Monday, October 31, 2011

Finally Some Democratic Moves in Europe

Since the start of the European Union and the Euro, it seems that a lot of European policy was taken out of the hands of the people and given to the "elites." (That's the politicians - with a side order of bankers thrown in.) Seems to be changing. Greece to hold referendum on EU debt deal - Telegraph
Responding to the riots that followed last week’s proposal, as well as dissent from within his own Socialist party, Prime Minister George Papandreou said: “The command of the Greek people will bind us. Do they want to adopt the new deal, or reject it? If the Greek people do not want it, it will not be adopted.”

Staging a referendum, reportedly to be held in January, threatens to throw the eurozone further into crisis as the majority of Greeks object to the bail-out, according to a survey published last week.
So Greece won't adopt austerity. (That's OK, really. They haven't implemented all of their promised reforms from the LAST go-round on their debt. "Say Anything.")
If Greece were to reject the plan, which requires deep spending cuts, it would risk a full-scale default and possible ejection from the euro.
They aren't looking at the longer term of course. If they don't abide by this plan, no one - in their right mind anyway - will lend them money. Their newly-reinstated-currency will tank. And all those public service unions complaining about cuts will get no pay. Ditto for the retirees.

But the Germans will breath a collective sigh, and go back to beating the odds.

(The UK promised a referendum on the latest encroachment of the EU on British sovereignty, but when it was clear the average voter would reject it, it never came to pass. Similarly, one of the Scandinavian countries did vote to reject that round of EU expansion, but that plebiscite was just swept under the rug. The elites knew what they wanted and a little think democracy wasn't going to stand in their way.)

(Of course "what they wanted" was the end the unending series of wars fought on European soil. The grandaddy was probably The Hundred Years War, which actually lasted more than 100 years. Even in more modern times major wars were fought about every 50 years or less. Instituting tyranny isn't a good alternative, however.)

“Don't get Mace. Get a firearm”

Spartanburg County's (North Carolina) Sheriff is fed up over the constant release of violent criminals. Sheriff: Time For Citizens To Arm Themselves - WYFF Greenville

Walter Lance is held for what appears to be attempted rape. (They don't say.) He was denied bond.
Wright said Lance had been charged numerous times with crimes against women, and other crimes such as resisting arrest and escape. Wright said Lance had been on probation for a federal gun charge.
Out on probation, a violent criminal with a history stretching back to 1983 was on the street free to attack again.

The sheriff apparently isn't one to mince words.
Sheriff Chuck Wright opened his news conference by saying, "Our form of justice is not making it."

He said, "Carry a concealed weapon. That'll fix it."
As for his description of Lance....
He said Lance "doesn't fight police or men folk -- he just goes after women." He said Lance is not married because, "No woman can stay married to him because he beats them down too much."

[snip]
He said several times, "I want you to get a concealed weapons permit."
Liberals give this sheriff a hard time over his "chain gang justice." Well the let's-rehabilitate-them form of justice isn't working either. Not with this monster back on the street.
[Thanks to Alphecca for pointing this out.]

This High-speed Intertubes is amazing

Now that I have swallowed the anchor and moved ashore, I have been able, for the first time in 10 years or so to have my very own private, high-speed connection the interwebs. (As opposed to secure, but communal WiFi, sometimes competing with 15 or 20 other boaters, all trying to download movies.)
Oh. My. God.

You people just don't know how good you've had it all these years. (No, I won't go into a "back in the day" reminiscence, though I do remember how much better 4800 baud was compared to 300.)

Video - even high def - I don't have to wait for. I may never leave my office again. (I'll have to buy a better chair!)

An Appropriate Article for Halloween

As it combines two organizations I really love. (Well one of them gets a mention anyway.) But the whole thing is devoted to Zombie Squad. Zombie Squad combines fascination for the undead with philanthropic mission | OregonLive.com

It is all about disaster preparedness.
If you're ready for zombies, you can handle anything.
Or so says Gabriel Martin, Zombologist, and president of Oregon's chapter of Zombie Squad.
Martin and his partners, Kate Schwartz and Nate Warren, both 25, launch into a list of tactics to avoid joining the ranks of decayed, drooling, foot-shuffling monsters.

Among them: Keep a survival kit stocked with bottled water, nonperishable food, and first aid supplies. It will come in handy when you're on the run from the undead, or trapped at home waiting out the epidemic.

The kit also happens to match Red Cross guidelines for creating natural disaster emergency kits.

