... looks like this.
We visited the Getty Museum last week after rain had washed away the smog. The views were as lovely outside of the museum as they were inside. I left the images fairly large, so they might be worth a click.
If you saw this in a dystopian alternative history novel, you'd chalk the author up as some kind of survivalist, right-wing crackpot. Instead, it's in the New York Times.
AS the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken. But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions.
|A Reichstag fire wouldn't hurt, either.|
Posted by K T Cat at 7:21 AM
How's that for mixing metaphors? There's four of them right there and that's just the title!
Posted by K T Cat at 3:47 PM
I'm out in the Catican, working on the MGB. Our Maximum Leader has decided to snooze on the sofa out there with me and not on the warm and comfy blanket-covered chair up in the master bedroom. So instead of listening to my Van Halen mix at proper volume while I work, I'm listening to a soft, layered-vocals station I made on Pandora.
Love for a sleeping cat trumps car repair tradition.
Posted by K T Cat at 3:12 PM
The big PC out in the Catican where my email lives is on the fritz, so I'm doing this from memory. I apologize to Mut if I've got the question a bit muddled.
On with the show.
Mut asked if we had any New Year's wishes or resolutions for the Tea Party. Here's mine.
Posted by K T Cat at 10:46 AM
Good friend of the Catican, WC Varones, pointed out that the 'Post has been getting whacked with spam comments lately and after doing just a tiny bit of digging we discovered it's a regular spamazoic infestation! While we pull out the stopper and let the spam circle the drain, here's two of my favorites from the latest set:
Here a tip: Don wear a flowy sundress on a windy day, or you be making a fool out of yourself by desperately clutching it to your body so nobody sees the laundry day granny panties lurking underneathThanks for the tip, but we hamsters rarely wear flowy sundresses. Here's another spam:
ωii u göг mannen lol=)Well, ωii u göг mannen to you, too! And I'm sure we'll find that funny as well, just as soon as we figure out what it meant.
Posted by Jacob the Syrian Hamster at 3:12 PM
First, three data points for you.
Data Point 1: The Washington Times has this bit about the ongoing destruction of the traditional family. It's worth reading the whole thing, but this statistic in particular is important.
Married couples with children have an average income of $80,000, compared with $24,000 for single mothers.
Your support for the gay activist agenda, I've concluded after reading your comments on porn, is that you believe that gay marriage will persuade gay men to engage in the "nice" sex that you endorse.
You're full of (expletive) on that one.
Traditions exist for reasons that are hard to visualize or explain, because they developed over centuries out of day to day human experience.
You've really over-intellectualized yourself into a stupor on the gay marriage stuff.
Here are the orgiasts, declaring that they will play "nice," just as you asked. They've checkmated you.
Posted by K T Cat at 8:07 AM
... is this sunset photo I took yesterday while exercising the Catican Guards at the Fiesta Island dog park. I left it particularly large, so it might be worth a click.
Posted by K T Cat at 8:36 AM
Yesterday we made ribs out in our Oklahoma Joe's smoker. We brined them first in sugar and salt water and them applied a homemade rub whose exact ingredients I no longer recall. It was in a jar in our spice cabinet labeled "Dry Rub" so we figured it would work. We used KC Masterpiece for a mopping sauce and, following this recipe for the timing, wrapped them in foil for the last half hour of their 4 1/2 hour smoking time. We used Henry Bain Sauce for dipping at the table, the recipe taken from Terry Thompson's Eating Southern Style. Where KC Masterpiece is a sweet sauce, the Henry Bain mixture is a very vinegar-y one.
The results were full of deliciousness!
Posted by K T Cat at 8:00 AM
... and the best way to get it started is with a little Satchmo!
Posted by K T Cat at 2:53 PM
So to revisit something from a while back, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has begun QE4 where he will buy $45B of Federal debt every month until inflation is higher and unemployment is lower.
Isn't he forgetting something?
While his purchases have an indirect effect on unemployment and more direct effect on inflation, they have a direct, dominant effect on government funding.
The Federal government will borrow more than $1T this year, at least half of which will be loaned to them by the Fed through QE4 and other programs. If unemployment were to fall to 6.4% and inflation to rise to, say, 3%, the Fed would be facing a real quandary. The minute they stop buying government debt, the government will have to find a new buyer for $500B of bonds.
Good luck with that.
