Au Courant

This week’s au courant links:

And finally, it’s getting closer and closer…

Au Courant

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Franks should have, according to natural selection, been deselected by now. Just shows how money and power game everyfuckingthing.
    Out behind the barn with him; two in the head.
  2. On another note, we were watching La La Land last evening and the Asta’s were going on and on about living somewhere with palms trees. All i could think of was the hordes of rats that make their nests in them. Yes, even on Hollywood Boulevard: Palm trees are nothing but expensive condos to rats.

Red Light Cameras

From the WaPo comes more red light camera nonsense:

Mats Järlström is, by all accounts, an engineer. He graduated from engineering school in Sweden, served as an airplane-camera mechanic in the Swedish Air Force and worked in research and development at an electronics manufacturer. For the past 20 years, he has earned a living designing and repairing audio equipment.

He is not, however, a “licensed professional” in the state of Oregon, where he put down roots in the early 1990s. So when Järlström did his own study of the timing mechanisms in the state’s red-light cameras and found them flawed, Oregon officials hit him with a $500 fine for “unlicensed practice of engineering.”

Järlström was inspired by the $150 ticket his wife got in the mail in May after driving through an intersection with a red-light camera in Beaverton, Ore. His research showed that the mathematical formula used in the timing of yellow lights was outdated and unfair to drivers.

When he presented his findings to state officials and local media, the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying tried to silence him. A nearly two-year investigation by the board found he had violated a state law that says only state-licensed engineers can speak publicly about technical matters. Järlström, in turn, filed a federal lawsuit alleging violations of his First Amendment rights.

This week, more than four years after his wife’s ticket, Järlström got some long-awaited relief. On Monday, Oregon’s attorney general conceded that the engineering board had trampled on his free speech rights, the Oregonian reported

…“Anyone should be able to talk about the traffic signals if they’re too long or too short or anything without being penalized,” Järlström said in an Institute for Justice video earlier this year.

Oregon bought into red light cameras last year at the state level. In additition to ticketing for running red lights, sensors were installed under the pavement at designated locations to capture the rate of speed a car is traveling when it runs a red light.

Baked into the Oregon law is how to protest if “someone else” was running a red light in your car.

And of course there are multiple site showing locations and types of traps. 1

Red Light Cameras

Show 1 footnote

  1. And this in a state where I swear the Thor I’ve witnessed drivers slowing down for a mild bend on the interstate. True fact – I’ve never once seen an Oregonian speed. Not once. In fact the typicl Oregon driver will error on the side of slowness, generally cruising 5 miles slower than wjatever limit is posted. It’s just the most bizarre thing…

Lees and Orts

We’re hard pressed to select the quote that best epitomizes the ReThugs’ Malthusian 1 view of us 2: Is it Chuck Grassley’s (ReThug-IA), uttered shortly after the Senate passed their midnight “tax” bill:

I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing, as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.

Or vampiric Orin Hatch’s (ReThug-UT) thoughts on funding CHIP:

I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won’t help themselves, won’t lift a finger and expect the federal government to do everything.

Either way, the gloves are off, people.

HBO says we have to wait ’til 2019 for Game of Thrones. They’re so wrong; it’s all Game of Thrones all the time.

À la lanterne!

Lees and Orts

If you thought the preceding was hyperbole, watch motherfucking Dean Heller (ReThug-NV) have a citizen with stage 4 cancer ejected from his town hall meeting for daring to ask about healthcare and Obamacare.

Lees and Orts

The difference an Administration makes…

Lees and Orts

As type the market is up, technically, a huge shit pile for the year, which nice and all, and s’posedly the result of the anticipated tax cuts for the rich. Hoo haa: Trickle up is working!!

Except…the market is already at Jimmy Stewart heights, and certainly well above any historical average. In fact, if you take a look at the S&P, you notice an interesting pattern –

P/E ratio 25.5 – Let me just note a healthy economy sits around 15, which means stocks are significantly overpriced. But don’t take our word for it; 2001 (the dotcom bubble) and 2008 (the subprime mortgage bubble) were the last time the P/E crept this high. Both good times, n’est-ce pas?
Earnings Yield 3.9% – Low enough to make Jason Statham cry, tolerated by investors to this point only because interest rates have been nonexistent. But rates are rising making business investments look like crap.
Corporate Debt – Massive, just freaking massive. And the earnings to pay these debts isn’t there (think Sears.) And as the interest rates rise, so does the real risk of bankruptcy.

Add the facts that the Obama economic boom is on its last legs, and the ReThugs are intent on redistributing America’s wealth up to the 1%. If this happens, shortly awterfward we’ll be looking at deep recession, one that — if Brownback’s Kansas ‘experiment’ is any guide– will overshadow both 2001 and 2008.

Folks will lose their jobs and the ReThugs will respond by cutting more government services, taking huge whacks at SS, Medicaid and Medicare, making it worse. The president* will send forth Sewer Rat Barbie to tell us it’s all the fault of the immigrants, the unemployed and Hillary Clinton.

The only way it could get worse is if the president* starts a nuclear war with DNK while inciting a conflagration in the Middle East.

So we got that going for us.

Lees and Orts

Show 2 footnotes

  1. The laboring poor, to use a vulgar expression, seem always to live from hand to mouth. Their present wants employ their whole whole attention, and they seldom think of the future. Even when they have an opportunity of saving they seldom exercise it, but all that is beyond their present necessities goes, generally speaking, to the ale house. An Essay on the Principle of Population, 1978.
  2. Where us equals everyone with less than seven-figure incomes.

Sing It With Me!

Moscow Nights1

Moscow Nights

Show 1 footnote

  1. AHEM… Moscow Nights:

    Not even a whisper is to be heard in the garden, everything has calmed down until dawn. If you only knew how dear they are to me, The evenings near Moscow!

    The river is moving and (sometimes) not, all made of the moons silver. A song sounds and is not to be heard In those quiet evenings.

    Why do you, darling, look at me from the side, bending your head so low? It is not easy to tell all the things that are in my heart.

    And dawn is getting more and more visible. So, please, be so kind: You, also, don’t forget these summer evenings near Moscow.

Deutsche Bank

Shit just got real for the president*.

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Special Counsel Robert Mueller has asked Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) to share data on accounts held by U.S. President Donald Trump and his family, a person close to the matter said on Tuesday.

Germany’s largest bank received a subpoena from Mueller several weeks ago to provide information on certain money and credit transactions, the person added, confirming a report by German daily Handelsblatt published on Tuesday.

Deutsche Bank, which has loaned the Trump organization millions of dollars for real estate ventures, said it would not comment on any of its clients.

This is the same Deutsche Bank that told US Congressional House members to take a walk with their nosy parker requests for any Trump data.

Deutsche Bank