"Engaging with an audience and disseminating information in a lighthearted, fun and engaging way while at the same time raising critical awareness is what they're all about," says Francisco Ianni, disaster preparedness director for the Red Cross in Oregon, "whether that vehicle is zombies that move people to action, or a major earthquake."
Having lived in both tornado alley (missed a visit by an F5 tornado by 5 blocks) and hurricane central, I am always surprised that so few people seem prepared. You can't gauge much from tornadoes, but the scream "HURRICANE" for days before a storm could ever hit, and people rush out to buy bottled water. People, while it is true that you often can't trust the water AFTER a disaster. BEFORE a disaster most Americans live somewhere that has perfectly (or at least reasonably) good tap water. Store some of it. I think my 5 gallon storage cost less than 10 bucks. Go buy 1 or 2, fill with water and put on a shelf. It won't go "bad." It won't be aerated, so it might taste funny. (Pour it back and forth between 2 glasses and it will taste fine.) I much prefer the Jerrycan-style of container, but the price is higher. Plan for 3 days. At least. And a way to catch rainwater is helpful too. (A clean tarp and some ropes can work wonders in a downpour.) For larger groups, more storage is recommended.

Clean water put into clean containers and kept in the dark will last a long time. (DON'T use washed out milk jugs. They have a shelf-life, which while it is much longer than the milk, isn't as long as you think.) The 55 gallon drum (link above) claims 5 years if you use their purification tablets when you store it.

The government says be prepared for 3 days. (That is how long it took supplies of water to reach the Super Dome after Katrina flood NOLA.) It isn't hard. It doesn't have to cost much if you plan for it. (Buy some extra canned goods, some rice and beans, and figure out how you are going to cook things if the power goes out. And yes, even some gas ovens and cooktops need electric power today.) Hint - a camp stove, or a wood-fired barbeque work wonders.

Oh, and the honorable mention? It goes to Pink Pistols - which I wasn't sure was still in existence - which hosted one of Zombie Squads lectures.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ignoring the Guy with the Shotgun Can Get you Killed

This guy is lucky to be alive. Burglary suspect shot by homeowner in Atlanta: CBS Atlanta

If you break into enough houses, you will eventually find an armed homeowner. This one had a shotgun, and a security alarm system, which is what alerted him to trouble.
Police said as he approached the top of the steps, he saw 25-year-old William Leisy, Jr. coming up the steps towards him and his family.

The homeowner told him to get out of his house.

Police said Leisy kept advancing towards the homeowner, so he fired a warning shot into the floor in front of him. Leisy paused then started coming further up the steps.

The homeowner fired another shot at Leisy's leg and he fell onto the steps.
Maybe I'm mean, but I would have shot him center-of-mass.

The bad guy is in stable condition and charged with burglary.

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0.

Is "Just Following Orders" a Defense?

It seems that New York's Finest have got their panties in bunch because "ticket fixing" is considered corruption. NYPD Officers Angered by Corruption Probe Poor babies. Their feelings are hurt.
Patrick J. Lynch, the union president, said in a news conference that the officers had been arrested on something "accepted at all ranks for decades." He did distance himself from those charged with graver offenses.
So, because something has been "accepted for decades" that means it always was and always should be OK? Besides, if you asked the "ranks of citizens" - you know, the people who employ the police - I don't think those ranks would think it was acceptable.

So, what else would be acceptable, based on the "for decades" criteria? Beating up gays? Falsely imprisoning black men? What? When you open that door - "But we've always done it that way" - how do you close it?

But anyway, back to those "Just Following Orders" signs in the photo. Is that really an excuse for anything? If your captain told you to kill his wife, would you? How about if he just told you to arrest her, but for no good reason. Would you "Just follow orders?" That excuse hasn't worked since at least World War 2. And it shouldn't work here.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Something Else to Worry About in Florida

As if alligators and hurricanes aren't enough of a problem, we now have the result of people letting their pet snakes go. Giant 16-foot python found in Fla. Everglades - Florida Wires - MiamiHerald.com
EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, Fla. -- Water management contractors working in the Florida Everglades have captured and killed a giant Burmese python that had just consumed an adult deer.

Scott Hardin, exotic species coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, says workers found the nearly 16-foot-long snake on Thursday.

The reptile was one of the largest ever found in South Florida.
These are becoming a problem in the Everglades.

