have at least some familiarity with guns) or any other sort of organized group.  This guy demonstrated through his choices and actions a complete lack of skill at-arms to such a degree that it is obvious he had never hunted, never served in any sort of armed unit (e.g. military) and he almost-certainly never even shot at paper at a gun range with any sort of frequency.  In other words he was almost completely unskilled in the selection and use of firearms; his level of understanding was approximately equal to someone who has never fired a weapon.

Let's count up the points of ignorance on guns alone, shall we?

1. He allegedly shot intentionally at the fuel tanks beyond the fence at the airport, if the cops are to be believed.  The closest tank (use Google maps) is roughly 2100' away at ground level, or ~700 yards.  Incidentally the stage is about 1,000' from the hotel, again at ground level (or more than 300 yards.)  Both of those must have their distances adjusted (increased) to account for elevation when it comes to bullet effectiveness; the "shooting distance" is computed as the "flat" distance but the round still travels an arc, not a straight line.  Nobody with any degree of experience with weapons would choose an AR-15 to shoot at a high-strength fuel tank 700yds away as the odds of penetrating it at that range are somewhere between low and zero.  Further, he had tracer rounds (that use a phosphorus mixture to leave a burning trail, and could have lit the fuel inside if he did penetrate the tank wall) but didn't use them on said tank.

2. He was at the far end of the effective range of an AR-15 (~300ish yards) to the festival for a moderately skilled shooter (of which he obviously was not) but was using an Eotech reflex sight on at least one of the weapons instead of a scope.  An Eotech is a decent close-quarter (under 100yds) battle sight (in other words, it's a decent sight choice for a defensive weapon you envision potentially using on your property) but it offers nothing in terms of useful accuracy at 300+ yards.  The usual compromise for someone that doesn't have 20 year old eyes (this guy was old enough that I suspect his vision is nowhere near as acute as the average 20-year old military inductee) and wants to shoot in the 100-300yd range with that sort of sight is a flip-to-side magnifier behind said Eotech for longer range shooting which can be immediately flipped out of the way should you need to shoot at close-quarters.  Those flip-to-side mounts and magnifiers are expensive (nearly as much as the sight itself!) and he didn't have one behind his Eotech.   More to the point tactically you wouldn't have different sights on a collection of weapons you intended to rapidly switch between during such an attack, simply because your sight picture will change and you would want a consistent sight picture during the event.  Finally, even a moderately decent scope is a lot cheaper than an Eotech+flip-to-side (like by half or more) and for varmint hunting (a decent use for an AR15) they're a better choice since they're both cheaper and at least as accurate at the range you likely will use the weapon.  In short the value in an "Eotech" sort of sight is that you can shoot "both eyes open"; this has value in a close-quarters situation as it can keep you from being blindsided by an attacker.  "Both eyes open" shooting is of zero value when engaging in long-range shooting and is a ridiculously stupid choice for a weapon intended for such a use.

3. He had bump stocks on said rifles (to increase the rate of fire) and, on at least one of them, a bipod.  Those two don't go together at all.  A bipod will quite-effectively make a bump stock worthless (that is, not work.)  A bipod enhances accuracy by stabilizing the muzzle end of the gun while a bump stock destroys accuracy and essentially requires that you hand-hold said weapon.  These two items make no sense whatsoever on the same weapon, yet they were apparently present.  Further, there are reports the shooter was left-handed. The bump stocks I saw on his guns were for right-handed shooters which means to use them (and he clearly did) he would have taken even more degradation in accuracy by shooting from his "weak side", especially for an unskilled and unpracticed user.

4. He had a crazy number of guns for such an attack -- unless he was scared they might malfunction (and there's plenty of evidence they did due to his choice of magazines.)  One plus a backup (two) for each shooting position, or four guns, makes much more sense.  Two is one, one is none you know.  Beyond that, plus (maybe) something short-barreled to grab for in-close defense if/when SWAT assaults his position he was simply increasing the risk of getting caught before he had time to execute his plan.

