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  1. jed
    jed November 29, 2015 7:01 am

    The negative interest rate deal reminds me of so many other government actions, where they pass laws based on an intent of certain outcomes, which then precipitate outcomes sometimes wholly opposite of what they thought would happen. They want to incentivize spending? They’ll incentivize a black market, and barter will become more common. The ‘will not comply’ movement will extend into participation in the governments hare-brained monetary schemes. Of course, that’s already happening, so at least some of the infrastructure is in place.

    Meanwhile, How To Train Your Dog To Catch A Lobster

  2. MJR
    MJR November 29, 2015 3:15 pm

    If one takes negative interest rates of the Swiss and adds the cashless transactions of Sweden then there is going to be trouble.

    Just think of it, you would not have the option of real money in your pocket. You would be forced to pay your bank for the privilege of storing your money. Then when you wanted to use your money you would use a bank card for commerce and pay the bank for each transaction.

    The tax guys and the police would love this. Gone are the under the table payments to contractors, mechanics, home cleaners etc. How much easier would it be to track financial transactions by potential bad guys? Note that some of these transactions could be very sensitive and the suspect innocent. The information of these confidential transactions could be worth money to other interests, but that’s OK police officers never break the law for personal gain.

    How long would it be before insurance companies got in on this act and coerced you into letting them monitor your transactions like some are doing now by monitoring your driving habits? For example, one of the things insurance companies want to know is how many times after midnight do you drive. Drive more than the average after midnight and you are a risk, ch-ching your premiums go up. If your financials are monitored, well… Go out for a beer to unwind on Saturday night, have one or two more than the average and you are a potential risk; ch-ching your premiums go up. But how would the insurance company know? By checking your financial transactions.

  3. Laird
    Laird November 29, 2015 4:15 pm

    The article about Europe is typical NY Times weaselly nonsense. “The ongoing chaos in the Middle East is a reminder that Islam isn’t actually “ascendant” as a civilizational rival to Western in any meaningful sense of the term.” What does that even mean? That Islam doesn’t offer a competing “civilization” to supplant that of Europe? I think Islamists would disagree. But he can’t seriously be arguing that the chaos in the Middle East, if exported to Europe, wouldn’t be grossly destabilizing and present an existential threat to western civilization. The essay seems to be a combination of bragging that some of his predictions of 6 years ago were reasonably accurate (whose weren’t?) and offering facile justifications for those which weren’t, all the while arguing for continued acquiescence in the ongoing Muslim invasion of Europe. Pathetic, worthless twaddle.

    The only sentence he gets reasonably correct is the last one: “The true Euro-pessimists, while as yet not quite persuasive, have a lot more ammunition for their arguments than they did just a few short years ago.” Once gets the impression, though, that he would find none of their arguments “persuasive”, whatever the events on the ground in Europe.

  4. LarryA
    LarryA November 29, 2015 6:36 pm

    The ongoing chaos in the Middle East is a reminder that Islam isn’t actually “ascendant” as a civilizational rival to Western in any meaningful sense of the term.

    Can’t see the forest for the trees. It would be much better for Europe if Islam was a “civilizational rival.” Religious dictatorships overthrow civilization.

    I can imagine the last Roman emperor spouting the same nonsense about the Visigoths.

  5. Kevin Wilmeth
    Kevin Wilmeth November 29, 2015 11:43 pm

    In re the CA magazine ban: man, do I enjoy reading the noncompliance stories. That right there actually gives me some hope.

    There’s your answer, jerkwads: nada. Oh, do go on telling us how massive your popular support is; how eager “we” all are to get the wreckers out of the way and start compromising all “reasonably” like. When it comes right down to it, something always turns up to spoil the show, dunnit?

    Makes me smile.

    Just like David says: “No. Your move.”

  6. s
    s November 30, 2015 6:39 am

    re:”How to prosecute corrupt prosecutors” the formidable and convincing Scott Greenfield, a NY criminal defense attorney, has already fisked Buskey’s posturing.

    When The Color Of Law Is Gray

    (Buskey writes) …”the United States Supreme Court has made pursuing a civil case against a prosecutor or judge practically impossible.”

    Well, yeah. It might have something to do with the fact that most lawyers don’t get a paycheck from the ACLU, so the absolute immunity is kind of a bummer and prevents lawyers from taking cases that are, as a matter of law, totally unwinnable. Go figure.

    Read that again. absolute. immunity.

    Violating civil rights happens “every day, in plain sight, and with seeming impunity.” And it rarely implicates Section 242. Not only is this hardly a solution, but to suggest this red herring in the gray area of conflicted intent is to distract attention from the root problem of immunity as reflected in the nightmarish Supreme Court decision in Connick v. Thompson precluding use of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to attack prosecutorial and judicial wrongdoing and obtain relief.


    Buskey is bloviating in the NYT because he knows he has zero chance in court. Nada. The nazgul slammed that door, locked it, and melted down the key.

  7. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau November 30, 2015 8:08 am

    [Violating civil rights happens “every day, in plain sight, and with seeming impunity.”]

    Hmmm, makes a person wonder whether rights exist at all…

    Meanwhile, there is no such thing as absolute immunity. All that means is that dealing with the evil bastards has changed venues; it has moved from within the courtroom to outside it.

  8. Claire
    Claire November 30, 2015 9:25 am

    “Hmmm, makes a person wonder whether rights exist at all…”

    Doesn’t make me wonder that at all. Just because thieves exist doesn’t mean there’s no such thing as private property. Just because murderers exist doesn’t mean there’s no such thing as life.

    Just because rights-violators exist doesn’t mean no one has any rights. On the contrary, that makes rights all the more precious.

  9. s
    s November 30, 2015 12:17 pm

    SHG covered this, with you, before.

    “Whenever a comment begins with “Hmmm,” it’s sure to be deeply thoughtful.”

    Claire’s post was about a lawyer working in courtrooms to prosecute corrupt prosecutors. My link was to a respected criminal defense lawyer and blogger who made a rather devastating case that the ACLU lawyer in question was ignorant at best, and very possibly disingenuous. He concluded that the root of the problem in law and in courts was the doctrine of absolute immunity granted by the nazgul (my word, not his) out of thin air.

    “You have discovered the deep conspiracy of the guild, to forsake drug dealers who can afford to pay us huge fortunes in favor of annoying kids who think they’ve stumbled onto a brilliant idea but can’t get enough people to agree that they can support their cat, no less a lawyer.

    However did you get to be so brilliant? “

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