08.31.12

The crazies go into action

Posted in Extremism, Fiat money fear and loathers at 2:23 pm by George Smith

Gold and silver prices twitched when Ben Bernanke indicated the Fed might try to help the economy …

The price of gold and other precious metals jumped Friday, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke made clear that he expects to take further action to try to boost the economy.

The Fed can try to prop up the economy by buying government bonds, lowering interest rates and other measures. Those moves can lead to inflation. And when investors believe inflation is coming, they often buy gold and other precious metals because they believe they are protections against inflation.

[Bernanke] stopped short of committing the Fed to any specific move. But he said that the central bank will do more, because unemployment is so high and the economic recovery “far from satisfactory.”

And the Paul Ryans, the near psychotic fans of Ludwig von Mises, the really nuts but wealthy members of the GOP, and the average suckers who pay attention to Glenn Beck recoiled and drove prices up.

Across the wires went the cry: They’re about to debase the currency again, curses on quantitative easing! Zim note! Paper money, ahhh.

We need to get back to sound money and precious metal coinage. When the fall comes all that will matter is gold.

You don’t have enough money to buy gold, anyway. You’d get ripped off. You even got took when you liquidated your jewelry at the pawn shop.

Meanwhile, in the real world, the consumer price index refuses to conform to the beliefs of charlatans, witches and goldbugs.

The chair’s the thing

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Phlogiston at 7:58 am by George Smith

If you’re an overseas reader and still haven’t seen it, watch American icon Clint Eastwood.

Grandpa, hair mussed and smelling a bit of drink, his voice trembling, hemming, hawing, cursing a chair.


After six years, Mitt Romney is finally the Republican presidential nominee, but the man everyone’s talking about is Clint Eastwood — who has apparently lost his mind. — the LA Times

08.30.12

You can be a waiter …

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Decline and Fall at 6:55 pm by George Smith

In the economy that produces nothing.

It’s not news that the jobs being “created” are in “industries” where it’s virtually impossible to make a decent living. But it’s good to see some statistics of the national abrogation:

The disappearance of midwage, midskill jobs is part of a longer-term trend that some refer to as a hollowing out of the work force, though it has probably been accelerated by government layoffs.

“The overarching message here is we don’t just have a jobs deficit; we have a ‘good jobs’ deficit,” said Annette Bernhardt, the report’s author and a policy co-director at the National Employment Law Project, a liberal research and advocacy group …

The occupations with the fastest growth were retail sales (at a median wage of $10.97 an hour) and food preparation workers ($9.04 an hour). Each category has grown by more than 300,000 workers since June 2009.

Some of these new, lower-paying jobs are being taken by people just entering the labor force, like recent high school and college graduates. Many, though, are being filled by older workers who lost more lucrative jobs in the recession and were forced to take something to scrape by.

The mid level job losses documented were wiped out in the economic collapse. They have not and will not come back, one professor indicates.

Remember: Stop your drinking, moochers, and hope for a lowering of the minimum wage.

Rat cashes out of leaky ship

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 1:18 pm by George Smith

On one from the Facebook inner circle:

Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz is shedding another 450,000 company shares for a take of about $8.7 million.

Moskovitz has been selling 150,000 shares a day and disclosing the sales every three days. Including the most recent sale, he still holds more than 130 million shares.

The latest filing, made late Wednesday, covered sales from Monday to Wednesday. He sold shares at prices ranging from $19 to $19.49.

Shares of Facebook Inc., based in Menlo Park, Calif., have been in steep decline since debuting at $38 each in May …

Best unintentionally fatuous quote ever, a couple months ago, from somebody named Alexander Heffner at the blog formerly known as the Christian Science Monitor newspaper:

Mark Zuckerberg has the potential to rekindle confidence in the markets and to engage everyday Americans in the kind of economic growth that has been limited to only a handful of individuals in recent years.

Quote of the day, from upper class columnist Doyle McManus at the LA Times, in an essay explaining what Mitt must do to muster the confidence of the middle class:

Americans don’t merely admire the rich, especially the working rich; we vote for them all the time. Heck, we’d like to be them.

But Romney is a rich man whose policies often seem — to many voters, anyway — aimed at helping job creators more than job holders …

Perhaps we vote for them all the time because only the rich have the resources to run.

