Hurricane Michael

There are three new blog posts:


Updates

  1. Originally published, October 8, 6:45 pm.
  2. October 8, 7:33 pm:
    • A minor mystery is solved. (SpaceX)
  3. October 9, 1:27 am:
    • Here’s some quantitative analysis confirming what we already know: The Democratic Party is run by absolute fucking idiots who have no business being in politics and who do not deserve anyone’s faith, let alone that of progressives.[1] Or to spin it slightly differently, to vote for Democrats might be to vote for neoconservative and neoliberal ideas, as with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, but it sure as hell isn’t to vote for progressive accomplishment.
    • I’m not hearing much from Cuba as Hurricane Michael brushes (to put it mildly) the west end of that island. But I suspect the Cubans know how to tell a hurricane how to get its act together, because Michael is looking a lot more organized now than when I first published this issue.
  4. October 10, 1:22 pm:
    • From Cuba (or at least the strait between it and the Yucatan peninsula) with love: Hurricane Michael has made landfall as a Category 4 storm.[2] In figure 1 (now here preserved as the 12:00 pm version), it indeed appears undiminished in fury.
  5. October 10, 10:00 pm:
    • I agree with the substance of Marlon Smith’s essay.[3] I worry about men—like Smith—telling women how to conduct feminism. That said, Smith’s essay, for me, captures again the failure of the Third Wave of Feminism[4] and the reason I’ve been expecting a fourth wave (the latter is likely under way, but still not authoritatively recognized).
  6. October 11, 6:12 am:
    • “[Hurricane Michael] was the most powerful tropical storm to hit the Florida Panhandle since record-keeping began in 1851. Just two hurricanes have ever hit the United States with barometric pressure readings in the eye — a key metric of a storm’s effects — lower than the 919 millibars of Michael.”[5] As to the rest of it, there’s probably no substitute for actually being there—which sounds like a terrible idea.
    • Wall Street is throwing a temper tantrum.[6] But “[d]espite the selloff in stocks, financial markets overall didn’t exhibit a classic flight to safety. Two safe assets, gold and bonds, have had a horrible year and were essentially flat on Wednesday. . . Investors are starting to realize how dependent the longest bull market in history has been on cheap money.”[7] This latter bit may be a sign that yet another one of those “creative destruction” parties capitalists love so much, a recession, is in the offing. Mind you, I haven’t recovered from the one in 2001 so I’m just really low on sympathy for all these rich bastards.
  7. October 11, 3:55 pm:
    • The Dow Jones Industrials fell by over 500 points but “[t]he rise in bond yields paused”[8] and, allegedly, “All the leading indications that would point to a recession in the next year just aren’t there.”[9] I love these assholes who think there’s no sign of a recession. Until there is. And when it’s way too late to be a forecast.
    • Something I heard about yesterday but then failed to capture and archive at the time was a sense that Wall Street is concerned about the Federal Reserve raising interest rates. Justin Lahart discusses this concern.[10] Something else I’ve been hearing for a while but is not captured here is that the Fed desperately wants to rebuild the arsenal of weapons it expended in the financial crisis of 2008.
  8. October 12, 11:53 am:
  9. October 12, 2:57 pm:
    • I disagree that the markets are rational in the short or long term, except perhaps within an unsustainable frame, but Allan Sloan explains why Wall Street’s reaction to the Fed’s raising of short term interest rates is, well, short-sighted.[11]
  10. October 12, 11:15 pm:
    • A sleeper question has been, what happens when Robert Mueller finishes his investigation, specifically, what happens to his findings? The Department of Justice, within whose auspices Mueller operates, is an executive branch department. So there’s no guarantee that Mueller’s findings would ever see the light of day. It turns out the Watergate investigation encountered a similar problem, analysis was done, and some folks think that analysis might help Mueller.[12] So this judge’s ruling, seeking to release findings that have been kept confidential for decades, is hugely important.[13] (James Comey)
  11. October 13, 11:03 pm:

Hurricane Michael

Fig. 1. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration infrared satellite imagery of the Gulf of Mexico (public domain), assembled into a 72-hour gif, as of 12:00 pm, October 10.

Arian Campo-Flores and Jon Kamp, “Hurricane Michael Makes Landfall in Florida, Threatening ‘Unimaginable Devastation,’” Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/hurricane-michael-expected-to-make-landfall-wednesday-1539171937

Kevin Begos et al., “‘We’re kind of getting crushed’: Record-breaking Hurricane Michael slams Florida,” Washington Post, October 10, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/were-kinda-getting-crushed-record-breaking-hurricane-michael-slams-florida/2018/10/10/3e7f376a-cca8-11e8-920f-dd52e1ae4570_story.html


Democratic Party

Aaron Blake, “Another big Democratic loss. And yet more complaints about a ‘rigged’ system,” Washington Post, October 8, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/10/08/another-big-democratic-loss-yet-more-complaints-about-rigged-system/


SpaceX

So I was driving in the Redwood Shores area of Redwood City last night and happened to see strange lights. They didn’t seem to be moving. I stopped the car, opened my window, heard no sound, and took a picture (figure 2). I thought maybe these lights were drones, hovering, shining their lights through some smoky skies.

Fig. 2. Photograph by David Benfell, October 7, 2018, apparently of SpaceX on ascent.

