Teachers are substandard

I have previously calculated, on the basis of their SAT scores, that school teachers today have an average IQ of approximately 95.  And based on this email posted at Chaos Manor, it is clear that education majors have been the absolute dregs of academia for quite some time now:

I worked my way through college. The university I attended generously
provided jobs to many students. One job I held was that of Computer
Operator on the IBM 360/70 in the university computer center.

After my first semester working in the computer center, I worked the
wake-up shift, 0600 – 0900. Many of the universities administrative
computational jobs came to me to run because things were quiet at that
time, and, thus, the demands on the CPU were less.

The university faculty senate had expressed some concerns about the
school’s reputation, or rather the lack of it. They wanted to know why
this was. So they compiled years of grades, punched them onto 80-column
cards, and toted those cards down to the computer center where they
spilled those data onto a tape. That took the better part of a day and
all that evening which meant they did not have time to run the
statistics on those data and print them out. Problem was that the
computer center had promised Dr R, the president of the faculty senate,
the report the following morning.

Charlie, my boss, left it to me on the morning shift to run the stats
and print out the results. As soon as I woke the Beast, I ran the job.
It printed out half a box of fanfold paper. I tore off the last page,
picked up the printout, and took it to the counter to look through it.

Of course, I knew what this was and what it meant. I scanned to the
math department. As, Bs, Cs, Ds, Fs, a few incompletes ― all the grades
in the table. The distribution was normal but the mean was shifted
slightly toward the lower end; that is, the department gave fewer As
than expected and more Fs than expected.  I scanned to the physics department. Much the same story as with the
math department but shifted even more toward the lower end.

I scanned to the department of education, and I said to myself, said
I, “Oh, the shit’s gonna hit the fan.” ED gave 80% As, 20% Bs, and
nothing below a B.

This report exploded like a bomb in the faculty senate. Dr R, the
president of the senate, made a motion his own self to sever the
Department of Education from the rest of the university and another that
admission to the School of Education would not give admission to the
rest of the university. The recriminations were many and bitter. I heard
that the President of the University called in the campus cops to
restore order and prevent the threatened assaults.

I ran this report when I was a sophomore. When I graduated, the war was still on. So if you are an education major and you think I have no respect for you . . . you’re right. I don’t. Moreover, I won’t.

This also serves as a fitting response to those who ask how a mother can homeschool without a degree in physics, math, or womyn’s studies.  The correct answer is: why do you think your children can be adequately educated by a collection of women with a sub-normal IQs whose only education is in what is quite literally the easiest possible course of collegiate study.


Datagate goes international

I was catching up on the Italian news this morning and saw that Datagate is what the Italian press is calling the explosive new revelations that the NSA has secret agreements with European countries to spy on European citizens as well. The news is not quite so readily available in English, although Prachi Gupta’s article at Salon is still accessible:

The
NSA has been working with at least seven European other countries to
collect personal communications data, according to Wayne Madsen, a
former NSA contractor who has come forward because he does not think the
public should not be “kept in the dark.” According to Madsen, Denmark,
the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain and Italy all have formed secret
agreements with the US to submit sensitive data.

The Guardian reports:

Under
international intelligence agreements, confirmed by declassified
documents, nations are categorised by the US according to their trust
level. The US is first party while the UK, Canada, Australia and New
Zealand enjoy second party relationships. Germany and France have third
party relationships.

In an interview published last night on the PrivacySurgeon.org blog,
Madsen, who has been attacked for holding controversial views on
espionage issues, said he had decided to speak out after becoming
concerned about the “half story” told by EU politicians regarding the
extent of the NSA’s activities in Europe.

He said that under the
agreements, which were drawn up after the second world war, the “NSA
gets the lion’s share” of the sigint “take”. In return, the third
parties to the NSA agreements received “highly sanitised intelligence”.

