atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#3703: That's why the official unemployment rate is near 8%! DUH!

"Many jobless in U.S. don't collect unemployment" goes the headline of this Detroit Free Press article.

Well, duh.

...the paper discusses this issue in the context of blaming Republicans for being meany mean-heads, of course.

* * *

In that vein, then, let's continue with the economic doom and gloom.

The GOP is not serious about debt reduction. GOP has removed members from the finance committee who were actual fiscal conservatives because they voted against the budget fakery.

Vox Day on the same story, calling it "another conservative purge".

The GOP's not interested in actual budgetary reform. They don't want to eliminate the budget deficit any more than they want to eliminate the Defense Department. And the GOP leadership absolutely will not tolerate anyone voting for real fiscal reform.

And so, we are screwed.

*

Manufacturing is in the toilet. This is Reuters saying this. Their boy just won re-election and they're saying this--of course he's securely in power for another four years (at least) so naturally they can publish a story like this without fear of adverse effects on their preferred party's ability to hold office.

*

The New York Times is cutting staff again. Part of this is the liberal media suffering the consequences of its own obvious liberal bias, but it's also an indicator that the economy is suffering.

*

Japanese nationalism on the rise. Nationalism is called "patriotism" when it's something the media likes, but "nationalism" when it's something the media does not like.

Regardless, this is the kind of thing that crops up...well, right about now in the whole "global economic downturn-war-reconstruction" cycle. Nationalism becomes more prevalent for a decade or two; finally there's a big war and a lot of people get killed and a heap of shit gets broken. Whee!

*

Karl Denninger points to a major restaurant chain's difficulty as an economic indicator. The company that owns Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and Longhorn Steakhouse has had to lower its earnings projections based on a poor showing in the third quarter.

The chain blames "unsuccessful promotions" but in fact the problem is NO ONE HAS ANY FUCKING MONEY TO SPEND ON EATING OUT BECAUSE EVERYBODY IS FUCKING UNEMPLOYED.

Denninger says it's due to the federal government running the printing presses at emergency maximum since Obama took office. Dollars don't go as far as they did even five years ago; faced with a choice between having gas for the drive to work and having chicken marsala at Olive Garden, guess what people are going to choose?

* * *

Movies!

Flush with the success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Warner Brothers, Wingnut, et alii have decided to take The Hobbit and large swaths of other Tolkein works and mix it into a melange of three long films. Apparently the first film is not good.

*

"Why movies are awful," begins the title of this AoSHQ post on...well...why movies are awful. Turns out it's exactly what everyone thinks: the suits and the money men know nothing about telling stories but get to call the shots because they're the ones paying the bills.

* * *

The news media is curiously silent on how bad a job FEMA is doing in the wake of hurricane Sandy. Sandy's arguably a disaster on par with Katrina, and Bush was excoriated for the failures of the federal disaster agency.

BHO and Sandy? *crickets*

Of course.

* * *

Yet another entry in the why we can't say "the science is settled" and mean it.

There are very, very, very few scientific principles which we call "laws" because it's so notoriously hard to prove something well enough. We talk about the law of gravity, the laws of thermodynamics, because those things are proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. In all the time that we've been doing science, the Laws of Thermodynamics have never, never, ever been falsified, not even by a hair.

But we don't talk about the "law of relativity" or the "law of atomic decay" or the "law of quantum dynamics" because these things--while useful tools--have not been proven and remain theories.

Yet scientists want us to believe that they know everything, and know it so well that we should listen to them when they tell us we need to stop generating so much carbon dioxide.

...and then there's stuff like this: gee, Voyager 1 is encountering the heliopause and--gosh!--there are unexpected data from the encounter. Who the fuck coulda seen that coming?

We don't know everything. People who tell you we do are delusional. When someone tells you the science is settled and we must do what he says or we all die? Make sure you still have your wallet; he may have lifted it while you were distracted.

* * *

Overregulation. Six licenses to make and sell bacon? Six?

* * *

It's always interesting to me to watch someone dig himself into a hole. I don't know why it is, but when I see someone who's in a hole working furiously at digging himself in deeper, it's not all that difficult to quell my natural impulse to try to help the moron stop doing it.

It is, in fact, inadvisable to try to help, at least most of the time. Take the example of addiction, for example; the alcoholic will not give up his drink until and unless he himself realizes that he has a problem. The guy who's an alcoholic and who thinks he has it under control will get defensive if you point out to him that he drinks an awful lot--and he'll get that way because he knows, deep down, that he actually has a serious problem but doesn't want to do anything about it.

The unfortunate thing is that the alcoholic will fixate on others and blame them for his troubles: "Those assholes! They didn't have to fire me because I showed up for work drunk! I can handle it just fine!" And "My stupid ex-wife! She only left me because she's a bitch! My drinking isn't a problem!" He'll do this, and he'll keep on doing it...and will only come to realize the true source of his troubles when he has lost everything.

It's worse when the person in question isn't even on any intoxicants, but just freaking right the fuck out. When you see someone destroying himself, blaming others for all his woes, consistently acting in a fashion that drives others away from him, and absolutely refusing to take any responsibility for his situation or actions, what can you do?

Sooner or later the person who's on a self-destructive path hits rock bottom. When that happens, the situation can go either way, and the only one who has any control over that is the person himself. Sometimes they realize what they've done and take action to fix the problem; sometimes they just die.

I don't even know how many times I've seen it, now. My Mom, when I was still in grade school; she wised up and got sober and never touched the booze again. My late brother-in-law--he drank himself into the grave...and my sister followed him less than three years later, all the while bitterly complaining about how unfair it was and how mean everyone was to her.

It does not make it easier to watch. Particularly when you can see the endpoint of the trajectory and know it's not going to be pretty, or easy for anyone.

* * *

Okay, I'm going to lighten up here at the end with another home-brewed Garfield Without Garfield:



I would have liked to have used the matching font for the "without Garfield" text in the title panel, instead of Copperplate Bold, but unfortunately Windows Vista lacks the correct font.

Stupid Helvetica.
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