"There are three kinds of Lies in this world. Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics" - Mark Twain...
When I read through the "stories of the day" to bring you The RANT, I see more crap than you can imagine. There are almost NO stories that aren't purposely slanted to push some narrative. So, when there is an event worth Ranting about, I try to read the left wing version and the right wing version.. then some versions from places around the world... and try to come to some logical middle ground.
When articles give statistics I NEVER believe them. If they list their source, I try to read ACTUAL DATA. Most times, THAT works... Then I can Rant to you with a (Somewhat) educated position. .... now..
I do not read the ny times (long story. I got a personal look at the treachery) But, I read the backlash about how they printed an Op-Ed from Conservative Senator Tom Cotton that sparked outrage among their liberal and radical left employees. The editor resigned over it.. (not sure if forced to). The arguments from the right wing outlets are simple: "CENSORSHIP" and the nytimes is a liberal rag ..blah blah... The arguments from the left were that "it didn't live up to our journalistic standards because of inaccuracies.." I read Cotton's letter on his website. Some things they claim are inaccurate are, in fact, accurate. There was one that is debatable.. ..
The debatable "inaccuracy" accusation stems from Cotton's assertion that, "a strong police presence will make the rioters and looters less likely to riot and loot". (To be clear. Protesters are Protesters. Rioters and Looters are rioters and looters. They are not the same). The "strong presence" idea has been around a long time. The liberal commentators are saying there is no evidence it works. Let's look..
So, I said to myself, "SELF, I wonder if there is any actual data on whether it works or not". Anything that would show it is NOT effective or that it IS effective... So.. I looked for actual data.. and I looked ..and looked....and looked .. (Google REALLY doesn't want you to find it).. .. Turns out. .. there isn't much.. The "show of force" has proven effective in military situations to avoid wars...but I can't find proof if it works for Riots...
The closest I could get was a study from criminal "hot spots" (In Minneapolis of all places) from over a decade ago. It showed that in a one year period doubling the police presence in hot zones can lower crime calls around 10%. .. You might think after an hour of looking I would quit there. NOPE..
More officers on beat patrol may lower crime in those neighborhoods. But, does that help at a riot? Does it deter looters? You and I cannot answer that question because we are not looters. We don't think like looters. (You can read the work of Redfern, Decker, and Wright in the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency.. or you can just take my word for it).
Turns out, the mind of thieves reacts most strongly to, "their perceived chance of getting caught". Which means, that YES if there are 1,000 protesters and 5,000 police there is less likely to be looting because they're likely to be caught. Are there other options? Putting cameras everywhere and blasting on loud speakers on all blocks of the protest, "You are being Videoed. If you break the law we will have a recording of you and we will come find you and arrest you". Might that work? Kinda like a "Beware of the Dog" sign or "This House protected by A-1 Security Alarm System" ... I like the "House protected by Smith and Wesson" but I don't think thieves get that joke..
What does this all mean? A massive show of force works. Is it the ONLY way? Is there a less "militant" way that would appease the left wing? Would cameras and warnings work? Who knows... Look.. I'm just Raj the Rant Man.. I don't have ALL the answers !!!
Why am I on about this today? Because TUESDAY SUXXX .. It's nearly impossible to put together a good Rant on Tuesday. Monday's recycled news and no sports, yet !!!.
North Korea has "cut off all communication with South Korea". You think they just ran out of quarters for the pay phone? (Readers under 40: You see... there used to be these things called "Pay Phones" that you would put dimes or quarters into.. then make a phone call. They even put them in cool red booths on corners in London. What? Because no one had cell phones before the 1990's.. Yes, everyone used the pay phones.. yes that's gross.. yes, it probably spread viruses.. now, can you stop asking questions???) .. Experts say the "North is frustrated that the South has not done more to pressure the US to ease sanctions." .. But, I'm going with the pay phone thing...
Coronavirus Update: A woman from the WHO "Dropped Jaws" around the country by saying there is almost NO chance that people with the Coronavirus that are asymptomatic can pass it on. She said the chances are not zero, but they have been actively following people who tested positive but are asymptomatic and they don't seem to be passing the virus on. Hmmmmm.. Were the other scientists wrong? .. Did the virus lose strength over time? I know (and you know) that this stuff is inexact science and they tried hard to learn about it ASAP. But MAN.. the average American is gonna be REALLY angry if we shut down the country for two months and could have gotten away with wearing masks, instead... and..
