July 26th, 2012

hat lasso

(no subject)

"In part by forbidding almost all forms of firearm ownership, Japan has as few as two gun-related homicides a year."

My opinion is that Japan has gone too far by eliminating firearm ownership. But you can't ignore the resulting impact it's had. It appears there is no correlation of gun ownership to population. To compare, take for example Switzerland, which requires firearm ownership which makes it (one of) the highest gun ownership rate in the world. Police statistics for the year 2006 records 34 killings or attempted killings involving firearms in a population of almost 8,000,000.
status quo

Welcome to the Jungle/Oligarchy/Plutocracy/Corporatocracy!

I've enjoyed watching or following the Olympics since I was a little kid. At one point I fantasized about being in the Olympics, despite not having any sports talent whatsoever. Didn't we all? It looked like fun and games! Sportsmanship and brotherhood! Peanut butter and jelly! Bread and Circuses!

This year, though, I have cut my cable and, while I still have interest in the individual athletes and some events, I more than likely will not give it much time aside from the occasional YouTube upload and passing news story. Which means I'm also committing the gravest sin, probably punishable by imprisonment somewhere in our Brave New World (read: Britain, this year): Anti-Commercial-Engagementism*.

I won't be seeing the Official Sponsor of the Official Sponsors, hardly anywhere. I'm sure they'll be all over my webpages except... a) I use a lot of Adblock, b) I'm blind to most web advertising in the way that I ignore the bugs on my car windshield, c) 99% of ads I do see work inversely with me -- DNW specifically because I saw the ad, and d) I don't hang out on websites with advertising. I'm a bad, bad capitalist.

Unlike those such as myself, many others find themselves faced with the opposite dilemma: that of actually using the words "Games," "Two Thousand and Twelve," "2012," and "twenty twelve" in a sentence. Or pairing any and all of the above with "Gold," "Silver," "Bronze," "London," "medals," "sponsors," or "summer." Because obviously they're making a buck discussing the gold fields of grain in the summer of 2012 down at the farmer's co-op. Or something.

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Do you trust the economists?

At times of financial crisis, all sorts of economic models and ideas tend to pop up. A group of German economics experts recently wrote to Angela Merkel in an open letter to stop her efforts to save the euro (as if she wasn't already being aided in that from so many sides). Meanwhile, another faction of the guild of economists defended the efforts for strengthening the EU currency. Many Anglo-Saxon authors insist that the EU should print itself out of the crisis and inflate the economy, while others among their colleagues (mostly from continental Europe) counter with the argument that the most important thing right now is to tighten the belts and eliminate the enormous debts, and lay low until the storm passes. And the fact is, neither side tells the full picture. Here are some arguments in this direction.

The economics scientists must be very happy people. That's at least how the humanitarian scientists view them. "The economists do not predict, they calculate", is a meme that can be heard often among the latter. The sentiment is that the economists don't sweat too much over searching for the truth, because they kind of "hold it firmly in their hands". (No, it's not what you're thinking).

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