Saturday, July 2, 2016

The bath salts have finally gone to Jeff Berwick's head

Jeff Berwhatthefuck:

It's nice, though, that he's come out with this new direction. Because now we know that anyone who associates with him is simply trying to make a fortune off fools.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Friday video: one for Canada Day I guess

Well, it's Canada Day, so I guess I have to play something Canadian:

Fuck it, can't be arsed, I'd rather play Belle & Sebastian on TOTP.

It's a nice summer choon.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Glenn Greenwald on Brexit

Well, he had to wade in:

The Intercept - Glenn Greenwald on Brexit. Long quote:

The Los Angeles Times’s Vincent Bevins, in an outstanding and concise analysis, wrote that “both Brexit and Trumpism are the very, very wrong answers to legitimate questions that urban elites have refused to ask for 30 years”; in particular, “since the 1980s the elites in rich countries have overplayed their hand, taking all the gains for themselves and just covering their ears when anyone else talks, and now they are watching in horror as voters revolt.” The British journalist Tom Ewing, in a comprehensive Brexit explanation, said the same dynamic driving the U.K. vote prevails in Europe and North America as well: “the arrogance of neoliberal elites in constructing a politics designed to sideline and work around democracy while leaving democracy formally intact.”

In an interview with the New Statesman, the political philosopher Michael Sandel also said that the dynamics driving the pro-Brexit sentiment were now dominant throughout the West generally: “A large constituency of working-class voters feel that not only has the economy left them behind, but so has the culture, that the sources of their dignity, the dignity of labor, have been eroded and mocked by developments with globalization, the rise of finance, the attention that is lavished by parties across the political spectrum on economic and financial elites, the technocratic emphasis of the established political parties.” After the market-venerating radicalism of Reagan and Thatcher, he said, “the center left” — Blair and Clinton and various European parties — “managed to regain political office but failed to reimagine the mission and purpose of social democracy, which ­became empty and obsolete.”

Three Guardian writers sounded similar themes about elite media ignorance stemming from homogeneity and detachment from the citizenry. John Harris quoted a Manchester voter as explaining, “If you’ve got money, you vote in. If you haven’t got money, you vote out.” Harris added: “Most of the media … failed to see this coming. … The alienation of the people charged with documenting the national mood from the people who actually define it is one of the ruptures that has led to this moment.” Gary Younge similarly denounced “a section of the London-based commentariat [that] anthropologized the British working class as though they were a lesser evolved breed from distant parts, all too often portraying them as bigots who did not know what was good for them.” Ian Jack’s article was headlined “In this Brexit vote, the poor turned on an elite who ignored them,” and he described how “gradually the sight of empty towns and shuttered shops became normalized or forgotten.”

Though there were some exceptions, establishment political and media elites in the U.K. were vehemently united against Brexit, but their decreed wisdom was ignored, even scorned. That has happened time and again. As their fundamental failures become more evident to all, these elites have lost credibility, influence, and the ability to dictate outcomes.

Just last year in the U.K., Labour members chose someone to lead Tony Blair’s party — the authentically left-wing Jeremy Corbyn — who could not have been more intensely despised and patronized by almost every leading light of the British media and political class. In the U.S., the joyful rejection by Trump voters of the collective wisdom of the conservative establishment evidenced the same contempt for elite consensus. The enthusiastic and sustained rallying, especially by young voters, against beloved-by-the-establishment Hillary Clinton in favor of a 74-year-old socialist taken seriously by almost no D.C. elites reflected the same dynamic. Elite denunciations of the right-wing parties of Europe fall on deaf ears. Elites can’t stop, or even affect, any of these movements because they are, at bottom, revolts against their wisdom, authority, and virtue.

In sum, the West’s establishment credibility is dying, and its influence is precipitously eroding — all deservedly so. The frenetic pace of online media makes even the most recent events feel distant, like ancient history. That, in turn, makes it easy to lose sight of how many catastrophic and devastating failures Western elites have produced in a remarkably short period of time.

In 2003, U.S. and British elites joined together to advocate one of the most heinous and immoral aggressive wars in decades: the destruction of Iraq; that it turned out to be centrally based on falsehoods that were ratified by the most trusted institutions, as well as a complete policy failure even on its own terms, gutted public trust.

In 2008, their economic worldview and unrestrained corruption precipitated a global economic crisis that literally caused, and is still causing, billions of people to suffer — in response, they quickly protected the plutocrats who caused the crisis while leaving the victimized masses to cope with the generational fallout. Even now, Western elites continue to proselytize markets and impose free trade and globalization without the slightest concern for the vast inequality and destruction of economic security those policies generate.

