Archive for the ‘Important’ Category

Valentine’s Day is a comin’. Let’s do something special for that special someone this year. Skip the cliched flowers and heart-shaped box of chocolates, they just tell the world you’re lazy and only willing to do the absolute minimum when it comes to romancing. Let’s not do the expensive jewelry thing either, that really just wrecks the curve. Here’s my suggestion, it’s something that I think will really be a show stopper.

Nothing says I love you quite like a solid block of rich, dark chocolate molded in the exact dimensions of your own heart. Here’s how to do it. Go to a doctor, preferably one that operates on a fold out table down some dark alley. Pay him the requisite fee of $500. He’ll hook you up to some very professional-looking machinery. Along with his fine medical team, he’ll cut you open, hopefully using a non-invasive incision like the autopsy y-cut. From there, he’ll clamp off some of your blood vessels, as a machine will now circulate the blood through your system, and carefully extract your heart. He’ll then put your heart in a container and cover it in quick setting plaster. After the plaster has had time to cure, he’ll painstakingly saw the mold in half, making sure not to damage any living tissue, brush off the heart, and then place it snugly back into your chest cavity. With some reattaching of arteries and restarting your heart, he’ll close up your chest. Voila, you can now make exact replicas of your own heart out of whatever you’d like. In the spirit of Valentine’s day, chocolate seems the most appropriate, but feel free to use Jello or frozen orange juice or anything that will hold the shape. Be creative!

Also, keep in mind that Valentine’s day is also known as National Organ Donor Day, so if you don’t have a sweetheart, you can still give someone a sweet heart.

Well, I blew it

Posted: February 8, 2012 by alephnaughty in Important, Posts that shouldn't have been written, Very important
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Colorado and Minnesota, what gives? Hate you guys. New prediction: This ice cream I am about to consume will be delicious. Yep, it is. The streak is back!

…that we nailed Nevada, Groundhog Day, and the Super Bowl winner. So…word to ya motha.

Onto Colorado and Minnesota we go:

1st: Rom Mittney

2nd: Sant Rickorum

3rd: Ging Newtrich

4th: Pan Roul

Same for bof states. Be amazed, y’all.

Iranian agression or puffs of smoke

Posted: February 6, 2012 by nullpointerexceptional in Important, International affairs, Politics, Uncategorized
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Iran upped the ante in their most recent attempts to catch the ire of the world by conducting a new series of war games – this time in the air. You know, paper airplanes and surface to air missiles that always miss their mark. More than likely this is in response to some of the fluff floating around on the interwebs concerning Israel’s likely hood of launch air strikes to delay Iran’s ever vigilant quest for the power of the atom. Mr Poopy Pants, otherwise known as Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (for those of you living under rocks he’s the supreme ruler of Iran not to be confused with Mr Douchebag Mahmoud Ahmadinejad), recently talked about eliminating the state of Israel from the world forum – who would have thunk it?

Every one should really appreciate radical thinkers, you know the ones that think outside the box but Iran might be fingering the wrong country here to pick a fight with. Let’s look at war as a pure numbers game: Iran expends roughly $7 billion a year (2010 estimates) versus Israel’s $13 billion. Iran certainly talks the big talk but Israel walks the big walk – heck almost their entire air force is comprised of US born jets. Let’s not forget Israel’s largest backer – the US government (military expenditures on the order of almost $700billion for a point of reference).

Staying on that numbers game, Israel totes a lean 176,000 active troops at any one time versus Iran’s 550,000. Money doesn’t buy u everything but it certainly buys you the latest gagetry to blow your enemy away with. Maybe a good way to look at it is to compare the dollar per active troop in assessing an all out brawl between the two: Israel – $74k versus Iran’s $13k – more than 550% difference. I know if I had to pick the military to join, I’d go with the one spending more money.

Given the recent slue of empty threats coming out of Iran as of late, I wouldn’t be surprised by a sudden mass air strike spear headed by Israel (maybe even a little US involvement). Like the little kid in the school yard, eventually he can no longer take it and beats the piss out of the bully. It’s not like Israel has really cared in the past about this sort of stuff anyway (see any number of disproportionate responses to aggressions by enemies of Israel – like the ‘Gaza War’ where ~1100 Palestinian’s died versus 13 Israelis, 4 of which were friendly fire).

Pakistan is also in the process of shooting themselves in the foot by saying any act of aggression towards Iran will bring them into the mix. Oh no, we don’t support terrorists (see the leaked UN memo on Pakistan’s terror involvement or the countless CIA drone strikes for counter evidence) which makes our involvement in something like this more of a religious zeal than anything else. That’s going to be an interesting situation when the US suddenly drops all aid to the country (actually $700million is already frozen by lawmakers since Pakistan can’t get their act together). Will Pakistan stick to their guns and come to Iran’s aid? Only time will tell.

If a fight does break out in the Middle East, it’s not going to be pretty. Right now we’re talking about Iran, Pakistan, Israel and through association the United States. Remember kiddies, the US is just after Iranian oil afterall…

US economy grows 243,000 jobs in the month of January. In other news, Obama is looking to be a safer bet for re-election everyday.

Addendum: I should explain what I think is happening. In part two of my series on the jobs crisis, I said that too-high (cyclical) unemployment is due to interest rates being too high. To be more precise, there is a so-called “natural” rate of interest, which is the interest rate that would equate planned savings and planned investment, keeping aggregate demand on target. Aggregate demand management involves moving the market rate of interest to keep up with movements in the natural rate of interest. The Fed has been keeping its policy rate near zero since late 2008, so why is the (cyclical) employment situation improving? My view is that the natural rate of interest is rising, which effectively makes the Fed’s unchanged stance more expansionary than it was previously.

