Getting away with it

Donald Rumsfeld died. Condolences to his family and may God have mercy on his soul.

His passing made me realize I had not thought of the man for many years. Why would I have? He was not in the news being dragged in front of the Hague or anything like that.

Looking him up on Wikipedia, the reasonably non-pozzed page states that after his resignation in disgrace he signed a sweet book deal but supposedly all proceeds were going to veterans.

In 2007, Rumsfeld established The Rumsfeld Foundation, which focuses on encouraging public service in the United States and supporting the growth of free political and free economic systems abroad.

A wiser man might have reflected he’d done too much of that already.

Rumsfeld was awarded the “Defender of the Constitution Award” at the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., on February 10, 2011.

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The biggest story in the world?

I mentioned this story recently in a Dark Side but it needs more attention.

Long quote:

Within just a few generations, human sperm counts may decline to levels below those considered adequate for fertility. That’s the alarming claim made in epidemiologist Shanna Swan’s new book, Countdown, which assembles a raft of evidence to show that the sperm count of western men has plunged by more than 50 per cent in less than 40 years.

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Word from the Dark Side – Frocked-up Unabomber, DeepFake trickery, forbidding meat, plagiarism fail and stabbing the unfaithful (on film)

Golden Brown by The Stranglers, 1982

Jared Kushner did not disclose that he was in business partnerships with Goldman, Soros and others. Oh, and he owed a billion bucks.

In Dong Jingwei news, no new news. I wonder what all that was about. Oh well, entertaining while it lasted.

As for the photo of him and how it’s just about impossible to prove or disprove that it’s fake, here’s a relevant story about a DeepFake of Tom Cruise that tricked everyone. Apparently there are still some ‘tells’ that experts can detect but we’re at that stage now where technology can just about produce a perfect fake.

Watch for Joe Biden speeches to suddenly become much more coherent.

The Unabomber was a tranny:

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Groundhog Day

We’re back into lockdowns here.

Brief recap:

  • There’s no dole. Theoretically everyone gets a free bag of rice and some tins of sardines but mostly it gets pinched before it reaches anyone who needs it. There’s meant to be some money, too – not yet met anyone who’s got any.
  • Lots of hungry people.
  • Theft and drug dealing both up.
  • Uncertainty and inconsistency about the rules. There was supposed to be outdoor dining but that doesn’t seem to be happening. Greasing palms can help in obtaining permits for limited capacity operation.
  • Little to no impact on infection rates.
  • Hardly matters anyway because with a very young population the IFR is probably under 0.1%.
  • Schools are closed but they have been since March 2020. I’m starting to think they might never reopen.

This lockdown doesn’t affect me much this time as the beach remains open, officially or unofficially I’m not sure.

I’m fairly Zen at this point but there are still things that shit me: corruption, bedwetters and dobbers.

City vs Province

The city and provincial governments publish totally different infection data for reasons neither has troubled itself to explain.

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Friday Finance: what % should I put in cash, shares and bonds? [Updated]

This is an extract from The Poor Man’s Guide to Financial Freedom: A Realistic, 10-Step Manual to Building Liberating Wealth on a Small to Medium Budget.

Diversifying Between Investment Classes

You need a mix of cash, bonds and shares (or their respective equivalents) in order to manage risk and to reap the benefits of each investment class.  Deciding how much to put into each is called ‘asset allocation’.  But how do you decide?

It depends on your personal circumstances and comfort with risk.  Cash is the simplest category so let’s start there. 

How Much Cash/Equivalents?

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The Smart Way and Dumb Way of coping with inflation

Inflation is coming! We’ll all be rooned!

Go long on wheelbarrows because people are gunna need ’em to carry their cash down to the grocery.

Nah, it probably won’t be that bad. Hyperinflation (1000%+ per year) only occurs under extreme conditions like war or long-term, deliberate overvaluation. Present circumstances are not that bad. US money printing so far is no where near the level of Venezuela or Zimbabwe.

Some of the inflation we’re seeing really does appear to be caused by overreactions to Covid, with borders sealed, cargo crates sitting in the wrong countries and factories closed or unwilling to invest for increased output given that demand will soon return to normal, etc.

Also consider Japan, where monetary policy has been extremely loose for twenty years and the central bank owns 80% of ETFs. Their main problem is battling deflation.

I also can’t let this article pass without a good-natured snark at right-wing commenters like Zman and Michael Malice (luv yez) who complain that the price of a sandwich, soda and bag of chips has gone up. Boo hoo, there’s too much air in the bag and less soda in the bottle! Shrinkflation I tells ya!

