September 15, 2016

Central Bankers Succeeded In Inflating Asset Prices

A report from the Wall Street Journal. “We wonder if this crop-sciences marriage would ever have happened if not for a bushel of Beltway policy mistakes. For Monsanto owners, selling to Bayer provides a premium of 44% over Monsanto’s closing share price on the day before Bayer first proposed a combination in May. With little overlap between the companies, there doesn’t seem to be an antitrust argument to keep them apart. That would take some nerve in Washington, given that it created the conditions for this deal. The Federal Reserve in particular has played a role with its monetary adventurism. In the years after the financial crisis, central bankers succeeded in their policy goal of inflating asset prices. That included a boom in commodity prices and Midwest farmland.”

“But the bust that has followed has been rough, with corn prices falling by more than half over the last four years. Squeezed farmers are less able to buy seeds and technology, which has meant a wave of layoffs and agribusiness consolidation. Monsanto is the latest firm to decide it’s better not to go it alone.”

From Bloomberg. “There’s an avalanche of grain coming as U.S. farmers gear up to harvest record corn and soybean crops. And one question looms large: where will it all go? Growers are clearing bin space and elevators are prepping outdoor facilities to manage the surge of grain that will come off combines starting this month. But it may not be enough. U.S. supplies of corn, soybeans and wheat — including newly harvested crops along with leftover inventories from last season — will outstrip all crop storage capacity for the first time in records through 1988, government data and analyst estimates show.”

“A third straight bumper harvest has paved the way for the storage crunch. Adding to the squeeze, a prolonged slump in agriculture prices made growers less willing to sell reserves from last season. Farmers still own 10 percent of last year’s corn production, estimates Kent Jessen, director of grain merchandising at Heartland Co-Op in West Des Moines, Iowa.”

“‘The clock has rolled over to a point that the farmer’s run out of time, so he’s emptying bins and bringing it to town as fast as he can,’ said Jarod Creed, the Omaha-based senior director of customer risk management at Gavilon Group LLC. ‘The problem with that is the crop size last year was large enough that the western Corn Belt states just are not going to be able to dig themselves out of a hole.’”

The Farm Forum. “The current average cash rent to value rates of return on agricultural land in South Dakota remain very low, explained Shannon Sand, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist.”

“‘The 2016 rent to value average of land value was 2.7 percent for all agricultural land - this is 0.5 percent down from 2014,’ Sand said. ‘The annual average gross cash rates of return for all-land, rangeland and hayland are the lowest calculated over the past 26 years,’ Sand said. ‘The gross rate of return for cropland is the second lowest in the past 26 years.’”

“Sand said this is the seventh consecutive year that gross rates of return have been 4.0 percent or lower. For comparison, the 2000-2009 average was 5.5 percent and through the 1990’s the average was 7.4 percent. This means that if agricultural rents were the sole source of returns from farmland it would take twice as long for the land to pay for itself in 2015 (approximately 33 years) compared to 2002 (approximately 14 years).”

From Farm and Dairy. “A couple years of low milk prices have some dairy farmers thinking back to 2009, when most farmers were losing money by the cow and facing the possibility of going out of business. From October 2014 through April 2016, prices for milk fell by about 40 percent, with some improvement over the summer, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”

“‘A lot of smaller dairies are struggling,’ said Kenny Rufener, a dairy farmer from Congress Lake Farms in Portage County. Rufener’s family milks about 650 head of Holsteins — still not a large farm by many standards. He said there’s not much that farmers like himself can do, other than bear the lows and hope that new demand comes along, bringing better prices.”

“Richard Owen, who milks about 70 head of Holsteins and Jerseys in Hadley, Pennsylvania, said smaller dairies are in more of a survival mode than anything else. Owen said he knows some livestock farmers who turned to crop farming during the last low-price cycle. But now that crop prices are low — that venture isn’t paying out, either. ‘It’s just a complicated issue,’ he said.”

The State Journal Register. “Slumping commodity and farmland prices are rolling through the rural economy as the fall harvest begins in Illinois and across the Midwest. Manufacturing, banking, farm equipment sales, housing and auto sales, employment and overall consumer spending have been affected across a 10-state region, including Illinois, tracked by a monthly Rural Main Street Index at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.”

“The index was down for the 12th month in a row in August, meaning the rural economy continued to slow even as the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts possible record harvests of corn and soybeans this fall. Troubles in the rural economy, said Creighton economist Ernie Goss, have been masked by improvement in the larger economy.”

“‘I think it’s really been underappreciated,’ said Goss. ‘You have this significant diversion of what’s going on in the agriculture economy. You have Chicago versus the rural communities in Illinois. If you go into the overall economy, there’s been massive growth in professional and technical services, in health care. When you’re looking at rural areas, you’re talking about job losses.’”

