Two cents

2 cents on a couple news stories:

Egypt – NYT Headline: Egypt Military Softens Tone as Vote Count Favors Islamist – what is going to happen is this individual and his cronies are going to speak eloquently and fervently for democracy in Egypt. He and they (Muslim Brotherhood) will beat their chests and flail their arms about saying the people of Egypt have spoken….democracy in our time….military ties to Mubarrak and past…. military dictatorship….we the people…. and you will hear and see talking heads in MSM and our government and EU etc. speak about democracy…. Arab spring…. blah, blah, blah. What is actually happening is the Muslim brotherhood positioning itself so as to look innocent, blah…blah… but its goal is to strip the military of being a check and balance in and of the government. Once the military is stripped and without a doubt key posts created and placed in the military by the new Egyptian president the real face and heart of the Muslim brotherhood will creep out and quickly and violently smash democracy and freedom in the country and replace it with something kin to Iran and the Taliban. Islamist extremism of the hateful kind. And it may take 5 to 10 years to get there. Maybe even 20. But they know they have history over 6000 years and time is on their side.

Greece – NYT Headline: After Greek Vote, Europe Still Has a Host of Problems – I GUARANTEE O breathed a deep sigh of relief when the election results were announced. And it is true that there is a host of problem ahead for the EU. But the “good news” is that all of those problems more than likely will not fully rear their ugly heads until the winter or next spring. Systemic change NEEDS to occur in the EU but – just like the US – noone really wants the crud and wading through it on their watch. “Push it fwd!” “I/We inherited these problems!” And so on. I am not a doomsayer BUT I do have common sense and that leads me to believe things can not continue on as they have been and the EU, US, world economies get miraculously healthy.

 

2 cents

2 cents on various recent headlines/stories:

1. CES & the illegal residents move: was completely about getting Hispanic votes in the next Nov. election and was done in an unconstitutional way (just like CESCare). Don’t be surprised if this ends up at the Supreme Court as well. Of course the other motive is to hopefully position those people who expect our government to follow the constitution and demand an appeal as anti-Hispanic, bigots etc. Just like we don’t care about those who don’t have health care which is also a farce.

These two issues are good examples of why some people point out that the CES is anti-America, socialist, ashamed of America — etc. In these two instances (it can be argued there are other examples but for the time being I limit to these two) he has ignored the constitution and did what HE thinks is right because HE KNOWS BETTER than the group of white men a couple hundred years ago whom allowed slavery to continue. Obviously HE is more enlightened than they are. CES – is a cancer in our government, economy and society. He is destroying the very system (the constitution) that holds our nation together. What other word would you call him but cancer? Well actually their are many other words but in this illustration cancer is the one I am thinking of.

2. Greece/Egypt presidential votes today:
Egypt: What is going on now is the constant deck reshuffling until a hand is given that can be played successfully that will no longer be an ally to Israel. While the decks shuffle over and over more and more Bedouin and terrorist missile attacks are fired into southern Israel from Egypt. What these people are wanting is an escalation in activity and harsh retaliation from Israel – and yes – Arab loss of lives so that the people of Egypt will foam at the mouth with hate against Israel and expect their government to side with Arabs and not with Jews.Catalysts to this strategy is far right Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood — these two groups are one in the same. It is going to get much worse on the south border of Israel.

Greece: is a wildcard in my opinion. The so called right parties which are promising to drop the Euro and austerity measures if they get elected can and should expect some serious arm twisting from the members and leadership of the EU and USA if they are indeed elected. IF they are elected the eyes will immediately refocus and look to Spain, Italy & Portugal to see if there is an increase in bank activities – people withdrawing their savings etc. If that happens TPTB here in America and the stock market may start selling stock figuring a downturn is coming which of course will create a downturn in and of itself. Like I explained to my wife last night – it is again about perception. TPTB and the stock market see what they determine as a negative reaction in these other countries (not to mention in Greece itself) the thinking goes that these people — consumers — will go into pocketbook pinch mode which translates into no or much less purchasing of products which impacts to some significant degree the US mfg exports (less demand) so US mfg react (correctly) with decreases in production which leads to more off-time for employees and if it is not a very short term event, then  it will result in layoffs etc. ALL occurring in a US economy that is not in good place such that even the most miniscule decrease of production and exports will create large ripples across the economy. The economy is moving so slow that you can apply the brakes to it via the Fred Flintstone method. The possible silver lining in all this is that it is believe if the economy slows further or even dips again – even in the slightest of ways – that CES will then lose the next presidential election. The truth of the matter is that he should lose the next election anyway, the freaking socialist.

3. It is not just the US that had embraced depitalism as the behavior in the majority of households. It is something that has permeated the EU and Japan. China at the moment is repeating the mistakes of the US during the industrial age but making those mistakes in a communist government that greatly reduces the liberty of the citizens. The Frankenstein creature they are creating over there will be interesting and scary if we ever learn and understand all the details about it. Mexico, South America, India and Africa are so poor and overtly corrupt that they are pinned in.  There are of course other countries like Australia and Russia but I understand little if anything about what is really going in there. So that makes my focus on the US, EU, the Middle East and Japan. For the US, EU and Japan depitalism is the average households’ method of livelihood and finally people/consumers are realizing how debilitating debt is. Much change still will occur as households and companies find their new norm. In the US we will continue to see very slow and poor economic results each month until some systemic changes/improvements occurs in our economic infrastructure and it is in my opinion that those improvements will not occur if CES continues into a second term. In fact we will see things get much worse here.

Depitalism — echoed

Below is something I found on confinedspace.com
The person who uploaded did not record the source.
Ladies and gentlemen the image below and comments are EXACTLY what I said was happening in the USA and I will say it again – it is a GOOD THING. Depitalism is bad for the households. What is going on in our economy now is we are finding “a new normal”.

