August 17th, 2010

#2229: "Welcome to the Recovery!"

Apparently Tim Geithner wrote a piece 8/2 with that title. Damn it, you stupid rednecks in flyover country, why don't you get it? There is an economic recovery taking place! We're doing great! The economy isn't sagging; it's going so fast it only looks like it's crapping out!

...blech...

* * *

This article contains a pretty good projection of how hyperinflation will occur and what it will mean.

However: the writer's solution is to cut military spending and end foreign wars: "US military spending reflects the unaffordable and unattainable crazed neoconservative goal of US Empire and world hegemony."

Pretty much, you can stop reading about the time he quotes Lenin, because that's when he stops making any damned sense.
The wars, which benefit no one but the military-security complex and Israel’s territorial expansion, can be immediately ended. This would reduce the US budget deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars per year. More hundreds of billions of dollars could be saved by cutting the rest of the military budget which, in its present size, exceeds the budgets of all the serious military powers on earth combined.
Our deficit for the year is $1,500 billion dollars. That deficit represents all the non-entitlement spending in our federal budget.

In other words, the US government spends every last cent of tax revenue it takes in on transfer payments, debt service, and welfare. It has to borrow money to pay for everything else.

The entire time that I have paid attention to the federal budget, the military budget has always been the second largest aggregate in the budget. The biggest aggregate has always been social spending.

Oh, it doesn't look like it, because the government carefully doesn't present it that way. It splits up the spending into WIC, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, etc, etc--but if you gather them all up into one lump suddenly it becomes more than half the entire federal budget.

With a budget for 2010 of roughly $4,000 billion, about $2,300 billion is social spending.

The military budget doesn't surpass $500 billion.

Where is there an excess of spending, again?

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China knows what debt monetization means. Bernanke has decided that the Fed is going to buy Treasuries; despite his best efforts at cloaking the move as anything but, everyone knows this is monetizing the debt, and that's (hyper)inflationary.

* * *

Vox Day links to a piece which is critical of a Paul Krugman editorial in the New York Times, which Michelle Malkin calls "the fishwrap of record". (With good reason.)

Krugman's effluent is standard Democrat party line about Social Security. This rather neatly fillets Krugman's garbage.

* * *

The Democrat solution is always "more taxes", but raising taxes on a failing economy is a bad idea. We know it; we have more than enough historical evidence.

Democrats never want to cut taxes. Ever. And cutting spending? Ha!

* * *

"Obama doesn't get America." Obama doesn't want to get America. America is full of rednecks who want to own guns and worship Jesus and watch NASCAR; they're hicks. There's no appreciation for nuance and sophistication out there; those people think international terrorism is bad and can't understand how it all helps us get along!

* * *

Fear the 'Stache!!! Michael Bolton says Israel has a bit more than a week to hit Iran's nuclear site without causing a radiological release. Bolton is awesome.

Still, if I were in control of Israel, I'd say something like, "Hmm...eight days...I don't know, I think it might take us that long to figure out how to load bombs on our airplanes. I mean, after all, we're not the kind of smart Jews from big coastal American liberal cities...." Heheh.

* * *

Hey, Chicago, what part of "shall not be infringed" do you still not understand?

New lawsuit, same plaintiff, same reason. Bwaa ha ha ha ha.

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I linked this bit at Eternity Road because of the quote:
Islam is not a religion. It is a toxic political ideology that masquerades as a religion.

The holy book of the religion not only authorizes, but requires its adherents to lie and dissemble in the service of Islam. This is the doctrine called taqiyya. This means that you can, by the articles of his own faith, trust nothing a Moslem says.

Islam’s faithful seek to replace non-Moslem law with Sharia. In the United States, this means that, by hook or by crook, by stealth or naked force, they seek to supplant the Constitution.

If encompassed: This. Is. Treason. A capital crime against the people and Constitution of the United States.

The ruling class can’t admit that, because they would be tarred with the same brush.
...which is about half the post.

* * *

This is actually a good application of DMCA, IMHO. Woman ran a private WoW server and charged for access, got sued by Blizzard, and didn't bother to show up in court. She made $3 million dollars and had some 430,000 users.

Nah, there's no downside to Blizzard there.

While it's true that some of those users probably would not pay the $15 per month Blizzard charges for WoW access, there isn't any good way to tell which of them would have; the court has to assume that all of them would have paid Blizzard had this woman not had her server in operation. And so it comes to some $6,450,000 per month in lost revenue for Blizzard, at least theoretically.

This is a little different than sharing an MP3 on-line. You can't host 32,000 people at a go with the old PC in your basement; you need a server farm. (Not a big one, but you need one.) It doesn't happen by accident; it takes effort.

I bet the people who paid her money to run characters on her server went and complained to Blizzard when their toons disappeared. And if I were in charge of support at Blizzard, I would instruct my people to laugh at these gits when they call to complain: "What server? 'Scapegaming'? AHH HA HA HA HA HA HA get lost dickhead."

* * *

I played Torchlight for a few hours yesterday. I followed my tradition and named my first character "Frexxed". He's a destroyer (warrior-type class) and he has a dog named Menchi.

I finally figured out what is so refreshing about the game: most of the time, I don't have to stand there and pound on monsters to kill them. (Admittedly I am playing in "easy" mode.)

