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Friday, February 9, 2018

Who Sold Short? Part 2

The performance of the stock market over the past few days necessitated some Conspiracy Theory. According to those who pontificated on CNBC and others, there was fear of inflation and as a result rising interest rates, that caused some losses. Then the VIX, a measure of volatility, went up indicating impending unsteadiness and future losses to come. This exacerbated trader panic which resulted in elevated sales. Also, there was great exposure to inverse VIX products on margin. In other words, traders placed bets on market stability. Brokers called in these bets and the traders that made them sold stocks in order to cover these bets (and bet is a good word for this). This resulted in the precipitous sell off of the past several days.

The Conspiracy Theory: someone perceived the over betting on the inverse VIX products. They sold short on stock, maybe Exxon. Then they waited for a small natural downturn and bought or sold underlying options of the VIX and caused it to show increasing volatility. This further panicked traders and commenced the sell off. The conspirators then collected on their short selling, as well put themselves in position to benefit as the market recovers.

The Securities and Exchange Commission should investigate incidents like this in the same way the National Football League reviews every scoring play.

Monday, August 28, 2017

There's a Rumble in Berkeley Tonight Part 2

Yesterday, as expected, a riot broke out in Berkeley, mostly due to counter protesters showing up. There were few right wingers or white supremacists or whatever present, but they abandoned the field almost as soon as the opposition arrived. The police were keeping things under control until the black bloc anarchists appeared. The so-called Antifa, trying to cloak themselves with legitimacy, would not know a real fascist if he bit them in the black clad ass. The white supremacists clowns who attend these gatherings are a cartoonish bunch. I just want to laugh when I see them on TV stomping their feet, seig heiling and screaming, “White power!” They are simply fools. The real fascists sit in boardrooms and wear suits. They do not tweet, but they quietly arrange for the senators and representatives they own to pass laws that will slowly bring about the inception of the corporate state, where only the few will have a decent living and the rest live in squalor.

Those who proclaim that hate speech is not free speech step upon the slippery slope. As the corporate state becomes reality and their lives deteriorate, they might want to justifiably protest. However, by that time the corporate state will call their free speech hate speech and the police will gladly squelch any such protest.

The Berkeley Police seem to be giving these violent anarchists a pass. I wish they would actually do something. Maybe arrest a few more and gather intelligence about them like name, address, phone number and social media information and start doing some work. I suspect this is too much to ask.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

There's a Rumble in Berkeley Tonight

“...Ringside seats for the neighborhood fight.” Paraphrasing Brian Setzer, there are indeed rumbles scheduled for Berkeley and San Francisco this weekend. I suspect it will be more of the same we have seen in the Bay Area over the last decade or so. Some of the right wing persuasion are holding rallies. Well meaning people who oppose them plan to counter demonstrate, feeling that they must oppose evil when they see it. As we have seen in past demonstrations, along with peaceful, sincere protesters the anarchists or black bloc or just plain punks dressed in black show up and cause violence and property damage,  usually, without a Nazi or Klansman in sight. Now, with these groups present, the anarchists are presented with a perfect foil for their activities. Over the past couple of weeks they have been lionized on the left for protecting them from the alt right. I have come to think that the anarchists are in the pay of those opposed to the ideas peacefully expressed, because they bring discredit upon the peaceful demonstrators.

The alt right and so called anarchists are two groups itching for a fight and I suspect they are going to get one this weekend. Sincere people should keep this in mind and consider how this corrupts their message.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

2013 Emmy Awards Skin-O-Meter Ratings

The Skin-O-Meter is cranked back up and the results from the 2013 Emmy Awards are in. We have devised the Skin-O-Meter in order to rate the dresses worn. It is a scale from 0 to 100, with 100 being the top rating. It is just our overall opinion but a high rating will involve copious cleavage filled out appropriately as well other skin, such as leg, display. Selected luminaries are rated. We think this is a poor year and few will earn anything near top marks.

Heidi Klum 79: This dress show an admirable figure to nice effect and some clavicle display. Otherwise?

Sophia Veraga 93: This is about as good as it gets this year. A beautiful woman and shows some really nice cleavage.

Sarah Paulson 75: Gets points for effort, but you have to fill out the dress, girl!

Danielle Brooks 93: This is the kind of cleavage display we like. She could show more, but we feel that she deserves points for filling it out appropriately.

Carrie Ann Inaba 79: Nice cleavage display, but we need more!

Jane Krakowski 78: More clavicle and it is a little busy on top and is distracting.

Jennifer Westfeldt 79: Like Inaba a nice effort, but needs to fill it out better.

Katrina Bowden 78: Great attempt again, but we do not see much.

Lisa Rinna 79: In line with most of what the season has to offer.

Kerry Washington 79: We do see some nice curves here.

Lena Dunham 72: Gets a few points for attempt, but the dress and makeup are just too weird.

Cat Deeley 50: Gets the Paltrow award for trying and not having enough. She just does not appeal very much.

Claire Danes 78: Nice attempt at cleavage, but not with enough to share.

Bridgid Coulter 82: Good looking cleavage display with enough to back it up.

Alfre Woodard 83: Nice size, but we would like to see more.

Lauren Parksekian 83: She shows us what we need to see.

Anna Faris 83: More of what we want.

Guiliana Rancic 84: Nice cleavage.

Nancy O'Dell 84: Cleavage is improving.

Shawn Robinson 84: Nice boob view.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Blue State Liberal Hubris

In the wake of the Connecticut school shootings, calls have come again for gun control. This is a show hubris by “Blue State” liberals. They must realize that the last time Democrats called for stricter gun control, the Republicans seized the issue and gained a majority in the House of Representatives. I do not think that the Republicans really represent the economic interests of most “Red Staters.” However, the Republicans were able to leverage this issue to put them into a position that allows obstruction of any progressive and needed policy, like health care. Recent news coverage estimates annual gun deaths in the United States to be between eight and thirty thousand. While tragic, I have to wonder how many more millions of lives will be lost due to inadequate health care that results from an issue, like gun control, that drives voters to the right.

Friday, September 21, 2012

ENDEAVOUR: NORTH BERKELEY FLYBY!!!Breaking News! Here are a couple of images as the Space Shuttle Endeavour does a flyby of North Berkeley! Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Christine McKinley Strikes Out Again

On a recent episode of “Brand Meltzer's Decoded”, the crew is investigating the “Alaska Triangle,” an area delimited by the cities of Juneau, Anchorage and Barrow. Apparently there is a much higher rate of disappearance of people and aircraft in this area than in the rest of the state. This triangle contains three of the largest cities in the 49th state, Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks as well as the Alaska Pipeline. This is the area where the majority of travel occurs and therefore the greatest chance of disappearance. Engineer Christine McKinley and writer Buddy Levy take a bush plane ride to follow the route taken by Congressmen Nick Begich and Hale Boggs whose plane disappears in Alaska during the 1960s. McKinley notes that the plane's compass is gyrating and says that when a scientific instrument acts in an anomalous fashion, it must indicate an unusual occurrence. It is not unusual for a compass to swing back and forth after a turn. It takes a few seconds to a minute for it to settle on the new heading. The bush plane is also experiencing turbulence, which could also cause compass gyrations. It is not clear if the pilot is making a turn or if they are feeling the effects of turbulence, but Christine McKinley, claiming science assumes the mantle of fool.