Reflections on Twitter, Illustrated 


Nike's Long Bet

Full disclosure, I can't spell Kaepernick - and in school I was very strongly encouraged to recite "I pledge alliagence to the flag of the United States of America.." perhaps a thousand times. 

A truck drove by today with an oversized black/white US flag today with just one red stripe today.   I'm uncertain what the mutant flag means, anything from "I support firefighters by purchasing this decorative 4 foot flag from an unaffiliated private company with viral marketing and vague symbolic support for fire fighters" to "Its a US Flag flying Nazi flag colors, duh."  
And maybe that's the point.  A coded message, division, open secrets, solidarity, symbolic gang colors.  And that's fine, really it's what freedom of speech is all about.  Want to wear gang colors, wear them!  Let people know who you are.  Where you stand. Tell the world about your vision of a better world and a better country.  Offer beautiful ideas that stand up to scrutiny.  Nurture great ideas and share them.  Let fart worthy ideas dissipate into the wind. Tell people what you think because we live in a wonderful country where you have freedoms and you can illuminate and darken alike.   
If political correctness only taught you how to be silently unaccepting like artist-shit crimp sealed in a tuna can, please consider a long rant on social media trolling wealthy leftist middle east biracial jewish lesbian paraplegic grandmothers for having BBQ on Yom Ha'atzmaut or whatever.   Bare your soul, and may the rest of the world know you and move on.  Better that than every politically appointed Supreeme court nominee's unwillingness to illuminate any aspect of their past, present or hypothetical future, leading informed democratic justice to stumble more clumsily than drunken teenagers fumbling in darkness.
Is Nike's support of Kaepernick going to be seen as being on the right side of history? 
For a second, never mind what well documented oppression Kaepernick kneels for, or the free speech rights of corporate entities like the NFL and Nike - should he have a voice, is he free?  
I certainly hope so.  Forced speech is not free speech.  Censure followed by forced silence is not free speech.   castigate or ignore what you don't like, but don't expect unamious uniform thought from citizens of a democracy.  Whether vile or golden - speech and debate fundamentally and critically lead to a functioning democracy.  Argue if you want, but don't let me speak for you, speak for your self, because What do I know unless you tell me?
Hell yes, I hope Nike is on the right side of history.  The alternative: An ingrown well misinformed population and a withering of real democracy.  Our beautiful rare bloom lost once again for centuries more?  

Things I don't understand about Farm Policy Economics

This takes me a bit to get there,

Tit for tat tariffs make US farm goods high priced in markets outside the US.  This reduces the price US farmers can get and threatens their livelyhoods.  Less US competition is a boon to countries like Brazil that now have greatly improved commodity prices for their soy in select markets (If soy would be selling for $4 but the US is selling for $5, the US isn't selling soy.  That creates a shortfall that raises commodity prices, say 25% to from $4 to $5 for Argentia and Brazilian soy.  US farmers still sell at $4, and have it tariffed to $5.  Producers outside the US win.)    The H.R.5629 - 115th Congress (2017-2018) Federal Crop Insurance Act and Food Security Act of 1985 called for in ... fiscial year 2019 (Lets call it FCIAFSACFIPTBFFY) is created to pay voting farmers that are loosing money up to a half million dollars per farm so they don't go out of business.  Brazil farmers win +25% profits in competion with select tit-for-tat tarrifed US products and US farmers get +12% comp for losses up to a half million dollars per single farm property owner - yea - and US insurers likewise get +12% comp for farm insurance retained premiums.  All payed for by National Debt loaned out to us from China.

Things I don't understand:  

The net result?  Super cheap intra-US commodity crop prices on a bumper crop year? 

Is the US paying for Brasil's +25% profit in select markets and the growth of international market farm competition?

The insurer's comp on retained premiums, so they get money for money not spent so the gov can "target rate of return" and move it with this one year policy from to 12% (+12% comp=24% effective rate)?   Is the crop insurance 12% or 24% a gift to insurers given large harvest expectations this year?  I really haven't sorted this out.

Maybe I'm just over thinking FCIAFSACFIPTBFFY as an example of agriculturial policy when it is really just code for "buy or hold farm votes?"  

bill link:



The Eighteen Counts of Paul J. Manafort Jr.