Apparently, it was Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket, headed for space.[14]

Amy Graff, “Strange light moving slowly through the Bay Area sky was Elon Musk’s SpaceX,” SFGate, October 8, 2018, https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Falcon-rocket-SpaceX-strange-light-Elon-Musk-13290064.php


Third Wave of Feminism

Marlon Smith, “It’s time for Black women to stop caping a white feminist agenda,” Grio, October 8, 2018, https://thegrio.com/2018/10/08/time-for-black-women-to-stop-caping-a-white-feminist-agenda/


Wall Street

Fig. 3. A screenshot from the Wall Street Journal puts recent losses in perspective. (Fair use.)

Spencer Jakab, “Markets’ Scary Divergence Is Worrisome,” Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/markets-scary-divergence-is-worrisome-1539205900

Michael Wursthorn, “U.S. Stocks Drop as Bond Yields Keep Climbing,” Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/global-stocks-pause-amid-doubts-over-growth-1539158283

Justin Lahart, “The Fed May Not Be Investors’ Friend,” Wall Street Journal, October 11, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-fed-may-not-be-investors-friend-1539273524

Allan Sloan, “Yes, it was a $1 trillion wipeout in stocks — but let’s not all go crazy,” Washington Post, October 11, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/yes-it-was-a-1-trillion-wipeout-in-stocks–but-lets-not-all-go-crazy/2018/10/11/662202a0-cd77-11e8-920f-dd52e1ae4570_story.html

Christopher Whittall, Steven Russolillo, and Jessica Menton, “U.S. Stocks Extend Losses on Heels of Wednesday Rout,” Wall Street Journal, October 11, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/markets-tumble-across-asia-led-by-tech-as-growth-worries-dominate-1539225820


James Comey

Josh Gerstein, “Judge orders partial release of Watergate ‘road map,’” Politico, October 11, 2018, https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/11/watergate-report-donald-trump-896046


  1. [1]Aaron Blake, “Another big Democratic loss. And yet more complaints about a ‘rigged’ system,” Washington Post, October 8, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/10/08/another-big-democratic-loss-yet-more-complaints-about-rigged-system/
  2. [2]Arian Campo-Flores and Jon Kamp, “Hurricane Michael Makes Landfall in Florida, Threatening ‘Unimaginable Devastation,’” Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/hurricane-michael-expected-to-make-landfall-wednesday-1539171937
  3. [3]Marlon Smith, “It’s time for Black women to stop caping a white feminist agenda,” Grio, October 8, 2018, https://thegrio.com/2018/10/08/time-for-black-women-to-stop-caping-a-white-feminist-agenda/
  4. [4]See also Audre Lorde, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House,” Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings, ed. Charles Lemert, 4th ed. (Boulder, CO: Westview, 2010), 449-451.
  5. [5]Kevin Begos et al., “‘We’re kind of getting crushed’: Record-breaking Hurricane Michael slams Florida,” Washington Post, October 10, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/were-kinda-getting-crushed-record-breaking-hurricane-michael-slams-florida/2018/10/10/3e7f376a-cca8-11e8-920f-dd52e1ae4570_story.html
  6. [6]Michael Wursthorn, “U.S. Stocks Drop as Bond Yields Keep Climbing,” Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/global-stocks-pause-amid-doubts-over-growth-1539158283
  7. [7]Spencer Jakab, “Markets’ Scary Divergence Is Worrisome,” Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/markets-scary-divergence-is-worrisome-1539205900
  8. [8]Christopher Whittall, Steven Russolillo, and Jessica Menton, “U.S. Stocks Extend Losses on Heels of Wednesday Rout,” Wall Street Journal, October 11, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/markets-tumble-across-asia-led-by-tech-as-growth-worries-dominate-1539225820
  9. [9]Patrick Kaser, quoted in Christopher Whittall, Steven Russolillo, and Jessica Menton, “U.S. Stocks Extend Losses on Heels of Wednesday Rout,” Wall Street Journal, October 11, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/markets-tumble-across-asia-led-by-tech-as-growth-worries-dominate-1539225820
  10. [10]Justin Lahart, “The Fed May Not Be Investors’ Friend,” Wall Street Journal, October 11, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-fed-may-not-be-investors-friend-1539273524
  11. [11]Allan Sloan, “Yes, it was a $1 trillion wipeout in stocks — but let’s not all go crazy,” Washington Post, October 11, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/yes-it-was-a-1-trillion-wipeout-in-stocks–but-lets-not-all-go-crazy/2018/10/11/662202a0-cd77-11e8-920f-dd52e1ae4570_story.html
  12. [12]Charlie Savage, “Legal Experts Urge Release of Watergate Report to Offer Mueller a Road Map,” New York Times, September 14, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/14/us/politics/mueller-report-grand-jury-watergate.html
  13. [13]Josh Gerstein, “Judge orders partial release of Watergate ‘road map,’” Politico, October 11, 2018, https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/11/watergate-report-donald-trump-896046
  14. [14]Amy Graff, “Strange light moving slowly through the Bay Area sky was Elon Musk’s SpaceX,” SFGate, October 8, 2018, https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Falcon-rocket-SpaceX-strange-light-Elon-Musk-13290064.php

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