Tuesday, June 01, 2010

And We're Back

We had a great weekend down in Madison, CT; lots of sun, lots of food, met a bunch of people, sat around most of Sunday just vegging out (which we both needed badly), saw a parade and, of course, took a bunch of pictures which I'll get to Real Soon Now. We had a lot of fun and huge thanks to Debbie's fam for giving us a place to stay and all their friends for letting us party-crash. We managed to not get completely toasted being in the sun for three days; just slightly crispy which will turn into tan on me and freckles on Debbie.

Being back, of course, means being back on census duty. I found out today that all the binders are out so all I have left to do is wrap up the two I have sitting here in the apartment and it's all over. Unless I get selected for the next phase, then I will have employment until some time in July. I can honestly say I pray the gods they don't call me. I've had about all the stupidity I can handle.

Speaking of stupid, we have Hulu screwing with set-top boxes like Boxee and Kylo. When I first saw the headline, I thought it had something to do with blocking Hulu ads. Instead:

Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, in an interview with The New York Times last year, said the reason the site cuts off access to services like Boxee is because cable networks want to "keep their shows from living-room environments that promote themselves as substitutes to their analog cable TV business."

News flash, ass-clown. The computer has been in the living room for five years. And Hulu has always been a substitute to the analog cable TV business. For that matter, so has Netflix, for anyone willing to wait for a series to come out on DVD.

Oil is still pouring into the Gulf. The only sure way to stop it is drilling relief wells which will take at least until August. There isn't much to say other than this is bad.

Speaking of disasters, the economy is still bouncing along the bottom. Not even the massive injection of cash from the Fed and the federal government has been able to re-inflate the bubble. The hallucination of wealth that we have been living is winding down like a bad LSD trip. If you want some happy thoughts, you probably don't want to talk to this guy:

According to the Federal Reserve’s most recent report on wealth, America’s private net worth was $53.4 trillion as of September, 2009. But at the same time, America’s debt and unfunded liabilities totaled at least $120,000,000,000,000.00 ($120 trillion), or 225% of the citizens’ net worth. Even if the government expropriated every dollar of private wealth in the nation, it would still have a deficit of $66,600,000,000,000.00 ($66.6 trillion), equal to $214,286.00 for every man, woman and child in America and roughly 500% of GDP.

You can quibble over the author's numbers, but he's probably got the order of magnitude correct. After all, does it make any difference whether the "true" number is $10 trillion or $20 trillion more or less? Given the hallucinatory nature of US currency, does it really matter? Understand that I don't necessarily buy into the conclusion; all I'm pointing out is that our entire economy is pure make-believe.

In case anyone missed it, socialism does not, and has never, worked. Except when the enlightened US neo-liberals want to do it. Then it is a flawless thing of beauty.

And I need to toddle off to bed.

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