On the current spicy time.

The worm is starting to turn here. The progressives are raging because they can only kill granny and not get stoned as well. When images such as this one are appearing in social media, then you know hat the rage is upon us. The lies are becoming apparent. The time is spicy.

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The problem is that the contract that the elite had with the people was that their guidance would be evidence based and competent. C.S. Lewis noted this years ago and writes.

Again, the new oligarchy must more and more base its claim to plan us on its claim to knowledge.

If we are to be mothered, mother must know best. This means they must increasingly rely on the advice of scientists, till in the end the politicians proper become merely the scientists’ puppets.

Technocracy is the form to which a planned society must tend. Now I dread specialists in power because they are specialists speaking outside their special subjects. Let scientists tell us about sciences.

But government involves questions about the good for man, and justice, and what things are worth having at what price; and on these a scientific training gives a man’s opinion no added value. Let the doctor tell me I shall die unless I do so-and-so; but whether life is worth having on those terms is no more a question for him than for any other man.

No longer the case. The mistrust will come like a flood.

Some data points.

The COVID

It looks like Europe is assuming that they are dealing with a worse wave (1918 flu model) rather than a winter wave of viruses (most years models). They are going into lockdown. As a tactic, this can be questioned, but that is what they are doing.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have ordered their countries back into lockdown, as a massive second wave of coronavirus infections threatens to overwhelm Europe before the winter.

World stock markets went into a dive in response to the news that Europe’s biggest economies were imposing nationwide restrictions almost as severe as the ones that drove the global economy this year into its deepest recession in generations.

“The virus is circulating at a speed that not even the most pessimistic forecasts had anticipated,” Macron said in a televised address. “Like all our neighbours, we are submerged by the sudden acceleration of the virus.”

“We are all in the same position: overrun by a second wave which we know will be harder, more deadly than the first.”

Under the new French measures which come into force on Friday (local time), people will be required to stay in their homes except to buy essential goods, seek medical attention, or exercise for up to one hour a day. They will be permitted to go to work if their employer deems it impossible for them to do the job from home. Schools will stay open.

Germany will shut bars, restaurants and theatres from Nov. 2-30 under measures agreed between Merkel and heads of regional governments. Schools will stay open, and shops will be allowed to operate with strict limits on access.

“We need to take action now,” Merkel said. “Our health system can still cope with this challenge today, but at this speed of infections it will reach the limits of its capacity within weeks.”

Her finance minister, Olaf Scholz, posted on Twitter: “November will be a month of truth. The increasing numbers of infections are forcing us to take tough countermeasures in order to break the second wave.”

France has surged above 36,000 new cases a day. Germany, which was less hard-hit than its European neighbours early this year, has seen an exponential rise in cases.

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Travel Warnings

The US elections are coming up and our ministry of foreign affairs is warning any New Zealanders who are in the USA to stay away from demonstrations. In my view, Kiwis should not be involved in this: it is an internal issue for the USA. But the phrasing is interesting.

The 59th US presidential election is set to take place on Wednesday, New Zealand time.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) Safe Travel website said political activity, including rallies and protests, could be expected in the lead-up to the election and the presidential inauguration.

Since early this year, there have been widespread protests and demonstrations, with some resulting in violence, looting and civil unrest.

“Even protests or political rallies which are intended to be peaceful can result in violence,” it said.

“A strong police and/or National Guard presence can be expected at any further protests. Police measures have, at times, included the use of rubber bullets and/or pepper spray to disperse crowds.”

MFAT said New Zealanders should avoid areas where political rallies or protest activity may occur.

“If you find yourself in an area of protest/political activity or civil unrest, you should leave the area if it is safe to do so or remain indoors until the situation improves,” it said.

We are equal opportunity advisors. This is what is said about France, where there have been more beheadings.

Demonstrations and protests occur frequently in France and often impact on transport networks which may affect travel plans. New Zealanders are advised to follow any advice issued by the local authorities and avoid all demonstrations, protests and rallies as they can turn violent with little warning.

The stockmarket conniptions

The stock market has been a bubble for a considerable amount of time, driven not by companies that make stuff but service compaines whose product is their customer’s attention. With the lock-downs coming and the challenge to the liberal cartel that run Facebook and twitter, the stock price is going down.

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The Dow fell sharply Friday, led by an Apple-fueled selloff in tech following quarterly earnings that failed to live up to expectations, while the ongoing rise in Covid-19 cases also soured investor sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.47%, or 393 points. The S&P 500 was down 1.97%, while the Nasdaq Composite slumped 2.92%.