Occasionally I get annoyed by nonspecific media reporting.  I wondered what the eighteen counts against Paul Manafort were, and rather than get that concise information instead I found broad interperted data filterations and distillations.   In other words, spin. 

Ok, there were ?32 or 77? points in the superseding indictment - I'm a lay person so forgive my reading of some of these ?counts? as mere statements of fact even though they may be argued in court, statements I read as  akin to "This really is the Paul Manafort we are looking for" and "IRS is responsible for taxation."   18 counts are brought to the first trial, and that's not so many that a distillation is required:  So here are the indictment counts as I understand them for the first trial:  Counts 1 through 5, 11 through 14 and 24 through 32 of the Superseding Indictment:



I encourage you to read and consider the counts in the links above.  My lay persons (and certainly somewhat in error) reading of the counts:

  1. Paul Manafort and Richard Gates served as consultants and lobbyists and acted as illegal unregistered agents of the Government of the Ukraine- for the Party of Regions and the Party Opposition Bloc all formed by Yanukovych who eventually fled to Russia.  Manafort laundered the money through scores of US and foreign Corporations 
  2. hatches a scheme between 2006 and 2015:  take unreported self payments as loans from offshore ?self owned shell? corporation. 
  3. uses this illegal income to purchase ~6 million in real estate properties.  Then secures ~20 million in construction loans to improve the properties. 
  4. Uses illegal income for a lavish life without paying taxes on that income
  5. Conceals flow of 75 million in cash flow from Treasury and Department of Justice
  6. Worked as lobbists for the Ukraine, but perhaps actually against the Ukraine if you follow his client Ukrainian President Yanukovych's money back to Russia and understand Yanukovych is wanted for High Treason by the Ukraine for bringing in Russian troupes to fight fellow ukrainians.  Yanukovych fled the Ukraine and is in Russia.
  7. Owned/Created 34 shell companies to run this scheme
  8. Money is owed to US Treasury
  9. Created 34 shell companies to transfer millions not reported as income used to make purchases
  10. Wire transfers by "offshore entity" were actually Manafort and Gates spending millions without taxation.
  11. Pages of wire transfers resulted in millions in personal gains to Manafort and Gates and they did not pay taxes.
  12. Manafort used these shell companies and made purchases on his behalf but did not report them on his 2012 tax return.
  13. Manaforts tax filings between 2008 - 2014 falsely state he did not have authorty over foreign financial acounts.
  14. Gates tax filing between 2010 and 2013 likewise are false with regard to foreign financial filings. Note dates, Manafort has tax irregularities before Gates.
  15. 2015 Bank Defraud & Conspiriacy, made false statements to multiple bank lenders
  16. Purchase of realestate in Unitied states for benefit of Gates and Manafort with offshore accounts that appeared as loans, thereby liquid income without playing taxes, lying about actual debt, and making it appear illegal income was a loan with tax liability thereby cheating additional taxes owed atop cheated taxes already owed.
  17. False statements to lender(ill gotten realestate misrepresented as second home, not investment, etc).
  18. More fradulent statements to secure property improvement loans (~20 million) for the (~6 million) in ill gotten realestate property.

Rigged Witch Hunt

Why would a witch hunt be rigged?  

Let me first suggest witch hunts generally are undertaken for two reasons, (1) To remove an individual that possesses or practices a vulgar trait outside some socially or judicially accepted norm or (2) For political or personal gain by means of over reaction or persecution.  

If the currents of Washinton scandal swirl around witch hunts of class two, in what way does Muller prosper?  I'm a bit dim witted on this point, as his career and political advance at this moment hardly tends toward prospererity especially if said witch hunt is merely rigged lies.  

If the currents of Washinton scandal swirl around rigged witch hunts of class one, where is the over reaction? There is percieved persecution in some quarters, but I see a doggedly persistant, but reluctant, prosecution - not persecution.  And what is that vulgar trait? 

Time will disclose the truth far better than this conjecture, but I'd conjecture Muller has considerable evidence for some vulgar sin against this Nation's laws. And perhaps a lie tweeted and repeated to the point of familiarty amounts to a effort made to seem persecuted, as that is far preferable to being seen as guilty.

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