Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

ABL Is the Shit

Thanks to ABL for posting (re-posting?) this Spike Jonze video.


"More than a Lost Decade"

by CalculatedRisk on 4/20/2011 09:13:00 PM:

I've been more upbeat lately, but even as the economy recovers - and I think the recovery will continue - we need to remember a few facts.

There are currently 130.738 million payroll jobs in the U.S. (as of March 2011). There were 130.781 million payroll jobs in January 2000. So that is over eleven years with no increase in total payroll jobs.

And the median household income in constant dollars was $49,777 in 2009. That is barely above the $49,309 in 1997, and below the $51,100 in 1998. (Census data here in Excel).

Just a reminder that many Americans have been struggling for a decade or more. The aughts were a lost decade for most Americans.

And I'd like to think every U.S. policymaker wakes up every morning and reminds themselves of the following:

There are currently 7.25 million fewer payroll jobs than before the recession started in 2007, with 13.5 million Americans currently unemployed. Another 8.4 million are working part time for economic reasons, and about 4 million more workers have left the labor force. Of those unemployed, 6.1 million have been unemployed for six months or more.

So even as we start to discuss how to fix the structural budget deficit, and also to address the long term fiscal challenges from healthcare costs, we can't forget about all of these Americans.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

So Mo Didn't Know

Maureen Dowd finally gets Bob Dylan. This is an excerpt from her "you totally fooled me" OpEd in todays NYT:

Bob Dylan may have done the impossible: broken creative new ground in selling out...Before Dylan was allowed to have his first concert in China on Wednesday at the Worker’s Gymnasium in Beijing, he ignored his own warning in “Subterranean Homesick Blues” — “Better stay away from those that carry around a fire hose” — and let the government pre-approve his set... But he’s the first to admit he cashes in.
David Hajdu, the New Republic music critic, says the singer has always shown a tension between “not wanting to be a leader and wanting to be a celebrity.”
In Hajdu’s book, “Positively 4th Street,” Dylan is quoted saying that critics who charged that he’d sold out to rock ’n’ roll had it backward.
“I never saw myself as a folksinger,” he said. “They called me that if they wanted to. I didn’t care. I latched on, when I got to New York City, because I saw (what) a huge audience there was. I knew I wasn’t going to stay there. I knew it wasn’t my thing. ... I became interested in folk music because I had to make it somehow.”
“Folk music,” he concluded, “is a bunch of fat people.”
He can’t really betray the spirit of the ’60s because he never had it.

Dylan has always been an arrogant, self-absorbed hypocrite. This is an article from the LA Times:

Bob Dylan's neighbors sing outhouse blues

March 17, 2009|Bob Pool

How sweet is life when you live next to a celebrity in Malibu?
Outside Bob Dylan's house, the answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind.
That's what some of the singer-songwriter's neighbors are charging in an increasingly odoriferous dispute over a portable toilet at his sprawling ocean view estate on Point Dume.

Residents contend that the nighttime sea breeze sends a noxious odor from a portable toilet on Dylan's property wafting into their homes. The stench has made members of one family ill and forced them to abandon their bedrooms on warm nights, they say.
For more than six months, Dylan, 67, has ignored their complaints and their pleas to remove the outhouse, the downwind neighbors say.
"It's a scandal -- 'Mr. Civil Rights' is killing our civil rights," said David Emminger, whose home is directly behind the toilet -- which is apparently intended for use by employees of the entertainer best known for his 1960s-era protest songs.

Emminger and his wife have installed five industrial-sized fans in their frontyard in an attempt to blow the odor back at Dylan. They say the fans are no match for the ocean breeze that sweeps across the singer's land, however.
Dylan, who has lived in a compound next to Bluewater Road for more than two decades, did not respond to inquiries about the toilet. Neither did his New York-based attorney.
Malibu officials said they are investigating the complaint. As a result, they are unable to discuss the issue, they said.
But Dylan's neighbors who contend their patience has run out have plenty to say about the odor.
"It started in September. I'd go into the frontyard and get nauseous," said Cindy Emminger, 42. "I couldn't figure out at first where the smell was coming from."
Her 8-year-old son, David Jr., was sickened by the stench. Then she became ill too.
"We both have allergies and are sensitive to chemicals," she said. "I finally noticed that they had moved the porta-potty directly in front of my front door."
By some accounts, the city's response has been sluggish.
In January, one inspector reported that a city code enforcement officer was turned away by Dylan's security staff and told that he was trespassing. "He said they were going to sue the city," the inspector said.
Guards who staff a security shack near the edge of Dylan's compound around the clock are among those who utilize the toilet, neighbors say.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Politics, Pundits and The Peter Priciple

Never has The Peter Principle been so convincingly proven as in the recent US budget discompromiseagreement.
Now I suppose they will have a party. A little spine would help. When will the pain end?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Jumping The Shark, Our Egomaniacal Masters

So, with less than an hour to spare, the Congress has covered itself with glory. This kind of debauched publicity politickin' really looks bad. Just a bunch of Fonzies.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Vocationing Quietly

So it's been a while. Libya, Ivory Coast, Fukushima Daiichi, Portugalgovernment shutdownGlenn Beck falls;  some great stuff, but I had nothing to say about it since my idiot quotient had come up against the Zero Lower Bound.

A good read by Emily L. Hauser at ABL Chronicles on The BASE, Boss! The BASE! Boss!

Lest I forget, Joseph E. Stiglitz on risk management and why humans suck at it. (Lack of experience and arrogance.)

Spring is here, the farm is greenin', so this will be an after dark blog. It may go bump in the night.