Monday, January 18, 2021

Monday Night Links

  • She stepped in it again three months later. This time, Ms. Linton had accompanied her husband to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington. In photos that went viral, she grasped a sheet of freshly printed money with long leather dominatrix gloves. [NY Times]
  • As campaign coffers dwindled, Trump supporters received hundreds of text messages and emails begging for money, often with bizarre, aggressive, guilt-tripping content. “I convinced my father to give you another chance,” the subject line of one email read, supposedly from Eric Trump. “We won’t extend your match offer again. Don’t let the President down.” “Don’t let President Trump think he’s lost your support,” read another. “He has EXTENDED your PERSONAL 500%-MATCH DEADLINE FOR 1 MORE HOUR.” [Pedro Gonzalez]
  • You get up two and a half million dollars, any asshole in the world knows what to do: you get a house with a 25 year roof, an indestructible Jap-economy shitbox, you put the rest into the system at three to five percent to pay your taxes and that’s your base, get me? That’s your fortress of fucking solitude. That puts you, for the rest of your life, at a level of fuck you. [The Gambler]
  • Given his psychology, anything Trump declassifies at the last minute (which may be too late anyway—what’s he gonna do if the deep state fails to comply?) is going to be related to some personal beef of his. So maybe we’ll get to hear more about about how the Obama admin spied on him or how Russiagate was fake, which anyone who cares already knows, but we’re definitely not going to hear about say, any Epstein-Maxwell-Mossad conspiracy to control everyone who matters. [Sailer]
  • We could call this the Bolsonaro moment. Right wing Brazilians in the mid-’10s thought that no matter how bad the regime ruled, there would never be a route to win again. Bolsonaro showed up in a crisis moment. If the GOP is allowed to live, that infrastructure is there to be used and deployed to elect someone like Trump but wiser to the game. America will become like Latin American republics where there are neolib administrations, socialist administrations, and then after those terms wreck the nation, the caudillo emerges to clean it up and restart the cycle. Except the left has shown their hand. No next caudillo would take power and not go much further than Trump ever dreamed of going. It would not be an all talk or tweet Boomer. This is why democracy is done. It is too dangerous to the regime. The system will be formalized. Maybe Moldbug is right, and securely in power, the left will govern well now knowing they never have to worry about an election again. [The American Sun]
  • If Tether Ltd. really was taking in 1 USD for each Tether it issued, then it should have as many dollars in its bank account as there are issued Tethers. And it turns out we can check if that’s true! Tether Ltd.’s bank is Deltec bank in the Bahamas, and the Bahamas discloses how much foreign currency its domestic banks hold each month. The answer was — at least up to the end of September 2020 — not nearly enough. [link]
  • The gigantic blind spot is that he, like lots of crypto people, seems to not notice the obvious fact that tether is simply a bank. The tether coin itself is a demand deposit, just transformed into cryptocurrency form. It's hard to think of a cleaner example of the hypothesis that money itself started as debt that began to circulate. The company keeps a certain amount in reserves to fund these possible redemptions, and then invests the rest. This is how basically every bank in the world works. The reason that so few people spot this is that the world is roughly partitioned into people who like cryptocurrencies and who think that all "fractional reserve banks" are scams, and people who like mainstream banking, and think that cryptocurrencies are scams. So as a result, the number of people who are both knowledgeable and agnostic on both fractional reserve banking and crypto is surprisingly few. [link]
  • America is Rome. Of course, why shouldn’t it be? All of Western life and institutions today are traceable to the Romans and their world. We are all Roman children for better or worse. [Iggy Pop]
  • The odds ratio (OR) for lung cancer in current United States smokers relative to nonsmokers was 40.4 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 21.8-79.6], which was >10 times higher than the OR of 3.5 for current smokers in Japanese relative to hospital controls (95% CI = 1.6-7.5) and six times higher than in Japanese relative to community controls (OR = 6.3; 95% CI = 3.7-10.9). There were no substantial differences in the mean number of years of smoking or average daily number of cigarettes smoked between United States and Japanese cases or between United States and Japanese controls [NLM]

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