The
news could be potentially damaging to countries, particularly Germany,
whose chancellor Angela Merkel has vocally condemned the NSA program
that recently came to light by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

This sounds like Echelon on steroids, dwarfing anything Orwell imagined in Big Brother. Moreover, as La Repubblica reports, the Observer article has already been removed from the web “pending an investigation: 

“Datagate, anche l’Italia collabora” 
Poi il Guardian rimuove la pagina web
Il Telegraph: quella fonte è inaffidabile
Foto Ma l’articolo è comunque finito in edicola

“Datagate, Italy also collaborates”
Afterwards the Guardian removes the web page
The Telegraph[sic]: that source is not found
Photo But the article is nevertheless still on the newspaper stand

Note that La Repubblica mistakenly refers to The Telegraph when the link actually refers to The Guardian.  These revelations should give a massive boost to the growing anti-Merkel forces in Germany, as it reveals her to be a shameless and bald-faced liar.


Fictitious profit

Some SFWAns around the Internet have been pointing to this profit calculation to “prove” that rapacious publishers are ripping them off by more than doubling their hardcover royalties on ebooks.  As one has learned to expect from the fun bunch, they have no absolutely idea what they’re doing.

Look at Harper’s own numbers:

$27.99 hardcover generates $5.67 profit to publisher and $4.20 royalty to author
$14.99 agency priced e-book generates $7.87 profit to publisher and $2.62 royalty to author.

So, in other words, at these average price points, every time a
hardcover sale is replaced by an e-book sale, the publisher makes $2.20
more per copy and the author makes $1.58 less. If the author made the
same $4.20 royalty on the e-book sale as he/she would have on a
hardcover, the publisher would STILL be making an improved profit of
$6.28.

Now, I have less use for mainstream publishers than just about anyone who publishes books these days, but this calculation is completely misleading for the obvious reason that it is using the wrong price from which to calculate the profit.  As per DBW:


“After months of consistent declines to a low near $6.00, they’re on the rise again. This week, the average price of an ebook best-seller is $9.48, up slightly from last week, which was the first time the price was north of $9.00 in all of 2013.”

Since the average price of an ebook is more like $8.00 on average, this means that if we plug it into the Harper model, the ebook generates $4.50 profit to the publisher and $1.50 to the author.  And it has gone as low as $3.15, although we can safely disregard this lower figure because it was unduly influenced by low-priced, self-published bestsellers. Regardless, both figures, you will note, are less than the $5.67 in gross profit minus author’s royalty generated by the hardcover sale.

This inability to grasp the basic facts of the rapidly changing market for books is why the SF/F writers are going to be taken completely by surprise when more publishers “unexpectedly” go the way of Night Shade.  These authors think ebooks have made their publishers nearly 40 percent more profitable, all at the expense of the royalties paid to them, when the reality is that despite the ebook’s much lower cost of production, (which, keep in mind, has no impact on the publisher’s overhead), the publishers are actually running somewhere between 20 percent and 45 percent LESS profitable on a per-unit-sold basis alone.

If the publishers were to do as the post’s author suggests and pay the same $4.20 royalty on the ebook that they presently do on the hardcover, they’d make a profit margin of 7.1 percent instead of 42.6 percent.  That would barely pay their rent and utility bills, never mind their payroll.  Note that historically, commercial publishers have run at 40 percent profit margins; even the powerful academic publisher, Elsevier, has seen its operating profit margins slip to 36 percent.  SF/F genre publishers aren’t doing anywhere nearly so well.

Falling retail prices and shrinking profit margins are why the publishers have been cutting their midlist authors and offering fewer, smaller contracts.  They simply can’t afford to publish moderately successful authors anymore, and if average ebook prices fall to $4, as I expect them to within the next 2-3 years, they will not be able to afford publishing anyone who hasn’t already proven to be a reliable bestseller… usually through self-publishing.


Deen proves Hoyt right

Prof. Stephen Clark writes in to Instapundit:

The cancellation of Paula Deen’s book at this time is about avoiding
being seen as enabling what appears to be an evolving protest as
expressed through the advance orders, coupled with a desire to flip off
the protesters. Just another page in the ongoing cultural aggression
being waged by the bicoastal elite. It does, however, neatly illustrate
the inherent viciousness of the class.

