A Bitter, But Curative Pill

The pending Greece exit (Grexit)from the European Union will shortly (in political terms) be followed by the Poexit (Portugese exit),mthe ((Itexit) Italian exit and the Brexit (British exit).
All for different reasons. The British and the Italians for immigration reasons, and Portugal and Italy for the same economic reasons as Greece.
Italy gets a double whammy, debt and immigration.

Now it is possible that Britain, because it has a huge economy, may be able to get concessions from the EU to stem the immigration flood (they have huge debt, but do not share the Euro currency…one smart thing they did), and if it does Italy may benefit, since it is the primary landing place of immigrants from Africa. Italy has already negotiated an 80,000 refugee relocation north.

The two remaining nations with huge debt problems, after Greece, are Italy and Portugal.

It isn’t going to get better, until it first gets worse.  

No one likes austerity but the Irish swallowed hard, accepted their medicine, and, after six years of austerity, emerged stronger.

It is a bitter pill, but it cures.

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Never Borrow Anything Small

Many of my friends do not follow the vagaries of Europe, so permit me to briefly explain the current problems in Europe caused by socialist Greece.
For years, indeed decades, Greece borrowed money from the International Monetary Fund, the European Bank, etc. — and when the bill came due, Greece could not repay the loans.

(Here it gets comical.)

The IMF etc. loaned the Greeks money to make their payments!

FOUR TIMES!

This Fifth time, they are balking.

All Greece needs is about $2 billion — Apple Computer or Google could pay this from their change jar. Literally!

The newly elected socialist president of Greece calls the demands that his country repay the money it has borrowed “Humiliating.” In a delaying tactic (and a CYA), the president has called for a Referendum of his people, to see if the reforms demanded for getting still a fifth bailout should be met. Things like reducing outrageous pensions for no-show jobs, never performed.

On Tuesday, we will see who is the greater fool, the EU or Greece. Meanwhile, Greek citizens are emptying their bank accounts, lest the government seize their accounts to pay the European banks. 

Place your bets!

SCOTUS Didn’t Change Church Law!

Hysteria aside, SCOTUS didn’t change Church marriage.

Churches make the rules of church weddings, and nothing has changed. 

NOTHING!
SCOTUS, the highest part of government LAW, changed GOVERNMENT LAW.

SCOTUS and Marriage

I am all over the place with the Gay Marriage thing — but in summary, so as not to step on the lede, my general opinion is that the Gay Marriage ruling was the right decision done the wrong way, much as was Rowe v Wade.
The ruling reinforced the “all men are created equal” before the law, and insofar as government is concerned, IF government is to be involved in the marriage business, all should be treated equally.

This, of course begs the question “Should government be involved in marriage?” — I have never thought so, and do not think so today. I believe that marriage — which only began in the Early Middle Ages, should be a church issue. Until the inception of formalized church marriage, a girl and boy exchanged vows in private. Since God was “everywhere” He heard their vows.

Getting government involved was the marriage business meant that government set the rules — of government marriage of course, even government cannot touch religious ceremonies, at least not yet!

And, actually even government is still ambivalent about their own “equal protection” rules. Incestuous marriage relations are still not permitted, regardless of “equal protection,” nor are bigamous marriages. (So much for “people should be able to marry whomever they love” argument.)

Today, as a week ago, a church can perform — or not perform — any wedding ceremonies they choose, but as the tacit ban on Blacks by the Mormons proved decades ago, public pressure may prove too strong in the future for churches to ban Gay Marriage as well.

Since many (most?) couple — Gay and Straight — simply live together without the “benefit” of a church or a government wedding, the subject is becoming moot.

Our Very Messy Future

You may have noted my continuous reference to Robotics. ‘This is true, because, while I don’t believe in the Robot Dominance being preached by some really bright people, I DO think that we should plan for social unrest from unemployment.

The United States already has the highest percentage of those who have left the working place in decades, we could see the rolls climb. Drastically. We are going to have to prepare for a vastly different society. I have noted before that both the Greeks and Romans had slaves to perform most work, and they had a system that worked but their societies didn’t have much demand for money. Living simply, they didn’t need much.
We, on the other hand, have a great deal of expectations. Even the underclasses live well in America. (Very well!)

An Aussie has just announced the development of an automated brick layer, called “Hadrian.”. Apparently bricks are big in Australia because they have serious wildfires there, and after a shortage of bricklayers in 2006, he set his mind on solving a 6,000 year-old brick problem. 

The new automated bricklayer can lay 1,000 bricks an hour, Working around the clock, the machine can build a house every two days, rain and shine, without lunch breaks, paternity leave or union rules.

The Perth newspaper from whose on-line site this news comes has some great comments by Aussies, including “Brickies” and Luddites and control computer engineers. They are hilarious!

I hope that some Think Tanks are looking seriously at the transition game. (If you ever played basketball, soccer, or LaX, then your Coach has yelled at you that “You are being killed in the transition game.”

Yes, we will be! It could be really messy!

 

 Another Unused Weapon

You probably don’t know it, but the tip of Point Loma in San Diego is honeycombed with tunnels. They feature huge 16 foot steel and concrete bunkers, and back in the 1960s I worked in one at the very tip of the Point.

That tunnel, called Battery Humphrey, was directly under the Point Loma Lighthouse, and, like all the tunnels, was constructed in WWII to house huge guns to counteract potential Japanese Naval gunfire in case of an invasion.
I worked in Battery Humphrey, in charge of a Top Secret computer database system called the Integrated Flagship Data System, and that Battery was selected for the computer system because, in addition to the 16 foot walls, it was under several hundred feet of dirt — great for attenuating electronic signals.

Wohy do I mention this? Because, as a POLITICO article (Plan B for Iran) reports, the current Plan B for Iran is a huge 15 ton bomb that can penetrate several hundred feet of rock and 30 feet of concrete before exploding. Just to make sure, the bomb can be serially dropped to provide a hole into which the second bomb can make a “hole within a hole”

The object in releasing this information is to get the Iranians to sign onto and adhere to the French-led Nuclear Arms talks, due for signing any day now. The Iranians know that the Obama administration will not actually DROP such ordinance, but they may fear a coming Republican administration.

This is “Spy Vs Spy,” with the Iranians building deeper, and our ordinance destroying deeper.

I suspect that we can develop faster than they can build — the time needed to build and outfit huge facilities being what it is — but unless we give the weapons and delivery systems to the Israelis, pretty much everyone agrees the weapons will not be used — except as a threat.

SCOTUS ruling on “SCOTUSCARE”

The ruling is an indictment of the U.S. education system. 

It proves that even a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court cannot read the English language!