WoW: even with a powerful character, you have to babysit cooldown timers and use multiple talents to kill something. With Ormus, for example, I have a rotation of some three to five spells I use to take down a single monster. I press the following keys, with the appropriate pauses for cooldown: 2, 4, (repeat 4 once or twice, depending on how effective it is at knocking down the monster's health), 3, 5, 6, 9. With some variation in order, this is what I use when soloing. (Sometimes I'll use area-of-effect (AoE) spells (keyed to - and = on the keyboard) if I've got a small mob on me. If it's a big mob, it doesn't matter what I do; I die.)

...I don't even know the names of the spells.

Torchlight: half the time, Frexxed eradicates a single monster with one attack, leaving behind only a bloody splotch on the floor. He's got a sweep attack which can kill multiple targets at once, which adds a neat "earthquake" effect when it happens.

There are some monsters which are obvious bosses, and they take some killing before they die. Then it might take the ol' He-Frex as many as four or five attacks to lay one out! (Five! OMG.) ...in fact I ran into a mob which nearly killed Frexxed last night; I ran away long enough to slug back health and mana potions (no cooldown!) while the dog kept 'em busy, and then waded back in once I had replenished enough to finish the fight.

One of the neatest features is that you can buy (or find) maps to "hidden levels". The "hidden levels" let you take a break from delving into the mine. You read the map, it opens a magic portal, and you can go in and clean it out. Usually there's some nice treasure to be found in these hidden levels, too. Since I don't entirely know what I'm doing yet I haven't been spending much money on equipment upgrades, so Frexxed has amassed a sizable fortune in gold. Most of what I find gets sold, and the maps for levels 1-10 are not all that expensive when you're 15th level. (They're less than 300 GP. You usually make it back, if nothing else, from selling loot.)

There's also an NPC who has several quests which take you into hidden levels, accessed via portals dispensed from a magic wand he has.

It's amazing how different two good games from the same genre can be. WoW and Torchlight are different sub-genres of the RPG genre; Torchlight is a single-player clickfest where WoW is designed to be a cooperative game: the monsters are easier to take down when you're in a group, even if it's just a couple people.

So taking a break from WoW to pound on squishies isn't entirely beyond the pale. The world of WoW is bigger and more complex, but it's more challenging. Torchlight has a smaller world and less complex story, but finishing quests and advancing aren't too difficult.

* * *

It was nice and cool last night. We had the windows open, and I slept like a stack of 2x4s. It's supposed to be about that cool tonight, too. Heh.

#2230: Well, we had to find him guilty of SOMETHING.

"Lying to a federal agent"? Really?

Really? That was the best you could manage?

Ace (the latter link) is of the opinion that someone on the jury may have been a Blago fan, which is why it ended up coming to the verdicts it came to.

Me, I'm not so sure.

There's no question in my mind that Blago is dirty, okay? He's an Illinois Democrat, for crying out loud. But the real political power in IL is concentrated in Mike Madigan's office and Chicago's City Hall, not the Governor's office. Through whatever accident of omission these turkeys managed not to control who was appointed to fill Obama's senate seat; and that is what Rod Blagojevich went on trial for: he refused to do what his masters wanted and stubbornly insisted on making his own decision.

Trying to "sell" Obama's senate seat? Shit. Blago did what all politicians do: try to make advantage for themselves. It's not right nor is it honest or honorable; but it's the way it is, particularly in a corrupt blue state like Illinois.

The fact that the prosecution couldn't support their case well enough to get a guilty verdict on any charge other than the federal trial booby prize is evidence enough that Blago--dirty as he is--probably isn't actually guilty of the crimes he's been exonerated for.

("Booby prize": "Scooter" Libby and Martha Stewart were found guilty of "lying to federal agents".)

* * *

Obama plans not to count the votes of soldiers serving overseas:

One post about it.

Another post about it.

BTW: look at the Constitution. Show me the passage which guarantees anyone the right to vote.

There is none. The Founders left it that way on purpose, because they understood the benefits of limited franchise.

That said: if you qualify for the franchise, your exercise thereof is supposed to be counted in the total vote. The ruling party cannot choose to ignore certain areas or districts because those people won't/don't vote the right way. All valid votes must be counted.

* * *

Yeah:
Let's quickly review the history of race in America:

In colonial days, black Africans were brought to America in chains and enslaved--literally made the property of other people. So deeply ingrained was the practice of slavery that it was written into the Constitution. It was abolished only after more than 75 years and a horrific and bloody civil war.

Although blacks formally were granted freedom and legal equality after the Civil War, in practice they remained second-class citizens. Particularly in the South, they were subjected to a regime of discrimination so pervasive that it is no exaggeration to describe it as totalitarian, enforced as it was through violence and terror by both the state and the majority population.

Overcoming this system of white supremacy was a century-long struggle, culminating with the landmark civil rights legislation of the 1960s. Today black Americans are full citizens, their civil and political rights secured by law. A black man has even been elected president of the United States.

Despite this progress, the struggle continues. Slavery and Jim Crow are history, but it falls to our generation to rid America of the scourge of . . . offensive carnival games.
Damn those offensive carnival games!

* * *

Fred knocks one out of the park.

* * *

Tuesday has been almost entirely wasted.

...I woke up this morning around 10-ish, had a beef sandwich, blogged...and then faded out. I slept for four more hours. After sleeping well last night. WTF.

It means that everything's been pushed back to Wednesday, when it will have to get done. We're running low on cat food!

Oh well.