NYPD Ticket Fixing Seems Lame by Comparison

Compared to gun-running and planting drugs on innocent people, this seems fairly benign. Except to point out the culture of corruption. Indictments Reveal Police Procedures for Ticket-Fixing - NYTimes.com
The indictments suggest that union trustees and delegates were often busy tracking down and intercepting tickets to make them disappear for friends and relatives of other officers.

In May 2010, for example, Officer Scott handled tickets on 11 days alone, according to the indictment, including two separate tickets on a single day.
Because obeying the insignificant parking laws shouldn't apply to cops, their families or their friends. (Who do you think they are? The "Little People?")
The more than 1,000 pages of court papers also revealed far more serious allegations, including those ascribed to an officer caught in a sting transporting, prosecutors say, what he believed was heroin and stealing $20,000 from a motel room.
The lawyers want to claim that because they didn't accept bribes (do your friends have to bribe you for an easy favor? Or will they just buy the first round at the bar tonight?) that this isn't corruption.

I suppose it is just cops being cops.

Changing Tech Infrastructure

Blogging will continue light until all the bugs are worked out. (And the other work gets done)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Joys of Socialized Medicine

First it turns out that socialized medicine isn't always good medicine. 36 hospital trusts have higher than expected death rates
Thirty-six hospital trusts in England have higher than expected death rates that may reflect underlying problems in the quality of care provided, Department of Health statistics show.
Management says not to worry, it is probably just a problem with the data collection.

Along those same lines, the bureaucrats seem to have trouble delivering maternity services. Patients still at risk in hospital where pregnant women died
Violet Stephens died in Queen's Hospital in April, after being admitted with pre-eclampsia, a potentially life-threatening condition in pregnant women.

Channel 4 News said a report into her death uncovered a ''succession of failures'' in her care.

The serious untoward incident report found there was a failure to administer a blood transfusion as planned, a delay in making the decision to deliver her baby, and when she was found unresponsive with gasping breath, it took 25 minutes for a cardiac arrest call to be made, the news programme said.
Oh and this got a "better" response from the powers-that-be.
The chief executive of the trust apologised last month for failings in the standard of care given to two women who died after using its maternity service.
I'm sure that will comfort the families of the dead.

Bureaucrats in charge of the world. Yeah, that will lead to quality and not just ass-covering.

And it turns out that socialized medicine isn't any cheaper than the other kind. Misery for millions as elderly care funds cut. Because you see with limited funds, you have to make some decision about what you will and what you won't pay for.
Millions of elderly people are facing a “care crisis” after figures disclosed that government funding for nursing homes and support for frail pensioners has been cut by almost a fifth.
Of course the fact that Britain has to kick in funds to the Eurozone-rescue-fund (even thought they aren't part of the Eurozone) through their membership in the EU, probably means they less to spend on medical care.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Police Corruption - Not Just in Chicago

Enforce the law. Break the law. It is hard to keep these things straight. Or so it seems. Gun Smuggling Charges for 8 New York Officers
Eight current and former New York police officers were arrested on Tuesday and charged in federal court with accepting thousands of dollars in cash to drive a caravan of firearms into the state, an act of corruption that brazenly defied the city’s strenuous efforts to get illegal guns off the streets.
Not that this is the only problem in NYPD.
In recent weeks, testimony at the trial of a narcotics detective has featured accusations that he and his colleagues in Brooklyn and Queens planted drugs or lied under oath to meet arrest quotas and earn overtime, leading to the arrests of eight officers, the dismissal of hundreds of drug cases because of their destroyed credibility and the payout of more than $1 million in taxpayer money to settle false arrest lawsuits.

Two other officers, in unrelated federal cases, have been charged in recent weeks with criminal civil-rights violations accusing them of trumping up charges against innocent victims. In one case, on Staten Island, a white officer is accused of falsely arresting a black man and then bragging about it using a racial slur. And in the coming days, 16 officers are expected to face charges in a ticket-fixing scandal in the Bronx.
And don't worry about the rest of the folks in blue, because the Powers-That-Be™ are sure that all is well.
The mayor and Commissioner Kelly each defended the department, suggesting that the rogue actions of a few officers did not impeach the entire force.

“The sad reality is that some people are going to violate their oath of office,” Mr. Kelly said at the news conference, adding: “I would submit to you that it is a very small minority. But if you had 1 percent of 50,000 people you would have 500 people.”
Nothing to see here. Move along.

Friday, October 21, 2011

More Bad News on Greek Debt

EU looks at 60% haircuts for Greek debt - FT.com
Greece’s economy has deteriorated so severely in the last three months that international lenders would have to find €252bn in bail-out loans through the end of the decade unless Greek bondholders are forced to accept severe cuts in their debt repayments.

