Loose Ends (59): Christmas Eve Edition

Finally! A stock market I can like! I hate stock markets that are at record highs. I love stock markets that are battered and bruised.

One of the great things about being a conservative is that the essential contrarian nature of a conservative can and should extend to the stock market, too. When the Wall Street touts and CNBC shills say “It’s different this time,” a conservative will immediately be reminded that that’s the slogan of every newfound socialist. The bull market of the last decade was fueled in large part by easy money. Why did anyone think that market wouldn’t take a hit when the Federal Reserve started raising short rates and reducing its balance sheet? The indicators of a market top (and an economy that could be slowing down) have been evident for months now. Which is why I have been moving to cash for most of this year, looking like a fool (but better to be early than late!) for most of the year. And now with everyone panicking, I look around and think, “Wow—everything’s 20 percent off? Time to start buying again.” It may well go lower—maybe a lot lower yet (and then even better bargains!)—but keep in mind always the wisdom of that neglected conservative philosopher Benjamin Graham: “In the short run, the market is a voting machine; in the long run, the market is a weighing machine.”

I have found the most mind-numbing stupid Tweet of the year:

That mean, mean Trump Administration. Oh, wait:

Deportations Under Trump Still Lag Far Behind Those Carried Out by the Obama Administration

Although President Donald Trump may often tout his strong stance against illegal migrants and is regularly blasted by critics for his hardline immigration policies, deportations since he took office have remained well below the levels carried out in the peak years of his predecessor Barack Obama.

In 2018, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has so far removed just over 256,000 individuals from the country. Last year, the number was lower, with 226,119 total deportations, according to official ICE statistics. But under Obama, annual deportations remained well above300,000 per year from when he took office in 2008 until 2014. They reached a peak in 2012, with a total of 409,849. During 2015 and 2016, Obama’s last two years in office, deportations dropped to less than 250,000, but were still higher than Trump’s first year as president. . .

The Obama administration regularly defended its high level of deportations, arguing that the majority were convicted criminals. . . Trump’s predecessor was regularly referred to as “deporter in chief” by pro-immigration groups, due to the high number of removals year after year under his leadership.

Oh please God no:

Dominic West calls for new Bond to be transgender 

Dominic West has called for the next James Bond to be transgender. . .

“They should have a transgender Bond because there are a lot of transgender people in the army,” he added. “They’d be ideal because they can do everything. That’s a great idea! A transgender Bond.”

I think he should volunteer himself, except instead of simply re-identifying himself and putting on a skirt, he should go all the way and “switch teams” the old-fashioned way. This whole “self-identification” thing reminds me of the difference expressed in the old joke about the role of the chicken and the pig in your bacon-and-eggs breakfast: The chicken is involved, but the pig is committed. C’mon West, show your true commitment to diversity!

And I’ll say it again: Merry Christmas everybody!


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