October 2017 Archives


Shoes continue to drop as a result of the "Russia investigation", whatever that actually means these days. It seems like Trump was the only person not colluding with Russia. From my perspective, the Russia angle (whatever it may be) is minor compared to the vast number of shady conspiracies that are emerging in the wake of the elites' slow defenestration from Washington.

Sometime in October 2016 -- that is, at the height of the presidential campaign -- Christopher Steele, the foreign agent hired by Fusion GPS to compile the Trump dossier, approached the FBI with information he had gleaned during the project. According to a February report in the Washington Post, Steele "reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him to continue his work."

It was an astonishing turn: the nation's top federal law enforcement agency agreeing to fund an ongoing opposition research project being conducted by one of the candidates in the midst of a presidential election.

Everyone in D.C. believed that "business as usual" would continue forever, whether Democrat or Republican won the presidency. No one counted on an erratic populist winning and overturning the applecart. Trump is certainly flawed, but I for one am glad to see some positive results from the chaos.


The conclusion of this essay about the dictatorship of the small minority by Nassim Nicholas Taleb was written in August of 2016, and now appears prescient.

Alexander said that it was preferable to have an army of sheep led by a lion to an army of lions led by a sheep. Alexander (or no doubt he who produced this probably apocryphal saying) understood the value of the active, intolerant, and courageous minority. Hannibal terrorized Rome for a decade and a half with a tiny army of mercenaries, winning twenty-two battles against the Romans, battles in which he was outnumbered each time. He was inspired by a version of this maxim. At the battle of Cannae, he remarked to Gisco who complained that the Carthaginians were outnumbered by the Romans: "There is one thing that's more wonderful than their numbers ... in all that vast number there is not one man called Gisgo.[6]"[i]

Unus sed leo: only one but a lion.

This large payoff from stubborn courage is not just in the military. The entire growth of society, whether economic or moral, comes from a small number of people. So we close this chapter with a remark about the role of skin in the game in the condition of society. Society doesn't evolve by consensus, voting, majority, committees, verbose meeting, academic conferences, and polling; only a few people suffice to disproportionately move the needle. All one needs is an asymmetric rule somewhere. And asymmetry is present in about everything.

It's important to realize: most "lions" get crushed by the majority -- but the minority of successful "lions" still have a huge effect on society.


I'm not sure what Hillary Clinton's goal is, but her post-election conspiracy theories are growing increasingly odd. Tim Blair injects his comments into this ABC interview with Clinton by Sarah Ferguson.

CLINTON: I feel really terrible about losing it and I'm very clear in the book that I feel like I let people down, that there was so much at stake in this election. I knew it would be hard, I knew it would be close, but I did not know that I would be running against not only Trump but the FBI Director and Vladimir Putin ...

[BLAIR:] The conspiracy count begins!

CLINTON: If you feed false information continuously to people about one candidate versus another, it does have an impact and we now know that the Russians actually paid in rubles for running ads in Facebook and on Twitter making all kinds of accusations against me ...

[BLAIR:] Add Facebook, Twitter and "the Russians" to Hillary's conspiracy count. And all Hillary had at her disposal to counter these social media ads - did anyone actually see them? - was the combined might of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, USA Today, every major television network, all late-night comedy hosts, NPR, CNN, several Fox News presenters, Hollywood stars and music stars, plus tons of Facebook and Twitter content. The poor woman never stood a chance.

And most painfully:

FERGUSON: Are you still angry with the idea that women could hear that tape and hear that language and behaviour and still vote for him?

CLINTON: I'm really disappointed. Michelle Obama said something the other day which I thought was, you know, very much on point - why would any woman give up her own self-respect to side with someone who is clearly sexist and misogynistic and by his own words ah guilty of sexual assault?

[BLAIR:] Hillary is married to Bill Clinton.

What is Hillary Clinton trying to accomplish? Just sell some books? Stay in the public eye... for what? To run for president again?


I love to run (15 miles per week) and lift weights (3 times per week), and I've been fortunate to have avoided many injuries from either.

Combined, capacity and load limits determine how resilient a runner's tissues are. When those limits are low, the odds for injury go up and performance can go down. This is where strength training comes in.

A 2016 meta-analysis of five studies on the impact of strength training on running found a "large beneficial effect" on running economy -- the ability to use less oxygen at the same pace -- three to four percent less, in fact. Most of the five studies included two to three strength sessions per week at low- to moderate-load in the range of 40 to 70 percent of one-rep max. In general, the studies involved two to four different exercises plus plyometric jumps and sprints.