The dire analysis, contained in a “strictly confidential” report by international lenders and obtained by the Financial Times, is more than double the €109bn in European Union and International Monetary Fund aid agreed just three months ago.
Is it any wonder the Germans aren't too happy about writing a blank check. Double your fun in just 3 months. What will a year bring?

Why anyone would ever lend money to Greece is beyond me. Why they were ever let into the Eurozone is an even bigger mystery. (Budgetary shortfalls were to be no more than 3% of GDP. Greece saw deficits nearly twice that large even in good times.)

And although they just voted for more austerity measures, they haven't managed to implement the last batch they voted on.
The deterioration in Greece’s financial situation described in the troika’s debt analysis report is deep and across the board, and Greece is likely to be forced to rely on bail-out loans to finance its operations through at least 2021.

The much-touted Greek privatisation programme, which was expected to bring as much as €66bn in cash to help pay down debt, is now expected to bring in €20bn less, and lenders are now assuming that the Greek government will continue to lag in implementing repeatedly-promised austerity measures.
It is easy to say whatever you want to say. Actually doing things is a bit harder.

Chicago PD and The (continuing) Miscarriage of Justice

Locke Bowman: Chicago Ought to Change the Standard Ending to That Old Wrongful Conviction Story Another person released after decades in prison for a crime he did not commit. Plus some reflections on what is happening (and not happening) in City Hall.

In Jail for 53 Days for No Good Reason

Atlanta woman wrongly imprisoned for 53 days because of name mix-up | The Lookout - Yahoo! News No racism in this incident.
Teresa Culpepper says she called police to report that her truck had been stolen in August. But when they showed up at her home, they arrested her for aggravated assault committed by another Teresa.

"All she has is the same first name. The only descriptions that match are 'Teresa' and 'black female,'" Culpepper's attorney, Ashleigh Merchant told The Lookout. Culpepper, who is 47, didn't have the same address, birth date, height, or weight as the Teresa who was supposed to be arrested.
Different height, weight, address than the person wanted. But she had the same skin color, so the cops threw her in jail.

Yeah, that makes sense. Professional Police Work. Atlanta's finest. Not a racist on the Atlanta police force. No sir.

The Government Wants You to Move

You are too old to stay in a 3 bedroom house. Over-60 bedroom blockers 'should be taxed out of their homes' | Mail Online OK, so it is only a proposal and only in the UK. So far. But can you really imagine that the government that wants to control everything you do, own, eat, and think, doesn't also want to control where and how you live?
Older people should be taxed out of their family homes to free up space for younger generations, says a report backed by Labour.

It argues that 'empty nesters' in their 60s are taking up too much room and should be 'encouraged' by a new 'land tax' to downsize to smaller homes.
This is to 'promote fairness between generations.' (Does it need to be stated that this is being proposed by the Left side of British politics? Didn't think so.)

Is there any part of my life that the government doesn't want to control? Didn't think so.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

No Deal on Greek Bailout

No Deal in Sight: Germany and France Divided over Euro Bailout - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Who would have thought that the Germans and the French would have problems agreeing on things?

The Germans don't want to bailout Greece, but appear to be willing to do a little. (Not the level France wants, but then France isn't that far away from needing help itself.)

The Greeks don't appear to want to get their bailout package. BBC News - Clashes erupt at mass rally over Greece austerity bill

So I have to ask. Again. Why not just let Greece leave the Euro? Then they can go happily bankrupt without taking the rest of Europe with them. And the do want to go bankrupt.

No doubt you have heard how horrible it is that the Greek government is proposing limits on collective bargaining in the private sector. But you see, the Greek economy is not very efficient. Because work rules are stuck in concrete. (Also known as union contracts) That keep it from modernizing.

But hey, that's their business. It wouldn't bother me at all if the problem would be OVER, and not scaring US markets.

Monday, October 17, 2011

British Free More Hostages in Pirate-infested Waters

The Brits seem to be the only nation actually doing anything. Pirate hostages saved by HMS Somerset
In a daring mission Royal Marines from HMS Somerset boarded a large fishing dhow being used by the pirates as a “mothership” base for launching armed raids on merchant shipping.
Much more must be done to stop this insanity, but at least someone is doing something.