Taken in
combination with the complete inactivity concerning Alec Baldwin’s
recent comments on Twitter, it also shows the utter hypocrisy of that
class.  By the elite’s standard metric, Baldwin’s speech was every bit
as hateful and unforgivable as Deen’s theatrics, if not more so, but he
hasn’t been fired from his show or lost any endorsement contracts.

Now,
I certainly don’t pity Mrs. Deen in the slightest, as like James
Frenkel, she is simply reaping the harvest that she helped sow with her
active support of progressives and the establishment of today’s
political elite.  And there are worse fates than being paid millions of dollars to not write a book or two. But she does serve as what should be an educational
example to all the Scalzis and Hineses and Goulds of the world; no
amount of goodthink, political posturing, or progressive flag-waving is
going to save you when the pinkshirts and/or savages you have championed
turn on you and tear you apart without warning.

John
Scalzi was very fortunate that his inept political satire last year was
accepted as such. That didn’t have to be the case; it was far more
potentially offensive than the “lady editor” comment that sparked
Bulletingate. If it had served the whims of the pinkshirts to destroy
him, (for example, if they had had a candidate for SFWA president they
wished to push), he would have found himself the bewildered recipient of
the same sort of ideological hysteria to which Messrs. Resnick and
Malzberg were inflicted.  As readers here have probably noted,
pinkshirts tend to fall silent and run away as soon as they meet with
direct opposition willing to openly confront them; the only thing even
the most abject apologizing accomplishes is to inspire them to go into a
feeding frenzy.

In fact, because he has shown obvious Scalzi-like weakness in his obvious desire to appease the pinkshirts, I think it
quite likely that Steven Gould, the incoming president, will soon come
under attack from the organizational left for one reason or another.

To return to Mrs. Deen, the cancellation of her book, which at the time was Amazon’s #1
bestseller prior to its release, also shows that Sarah Hoyt was
absolutely right and that “business reasons” have absolutely nothing to
do with the ideologically driven decisions of the publishing
gatekeepers.  That defense, which was never the least bit convincing to
anyone with actual experience of mainstream publishing, has now been
exploded in a very public and undeniable manner.

And it also demonstrates the importance of building distribution channels that circumnavigate the attempts of the gatekeepers to control what is made available to the public.


Vibrancy in South Africa

Keep the ongoing race war in South Africa in mind as you listen to half-savage race hustlers posturing about how dangerous Australia, Texas, and Florida are for “people like [her]”.  African-American leftists and their liberal white knights like little better than to wax nostalgic about the dangers of 19th century lynching while remaining utterly silent about 21st century savagery that is now seen everywhere from Africa to Europe and the Americas.

Mandela’s passing and the looming threat of a race war against South Africa’s whites. As a widow mourns the latest murdered Afrikaner farmer, a chilling dispatch from a nation holding its breath.

  • Roelof du Plessis, 46 shot on his farm outside Pretoria by gang of black intruders
  • Fears rise that killings are part of a systematic bid to drive white people out of South Africa
  • President Jacob Zuma known to sing ‘struggle song’ about killing white Afrikaners

The statistics — and the savagery of the killings — appear to support claims by these residents that white people, and farmers in particular, are being targeted by black criminals. Little wonder that what unfolded on the Du Plessis homestead has sent tremors of fear through the three-million-strong white community.

Last month alone there were 25 murders of white landowners, and more than 100 attacks, while Afrikaner protest groups claim that more than 4,000 have been killed since Mandela came to power — twice as many as the number of policemen who have died.

It is not just the death toll, but the extreme violence that is often brought to bear, that causes the greatest fear in the white community. Documented cases of farm killings make for gruesome reading, with children murdered along with their parents, one family suffocated with plastic bags and countless brutal rapes of elderly women and young children.