Do Right!

Article from Thursday’s NYT

The Moral Diet

By

In the 1970s, the gift shop at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts was an informal affair. It was staffed by about 300 mostly elderly volunteers, and there were cash drawers instead of registers. The problem was that of the shop’s $400,000 in annual revenue, somebody was stealing $150,000.

Dan Weiss, the gift shop manager at the time who is now the president of Lafayette College, investigated. He discovered that there wasn’t one big embezzler. Bunches of people were stealing. Dozens of elderly art lovers were each pilfering a little.

That’s one of the themes of Dan Ariely’s new book “The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty.” Nearly everybody cheats, but usually only a little. Ariely and his colleagues gave thousands of people 20 number problems. When they tackled the problems and handed in the answer sheet, people got an average of four correct responses. When they tackled the problems, shredded their answers sheets and self-reported the scores, they told the researches they got six correct responses. They cheated a little, but not a lot.

That’s because most of us think we are pretty wonderful. We can cheat a little and still keep that “good person” identity. Most people won’t cheat so much that it makes it harder to feel good about themselves.

Ariely, who is one of the most creative social scientists on the planet, invented other tests to illustrate this phenomenon. He put cans of Coke and plates with dollar bills in the kitchens of college dorms. People walked away with the Cokes, but not the dollar bills, which would have felt more like stealing.

He had one blind colleague and one sighted colleague take taxi rides. The drivers cheated the sighted colleague by taking long routes much more often than they cheated the blind one, even though she would have been easier to mislead. They would have felt guilty cheating a blind woman.

Ariely points out that we are driven by morality much more than standard economic models allow. But I was struck by what you might call the Good Person Construct and the moral calculus it implies. For the past several centuries, most Westerners would have identified themselves fundamentally as Depraved Sinners. In this construct, sin is something you fight like a recurring cancer — part of a daily battle against evil.

But these days, people are more likely to believe in their essential goodness. People who live by the Good Person Construct try to balance their virtuous self-image with their selfish desires. They try to manage the moral plusses and minuses and keep their overall record in positive territory. In this construct, moral life is more like dieting: I give myself permission to have a few cookies because I had salads for lunch and dinner. I give myself permission to cheat a little because, when I look at my overall life, I see that I’m still a good person.

The Good Person isn’t shooting for perfection any more than most dieters are following their diet 100 percent. It’s enough to be workably suboptimal, a tolerant, harmless sinner and a generally good guy.

Obviously, though, there’s a measurement problem. You can buy a weight scale to get an objective measure of your diet. But you can’t buy a scale of virtues to put on the bathroom floor. And given our awesome capacities for rationalization and self-deception, most of us are going to measure ourselves leniently: I was honest with that blind passenger because I’m a wonderful person. I cheated the sighted one because she probably has too much money anyway.

The key job in the Good Person Construct is to manage your rationalizations and self-deceptions to keep them from getting egregious. Ariely suggests you reset your moral gauge from time to time. Your moral standards will gradually slip as you become more and more comfortable with your own rationalizations. So step back. Break your patterns and begin anew. This is what Yom Kippur and confessionals are for.

Next time you feel tempted by something, recite the Ten Commandments. A small triggering nudge at the moment of temptation, Ariely argues, is more effective than an epic sermon meant to permanently transform your whole soul.

I’d add that you really shouldn’t shoot for goodness, which is so vague and forgiving. You should shoot for rectitude. We’re mostly unqualified to judge our own moral performances, so attach yourself to some exterior or social standards.

Ariely is doing social science experiments and trying to measure behavior. But I thought his book was an outstanding encapsulation of the good-hearted and easygoing moral climate of the age. A final thought occurred to me. As we go about doing our Good Person moral calculations, it might be worth asking: Is this good enough? Is this life of minor transgressions refreshingly realistic, given our natures, or is it settling for mediocrity?

2 cents:
I could list verse references that state in the eyes of God the human race, our Adamic nature, is sinful and generally self-serving. The key IMO is to “Do the right thing”. Another way to view the behavioral paradigm is Kant’s Categorical Imperative which when summed up states that one should only DO something (behave) in such a manner that if everyone followed your example that the result would be justice, good, harmony. So in the example of the art gift shop clearly the right behavior was no thievery because if everyone stole X amount then the shop would operate into a loss and would close down which is not promoting justice, harmony, etc.

CDC speaks on zombie concern

CDC: Despite wave of cannibalism, no zombie threat

Horrifying, unusual attacks spark fears

June 04, 2012

In an extraordinary public statement, CDC suggested that a recent string of brutal incidents were not caused by a virus that would “present zombie-like symptoms.”

Last week, a man in Florida was shot by police after eating most of another man’s face. Several days later, a Maryland college student was arrested for dismembering and eating his roommate; a Texas woman killed and ate part of her newborn baby; and a Canadian man was charged with murdering and then eating his partner.

Avoid cannibalizing hospital volumes by centralizing business development

Several other bizarre cases, such as a New Jersey man repeatedly stabbing himself and throwing parts of his intestines at police, also made headlines in recent days.

The unusual—and horrifying—crimes have sparked a wave of online discussion and news coverage, the Associated Press reports. One news organization even created a Google Map to track “instances that may be the precursor to a zombie apocalypse.”

However, CDC spokesperson David Daigle told the Huffington Post that the agency “does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead…[or] present zombie-like symptoms” (Associated Press, 6/3;  Campbell, Huffington Post, 6/1).

2 cents:
(Puts on conspiracy hat) Or are they just saying that so that there is not a panic?