“Manufacturing layoffs at John Deere, Case New Holland and Caterpillar have been linked to the farm economy slowdown. Closer to home, owners of a German-Bliss dealership said slowing farm-equipment sales were among the reasons for closing the store at the west edge of Springfield last month. Dealerships in East Peoria and Princeville were not affected.”

“A stronger dollar, which makes U.S. farm products more expensive overseas, a weaker global economy and bumper crops all contributed to the downturn in the farm economy after six strong years, said Goss. He added that there are indications of a gradual rebound in 2017, barring weather problems and further weakening of export demand.”

“While farmers are inherently cautious about yield forecasts, Sangamon County farmer Tom Jennings said the proof remains mostly in the fields for now. ‘Some have found what they thought was out there isn’t,’ said Jennings.”

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Comment by The Crushin' Russian
2016-09-15 15:06:03

They also succeeded in collapsing demand.

US Housing Demand Collapses To 20 Year Low

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-09-15 21:48:13

“But the bust that has followed has been rough, with corn prices falling by more than half over the last four years. Squeezed farmers are less able to buy seeds and technology, which has meant a wave of layoffs and agribusiness consolidation. Monsanto is the latest firm to decide it’s better not to go it alone.”

Next up: Echo Bubble deflation…

Comment by Jingle Male
2016-09-16 02:33:37

“Troubles in the rural economy, said Creighton economist Ernie Goss, have been masked by improvement in the larger economy.”

This is exactly why I always read the HBB. Everything gets unmasked at this forum!

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-09-15 15:34:30

From today’s earlier thread:

Comment by In Colorado
2016-09-15 14:35:17

“we had a RIF at the Broomfield site today. My organization lost about 5% of its staff, though my team was unaffected”

All that crowing over the lunch table about equity gainz, LOLZ.

Now you get to use some of that alleged equity to pay for Botox while you look for a new job.

It’s Tough Being Over 40 in Silicon Valley:

“Many older tech workers are just going to greater lengths to seem younger as they try to win over potential bosses younger than their kids. Besides the standard preinterview tricks—listing only recent jobs on résumés, freshening online profile photos—job seekers are investing in retraining, creeping on potential employers, and changing their appearances in all kinds of ways, including plastic surgery.”

Comment by Carl Morris
2016-09-15 17:09:26

I saw that article a couple of days on LinkedIn. I just got a job in Silicon Valley at 49. My take is that it’s very tough to get a job here or anywhere else if there is somebody available to do it better and cheaper (which is usually a younger person). And offering to undercut them on price isn’t helpful at that point. Younger wins. But if you can do things that are needed that they can’t do yet, things look much better. So you gotta know stuff they don’t know that the guy with the money really needs. “Experience” all by itself doesn’t help. You gotta know stuff.

Comment by oxide
2016-09-16 05:13:02

Hi Carl! Long time no see! :mrgreen: I expect plenty of boots-on-the-ground reports from Silly Valley.

Comment by Bill, Just South of Irvine
2016-09-16 08:04:22

At age 57 I am always looking over my shoulder. Even when I was much younger than 50 I noticed mistakes the older guys made. Like being more than 90% into stocks when they retire like one was in 2000. He told me his wife and him could not retire that year like they planned because of the tech stock crash. Or how about the ones who do not get regular,physicals and are obese and then they discover they are pre-diabetic? I’ve worked with obese consultants in their 50s and learned what not to do.

Invest realistically. When the money is gravy it should go in cash, savings bonds, treasury bills and precious metals.

Losing that gut and the carbs also gives you more energy. Standing desks have been in my office area for four months now, and they not only helped my posture, and back, but give me more energy. I get tired sitting down in the afternoons.

I am the oldest guy in my office and my boss is ten years younger. But I do good work. I do what I am asked to do, found a nest of bugs in our server product’s software and after three years I think maybe my foot is in the door of the commercial (nondedense) work.

Comment by In Colorado
2016-09-16 11:33:03

All that crowing over the lunch table about equity gainz, LOLZ.

They haven’t stopped. I just smile and bide my time, and will tell them “I told you so” when it’s no longer possible to deny that the party is over.

Comment by the spider monkey
2016-09-15 15:34:55

““There’s an avalanche of grain coming as U.S. farmers gear up to harvest record corn and soybean crops.”

““A third straight bumper harvest”

Those Monsanto seeds apparently work pretty darn well.

Perhaps crashing those markets via oversupply is part of their long-term business plan: First invent the seeds that produce bumper harvests every year, bankrupting the farmers from all the oversupply, then Monsanto can buy all the farms for super-cheap. Then, they can have full control over the entire food chain, from seed to dinner plate.

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-09-15 16:05:51

One of my favorite parts of Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath is where they pour gasoline over tons of harvested oranges and burn them.

Margaret Thatcher allegedly said that “socialism only works until you run out of other people’s money.”

Capitalism works until it doesn’t. Ask the people sleeping in the doorways in my neighborhood.