Why is the natural rate of interest rising? Well, folks haven’t been spending a whole lot (hence weak aggregate demand). Consumer durables (e.g., cars) only work for so long. At some point, you cannot delay that new car purchase any longer, so, you have to borrow more (more planned investment) and consume more (less planned savings). Together, that makes for a higher natural rate of interest. In other words, when a recession hits, consumers delay a lot of discretionary purchases until they’re more comfortable with their financial circumstances, but you can only delay such purchases for so long. This crisis has been going on so long, and Americans are sufficiently impatient, that they’re starting to go ahead with those purchases anyway. And that means that the Fed is effectively stimulating aggregate demand more than it was before, even if its interest rate policy is effectively the same (though they have been dragging out the first projected rate hike for some time, so that probably helps, too). If enough people begin to replenish their consumer durables, a self-sustaining recovery may be underway, as long as the Fed doesn’t prematurely strangle it. Hence, it’s morning in America…I think. (Buy stocks, sell bonds).

P.S. Matt Yglesias agrees with me to an eery extent. In fairness I generally see things the same way he does…

Groundhog Day 2012 prediction

Posted: February 1, 2012 by pleonasty in Important, Science
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Punxsutawney Phil, perhaps the most famous groundhog (aka whistle-pig), is due to make his appearance this Thursday, Feb. 2nd. The appearance the country is really awaiting with bated breath is that of his shadow.

The grand holiday of Groundhog day takes its roots from a similar European tradition, wherein a badger or some other non-groundhog little rat guy comes out, does a little dance and then the elders determine whether or not you’re going to need to wear a parka for the next few days. The American version of this exciting time dates back to as early as the mid-19th century in the middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania. Since then, many cities have adopted their own groundhog to come out and try to spy his shadow. However, Punxsutawney Phil, or Seer of Seers Prognosticator of Prognosticators Weather Predictor Extraordinaire as he’s sometimes known, is by far the most revered. He is so revered, in fact, that the so-called Inner Circle was established to protect and advise him. The Inner Circle is comprised of 15 members with such meaningful titles as “Stump Warden,” “Thunder Conductor,” and my personal favorite, “Big Chill.”

(SPOILER ALERT: If you do not wish to know the outcome of this year’s coming Groundhog day, navigate yourself away from this page. Perhaps one of our other gripping and timely posts would better interest you and possibly your friends.)

Here at Defeasible Reasoning, we take pride in knowing things before you do and then rubbing your face in it telling you about it. To that end, we’ve pored over recent trend data to bring you such predictions as the outcome for the Florida Republican Primary and the Nevada Republican Caucus. Whether Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow is equally important. After months of observing the trends in atmospheric pressures, barometric altitudes, cloud form patterns, Sun illumination angles and temperature inversion data, we’ve come to the conclusion that Punxsutawney Phil will indeed see his shadow at approximately 7:22am EST. Go get those heavy winter coats out of the attic, folks, it’s going to be a 6 week longer Winter.

 

 

EDIT: As predicted, Punx Phil crawled out of his hidey hole to be surprised by his shadow, thus predicting 6 more weeks of Winter. You’re welcome for the heads up.

Food stamps, there’s a problem

Posted: January 31, 2012 by nullpointerexceptional in Economics, Important, Posts that shouldn't have been written
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One brisk Saturday evening you find yourself at your local gas station/convenience store combo. Nothing seems out of place. Yup there are your teenagers working the register. The tweens scoping out the candy isle. The old woman stealing sugar packets from the coffee island. Everything checks out. You grab your warm coffee, after all you have a long night of partying ahead of you. Eventually you mosey on up to the checkout line, only to find everyone in the county came to the store at the same time. Great, just great. Looking for something to do, you start to snoop on that person ahead of you in line – well the 10 cans of Red Bull surely caught your eye, quickly interrupted by the small child screaming that the top of their lungs that they want candy and lots of it.

Yup, nothing out of the ordinary…well until that person in front of you plops the 10 cans of Red Bull and various candy bars on the table. But that’s not what caught your eye. It’s the swipe of an EBT (food stamps) card and the transaction reading APPROVED across the cheap LED screen. That can’t be right, can it? Are you telling me that person just bought $30 worth of junk using food stamps? I know that about only 1 cent of that probably came from my contribution to society but the concept still boggles the mind.

You’re still trying to wrap you head around this idea when you notice the newspaper headline “Food stamps to be accepted at McDonalds.” You’re freaking kidding me right? This has to be the twilight zone where a $7 Big Mac meal with their large soda is being financed by the greater public. You pass out from the frustration, hitting your head on the ‘Slippery when wet sign’ (well no shit Sherlock) only to awake in a hospital bed hours later. What do you mean you only take Medicaid? Concussion from the fall? Kick me out on the street because my company has a good insurance company? Maybe this is the twilight zone…oh right, this is America.

What’s that you say? You just bought a 70” HDTV? Jeez, you must make a lot of money – I can see the 20″ rims on your ever-so-fuel-efficient SUV. Thank the government? What, why? Food stamps? What the hell. Oh right, your $500 a month in food stamps let’s you spend the $500 you would have normally spent on food on sneakers instead – don’t think the government thought of that one.

So much for only being used for necessities. Food stamps, the next American dream.

UPDATE

I’m gonna have to get on welfare so I can hit up the local strip club: http://money.cnn.com/2012/02/06/news/economy/strip_club_welfare/index.htm?hpt=hp_t3