5. Nearly the last weapon you would choose for shooting people at that range would be an AR15.  It's simply the wrong tool.  Among other things you don't get bullet upset or fragmentation beyond about 150yds with a 5.56 caliber weapon which materially limits the damage done per hit unless you strike a vital area.  Far more effective at that range would be anything chambered in 7.62x51/.308 of which there are a lot of choices including the AR10 and M1A.  There are also plenty of sporting rifles in that caliber, some semi-automatic, that are extraordinarily (murderously so) accurate; it's a very popular caliber for both hunting and intermediate-range competitive target shooting.  For the latter purpose there are cartridges manufactured that provide extremely high accuracy when used in a quality weapon; coupled with a scope and bipod, plus of course a level of skill in the user, they would have been monstrously-effective.  Indeed, you could take a standard AR15 lower, put a different upper on it that uses a different cartridge with far better long-distance accuracy and carried energy and use that.  Instead the shooter elected to buy and employ a bunch of standard AR15s, and the raw number of guns he had showed that he certainly wasn't cash-limited in his choice of weapons.  In other words despite his high body count he was pretty damned ineffective and a material part of that outcome was due to his selection of weapons for the assault.

6. You have to be crazy to use a bump stock on a weapon if you intend to shoot at something 300+yds from your position.  They simply trash accuracy, and it's quite hard to hit what you aim at 300yds away to begin with.  It requires both a reasonable selection of a weapon and cartridge to start with and then a decent degree of concentration and steadiness on the part of the person doing the shooting.  Bump stocks, by their design, cause you to abuse your muscles and the dynamics of holding the weapon in a fashion that destroys the accuracy of your fire.  Inside of 100yds it matters much less, but there was nothing for him to shoot at inside of 100yds (that didn't even get him to ground level from the 32nd floor!)

7. What evidence is there that he even bothered to zero all 20ish rifles?  That's a fair bit of work and someone had to have seen him, somewhere, doing it -- if he did.  Of course from all the other indications of insanity I suspect the answer is "he didn't", which just further contributed to his inaccuracy.

8. He had his head up his ass in terms of tactics, assuming of course that the point of his scheme was to commit mass-murder and escape.  The cops say he "intended to get away."  Oh really?  Was it the 50lbs of Tannerite in his car that gave them that idea?  Gee, how do you "get away" after you drive screws through the door so it can't be easily kicked in?  You do realize doors open for both entry and egress, right, and cutting one off also cuts off the other.  Speaking of that Tannerite putting it in a plane (he knew how to fly), mixing nails into the container, flying it into the festival intentionally and shooting the Tannerite as he did so would have likely killed a huge number of people between the explosion, the nails, pieces of aircraft that turned into shrapnel and the fuel that would have been sprayed all over everything and ignited. It's not like there isn't an airport runway within 30 seconds of the festival site, right?  Oh wait..... (PS: Stealing an aircraft is ridiculously easy and anyone who's ever flown or been in a light general aviation aircraft one knows that.  He owned one, so yes, he knew how easy that would be.)

As for the LVMPD quit covering **** up, especially whatever you know about that "guard's" legal status vis-a-vis being in the United States and why he doesn't show up on the Nevada License site as holding the license he would almost-certainly need to be a security guard.

Oh, and quit playing with the timeline too.

Among other things the LVMPD has claimed both that the security guard approached the ajar door of the shooter's suite (at which point he took 200 rounds of un-aimed fire in his direction, presumably because he was detected by the shooter's cameras) and that the door was secured from the inside with screws driven into the frame, requiring SWAT to blow it open to get in over an hour later.  Both of those things cannot be true, so in which instance did LVMPD lie and why?

Finally, you and the Fibbies obviously can't find your ass with both hands.  How else does a (dead) suspect's house, which you breached violently and then searched, get broken into by burglars while you have it under surveillance?  Either cops broke into it (with your explicit permission so they could literally loot it) or you lack the basic ability to do your damn job and your entire department needs to be defunded since you are all a sufficiently-bad waste of oxygen that you deserve to get lost in the desert and expire. The rank incompetence during and immediately following the event with regard to getting on this guy is bad enough but this tops the list when it comes to getting paid to do literally nothing and nobody in your state should sit for one second more of that crap.

I'm not buying what you're selling -- I don't know why or what you're covering up but that you are is evident from the ever-changing timeline and your failure to address the inconsistencies, including said "Security Guard" who is a ghost according to the requirements of Nevada law to hold that position.  You knew damn well what was going on there within hours of the event and have intentionally blackballed all discussion of same.

As for the nuts, however, go away.  There's plenty to go around here in terms of incompetence or worse without descending into the tinfoil hat garbage heap; you dishonor those who died through no fault of their own by running that crap in public.