It’s not an accident that the first thing the US government did once de Klerk was elected and it became obvious that apartheid was coming to an end was to arrange for the removal of South Africa’s nuclear weapons from its arsenal and the decommissioning of the weapons development program.  This was because both the US and the de Klerk administration knew the ANC government could not be trusted to behave responsibly with them and there was a real risk that they would be used against the Boers or Zimbabwe.

FrontPage reported in 2012: “There are now white refugee camps in South Africa with an estimated 300,000 or 7 percent of the white population living in tent cities and shacks. If any other ethnic group or race were on the receiving end of such treatment, it would be denounced as ethnic cleansing. Dr. Stanton of Genocide Watch, a respected human rights organization, has stated that the white population of South Africa is now in the sixth of the center’s eight stages of genocide. That sixth stage is defined as “Preparation.””

Keep that in mind as you hear the usual suspects encouraging you to celebrate the wonders of diversity.  Because historically, diversity has been a precursor to genocide.  And if Malema comes to power and he succeeds in following the example set by Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, don’t spare South Africa an ounce of sympathy once his goal is achieved as people who are absolutely every bit as civilized as everyone else on the planet mysteriously turn out to be unable to maintain an existing agricultural system capable of feeding the country for inexplicable reasons that no rational mind could possibly discern.

A bogeyman to white South Africans, Malema is popular among young blacks, and has also been an enthusiastic singer of Kill The Boer and another song called Bring Me My Machine-Gun. Polls this week showed a huge surge in support among young black South Africans for his policies, which he says will ignore reconciliation, and fight for social justice in an ‘onslaught against [the] white male monopoly’.

With chilling echoes of neighbouring Zimbabwe, where dictator Robert Mugabe launched a murderous campaign to drive white farmers off the land in 2000, Malema wants all white-owned land to be seized without compensation, along with nationalisation of the country’s lucrative mines.

Ominously, Malema, 32, who wears a trademark beret and has a fondness for Rolex watches, this month promised his new party will take the land from white people without recompense and give it to blacks.

‘We need the land that was taken from our people, and we are not going to pay for it,’ he said. ‘We need a party that will say those who were victims of apartheid stand to benefit unashamedly, and those who perpetuated apartheid must show remorse and behave in a manner that says they regret their conduct.’

And Malema isn’t merely thinking of South Africa when he encourages blacks to breed for the cause of global revolution.  “We want to see many kids, why? Because we must reproduce ourselves. For
our ideas to be sustainable, we have to reproduce ourselves. In the
whole of Africa, we are not more than one billion and the world has
seven billion people. In Africa we have not more than one billion
people… facing more than six billion. We have to be half of that so that
our ideas can dominate. I know that in some instances size does not
matter… but when it comes to a revolution, size matters.”

The multiculturalists and devotees of St. Diversity think that it doesn’t matter if America loses its white majority.  They don’t understand what Malema does, which is that demographics is destiny.


Introducing the orc

Development is proceeding apace on First Sword, as we’ve now got the gladiatorial schools operational in a rudimentary manner, which means that the various gladiator statistics and portraits are now accessible in the game.  In Selenoth, orcs are even more fearsome in the arena than they are on the battlefield, because the superior human unit discipline can usually be relied upon to carry the Amorran and Savondese forces through to victory can no longer be utilized to compensate for the greater size, strength, and sheer aggression of the orcs.

And in the arena, there is no ranged combat, which means the human gladiator isn’t merely concerned with the threat posed by swords, axes, daggers, and warhammers, but has to deal with the very real threat of having his face literally bitten off by his opponent.  Not all ludi are willing to feature orcs, as in addition to them being nearly as dangerous in training as they are in the actual arena, the spectators tend to be harsh on defeated orcs and it is the rare orc indeed who is granted missio by the favor of the crowd.

But for the stable owner who is brave enough to accept the risks, the rewards can be significant indeed.


It’s not science, but it sure looks like fiction

Now, I’m not at all surprised that the SFWA warren is hopping madly with news of a shocking sexual harassment scandal now that it has been made clear by the SFWA owsla that it is open season on all non-crossdressing men in the organization – and at the annual gathering of angry land whales known as WisCon, no less – but even I assumed it would take more than a few weeks before the next inevitable pinkshirt scandal exploded all over the increasingly dysfunctional organization’s face.

