QuickReaction, Saturday-6

Larry Bell, Forbes’ AGW denialist gets to publish his rant in Forbes, who is obviously no friend of anyone but the ultrarich and of course lies and denies and misleads. So what’s new? I even wonder whether any of these people actually believe anything they say or like lawyers they’re just purely hired guns for the highest bidder. Clearly Larry Bell has no more expertise to comment on climate change than I do. We’re both just opinion writers when it comes to the real science. It’s not hard (you’ve seen me do it) to tear down studies, sometimes directly attacking their arguments, sometimes just moving around the edges with ridicule. Now I suppose someone writing for Forbes or Forbes itself has no more obligation to tell the truth than I do or to suppress unsubstantiated opinion, but somehow I think stuff in a blog is easier to dismiss that stuff in a real magazine. So probably tens of thousands of readers grind through a bit of Larry Bell, putting another nail in their confirmation bias, and say, see, I told you, those guys are lying. Now one amusing part I always have on that is why would the scientists lie? It’s obviously why the Kochs lie (their fortune, tied to more carbon) and why Forbes would lie (they serve the rich) but why would the scientists lie – to get more grants, to get some sort of publicity or fame. Now right now wouldn’t it pay, lots and lots of grants and exposure to sell out and do the Kochs’ bidding (how many tea bagger summits could one go to, with fat Sarah Palin level honoraria and fancy accommodations and wine and food?). So why don’t any of the serious scientists, the ones who are involved in this “conspiracy” and “hoax” do that, cash in now as a turncoat? So it’s difficult to find the motive that would encourage people whose entire career is based on finding truth to then lie. And what happens when they’re proven wrong, as the denialists think will happen any day now? No, it’s much more credible to believe the denialists are the ones perpetrating the hoax. So when you see inflammatory headlines, like this article, put your guard up – is there a motive for this person to lie (check their background too) and is their argument really based on facts, at least the documented type rather than made-up FauxFacts?

It’s not called the cornhusker state for nothing: 35 states including neighboring Iowa that grows far more corn tax soda but Nebraska does not. Pleas were made to the state unicameral about just putting the same tax on soda as other food products, IOW, ending an exemption for soda, not starting a new tax. Of course the bill will die in committee, just like it did last year, because a representative of the corn syrup industry explained it would hurt them (translation: forget our campaign contributions next election, they’ll be going to the other guy). Now I haven’t been particularly sympathetic to Bloomberg’s anti-soda war nor to the anti-sugar (or worse, the misinformed anti-HFCS crowd), but there is a difference between bashing soda and giving it preference. Banning soda, or even more modestly taxing soda, isn’t going to solve the obesity issue BUT why endorse it? It’s impossible to say soda is good, that it is healthy, that it cuts weight. And this isn’t a new tax or a tax that is any different for soda than anything else. Amazing, this clowns in politics take their bribes and hide, knowing there will be no consequences. OTOH, just when I’m ragging on those defending soda and sugar then I see another of the silly association studies who headline scream about deaths from soda (utterly impossible, no way a single factor, short of being an actual toxin, can be positively identified as a the cause of death).  Sheesh, everyone is crazy on this issue.

It’s not bad management at JPMorgan: Downgrading the rating of JPMorgan management is misleading. The management there is almost totally incompetent by the standards of regulators, but recognize that the TBTF banks are criminal enterprises and JPMorgan management, as warlords and bullies, doesn’t look so bad. They’re doing what they’re paid to do, to rape and pillage the financial landscape without regard to sound principles of either economics or finance. JPMorgan is desperately trying to be as evil as Goldman-Sachs and therefore maybe their management should be criticized because Goldman is better at scams than JPMorgan. The clumsiness of their thefts gets them in hot water (although not with any meaningful consequences) whereas Goldman is too well connected in the government to ever get dinged very much. These guys are 100% through-and-through sociopathic crooks. Don’t grade them on the business school curve; grade them by hardcore criminals in the worst lockups.

DOJ is in the tank for banks: If all the lack of prosecution of banks by DOJ hasn’t convinced you yet this settlement should. DOJ never met a bank criminal it didn’t want to let off. Nobody in Club Feb and the bankers know they’re immune from prosecution. It’s not only Too Big To Fail and Too Big To Jail, it’s also All’s Fair In Criminal Banking. HSBC is scum, a third-striker who gets slap on the wrist. UBS is too well connected (early backer of Obama). This is a blind spot for the Dems, their easy handling of the banks all out of fear (really of campaign money but they make other excuses) of causing damage to economy by putting a few bankers in jail. Now DOJ doesn’t have to close HSBC or UBS or Goldman, just put their CEO in jail (I’m sure they have someone one deck who’d love to take over). Don’t fine the stockholders, don’t close the bank – throw the actual culprits in jail. But that would be too nasty so the criminal banks ran roughshod over the public, in Cyprus and here.


About dmill96

old fat (but now getting trim and fit) guy, who used to create software in Silicon Valley (almost before it was called that), who used to go backpacking and bicycling and cross-country skiing and now geodashes, drives AWD in Wyoming, takes pictures, and writes long blog posts and does xizquvjyk.
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