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Crisising Our Way Toward Global Socialism May 13, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.
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One of the hallmarks of good management is that you never notice it. Crises are anticipated and headed off before they ever emerge.* Negotiations are conducted and resolved before aggrieved parties reach an impasse. Supply chain issues, personnel issues, budget issues, etc., are all addressed early, before they balloon into disasters.

So if you’re not part of the management process, you never really notice it. Things are humming along, everything is stable, and you can enjoy the present and plan for the future.

Contrast that with the current administration’s approach, where even on the few occasions where they anticipate a crisis, they do nothing about it. Most of the time they seem oblivious or in denial when a crisis looms. And once the crisis finally arrives, they spend all their time deflecting blame and responsibility, rather than taking action.

They’ve been so consistent with not bothering to take effective action that I’m coming to believe that it’s deliberate: they are crisis nurturers and profiteers, rather than crisis mitigators (I know I’m late in finally accepting this, as other folk have been warning of this for some time). Now, rather than waiting for a crisis to occur organically, they nudge it along, inflate the threat, and then use it to move toward their ultimate goals.

It is instructive that even when the administration was warned about the threat of inflation, saw inflation occurring, and then saw it grow out of control, they didn’t change any of their spending plans. They didn’t do anything but stay the course, when that course was obviously damaging the American people.

Now, what are they proposing instead of throttling back on deficit spending ?

Price controls.

More government intervention and control, replacing capitalism with unilateral government decision-making. Or, more concisely, socialism. And, given their penchant for violating our sovereignty with ridiculous international agreements, global socialism.

I know conspiracists have been warning us about the New World Order for decades, and I always felt there was at least an element in society that was pursuing that goal. But I didn’t think it was a dominant element, or even that significant of an element. But now, it seems transparently obvious that the goal of the administration is to guide us toward that eventuality.

The old movie Rollerball has been coming to mind a lot lately, but I wasn’t sure why. Now I think I know. In that movie there were two classes of people: the executives, who ran things, and everybody else. The executives took care of everything: food shelter, companionship. Commoners just had to toe the line and keep their mouths shut. Pretty much exactly the scenario that the administration is driving toward.

James Caan’s character (Jonathan E.!) is benefiting hugely from the system, with the best of everything provided him. But he eventually realizes that he’s a bird in a gilded cage, and starts to question whether all the comforts and security are worth the sacrifice of freedom, independence, and self-determination.

In the 70’s, it was obvious to most of us that they were not. Now, however, I think most of the population would be perfectly happy to let someone else take responsibility for their lives.

Better buy some roller skates.

With obvious act-of-GodChina type exceptions, such as COVID-19

Quick Look at Manufacturing Jobs May 8, 2022

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Manufacturing jobs continue to improve, but still haven’t quite reached pre-COVID levels:

One wonders what would happened had the Democrats not taken control of Congress in January 2019.

The Miracle of Renewable Energy May 7, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.

Shot (5/2/22):

California runs on 100% clean energy for the first time, with solar dominating

Chaser (5/6/22):

California says it needs more power to keep the lights on

Employment Has Flatlined May 6, 2022

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The BLS published the Employment Situation Report today, so I thought I’d brush off the old employment graph and update it somewhat. By “somewhat” I mean that I only updated it back to January 2020. The BLS updates numbers going back a decade, so my pre-2020 number are a little old.

Anyway, as you may recall, my curve is an attempt to gauge the health of employment by tracking the number of full-time jobs. To do that, I take the employment numbers from the Household survey and subtract the part-time jobs. Then I divide by the population (the civilian non-institutional population, to be exact).

Here’s what that looks like going back to 1990:

And here’s a closeup of more recent years:

As of January of this year, the % of full-time jobs stopped increasing. Sadly, the increase halted just before it got to pre-COVID levels. Even more sadly, we’re nowhere near 0.52, which was kind of our average before the Great Recession.

Can’t blame the 4-month lull on COVID anymore, and you can’t blame it on Russia. Blame of the administration, however, is not so easily dismissed.

Auditory Accomplishment or Hearing Herring? May 5, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.

