January 20, 2022

(Semi)short (mis)takes


Editor’s note: Mr. Morley’s submissions usually are tossed over the transom at the TLD General Offices — located at a prestigious address that cannot be mentioned here for obvious reasons. This one was written in what appears to be Mr. Morley’s own blood on tamale leaves, which just goes to show you how dedicated and persistent TLD’s writers are.

1. Ever think of slashing your wrists? Then don’t read the op-ed by Doug Schoen and Andy Stein in the January 12, 2022, Wall Street Journal titled “Hillary Clinton’s 2024 Comeback,” which argues that Hillary “is already in an advantageous position to become the 2024 Democratic nominee.” For one thing, she’s younger than Biden. Does anyone remember how she doddered around in 2016, tripping on steps, and stumbling getting out of cars? Lord help us all.

2. Ever think of slashing your wrists? (part 2). Then don’t read Sleepy Joe’s hilarious / insane / depressing January 11, 2022 speech in Georgia plumping for federalizing elections. Biden put the key choice of the future plainly before us: “Do you want to be on the side of Dr. [Martin L.] King [Jr.] or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Conner? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?” And this isn’t the most egregious nonsense in the speech.
  Alarmingly, even Dickie Durbin (D-State of Incoherence), allowed that “Perhaps the president went a little too far in his rhetoric” though he justified it because “there are parallels there” and “the fundamental principles and values at stake are very, very similar.” (I know, I can’t figure that one out either.) MENTAL HEALTH WARNING: Do not go to www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2022/01/11/remarks-by-president-biden-on-protecting-the-right-to-vote/ and read Biden’s speech.

3. Ever think of slashing your wrists? (part 3). OK, ol’ EMM is just yanking your chain. Even I am not cruelly cynical enough to keep this up. Go practice yoga or mindfulness or any handy trendy self-hypnosis. And don’t slash your wrists.

4. Walmart and China revisited, part 3. However, Walmart execs may be thinking of slashing their wrists. In previous numbers of our amazingly perceptive column we mentioned that the Chi Coms had accused Walmart of being stupid and shortsighted for mentioning in December 2021 that they were going to stop stocking products made in China’s current genocide zone, Xinjiang province. The latest drumbeat is the subject of “Beijing Keeps Spotlight on Walmart, Citing Fine,” a piece in the WSJ for January 15–16, 2022. Usually fines for minor business infractions are not mentioned publicly, so the spotlight in Chinese media and social media last week on a $47,200 fine paid by Walmart (peanuts in the fine business these days) was unusual.
  “Stupid and shortsighted”? Maybe this describes Walmart’s investment in China, where it has operated for decades, has more than 400 stores, and imports into the United States billions of dollars in Chinese-made goods (check the country of origin on the last Walmart purchase you made). And the Xinjiang government (Really? There is such a thing? It is to laugh.) put foreign companies on notice: “We advise these companies not to underestimate the patriotic enthusiasm of Chinese consumers, not to underestimate the ability of Chinese consumers to safeguard their legitimate rights and interests in accordance with the law (note: there’s that word again), and not to underestimate the possible consequences of sneaky political manipulation.” You gotta love that reference to “sneaky political manipulation.” No mention from the Xinjiang spokesperson about overestimating how much of the world gives a darn about Xinjiang, genocide, or anything else other than getting the consumer goods they want at the lowest possible price point. No mention either about underestimating how much of a competitive edge might be gained by Xinjiang entrepreneurs by using the forced labor of Xinjiang’s Muslim Uyghur ethnic minority.

5. Now you see it, now you don’t. According to a Wall Street Journal story, January 10, 2022, “Intel Erases Xinjiang Citations in Letter,” the U.S. chipmaker decided to remove references in a December letter to suppliers asking them to avoid sourcing components from the Chinese province where the Chi Coms are forcibly assimilating its ethnic Muslim minorities. Following a deluge of criticism from said Chi Coms and Chinese social media, Intel apologized on December 23 on its Chinese social-media accounts, “adding that the letter was written to comply with U.S. Law and didn’t represent its position on Xinjiang.”
  U.S. law or not, by January 10, Intel’s webpage and supplier letter had deleted any references to Xinjiang. Ah, the beauty of electronic media. Can you imagine how this would have simplified Winston Smith’s job, which involved tedious plowing through print matter, redoing photos and text, and then substituting it in the archives? And it’s not just toadying capitalist mega-firms. The New York Times has been caught several times altering headlines and stories on its website with one click of an IT mouse. Who is even the wiser, let alone people 50 years from now looking back at “archived” stories?
  Last, let’s not forget how the media screamed and lawsuited when a university set up an audio and visual archive of their “news” broadcasts so that people could go back and see how their “story lines” twisted and turned as required by politics and self-interest. Of course today, they don’t even care much when their flip-flopping is shown on YouTube or by the Veritas people. That’s old news. Now back to microscopically looking at what Orange Man and his minions have done over the last 50 years.

6. Guess who is concerned about rising energy costs? Would you believe Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Ed Markey, Pramila Jayapal, and 37 other congresscritters? How about Howdy Doody? All seriousness aside, 41 members of Congress, according to a January 10, 2022 editorial in the WSJ, have sent a heartrending letter to federal regulators “fretting about ‘the effect that anticipated increases in heating and energy costs will have on our constituents this winter.’” This may be, rather, apprehension over the effect that increases in heating and energy costs will have on the electoral chances of the party whose policies have led to these skyrocketing costs. And does anyone think Warren, Sanders, et al., will turn down their thermostats to 65 degrees? Well, maybe when they fly off on private jets to their vacation homes in balmier climes.

7. Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2022: “UBS Plans to Offer Digital Advice for Less-Wealthy Clients.” Their advice: “Get rich.” Sound advice. Actually, it was something else, but EMM suggests cutting to the chase here.