The 80110 is getting a new 110 unit affordable housing complex, I was at the groundbreaking ceremony today. The neighboring bar owner at one of my locals is worried about how the lack of parking through the projected next 14 months of construction is gonna affect his business.

Comment by the spider monkey
2016-09-15 21:46:01

Without any real knowledge of the farming industry, for some reason it seems to be a good fit in concept — the seed developers and the crop growers merging. Kind of like two wings of a big company like GE, and very related ones. They could probably leverage a lot of knowledge and skills to each other if they were in the same company.

Currently, Monsanto owns barely any farmland, primarily for just R&D. If you’re curious, I found this from the horse’s mouth on a GMOAnswers site:

“OK, here is a real question: What percentage of American farmland is actually owned by Monsanto, as opposed to land owned by Monsanto customers, also as opposed to farmers who want to have nothing to do with Monsanto?”

“Monsanto owns very little U.S. farmland—fewer than 15,000 acres—and we estimate that we lease about 30,000 more. According to the USDA, there are approximately 922 million acres of farmland in the United States (crop-land and pasture-land combined). Using those figures, we’d estimate that we own and lease approximately 0.005 percent of all U.S. farmland, or approximately 0.01 percent of all U.S. cropland.

Here’s a little bit of additional information about our operations:

First, we are not in the business of “farming” as most people think of it. Farmers raise crops to harvest them to sell to consumers, use as animal feed or sell to grain handlers and processors, who sell the crops to food companies and retailers.

Monsanto uses farmland for two primary purposes. Most acres would be devoted to the production of seed that we then sell to farmers. Other acres would be devoted to research, such as breeding better varieties of seed. Some of what we harvest is sold into normal grain channels (we would not want to waste it), but we do not sell grain that includes new GM traits that have not yet received government approval for sale as grain.”


“Regarding the rest of your question, we do not have any precise figures for the amount of land owned by Monsanto’s customers, versus by farmers who do not want to plant GMOs. We know that in crops where Monsanto’s GM traits are available, they have been very popular with growers, accounting for a large majority of acres. In 2012, we estimated that about 167 million acres in the United States were planted with seeds containing one or more of Monsanto’s GM corn, soybean or cotton traits. We also offer GM traits for use in other crops (e.g., canola, alfalfa and sugar beets), but corn soybeans and cotton represent most of the acres.”

So, 167 million acres using Monsanto seeds out of 922 million total acres. 18% of US farmland using those seeds. I guess they still have a ways to go before they reach market-saturation, and then become pressured to expand outside of their core business, such as buying up the farms themselves, if that even makes financial sense.

Comment by Panda Triste
2016-09-16 05:56:44

“According to the USDA, there are approximately 922 million acres of farmland in the United States (crop-land and pasture-land combined). Using those figures, we’d estimate that we own and lease approximately 0.005 percent of all U.S. farmland, or approximately 0.01 percent of all U.S. cropland.”

Why are they counting pasture land? I’m a city boy who only sees cows at the county fair, but I’m thinking pasture land is generally not suitable for growing crops… So what are they trying to distort?

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Comment by the spider monkey
2016-09-15 21:55:32

Oh, duh. Kind of a trip. Yesterday, Monsanto just agreed to be bought out by Bayer, the german drug company. But the news reports say it is clouded by the regulators and who knows if they will interfere.

So it’s the Germans who will be in charge of our GMO seed stock development now. Maybe that is why the regulators don’t like it.

Is that a bad form of Globalism? Technically that’s 18% of US farmland that would be using Bayer seeds. Who knows, maybe in a few years, after they learn everything from our US staff, they might just decide to fire everyone and use their own German scientists instead. (the dark view).

But I thought they hated the GMO seeds over in Europe? Aren’t they banned there?

Anyway, sorry for the ramble.

Comment by resistance
2016-09-15 23:18:22

Flunky 401… Do you live in the US? If so, then you’re an idiot. There has been no actual, free market capitalism in the US since at least 1913. In fact, it has been a slow and steady march into a socialist/communist/kleptocratic hellhole since then, and the “people sleeping in the doorways in (your) neighborhood” can thank all of the “affordable” housing programs, kleptocratic regulations, and FED manipulations that permeate every crack and crevice the mainstream world economies for their plight. Get back in the matrix you retard. You’re better off there.

Comment by GuillotineRenovator
2016-09-16 09:07:17

Low IQ post.

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Comment by Professor Bear
2016-09-16 05:07:31

“One of my favorite parts of Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath is where they pour gasoline over tons of harvested oranges and burn them.”

Overproducing, then destroying perfectly good produce in order to drive up prices is a tradition in California.

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-09-16 05:05:27

“Those Monsanto seeds apparently work pretty darn well.”

Right up until the point when you realize your profits are buried in a sea of grain.

Comment by Blue Skye
2016-09-15 16:04:51

” barring weather problems”

Like I’ve said before, when you’re already bent over, nature comes to kick you in the ass.