Zero Hedge is conspiracy-minded, but today they've posted several videos taken during the Las Vegas shooting that clearly show shots fired from the hotel far below the 32nd floor.

#2 Were there additional shooters? A taxi driver reportedly captured video of an automatic weapon being fired out of a lower level window. A video from another angle and brief footage captured by Dan Bilzerian also seem to confirm that automatic gunfire was coming from a floor much lower than the 32nd floor room that Stephen Paddock was located on. And if you weren't convinced by the first three videos, this fourth video should definitely do it.

I pointed out on Monday that the shooting was weird, especially noting that I didn't believe a single shooter with semi-automatic rifles could wound so many people so quickly. Jon Rappoport agrees.

"...a potential MAXIMUM of only 360 rounds could be fired at full auto burst with NO magazine changes in the approximate four minutes or 240 seconds of the shooting!"

"So, Paddock didn't fire 360 rounds in 240 seconds because he had to stop and change magazines...probably 30 round mags. That would be THIRTEEN magazine changes in the 240 seconds. And it is reported he fired from both broken out windows in the room/s."

"Survivors state there were shooting pauses and that is when they would run."

"Let's say Paddock managed to get off an amazing 300 rounds in 4 minutes (or 240 seconds) and hit someone with EVERY ROUND."

"Remember, there were 573 killed and wounded according to late statistics."

"WHO, then, fired off the other full-auto 273 rounds also without missing a single shot ?!"

I don't think there's a conspiracy, and I'm sure we'll learn a lot more details in due course.


Michael Barone outlines some interesting potential consequences of California's early primary election schedule. It's always fascinating to me how much effect process has on outcome. See also: path dependence.

California doesn't vote much like the rest of the nation any more. It favored Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by a 30 point margin, the second most Democratic result (after Hawaii) in the nation. California voted 1 to 3 percent more Democratic than the nation in 1988, 1992 and 1996. Since then it has shifted to become more Democratic than the national result: 5 percent more in 2000, 6 percent more in 2004, 8 percent more in 2008, 9 percent more in 2012 and 13 percent more in 2016. This is the first time in American history that our largest state has voted at one end of the partisan spectrum. ...

So despite California Democrats' hopes that an early presidential primary date will give the state greater influence in selecting a Democratic nominee, past history suggests that that's not likely -- and that there's a risk that California, newly installed at the left extreme of the political spectrum, will tilt the process toward an unelectable left-wing nominee.

And it seems likely -- at least this is how it's worked out in the recent past -- that an early California primary will be determinative in the Republican nomination race, which may or may not be in Democrats' interests. Politicians fiddling with the presidential primary schedule should always remember that there's no way to repeal the law of unintended consequences.


President Trump's prayer for Las Vegas pretty much says it all.

'We pray for the day that evil is banished and the innocent are safe from hatred and fear,' Trump said. 'May God bless the souls of the lives that our lost, may God give us the grace of healing and may God provide the healing family with the strength to carry on.'

One bit from the report caught my eye:

Police were able to pinpoint Paddock relatively quickly since the gunfire he emitted triggered the smoke alarms in the hotel.

They used explosives to blow the door off his room, but by then it was too late - Paddock had shot himself dead. ...

Two on-duty Las Vegas police officers who engaged the shooter have been hospitalized.

What does it mean that these brave officers "engaged" the shooter without entering his room? If they were at the concert, they were 1,700 feet away from the shooter. I can't imagine that they were shooting up into the hotel.

las vegas shooting scene.jpg

I don't understand how anyone could kill this many people from such a distance without military weapons.

Update:

David French thinks the shooting is strange too:

So, a person who's "not a gun guy" has either expended untold thousands of dollars to legally purchase fully-automatic weapons, somehow found them on the black market, or purchased and substantially modified multiple semi-automatic weapons -- and did so with enough competence to create a sustained rate of fire. This same person also spent substantial sums purchasing just the right hotel room to maximize casualties. I cannot think of a single other mass shooter who went to this level of expense and planning in the entire history of the United States.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2017 listed from newest to oldest.

September 2017 is the previous archive.

November 2017 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Supporters

Email blogmasterofnoneATgmailDOTcom for text link and key word rates.

Site Info

Support