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Weekend Open Thread

by dvx Sat Dec 22nd, 2012 at 11:45:35 AM EST

Because the world didn't end after all.


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Promises, promises.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2012 at 11:46:30 AM EST
What a bummer.

Now we'll be forced to live our lives as if tomorrow matters.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sat Dec 22nd, 2012 at 12:11:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not if we became oil or coal companies.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2012 at 12:17:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Coal is freedom, my friend.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sat Dec 22nd, 2012 at 12:21:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you mean to tell me that reality is not a reflection of my big immature ego and chaotic mental state?

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2012 at 12:21:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOOK!  It's a Shiny Object:



Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sat Dec 22nd, 2012 at 12:32:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure there's a next end of the world coming soon. Does anybody know when?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2012 at 12:22:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
there always is, isn't there?
by stevesim on Sat Dec 22nd, 2012 at 12:25:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
as a fundamental human psychological need one would not err in calling it 'perennial'.

anything to help try explain the mysterious lack of control we have over our world, and the yearning for catharsis, no matter how apocalyptic....

projecting that the social justice so conspicuous by its momentary absence be inflicted upon us from an external event, since evidence supports the theory that we are too immature, shortsighted, insecure, fearful, selfish and greedy a species to choose it for ourselves!

yet...

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2012 at 12:40:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here we are
May 27, 2012, passed without Weinland's predicted apocalypse. In a blog posting dated May 26, 2012, Weinland acknowledged that "nothing has begun in the world that would signal the need or purpose for...Christ's return". He urged his followers to "move forward", and suggested that God had been, and continued to be, merciful to his people. He later stated that the end of the world had indeed begun on May 27, 2012, but would take "one year to become fulfilled". Weinland asserts that Christ will now return on Pentecost of 2013, which will fall on May 19, 2013.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2012 at 02:30:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
May 19th ?? My birthday is 6 days later, so Jesus had better buy me a beer or he's off my Xmas card list

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 07:58:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
April 13, 2036 - 99942 Apophis will impact
by oliver on Sat Dec 22nd, 2012 at 04:19:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was over towards Bugarach this afternoon, and saw the holy mountain quite intact.

No end of world confirmed.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2012 at 05:08:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does anyone know what you call it when all letters take up the same amount of space and how to achieve it with Word or Open Office?
by stevesim on Sat Dec 22nd, 2012 at 01:56:45 PM EST


Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.
by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2012 at 02:01:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I found out how you can do it in Word -  change the kerning in the format extended table.  Thanks anyway.
by stevesim on Sat Dec 22nd, 2012 at 02:20:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can do it with kerning, or you can select a monospace font.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 04:42:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah monospaced fonts?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 04:43:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you talking about 'line justification'?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 04:42:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
no, but thanks anyway.
by stevesim on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 05:21:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The SZ has an article on Mollath and how he was locked up. Mollath is the guy who was crazy enough to think that illegal activity was going on at the Hypo-Vereinsbank. It turns out that most of the people who provided the evidence to lock him up never actually saw him....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2012 at 02:01:14 PM EST
Are you sure the world isn't at the beginning of the end? Half of South Wales seems to be underwater right now with more rain on the way.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2012 at 05:28:02 PM EST
Yes, but surely you're used to it by now

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 08:00:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well they're used to it in the air, not on the ground

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 04:24:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just signed a contract for paid employment, starting mid-January.

With some Very Serious People.

It'll be fun. And it'll be nice being able to make rent again, instead of bumming a room off random family.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2012 at 07:09:59 PM EST
congratulations!
by IM on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 05:06:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy waits impatiently to hear if Mario Monti will run again

Did I miss something? I can't remember him running before.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 12:40:31 AM EST
Why does it even matter? there will be elections February or latest May, the PD will win and that's it. Who cares about Monti?
by IM on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 05:08:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And then Bersani will deliver austerity.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 05:11:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anyway, Monti has said that he's not running again (to be parsed as not-running again), but will be glad to be prime minister again if they ask nicely.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 08:19:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would seem his best move at this juncture.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 09:33:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Guardian reports basically the same thing, under the headline
Mario Monti considers return as Italian prime minister

Outgoing technocrat premier throws hat back into ring and launches stinging attack on rival Silvio Berlusconi

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 12:23:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]

The perfect Yule song, by my very good friend and landlord.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 04:34:56 AM EST
Washington Post
Elmar Uy thought his software was acting up when he first saw the huge jump in sales of bulletproof backpacks last Friday. He checked the figures and discovered the Web site's traffic had jumped tenfold.

Then he turned on CNN, and it made sense.

Following the fatal shootings of 20 children and six adults last week at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., BulletBlocker said it is struggling to keep up with demand for its bulletproof backpacks for children.

"We sell 15 to 20 backpacks in a good week," said Uy, the company's vice president of sales. "Since the shooting, we've sold 50 to 100 per day."

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 06:48:49 AM EST
cos how else can you protect your sandwiches ?

Sorry I haven't got my homework miss, it got shot up in crossfire

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 08:02:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup, the latest must-have accessory for the insane-o-rama that is the 2nd amendment

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 08:04:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Will Hutton graduates from the School of the Bleedin' Obvious

Guardian - Will Hutton - Bank rate-fixing scandals reveal the rotten heart of capitalism

What makes your head reel is the size of this global (Libor) market. World GDP is around $70tn. The market in interest rate derivatives is worth $310tn. The idea that this has grown to such a scale because of the demands of the real economy better to manage risk is absurd. And on top it has a curious feature. None of the banks that constitute the market ever loses money. All their divisions that trade interest rate derivatives on their own account report huge profits running into billions. Where does that profit come from?

