Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Inter-Race Crime

The Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case has sparked outrage and protest across the U.S. I have no opinion on that specific case and I am confident that that case will get a very thorough investigation without my help.

After the Trayvon Martin killing and the subsequent protests, I did what any self-respecting observer of the human condition with OCD would do.

I went to the FBI web site and reviewed tables on interracial crime in America. What I found was so disturbing that I am still somewhat disheartened. I had several conversations with people on Facebook about the data, but those inclined to the Mainstream Media's view either suggested that I made the data up, was some kind of White Supremacist, or refused to engage further.

BTW... I am really not a White Supremacist. My wife is not white, and my kids are bi-racial (my wife is not black... more of a delicious mocha cappuccino... not sure if that is the right shade for inclusion in the National Association of Colored People... always curious about those folks... what color, exactly?). I would describe myself as a middle-aged-white-pacifist-Libertarian with a fetish for organic farming. I am not motivated by racial issues. I AM motivated by violence issues - or perhaps better said as non-violence issues. I reject militarism, capital punishment, abortion, and each and every other example of institutional AND individual violence. I do respect the Right to defend one's loved ones and oneself. End of disclosure and disclaimer.

OK? So.... after reviewing the data at the FBI's website I will start with this assertion: The idea promulgated in the media that Black people suffer violence at the hands of White racists in overwhelming numbers is a fabrication. Here are the statistical facts:

A White American is 52.5 TIMES more likely to suffer a violent assault or murder by a Black American perpetrator than is a Black American to suffer violence from a White American.

Black Americans murder White Americans at 18X the rate that White Americans murder Black Americans.

(CORRECTION!! The above 2 data points, are stated poorly... what I should have said was this: The African American community creates/manufactures inter-racial violent criminals at 52.5X the rate that the White American Community manufactures inter-racial violent criminals.  When it comes to inter-racial murderers, the African American community manufactures inter-racial murderers at 18X the rate that the White American community manufactures/creates interracial murderers for the period 1990 to 2010. In 2010 alone, that multiple dropped to 14X.)

For the past decade nearly 35,000  White women have suffered forceable raped each year by a Black Perpetrator. The number of Black Women suffering a forceable rape by a White Man averaged less than 10 per year. 35,000 to less than 10.

Gang rapes of White Women by Black Men - about 3000 per year. Gang rapes of Black Women by White Men? Virtually unheard of, with the glaring exception of the Duke rape case.

The number of White Women murdered each year by Black Men averages over 500 per year. The number of Black Women murdered by White Men is less than 10 per year.

In fact, ALL White Male violence on Black Women is statistically non-existent (not saying it does not happen... just saying lottery wins are far, far, far, more common statistically)... and White Male violence against Black Males is only slightly more common statistically.

OK. I think you got the idea. Did any of you know the extent of the problem? Me neither. Of course, we all know about the number of Black men in prison, parole, or probation... but most of us really didn't look under the hood. Well, the above numbers are what I noticed when looking under said hood. I left out commentary and just gave you the numbers. That the Mainstream Media does not publish either the numbers OR the commentary is an outrage. Worse, the Mainstream media issues forth propaganda about the relatively rare violence that Black Americans' suffer at the hands of White Americans.

A greater outrage is the lack of outrage in the Black community. Young black men want justice for Trayvon Martin, and rightly so. If it is found that he was murdered, George Zimmerman should and will be prosecuted. If it is found that Martin was smashing Zimmerman's head on the ground and was shot in self-defense, Zimmerman should and will be exonerated. That is the definition of justice. I should think that the African-American hunger for justice would be extended to the victims of all violent crime. It simply is not - and that is an outrage.

Those are the facts.

Here comes the assertion (and please leave your hysteria at home... I will so stipulate that I am ugly and my wife does dress me funny... now that we've got that out of the way, can we have a rational discussion of the assertion absent the ad hominem attacks?)

Thinking about those facts I wondered why the Left/Democrats, which are dominant in the MainStream Media, would censure this data from their publishing. Look, if President Obama beats the GOP by 59% to 38% among women and presidential elections are won by just a percentage point or 2, by mathematical necessity the Left/Democrats are disproportionally female and the Right/Republicans are disproportionally male. Get that?

So why would a party/political affiliation dominated by white women refuse to publish or discuss this very public data? Why are 35,000 rapes and over 500 murders of their daughters, sisters, and mothers not worthy of public discussion?

In a word - Abortion.

Black Americans make up 14% of the population, yet vote nearly 100% for Democratic candidates. Without the Black vote there IS NO Democratic party. In the absence of nearly 100% of the Black vote going for BHO, Mitt Romney is the next president. The Democratic party is willing to negotiate on any and every issue except one - Abortion - and it seems to me that they are willing to censure discussion of the above data in exchange for control of the Liberal/Democratic party for the purposes of keeping the world safe for Abortion.

My sense of this is that anyone refusing to acknowledge this is contributing to the violence. You are either part of the solution or part of the problem. It is said that Holocaust occurred because good men looked away. I will always refuse to look away.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Housing Will NEVER Heal

Housing will never, ever heal. Well... not in my lifetime.