Farmers have been making more (real or imagined) for many years from land appreciation than crop economy. Energy inputs have collapsed, so corn off by half or so shouldn’t break their backs. It’s the price of land, just like for condos.

That’s the thing about an artificial cheap credit expansion; it seems to bring prosperity for a moment but then it always causes collapse because of all the bad investment decisions.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-09-15 16:27:32

Farmers, unlike Wall Street, will not get bailed out.

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-09-15 21:50:16

TSTB (Too Small To Bail)

Comment by taxpayers
2016-09-16 03:39:23

? Ever heard of farm subsidies
Another industry touched by big gov

Comment by oxide
2016-09-16 06:13:23

As the taxpayers says, farmers *are* being bailed out … on a daily basis. You don’t see a surplus of broccoli or blackberries, right? Nope, it’s corn and soy. Automated, irrigated, fertilized and subsidized.

Comment by Blue Skye
2016-09-16 07:47:52

I heard that blueberries are getting heavy subsidies this year.

What is not getting bailed out is having paid way too much for land.

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Comment by oxide
2016-09-16 08:37:08

Wait, do you have a link to blueberry subsidies? I’d be interested in reading about that. Is it all blueberries, or just the grass-fed ones?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-09-15 16:24:28

Despite the best efforts of the Keynesian fraudsters at the Fed and central bank, true price discovery is starting to assert itself.

Comment by palmetto
2016-09-15 16:57:30

I want to see true price discovery come to Facebook and Amaponzi.

LOL, WaPo has a yuuuge article lionizing Jeff Bezos, the man who is going to take us to the stars. The photograph alone is enuf to make a person reach for the barf bag. I guess since no one else would lionize him, he had to get his own newspaper to do it. Didn’t read the article. WaPo says I’ve had my free allotment for the month. The photo told me everything I needed to know, anyway.

When that crash comes, it’s gonna be a doozie.

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-09-15 17:13:30

Washington Post “real journalists” better get used to the taste of ramen and cat food.

Zoe Barnes was pretty hawt on House Of Cards until she got pushed in front of a train. It took me until the second season to realize that Frank Underwood’s initials are FU, but I just get too wrapped up in a show sometimes to think about that.

Comment by palmetto
2016-09-15 18:06:14

My father spent some time in the PR game, and he used to say that you could always tell someone was about to take a hit when they started believing their own press releases. That’s Bezos in a nutshell.

Don’t get me wrong, I give the guy props for building a successful online venue for books and media and then building it out to encompass other areas. He really bent over the publishing biz, that’s for sure. And put other booksellers out of business in the process. Not to mention he’s one of the few people I’ve heard of who goes public, does what he wants and tells the shareholders and Wall Street to go f*ck themselves, and gets away with it. So there’s that.

However, it just seems to me that something went screwy along the way. I like to shop online, but I won’t go near Amazon. It’s the most confusing place to shop online I’ve ever seen, I don’t know how people stand it. There’s really nothing there I can’t get somewhere else a whole lot easier, like Ebay or wherever, where listings are way less cluttered. And I don’t like the idea of having Amazon dip into my bank account. I prefer an intermediary like Paypal.

The one purchase I ever made there I promptly returned. (And BTW, that’s your fault, 401, on your recommendation I bought that lousy little book “Enjoy the Decline”) and we tried out Prime for 30 days for the movies, which we could pretty much get elsewhere for less or for free. Free shipping? Pfft. I don’t buy enough to make it worth my while.

I have no need of Amazon’s cloud services, but as I’ve mentioned on the blog before, I know of a website that used it and things did not work out well for them.

So I’ve really got my doubts as to the true value of this company. And even more now that Bezos got his own newspaper to do a puff piece on him.

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Comment by Professor Bear
2016-09-15 21:53:37

Amazon recently opened a bricks-and-mortar store in SD to little fanfare. Wassup with that?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-09-15 16:26:27

Forgotten Americans screwed over by hope n’ change n’ globalism are voting for Trump.

Comment by The Selfish Hoarder
2016-09-15 21:00:54

The smart ones are not voting.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-09-16 09:40:23

The “smart ones” who don’t vote are deemed irrelevant by The System. A vote for Trump throws a monkey wrench into the gears of the crony capitalist status quo and registers a middle finger to our corrupt, co-opted Republicrat political elites.

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-09-16 05:03:38

NAZI rhetoric is not what Team Trump needs going into the stretch.

24 turbulent hours for Trump’s children
By Eric Bradner, CNN
Updated 7:45 AM ET, Fri September 16, 2016

… Trump Jr. caused a firestorm when, during a Thursday interview with a Philadelphia radio station, he raised the specter of the Holocaust by saying if Republicans acted like Hillary Clinton, the media would be “warming up the gas chamber.” The campaign later said Trump Jr. was referring to capital punishment, though the Clinton campaign quickly seized on the remarks.

