Get Your Piece of ARAMCO 4/26/16

The 31 YO rising star of the Saud dynasty, Mohammed bin Salman, has announced a broad goal of bringing Saudi Arabia into the mid 19th Century by 2030.  Being an incrementalist myself, I recognize some movement out of the Ston[ing] Age as a positive.

http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21697673-bold-promises-bold-young-prince-they-will-be-hard-keep-saudi-arabias

One worry everyone in the west seems to share is that the blowback from other parts of the family will stifle this little candle in the night.

I also must wonder if it is a good business decision to do an IPO of 5% of the nation’s wealth when the current pricing for its one commodity is low.  That move has an air of desperation to me.

 

Am I wrong?  Why?

 

26 Responses

  1. New thread.

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  2. Mark:

    I also must wonder if it is a good business decision to do an IPO of 5% of the nation’s wealth when the current pricing for its one commodity is low.

    It may be a good decision if it is low but going lower.

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  3. When it rains, it pours. Dennis Hastert being sued for not making good on his promise to pay hush money.

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/91fcb204eaa44aa78368129a5350840f/individual-sues-hastert-money-over-unpaid-hush-money

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    • I’m finding it interesting that it’s being defined as a “verbal contract”. How is there a record of it?

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      • Mich:

        How is there a record of it?

        I’m not sure, but it is possible that Hastert himself is on record as admitting the agreement as an explanation for the money withdrawals that were the subject of the criminal charges against him.

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        • That’s what the inference is with the FBI quotes that lead them to conclude that it wasn’t actual extortion.

          Had Hastert just documented it and paid with a check, he wouldn’t have the legal liability.

          As a reminder, all he’s been actually convicted of is taking his own money out of the bank and then lying to the FBI as to why.

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        • That’s enough to get you listed as a hate group at the SPLC.

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        • jnc:

          As a reminder, all he’s been actually convicted of is taking his own money out of the bank and then lying to the FBI as to why.

          I know. Absolutely insane. If this doesn’t qualify as the ultimate in government overreach, I don’t know what is.

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        • If argue
          Having to sign my income tax forms the greater government over reach.

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  4. Ed Whelan at NRO notes yet another literally incoherent aspect of the Fourth Circuit’s ruling on Title IX’s application to gender identity.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/434535/fourth-circuit-transgender-ruling

    If the majority and the Obama administration are right that a boy who identifies as female has a right under Title IX to use the girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and shower facilities, then it would be discrimination on the basis of gender identity to bar a boy who identifies as male from having the same access. After all, the difference between the two biological males is that they have different gender identities. How could one of the males be allowed to use the girls’ facilities and the other be barred from doing so if Title IX bars discrimination on the basis of gender identity?

    In short, the Department of Education’s 1975 regulation (which is still operative) is incompatible with a reading of Title IX that would extend its bar on sex discrimination to discrimination on the basis of gender identity, for such a ruling would nullify the very protection that regulation recognizes or provides.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Other than prudery,why can’t a woman use a man’s bathroom and vice versa?

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      • And now we come to the actual heart of the issue. I’m not being facetious either.

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      • McWing:

        Other than prudery,why can’t a woman use a man’s bathroom and vice versa?

        I would imagine that the vast majority of men would have no problem sharing a public bathroom with women. However, I suspect that most women would indeed have a problem with sharing a public bathroom with men. Whether those objections qualify as nothing more than “prudery”, I am not sure.

        I do think that such policies are most relevant with regard to schools. As a former teenage boy and the father of three girls, I am pretty sure it wouldn’t be a good idea to put teenage girls into the situation of having to share a semi-private space like a bathroom with teenage boys. I am also pretty sure that most teenage girls would try to avoid that situation like the plague if it were forced upon them.

        In my view, the notion of unisex bathrooms is a solution in search of a problem. Sex segregated bathrooms have existed since the dawn of the public bathroom and have worked perfectly fine. The only reason – the only reason – they have become a political issue is because of the loud voices of a miniscule portion of the population. And it hardly makes sense to me to have policies regarding how different sexes should be treated being dictated to us by the very portion of the population that is defined by confusion as to what their own sex is.

