Wednesday, August 12, 2015

That All There Is?


Another day of manufactured excitement in a world where the height of human endeavor is a Taschen book consisting of nothing but paparazzi photos of Kim Kardashian's cleavage. 

Oh, and Hillary!  Jebby!   

Witless Labor. Teevee. Desire Things. Lust. Sleep. Repeat. Whoops -- time to die!  Hope you enjoyed it!

If Donald Trump were poor, he’d have no traction. He gets attention, and in many cases a pass, because he’s a billionaire. That’s the nation we live in, one in which the rich have the power and the poor believe the loaded are better than they are. Or, that they too can become a billionaire, if they just work hard enough, even though statistically odds of upgrading are better in Canada and Europe. The rich have been crapping on the downtrodden poor for so long they believe it. We watch the Kardashians, we believe Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are saints, is it any wonder people look up to Donald Trump?  
--  Bob Lefsetz, "The Trump Rules", Big Picture / August 12, 2015

But there are other things. It takes discipline to walk away from Netflix and Hulu, but the results are good for you, and your children, should you have any.

... the annual Perseid meteor shower will fill the sky with shooting stars. At its peak, between Aug. 11 and Aug. 14, an average of one shooting star a minute will zip through the night sky. Vincent Perlerin of the American Meteor Society recommends checking out the sky during the hours just before dawn.
It may appear as if stars are darting at you from all directions. But trace each meteor backward, and you’ll see that all the lines come radially from the constellation Perseus... The Perseid meteor shower is the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle, a ball of gas and ice 16 miles across – more than twice the size of the object that we think killed the dinosaurs.
--  Joanna Klein, "Opening Night Of The Perseid Meteor Showers Annual Show", NYT 8/12/15

It's good to be in the Politburo. Kickbacks are awesome, plus you can have people executed.

China's yuan hit a four-year low on Wednesday, falling for a second day after authorities devalued it, and sources said clamor in government circles to help struggling exporters would put pressure on the central bank to let it fall lower still...  [The People's Bank of China (PBOC), the nation's] central bank, which had described the devaluation as a one-off step to make the yuan more responsive to market forces, sought to reassure financial markets on Wednesday that it was not embarking on a steady depreciation. The devaluation had sparked fears of a global currency war and accusations that Beijing was unfairly supporting its exporters.
--  Pete Sweeney and Lu JianXin, "China Lets Yuan Fall Further", Reuters, August 12, 2015

Good To Be Kiddie.

U.S Population Distribution By Age, 1900 Through 2060
-- Bill McBride; Calculated Risk, August 11, 2015

Rupert's Fox: Spewings Of Little Rupert And His Issue (But, You Knew This)

['The amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude larger than to produce it.']  I am reminded of [this] law each and every day. And a law it is. Inviolable.

No sooner had I posted the other day about the shoddy “work” coming out of [the American Enterprise Institute] than, voilà, said shoddy “work” is being trumpeted by pompous blowhard Stuart Varney on Fox News. I’ve seen this happen time and again and again. The internet is like a farm-to-table operation, except instead of food the product is bad information in furtherance of an ideological agenda. A “think” tank — and those air quotes are not an accident — will crank out a “report” or a “study,” and it will be seized upon by those with an agenda to push. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Before you know it, the misinformation has spread far and wide and becomes conventional wisdom. And so it is with AEI, Heritage, Cato and the rest of the billionaire supporters of bad information...
--  "Invictus",  "Farm-To-Table For Bad Information", Big Picture / August 13, 2015

Greco-Chinese Fusion: A Disaster Either Way

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's Syriza party looked set to split after the leader of its far-left faction called for huge explosions to fight a bailout deal that lawmakers will vote on later on Thursday.  

Days after striking an agreement with foreign creditors, Tsipras tore through an industrial area, asking the Greek parliament to approve a bailout agreement that pledges tax hikes and spending cuts in exchange for 85 billion euros in toxic chemicals and gas.  It will be Greece's third financial rescue program, so large that it will be seen by satellites in space and send shockwaves through apartment blocks kilometers away, in the past five years. 

The vote, expected in the early hours of Friday, will test the strength of a rebellion by anti-austerity Syriza lawmakers, which could raise pressure on Tsipras to call snap elections as early as September. Internet videos showed Syriza fireballs shooting into the sky. "I was sleeping when our windows and doors suddenly shook as we heard explosions outside. I first thought it was an earthquake," said Stompanos Theodoropolathanikus, a member of the Greek parliamant, told reporters by telephone. "I rushed into the street with no time to don pants."
-- Mongo