Anybody that buys a house is giving away their money... by extension, anybody that pays a single dime in mortgage or property taxes on a upside down mortgage is giving away money.

(Actually, there are exceptions. Locales with low-priced homes with land and low property taxes are probably very much worthwhile... as a percentage of the land mass, these are the majority... as a percentage of assessed or perceived value these are the extreme minority.)

The Banks do not want the properties back. Why would you continue to pay them?

I am not offering advice... I am asking a rhetorical question.

Most student loans will absolutely, positively default. Why should you be one of the few that pays your student loans back? (Again, that's a rhetorical question - not advice.) If I were in hock for a couple $100k in student debt I would emigrate by any means necessary... good luck trying to collect student loans internationally. Especially after I emigrated and changed my name and formed Cayman LLC's to hold my assets... (if I was able to rebuild my life). And if I was not able to rebuild? If I were a senior citizen or someone on Disability (5% of the adult population is on Disability... over 1/3 of them for "mental illness!! ROFL!!!!!) I would relocate to Panama as a Pensionado.

Life is short. Fighting lawyers and government agents and banks and student loans.... is a fool's errand. If you are in bad financial shape why would you cause your own death from stress? If you are a highly educated or trained professional or a millionaire with modest overhead... good for you! This does not apply. If you are struggling to pay the bills and wolves are at the door ready to tear you limb from limb... there should be kettle drums playing in the background this time tomorrow.

Don't want to learn Spanish? I would disappear into the black market... but property taxes, debts, interest... would all be yesterday's business.

So what's this got to do with housing?

Housing is dead. DEAD. And its dead despite the Federal Reserve (and the U.S. Treasury) throwing everything they had at it. At some point they will stop shooting... if not, they will eventually shoot themselves. Oil is not going to let them off of the hook. It is over.

The U.S. economy is based on a fractional reserve banking ("FBR") system run as a cartel controlled by the Federal Reserve. FBR needs a functioning real estate market to work. We don't have a functioning real estate market. The vast majority of the total value of properties is on the coasts (The New York Metro region represents the biggest lie that statistics can provide. If you believe the reports there, housing is "only" down 25% there versus 35%+ for the rest of the nation. Here's the thing: New York has a huge inventory of defaulted homes that the banks are not foreclosing. When the sheer size of the problem catches on with the rest of the population, and given the size of the mortgages and the aggregate lost value of property there... along with the outrageous property taxes - KABOOM!) ... the very places where property taxes assure that real estate will  NEVER come back. Not EVER.

(Think about it: Purchasing property in these regions is placing yourself on the hook for outrageous future pension liabilities. Why would any rational person do that to themselves? No doubt a very few will trade one set of local liabilities for another (be the lucky outlier that sells their home and buys another in the same neighborhood, for what ever reason). This is what appears to be happening in Metro New York. But as de-leveraging and de-financialization run their course the banking and finance industry will continue to contract and with it the incomes and jobs of that regions best paying industry. Who in their right mind would pay $1 Million for a home in Westchester County, NY with $40,000 per year in property taxes? $400k every 10 years to pay into a pension system that will most definitely default?)

The pension systems of the municipalities demand property taxes that the property owners cannot afford. Those pensions will default and those municipalities will cut deeply into services.... and Oil won't let them off the hook, either. Chindia is going to keep out-competing the West for the declining pool of exported Oil... the producing nations are going to continue to export less and less... yea, they will need food for Oil... not to worry... they will get it... and they will be on the winning end of that trade. Plenty of poor farmers around the world to trade with... it does not have to be the U.S. There is a lot more food, and a lot less Oil, and a lot fewer people in Saudi Arabia than in China or India... the Saudi's will get fed... and they will consume more and more of that Oil... until they can't.... but between here and there it won't matter a lick to you.

Does deflation win? Or do the Central Banks finally overwhelm deflation with deficit spending/printing/bond buying? I don't know. Does it really matter? It will be one or the other. And the  timing? I have no exact idea... except that "timing" doesn't matter either. We are in "it" now. "It" is happening as we speak. A multi-millionaire professional probably won't even notice for another decade (or two). Most of those already broke and being chased by the wolves will not be able to advance their position relative to past expectations - and that's more than 3/4 of the population.

I have been noodling this pretty constantly since Staniford's post about stagnate Oil production for the past 5 or 6 years... Peak Oil is here. Total employment in the U.S. has not improved since 2000. But the demands on the working population to provide for the elderly, the retired government worker, the poor, the Disabled (Snicker), the military... has been growing exponentially... and Peak Oil is here... and I am repeating myself... but Peak Oil is here.

Peak Oil could not have shown up at a worse moment. Housing's disaster had little to nothing to do with Peak Oil, but the housing disaster will absolutely, positively be exacerbated (terribly) by Peak Oil. People are not stupid. When they see that people stay in their home for 4 years without paying the mortgage or property taxes... and then 5 years... and then 6.... then 10 years....