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        • Devil’s advocate, how would unisex barhrooms harm society in the long run?

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        • McWing:

          Devil’s advocate, how would unisex barhrooms harm society in the long run?

          I don’t think the mere existence of unisex bathrooms will harm society. If you own an establishment and want to have a unisex bathroom, I have no objection at all.

          I do think that imposing a unisex policy on all owners of a public restroom as a matter of law would do great harm to society in the same way that all authoritarian restrictions on freedom and property ownership do so. Although to be fair it would only represent the escalation of harm that the routine misuse and abuse of law-making powers is already doing to society.

          Lastly, I think that imposing a unisex policy on all public schools as a matter of law would not necessarily damage society, but it would gratuitously place most teenage girls in extremely and unnecessarily uncomfortable situations for quite literally no positive gain to society whatsoever. But I imagine teenage boys might find something to celebrate about such a policy.

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        • Put in floor to ceiling stalls and make a urinal room. Everybody’s happy. Take a while, but all bathrooms are remodeled eventually.

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        • KW:

          Put in floor to ceiling stalls and make a urinal room. Everybody’s happy.

          Making “everybody” happy is probably an impossibility. And nearly everybody is happy already with the status quo.

          Note that those who are agitating on behalf of transgenders are pretty much universally not agitating for unisex bathrooms. They are agitating for allowing transgenders to be able to choose for themselves which bathroom to use, depending on which makes them most “comfortable”. It seems to me that the unisex “solution” appeals mostly to libertarian types who are sick of the argument and are saying, in effect, “This is what a policy of non-discrimination actually looks like.”

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        • “They are agitating for allowing transgenders to be able to choose for themselves which bathroom to use, depending on which makes them most “comfortable”.”

          I understand that. Just saying, the answer is ultimately 100% individual private stalls.

          Yes, pretty much everybody was happy with how it was before, even most transgender people. The only “transgenders” who could possibly have been unhappy are those that couldn’t pass for a man/woman in any circumstance; else wise, the fact that they “didn’t belong” in a given bathroom would have been completely invisible to anybody else in the bathroom. So the arguments becomes one of people who are obviously male or female in the traditional sense going into a bathroom opposite of the bathroom of their actual biological sex because they “feel” like they should be a woman, despite having done nothing to actually make the transition (at least at that point).

          But the kerfuffle seems like such nonsense from the get-go. What was really worth complaining about in the first place? Was the best response really to pass a law? And is the response to the law anything other than pointless melodrama?

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  5. The plight of the Oregon bakers continues.

    http://dailysignal.com/2016/04/25/oregon-bakers-continue-legal-fight-challenging-gag-order/

    They should sue the crap out of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries for so blatantly violating their First Amendment rights.

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    • Or move out of Oregon.

      Time for the great sorting before secession.

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    • I really don’t understand why a neo-Nazi or White Supremacist group hasn’t shown up to a liberal bakery and orders a few innocuous cakes for their Nazi celebration of Hitler’s birthday (or, if they’ve tried it, and haven’t been refused). If they were, it would clearly be a form of discrimination . . .and could use decisions against Christian bakers as their precedent.

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      • KW:

        If they were, it would clearly be a form of discrimination . . .and could use decisions against Christian bakers as their precedent.

        The problem is that the relevant law prohibits such discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but not on the basis of ideological affiliation. Of course, as a factual matter the bakers did not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, but the overzealous regulator ruled that they did. Basically the law has created special classifications of people that are more protected from discrimination than others.

        The absurdity of the thinking is this: If, like Nazis, you are loathed by the vast majority of people and that majority wants to discriminate against you, then laws protecting you will never get passed and the majority can discriminate against you with impunity. However, if, like gays or blacks, the majority of people actually accept you and have no desire to discriminate against you, then the tiny minority of people that wants to discriminate against you must be prevented from doing so, because otherwise you will be unable to find anyone who will provide you with the service you want.

        Solid logic, that.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I expect people developing public institutions who can see the writing on the wall will start making bathrooms designed as individual, completely private stalls. Schools with showers in the gym will go the same way.

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