Comment by MightyMike
2016-09-16 06:31:27

I thought of WW2 when I first read that. Then later I remembered watching reruns of Dragnet many years ago. The gas chamber was something used by the state of California to execute murderers back in the day.

Comment by Blue Skye
2016-09-16 08:04:07

Thank God he didn’t say “crucify”.

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-09-16 12:30:05


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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-09-15 16:30:03

In 2008 and 2012, 95% of the ‘Murican electorate voted for the status quo. Is my assumption that abject stupidity is a lifelong condition about to be tested? I hope so.

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-09-15 16:30:27

Chick-fil-A lands at DIA a year after council controversy:

“The latest outlet of the family-owned Atlanta-based fast-food chain restaurant opened Wednesday and operates from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

“Passengers at Denver International Airport have long asked us to add Chick-fil-A to our growing lineup of dining options,” said Neil Maxfield, DIA’s senior vice president for concessions. “We are excited to open the doors to this highly anticipated restaurant, which provides another familiar national brand to complement our local Colorado flavors.”

In keeping with the chain’s tradition, the DIA restaurant will not be open on Sunday. But airport officials aren’t worried about losing money because the restaurant will only operate six days a week.”

There’s a new Chick-fil-A being built south of my neighborhood at Broadway and Dartmouth across from the 7-Eleven and Walgreens.

They have work crews working on the site on Sunday.

On Sunday.

Denver Post, Denver Business Journal, craigslist R & R, Facebook, Reddit are you listening? Gay people can’t get married, got it. And the Book of Genesis says you don’t work on Sunday. Which way’s it gonna be bro?

I’ve got pics and vids of the jobsite, and I don’t hear much English spoken there.

F*ing hypocrites…

Comment by In Colorado
2016-09-15 22:23:36

FWIW, they’re the building contractor’s employees, not Chick-Fil-A’s. That said, Chick-Fil-A management could ask the builder to not work on Sunday, or have stipulated in the contract that no work be done on Sunday.

Comment by taxpayers
2016-09-16 03:41:19

They’re Christian,not Xenophobic

Comment by Blue Skye
2016-09-16 08:07:21

“the Book of Genesis says you don’t work on Sunday.”

Are you sure?

Comment by MightyMike
2016-09-16 08:59:25

A quick Google search indicates that it it’s the book of Exodus. The day of the week doesn’t appear to be specified.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-09-16 09:42:11

The Bible says don’t work on the Sabbath. The Sabbath is Saturday. It was only changed to Sunday for some arcane reason I don’t know.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-09-15 16:34:32

Astonishing - a defense of Les Deplorables in the Wall Street Journal, flagship propanda outlet of the neocons and .1% grifters. Are the oligarchs starting to belatedly figure out that the torches and pitchforks are going to be coming for them?

Comment by MightyMike
2016-09-15 17:21:28

It’s not astonishing. There’s been stuff like on the WSJ web site for a long time. They probably know that many who read their website are not part of their high income target market. And since Murdoch bought it, they’ve probably added extra stuff targeted at the Fox News audience.

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-09-15 16:38:53

Denver Business Journal - How do Denver, Boulder tech office markets rank nationally?

“Forty-five cities were ranked, and Denver finished No. 23 and Boulder was No. 25 in the rankings. Silicon Valley was No. 1 and San Francisco was No. 2.

Of Denver, the report opines that “Denver’s highly-educated workforce is a magnet that serves the seemingly insatiable appetite for skilled tech workers,” but warns “though still lower than many top-tier markets, a rising cost of living proves burdensome for both new and long-established residents alike.”

Of Boulder, the report opines that “more than 100,000 square feet of furnished tech space is available for sublease, providing opportunity for startups and small companies to settle near similar businesses at a discounted price,” but warns “as more tenants move into Boulder, many flex and industrial users are being forced out of the area due to an increase in office conversions.”

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-09-15 17:05:11

The backstory of how 4chan Tulpamancer trolls baited Hillary and the MSM into declaring war on Pepe the Frog:

Comment by palmetto
2016-09-15 17:28:12

What happened to the story? Clicked the link and it’s not found.

Comment by palmetto
2016-09-15 17:39:59

What happened to the story? Clicked the link and it’s not found.

never mind I found it. Had to scroll down to the comments to find the 4 chan stuff.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-09-15 18:12:21

Palmy - below is the poster’s original comment on ZH. This stuff has me shaking my head in full-fledged WTF mode.

This clownshow will echo down through the centuries! I need some serious drugs to make sense of it all.

Just a few months ago when things were only half as weird (but still pretty fucking weird), I tried to guess how weird they might get. The result was uncreative in retrospect. Blood rituals, Lizard People, Cthulhu, massacres and nuclear war have already been flogged to death. Truth is stranger than fiction.

The truth is that Hillary just sealed her doom by declaring war on an anthropomorphic cartoon frog who is the avatar of Kek, the Egyptian god of Chaos. His earthly strength, and even his very sentience, is powered by magic-wielding trolls.