And, at that point, he basically starts to go off the rails.

Nobody in Sunderland gives a shit, Glenn, about the bombing of Libya - it's all about Polaks and Pakis. And you screw up big time by suggesting that Brexit is a symptom of neoliberal elites neutering democracy, when it was bloody well put up to a vote, and when its results are constitutionally meaningless but the British government decides to "honour the people's voice" anyway.

Fact is, Brexit isn't a symptom of revolt against the elite. It's rather a symptom of the intellectual decline of the elites. Cameron was too stupid to call a referendum that he couldn't win, and he was too stupid to figure out how to win it; the BBC are too stupid to steward the quality of argument in the media.

Trotskyite platitudes will serve to maintain your brand, Glenn, but they're not serving the people or the cause at all.


This is cute:

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Testing image uploading, and a systemd rant

So can I upload an image from my HD via Firefox in Ubuntu?

Only if I "temporarily allow all this page" in NoScript.

It seems Google doesn't want bloggers to be able to fucking well post shit at all unless they accept a shit-ton of fucking scripts. Maybe now I'll test to see which script it is.

And btw, systemd is indeed a fucking shitheap. I couldn't get either the newest Fedora or the newest Ubuntu to work. They'd halt completely on what looked like an ether nic failure. I guess it's something to do with systemd scrapping eth0 for some fancy new name, or something. Apparently the whole world is in an uproar over systemd kludginess - someone's even (perhaps jokingly) raising bitcoins to pay for a hitman to kill the project heads responsible.

So I had to install an older Ubuntu that can actually call my ether nic and give me internet. It really does seem that the problem is with systemd, and not an Inspiron problem or a hardware problem.

Fucking Linux assholes. The developers are definitely only autistic, not OCD: if they were OCD they would have got systemd fucking well working before letting people use it. I lost a whole fucking 2 days fucking with shit just to get a functional linux install because of this systemd chickenshit.

Hey, Frank Holmes, you're a dumbass

Dear Frank Holmes:

The Isle of Man didn't vote in the referendum because they're not part of the EU.

Fix your map, you dumbass.

At least now we know not to listen to a fucking word you have to say about the EU, since you have no clue who's in it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

THE PREMARKET NEWS YOU NEED TO STAY ALIVE: here's what nobody's talking about except me

And this morning, Germany and Paris are both up >2%; USD is down against CAD, GBP and XEU; and oil is back up, which should also boost US stocks for no good reason.

So I guess what we saw was just a 2-day selling snit, which was the obvious market reaction to the Brexit vote. And since it was so obvious, the buy side of the book decided to disappear, making the selloff worse than it should have been. And now people are jumping back in, buying the equities that got sold down.

I'll let Wall Street Whitey give me $50 for the Magna that I bought yesterday at ~$44.50, and if they make me hold til after the next dividend then so be it. As for all the XIV I bought yesterday, I think I'll try and hold that for a 5-figure gain, since I have this year's tuition bill coming.

Monday, June 27, 2016

BBC were the ones who lost the referendum

Chris Dillow - the BBC problem. Quote:

First, in being impartial between truth and lies, the BBC was complicit in a conspiracy to defraud the public. Its more intelligent correspondents are aware of this. Here’s assistant political editor Norman Smith (7’52” in):

There is an instinctive bias within the BBC towards impartiality to the exclusion sometimes of making judgment calls that we can and should make. We are very very cautious about saying something is factually wrong and I think as an organization we could be more muscular about it. I’ll give you an example, which is one that cropped up, and there was a lot of debate within the BBC about it, was when the Brexit campaign suggested that Turkey was poised to join the EU, and that there was nothing we could do about it. Now that is factually wrong, but when we initially covered the story, I think we said along the lines of ‘Remain had said that is wrong’ – in other words, we attributed the assessment to the Remain side, when we could, of our own, say ‘No, that is factually wrong.’ But, because as an organisation, more than any other organisation, there is a massive pressure and premium on fairness, on balance, on impartiality, I suspect we, we hold back from making those sort of calls, and I do think that, potentially, is a disservice to the listener and viewer.

Secondly, the BBC’s main new coverage was guilty of adverse selection. As Simon says, there were two campaigns: a reasonable and civilized one; and a bitter dishonest one. The BBC gave us too much of the latter. On the Leave side, we heard too much from liars and crypto-fascists and too little from more decent Brexiters. And on the Remain side, it gave us too much of the exaggerations of Cameron and Osborne and too few more sober voices.

