Most of the tweets in this post are from yesterday or the day before. So at this stage I just need to get this post out before they get any older.

I’ve been planning all sorts of profound homilies, but my writing isn’t up to executing them at the moment. Thus all you’re getting are a few comments on the latest news.

THE SUPERBOWL

I’m glad the Eagles won the Super Bowl. I voted for them in the poll on WEIT. I don’t actually know anything about American Football, but I remember stories about Tom Brady cheating and deflate-gate. And I didn’t want a cheat to win.

However, the behaviour of the Eagles fans following the win is pretty appalling. Why is it that a certain segment of US society writes off the Eagles fans’ actions as understandable exuberance, but (rightfully) condemns authoritarian leftists for damaging property during protests?

I watched some of the game, but I missed Justin Timberlake. There were highlights of his performance on New Zealand’s six 0’clock news that night though. They went on about him finally coming back following Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” way back when. Our news even showed that again!

(Before I go any further, I have to point out that most of New Zealand could never understand why most of the USA had a collective fit of the vapours at the sight of boob. But then you still have places where breastfeeding in public is a disgrace. We, otoh, have babies in parliament and a pregnant prime minister.)

So Justin Timberlake rips off Janet Jackson’s top, and he’s back, but she’s still out in the cold. It’s back to the same old story where the single pregnant woman is a whore and the man is a stud.

THE STOCK MARKET

This morning the first thing I heard about on the news was the plummeting of the Dow by 1175 points, wiping out all this year’s gains. The S & P has gone negative for 2018. No one seems to be quite sure why. I was expecting it, but not this big, this soon, or this suddenly.

The thing is, the stock market was overvalued. When interest rates are low and property prices are high, it’s one of the few places to put your money where you can still make a decent interest rate reasonably safely. That makes it rise more, and more quickly than it should. A strong stock market is not necessarily a sign of a strong economy.

Trump’s tax cuts have made a big change to market conditions. The deficit will increase. Therefore the era of cheap money is over, and interest rates will go up. Also Trump is replacing the chair of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen. She has done an outstanding job and a lot of the good things about the economy are down to her. Her (male, of course) replacement will likely try to keep interest rates down like her, but it may not be possible.

But Trump cares more about whether someone voted for him than whether they’re good at their job, so she’s out the door. Yellen’s mere presence was enough to stabilize the market when there were doubts. Trump does not have a good record in making appointments to top jobs. Their ability to do the job seems to be a matter of good luck rather than good management. Having said that, her replacement isn’t bad, just not as good as her.

Hopefully today’s crash will be a lesson to Trump. Focus on the underlying strengths of the economy rather than talking about the stock market all the time. Otherwise you will be burned. When I turn on CNN later, I’m expecting a mocking montage of Trump going on about the stock market over the last year.

The things he should be talking about and focusing on are different to what he does talk about. (He would know this if he understood anything about macroeconomics.) The unemployment rate, down to the industry level is important, as is the economic growth rate, for example. However, Trump shows his lack of understanding there because, despite the urging of many of his Republicans colleagues, he wants to cut immigration.

The US, like many Western countries, has too many old people and not enough young people. The country hasn’t suffered the effects of that as much as many others because of the level of illegal immigration. Those immigrants are mostly young and are making up for the low birthrate amongst USians.

I don’t have a problem with Trump tightening border security (though I don’t like the way he talks about it), but his proposed policy is wrong. Or partly wrong anyway. He talks of only allowing highly skilled immigrants into the country, and stopping all other immigration.

It is true that the US needs more highly skilled immigrants, but it also needs immigrants at the other end of the spectrum. All the “illegals” that he has such a problem with are mostly employed in jobs where there just aren’t enough USians available to do them. He seems to think “low-skilled and uneducated” equals “worthless, dishonest, criminal, drug-addicted, loser.” It doesn’t of course, and he needs to recognize that before he stalls the real economic growth that is happening.

There are going to be higher than usual growth rates in the US because of recovery from the weather events of 2017 anyway. That will mask any failure to achieve economic growth elsewhere in the country to some extent. The US could be in for a tough time, and Trump won’t even realize it’s happening if he doesn’t educate himself.

 

Political Tweets

For the sake of Britain, I keep hoping that Brexit won’t happen. It’s not just that it’s the wrong thing to do. It’s the fact that those who are doing it don’t seem to know what they’re doing.
(Via Ann German.)

 

I’ve got about 4,000 words of notes on The Memo story. I really should write it up!
(All via Ann German.)

 

 

 

 

True.
(Via Ann German.)

 

Mueller Time Tweets

Just for fun.
(Via Ann German.)

 

Religion Tweets

Perhaps this church is surreptitiously reminding everyone that Easter is really a pagan holiday?!
(Via Ann German.)

 

The guy who calls himself “God” in social media has put up a sign for Michele Bachman …

 

Human Rights Tweets

To David Brooks, who wrote the opinion piece in this tweet, I say:

Just shut up. You’re talking a load of $hit. You’re just another a$$ho£€ who doesn’t care when it’s women who will suffer.

(Via Ann German.)

 

Some other responses:

 

 

 

 

Environment Tweets

And people trust Trump’s judgement that pulling out of the Paris Accord was the right thing to do? FFS!
(Via Ann German.)

Stuff I Don’t Know Where to Put Tweets

Weird.
(Via Ann German.)

 

Space Tweets

Stream bed in the foreground, pastures on the other side giving way to rolling hills with mountains in the distance. Except it’s Mars! Very cool indeed!
(Via Ann German.)

 

Marine Tweets

Otters, like octopuses, are cool!

 

Freshwater Tweets

I’m actually just assuming this is a freshwater creature, so if I’ve got it wrong let me know. I didn’t even know soft-shell turtles existed!
(Via Ann German.)

 

Other Animals Tweets

Especially for Linda Calhoun. Aren’t they sweet?!

 

Animal predation trigger warning!

 

Bird Tweets

Cute and beautiful!

 

Dog Tweets

Oh dear!
(Via Ann German.)

TRIGGER WARNING: Gross punch line to the story. Read this tweet at your peril!

 

Cat Tweets

And no one doubts that cat would use it if it could!

 

The next few wonderful tweets about big cats are all via Ann German.

 

 

 


 

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