What We Need Is Common Sense Cupcake Control

Woman charged after pelting husband with cupcakes
The fight started with a verbal quarrel about 7:45 p.m. at the home in the 4700 block of South Western Avenue, according to a police report, but escalated until the woman started hitting her husband over the head. After that, she reached for the box of desserts and directed a fusillade of snack cakes at his head and body, her husband told police. Several of the confections apparently hit their mark, as the man's head and shirt were smudged with icing when officers arrived, according to a police report.
She is charged with assault.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

LAPD Top Brass Has a Problem Following the Rules

Jury awards LAPD detectives $2.5 millionThis is just one of several lawsuits that include things like
  • Gender Discrimination
  • Implementing (illegal) ticket quotas
  • Forcing people to work though injured
  • etc
The case echoes other recent ones. In April, for example, two motorcycle officers were awarded $2 million by a jury that found their captain retaliated against them when they complained about being ordered to meet an alleged traffic ticket quota. Gregory Smith, the attorney who represented Bakotich and the others, said he has won five verdicts of more than $1 million against the LAPD in the last year. Such cases underscore the perception held by some rank-and-file officers that problem supervisors are not held accountable for their roles in workplace discord. "There's a certain arrogance among the brass that they think the rules are different for them," Bakotich said.
Misconduct: Not just a Chicago Problem

Typical Chicago PD Insanity

This guy dumps a 4-month-old out of a car seat (in a restaurant). The 4-month-old hit his head. The cop then blames the father (who was handcuffed at the time). Later he invades the restaurant - with coworkers - to find any security tapes of the incident. Chicago Police Lieutenant Accused of Causing Harm to Infant
“He grabbed my child's car seat and my child fell out and hit his head,” Byars said. “What went through my mind is what goes through any parent's mind who sees their 4-month-old child hit his head on a table. Disbelief, shock, I think I was angry, I had a lot of emotions going on.”

The 29-year-old Byars said the scare of his life happened when he watched his son plummet toward the ground.

Byars said he was arrested moments after he spoke up and interrupted the lieutenant from harassing another young man at Maxwell's Charcoaled Grill, which has been in business for 15 years.

“He said it was my fault that he dropped my child even though I was handcuffed,” Byars said. “They have no right to do this.”

Owner Omar Sweis said the after the incident, the lieutenant returned to the restaurant later that evening.

“Then he went around, opened this door, went in my office, searching for the cameras, he tried to get the cameras out of my office with no warrant, no nothing, just opened and walked in,” Sweis said. “He and a couple of more cops. They tried to mess with [my system] to see if there's a tape.”

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Somebody Is Doing Something - But the Insanity Continues

British marines free hijacked Italian ship off coast of Somalia - Telegraph
The Marines, armed with pistols and SA-80 automatic rifles and operating from a Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship, the RFA Fort Victoria, sped towards the hijacked ship in inflatable boats as a British helicopter buzzed overhead.

They boarded the 56,000-ton bulk carrier Montecristo and disarmed the pirates without encountering any opposition.
The Special Air Service (SAS) gets all the notoriety, but the Special Boat Service has the same training. Mostly.

Oh, and the insanity?
Four of the Italians were privately-contracted security guards, but in line with international practise they were unarmed and had been powerless to fend off the pirates.
This has got to stop.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Thin Blue Line - or Cracking the Code of Silence

Combating The Code of Silence - Voice of OC An interesting look at the code of silence in police forces seen through the lens of the LAPD, and few of their high-profile screw-ups

Also, has some info on fighting the code of silence.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Another Sign America No Longer Wants to Be First in Science

This day has been coming for a very long time. More than 20 years. Tevatron shutdown: Fermilab's Tevatron shuts down Friday - Chicago Tribune

The tevatron collider smashed protons and anti-protons together in an underground ring. But more than 20 years ago, the US government decided it didn't want to fund the next generation accelerator. Even after Texas dug the hole for it. (That baton has passed to CERN, and the Large Hadron Collider which went on-line in 2009.

You can't succeed in science if you can't do experiments. So, everyone is heading to Europe.
At least 50 Fermilab scientists have moved to the LHC, and nearly 30 of the estimated 80 universities conducting research in this country — many at Fermi — also have switched. In June, Oddone asked for 100 employees to volunteer for severance packages.
In this age when there is much debate over what government should and should not do, I will say that basic research of this kind should be funded. Any commercial applications of this knowledge is decades away. At least. (Consider that early work in quarks, from 20 years ago, may finally be moving into the arena of computer engineering in the next few years.) No business can support that long of an investment without return.

