Thursday, October 24, 2013

Cold but no snow. Computer upgrades.

Thankfully, no snow.  I am not ready for that.  Other areas west and north of us got anywhere from a smidge to a couple of inches.

We spent a good chunk of time yesterday upgrading our MacBooks' operating  systems.  Apple is providing the download free to those who already have the latest versions of OS X.  Finally!!  And I also got several of the programs I use regularly upgraded as well.

Before and after I did my usual trek through the internet but didn't find much to comment on or link to.  Let's see what I find today.

Ah, Margaret and Helen have some keen observations about the current state of the Repthuglican party.

Just when you think you have read the worst story about stone-cold, insensitive, bastard employers, this kind of story crosses your screen.

A couple or so years ago we heard stories about serious bone breaks (like breaks of the femur, the strongest bone in the body) in people taking Fosamax for osteoporosis.  And those breaks occurred with very little stress on the bone (as in simply walking slowly on even ground).  At the time, Mom was taking a related drug and had been for several years after bone scans showing bone loss.  We start ed checking out the problem and Mom insisted in going off the drug.  Her doctor tried to get her back on it and his nurses called her several times to persuade her to resume it.  However, we both noted that her subsequent bone scans showed no further bone loss and none of her scans while under treatment showed any improvement.  Now there is yet another reason not to take these meds.

I have read several snippets over the last couple of days about the Saudi Foreign Minister's comments and the indicated shift away from a close alignment with the U.S.  They aren't at all happy that the U.S. hasn't taken a harder line or more active role in Syria.  Well, they may have even more reason to shift out from under the U.S. shadow: China now buys a bit more oil from Saudi Arabia that the U.S. does.  That may be a real game changer.

I clicked on this link because I remember hearing some unsavory stories about Diebold during a couple of national elections.  Most of those stories involved possible shady dealings in rigging election results.  Evidently, the company is now charged with a worldwide pattern of criminal behavior.  And, as the author notes, no one is going to jail because how do you jail a corporation?  A real person would have suffered sever consequences (unless they were really well connected.)  No matter what the Supreme Court says that is the key difference between real people and those fictional legal constructs--you can execute the one but (so far) not the other.

First we saw the financial industry develop "investments" based on the promises of borrowers to repay their mortgages.  So-called mortgage backed securities--though not all that secure.  Now another financial idiot is going to marked "securities" based on the income from rental properties.  I am sure they will find buyers--after all, P.T. Barnum noted a long time ago: there's a sucker born every minute.

I guess it is more cost effective for a low-wage company to maintain a "help" line for its own employees, and the employees of franchise owners who pay for the privilege of allowing their employees to use said line, which directs them to government services than it is to pay them adequately so they won't have to get food stamps, heating assistance and other taxpayer paid services.

Now this makes a lot of sense and it parallels what I have been thinking about the stock market.  It has almost no real relationship to the real economy where real people work (if they have a job) and buy things that keep going up in price (though we have almost no inflation.)

Remember the link I had a few days ago about the sardine fishing fleet that went arrived back in port with no catch at all.  Well, read this and weep.  We are well and truly fucked.  Just haven't acknowledged it yet.

The spirit of Lysistrata is alive and well.

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