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2010 October 26 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Attack Of The Austerians

Jams O’Donnell, late of Her Majesty’s Civil Service, has a piece about what is happening in Britain under the current Conservative / Liberal Democratic program:

Despite the fact that councils are to face huge spending cuts over the next few years, the Government is advising local authorities not to be too hasty in making compulsory redundancies over fears that local authorities are moving prematurely to sack staff.

According to the Guardian the Local Government Association said this week that around 100,000 local government jobs would be lost as a result of the comprehensive spending review.

[Notes: Jams is not a relative of Christine of Delaware. A “redundancy” is a “lay-off” in Britain. You would also be helped if you understand the character of Wilkins Micawber in Charles Dickens’s novel David Copperfield.]

The new government is slashing away at the budget to control deficits. Of course, based on the actual experience of the economic effects of moves like this following the Great Depression, the deficits will grow as a result of increasing unemployment which will push down tax revenue and economic growth. The cuts, if necessary, should be timed for after the economy has recovered, and the numbers already suggest a slow down in growth has already begun.

Gordon Brown had a lot of faults as a Prime Minister, but he was an excellent Chancellor of the Exchequer and limited the effects of the global financial meltdown on Britain by making the right moves quickly. The new government is about to introduce the British public to the joys of a double-dip recession for reasons of ideology, not economics. Creating an extra half-million-plus unemployed is not going to help the struggling economy.

You only have to look at Ireland to see what a mess austerity causes. This may be satire from Newsbiscuit, but it sums up the situation.

October 26, 2010   20 Comments

Multiple Disasters In Indonesia

On Monday, October 25, 2010 at 14:42:22 UTC [9:42AM CDT 9:42PM local] a 7.7 earthquake struck west of Sumatra in the Mentawai Islands area of Indonesia and there are multiple on-going aftershocks.

The ABC picks up the story from there: Australians found alive as tsunami toll tops 100

A group of nine Australians missing after a deadly tsunami hit the west coast of Indonesia have been found alive and well.

At least 108 people have been killed and more than 500 are missing after a powerful earthquake triggered the wave.

The 7.7-magnitude quake struck in the Mentawai Islands area west of Sumatra late on Monday, generating waves as high as three metres that swept away 10 villages, officials said.

The Australians were on board a boat operated by Sumatran Surfariis, which is believed to have been close to the area where the quake struck.

If an earthquake and tsunami weren’t enough, the ABC also reports that 13 killed when volcano erupts

Indonesia’s most active volcano, Mount Merapi, has erupted claiming 13 lives and causing thousands of people to flee their homes.

Twelve bodies have been found by rescuers who said they had been burnt by heat clouds.

Earlier, a three-month-old baby died from breathing difficulties after inhaling ash.

Officials had been ordering people out of the area around Mount Merapi, but thousands decided to stay.

Living around the “Ring of Fire” is not for the faint-hearted, but Indonesia is a lot more pleasant than the northern portion along the Aleutians and Kamchatka Peninsula.

October 26, 2010   Comments Off on Multiple Disasters In Indonesia

Weird Weather

I was checking the weather this morning to see if Richard had dissipated, it had, when I noticed an oddity on the frontal map – the signature pressure pattern of a tropical storm over Northern Minnesota.

There is a tight circle of low pressure, and what looks like a spiral bands coming off, the largest trailing down the Mississippi to the Gulf. Of course you can’t have a tropical event form up there, but you can have something just as nasty with high winds and tornadoes in those spiral bands.

It looks like the Midwest is in for a bad time today. Not a good day for traveling or working in a tall building.

October 26, 2010   Comments Off on Weird Weather