Posted by K T Cat at 6:00 AM
On ESPN 5 right now, it's the Arnold Klingfelter Pest Control Bowl featuring East Neephus State vs. Southwest Wyoming School of Welding. Yay!
Well, it might be something like that. I'll admit, after this many bowl games, I've pretty well lost track of what's going on.
Posted by K T Cat at 1:22 PM
I'm downstairs in the Command Center* of the Catican Compound, wearing my Jonas Gutierrez jersey, drinking coffee from my Newcastle United mug, awaiting the start of what will be one of the most important games of the year for the Magpies. Today, #15 Newcastle plays #19 QPR. Two teams having terrible years are going at it and for me, it's as exciting as a playoff game.
There are 20 teams in the EPL. At the end of the season, the bottom three are "relegated" to the league below and the top 3 teams from that league are "promoted" to the EPL. If the NFL did this, the Cleveland Browns would have been sent to the NCAA a long time ago and Alabama would be playing in the NFL. Relegation makes almost all games interesting. You rarely get teams laying down and playing dead because their seasons don't mean anything. Today's match between Newcastle and QPR has big implications.
Last year was a great one for Newcastle. They finished high enough to qualify for one of the European tournaments and the extra wear of those games combined with a rash of injuries has wrecked what was already a very thin team. This year it's a fight for survival and I'm passionately rooting for players I hoped I'd never see take the field.
Philadelphia Eagles fans should be so lucky.
Update: Newcastle won on a goal by Shola Ameobi in the 81st minute. Hurrah!
|Howay the lads!|
Posted by K T Cat at 6:47 AM
I'm not sure what just happened. As I understand it, the House Republicans decided not to offer President Obama a bill he had promised to veto which would have done practically nothing to avert our upcoming fiscal catastrophe. Of the major problems facing the nation,
Posted by K T Cat at 6:14 AM
Last night, I stayed up way later than I should have for no reason other than childish petulance, not wanting to go to bed. I was out in the Catican reading comment threads on the Newcastle United Blog. I knew I needed to go to bed to get up for work the next day, but instead, I sat their reading and stamping my little feet in a tantrum, saying, "I won't go to bed! I won't I won't I won't!"
Sigh. I should know better by now.
Posted by K T Cat at 6:07 AM
Dig who the Tea Party extremists supported to replace Jim DeMint as the senator from South Carolina.
Posted by K T Cat at 8:30 AM
... made me want to go out and buy a gun.
I'm not a particularly strong second amendment supporter and assault rifles or whatever you want to call them make me squeamish. But when President Obama described how teachers hunkered down in their classrooms, completely unarmed, waiting for the cops to show up while a heavily armed lunatic roamed the halls, my first thought was, "Forget waiting for the cops. I want to be able to defend myself."
In the past when I read folks like W C Varones advocate for concealed carry and talk about how armed citizens could stop a shooting like the one in Connecticut, I've always partially scoffed at the idea, picturing the school or mall turning into a shooting gallery where barely-trained goofs with guns tried to out-macho each other, killing as many innocents as they did perpetrators. After last night's speech I wasn't worried about that. Helplessly waiting for the police seems like suicide.
Posted by K T Cat at 6:32 AM
After every mass killing like the one in Connecticut, there's an agitated conversation about guns. Personally, I'm not sure which way I fall because I just can't get over the feeling that to some extent, guns aren't the issue. I would agree that in a military sense, modern weaponry has put the advantage firmly on the side of the killers. Large magazines and easy firing makes higher kill totals possible. Still, that seems to be avoiding the problem.
In Connecticut as in many others, the shooter turned the last bullet on himself. Had we previously banned automatic weapons, he could have gone in with a backpack full of loaded revolvers and shot, say, 12 instead of 20+. He then would have shot himself long before anyone had a chance to react. Tactically, it's like trying to stop the suicide bombers in Iraq. They had various technologies and sometimes killed a lot of people, sometimes just a few, but they were almost impossible to stop because they could strike where we were defenseless and were willing to die in the process. They are the ultimate guided weapon.
