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2011 November — Why Now?
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Posts from — November 2011

Random Thoughts

Everyone talks about “optimists think the glass is half full, while pessimists think the glass is half empty”. What about the other options, like “the glass is too big” or “the bartender shorted me” ?

My day was rudely interrupted by Property having a cat frenzy. She got into the drawer were I keep the shopping bags and got her head through one of the handle holes. She then proceeded at maximum speed around the house with the bag around her neck and hitting her back. This continued for three orbits until the bag snagged on something and she tore loose.

She is currently on top of the refrigerator, on alert for another vicious bag attack. Excise is spooked as he was bowled over while she was orbiting.

Update: This is from today. As a psychic gift anticipating LOLcats is not much ….

funny pictures - Chemistry Cat

November 30, 2011   9 Comments

Iran Blew It.

If they were going to have their thugs attack the British embassy, they shouldn’t have released photos that clearly show the police doing nothing to stop them as as they rush into the embassy.

So, the UK is expellling all Iranian diplomats over the embassy attack, and many European countries are ‘recalling their ambassadors for consultation’.

As it is currently configured, the Iranian government doesn’t have a clue about diplomacy.

November 30, 2011   Comments Off on Iran Blew It.

Hit The Siren

Massive reaction to the reality that the world’s big banks are bankrupt, and will be forced to admit it if the euro zone collapses: Shares jump as central banks try to ease financial woes

Global stock markets surged as some of the world’s big central banks launched plans for co-ordinated action aimed to support the financial system.

Wall Street’s Dow Jones index saw its biggest gain since March 2009, rising 4.2%, after jumps on European bourses.

It came after the US Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, and the central banks of the UK, Canada, Japan and Switzerland acted to improve lending.

Their move includes making it cheaper for banks to buy US dollars.

When banks are in trouble from their fraudulent loans and ‘gambling losses’, there is no discussion of ‘moral hazard’ or ‘offsetting with cuts’, the money is just shoveled at them, and the management continues to get obscene compensation packages for failure.

If the money was passed out to the 99%, they would spend it and get the economy moving again, but, no, they have to suffer so bankers can have limos.

November 30, 2011   4 Comments

Let The Pain Begin

Apparently attempting to make up for its fantasy ratings for the junk mortgage bonds, S&P downgrades dozens of banks.

All of the usual suspects are there, the ones that are ‘too big to fail’, but seem to be making a good attempt at doing just that. This will probably accelerate the trend of people moving their money into smaller, local banks and credit unions.

I expect a mattress company to start selling a ‘vault’ model to provide convenient access to your money, while keeping it more secure that a checking account.

November 29, 2011   2 Comments

A Strike In The UK

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has triggered a Public sector strike set to be largest for a generation

Up to two million public sector workers are staging a strike over pensions in what is set to be the biggest walkout for a generation.

Schools, hospitals, airports, ports and government offices will be among sites disrupted, as more than 1,000 demonstrations are due across the UK.

It would “achieve nothing”, Downing Street said, calling for more talks.

GMB union leader Paul Kenny said: “As well as the shameful unfairness of further pay restraint on already hard-pressed public sector workers, the chancellor’s announcements will push the possibility of a pensions deal further away.

“The [pension] contribution rises government want are plainly unjustified and unaffordable, while moving the goalposts on retirement age mid-negotiation smacks of deliberate deception. No doubt this will boost the strike turnout tomorrow.”

The problem is that the public sector workers were in negotiations with the government, and Chancellor George Osborne just unilaterally imposed all kinds of new limits on pay and changed the retirement age. Those were supposed to be part of the negotiations.

It has reached the point that the Conservatives are not viewed as taking negotiations seriously by the workers.

November 29, 2011   2 Comments

Corrente Is Back

Corrente popped up when I checked at 5pm.

November 29, 2011   2 Comments

In Economic News …

OECD warns of spreading eurozone recession. The Austerians will take down the entire European Union rather than consider the fact that they are wrong in their policies.

The ‘Masters of the Universe’ are disturbed this holiday season by the inflation that means that the Twelve Days of Christmas will now cost over $100k. There goes the office party and gifts for the staff.

November 28, 2011   Comments Off on In Economic News …

Brownback Blowback

So a high school senior, Emma Sullivan, on a school trip to the state capital expressed her uncomplimentary opinion of the current governor of Kansas to her ‘friends’, all 65 of them, on Twitter.

Unbeknownst to the people of Kansas, they pay the Kansas governor’s director of communication, Sherriene Jones-Sontag, to monitor Twitter for negative comments about the governor, and to ‘take action’ when she finds them.

While the principal of her high school told Ms Sullivan to write a letter of apology to the governor, she has refused, and her mother backs her up.

In the end it is Kansas Governor Sam Brownback who has apologized. He has apparently figured out that people don’t like it when you ‘listen in on the party-line that is Twitter. His director of communications has managed to inform thousands of people that Ms Sullivan thinks he sucks. Ms Sullivan, of course, is correct, in her conduct and opinion.

Insincere apologies are beneath the dignity of high school students, but SOP for politicians.

November 28, 2011   Comments Off on Brownback Blowback

New Threat From Iran

Iran is reportedly on track to disrupt the equilibrium in Asia by acquiring another new technology.

