Archive for July, 2012

A Few Global Loose Ends Not On Romney’s Tour

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Russia: the KGB kleptocracy intends to keep a firm lid on dissent.

India: all the growth in the world can’t yet make up for a terrible infrastructure and an uneducated, impoverished, and overpopulated polity.

Iraq and Afghanistan: the pointless wars continue, the theft by contractors continues, the complete lack of success continues.

Japan: once again making clear that covering up and not losing face are far more important than exposing millions of people to dangerous levels of radiation.

Congo: does anyone care that this decades old civil war never ends?

Sudan: ditto, slightly more people care because it has oil.

Kosovo: seriously, did you think it would ever go away? Another triumphant NATO failure disguised as a permanent peacekeeping mission.

Gorilla says: “There are plenty more of these Romneyesque gaffes to come!”


Shorter Mitt Romney Foreign Tour

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

“I can see the Soviet Union from the top of my car elevator!”


Shorter Olympics Opening Ceremony

Friday, July 27th, 2012

“It was so great to be British, even and especially after Mitt Romney!”


Enter The Draghi, Saying Nothing

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Everyone’s excited about ECB Chief Draghi’s promise to do “whatever it takes” to rescue the Euro, but nobody seems to know what that means.

ECB as lender of last resort and guarantor of all sovereign debt?

Cutting interest rates to zero and proceeding with big-time quantitative easing coupled with fiscal stimulus?

Pursuing a higher inflation target of 4-5% until unemployment (now at a record in Spain, which will collapse without an ECB guarantee) comes down?

Until these things are said explicitly, and without harrumphs from the Germans, the Eurozone crisis will continue.

Gorilla says: “Whatever it takes does imply that it takes something more than the failed policies now being undertaken!”


Mountain Lion: A Very Weak Cat

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

The new Apple OS, which David Pogue says is worth at least $26.90 more than the actual retail price, more or less illustrates why people in Gorilla’s age group (over 50-not yet dead) no longer matter in the world of consumer electronics.

What are the big features of Mountain Lion?

1) Dictation: now you can dictate text in several programs, provided you pronounce separately various punctuation marks (period, comma, etc.), speak more slowly than any normal conversation, and give the program days/weeks/months to get used to your voice. Yes, it’s completely useless crap.

2) Sharing: every utterance, every photo, every Tweet can now be broadcast to anyone. Why this is considered progress is beyond Gorilla’s understanding.

3) Power Nap: only works on expensive SSD drives, allowing you to do exactly the same thing you’d be able to do after waking up with any computer: turn on your machine, gather various info, and digest it. Again, why is this either revolutionary or important?

4) iCloud: yet another walled garden whose features/functions can be removed by Apple at any time. Woefully inadequate storage for the things you might store online: movies, tv, music collections, photo albums, etc. Why is it better to use the “cloud” than to simply use a thumb drive to transfer files between machines?

5) Notification Center: utterly pointless if you don’t participate in social networks, don’t need calendar reminders, don’t own a cell phone, etc. etc. etc. It’s just another menu bar item taking up space.

6) The iOS look: Launchpad, Mission Control, all debuted in Lion, and Gorilla has yet to use these programs a single time.

7) Messages: unless you own a cell phone, useless. SMS is great on a cell phone, terrible on a computer. What’s wrong with good old e-mail?

8) Air Play: well, you need an Apple TV, and a big screen tv cable, oh, and did we mention that it won’t play movies/tv shows that aren’t in Apple’s proprietary format?

The point here is not that Mountain Lion is a bad thing; it’s a cheap operating system upgrade that everyone with a Mac should undertake.

But for those Apple customers who’ve been waiting over 14 months for a desktop upgrade, don’t find the idea of using ever smaller screens to do actual work attractive, don’t need a cellphone or social networks to survive, and would like to see some genuine innovation, Mountain Lion’s a big “Meh”.

All the big features are either duplicates of things already in the OS, nice try software that nobody will spend time learning to make work, and/or further efforts to restrict Apple users to Apple’s walled garden.

Gorilla says: “Apple gets my $20, but otherwise there’s nothing to see here!”


A Policeman’s Lot

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Is not a happy one, especially if your country’s been “liberated” by a pointless war…

In Iraq, the civil war continues, 100 dead yesterday, most of them policemen.

In Afghanistan, being a policeman yesterday meant being poisoned by your colleagues while they’re on the way to defect to the Taliban.

In America, it’s different, there you can be a policeman in favor of gun control, knowing there’s no chance it will ever happen!

Gorilla says: “With cat like tread, you find yourself dead!”


The End Is In Sight

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

For Spain and Greece, and possibly everyone else in Southern Euroland, the day of reckoning looks like arriving within a few weeks!

There simply is no way to avert a euro breakup until and unless the ECB: 1) guarantees all sovereign debt, 2) cuts interest rates to zero, and 3) announces it will pursue a higher inflation target of at least 4%.

Further austerity is entirely self-defeating, but denial remains the flavor of the decade in Brussels and Berlin.

Gorilla says: “Wishing that austerity works is as big a fantasy as wishing the Euro would work!”


Things We Could Do, But Won’t

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

In light of the Penn State debacle:

1) Shut the football program down permanently.

2) Insist on the resignation of the entire Board Of Trustees.

In light of the Colorado debacle:

1) Ban assault weapons permanently.

2) Insist that all gun sales be regulated, to include mandatory 7-day waiting periods and firearms training courses.

These things don’t get done because wealthy and powerful people in the US believe they are above the law. When it comes to gun control, the Congress is a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Rifle Association. When it comes to protecting child molesters (a practice that certainly went on at Penn State for decades before the famous 1998 “moment”), those who do should be arrested, tried, convicted, and jailed.

Gorilla says: “We don’t care about the innocent, only about the guilty!”


Gun Control Equals Middle East Peace

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Nobody’s serious about it at all, so the killing will continue…


Ben Bernanke: Amoral Failure

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

With unemployment high and the economy not growing fast enough to match population growth, what in hell is Ben Bernanke waiting for?

The Fed needs to be raising the inflation target now. The Fed needs to be providing money to ordinary Americans, not continuing to encourage corporate America to sit on its hands (or engage in outright criminality, as is clearly the case on Wall Street). The Fed needs to start a jobs program, which could be called QE4U.

Instead, the second worst Fed Chairman in history continues his steady march to the drumbeat of failure and amorality.

Gorilla says: “The sooner this guy is gone, the better off the country will be!”