Here’s what I’ve been able to piece together from my limited time on :

Back in ancient times, Pepe the Frog was just an obscure comic book character who liked to smoke weed and pee with his pants around his ankles. He gradually became a bit of a mascot. 4channers would post customized drawings of Pepe, in between wanking to anime and trolling the fuck out anyone who pissed them off. Much time was wasted with masturbation (both physical and mental). There was even a subculture of Tulpamancy, in which the most autistic basement dwellers would attempt to magically materialize thought-forms in the shape of anime characters. This was their only hope of getting laid.

The Great Internet Prairie Fire swept through 4chan and they became alt right. Some people started posting Nazi Pepes in various places. Social justice warriors’ heads would explode. It was still mostly about the lulz at that point. 4chan lacked divine purpose. Then someone was guided to Kek. An Egyptian god with the head of a frog. Lord of Chaos and the Darkness before the Dawn. There was a carving of this frog-headed dude sitting in front of hieroglyphs that resembled a computer screen on a desk.

An autistic meme-shaman said that such a synchronicity was the sign of a higher calling. He prophecized that if 4channers would worship Kek, he would become an Egregore: A monster from their collective Id. His power would be so terrible that the establishment would be forced to attack him, and in doing so they would go Full Retard, and be finished.

The trolls went to work. They worshiped Kek. Made idols in his image. Sang his praises in every shitpost. They made thousands of Pepes- whimsical, sad, angry, offensive, everything in between. They spammed him all over the internet.

Hillary just lost her rag. She has an entire page of her website devoted to whipping up pearl-clutching moral panic over a cartoon frog. The mainstream media joined the attack. Trump’s son posted a spoof movie poster called “The Deplorables”. It includes Pepe, Ben Carson, and Milo (a gay Jew who loves big black dicks). The media is saying that Pepe is sometimes portrayed as a Nazi and therefore Ben, Milo and of course Donald Trump are Nazis by association. Literally Hitler!

Old people are saying “WTF is this retardation? On top of the Weekend at Bernie’s bullshit? The media has lost its collective mind!” Young people are saying “Autistic Nazi anime dorks who worship the Egyptian Frog God of Chaos? This I gotta see!” and they hit the intertubes. Alt right web traffic has surged. And the establishment’s cascading high-speed NASCAR crash just suked in a few more cars. Within the last four days, Hillary declared war on Pepe, she had a seizure in public, the media crashed to Baghdad Bob levels of credibility, a big Wikileaks dump came out, and the Democrats are starting to whisper about throwing Hillary under the bus even though they could be Arkancided for such talk. Praise Kek!

Is this sorcery for real? Who gives a shit. It’s funny and it seems to work. Millenials are doing something useful. I am anxiously waiting to see what else 4chan has up its collective sleeve.

According to the Kekronomicon, when a 4chan Tulpamancer reaches level 88, he can summon Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man Pepe. Homeland Security needs to get onto this ASAP. Terror alert orange. The media must warn the public of this danger. Hillary must make a speech. Drag the Feminist Ghostbusters out of their safe space!

Comment by palmetto
2016-09-15 18:43:34

Yah, I read that.

“Old people are saying “WTF is this retardation? On top of the Weekend at Bernie’s bullshit? The media has lost its collective mind!”

Haha, that was my reaction. I’m old, I guess. One thing I like about the young Trump supporters is that they seem to be (generally speaking) very kind to, patient with and understanding of the older Trump supporters.

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Comment by MightyMike
2016-09-15 18:58:10

Millenials are doing something useful.

There’s nothing useful in any of that. These people clearly have a lot of free time.

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Comment by the spider monkey
2016-09-15 18:59:07

In addition, the word Kek came from a popular online video game. From urban dictionary:

“Kek literally translates to lol on World of Warcraft. When someone from the Horde side types lol in /say, members of the alliance side see kek instead. Not specific to Orcs.

‘Human Paladin: Dude, that Orc totally just pwned you.
Orc: Kek.
Human: Dude, now he’s laughing at you. Kick his ass.’

So like Kek is the god of the lulz, or something.

I think the whole thing is funny. The kids having some fun.

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Comment by palmetto
2016-09-15 19:17:28

The kidz’re all right!

Comment by the spider monkey
2016-09-15 19:22:49

The fact it went from Kek + Pepe, to a full-blown white supremacy thing on Clinton’s web site…

They would say, she went Full Retard.

You never go Full Retard.

Comment by palmetto
2016-09-15 19:53:23

“They would say, she went Full Retard.”

We used to say she “screwed the pooch”.

“Hillary just lost her rag”

Totally. Between the whole alt-right Alex Jones’s Black Heart routine, the basket of deplorables and Pepe the Frog, I about lost it myself laughing. And then came the capper, the flopsy at Ground Zero.