[Hey, it is as credible as other claims about what Iran is up. ;)]

November 27, 2011   17 Comments

Mer Jul i Gävle


Once again, Why Now? is pleased to present the link to the webcam of Gävlebocken, The biggest Christmas Goat in the world [now with a blog].

From Steve Bates of Yellow Doggerel Something in the comments from 2006:

Why build a giant goat of straw,
Which most of us would scarcely note?
Some, though, defy the very law,
To vandalize the Gävle Goat.

In some years, they used wayward cars;
In others, flaming arrows smote.
This year’s survives, although with scars…
A fact that gets some people’s goat.

A webcam and some watchful eyes,
A flame-retardant second coat,
Should save it… unless Dubya spies
The thing, and claims it’s his pet goat!

– SB the YDS

[Note: with the time difference and much shorter days in Sweden in the winter, you have to look really early to see the ‘Goat in daylight.]

November 27, 2011   Comments Off on Mer Jul i Gävle


Evergreen Yes, it’s the time of year when the Sun dies and must be re-born through an elaborate ceremony that involves some form or type of sacrifice, such as finding gifts for people you can’t stand and smiling brightly as you receive yet another gift based on an urban legend that you actually like truly stomach-wrenching color combinations.

Of course there was a time when the Solstice sacrifices were more visceral and the evergreen was covered in things that pleased only ravens and such, but we have put all that behind us by opting for the possibility of electrocuting one another and causing chaos on the power grid.

What a brilliant idea: moving a large supply of pre-kindling soaked with highly flammable resins into your house, loading it down with petrochemical-based ornaments, lacing it with heat-producing electrical devices, and surrounding the base with cardboard boxes and tissue paper. You just can’t have a traditional celebration without a proto-bonfire in your living room.

I do think that followers of Mithras might want to curtail their typical birthday service in light of Mad-Cow Disease, but global warming will certainly make the services in the oak wood in traditional druidic robes more comfortable.

When you put up your stocking on the mantel and put out the turnips for Gouger, Rooter, Tusker, and Snouter as well as the pork pie and sherry for the Hogfather, you can rest assured the Sun will come up, because it just slipped around back to return the lager it rented.

Enjoy! You have nothing to fear, except that sniveling little creep with the camera/phone at the office party or the eggnog that was put out rather early causing you to suspect that the bits on top aren’t nutmeg. [The pictures probably won’t appear on the ‘Net and the brandy will surely take care of the salmonella.]

A Calendar of Coming Events

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November 27, 2011   8 Comments

Busy Day

“Pike-tte”, the woman who thinks that pepper spray is as important as a cart when shopping, has turned herself in. I wonder if someone let her in on the “secret” that there are more cameras taping in a Walmart electronics department than a Superbowl game? The police haven’t released her name or the charges.

While all of the retail groups are talking up the great day Friday was, I had to go out today, and there were no crowds anywhere. As I drove passed Walmart I noticed that their parking lot was emptier than a regular Saturday.

Would you believe that corrosion in a DSL wall jack will mess up your telephone, and not affect the DSL? I could call out, but couldn’t receive calls on my landline, and that was the problem. I installed two separate cables to avoid having filtering problems, but for some reason, high resistance on the DSL line blocks the ringing on the telephone line, while leaving the DSL functional. Weird …

I finished up the majority of the outside lights. They were turned on Thanksgiving night, but there were minor problems, as always. Everything is LED now, so they should just work after the timers get sorted out.

November 26, 2011   8 Comments

There Must Be Punishment

Via Digby the report in the Telegraph: Germany unmoved by French pleas for more ECB action

Angela Merkel was unmoved by another roller-coaster day that saw Portuguese debt being downgraded to junk status, Italian bond yields pushed into the bail-out zone, and doubts cast over France’s AAA rating: the German Chancellor refused to allow the ECB to become Europe’s lender of last resort.

Ms Merkel instead used a three-way summit with France and Italy in Strasbourg to insist that new treaty powers to intervene and punish sinner states remained the key focus of Europe’s rescue efforts. She said: “The countries who don’t keep to the stability pact have to be punished – those who contravene it need to be penalised. We need to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Angie, if they follow your lead it definitely won’t happen again, because there probably won’t be a Europe in which it can happen. The people who created the problem should have been thrown in prison, but they are still living the high life while the 99% are the ones being punished.

The euro is toast, and the European Union can’t be far behind. The only chance for individual countries to survive is to leave the euro, because the European Central Bank is unwilling to act like a central bank.

Until the ‘true believers’ like Angela Merkel are out of power, Europe doesn’t have a prayer of recovery.

November 25, 2011   2 Comments

‘Tis The Season

Well, the police may not be attacking the Black Friday shoppers, but they are taking up the slack on their own: Shooting outside Calif. Walmart, 1 wounded and Woman pepper sprays other shoppers at LA Wal-Mart on Black Friday eve.

The propaganda mills media are already pushing the ‘party line’ with one saying 150 million people have gone shopping and another trumpeting 25% of Americans, both figures are made up out of whole cloth. It is the end of the month, so cash is in short supply, and people are avoiding credit cards. It is going to be another bad year, and the retailers know it as they are carrying much smaller inventories than they once regularly displayed.

Walmart has seen declining sales for over two years, so the dollar stores are the only sector with any real hopes for retailers catering to the 99%. The stores for the 1% haven’t really noticed the economic problems, and will probably have a good year.

November 25, 2011   4 Comments