As it happens, I may actually have met know the woman who is accusing a Tor editor of sexual harassment.  If Elise Matthesen is the same the Elise I knew back in the late nineties, she was a completely useless and not terribly ornamental member of an otherwise excellent writing group in Minneapolis, she never actually did any writing, and all she wanted to do was talk about herself and babble about feminism, sexual harassment, and so forth.  And if  since it is her, I will not be at all surprised if it is eventually determined by the publishing house and the convention alike that the “harassment” was nothing more than a product of her fevered but uncreative imagination.

According to Ms Matthesen, the gentleman who sexually harassed her was a Tor editor, albeit one of the old school Tor editors who actually published genuine science fiction once upon a time: “My name is Sigrid Ellis. I was one of the co-hosts of the party Elise
mentions. The person Elise reported for harassment is James Frenkel.”

Now, I have no idea what actually happened, nor do I care in the slightest, but I have to say, I’m a little bit dubious surprised to learn that it is the Elise of my erstwhile acquaintance, not because she appears to have made a false claim of sexual harassment, (if you’d asked me about her yesterday, I’d have told you that I’d be surprised if she didn’t have dozens of them to her credit), but because the following account would make for the longest piece of fiction she has ever actually managed to write:

 “We’re geeks. We learn things and share, right? Well, this year at
WisCon I learned firsthand how to report sexual harassment. In case you
ever need or want to know, here’s what I learned and how it went.

Two editors I knew were throwing a book release party on Friday night
at the convention. I was there, standing around with a drink talking
about Babylon 5, the work of China Mieville, and Marxist
theories of labor (like you do) when an editor from a different house
joined the conversation briefly and decided to do the thing that I
reported. A minute or two after he left, one of the hosts came over to
check on me. I was lucky: my host was alert and aware. On hearing what
had happened, he gave me the name of a mandated reporter at the company
the harasser was representing at the convention.

The mandated reporter was respectful and professional. Even though I
knew them, reporting this stuff is scary, especially about someone who’s
been with a company for a long time, so I was really glad to be
listened to. Since the incident happened during Memorial Day weekend, I
was told Human Resources would follow up with me on Tuesday.

There was most of a convention between then and Tuesday, and I didn’t
like the thought of more of this nonsense (there’s a polite word for
it!) happening, so I went and found a convention Safety staffer. He
asked me right away whether I was okay and whether I wanted someone with
me while we talked or would rather speak privately. A friend was
nearby, a previous Guest of Honor at the convention, and I asked her to
stay for the conversation. The Safety person asked whether I’d like to
make a formal report. I told him, “I’d just like to tell you what
happened informally, I guess, while I figure out what I want to do.”

It may seem odd to hesitate to make a formal report to a convention
when one has just called somebody’s employer and begun the process of
formally reporting there, but that’s how it was. I think I was a little
bit in shock. (I kept shaking my head and thinking, “Dude, seriously??”)
So the Safety person closed his notebook and listened attentively.
Partway through my account, I said, “Okay, open your notebook, because
yeah, this should be official.” Thus began the formal report to the
convention. We listed what had happened, when and where, the names of
other people who were there when it happened, and so forth. The Safety
person told me he would be taking the report up to the next level,
checked again to see whether I was okay, and then went.

I had been nervous about doing it, even though the Safety person and
the friend sitting with us were people I have known for years. Sitting
there, I tried to imagine how nervous I would have been if I were
twenty-some years old and at my first convention. What if I were just
starting out and had been hoping to show a manuscript to that editor?
Would I have thought this kind of behavior was business as usual? What
if I were afraid that person would blacklist me if I didn’t make nice
and go along with it? If I had been less experienced, less surrounded by
people I could call on for strength and encouragement, would I have
been able to report it at all?