Seven people were shot in Brooklyn over a 10 minute period. From last Monday through Sunday there were 40 shootings and 13 murders which was up from 24 and 5 last year.
The city of Chicago heard this and responded, "HOLD MY BEER. I GOT THIS"
Chicago set a record with 18, that is 18 HUMAN LIVES, murders on SUNDAY. That is the worst day since 1961 when they started keeping records. On the weekend, 92 shot with 27 Dead. .. On the year, 1,308 shot and 264 total homicides. .. The sad reality is that this points straight to the Mayors office. The concept of holding police back to "protect" people is insane. Defund the Police? How about Defund lying politicians and "leaders" ?? .. and I heard another line that REALLY makes sense ..
To the Mayors, Council Members, and Congresswoman calling to defund Police: How about we start with your security detail? Defund you bodyguards. Send them home and replace them with social workers. Let's see how that works out ...
SPORTS: Fight? UFC's Dana White vs. EPSN's Dan le Betard? Dan called out Dana because he is worth $500 million and the UFC Fighters don't get a big enough percentage of the money derived from bouts. The back and forth got ugly. Dana shut Dan RIGHT UP by challenging him to a bout. He'll pay $250,000 to a charity that Dan chooses. Dan, of course, will go back to Miami with his tail between his legs because he writes articles and talks on TV. Dana was a boxer turned promoter that turned the UFC into a multi-billion dollar enterprise. Do I even have to ask: Who Ya Got? ... and..
NBA: Kevin Durant says he will not play in the NBA this year because that was the plan. I used to like Kevin. But, I'm getting the feeling he isn't really excited about being a NY Net. Real injury? Let it heal. Healthy but don't think you can win a championship? You're probably right.. but How about showing up for your teammates and fans? ..and..
Kobe was larger than life .. So, why wouldn't his wife shoot high?? Kobe's widow is suing the helicopter company for "hundreds of millions" of dollars. If the pilot was not trained to fly in fog, they are gonna win. Not hundreds of millions.. but they're gonna get paid. Sadly, it won't bring him back..
CELEBRIDIOTS: R.I.P.'s .. I am DEFINITELY not "So Excited" ... A sad R.I.P. to Bonnie Pointer who died of a heart attack at 69. Bonnie was "Original Three" Pointer Sister. "He's So Shy", "Neutron Dance", "Slow Hand" .. She'll be missed ... and.. RIP Reche Caldwell, 41 the Former NFL receiver was shot in Miami ... and ..Actor Richard Herd, 87 of Star Trek and Seinfeld fame of complications from cancer ... and.. RIP Kurt Thomas the first US Man to win gold at the World Gymnastics Championship. Thomas had a stroke and died at 64..
Fake it 'till you make it? .. nope... Now, its "Fake it WHEN you make it" .. Hollywood is considering using CGI (Computer Generated Imaging) to replace sex scenes in order to keep actors from getting COVID-19. How is that gonna work? They wear masks and then CGI their heads onto their bodies?.. or are they gonna fake the whole sex scene? I have LOTS of questions.. If 10% of the movie is faked do I get a 10% discount on tickets? .. Does the CGI artist get 10% of the actor's $20 Million? ..and...
When it rains it pours.. Actress Lea Michelle ..HERE ..got called out for being an insufferable b*tch and making everyone's life miserable on the set of her Broadway show. NO ONE came to her defense.. She apologized and then got vilified by a fellow cast member from GLEE. Then, pretty much everyone from Glee chimed in about how horrible she is.. ..now everyone from make-up artists to corporate exec are chiming in.. she is a witch.. WOW.. I don't know whether to say, "Be kind on the way up because you'll pass the same people on the way down" .. or throw the yellow flag "15 Yards for Piling On" !!!
Let's give a little love to "Megan Thee Stallion" because I love the confidence... HERE ..She did a different kind of "Graduation Speech" to the graduates this year.. "Big Ole Freak".. "Hot Girl Summer" .and got "Savage" in her own back yard. .. You GO !!!
Traders are reassessing the current state of the market after the S&P 500 wiped out all of its 2020 losses on Monday, in a historic rally that shocked the Wall Street establishment. It took just 53 sessions for the index to restore the nearly $10T in value that was erased since an intraday low on March 23. The move may be warranted, especially after May's blowout jobs report, unprecedented stimulus and economy reopenings, but many are reviewing positions and looking for the next big catalyst. Ahead of a session that kicks off the Fed's latest two-day policy meeting, S&P 500 futures have pulled back, falling 1% in overnight trade.