Thirdly, and perhaps relatedly, many of the BBC’s main current affairs programmes forget the first two of Lord Reith’s trilogy – inform, educate and entertain – in favour of the latter. Nick’s right:

The worst journalists, editors and broadcasters know their audiences want entertainment, not expertise. If you doubt me, ask when you last saw panellists on Question Time who knew what they were talking about.

In these ways, the BBC is a major culprit in the degradation of our political culture. It is heavily responsible for the fact that voters were wrong about key facts in this referendum.

As for me, back to calculus homework I guess, as the market continues to vomit up its sigmoid colon.

Some abuse for Kenneth Rogoff

Kenneth Rogoff - incompetent, ignorant bullshit from a proven liar. Here, let me quote you some:

Does a majority in Parliament have to support Brexit? Apparently not.

Um... yes it does, Kenneth. Parliament first has to repeal the 1972 European Communities Act, apparently, and that requires a majority. Then again, you shouldn't be expected to know this, because it doesn't involve gaming an Excel file to yield fake statistical results in support of ignorant right-wing austerian policy in the face of a global savings glut and a negative demand shock.

The idea that somehow any decision reached anytime by majority rule is necessarily “democratic” is a perversion of the term. Modern democracies have evolved systems of checks and balances to protect the interests of minorities and to avoid making uninformed decisions with catastrophic consequences.

It's especially difficult for voters to make informed decisions when faced with books by Harvard professors whose right-wing policy recommendations are based on intentionally gamed Excel files.

It is important to take stock not just of the outcome, though, but of the process.

Then why haven't you informed yourself of the process of Brexit by reading the article that the Guardian posted just today?

SHOCKING STOCK HEADLINES: you won't believe what derps next!

Still can't post charts except by stealing from other blogs, sorry. I'll see what I can do later this week when I get Fedora working better. Right now it's refusing to connect to my router on startup, and that pisses me off.

But here's some stock news headlines that are guaranteed to herp your derp!:

The Guardian on the harsh reality

The Guardian - guess what, referendums don't fecking matter. There's populist wharrgarbl, which Cameron himself started with this whole referendum vote. And then there's the cold, harsh reality of the parliamentary process.

Which your average blogger has entirely fucking ignored.


“Sovereignty” – a much misunderstood word in the campaign – resides in Britain with the “Queen in parliament”, that is with MPs alone who can make or break laws and peers who can block them. Before Brexit can be triggered, parliament must repeal the 1972 European Communities Act by which it voted to take us into the European Union – and MPs have every right, and indeed a duty if they think it best for Britain, to vote to stay.

It is being said that the government can trigger Brexit under article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, merely by sending a note to Brussels. This is wrong. Article 50 says: “Any member state may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.” The UK’s most fundamental constitutional requirement is that there must first be the approval of its parliament.

Britain, absurdly, is the only significant country (other than Saudi Arabia) without a written constitution. We have what are termed “constitutional conventions”, along with a lot of history and traditions. Nothing in these precedents allots any place to the results of referendums or requires our sovereign parliament to take a blind bit of notice of them.

It was parliament that voted to enter the European Economic Community in 1972, and only three years later was a referendum held to settle the split in Harold Wilson’s Labour party over the value of membership. Had a narrow majority of the public voted out in 1975, Wilson would still have had to persuade parliament to vote accordingly – and it is far from certain that he would have succeeded.

Our democracy does not allow, much less require, decision-making by referendum. That role belongs to the representatives of the people and not to the people themselves. Democracy has never meant the tyranny of the simple majority, much less the tyranny of the mob (otherwise, we might still have capital punishment). Democracy entails an elected government, subject to certain checks and balances such as the common law and the courts, and an executive ultimately responsible to parliament, whose members are entitled to vote according to conscience and common sense.

Many countries, including Commonwealth nations – vouchsafed their constitutions by the UK – have provisions for change by referendums. But these provisions are carefully circumscribed and do not usually allow change by simple majority.

In Australia, for example, a referendum proposal must pass in each of the six states (this would defeat Brexit, which failed in Scotland and Northern Ireland). In other countries, it must pass by a very clear majority – usually two-thirds. In some US states that permit voting on public legislative proposals, there are similar safeguards. In the UK (except, under a 2011 act in the case of an EU expansion of power), referendum results are merely advisory – in this case, advising MPs that the country is split almost down the middle on the wisdom of EU membership.