Well, I actually know the answer to that one: I wouldn’t have. I know
this because I did not report it when it happened to me in my twenties.
I didn’t report it when it happened to me in my forties either. There
are lots of reasons people might not report things, and I’m not going to
tell someone they’re wrong for choosing not to report. What I intend to
do by writing this is to give some kind of road map to someone who is
considering reporting. We’re geeks, right? Learning something and
sharing is what we do.

So I reported it to the convention. Somewhere in there they asked,
“Shall we use your name?” I thought for a millisecond and said, “Oh,
hell yes.”
This is an important thing. A formal report has a name attached. More about this later.

The Safety team kept checking in with me. The coordinators of the
convention were promptly involved. Someone told me that since it was the
first report, the editor would not be asked to leave the convention. I
was surprised it was the first report, but hey, if it was and if that’s
the process, follow the process. They told me they had instructed him to
keep away from me for the rest of the convention. I thanked them.

Starting on Tuesday, the HR department of his company got in touch
with me. They too were respectful and took the incident very seriously.
Again I described what, where and when, and who had been present for the
incident and aftermath. They asked me if I was making a formal report
and wanted my name used. Again I said, “Hell, yes.”

Both HR and Legal were in touch with me over the following weeks. HR
called and emailed enough times that my husband started calling them
“your good friends at HR.” They also followed through on checking with
the other people, and did so with a promptness that was good to see.

Although their behavior was professional and respectful, I was
stunned when I found out that mine was the first formal report filed
there as well. From various discussions in person and online, I knew for
certain that I was not the only one to have reported inappropriate
behavior by this person to his employer. It turned out that the previous
reports had been made confidentially and not through HR and Legal.
Therefore my report was the first one, because it was the first one that
had ever been formally recorded.

Corporations (and conventions with formal procedures) live and die by
the written word. “Records, or it didn’t happen” is how it works, at
least as far as doing anything official about it. So here I was, and
here we all were, with a situation where this had definitely happened
before, but which we had to treat as if it were the first time — because
for formal purposes, it was.

I asked whether people who had originally made confidential reports
could go ahead and file formal ones now. There was a bit of confusion
around an erroneous answer by someone in another department, but then
the person at Legal clearly said that “the past is past” is not an
accurate summation of company policy, and that she (and all the other
people listed in the company’s publically-available code of conduct)
would definitely accept formal reports regardless of whether the
behavior took place last week or last year.

If you choose to report, I hope this writing is useful to you. If
you’re new to the genre, please be assured that sexual harassment is NOT
acceptable business-as-usual. I have had numerous editors tell me that
reporting harassment will NOT get you blacklisted, that they WANT the
bad apples reported and dealt with, and that this is very important to
them, because this kind of thing is bad for everyone and is not okay.
The thing is, though, that I’m fifty-two years old, familiar with the
field and the world of conventions, moderately well known to many
professionals in the field, and relatively well-liked. I’ve got a lot of
social credit. And yet even I was nervous and a little in shock when
faced with deciding whether or not to report what happened. Even I was
thinking, “Oh, God, do I have to? What if this gets really ugly?”

But every time I got that scared feeling in my guts and the sensation
of having a target between my shoulder blades, I thought, “How much
worse would this be if I were inexperienced, if I were new to the field,
if I were a lot younger?” A thousand times worse. So I took a deep
breath and squared my shoulders and said, “Hell, yes, use my name.” And
while it’s scary to write this now, and while various people are worried
that parts of the Internet may fall on my head, I’m going to share the
knowledge — because I’m a geek, and that’s what we do.

It should be fascinating to see just how interested the pinkshirts are in continuing their crusade, not against elderly writers and maverick outsiders, but an editor at the largest genre publisher who is married to one of the finest female SF writers.  Especially in light of the fact that his accuser is a well-known whack-job.  Which, of course, doesn’t mean she’s lying or delusional, only that she’d better be able to produce some evidence or eyewitnesses to back up her claim.