From the Cool Medical News file: looks like they’re starting to make headway in dealing with elderly hearing loss:

Hearing loss caused by aging, noise, and some cancer therapy medications and antibiotics has been irreversible because scientists have not been able to reprogram existing cells to develop into the outer and inner ear sensory cells — essential for hearing — once they die.

But Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered a single master gene that programs ear hair cells into either outer or inner ones, overcoming a major hurdle that had previously prevented the development of these cells to restore hearing…

If that wasn’t clear, allow me to sum up. Hearing loss associated with aging is generally due to death or damage to outer ear cells. Now they’ve figured out how to turn cells into outer ear cells. So hopefully that will allow them to replace lost cells as people age, so we can dispense with our ear trumpets.

That won’t just help the elderly with their hearing – when I talked with an Alzheimer’s researcher at UCSF six years ago, she said that hearing loss can accelerate mental decline. Certainly hearing issues also lead to social isolation with all its attendant effects.

So if they can actually get this into clinical practice without taking three or four decades, it’s pretty exciting. If.

Signs of Life at DoublePlusUndead May 5, 2022

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Looks like the Russian invasion got aliceaitch fired up over at DPUD. She’s been posting pretty regularly since February. They also had a couple of posts in January by veeshir and socklessjoe.

If this continues I’ll have to resurrect them from the “Dormant” category in the sidebar.

Sad Milestone* May 4, 2022

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Saddened today to learn that I very recently passed Michael (the founder of this blog) in the number of posts published (almost 1900). Part of me wanted to stop just short so that he would always be the lead contributor here, but I wasn’t paying attention, so here we are.

It’s been over 7 years since he passed, and 12 since I started blogging here, but I still feel like the new guy. The token nerd/charts guy amid the hilarious crew of authors we once had. Unfortunately, charts are pretty much all you get these days, and those sparingly.

Ah well. Just a bit of melancholy before I get about my business. Guess I’ll keep plugging away with the charts ‘n such, hopefully with more frequency.

And as always, if any of the other authors have any spare time, it would be awesome if you could dilute my posts.

*Or millstone, amirite?

Ukrainian Folk Rap from Eurovision 2022 May 3, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.

The annual Eurovision contest is happening now, with the Grand Final a week and a half away. In the interest of meeting my state-mandated support quota for Ukraine*, I figured I’d best post the Ukraine entry for this years’ competition (Russia was disinvited from the contest):

Honestly though, I think this entry would have provided a better rationale for Putin’s invasion than the silly “Nazis next door” hokum.

I’ll try to remember to post the winner’s video in 11 days.


Garish Gala Goofs May 3, 2022

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Apparently the Met Gala (don’t even know what that is) happened, and it involved quite the celebrity fashion show. Where by “fashion show” I mean “absolutely ridiculous celebrity preening in garish outfits.”

I thought this would be my #1 example of the silliness:

Until I saw this:

If those spines were 3′ long, I’m sure Fauci would have us all wearing them so we’d have our (completely unsupported by science) 6′ social distancing.

[Both pics were screencaptured from the Daily Mail article, which has many, many, many more stomach-turning examples of celebrities making terrible sartorial decisions.]

Real Estate Industry Should Assume Its Crash Position May 2, 2022

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A couple of months ago we had a post on the prospects for a real estate market crash. Just looking at the interest rate situation, it’s looking like the brakes are going to be applied pretty hard:

Freddie Mac, 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Average in the United States [MORTGAGE30US], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MORTGAGE30US, May 2, 2022.

Just as a for-instance, the principal/interest on a $450K house would have cost you around$1520 (@3% interest) during Biden’s first year. Now it’ll cost you $1940.

That’s a 28% bump that has to put a lot of properties out of people’s reaches. Especially when the price of everything else has gone up as well.

Real estate’s only hope is that investors abandon the stock market as an inflation hedge and put their money in more tangible assets. But real estate is not very liquid, and will be even less liquid with a dearth of buyers. And when everybody’s underwater, what then?

To us reg’lar type peoples, it’s time to get your housing situation nice and stable, and then hunker down until this passes over. [But as noted in my previous post, my track record on real estate advice is abysmal, so take my advice with plenty ‘o caution.]