Miss Carter – From the Confident 1950’s to the Incoherent 2020’s.

Introductory note: I wrote this homage to a beloved teacher, Miss Carter, some time ago and set it aside. I came across it yesterday and reread it. I found a burning need to reset its context in light of current events. It thus reaches an inflection point and takes a sharp, negative turn, like our failing nation. 

It was the era when erasers had to be clapped and blackboards washed. First thing every morning we recited the Lord’s Prayer and read a Psalm. It was the 1955-56 academic year at Alexander Hamilton Junior High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey. I was in 7th grade. We had a class quaintly called “unified studies.” All I remember, though, is that we learned English. Our teacher that year was Miss Carter. She had gray hair and was older than my parents, so she qualified in my book as old – probably mid 50’s. She was what we called an “old maid” and she lived with Miss Neff a fellow maiden teacher. We and the times were sufficiently innocent back then that I do not recall any speculation whatever as to their sexual orientation; in those days there were only two sexes. They were both respected, indeed beloved teachers; strict disciplinarians, to boot.... [Read More]


WSJ Journo Reaches Out to Gab

A former Facebook employee and current journalist at the WSJ contacted Andrew Torba of Gab to find out how to further deplatform Gab survives deplatforming. All the usual payment processors and many other service providers refuse to deal with Gab. The only ways to send them any money are Bitcoin and checks, including echecks.

I’m a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and I’m looking into how platforms with strong free speech policies are dealing with their dependence on large internet infrastructure companies (like Cloudflare).... [Read More]


Wilson Gets Marked as a Racist


I must be open about my bias. Woodrow Wilson High School constantly beat my high school in sports. They even had a swimmer that went to the Olympics. Knowing that this school must be brought low warms my heart. I wish I was around my old friends so I could razz them. Come to think of it the other strong sports school was Abraham Lincoln High School. :-)


Davey Day Trader

Bubble popping cartoonIf you think there’s something a bit curious about a frothy and pricey stock market existing simultaneously with a global pandemic, Depression-level unemployment, GDP and corporate earnings collapse, freeze-up in world trade, riots by anarchist mobs, devastation of small businesses, and corporate bankruptcies, you might just be thinking that we’re seeing a classic asset bubble blown by the injection of unprecedented amounts of “money” created out of thin air by central banks.

One characteristic of financial bubbles, particularly in their late stages, is a massive pile into the market by small “retail investors”, who bet their modest savings in the belief that “stocks only go up” and “this time is different”.  Another sign of a bubble is the emergence of financial gurus, often with unusual backgrounds, proclaiming this “new wisdom for a new era” to their enthusiastic followers.... [Read More]


Five Old-Fashioned Values We Rightly Reject

After a steady diet of period films, literature, and historical nonfiction, I’ve realized that in some ways, our culture has changed dramatically in the last 250 years or so. If you or I were transported to say, 1820, and we mingled with Americans then, we would struggle to fit in. We often grouse about the loss of shared values over time, and it is true that some of the beliefs that strengthened family units and held our culture together have been eroded. However, a few of those entrenched traditional attitudes were harmful and encumbered our progress. Some of them were held in opposition to the self-evident truths proclaimed in our founding documents, or worked against the family unit–and I say good riddance. Here are some examples:

Marrying Advantageously: One is probably wise to consider a prospective mate’s financial situation (especially to the degree that they reflect work ethic). However, novelists such as Jane Austen–who were contemporaneous to rank-and riches-conscious cultures–detail for us a milieu of shameless social climbing and gold-digging. Behaviors that would today be considered tacky seemed to be somewhat acceptable then, even expected: discussing openly how many pounds a year one was given as an allowance, or whether there was an inheritance to be had. One’s spouse needed to be of the right social class, and (as one biographer argued was true of George Washington’s marriage) even calculated to move one up the social ladder. We might argue that today’s criteria for marriage–a sense of romantic connection, for example–are even flimsier than they were in the past. Even so, we ordinarily do recognize today that character, kindness, and work ethic come into play in choosing of a good spouse and likelihood of a productive future together.... [Read More]


Scott Adams’s Old Buddy

A couple of years ago, Scott Adams was enamored of BLM’s New York leader, Hawk Newsome. Adams had him as a guest on his Periscopes once or twice and often spoke admiringly of Newsome. It was always obvious to even the most casual observer at the time that Newsome is a racist. His audience pointed it out repeatedly but Adams was undeterred. Adams has since broken it off with Newsome but he spent plenty of time kneeling and praising before he did.

Now Newsome is finally all the way out of the closet, loud and proud to show his true colors: “If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down the system and replace it.” Oh, but he’s only speaking figuratively, right? Maybe, maybe not:... [Read More]


Election Betting Markets: June Update

Back on February 9th, 2020, I posted “Prediction Markets on the U.S. 2020 Elections”, which explained the concept of prediction markets and the Web site Election Betting Odds.  If you’re unfamiliar with the idea and site, please refer to that post for details.

With all of the disruption and chaos which have transpired since then, I thought it would be worth looking at where the situation now stands in the minds of punters putting their own money at risk betting on election outcomes.  Let’s start with the market for “Next President”.

Next President: election betting odds 2020-06-25 Continue reading “Election Betting Markets: June Update”