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On monarchy

Some members of the Dark Enlightenment challenge the idea of democracy.

They point out that a monarchy is more effective and that historically, most Western monarchies afforded the average man more freedom and less tax than he has today.

Mencius Moldbug expounds on his pet topic in a recent post and is surprisingly convincing:

O, what to do? When you are solving an engineering problem and see the answer at last, it hits you like a thunderbolt. The conservatives, the normal people, the grill-Americans, must accept their own low energy. They must cease their futile reaching for passionate intensity . . . They must fight the shark on land.

Conservatives don’t care [about politics] —at least not enough. Yet they want to matter. Yet they live in a political system where mattering is a function of caring—not just voting. Therefore, there are two potential solutions: (a) make them care more; (b) make systems that let them matter more, without caring more.

You’ll have to read the whole article to get the point, and it’s overlong as usual. I think he does this deliberately to shake off the unworthy but comments under the line suggest his efforts are not entirely successful.

Anyway, here I am reading his article and becoming a little bit convinced.

Then I start thinking, wait a minute. What if the other side did it first?

Then I came to this:

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Word from the Dark Side – this year’s advice for the young, a yucky yachter yarn, Yanks yield Dong denial and yeah, youse win the Weirdolympics, Japan

Maggie by Foster and Allen, 1983. Like most Irish folk songs, this one isn’t Irish either, having been written as a poem by a Canadian in 1864 and put to music by an English-born American in 1866. “They say we have outlived our time, Maggie / as dated as the songs we’ve sung”. A favourite of my grandma’s.

What advice would you give to a kid in 2021?

The best advice I’d give today is this:

– Be adaptable.

– Be useful.

– Be optimistic.

– Learn skills, and understand that learning never stops.

There are more suggestions in the article and comments. As for money, I’ll stick with what I’ve said before. Things rich people invest in will be the last to collapse.

My additional piece of advice to a young person would be: spend a couple of years living and working in a Third World country. The things you’ll learn about thriving in a low-trust society will be perfect for surviving the decline of the West.

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Friday Finance: the eighth wonder of the world

This is an extract from The Poor Man’s Guide to Financial Freedom: A Realistic, 10-Step Manual to Building Liberating Wealth on a Small to Medium Budget.

The Magic of Compounding

So far we’ve explained the main investment categories, and in a moment we’ll look at how much you should invest in each category, and how to go about doing so.  But before we do that, it is essential for you to understand what Einstein supposedly called ‘the eighth wonder of the world’: compounding returns.

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Surviving the other decline

Last week I declared we have officially arrived at Dystopia.

It’s not the first time.

Countless civilizations have declined and collapsed over history, the most notable for us being the fall of the West Roman Empire.

Some people focus too much on that epoch, trying to draw parallels from each Emperor to each President, for example. Others dismiss it too easily.

Here we’ll look at how various people coped with the fall of 1,500 years ago. There might be relevant options to consider, or perhaps not.

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Sign of the times

A person in a brown jacket against a tree smiles in a profile photograph.

This recent article caught my attention:

The general manager of infection control at the agency running Victoria’s hotel quarantine program has been stood down after allegedly breaching their own protocols twice in the past two months.

You might have to read that twice.

It’s yet another case of one of our rulers breaking their own rules because they don’t really believe in them, instead considering restrictions as control mechanisms for the plebs.

As for the other thing, here’s a quote from the Minister of Government Services (I guess that’s like the Minister for Administrative Affairs) given in the same ABC article:

Minister for Government Services Danny Pearson said he became aware of the reports last night and had stood aside COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria’s (CQV) general manager of infection prevention and control, Matiu Bush, pending a review into their conduct and behaviour.

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Word from the Dark Side – woke church, what’s happening to BA pilots, watch out for cancellers and a weird morning in Sapporo

This Is Not The Way Home by the Cruel Sea, 1993. Australian band with American singer. You can’t really get lost that easily in the outback – there are so few roads that directions can be as simple as, ‘Go straight, turn left on Wednesday.’

The Anglican Church in Sydney makes a few changes:

The conservative Sydney Anglicans will encourage ministers to call gender diverse parishioners by their preferred names, provide unisex bathrooms and avoid gendered language such as “ladies and gentlemen”.

The Auckland chapter of New Zealand’s School Strike 4 Climate group decides it is too racist to exist and disbands.

Four healthy British Airways pilots die in one week – airline says no link to Covid-19 vaccine.