Why are they happening at all? It's not something that has happened throughout the country's history. The LA Times has a historical summary with this graphic.
|Mass killings over time, 1985 to present.|
|Why the increases in sacrifices to Moloch?|
Posted by K T Cat at 7:03 AM
Zedrohedge has a fantastic post today quoting a UBS study discussing whether or not equities (stocks) are a good hedge against inflation. It's particularly timely as the Fed just launched QE4 yesterday, announcing their plan to buy $500B of Treasuries, continuing to monetize the debt. I highly recommend reading the whole thing including the comments. Many of the comments are excellent and I plan to excerpt the ones I liked the best later. In the meantime, here's the payoff chart for me.
|The UBS analyst thinks that equities are a good hedge in the 2-6% inflation range, with many conditions. Read the whole post to get the full description.|
Posted by K T Cat at 6:25 AM
... take one down, pass it around, there's still a trillion there.
That's because the Fed will endlessly create monies for everyone! Yay!
WASHINGTON—The Federal Reserve refashioned its bond-buying programs on Wednesday, extending its far-reaching effort to revitalize the jobs market and boost the economic recovery into 2013...
The central bank's policy committee, in its final meeting of the year, said Wednesday it would "initially" begin buying $45 billion of long-term Treasury bonds each month.
Posted by K T Cat at 1:21 PM
There's lots of chatter across the blogosphere these days about marijuana as some states have legalized it. Since smoking weed makes men lazy and stupid, does that make it part of the War on Women™?
|He's still available, ladies! And what a catch!|
Posted by K T Cat at 11:35 AM
Gerard Depardieu has become the latest rich Frenchman to flee his country and the stinging wealth taxes levied by Francois Hollande, the Socialist President of France.Speaking on Monday, Pierre Moscovici, the French finance minister said, "It's why we hates them, my precious. Hates the tricksy riches!"*
The film star has bought a property in Nechin, a Belgian village near the border with France, which has become a colony for French exiles fleeing President Hollande's tax rate of 75 per cent on all earnings over €1 million.
At the La Ferme du Chateau restaurant, where Mr Depardieu was sighted, a young female customer told Le Soir that there was "excitement" in the village at the prospect of him moving there.In other news, recent experiments by behavioral biologists suggest that living creatures will attempt to flee uncomfortable or painful environments and move towards food and safety. In socialist France, Obama's White House and Jerry Brown's state capitol offices in Sacramento, they are awaiting confirmation of these controversial findings.
"We want them to come to us when they feel like it," she said.
Posted by K T Cat at 6:35 AM
A bunch of conservative blogs are breathlessly reporting that despite the glorious victories of the people of California over the greedy rich in the last election, the state's tax revenues are down significantly in November. I clicked around the blogosphere and found lots of crowing about the Laffer Curve, but the real data (PDF) from state controller John Chiang told a bit of different story.
Tax revenues are down from projections in the state budget, but in some cases, they are up from last year. To me, the numbers and Mr. Chiang's analysis give mixed support to the anti-tax case*, but what absolutely leaps out at you is the total incompetence of the people who crafted the budget. While taxes may be down a bit, spending is out of control.
|A chart of variance from budget. Taxes are a bit lower than expected, but spending is much higher.|
Expenditures are 4.9% above estimates contained in the Budget, with assistance to local governments driving the overage.My interpretation: Assistance to local governments = lifelines to stave off municipal bankruptcies. That was as predictable as the sun rising this morning. How could you possibly lowball an estimate of that when you've already had 4 major bankruptcies?
While January sales tax receipts are better than average, the holiday returns are a less impressive specter than Marley’s ghost. Blame it on the state’s reliance on the personal income tax or changes to a service economy, but revenues derived from retail sales in 2012 are not as important as they were in the 1940s. For example:
- The sales tax accounts for about one-fifth of the General Fund. (Contrast this with the situation for Christmases Past: Two generations ago, the sales tax was the dominant revenue source.) So, even if there were a pronounced spike in the sales tax returns in January, its effect is swamped by what is happening with other taxes, especially the personal income tax.
Posted by K T Cat at 5:59 AM
For those of you who don't normally follow English Premier League (EPL) soccer, two teams that regularly fight it out of the championship are Manchester United and Manchester City. Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham may be up at the top of the standings depending on the particular year, but ManU and City are the two heavyweights.
EPL teams play each other twice a year. That means there are two times each season when you can catch the ultimate matchup of ManU v. City. This weekend was one of those games.
Foxsoccer.tv doesn't show all EPL games live. Some games, often the big ones, are available on demand the next day. Since I don't live in England, I can watch these games on delay as if they were live, not knowing the outcome. The ManU v. City game was played this morning, but will be available starting at 9PM tonight here in San Diego (midnight Eastern Time).