But America no longer dreams of being number 1. In anything. No one studies engineering - because it is hard. No one studies math - because it is hard. Well, very few. Is it any wonder we don't build things anymore.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Not that you care about what I'm reading...

But I'm catching up on the Dresden Filesby Jim Butcher.

Currently working through a collection of short stories - Side Jobs: Stories From the Dresden Files
- that fill in gaps between the novels.

For those of you not familiar with Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, I give you this intro.
Let's get something clear right up front.

I'm not Harry Dresden.

Harry's a wizard. A genuine, honest-to-goodness wizard. He's Gandalf on crack and an IV of Red Bull, with a big leather coat and a .44 revolver in his pocket. He'll spit in the eye of gods and demons alike if he thinks it needs to be done, and to hell with the consequences--and yet somehow my little brother manages to remain a decent human being.

I'll be damned if I know how.

But then, I'll be damned regardless.
My name is Thomas Raith, and I'm a monster.
The whole thing is great fun. Though I have to admit that Storm Front - the 1st novel in the series - isn't up to the quality of the others. It isn't bad, just not as good.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The DEA Giving You a Hard Time? Partner with Chicago Cops

They can apparently get the DEA off your back. Drug-dealing killer: Chicago cop stopped DEA investigation of me - Chicago Sun-Times
A high-level drug trafficker admits he was involved in three killings after a Chicago Police officer scuttled a federal investigation into his illegal activities in the mid-1990s, according to a recent court filing.
The city that works? Change you can believe in?

Or, Yes we can, get the Feds to leave you alone.

Solyndra and the Chicago Way

What can I say?
Those of us from Chicago know exactly what the Solyndra scandal smells like. And It doesn't smell fresh and green.
Barack Obama's Solyndra scandal smells like it came from Chicago's City Hall - Chicago Tribune

This about sums up the whole fiasco.
Or, did you really believe it when the White House mouthpieces — who are also Chicago City Hall mouthpieces — promised they were bringing a new kind of politics to Washington?

This is not a new kind of politics. It's the old kind. The Chicago kind.
Pay to Play. Taking care of your own. Change you can believe in? Not hardly.

"So forget optics. What about smell? It smells bad, and it's going to smell worse."

That Must Be Some Hot Chili

World's hottest chilli contest leaves two in hospital - TelegraphSeveral people were rushed to the hospital after eating "Kismot Killer Chilli." (Hey, it's Britain. They can't spell anything.)
Previously the restaurant's Kismot Killer dish has caused diners to suffer nose bleeds and one elderly man had to go to hospital.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

They Should Just Let Greece Go

Instead of trying to "save" Greece - and in the process making everyone worse off - they should cut their losses. Bad News from Athens: Greek Budget Figures Complicate Bailout Efforts - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

For months the question has been "will they, or won't they" save Greece. Again.

If you put it to a vote in Germany, the German public would say "No!" (Or what is the German expression that means, "Hell No!" - which is probably more to the point.) If you put it to a vote in Greece the population would probably say no to more "austerity." (As if living within your means is a bad thing.)

But it is probably a moot point, since Greece won't even meet the commitments it made last year - for the bailout that was supposed to fix everything.
On Sunday, Greece announced that its 2011 budget deficit will be 8.5 percent of gross domestic product, well higher than the 7.6 percent it targeted last year as part of its ambitious plan to return to fiscal health. And on Monday, new figures indicate that the country's economy will contract by 2.5 percent in 2012 instead of the hoped for growth of 0.6 percent. Stock markets around the world plunged as a result
Under those circumstances, no bailout can be seen as the "last," until you take over all of the Greek debt obligations and dump them on Germany (and to a lesser extent, the Scandinavian countries.) Then comes Spain and Portugal.

Maybe the solution is for Germany to leave the Euro zone. Let the rest figure it out on their own.
"Greece is bankrupt," said Michael Fuchs, deputy floor leader in parliament for Merkel's Christian Democrats, in comments to the daily Rheinische Post. "Probably there is no other way for us other than to accept at least a 50 percent haircut on its debt."
Why anyone would ever loan money to Greece is beyond me.

Monday, October 03, 2011

He Got More Than He Bargained For

If you break into homes, you will eventually find an armed homeowner. Police: Would-Be Robber Shot by Valley Homeowner
A would-be robber got more than he bargained for Monday when he allegedly broke into a Valley man's house-- getting shot before being chased away, authorities said.
Bet that wasn't on his agenda for the day - 4 PM: Get shot.

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0