No pay, no spray

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39516346/ns/us_news-life/

Now that is not right.  Letting a dude’s home burn down because he forgot to pay a $75 county fee?  You can always bill him for it later.  Seriously, what fireman would willingly watch a house burn down if he had a means to stop it?

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The brink

A bit doom and gloom, but food for thought because if it really does all go to shit, billions of people around the world will get fucked.

Luckily, I know how to farm, hunt and fight.  That may be all that’s left if the U.S.A. goes down.

Update: the link is broke but I can’t find it again.  Short summary:  Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke considers the U.S. economy fucked.  He doesn’t say it in words like that, but when the FED chairman says that you can’t just keep borrowing, you know it is serious.  The U.S. is expected to run a 1.6 trillion dollar deficit this year.  That’s more money than the entire Canadian economy generates in a year and roughly around 10 percent of the U.S. GDP too.

In my opinion, the world is running out of money.  Not necessarily wealth, but money, and that is in part because our financial systems are predicated on lending money to create it because everything is fractionally backed.  The problem is that everyone is in debt.  Every country, every person, everyone.

Another nasty, related situation: the central banks don’t want to lend unless they have to because jamming too much cash into the system causes inflation.  The central banks loan the new money to national banks, who then loan it to you, but because of the state of the world economy the interest rate on this is approaching zero.

When the central rate gets to zero, I don’t know what will happen.  To create money the central banks will be printing it and effectively giving it away.  They might even have to pay commercial banks to take it – a deplorable condition.  My prediction is that inflation will spike because they will need to make lots of it to ensure there is liquidity because otherwise our society will fall apart.

The question I have no real answer for is, “where the money is going?”  It has to be going somewhere.

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The Creepy Line

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2010/10/googles-ceo-the-laws-are-written-by-lobbyists/63908

Both an interesting and scary sort of article. A good point Schmidt raises is that laws are increasingly written by lobbyists and that’s kinda creepy because no one ever elected them. The reason they can do this is lobbyists have more money and power than you do. Money and power influence government.

Giant company who wants the law to go their way can easily spend more money than you’ll earn in your life to see to it that it does. This is a big problem with modern government. The only solution I can think of is to make lobbying illegal.

But Google itself has its own creepiness:

With your permission you give us more information about you, about your friends, and we can improve the quality of our searches,” he said. “We don’t need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less now what you’re thinking about. – Eric Schmidt

Like hell would I ever give more personal information to a company which thinks like that.

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I hate being sick…

…the constant runny nose, the constant dribble of snot down the back of your throat. The coughing. The spitting. The feeling of tiredness, fatigue and wanting to hurl every morning because there is so much mucus. On top of this, I have allergies.

My doctor says a common cold can last up to 14 days. 2 weeks of this shit? Death almost seems preferable.

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The Fear Does Not Go Away

This is a re-posting of “The Fear”, I wrote it nine years ago. I was going to write something new, but realized I’d already said what I needed to say.

For Americans, this is a very personal day. No matter what you may think of their strange politics and their excessive culture, thousands of them didn’t need to be killed on this day nine years ago just so someone could make a point.

How does one deal with immense disaster? Perhaps you might hold everything inside until all you can do is talk about it with anyone who will listen.

It is hard to fully describe the dreadful events in the United States on Tuesday, September 11th, 2001. The attack of the World Trade Center towers defies description. The destruction was so complete, the casualties so high, that primitive language somehow seems insufficient to fully describe the horror of the event. There is no other terrorist attack in recent memory which has killed so many people at once. The news media have been struggling to rationalize it ever since.

attack on 2nd WTC tower

Most Canadians are not close to anyone who was killed or injured there and much of the emotion we feel is not the personal kind, but the empathic kind. When thousands of innocent people die, you can’t help but to feel sad for the friends, families and countrymen of those who were killed.

What is very real for many of the people around the World is the fear.

There is a fear that an airplane is going to crash into your home. Or the next flight you’re on will get hijacked. Or a bomb will explode outside your office. Or a chemical weapon will be unleashed in your home town. Or nuclear weapon be will detonated in your largest city.

ground view of WTC rubble

Surely this is an unfounded fear. Most of us don’t live in a place with any important buildings. It would be hubris to think that anything in our mostly insignificant countries is really a target compared to the United States. In truth, all of the NATO countries are politically and militarily insignificant compared to the U.S., which is likely why the targets were what they were. Still, when the Prime Minister commented about the attacks later that Tuesday, he didn’t just sound sad, he sounded scared.

By the time Thursday rolled around, most people had more or less accepted the fact that the attack had actually happened. The media began to notice at this time, perhaps morbidly so, that the hospitals in New York were not being flooded with casualties like they had expected because most of the WTC victims were dead.

People had perhaps fooled themselves into thinking that the chances of surviving the collapse of 110 stories of burning skyscraper were any better than poor.

At that point, being a rescuer was probably more horrific than it was heroic. By Sunday, workers had already moved 25 thousand tonnes of debris. Ultimately, they would need to move another 1.5 million more tonnes.

arial view of destroyed WTC

Maybe the fear isn’t so much about the exploding airplanes, but about how quickly, and maybe permanently this single attack has changed the World and the American people, far more than the attack on Pearl Harbor it is being compared to. While it may make them stronger, it might also make them paranoid, isolationist, militaristic, and aggressive.

It may make them a lot like the people who did this to them in the first place.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was America’s president during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Long before the Second World War started he stated in his first inaugural address that, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” He was speaking of the Depression, but the quotation is well applied to terrorism too.

Long after the dead have been mourned, the crippled have been comforted, the injured healed, and the ruins cleared away, there will still be the fear. Only when the fear is conquered can the war be won.

mourning New York firefighter Tony James
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Justin Bieber, You Need A Haircut

Justin, buddy, I’m telling you this, one Stratfordite to another, you gotta get rid of that mop because it looks retarded.  Seriously, do you really want to look like David Bowie in the seventies?  That androgynous shit is weird.

I’m going to tell you why you want to get that lid trimmed.  Pussy.  I was your age too once, and you know you want it.  And I’m not talking about Mickey Mouse Club girls, I’m talking real women and real women like short hair.

I used to have shaggy Ozzy Osborne hair halfway down my back.  I used to think it made me look sexy.  I was pissed off one day and I asked my barber to cut it short.  Her first response was, “fuck off, you’re crazy.”  She then warmed up to the idea and did it and admitted afterwards that it looked pretty damn good.  When your hairdresser is surprised with how awesome you look, you know it’s right.

I will give you her number if you ask, she’s the best in town.  I don’t know what she did with those shears but the number of chicks I could be dogging right now is staggering.

Next time you get it done, tell ’em short back and sides, leave an inch on the top.  Put a bit of gel on it if you want to feel fancy.  Trust me on this one, bro: you’ve already got the job, but if you want quality pussy, get a haircut.

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The Buzzer

UVB-76.

The nickname for it among ham radio operators is ‘The Buzzer’.  Some kind of black ops shortwave military radio station in Russia.  Most of the time it broadcasts at 4625 kHz, the signal being a simple repeating buzz tone, 25 times per minute. Buzz.  Buzz. Buzz.  Over and over, 24 and 7; its been at it for decades.

But interestingly, every now and again it broadcasts voice, in Russian, some sort of verbal code, and it did it yesterday.

No one knows what its purpose is.  Russia isn’t saying.  Russia may not even know anymore.

Cool.

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