Everything is fine.

Nothing to see here, Au Naturale footy, LAPD knows about your burner account, and a Portland professor has had it with the illiberal shitf*ckery

Hello Idiots! 

A few mid-week knuckleballs to keep you on your toes.

If someone sent you this email, they’re telling you to sign up. You can do that here:

#FINANCE

Cities are buying stocks on margin and a country is buying the Bitcoin dip. Everything is fine.

State and local governments have borrowed over $10B to fund their pensions this year (through August).

They’ve been using this borrowed money to buy stocks with the hope that the difference between their returns and the (admittedly low) interest rates will be enough to make good on obligations to public employees (firefighters, city workers, police, teachers, etc.) — obligations they have been falling behind on for years to the tune of hundreds of billions. It’s left a hole for U.S. cities and states the size of Germany’s economy.

What could go wrong?

Meanwhile, in El Salvador, Bitcoin was officially adopted as the national currency on Tuesday — which was creatively dubbed “Bitcoin Day” by President Nayib Bukele.

Personally, I think it’s great if Bitcoin can help the people of El Salvador (and others, should this initiative prove successful), but I’m very skeptical for reasons that seem so obvious I shant type them out.

An example though:

On “Bitcoin Day” itself when the bottom fell out of BTC, causing it to drop as far as 16% at one point.

Do you want to know what one of the reasons behind the sharp drop was?

Too much MARGIN!

Meaning — when the price dropped below a certain point, a bunch of investors who bought Bitcoin with borrowed money got the dreaded “margin call”1 from their broker forcing them to liquidate (sell) their positions.

A mass “liquidation” like this further exacerbates the drop.

$3.54B poof gone.

Also, it’s not ideal when 3 of the biggest Bitcoin exchanges — Coinbase, Kraken, and Gemini — all go down at some point during the day.

Sure, the price has climbed back a bit from that flash-low, but a 10% daily swing is not exactly what I’m looking for in my currency — just me ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

President Bukele is of a different mind:

Yes, that is the President of El Salvador’s actual Twitter account.

P.S. I do own some Bitcoin and a little Ethereum because I can be both wrong and right at the same time — I never lose.

P.P.S. Don’t invest on margin.

#SOCCER

A bunch of Germans went au naturale for a soccer match.

Gerrit Starczewski, 34, is a German artist and filmmaker that loves 3 things: nudity, footy, and protesting against the increasing commercialization of professional footy.

Last year, he organized a fun (naked) pick-up match for that explicit purpose.

He’s back at it again this year, fielding another team of men and women who played an entire match kitless (kit = fancy British word for uniform), this time against an actual opponent. Sort of…

The opposing team was the Pottoriginale All-Stars.

My German is scheisse, but by the looks of their Instagram page, it looks like the All-Stars are what you would get if the Green Street Hooligans and that punk band that never took off but refuses to move on had a baby, and that baby had a drug-addiction which they were able to overcome by joining an anarchist club whose sole purpose was to play in soccer matches that really stuck it to the system.

Anyway…the match ended in an 8-8 draw, which is really anti-climatic for an event that was 50% naked.

Moving on…

#POLITICS

Need another reason not to move to California? You probably don’t, but in case you do:

Since 2015 (!), the LAPD has been accumulating social media data on individuals in its city by requiring interviewees to provide their account info to officers when filling out a “field interview card.”

The police have every civilian fill one of these out any time they are interviewed or stopped, regardless of whether or not they have been arrested or accused of anything.

They are also illegally (I think) requiring people to provide their social security numbers.

The copies of the cards obtained by the Brennan Center also revealed that police are instructed to ask civilians for their social security numbers and are advised to tell interviewees that “it must be provided” under federal law. 

“That’s bullshit”

- my interpretation of Kathleen Kim’s opinion (law expert who previously served on LA police commission)

Honestly, what shocks me is not that a police department would do this, it’s that they’ve been getting away with it for 6 years!

This opens the door to unwarranted mass surveillance and potential stalking, among other things.

And no offense to the LAPD, but this is kind of like a slap-dick version of the SONAR machine from the Dark Knight:

And we all know what happens to the SONAR machine…

(It’s destroyed because nobody should have that kind of power).

TL;DR: The LAPD probably knows about your burner account on Twitter

#PUSSIFICATION

A Portland State University professor “literally can’t even” with the social justice warrior shitf*ckery anymore so he let the university know how it’s f*cking up in his resignation letter.

The full letter can be found here, but in a nutshell, (former) Professor Peter Boghossian argues that the school is creating a “Social Justice factory” that is replacing ideas with ideology.

He says that the kind of intellectual exploration that brings out the best in students (respectful debate) is being squashed by an illiberal2 system

“whose only inputs were race, gender, and victimhood and whose only outputs were grievance and division.”

I wholeheartedly agree.

While still employed at the school, this man went so far out of his way to prove the corruption within the academic system that he wrote an intentionally ridiculous paper titled “The conceptual penis as a social construct” which argued, “that penises were products of the human mind and responsible for climate change.”

The paper was peer-reviewed (!) and published.

When he revealed it was a hoax he was retaliated against by offended parties (genuinely curious who these people are) who sent him swastikas and bags of feces (shit).

He didn’t stop there:

I f*cking love this guy.

He concludes:

TL;DR: The pussification of America continues.


Thanks for reading!

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Thought dump

1

“A margin call occurs when a margin account runs low on funds, usually because of a losing trade.

Margin calls are demands for additional capital or securities to bring a margin account up to the minimum maintenance margin.

Brokers may force traders to sell assets, regardless of the market price, to meet the margin call if the trader doesn't deposit funds.”

- Investopedia

2

opposed to liberal principles; restricting freedom of thought or behavior.