I wonder what people from other countries think. Tell you what, I’m guessing they may not understand it, but they have an idea that Pepe and the Deplorables might have something to do with possibly stopping the bombs from dropping and that’d be ok with them.

Comment by the spider monkey
2016-09-15 20:21:57

I dunno, but those very same Kek people are the ones doing all the investigative leg-work whenever there is a new pile of email leaks released — some of which are pretty large data dumps.

There is an army of the “weaponized autists” they call themselves that sift through it all — researching the people and companies referred to in various leaked emails and documents, linking things together, creating the bigger-picture understanding.

Every day they are finding direct or near-direct evidence of some new corruption in the government.

Pretty amazing to see actually, I’ve never seen anything like it before. Way better than any of the journalists.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-09-16 04:42:12

With the oligarch-owned MSM serving as the media adjuncts and propagandists for the DNC and globalists, any news that reflects negatively on Hillary or the DNC is immediately consigned to the memory hole. A lot of these “weaponized autists” see right through the The Narrative and the rest of the BS they’re expected to swallow, and are keen to ferret out the truth and have it known. Good on them. They’re doing the job of “investigative citizen journalists” that the MSM abdicated long ago in favor of being Oligopoly scribes and stenographers, and fawning leg-humpers for the Dear Leaders Obama and Hillary.

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-09-15 21:56:02

That story is too stupid to spend the time it takes to read it.

And I notice you post it regularly.

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-09-15 17:06:57

Another heroin article (people are beginning to think that this is like, a real problem):

“The task force formed to help fight a heroin epidemic in the Seattle area has recommended the opening of public, supervised sites where addicts can use heroin.

The sites, supported by both King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, would be the first of their kind in the country.

“If it’s a strategy that saves lives … then regardless of the political discomfort I think it is something we have to move forward,” Constantine said during a Thursday news conference.

The recommendations released Thursday call for a pilot program to establish two “community health-engagement locations” in targeted areas where users can inject heroin under medical supervision as an alternative to public restrooms, alleys and homeless encampments like The Jungle.”

Guns N Roses - Welcome To The Jungle:

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-09-15 17:27:05

New York Magazine real journalists found some reason to report this:

“A man attacked an NYPD officer with a meat cleaver near Penn Station in midtown around 5 p.m., at the start of the evening rush. The suspect, who struck the cop in the head with his blade, was shot by police. The assailant was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Police arrived near 32nd Street and Seventh Avenue after getting reports that a man was brandishing a hatchet in the area. The suspect, who allegedly refused to drop his weapon, fled. Cops chased him. One officer tried, and failed, to tase him. Police were struggling to subdue the suspect when an off-duty police officer witnessed the confrontation and rushed to assist the uniformed cops.

The suspect then attacked the off-duty cop, slashing the officer in the face or head with his 11-inch cleaver. Police responded and fired on the suspect at least 18 times, reports ABC 7.”

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-09-15 18:31:27

Pull out the usual template: mentally ill loner…rejected by women…no apparent signs of radicalization (ME background consigned to the Memory Hole). Nothing to see, folks, move along. We need common-sense meat cleaver control….

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-09-15 17:36:55

People Fled the Bronx in the 1970s. Now Its Population Is Booming:

“The borough, which lost one in five residents during the 1970s when it was afflicted by high crime and arson fires, has not only recouped its population loss but also appears to have surpassed its historic peak, according to new census projections.

An influx of immigrants helped boost the borough’s population to 1.455 million as of July 1, 2015, according to the United States Census Bureau. At the annual rate the Bronx has been growing since 2010, about 1 percent, the highest of any county in the state, that would place the current total ahead of the high of 1.472 million in 1970, demographers agree.

And Queens, already a polyglot mix of residents from every corner of the globe, is growing ever more diverse. Nearly half, or about 48 percent, of the population of Queens is foreign-born, ranking the borough second only to Miami-Dade in Florida (with nearly 53 percent) among larger American counties in the share of residents from abroad. One-fourth of Queens residents come from Asia.”

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-09-15 18:13:29

Our permanent Democrat supermajority isn’t going to build itself, you know.

Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2016-09-16 10:22:34

People Fled the Bronx in the 1970s
In those days, I used to watch the buildings over in the Bronx burn from the roof of my apartment building. When I started taking a knife up with my towel to “Tar Beach” to get a tan, I realized (duh) that maybe it just wasn’t worth it. I inevitably went from pale to beet red, anyway.

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-09-15 18:02:14

New Yorker review of Oliver Stone’s Snowden:

“Oliver Stone’s fast-paced and large-scale but narrow-focus bio-pic of Edward Snowden covers the near-decade between 2004, when Snowden (played, or, rather, impersonated, by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) dropped out of Army training because of a severe injury, and 2013, when he left the United States to divulge his knowledge of a vast network of illegal surveillance and then got stuck in Russia. His action, of course, is historic; the events that led to that action are, in Stone’s telling, occasionally fascinating; but Stone’s depiction of Edward Snowden is as flat, thin, and artificial …

the character of Snowden remains nearly as undefined as he was at the start. He comes off not as a person endowed with any psychological complexity but as a cardboard cutout of a hero, ready to be held up as a placard for a cause without any substance of his own beside the cause for which he stands.”