Yes, received wisdom about wishing to someday join the country club, too. Great stuff, something we all learned in our youth — you might get lucky, so don’t be sore, America is a class-less society.

Pre-Civil War rubbish straight from Alexis de Tocqueville.

Stop your drinking, you sods and moochers!

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 9:54 am by George Smith

The poor don’t pay enough, they spend it all on liquor. If we stopped it all right now we’d get rich a whole lot quicker.

From the wire, down-under, priceless:

Now, the Australian mining heiress [Gina Rinehart], worth $19 billion dollars and earlier this year thought to be the world’s richest woman, has sparked another controversy in her latest column in Australian Resources and Investment magazine. (Yes, I am a registered reader online.) Rinehart rails against class warfare and says the non-rich should stop attacking the rich and go to work.

“There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire,” she writes. “If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain. Do something to make more money yourself – spend less time drinking, or smoking and socializing and more time working.”

The comments were part of a treatise on what she sees as Australia’s decline due to high taxes, high wages and over-regulation. Rinehart said taxes should fall, red tape should be cut, environmental rules relaxed and the minimum wage should be lowered.

Note: Heiress.


Not necessarily gender specific.

The Parody: So weird, words fail

Posted in Extremism, Ted Nugent at 9:00 am by George Smith

Thomas Frank’s Pity the Billionaire abounds with examples of Tea Party patriots making up American history and concocting stories and beliefs which have zero connection with the real world. In fact, they often go so far as to be the diametric opposite of what is common experience.

Example:

There is no better instance of this erasure than the enormous rally held in West Virginia on Labor Day 2009 for the express purpose of announcing the solidarity between coal miners and the coal mine operators … The get together feature the protest favorites Sean Hannity and Ted Nugent and was presided over by Don Blankenship, the CEO of Massey Energy, a pollution-spewing strike-breaking mogul of the old school. Dressed in American flag clothing and boasting that the gathering had cost him “a million dollars or so” Blankenship took the stage and declared he was there to “defend American labor because no one else will” … Eight months after that rally, 29 workers in Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine were dead from a huge underground explosion … Now when we find a mine operator claiming that his own struggles against regulation are actually the struggles of mine workers — workers who are then killed because mine regulations are not properly observed .. we have stumbled upon a near perfect example of what the sociologists call “complete horseshit.” The man’s ideas are so contrary to reality …

DD blog briefly wrote about this “Labor Day” celebration, called Coalstock, here.

In today’s column at the WaTimes, Nugent clues us in to the American history of rampant socialism:

The country is a mess because of the perverted deceptions of socialism that are founded in Marx, Lenin and communists like the left’s hero, Saul Alinsky, not because of our Founding Fathers, who believed in freedom and liberty …

“The less government control over individuals and our businesses, the more individuals and America prospers,” Nugent adds.

It is not Wall Street and financial gambling that created the economic collapse of 2008 and the subsequent ongoing depression, oh no. It is the American followers of Marx, Lenin, and some guy Ted Nugent had never heard of until Glenn Beck told his tv audience that the alleged teachings of the man were behind vast anti-American conspiracies.


Ted Nugent at Don Blankenship’s Coalstock Labor Day party.

“Blankenship was forced to retire after the 2010 explosion that killed 29 workers at a Massey mine in West Virginia,” reads a brief news story in 2011 on an attempt to get back into the coal industry. “The United Mine Workers of America calls his formation of a new coal company ‘a travesty’ … The union says Blankenship belongs in jail.”

Two years ago, Nugent wrote one of his annual anti-labor Labor Day columns at the WaTimes blaming unionized local government workers for national economic failure and high unemployment.

Nugent still has a few days to get one in for this weekend.

In a recent news story Nugent revealed he will be undergoing surgery to replace both knees. This summer he was using a cane to get around.

“This surgery is generally reserved for people over the age of 50 with severe osteoarthritis,” reads one medical website.

Once knees are replaced, running and jumping are out for the rest of life.

08.29.12

The thing of no bowels refights the Civil War

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Extremism at 1:43 pm by George Smith

Looking inside the numbers, Obama continues to lead Romney among key parts of his political base, including African Americans (94 percent to 0 percent) … That’s right: according to this poll, Romney has zero percent support among African Americans.