Tech, which has been leading the broader market rebound since mid-March, is in the selling spotlight as investors mulled a string of quarterly results from FAANG stocks, excluding Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX).

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fell 6% after its weaker-than-expected iPhone sales overshadowed third-quarter results that beat on both the top and bottom lines. Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s third-quarter results also beat Wall Street estimates, but its underwhelming guidance sent its shares 5% lower.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) slumped more than 6% after a fall in user additions, but Wall Street continued to back the stock as the social media giant is expected to benefit from the ongoing “shift of ad spending to digital outlets,” Wedbush said in a note.

Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), however, sidestepped the selling, rising 4% as investors cheered signs of a rebound in ad-spending as the search engine giant reported third-quarter results that topped analysts’ estimates.

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) also bucked the trend of sharp user growth seen from other social platforms including Snapchat during quarter, reporting adding just 1 million users since the end of the second quarter.

The housing market looks, in the US, fragile. This is from Zero Hedge, which is fairly doomer on a good day, but it does give the numbers.

There’s not doubt that many renters – including many businesses – don’t have the means they once did to pay their rents.

And though we knew the fall in prices was likely to get worse before it got better, the Wall Street Journal is taking it one step further and now asking the question of whether or not the rental price plunge could actually set off the next housing crisis.

Another question also remains: how bad will the eviction scene be when the protections against eviction put into place by federal and local government expire? It is estimated that such moratoriums may wear off by January 2021, or even sooner. At that point, renters will need to pay up for the months they’ve missed.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia released a study of unemployed workers last week that estimated outstanding rent debt could reach $7.2 billion before the end of 2020. Moody’s has estimated that it could reach an astounding $70 billion if there is no further stimulus.

Moody’s estimates that 12.8 million Americans would owe an average of $5,400 from missed rent payments.

Though the $70 billion pales in comparison to the $1.3 trillion that set off the subprime mortgage crisis, the 12.8 million Americans affected far surpasses the 3.8 million people who were foreclosed on during the housing crisis. At the same time, housing prices are actually rising as a wave of owners move from the city to the suburbs.

However about 25% of renter households that have children are now on the hook for back rent. Women and people of color are disproportionately more likely to owe back rent while black and Latino Californians are twice as likely to face rent insecurity than white Californians, according to the U.S. Census.

Locally, rents are going up. Our left wing government is wanting to increase the quality of rental housing but also regulate the timing of increases. Rental homes now need a warrant of fitness. The rents were frozen during lockdown and the government is shocked that they increased on the way out.

I’m advising my kids to stay where they are and lock in their rents for as long as possible — and not buy right now, because the baseline houses have been inflated to the maximum amount one can claim 10K per person housing grants for, which locally is 450K when the average salary is around 55K.

My other bit of advice for them all is to get a rural base. It’s cheaper there and more sane.

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What to do?

John Wilder has a weekly fitness post that is now more about other things than fitness. it’s well worth it, for the “Mel Gibson blesses this post” and a pun about the Canticle for Leibowitz (bloody good book. Read it). I’m not going to repeat all his list, but here are some highlights.

You control what you can control.

It also helps to maintain or increase positive habits.

  • Get enough sleep. This is one where I’m a chronic offender, at least during the week. I’ll make it up on the other side of the dirt, I guess.
  • Eat better. That’s been off and on this year. Sadly, more off than on. But I have found that what food I eat is very, very significant on my mood. Also? Rubbing butter on my chest may not help my attitude, but it does make my skin shiny and the dog will play with me.
  • Exercise more. This is one that has immediate payoffs and long term payoffs. The sad part is my employer seems to take a dim view of me just hanging out all afternoon in the gym with the weightbrahs.
  • Get rid of habits that make you feel bad. Which habits? I know mine. Do you know yours?
  • Fix things about your environment that upset you. Or don’t let them upset you. I have a banister that’s been hanging for the better part of a decade now. I walk by it at least once a day. It doesn’t really bother me. It’s also on my list. I’m sure I’ll have it fixed by 2030 or so.
  • For me, prayer works. Your mileage may vary, and I certainly don’t criticize readers that think that all of the splendor and wonder and amazing complexity of humanity that lead to symphonies and sonnets and songs and Gilligan’s Island around us are random effects of a cosmic fluctuation.

Enough. There will be a fitness post.

Keep frosty, folks, and stay away from crowds.

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John Wilder
11 months ago

Glad you enjoyed – I’ve had that Mel picture in a folder for a long, long time. It was time to break it out . . . honestly, though, Mel always looks like he’s having fun.