I don't know if you've encountered them, but as I surf the web these days, I'm getting more and more ads directed right at me. Clearly, the sites are reading my cookies and browser history and are rotating in ads that match what I look at. I get lots of ads for Adobe Creative Suite and Moss Motors British car parts.
Today, I was clicking around a financial site when one of those little scroll-up boxes slithered into view in the lower right-hand corner of my screen. "Things You Need To Know" was the title. I glanced at it. It had a teeny thumbnail from a soccer game and the caption, "Manchester United stuns rivals Manchester City on last second free kick!"
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? YOU SICKENING, PERVERTED PIECES OF FILTH! YOU RUIN ONE OF THE MARQUEE GAMES OF THE SEASON FOR ME FOR AN AD?
I wish I'd clicked on it so I could remember for all time who did this and add them into my rotation of regular diatribes, the swine.
|The pigs who did this should be Gulag-bound.|
Posted by K T Cat at 8:10 AM
Greece, according to Standard & Poors, is now in selective default. That is, it's bankrupt. Like any good statist country where the government is responsible for almost everything and politics rules over all, government budget cuts are leading to lots of protests. Citizens are fighting with each other like starving dogs over an ever-shrinking government food dish. Dig this.
The most striking example of this absurdity is the situation at the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, where garbage has been piling up all over the campus for the past 10 weeks. Only Aristophanes could have come up with such a great metaphor for Greek exceptionalism. A labor dispute between workers and the company with the contract for cleaning the university resulted in workers taking over the administration building, garbage piling up out of control, volunteers who tried to clean up being attacked by students supporting the strikers (and the dumping on campus of whatever garbage had been collected), the principal first being with the strikers then calling in police, police raiding the university, clearing the administration building, the workers returning and blocking entrance to the building, and so on.This is what it looks like.
Posted by K T Cat at 11:38 AM
Fellow SLOB DDE posted recently that the Euro-area was now in a recession. The WSJ is reporting that Germany's central bank is predicting that even mighty Germany will experience a recession next year.
Give their massive debt loads and hopelessly regulated industries, will they come back up without massive upheaval? It's going to be awful hard to stave off default in the big countries with falling tax revenues. If you think about the mechanisms for recovery, there aren't many left open to them. Robert Reich's fascist fantasies aside, there aren't going to be massive stimulus programs from bankrupt governments. The ECB has already cut rates to practically nothing and has been printing money like crazy.
The only thing left is a total rethinking of the business-government relationship and an increase in economic freedom. After watching the Spaniards and Greeks freak out over such things earlier this year, I can't see that happening without plenty of rioting.
Posted by K T Cat at 6:36 AM
... because we can now plan on getting one of the Catican Guards to drive.
Posted by K T Cat at 8:43 AM
As the government grows and sucks up more power and money, work outside of the government means less and less. Within the government, political heft is what drives things. Outside of the government, it's performance and production. With the re-election of Barack Obama, it's no surprise to be reading things like these.
Stacy McCain blogs about politics as religion.
Politics is NOT my number one priority in life. For the Left, it seems like it may be. There seem to be Statists who view politics as life itself. A lady in the audience mentioned a rich Obama family (around Richmond, maybe) that put up four Obama operatives for a full year leading up to the election. Think of Democrats as political Jehova’s Witnesses.An oyster farmer in the San Francisco area is losing his lease on Federal land. Dig the machinations. The wilderness fanatics within the National Parks are shutting down the farm, so the owner is working with elected officials to keep it open. It's all political. The key sentence is highlighted by me.
"This isn't about an oyster company, for us," said Neal Desai, the associate director of the National Parks Conservation Association. "This is about taking care of our national parks for future generations and honoring a decades-old agreement to protect our heritage and create a marine wilderness. Letting the lease expire, removing all the motorboats and removing all the non-native oysters is good for the environment."In Pennsylvania, low-wage and even mid-wage workers are chumps.
Lunny's request for an extension had powerful supporters, including Feinstein, Marin County Supervisor Steve Kinsey and former Peninsula Rep. Pete McCloskey, who put up a major fight to keep the operation going.
Posted by K T Cat at 6:42 AM
... can be seen in Pennsylvania's prison population charts.
|Since 1980, the prison population has grown by a factor of 5|
|No matter how many prisons they build, they are always full|
Posted by K T Cat at 7:56 AM