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2017-10-13 10:54 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 681 references
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Let's face reality folks: In an honest society Amazon would be literally out of the media business this morning, and their stock price would crash by half.

Why?  Because Rose McGowan, one of many women who have accused Weinstein of sexual assault, also claims that Amazon optioned a series from her and then killed it when she discovered they were effectively covering up the Weinstein scandal and demanded they cut that crap out.

In other words she is accusing Amazon and Jeff Bezos, it's CEO, of intentionally enabling Weinstein's continued abuse of women and children and financially damaging her when she pushed back on their covering up allegations of criminal sexual assault.

May I remind you that central to Amazon's business model is Prime Video original shows?

Of course Amazon isn't the only firm that would be hacked to death in the market this morning if anyone gave a damn.  A huge percentage of media studios and affiliated firms would be literal zeros.

It gets better.  There are reports that Weinstein's employment contract with "his" company included a clause that literally gave him the right to "buy off" any future sexually-related complaints.  May I remind you (as does Gregg Jarrett, correctly so) that a contract to do or enable an illegal act is void as you cannot contract to do an illegal thing?  What's worse is that the board of the company knowingly entered into the agreement which, I'd argue, makes every one of its members explicitly connected to Weinstein's conduct and both explicitly and legally responsible for covering it up!

Look folks, everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence, but can we cut the crap?  You have already demonstrated over the last 30 years that you will sit still while the entire medical industry buttrapes you to within an inch of your life on a daily basis, stealing $3 trillion a year from consumers through their price-fixing.  It's not just the big stuff, it's the little stuff too, like advertising a $15 price and then charging someone $25.  Worse, it's not posting a price at all and then charging someone five times that $15 after you already took their order and they're obligated to pay.  It's charging someone $800 for 20 minutes of a doctor's time, again, only after the person in question is committed to pay because the service was already performed.

If the business model for gasoline sales was to suddenly be that no station posted a price, you filled the tank and then were told how much you had to pay, with the station scanning your plate during the time you pumped the gas, used a database operated by all the insurance companies and gas stations together and then charged you a price that might be 500% higher based on who you bought your car insurance from and what coverages it had you'd be up in arms.  If one station did it they'd be out of business in an afternoon.  If they all did it you would insist that they all go to prison and if that was not immediately forthcoming you'd burn all of those so-called "businesses" to the ground and string the owners up on the nearest lamppost.

We currently throw people in jail when there's a hurricane coming if they charge someone $5/gallon for gas instead of $2.50.  Nobody has gone to jail for charging a heart-attack victim five times what they could have the same procedure done for across the street at The Surgery Center of Oklahoma, for cash, if they were not at that instant having a heart attack.  Yet a heart attack or other serious medical emergency is the very definition of an exigent circumstance during which you cannot meaningfully negotiate anything while a hurricane comes with days of warning and thus your exposure to said $5 price is in fact voluntary.

When it comes to politicians the abuses are literally too many to count.  I'll just name one to make my point: Tim Murphy, who for years has railed about making abortion illegal. Of course the consequence of his demand was to be enforced on everyone else but not him personally -- you see, he apparently had a mistress, couldn't manage birth control with her in an adult fashion, and when the expected outcome occurred he told her to get.......... an abortion.  He's resigning, of course, but only because he was outed.  He's been making laws for others -- which he expects to be able to ignore for himself -- since 1996.

In the medical field it's virtually impossible to find a firm or person who doesn't scam at some level.  Take the maker of a medication for a rare (less than 1% of the population) condition: Nuedexta. The company's business model can be roughly translated as screw Medicare and Medicaid out of hundreds of millions a year by getting this medication prescribed to elderly patients who don't have the condition for which it was approved, and in fact the medication has never been studied in the geriatric population!  But the money's good, whether the medicine does good or harm -- right?  Who pays for that?  You do.  Why aren't that company's officers all in prison and, if the government refuses to enforce the ****ing law why haven't the people of this nation decided to do something about that themselves?

There are dozens of similar if not worse examples; drugs that Medicare and Medicaid pay $50 for that you can buy for cash at under $20 for the same supply.  That's $30 per prescription stolen from the American people -- literally stolen!  Yet not one such drug company has been prosecuted for this and you won't hold either them or the government to account for it.