The answer is it comes largely from you and me. Global banking, intertwined with the global financial services and asset-management industry, has emerged as a tax on the world economy, generating much activity and lending that has not been needed, but whose purpose is to make those who work in it very rich. The centre-left thinktank IPPR reports that people with identical skills earn on average 20% more in financial services than in other industries, with the premium rising the higher the seniority. That wage premium does not come from virtuous hard work or enterprise. It comes from how finance is structured to deliver excessive profit.

The Libor scam is an object lesson in how finance taxes the rest of the economy. Plainly, the final buyers of the mispriced interest rate derivatives could not have been other banks, otherwise they would have lost money and we know that they all made profits. In any case, they were part of the scam. The final buyers of the mispriced derivatives were their customers. Some must have been large companies, but many were those - ranging from insurance companies and pension funds to hedge funds - who manage our savings on our behalf.

Here a second scam kicks in. One of the puzzles of modern finance is why the returns to those who buy shares in public stock markets are so much lower than the profits made by the companies themselves. One of the answers is that there are so many brokers, asset managers and intermediaries along the way all taking a cut



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 12:36:51 PM EST
There is now enough information out there for someone to write a devastating exposé of the predatory capitalist system aimed at the popular High Brow market.  

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 01:04:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune: Get your news, oh, I dunno, seven years early?

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2012 at 01:04:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the world might not have ended but I have now ended my sixth decade of infesting the planet Earth. Given that dubious accomplishment I appear to have a slightly better than even chance of continuing to do so until age 90+, if Social Security and Medicare continue to provide close to what they do now, on a COL adjusted basis, and if any of what is left of my savings remain. But I am left wondering if this is a boon or a bane. I will go with boon for now. Living still beats the alternative by a considerable margin.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 12:58:39 PM EST
As if this were a rational decision!

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 12:59:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Happy Birthday.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 01:05:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, we're all gonna be a long time dead, so you might as well enjoy every day you can get cos there's no more once it's over

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 01:23:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Happy birthday
by Katrin on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 01:31:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's your solar resource level at your home?

paul spencer
by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 01:49:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The potential is quite good, but none yet installed. I hope to install 2-4 Kw of solar panels on the south facing roof of my workshop in the next year or two. I can put the inverter and, perhaps, 6-8 Kwhrs of battery storage in said shop. We have thought of just buying the panels and inverter and crudely mounting them against the south wall, but I would prefer to do it a little better. The batteries would allow the furnace fan to operate through the night and keep refrigerators running during times of power outage.

To date most of my efforts have been directed towards my garden, which will require less of my attention with more yield next year. Manual preparation of planting beds requires a lot of labor the first time, with roots and rocks to be dug out and dirt to be screened and amended. I doubled my planting area this last year and will perhaps increase it by 25% again next year. Hopefully, my back will remain strong. But I have to get automation working for the irrigation and misting systems this year. It would also be nice to improve the aesthetics of the shade cloth system which is currently wrapped in old tarps on top of the garden frame. At least it is protected from rain and sun until next June and I can roll it out fairly easily by hand and without needing a ladder.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 03:25:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't forget your abdominal exercises, when it comes to maintaining back strength/condition.

paul spencer
by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 04:21:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
damn i hope i'm as feisty, well-read, knowledgeable, multi-skilled, practical and funny at 70. well done sir.

and thanks for your great addition to the busload of great folks here at ET.

the next decade will be easier, prosperous and fulfilling than the last, i'll affirm.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 03:45:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
70 is end of seventh decade, no?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 03:56:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes! I miswrote, mistook, etc., but I am 70 today.  :-)

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 04:19:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
mazeltov!
by stevesim on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 04:24:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Happy birthday!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 03:54:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Happy Birthday! And I understand y'all are going to have weather similar to ours for Christmas. (We're in VERY southeast Germany.) Hope you don't have to drive in it like we do.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 04:16:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At present we are forecast to have a 'wintery mix' of precipitation on the 25th. As long as it is not an ice storm I will look forward to it. Might be time to get in some seasoned wood and light the wood stove. A fire is especially nice with snow.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 04:23:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Welcome ;-)

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 06:01:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rolling Stone
A few months ago, the Dean of Columbia's business school was a leading economic advisor to Mitt Romney and a rumored (perhaps even consensus) candidate for the Treasury Secretary job.

Now Romney's out of the presidential picture and Hubbard - well, he's just yet another grasping jobholder who's been exposed as a paid mouthpiece in a court proceeding.

[...]

In other words, the Dean of the Columbia University business school testified that the fact that Countrywide claimed to have conducted thorough due diligence when in fact it was pressuring underwriters to approve 60 to 70 mortgage applications a day and failing to verify any income levels or other key information (to say nothing of the outright falsification of such data, which also went on on a mass scale) - he testified that these issues were irrelevant.

[...]

So how much does it cost to get the Dean of Columbia Business School to say that Countrywide customers weren't injured by fraud? Well, MBIA's lawyer, Phillipe Selendy of Quinn Emmanuel, asked Hubbard that very question:

Q. How are you being compensated?

A. I'm being compensated at an hourly rate for my work.

Q. Do you know your hourly rate?

A. Yes, it's $1200 an hour.

For comparison's sake, $1200 an hour is about what Natalia, the woman New York Magazine called "America's #1 escort" in a famous profile many years ago, made early on in her career working for Jason Itzler, the self-described "King of All Pimps."

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 01:49:23 PM EST
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZcuujvBYuw

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 04:28:12 PM EST
try again



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2012 at 04:29:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why does Google keep infesting my Youtube plays with the same ad for bar/bat-mitzvahs in Israel?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Dec 24th, 2012 at 02:51:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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