Comment by palmetto
2016-09-15 18:09:45

NYT = Gray Lady Down.

Comment by Bill, Just South of Irvine
2016-09-16 08:24:32

Trump wants Snowden executed.

Comment by Bill, Just South of Irvine
2016-09-16 08:26:05

The book “No Place To Hide” is prolly much better than the movie.

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-09-15 18:22:17

This is from 1993. Where were you then?

Machine Gun Funk - Biggie (Original Version):

More narrative about that, in case you care:

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-09-15 19:00:28

Biggie - Friend Of Mine (1993):

Where you at? What is this? What do you think its gonna be?

Comment by palmetto
2016-09-15 19:25:37

Eat your heart out, Beyonce. Watch and learn from the master:

You Should Be Dancing:

Comment by In Colorado
2016-09-15 22:27:52

That was a bad movie.

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Comment by palmetto
2016-09-16 05:18:37

Terrible. Great soundtrack, though, with the exception of a couple of numbers. And what a dance routine! How the heck does a person dance on their ankles like that?

Robert Stigwood made a fortune.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-09-15 18:28:21

The MSM is out with its oligarchy-approved talking points: Hillary “powered through” her illness in her fervor to serve We the People. The Twitter response shows We the People ain’t buying it.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-09-15 18:55:52

Hillary’s ghost-written campaign drivel, “Strong Together,” is getting savagely trolled on Amazon. Some hilarious comments - good to know that the aware and awake ain’t buying her snake oil.

Comment by palmetto
2016-09-15 20:16:02

Heh, saw that. Here’s another good one: Hillary’s campaign overcharges the poorest donors, slamming them with additional fees. Is that symbolic, or what? No sympathy here, they deserve it for donating to her in the first place.

Robby Mook, sucks to be you!

Have you seen this guy? (Her campaign manager). I was looking at the definition of “smarmy” in the dictionary and dang if his picture wasn’t right next to it. And what self-respecting guy goes by the name of Robby after the age of 5? ESPECIALLY if you’ve got a last name like “Mook”.

I’m tellin’ ya, if she loses, that guy’s life won’t be worth a plug nickel, considering they had the entirety of the MSM for a surrogate. In fact I’m surprised he hasn’t been replaced yet.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-09-15 19:10:23

Our corrupt Democrat-run municipalities and their NEA partners in crime must ensure our public education systems turn out half-educated dolts who will make the perfect lifetime Democrat dependency voters. Forward!

Comment by taxpayers
2016-09-16 03:44:50

Inventory tight in 22151 as Soviets await Hilary

Comment by taxpayers
2016-09-16 03:48:26

Everyone at all the state and fed depts of AG will get raised and keep their jobs

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-09-16 04:43:24

Taxpayers, get ready to bail out underfunded municipal pension funds.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-09-16 04:46:09

YouTube censoring journalists who depart from The Narrative.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-09-16 04:56:53

Taxpayers are deserting Democrat-run municipalities as the collectivist kleptocrats escalate their looting and extortion of the productive to fund the patronage, graft, and payola demanded by the DNC’s billionaire donors and the ever-growing Free Sh!t Army entitlement voters. If you have ever voted for Democrat candidates, you should be barred by law from resettling in any non-D locale.

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-09-16 05:13:48

Tough times ahead for cab and truck drivers? Or is this just another load of Silly Valley hype?

Hello self-driving cars, goodbye 4.1 million jobs?
Published: Sept 16, 2016 2:58 a.m. ET
A passenger looks on as he rides in a pilot model of an Uber self-driving car in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
By Shawn Langlois
Social-media editor

When the self-driving-car revolution firmly takes hold, there will be carnage, according to Wolf Richter of the Wolf Street blog. Not the car-crash kind — though that is a prevalent fear — but on the employment front.

“The magnitude of this problem is breathtaking,” he wrote. Citing government figures, he says that 4.1 million jobs (the stat of the day in our “Need to Know” column) are at risk, including chauffeurs and drivers of trucks, cabs and ride-share vehicles.

Comment by Salinasron
2016-09-16 05:35:55

Wow! Just heard that an extended family member purchased a house (960 sq. ft.) built 1955 in SJ CA for $750 K.

Comment by Carl Morris
2016-09-16 09:29:18

I’ve been looking around a little here. Stuff is expensive but I would expect the interior to be pretty nice for that price. Got a link? What’s more common around here is recently build 3br townhomes for over a million.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-09-16 05:58:25

But…but…Obama said Obamacare would save the average family $2500 in medical costs! (And the stupid voters fell for it.)

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