So how should MPs vote come November, when Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduces the 2016 European Communities Act (Repeal) Bill? Those from London and Scotland should happily vote against it, following their constituents’ wishes. So should Labour MPs – it’s their party policy after all.

By November, there may be other very good reasons for MPs to refuse to leave Europe. Brexit may turn out to be just too difficult. Staying in the EU may be the only way to stop Scotland from splitting, or to rescue the pound. A poll on Sunday tells us that a million leave voters are already regretting their choice: a significant public change of mind would amply justify a parliamentary refusal to Brexit. It may be, in November, that President Donald Trump becomes the leader of the free world – in which case a strong EU would become more necessary than ever. Or it may simply be that a majority of MPs, mindful of their constitutional duty to do what is best for Britain, conscientiously decide that it is best to remain.

There is no point in holding another referendum (as several million online petitioners are urging). Referendums are alien to our traditions, they are inappropriate for complex decision-making, and without careful incorporation in a written constitution, the public expectation aroused by the result can damage our democracy.

 Oh? Well that sounds fine then....

The only way forward now depends on the courage, intelligence and conscience of your local MP.

Oh fuck we're all doomed.

Seriously, though, imagine the wharrgarbl of the Russian-funded disinfo stooges were they to find that the parliamentary elitists were ignoring the result of the referendum.

John Oliver on Brexit

Not all that great, must have too many American writers.

BTW, I had not heard before today that David Cameron had fucked a dead pig's mouth.

Well, so far....

So far this morning, the idiocy of Wall Street Whitey continues. Ford is down -3SD, and so is Magna, so I guess Whitey thinks a stupid reversible referendum in the UK will cause a worldwide recession. That's confirmed by CN also being -3SD.

I guess this'll continue til the TA says it won't, because that's all these idots are trading on, otherwise they'd be lapping up Royal Bank's 4% yield as UST10Y drops below 1.5%.

New Deal Demoncrat - still no sign of a recession. But don't let that stop you piddling, Whitey.

Calculated Risk - largest US population cohorts are now 20-24 and 25-29. This may be a case of "demographics trumps economics", Bill. But then again, last time demographics trumped economics, the US government invested trillions to build future productivity via the Marshall Plan, the US Interstate system, NASA, and the GI Bill. So really, policy trumped economics. Nowadays, policy aims to cause a worldwide depression. Can demographics trump that?

Simon Wren-Lewis - blah blah Brexit. Literally everyone English is all weighing in. And worse, the lefty blogs are now making it all about Corbyn, as if he has a fucking duty to bail out the banksters: whatever happened to labour being in fundamental opposition to the ruling class? Fuck you all and your quaint nostalgia for the lickspittle centrism of Tony Blair, you fake lefties. But the interesting stuff is in the comments, such as:
Ages 18-24 Leave 27%, 25-34 38% Leave, 35-44 48% Leave.
Like I said, figure out how Ena Sharples votes, and that will tell you the election result. Always. And Ena Sharples votes with the Daily Mail.

And as for the rise anti-European Nazi populism in England: the people wouldn't be forced to swing Nazi to oppose Europe if Militant Tendency were still around, would they, Simon? It wasn't Labour who fought the Poll Tax, it was Militant. And it wasn't Thatcher who killed off Militant, it was fucking Kinnock. So fuck you, ivory-tower socialists in academia. Go join Tim Farron, you fucking Quislings.

Polly's Panties - like the Cuban missile crisis, sense will prevail. Here's a quote from the Institute of Give Your Head a Shake:
Humankind has a natural inclination to avoid pain. If UK votes to leave and it threatens other countries' economic stability then other countries will do what they can to alleviate it.

There is punishment and there is mutually assured destruction. It's much like the cold war. Threats are made but when fingers are on buttons they will waiver and diplomacy will take over to avoid net sufferance.

I cannot believe that the EU, whose behaviour has constantly displayed a 'whatever it takes' response to survival, would let a Brexit vote paint themselves into a corner of sufferance.

As any parent knows, threats of punishment before the action are a different matter once the action has taken place. Negotiation and compromise is still most likely.

If we seriously think that, as the FT has suggested, the likes of the Mexican Peso's fate is in the balance of Brexit then something is messed up. Shock is one thing but reality is another. The tertiary correlations should be faded.
But nobody reads his blog anyway, so they'll likely continue to assume sense won't prevail.