Monday, March 31, 2014

SAR #14090

The one that 'one size fits all' fits is unlikely to be you.

Priorities: The Obama administration says it is concerned about global warming and encourages the development and spread of sustainable technologies like solar energy. As long as the solar equipment used is US made. None of this India using locally manufactured stuff, nope, that's cheating. Profits first, saving civilization second.

Sauces: Just as 24/7 surveillance of US citizens is fine with Congress but a little surveillance of Congress is unacceptable, it seems that the US hacking into Chinese tech companies is fine, but when they hack the US it is cyberterrorism. Drones, anyone?

Clear And Present Danger: Returns on 10 and 20-year government bonds in the US and UK predict that extremely low interest rates will continue will into 2016, and beyond 2020 for the EU nations. A decade and more of ultra-low rates; and that's just to get to a 2% level. Secular stagnation in all its glory with no encouragement for investors to invest or for companies to borrow or banks to lend. It implies low growth, low wages, extended unemployment and low everything economic for years to come. Given this, how can soaring stock prices be justified – other than by continuing the hollowing out of the economy for the benefit of the few? Worse, the step from low inflation to deflation threatens. Couple that with the inevitable increases in food and energy costs and it is easy to envision some very bad outcomes.

Motive Purity: The rigid stiffling of worker advancement by Steve Jobs and friends was “needed to protect innovation” (they claim) and (here's the true part) “to avoid spiraling costs.” It was for our own good.

Relax and Enjoy: An IBM honcho says that the ubiquitous tracking and monitoring of the public through biometrics is too far advanced to stop, so we should stop worrying about this latest assault on our individuality and privacy and figure out how we can best enjoy the attention. Anyone with enough money and manpower will soon be able to know where we are and what we are doing at all time. “Everything will be monitored” he said. Get over it.

The Spoils of War: 1,892 US Veterans have committed suicide since January 1, 2014.

Relaxation Therapy: Don't get all worked up about the Supremes siding with Hobby Lobby. Hope that they do. Because that will put paid to the idea that the people behind a corporation are not the corporation. If the corporation can deny a worker certain health benefits because of the beliefs of its owners, then the legal veil between a corporation and its owners has been pierced. From then on we can sue the owners for what the companies they own do.

Confession: “We don’t actually know much about how to produce rapid economic growth — conservatives may think they know (low taxes and all that), but there is no evidence to back up their certainty. On the other hand, we know how to make a big difference in income distribution, especially how to reduce extreme poverty.” It's called redistribution.

A Rose By Any Other Name: A judge has ruled that Beef Products Inc. can belatedly sue ABC News for calling pink slime pink slime. The company maintains that calling pink slime pink slime cost the company $1.2 billion, which is a lot of pink slime. They claim that pink slimes actual name is “lean finely textured beef” - which not even its friends call it - and isn't slime at all but finely ground up connective tissue, trimmings, and other pieces of the less palatable pieces of animals – presumably cattle – that are mixed, chopped, heated and spun in a centrifuge, resulting in a squishy pink goo. Note that the only part of the ABC description that the beef people have a beef with is the sobriquet 'pink slime'. If ABC had instead used the phrase “a pink slimy goo called lean finely textured beef' everyone would have been happy. Except the customers.

Fun With Numbers: It is harder to get a job at Walmart (2.6% of applicants get hired) than it is to get into Harvard (8.9% of applicants get admitted). Apples and Oranges, true. And those applying to Harvard pretty much know where next week's groceries are going to come from. Who's the teacher and what do we learn?

Porn O'Graph: It takes a while for the magic to work.

The Parting Shot:


TulsaTime said...

Clear and Present: expansion as a survival model has reached the limits of this finite world. Diminishing returns are in evidence all around, not the least of which is borrowing to expand the economy. Bad outcomes is a mild euphamism for destruction of civilization, when the outcomes include reduction in planetary carrying capacity, and the return of the 4 Horsemen.

Degringolade said...

T.S. Eliot (1888–1965). Poems. 1920.

1. Gerontion

Thou hast nor youth nor age
But as it were an after dinner sleep
Dreaming of both.

HERE I am, an old man in a dry month,
Being read to by a boy, waiting for rain.
I was neither at the hot gates
Nor fought in the warm rain
Nor knee deep in the salt marsh, heaving a cutlass, 5
Bitten by flies, fought.
My house is a decayed house,
And the jew squats on the window sill, the owner,
Spawned in some estaminet of Antwerp,
Blistered in Brussels, patched and peeled in London. 10
The goat coughs at night in the field overhead;
Rocks, moss, stonecrop, iron, merds.
The woman keeps the kitchen, makes tea,
Sneezes at evening, poking the peevish gutter.

I an old man, 15
A dull head among windy spaces.

Signs are taken for wonders. “We would see a sign”:
The word within a word, unable to speak a word,
Swaddled with darkness. In the juvescence of the year
Came Christ the tiger 20

In depraved May, dogwood and chestnut, flowering judas,
To be eaten, to be divided, to be drunk
Among whispers; by Mr. Silvero
With caressing hands, at Limoges
Who walked all night in the next room; 25
By Hakagawa, bowing among the Titians;
By Madame de Tornquist, in the dark room
Shifting the candles; Fraulein von Kulp
Who turned in the hall, one hand on the door. Vacant shuttles
Weave the wind. I have no ghosts, 30
An old man in a draughty house
Under a windy knob.

After such knowledge, what forgiveness? Think now
History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors
And issues, deceives with whispering ambitions, 35
Guides us by vanities. Think now
She gives when our attention is distracted
And what she gives, gives with such supple confusions
That the giving famishes the craving. Gives too late
What’s not believed in, or if still believed, 40
In memory only, reconsidered passion. Gives too soon
Into weak hands, what’s thought can be dispensed with
Till the refusal propagates a fear. Think
Neither fear nor courage saves us. Unnatural vices
Are fathered by our heroism. Virtues 45
Are forced upon us by our impudent crimes.
These tears are shaken from the wrath-bearing tree.

The tiger springs in the new year. Us he devours. Think at last
We have not reached conclusion, when I
Stiffen in a rented house. Think at last 50
I have not made this show purposelessly
And it is not by any concitation
Of the backward devils
I would meet you upon this honestly.
I that was near your heart was removed therefrom 55
To lose beauty in terror, terror in inquisition.
I have lost my passion: why should I need to keep it
Since what is kept must be adulterated?
I have lost my sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch:
How should I use it for your closer contact? 60

These with a thousand small deliberations
Protract the profit of their chilled delirium,
Excite the membrane, when the sense has cooled,
With pungent sauces, multiply variety
In a wilderness of mirrors. What will the spider do, 65
Suspend its operations, will the weevil
Delay? De Bailhache, Fresca, Mrs. Cammel, whirled
Beyond the circuit of the shuddering Bear
In fractured atoms. Gull against the wind, in the windy straits
Of Belle Isle, or running on the Horn, 70
White feathers in the snow, the Gulf claims,
And an old man driven by the Trades
To a a sleepy corner.

Tenants of the house,
Thoughts of a dry brain in a dry season. 75

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Thanks, Degringolade, it'd been ten years or so since I last read TE.

And TulsaTime,we I to be that to the point, I'd have to leave off doing this on a daily basis.

But even though I know you know we are doomed, my compulsion to comment on the parade demands I continue.