The best part is that the SFWA leadership genuinely believes that it is people like Resnick, Malzberg, and me who are the problem.  They don’t realize that they can get rid of every single non-crossdressing male who has ever published in the genre and that won’t even slow down the more radical pinkshirts, as those women are so angry, narcissistic, and delusional that they are capable of seeing racism in a stiff breeze and sexual harassment in a handshake.

If I ever went to an SF/F convention, I can only imagine the pinkshirts would no sooner catch sight of me in the distance before they’d burst into tears and start racing for the “mandated reporters” to be the first to claim that I beat them to death and abused their corpses.


The downside of corporate profits

As PJ O’Rourke points out in Don’t Vote It Just Encourages the Bastards, a high rate of profits not always a harbinger of economic good news:

[Adam] Smith spotted the exact cause of the 2008 financial meltdown not just before it happened but 232 years before, probably a record for advice to sell short. In Book II, chapter 1 of The Wealth of Nations, Smith wrote, “A dwelling-house, as such, contributes nothing to the revenue of its inhabitant… If it is to be let to a tenant for rent, as the house itself can produce nothing, the tenant must always pay the rent out of some other revenue.” Smith therefore concluded that, although a house can make money for its owner if it’s rented, “the revenue of the whole body of the people can never be in the smallest degree increased by it.” Bingo. Subprime mortgage collapse.

Smith was familiar with rampant speculation, or “overtrading,” as he politely called it. The Mississippi Scheme and the South Sea Bubble had both collapsed in 1720, three years before his birth. In 1772, while Smith was writing The Wealth of Nations, a bank run occurred in Scotland. Only three of Edinburgh’s thirty private banks survived. The reaction of the Scottish overtraders to the ensuing credit freeze sounds familiar. “The banks, they seem to have thought,” Smith said, “were in honor bound to supply the deficiency, and to supply them with all the capital which they wanted to trade with.”

According to Smith, the phenomenon of speculative excess has less to do with free markets than with high profits. “When the profits of trade happen to be greater than ordinary,” he said, “overtrading becomes a general error.” And rate of profit, Smith claimed, “is always highest in the countries that are going fastest to ruin.”

Judging by how America invested in 2007 and voted in 2008 that would be us.

In this vein, it may be pertinent to note that both corporate profits and their stock prices reached record highs in 2013.  Both are actually higher than the previous peak in 2007.

Considering the recent political and geopolitical events, with the Supreme Court solidifying the moral breakdown of the country, the Senate doing its best to cement the existing demographic fracturing, and foreign nations as diverse as Ecuador, Russia, and Switzerland all openly demonstrating their contempt for the administration’s imperial overreach, it should not come as a tremendous surprise to see that certain economic indicators are flashing signs of an incipient crisis.

Blood on their green hands

Whether it is God or the Devil, someone clearly has a wicked sense of humor:

The White-throated Needletail – the world’s fastest flying bird – was
thousands of miles off course after turning up at Tarbert on the Isle of
Harris. It was first seen by two bird spotters from Northumberland on Monday.  There has not been a sighting of the species in Britain since 1991 when a
single bird was seen four times – in Kent, Staffordshire, Derbyshire and
finally Shetland.

Now 22 years later another White-throated Needletail turned up in the UK, but after
more than 80 twitchers flocked to Harris – with scores more on their way –
the bird flew into a wind turbine at Tarbert, witnessed by around 40 people….

“It is tragic. More than 80 people had already arrived on the island and
others were coming from all over the country. But it just flew into the
turbine. It was killed instantly. The corpse will be sent to a museum but obviously this is just
terrible.”

I can see where he’s coming from, but sometimes, one man’s tragedy is another man’s chuckle.


Atheist rationality in action

This would appear to count as additional evidence of my scientific hypothesis concerning atheism being an indicator of mild autism. It’s impressive how many conventional atheist talking points he manages to hit on in his rant. And notice he makes false claims of being threatened as well as threats of “digging up dirt”; such actions are endemic to the more emotional elements on the Left.

And never forget, these are the people who claim to have reason on their side.