Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Washington Post: In the heart of Latin America, large numbers of indigenous people are converting to Orthodox Christianity
Sunday, September 26, 2021
Friday, September 24, 2021
Thursday, September 23, 2021
The former president's niece, Mary Trump, had a ton of Trump's private and confidential financial records including tax returns. She got them during another lawsuit, one she filed against her uncle from whom she is estranged, alleging he defrauded her of rightful inheritance following the death of her father Fred Trump Jr. She later passed much of that to the New York Times which published a damning analysis of Trump's financial dealings and elaborate schemes at tax avoidance, and arguably tax evasion. It is pretty common knowledge that Donald Trump is a one man full employment program for lawyers. And it is also well known that he uses lawsuits and the threat of suits to browbeat his enemies. His deep pockets means he can often cow critics and those with whom he has had business dealings that went bad by the simple fact that he can throw money away on lawyers and lengthy litigation, even if frivolous or patently designed to intimidate, that his opponents can't. And he has been very successful using these kinds of bare knuckled tactics in the past.
But, according to the below linked legal analysis, Trump may actually have a case against his niece, although it is unlikely the Times is in any legal jeopardy.
Monday, September 20, 2021
Friday, September 17, 2021
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
If Francis can abolish the ancient liturgical rites of the West; why can't (or wouldn't) he do the same to the East?
I'm surprised that Geoffrey Hull, the author of "The Banished Heart," hadn't gone full Byzantine - his entire thesis is that Rome had destroyed or mutilated every one of the liturgies of its non-Latin "sui iuris" churches long before Vatican II and the 1970 "reforms".
Monday, September 13, 2021
Friday, September 10, 2021
Wednesday, September 08, 2021
The GOP is once again threatening the US Government with default on its debt by refusing to authorize the routine increase in the debt limit. (One notes they only seem to rediscover their concerns about spiraling debt when Democrats are in power.) It should go without saying that if they ever actually follow through with their threats, the consequences could be catastrophic.
Sunday, September 05, 2021
- The Untied States Government is running levels of debt as a percentage of GDP that have no historical precedent.
- The government is, and has been for years. forcing down interest rates in the bond market, thereby facilitating the government's unrelenting apatite for debt.
- The government is printing money like water.
- The government is spending hundreds of billions of that newly created money to buy its own bonds, at hugely depressed rates.
- All of the newly created money, in combination with the largest ever peacetime expansion of government spending, is sparking a sharp uptick in inflation, to the point that...
- Bonds now carry a de facto negative yield, no matter the credit quality or the duration of the bonds in question. This means that if you are buying a ten year US Government bond, currently yielding around 1.3%, with inflation at 5.4% as of July 2021, you are taking a 4% loss in the value of your investment right out the door as a consequence of currency debasement and lost purchasing power. Or, to put it in plain English, you are paying the Federal Government around 4% for the privilege of lending them money. In order to avoid a loss on that bond before it matures in ten years, inflation would have to drop to near zero or actually go negative for a prolonged period of time.
- The technical term for what we are seeing is financial repression. In this economic environment savers and those investing in fixed income securities are all but guaranteed to lose money when adjusting for inflation.
Friday, September 03, 2021
Thursday, September 02, 2021
Absolutely stunning film footage shot in the mid to late1920s during a trip by sea from Holland to the Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia). Lots of stops along the way. This is part 1 which gets us as far as Singapore. The footage has been stabilized, speed corrected and colorized.