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Another racism hoax

The year 2013 saw the Oberlin College racism hoax (which I commented on, here). Ugly, hateful racial comments appeared on the Oberlin campus, done by…two left-wing “progressive” students. Later, there was another hoax at Vassar College.

To keep up the tradition (I guess), we have the Grand Valley SU racism hoax of 2014. PuffHo commenters duly condemned America when it first came up but, in the words of the GVSU campus police, “The person believed to be responsible for the [hateful] drawing and language written on the dry erase board is a Grand Valley student and the owner of the message board.”

Lesson: When dealing with dramatic reports of hate crimes, wait for either (1) multiple, eyewitness reports of the deed as it was being done, or (2) a police report. Especially if it’s a college campus.

From the comments: Hate crime “hoaxes” are numerous and Jman linked two lists that people have compiled, here and here.

As Russia and China Flex Their Muscles, Obama Guts the US Military

Posted by V the K at 6:21 pm - March 24, 2014.
Filed under: National Security

Russia is well-along in its plan of gobbling up Ukraine and its plan to deploy bombers and warships in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. And East Asia in 2014 looks more and more like Europe in 1914, with China in the role of Germany (rising power), Japan in the role of Great Britain (declining power), and the Koreas in the role of Austria-Hungary (just one crazy event away from igniting the whole powderkeg).

And what is Obama doing? Gutting the American military to Great Depression levels.  The latest budget also eliminates three of the military’s most vital weapons systems — the A-10 Warthog attack fighter, the Hellfire missile, and the Tomahawk missile.

The cost of the Tomhawk missile program is less than $200 million per year. In perspective, that cost is less than 1/3 the cost of the hopeless Obamacare website. It is less than the cost of two foreign vacations for Michelle Obama. It is less than half the amount of money that was flushed into Solyndra. It is less than half of the taxpayer dollars given to Planned Parenthood every year.

There can be no doubt that the despicable man in the White House is bound and determined to reduce the United States to a bankrupt, ineffectual, third-rate power. And the Congress will do nothing to stop him. We have in this country a “Let it burn” Congress and a pyromaniac in the White House.

This will not end well.

Related (from Jeff): A legitimate question, What would a Republican president do about Ukraine? “At this point, the GOP is split among hawks, realists and libertarians.”

Inflating the cost of retirement

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 3:07 pm - March 24, 2014.
Filed under: Depression 2.0,Economy,Obama Incompetence

To retire, you need a regular income stream. For a lot of Americans, that’s Social Security. But many will tell you it’s not enough; plus you only get it in your 60s. What would it take for a person to retire on their own, today?

For that, you need investment income. Hopefully, you invest capital safely and live off the proceeds. Let’s take a lottery-ticket approach. Say you’re young (no Social Security for decades, and your principal needs to last, so no dipping into that). How much do you need to win in the lottery, to get $50,000/year of investment income?

This will be verrrry quick-and-dirty. Let’s simply assume that you keep your lottery winnings half in 5-year bank CDs, and half in a U.S. stock market index fund. I won’t bore you with the math. In brief, currently you’d get 1.55% from the 5-year CDs (per bankrate.com), and 1.88% from the S&P 500. It comes out to your needing roughly $2.9 million.

$2.9 million, just to yield $50,000/year. But what’s interesting is how this compares to times past.

  • 5 years ago (2009): the 5-year bank CD rate was around 3.5% (again per bankrate.com), and the S&P dividend yield was around 2.5%. You would have needed roughly $1.7 million.
  • 10 years ago (2004): the bank CD rate was around 3.5%, and the S&P dividend yield around 1.8%. You would have needed roughly $1.9 million.

Again, these numbers are just for a long-lived person to get themselves a $50,000 annual yield. A person in their 60s, collecting Social Security and/or dipping into their principal, would need rather less money. Especially if the stock market goes well (we know that always happens, right?) so they get some capital appreciation.

But here’s the point that applies to everyone: the kind of change we can see in the numbers.

  • Between 2004 and 2009, the cost of a $50,000 yield stayed roughly the same (going down 10% or so).
  • Between 2009 and today, the cost of a $50,000 yield has skyrocketed (up over 60%).

And that’s why tens of millions of Americans now feel like they can never retire. They can’t retire because the cost of getting X amount of retirement income (from bank CDs or stocks) has skyrocketed, in the last five years. Whatever their own “retirement number” was, big or small, suddenly they need much more. So they can’t retire, and keep working.

This is one dark side of market bubbles. The Federal Reserve’s ZIRP and “QE” policies are designed to make the financial markets go higher. A stock market bubble means, among other things, everyone paying more money for small (or nonexistent) yields. Higher bond markets mean lower bank CD yields. High real estate markets mean higher housing costs. The financial markets are roughly like your price tag for retirement. In the last few years, Obama/Bernanke/Yellen have pumped some giant inflation into them. It’s not a good thing.

And all of that is aside from the question of inflation in general: the fact that $50,000 today won’t buy you what it did 5 years ago. (Gasoline and medical costs, for example, are way up.) “Thanks, Obama!”

And Suddenly, I’m Giving Clay Aiken a Second Look

Posted by V the K at 7:48 am - March 24, 2014.
Filed under: Republican Embarrassments

Republican Congresswoman Renee Ellmers appears to have succumbed to Beltway Incumbent Syndrome. At the behest of well-funded cronies and the GOP Establishment, Congresswoman Ellmers has decided to support the Gang of Eight Amnesty bill… which once again provides guaranteed Amnesty for illegal immigrants in exchange for a promise of enforcing immigration laws somewhere down the road; which Obama has already indicated he has no intention of ever enforcing.

Furthermore, she has become rude and insulting toward ordinary constituents who question her support for Amnesty, and assailed conservative media presence Laura Ingraham as “ignorant” for pointing out the idiocy of importing millions of units of cheap foreign labor at a time when millions more Americans are unemployed.

Ellmers has drawn a primary challenger, but incumbent politicians tend to be pretty dug in; and her Amnesty-loving buddies at the GOP Establishment and the Chamber of Commerce will make sure she is well-funded; so replacing her with a potentially more suitable Republican is a longshot. Any Democrat is going to be worse, and her Democrat challenger, Clay Aiken would mot likely, be nothing more than a loyal foot-soldier to Nancy Pelosi; but it is safe to say Ms. Ellmers has sold out those who elected her to office and no longer deserves their support. It would be worth it to sacrifice her seat, pour encourager les autres. This isn’t an issue of “purity,” as some will allege; it’s an issue of “what’s the point of voting for Republicans who are no different than Democrats on issues of critical importance?” There are places to compromise, but there are also dealbreakers; Amnesty for illegal immigrants at the expense of working Americans is a deal-breaker.

The ironic part of this is. Renee Ellmers got the congressional gig mainly because her Democrat predecesor was caught on video being a jerk to his constituents.  Live by the YouTube vid, die by the YouTube vid.

Stupid Tweet of the Day

Deranged hatred of guns really brings out Teh Stupid in our left-wing friends, like this fromt the producer of Ellen DeGeneres’s inane chat show.

I wonder if he is the same who wrote this of the president’s appearance on said inane chat show.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA will be talking to our host from the White House, and Ellen is ready to entertain her VIP guest with an inspiring conversation. Both Pres. Obama and our host have proven their dance moves, their desire for good, and their Twitter skills. Now the leader of the free world, and the champion of comedy will get into the President’s new health care initiative. From L.A. to D.C., Ellen rolls out the red carpet for the United States’ fearless and brilliant head of state!