8. Some people wonder whether the legacy media will mention — in connection with the January 6, 2021 attacks on “our” democracy — the October 4, 2018 takeover of the Hart Senate Office Building to protest the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh or the May 29, 2020 attack on the White House perimeter, which led to Orange Man’s evacuation to the White House Bunker. Don’t hold your breath. These were “mostly peaceful” protests, not a violent insurrection or attempted coup by unarmed revolutionaries. Luckily for supporters of the Second Amendment, these guys were unarmed and didn’t actually kill anybody (the only fatality on January 6 was Ms. Ashli Babbitt who was shot by a Capitol police officer. Source: www.factcheck.org/2021/11/how-many-died-as-a-result-of-capitol-riot/.) Contemplate what would have spewed forth from Pelosi, Schumer, et al., if the motley crowd had been armed and if they had actually killed anyone.

9. A January 14, 2022 New York Times online Guest Essay “informs” us about the latest diabolical Masculinity threat: “This Isn’t Your Old Toxic Masculinity. It Has Taken an Insidious New Form,” by Alex McElroy. Editor’s intro: “From bad boyfriends to Jan. 6 rioters, men are using the language of vulnerability as a cudgel, feigning emotional fragility to retain power and dominance.” This charge hurts my feelings and I hope the NYT takes it down before I lose my power and dominance. Fortunately for all of us, the Regressive, Social Media, Wokist, BLM, LGBTQ+ crowd would never use verbal cudgels to get or retain their power, dominance, or sources of income.

10. “Banks Lower Threshold to Obtain a Card,” the WSJ tells us in a January 10, 2022 article. What up? The story starts, “Lenders are again welcoming borrowers with less-than-pristine credit, a vote of confidence in the health of the U.S. economy and Americans’ finances.” Do tell. “Even subprime borrowers, a group shunned during the pandemic, are finding it easier to get credit.” The number of general-purpose cards during the first part of 2021 was up 43.5 percent from 2020 and is “the highest on record.” SPOILER ALERT: “[T]he aggregate spending limit on the cards rose 45% over the same period. Why is this? Credit-card profitability “fell in 2020 to the lowest level since 2009.” Let’s see: 2009? Wasn’t that when the last government/banking economic crisis crippled our economy?
  Well, don’t worry. According to Odysseas Papadimitriou (I’m not making this up) of WalletHub.com, banks are merely going “down market where the margins are fatter and the interest rates are higher.” And if, Rothbard forbid, the economy goes belly-up again, the gummint will bail the banks out (too big too fail) and take it out of your hide (too small to worry about).

11. History repeats itself, more or less. Remember when the Japanese regime decided to bury us by “investing” billions into the next new thing in computer chips? And how did that work out? Right. The Japanese economy went into a 30-year tailspin that it still hasn’t come out of. Now read this from the WSJ, January 10, 2022: “Chinese Chip Startups Fail in Bid to Keep Up.” According to the story, “China has spent billions of dollars in recent years trying to catch up to the world’s most advanced semiconductor makers.” The industry leaders in “more-sophisticated” chip making, BTW, are not Japanese or even American: they are Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) and Samsung Electronics. (Hmm: wonder whether it has ever occurred to the Chi Coms that literally on their doorsteps are two solutions to this problem. Boys and girls, do you know what i-n-v-a-s-i-o-n spells? But of course the Biden admin would take strong action against the Chi Coms, sending them a stiff note of protest or even cutting off their access to American markets for cheap stuff.)
  Anyway, back to our story. “Over the past three years, at least six new major chip-building projects ... have failed in China” burning through $2.3 billion or more. China has committed $52 billion to semiconductor “investment” without much to show for it even though they raided TSMC and other Western firms for experienced engineers. Part of the problem is that apparently the Chi Coms’ massive spending on chip design ignored the fact that production of advanced chips requires even more massive and complex billion-dollar investments. The story ends on a somewhat somber note, if you catch my drift: “the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s economic planner, said that ... officials who supported such [failed] projects would be held responsible.” At least in Japan, as far as we know, they didn’t shoot those who had supported their chip fiasco.

12. For those who haven’t been following modern academia (but who hasn’t?), let me introduce you to a new category of professor to join the traditional lecturer, visiting professor, assistant professor, associate professor, and professor: the lecture-pooler. In their constant and never-ending search for increased rigor and quality, major universities have come up with the Lecturer-Pool. Unlike the above-mentioned positions, which usually but not always include a full-time contract for a semester or a full academic year, health insurance, an office, and other benefits, people in the Lecturer-Pool get nothing except the possibility of being asked to teach one or more courses if and when the university needs it. They are paid only if they are required, get a flat part-time payment that is a fraction of what any full-time employee gets, and no benefits (other than the somewhat dubious right to say that they “are lecturing at University X,” which may or may not imply greater or lesser status in the eyes of friends and acquaintances). If a lecture-pooler teaches four courses, which is a full-time load in many universities, she wouldn’t, of course, get full-time pay. No indeedy. She would get four times whatever the going rate is for part time teaching one course.
  In other words, a lecture-pool is a kind of instructor holding pen from which a university can hire people as needed to actually “teach” students while saving a bundle on not hiring full-time people. A lecture-pooler teaching four courses might get $4,000 (I’m being generous here) while a full-time instructor might be getting four times that much for the same load along with a bundle of fringe benefits usually amounting to another 20 to 25 percent. Meanwhile, the admissions program boasts how students at MegaUniversity get to be mentored by cutting-edge professionals, and their PR videos depict students in Mr. Chips-type relationships in shiny laboratories. Right. And good bye, Mr. or Ms. Chips. Ω

January 20, 2022

Published in 2022 by WTM Enterprises.

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