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The War on Reason Rages On

March 26th, 2013
Remember how we believed that the horrific national tragedy of twenty little children being slaughtered with an assault rifle, especially after so many other shootings like the Aurora theater massacre, would lead to an assault weapons ban, or at least a law to limit the number of bullets in a cartridge? Apparently not. While the public may have been sufficiently aghast at such tragedies to pull the switch, Congress seems to feel differently. A majority appear to be saying, “No, we think more than two dozen first-graders need to be shot to bloody pieces before we act. Let's wait and see.” Not that an assault weapons ban would lead to an immediate halt to such slaughters, but the later you act, the longer they go on. So, good work, senators. You just proved that the NRA is not as weak and ineffective a lobby as some had started to believe. But hey, at least we can all agree on universal background checks, right? Background checks, even in their currently weak form, have proven effective at stopping two million gun sales, over one million of those to felons, over the past few decades. Obama's plan for shoring up their weaknesses so that criminals and the mentally ill will have a hurdle in their way before they can acquire a major arsenal is the most milquetoast, sensible, non—
Other gun control efforts like universal background checks on people buying guns are also struggling in Congress, despite public anger at the Connecticut shooting and other massacres.
<facepalm> It is, after all, what, three months since we saw those children gunned down. So, who cares any more?

  1. Troy
    March 26th, 2013 at 11:40 | #1

    VERY easy to get primaried out on this issue, especially if you’re a Republican.

    And casting a suicide vote in the Senate when the House will just block it is not a good game plan for Democrats, either.

    Speaking of which:

    “Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) will reportedly announce on Tuesday that he is not running for re-election”

    http://blogs.ajc.com/jamie-dupree-washington-insider/2013/03/25/more-change-in-the-u-s-senate/

    Looks like 2015 will be the year I go back to Japan! You guys better get your act together by then! I want to see the yen at at least ¥125, preferably ¥150.

    Trying to figure out which polity — Japan or US — is more screwed up is a difficult task.

    I can’t figure out if Japan’s coming depopulation is a good thing or bad thing, I lean good, but I’m pretty sure the US’s continued population growth is going to be detrimental, since we can’t really employ all the people here as it is.

    DPJ did turn out a lot like the US’s Democrats, alas. Trying to be all grown up and push for unpopular solutions, while the other party will promise the moon and tear down any and all painful reforms.

    Best thing for me would be to buy a yacht and only pull into Kahului once a month or so to reprovision.

  2. Troy
    March 28th, 2013 at 03:27 | #2

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-21/kuroda-confident-in-getting-2-inflation-as-boj-readies-stimulus.html

    Wonder if Abe’s inflation plan is going to work!

    Inflation has historically been the homeowner’s greatest friend, so it’s maybe a good thing you bought when you did!

    They want +2% a year, and that’s like the mortgage interest you’re paying, LOL.

    But if they only manage to raise prices — diesel, food, beer — 2% and not wages 2%, everything’s still going to keep collapsing.

    A large part of the deflation of the 1999s and 2000s has just been the yen falling from 120-140 to 80 — that was a nice tailwind for the retail sector, not that they passed much of the currency strength onto Japanese consumers.

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/EXJPUS

    I think it’s nuts that the government is intentionally trying to raise consumer prices!

    Guess I should look at moving to Australia, Sweden, or Canada. Things are a bit less nutty there.

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=gVe

    is an interesting comparison of US per-capita GDP vs Japan.

    funny how I picked the wrong time to move to Japan, LOL.

    Then again that was just the 1990s, the 2000s saw the US abuse credit:

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=gVf

    (green line is our collective credit leverage)

    just about as bad as Bubble Japan did.

    (Japan on that last chart would now be at ~4.0 on the right axis, the green line is all debt (less financial sector debt) over GDP)

    http://www.gfmag.com/tools/global-database/economic-data/11855-total-debt-to-gdp.html#axzz2OlYIQCys

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