A minor high school kerfuffle turns into a national crisis because race is involved.

Nixon intervention saved China from Soviet nuclear attack. I have no idea if a word of this is true.

Woman Who Threatened to Blow Up School Bus Full of Kids Now Running for Office.

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Where’s Dong?

Dong Jingwei is kind of a big deal. He’s a vice minister of State Security, essentially China’s head spy catcher, and he’s also said to be close to Pooh Bear, having assisted in his rise to the top.

RedState and Chinese-language blogs are reporting that in February this year he defected to the United States’ Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and handed over a treasure trove of material. Some mainstream sites have now picked up the story.

Here’s what he’s said to have provided, via RedState:

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Friday Finance: how to diversify your cash and bonds

This is an extract from The Poor Man’s Guide to Financial Freedom: A Realistic, 10-Step Manual to Building Liberating Wealth on a Small to Medium Budget.

Diversify Within Investment Classes

So far we have looked at diversifying between defensive and growth assets in order to set an appropriate level of risk.

To further spread that risk, it is essential to diversify within each category, as well.  For example, it would be madness to hold only one share.  The company might go bankrupt.  It is much safer to invest across many shares.

In this section we’ll go through each class of investments and show how to diversify within it in order to manage risk.

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We’ve reached dystopia.

I first became familiar with the concept of the declining West in the early days of the manosphere, reading Roissy, Captain Capitalism and co. I found their gloomy thinking overwrought – it’s too easy to imagine the end of the world is nigh when society is moving away from your own values or when a candidate you particularly dislike wins an election.

I became increasingly convinced that our civilization was teetering from 2013 on due to the Great Awokening. Still, I thought there’d eventually be a pendulum swing-back or some natural correction. Trees don’t grow to the sky.

I remember a commenter saying, get offline and look outside. People are going about their business, leading normal lives. In the real world, everything’s fine.

In 2020 I became a believer.

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Ever have to deal with a naughty kid?

Adult: Toby! I told you to put those toys away.

Kid: I am putting them away.

Adult: No you’re not, you’re playing with that truck. Put them away now.

Kid: Okay, okay. (Continues to play)

Adult: Toby, I’m going to stand right here and watch you put those toys away.

(Kid begins picking up the smallest toys and putting them away at a glacial pace, waiting for the adult to turn his back.)

Adult: Ten. Nine. Eight. (Toby will finish right on zero. Occasionally slightly after to test the boundary.)

This power play increases the cost of enforcement.

The more resistance, the more resources have to be put into compelling people to follow the rules.

Right now there’s yet another lockdown and we’re not allowed to go to the beach. First we feigned ignorance and got shoed away. We gave some cheek to the enforcers. Not enough to get arrested; just enough to annoy them and make them sick of telling people off for swimming at the beach. Enough that they’ll ask to be reassigned or reconsider their line of work. Demoralize them. Make it clear that, while they didn’t make the rules, they’re going to feel our ire for enforcing them.

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Word from the Dark Side – the right to party, crypto revelations, restricting efficacious meds and riding the (mall) lightning

Fight for Your Right by The Beastie Boys, 1986.

I had a request to explain the 80s for the kids via another video clip. This one is as good as any but I can’t be bothered pulling it apart scene by scene. I think you’ll get it. Drink every time something politically incorrect happens.

We no longer fight for our right to paaartay, do we?

All parties are banned across the Philippines until further notice. The rule is not being consistently enforced. After fifteen months, there has yet to be any public health campaign warning people not to share the same cup of rum as traditionally happens at these parties.

They always attempt the hard or impossible but ignore the easy things. ‘Give grandpa his own cup.’ Much as I’d like to chalk this up as yet another piece of Third World incompetence and stupidity, rich countries are doing little better.

I feel like a broken record. Let’s move on.

I was going to do a story about the Indian Miracle: infection rates are plummeting there like no where else in the world. However, I found that Phil Ebersole has already written what I was going to say: ivermectin very likely has something to do with it.

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Friday Finance: Past performance is no guarantee of future performance

This is an extract from The Poor Man’s Guide to Financial Freedom: A Realistic, 10-Step Manual to Building Liberating Wealth on a Small to Medium Budget.

Past performance is no guarantee of future performance

Here’s a common rookie investing error: you see that Acme Corp. goes up 14% in 2018.  Then it goes up another 16% in 2019.  You think, I must buy Acme shares, and quickly!  You buy . . . and then in 2020 the share price falls by 22%.  : (

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