Here.

The African Americans trotted out by the GOP at their conventions — the Powells, the Wests, etc — statistically non-existent.

“The poll should not be taken to mean that Romney has no African American supporters at all,” it continues. “However, at the very most, he has far fewer than Obama.”

Which is an intriguing way of putting it.

From the WaPost:

The beliefs of the white South dominate Republican thinking. As the white share of the U.S. population shrinks and the Latino share rises, Republicans have passed draconian anti-immigrant laws and opposed legislation enabling immigrants brought here as children to gain legal status. They also exploit racist resentments …

The ghosts of Dixie — of the Scopes Trial and the underfunding of public education — also pop up in Republicans’ willful resistance to science and, more broadly, simple empiricism. Global warming? Evolution? Homosexuality’s causation? How babies get made? Find a robust scientific conclusion and you can find a significant number of Republicans — adducing pseudo-science and faith — who oppose it.

Even the most stupid among us get it. The only question remaining: Are there enough paranoid southern white bigots, or those like them, to elect Mitt Romney?

That thing of no bowels is he. (Paraphrased from Troilus and Cressida.)

And thing is the word.

The plutocrat who will never be President

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 9:57 am by George Smith

Everyday, something new, accidentally humorous and illustratively awful. Vote for the tax-dodging rich guy because you hate the non-white guy in the White House and Mr. Romney humors all your paranoid white man’s southern grudges. That’s quite a sales pitch:

Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign toasted its top donors Wednesday aboard a 150-foot yacht flying the flag of the Cayman Islands.

The floating party, hosted by a Florida developer on his yacht “Cracker Bay” …

“I think it’s ironic they do this aboard a yacht that doesn’t even pay its taxes,” said a woman who lives aboard a much smaller boat moored at the St. Petersburg Municipal Marina.

Here.


Gonna leave to Grand Cayman …

Tempus fugit

Posted in Cancer at 9:27 am by George Smith

College football season starts this weekend. It always meant special Saturdays in Pasadena with my friend Don. He’d come early, the noon games on the east coast starting at nine, lasting until evening. We liked the same teams. There’s nothing like a group of two guys who have no genuine spite in them, cheering the designated favorites and effortlessly booing foes for a few hours.

In between we’d have a meal, choosing a half-time or a 30 minute spot between broadcasts. We’d go someplace close — the Hat or Wolf Burger. Or I’d make chili dogs or grilled shrimp, anything not particularly healthy.

The start of the 2011 season was the last weekend that would be part of the normal ritual for Don and I. He’d already had an attack of some kind but the doctors did not know the cause. Most of his strength had returned for a week or so — it would start seeping away again soon enough — and we watched the kickoff of the season, not knowing what was coming. There was barely a hint of a storm cloud on the horizon.

Then the cancer diagnosis. There would be no more sitting in the football director’s chair. And in January, a day after the BCS championship game, he died.

And this Labor Day weekend the season will start again.

But I won’t be there, either. The death of a close friend shows you everything you have lost in the skein of life, gradually, unraveling in moments through the natural cycle of one year.

We did not do college football Saturdays because of the sport, really.

Oh, that was certainly a fun part. But not the part. It was just one of many convenient hooks upon which we hung friendship and the enjoyment of life together.

And on Saturday I will miss him dearly, make a another mental memorial, and time will seem to pause, then move on.

08.28.12

The Turn Off the Power meme — inside attack

Posted in Cyberterrorism at 4:15 pm by George Smith

In the real world, it’s not hackers, or foreign national states. It’s weather, mechanical failure, Enron, and bizarrely:

A man wandering around a Delmar, Md., poultry farm in a drunken stupor turned off the power to three chicken houses, causing the deaths of nearly 70,000 chickens, sheriff’s officials said.

The property owner who made the grisly discovery found the man, identified as Joshua D. Shelton, 21, of Delmar, Md., passed out on the floor of the power control shed, wearing only a T-shirt and boxer shorts.

“This subject was also lying in a pool of his own urine …”

Shelton had been at the owner’s property the previous evening with a group of people that included the owner’s daughter …

“The daughter thought he left but instead he wandered into the shed where all the power controls and breakers were and turned it off,” [one man] told NBC News on Tuesday.

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