Of course there are the monster theft regimes such as diabetes which I've pointed out before -- that single condition costs you $400 billion a year via Medicare and Medicaid, every year, and kills tens of thousands.  If you add in the private insurance and medical costs I'm willing to bet the total is over $700 billion -- every single year.  The number of people who have demanded that stop right damn now?

Zero.

Tell me again why every single procedure and every single drug doesn't have a posted price at every business that sells any of them -- just like everything on the shelf has a price at Walmart, the gas station and the hardware store.  Tell me again why you tolerate a business model that obligates you to pay before you're told how much the bill will be, and where that amount varies by, in some cases, 1,000% or more simply based on whether you have "health insurance" and if so who you bought it from.  Tell me again why, when any such collusive action of this sort that is intended to or does diminish competition (how do you have any "competition" when you can't shop and get a price?) is a felony and has been for more than 100 years, yet nobody has gone to prison?  And finally, tell me why you sit on your ass and whine about the cost of "health insurance" instead of demanding all these *******s either post prices or go to prison when doing that would cause your cost of health care to drop by 80% or more in a single afternoon!

Facebook "outs" people who are sex workers (in some cases legal sex workers, such as those in the porn industry) all the time.  Nobody cares even if it gets the victims stalked, raped or killed.  Facebook's entire business model is predicated on shifting and amplifying your own personal belief system for their profit and to your detriment.  It has to be to your detriment; those billions of dollars come from someone, and the someone is you.  They not only admit this they disclaim any responsibility or for the results and you let them get away with it, taking billions from you in the process.  Never mind that Facebook has claimed more "reach" for their ads than there are people, which is the very definition of fraud -- and yet not one indictment has issued over their repeated false statements of "reach."  Is it not the law that all factual statements made in a public company report must be accurate?

It sure is, and was made a crime after all the lies of the 1990s -- yet the number of prosecutions under Sarbox over the last two decades can be counted on your fingers if you're a quadruple-amputee.

Uber's business model can be loosely translated as **** the law, do whatever we want and get big enough, fast enough that if they try to enforce said law we will get the public to whine about losing what we "gave" them.  They're not alone.  AirBNB runs on that business model, as does literally every "tech giant" today in the consumer-facing space.  Yelp is widely considered to be what amounts to an extortion-based business and I know people who have been fired from their jobs for unsubstantiated complaints posted on their site.  Netflix built their entire business on cost-shifting their firm's content distribution expense to those who don't subscribe -- in other words, they steal it.  When ISPs started to push back on this and demand they pay for excess distribution expense wildly out of the expected norm they went to the government and got their regime protected from market forces.  Who's after them today for this crap?  Nobody, and their stock price is near $200/share despite them being wildly cash-flow-negative even with all the forced theft from non-subscribers! In other words the market believes that despite being in a deep hole and continuing to dig it deeper someone will get buttraped to bail them out.  That someone will be you.

How do all these companies "succeed" (as defined by their stock prices and market caps) given this sort of conduct?  How is it that the movie and TV studios remain in business?

It's simple folks: Nobody is concerned about being monkey-hammered for anything they do no matter how legal (or not.)

They're not concerned about being prosecuted, they're not concerned about their company having its corporate charter yanked and they're not concerned about being boycotted and shunned to the point that not only is their business burnt toast but they, their wives and children cannot so much as walk the dog on a public sidewalk without getting protester's signs in their faces punctuated by birds flipped at them whenever and wherever they go.

Am I surprised that in this environment Weinstein did what he did for as long as he did and got away with it?  No more than I am about the allegations about Michael Jackson and how long that went on, and for the same reason.

We, the people of this nation, refuse to stand up and demand that this crap stop, whether it be some creep who makes sexual favors part of the "price" to get into and remain in "his" industry or whether it be some pharmaceutical company that makes hundreds of millions of dollars a year ****ing up your Grandma by dumping pills down her throat.

The latter literally costs every middle-class family more than a thousand dollars a month when it's all totaled up, which is enough for a house payment, while you politely ask "Please sir, may I be buttsexed some more?"

There should be no surprise that the abuses from companies like Amazon, Uber, Facebook and Netflix go unanswered, nor that the alleged rape-for-job game Weinstein is accused of running for decades also has gone unanswered when you sit still for three trillion a year in theft from every single family in America.

Again, we're talking about enough taken from every single American family for each of you to buy a house.

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