Say goodnight, Gracie.

"Good night, Gracie!"

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Peak Trucking

The U.S. has likely seen "Peak Trucking". (Click the link for a nice graph of the "bumpy plateau" for American trucking.)

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 67.2% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 9 billion tons of freight in 2010. Motor carriers collected $563.4 billion, or 81.2% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.
Said another way... trucking has inferior margins to the other modes of shipping (unless their profit margins are significantly better, and that is not the case), or costs the shipper more... which likely means that the shipper had no other choice... it then follows that "peak trucking" means "peak tonnage shipped".

It would seem to me that with the advancements in computer processing over the past several decades that the watered down version of the "traveling salesman problem" that comes part and parcel to the shipping (trucking) industry has been improved mightily over the past several decades, and that most of the inefficiencies that existed prior to said improved technology have been wrung from the system.  The low hanging fruit has already been picked.

It will be interesting to see how that market rations available trucking tonnage with each passing year of decreasing availability.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Broke on $350,000 per year

 I loved this article. Or hated it. Or maybe just empathized with the folks mentioned.

Most guys on Wall Street seem to know all of the (following) cool quotes from the movie "Fight Club".  I knew these LONG before that 1999 movie. When I was reading the book, I called my older brother #3 several times to quote him stuff he has been saying since we were kids. Tyler Durden's got nothing on my brothers.

For most of my career I was one of the extremely-well-paid-universally-despised-Wall Street-foot-soldiers mentioned in the article. I can tell you from first hand experience that 99% of these folks are as hand to mouth as anybody else. New York City consumes ALL of the money you make, unless you make 8 or 9 figure bonuses year after year. A Martini at the Four Seasons is $40. A muffin and coffee is $9. A 2 bedroom apartment on 3rd and 64th (where I used to live) is $5000+ per month. A parking space is $500 per month. This is all after taxes... and taxes for a New Yorker consumes nearly half of their earnings.

What do you get for the privilege? Private school tuition of $35k per kid, a 60 hour work week, a bag for belly, and a spouse that resents the living snot out of you and who absolutely, positively WILL file for divorce once there is enough in the kitty.

Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.  - from the movie, "Fight Club" (the book was far better and its on Kindle)
It takes an unreal amount of courage to walk away from a life that everybody, since you were a little kid, has told you is the life to have if you can get it. Usually it is too late before you realize that your life has been a kind of Wile e Coyote trajectory - you wake up one day and you are 40. You have made a lot of money, but you don't actually have any. Your family is used to a certain "normal" way of living that you cannot change, but continuing this "normal" is as self-destructive as any addiction... and any attempt by you to make any changes what-so-ever will bring you to ruin in divorce court.

Most guys just don't get this:
You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis. You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world. 
Until its just too f***ing late.

But the truth is:
The things you own end up owning you.
Well, that and those you love... they wind up owning you, too.

This CAN be avoided, though. See, all you gotta do is gain some manual labor skills, buy a small farm outside of Nashville (these can be had for less than $200k... most of you Wall Street guys could pay cash for it right out of your 401k), have your wife work the garden, milk the cows, and raise the kids while you work an artisan craft during the off months, ranch and work the fields during on months, eschewing all but a single vehicle and homeschooling the kids. You will have plenty of fresh air and sunshine, and you will be in great shape. You will have Wednesdays and Sundays off, as well as half day on Saturday.

Just message me here... I will hook you up. To make the adjustment easier, keep repeating (brother #3 will tell you that this has been a family motto for generations) this Mantra:

You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else. 
We all know I have little to worry about... not one of these guys is going to actually do anything about their lives... they are going to keep on keeping on as neutered adults with what little Testosterone levels they have left until their prostate hardens into a lumpy walnut... all the while talking to themselves... and the conversation sounds something like this:
  Tyler Durden: We're consumers. We are by-products of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty, these things don't concern me. What concerns me are celebrity magazines, television with 500 channels, some guy's name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra.
  Narrator: Martha Stewart.
  Tyler Durden: Fuck Martha Stewart. Martha's polishing the brass on the Titanic. It's all going down, man. So fuck off with your sofa units and Strinne green stripe patterns. 

And why? Because they've got a closet full of designer rags, a kitchen filled with stainless steel Braun mini-peemers, and nightstand draw filled with Viagra. When I worked at Bear Stearns I noticed a secret handshake. Rather than reach for your hand, the other guy would reach to your tie, turn it around and look to see who the designer was... and you call yourself a man? (I swear to freaking Moses.)

Tyler Durden: Do you know what a duvet is?
Narrator: It's a comforter...
Tyler Durden: It's a blanket. Just a blanket. Now why do guys like you and me know what a duvet is? Is this essential to our survival, in the hunter-gatherer sense of the word? No. What are we then?
 Narrator: ...Consumers?
 Tyler Durden: Right. We are consumers. We're the bi-products of a lifestyle obsession. 
This is what working on Wall Street does to a human being, but:
Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.
There is still time... to be you.