Speculative excess has surged to the highest in at least two decades among U.S. options traders and not a single stock in the S&P 500 index is down for the past 10 weeks. It's either a coming sign that everything will fall together when the rally fades or an indication of broader optimism. "I don't think even the most optimistic bullish bull could have anticipated this," said David Sowerby, portfolio manager at Ancora Advisors in Cleveland. "The words that comes to mind are epic, monumental." Job openings data and small business optimism numbers are on deck for today, while Tiffany (NYSE:TIF), Chewy (NYSE:CHWY) and GameStop (NYSE:GME) report quarterly earnings.
The peak in monthly economic activity in the U.S. occurred in February, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research - more or less the group that gets the honor of dating expansions and recessions. The expected duration of the downturn is a matter of debate and is likely to influence opinions on the need for additional economic relief. Congress has already provided $3.3T in emergency spending and tax breaks, prompting worries about a ballooning budget deficit.
Shares of Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) tumbled 42% in extended trading on Monday following reports that the natural-gas producer was preparing to file for bankruptcy. The owner of Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank, Tailored Brands (NYSE:TLRD), also fell nearly 5% on similar reports. On the flip side, Macy's (NYSE:M) soared 13% AH upon securing $4.5B in new financing, while Hertz (NYSE:HTZ) erased all the losses suffered since the car rental company declared bankruptcy on May 22.
Following a weekend report that Gilead (NASDAQ:GILD) and AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) were in touch about a possible merger, CNBC's David Faber said there is nothing going on at the moment. Faber does acknowledge that "there may have been a conversation" at one point, but points out that AstraZeneca, as a U.K. company, would have been required to disclose that anything was going on per takeover panel regulations. The prior report did indicate that formal talks weren't yet underway and that advisers and others were being informally included in the process.
"We believe now is the time to begin a national dialogue on whether and how facial recognition technology should be employed by domestic law enforcement agencies," IBM CEO Arvind Krishna told Congress, as the company shut down its facial recognition business. The unit did not generate significant revenue, according to CNBC, but the decision remains notable for a technology giant that counts the U.S. government as a major customer. "Technology can increase transparency and help police protect communities but must not promote discrimination or racial injustice."
Governments across the globe have been aiding airlines amid a plunge in travel demand, and in some cases, like Germany's Lufthansa (OTCQX:DLAKY), they are taking direct equity stakes. Cathay Pacific Airways (OTCPK:CPCAY) is the latest to announce a recapitalization plan worth HK$39B ($5.03B) led by the Hong Kong government to help it weather the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the carrier, a plunge in passenger revenue to only 1% of the previous year's levels meant the airline had been losing cash at a rate of HK$2.5B-HK$3B per month since February.
Shares of Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) are up another 14% premarket to $83 per share after a major run yesterday that saw the stock skyrocket more than 100%. The company went public this past Thursday - after a merger with VectoIQ - with the intention of disrupting the trucking industry, like Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) upended the car business. Shares of Tesla also hit a record closing price of $949.92 on Monday, partly in response to electric vehicle sales data out of China.
The IPO market is heating up as online car seller Vroom priced its initial public offering at $22/share, with the stock expected to start trading today on the Nasdaq under ticker "VRM." That's above even its recently increased price range of $18-20/share, and brings the raise to about $412.5M. Underwriters have received a 30-day greenshoe option to buy up to an additional 3,187,500 shares at the IPO price.
New industry guidance in California allows for theaters in the state to start reopening as soon as this weekend with strict measures. Cinemas will need to limit capacity to 25% or 100 people per auditorium (whichever is fewer) at first, though the rule is expected to be relaxed after two weeks. That would provide some ramp-up time before the planned arrival of the first big post-pandemic blockbuster, Tenet from Warner Bros. (NYSE:T) on July 17, followed by live-action Mulan from Disney (NYSE:DIS). Related tickers: AMC, CNK, IMAX, MCS, RDI, NCMI
What else is happening...
Goldman Sachs forecasts a pullback in crude prices.
Beauty brands are pivoting away from talc.
In Asia, Japan -0.4%. Hong Kong +1.1%. China +0.6%. India -1.2%. In Europe, at midday, London -1.9%. Paris -2%. Frankfurt -2.1%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -1.2%. S&P -1%. Nasdaq -0.6%. Crude -2.3% to $37.32. Gold +0.6% to $1715.10. Ten-year Treasury Yield -6 bps to 0.82%
Today's Economic Calendar
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