Thursday, 3 November 2011

By on November 3rd, 2011 in Barbara, government, politics

08:28 – I drove Barbara to an appointment with her doctor yesterday. Barbara drove us home, approved to drive again and return to work. She just left for work, making joyful noises.

The Greek government will likely collapse this week, probably after a vote of (no) confidence tomorrow. Papandreou is down to 149 of 300 seats, and it’s by no means certain that all of those 149 will vote to support him. Papandreou’s finance minister and heir presumptive, Evangelos Venizelos, is now in open rebellion against Papandreou, but again it’s by no means certain that Venizelos would be able to form a new government. What’s really worrisome is that Papandreou has just sacked and replaced the top officer corps of the Greek military, presumably because he fears a military coup is at least possible, albeit not probable at this point. Meanwhile, EU officials are now talking openly about the departure of Greece and the breakup of the eurozone and probably the EU itself, and Italian bond yields reached 6.4%.

12:48 – And now I see that Papandreou has withdrawn his call for a referendum. Merkozy made it clear that the gloves were coming off, not least by announcing that Greece would not receive the sixth and final aid tranche, due to be paid this month, unless Greece did exactly what it had been ordered to do. Without that €8 billion payment, Greece will not be able to pay government employee salaries and pensions, which means Greece would likely be in full revolution soon after the first payment is missed. Merkozy also made it abundantly clear to Papandreou that the referendum announcement was the final straw, and that they were fully prepared to expel Greece from the eurozone. Because it is technically and legally impossible to expel a nation from the eurozone without also expelling it from the EU–actually, there’s no legal mechanism to expel a nation, period, but the one implies the other and Merkozy has certainly shown they have no respect for EU treaties or laws–Greece would find itself not just being forced to convert overnight to the new drachma, but also cut off from all of the benefits of EU membership, such as free trade within the EU.

Not surprisingly, the Greeks are back-pedaling fast, but it’s probably too late for that. Even the mention of a Greek referendum was the small shove that was needed to set the eurozone in particular and the EU in general toppling. Even the fact that the new head of the ECB announced a 25-point cut in interest rates to 1.25% and promised to keep subsidizing Italian and Spanish bonds isn’t going to help stop the collapse. At this point there’s only one solution remaining: the ECB has to start printing euros by the boatload to allow that massive pile of sovereign debt to be paid off in inflated euros. Of course, if there’s one thing Germany won’t stand for, it’s inflating the euro. If that begins to happen, you can be sure that Germany will revert to its own currency, quickly followed by the rest of the FANG nations, leaving the southern tier, including France and Belgium, twisting in the wind. So, one way or the other, it’s a default for sure.

11 Comments and discussion on "Thursday, 3 November 2011"

  1. Raymond Thompson says:

    Had to have a root canal job about 10 years ago, and I would not wish that on *anyone*.

    I have had two root canals. The first was in an upper front tooth that was broken during a racquetball match. Emergency root canal as my tooth was busted, the mouth was badly lacerated internally and externally, large volumes of blood left on the court and me, and the exposed nerve in the tooth was expressing it’s outrage. I was given some fairly heavy seditives to get the mouth stitched and the tooth rooted and filled. Eventually lost the entire tooth and had to have in implant put in place.

    Second one was a rear molar that had been filled from a large cavity when I was 16. Eventually the filling had to be replaced and that required a root canal. Rather than four roots there were five. Each one had to be filed out and packed. Not pleasant at all. The tooth was capped but eventually cracked and had to be extracted. Options for replacing were a bridge (which required grinding down two healthy teeth), other option was an implant which was not recommended because of the stress on the molars. Third option was to just extract the tooth and let the gum heal which is the option that I chose.

    The only part of the implant in the front tooth that was uncomfortable was the tightening of the post. It has to be torgued to a certain spec and it feels like they are twisting your bones apart under your gums.

    Interesting process for an implant. First they extract the tooth and let the bone heal and fill in. After a few months they cut open the gum and drill into the bone and insert the insert, close the gum and let the bone grow and heal around the insert. After a few months they open the gum again and insert the post that will hold the fake tooth. The gum is allowed to heal around the post. A few weeks later they torgue the post into the final position and that was very painful. They let the bone heal again. Finally they make a tooth to fit over the post, cement it in place and you are done. If I get smashed in the mouth again the implant will not fail but will instead shatter the surrounding bone.

    And for the record I only played against that player once and never played racquetball with the fellow again. He was not that good and was too aggressive in going for the ball with little court awareness. Good players will ALWAYS call a hinder if they sense, or know, that someone is in their way. This guy was not a good player.

  2. MrAtoz says:

    I had to have a root canal on a rear molar 6 weeks ago (I’m 56). Start to finish was about two hours. I was referred to a root canalologist other than my regular dental office. This guy was fantastic. Very little pain and complete explanations of what was going on. It was an interesting feeling under pain meds with the little files going in and out of the roots. My regular dentist has one of those cad/cam crown machines and when I went in two days later, it took a little over an hour to make the crown. I opted for the “extra strength blue” crown and have been happily crunching popcorn since.

  3. Raymond Thompson says:

    My root canals were about 20 years ago and I am sure the technology has changed and improved a lot. When my molar was done everytime that little file went into the tooth it was like sticking hot needles into my jaw.

    When I first went to the guy (don’t remember if he was a dentist or a specialist) he had to make certain of the tooth even though it was visibly obvious. First he tried touching the teech to get a reaction, didn’t work. Then he tried little pads cooled with liguid nitrogen to each tooth to see if there was a reaction, didn’t work. Then he tried electricity, that worked as I just about lept out of the chair.

    Took about two hours to do the drilling, cleaning and rotor rootering of the nerve canals and getting all of the nerve tissue. Then there was the temporary cap until they got the permanent cap made. Unfortunately that was going to take two weeks and the tooth cracked fatally within five days. So the tooth had to come out.

    Worst experience I had was the wisdom teeth removal in 1972. I was in the USAF and the USAF dentist (a good dentist) did the procedure. I had to have my gums cut open, the teeth drilled, then shattered into pieces to remove them. The first three were not too bad. The last one was excruciating. There is a limit, set by USAF regs, that only a certain amount of novacaine is allowed for the procedure. I had reached my limit. By the end of the fourth tooth I was almost passed out and was covered in sweat. The dentist apologized but his hands were tied by the regulations.

    However, he was able to prescribe codene pills for pain. I only took one and slept for 16 hours and woke with my head feeling like someone had stuffed it with cotton. I flushed the rest of the pills.

    I had 12 stitches in my mouth from the gum cutting. Two days after the procedure I got orders to head to the Phillipines (I was stationed in Hawaii) and had two hours to catch the plane. During that two hours I had to pack and get six immunization shots. I was miserable as my arms ached from the shots, my mouth was swollen and sore, I was packed into a sardine can which was a contract flight full of dependants, in the back row of the plane (seat did not recline) for 11 hours. I got the stitches removed while I was in the Phillipines.

  4. Paul Jones says:

    And the Dow is up 200 points. Go figure.

  5. brad says:

    From what I’ve read so far, it’s all up in the air. Greece is likely to form a new government – which might then try to retract the idea of a referendum. But now the idea is out there – will the Greeks let the government retract it? Stay tunes for more exciting news, as politicians continue to flail aimlessly about…

  6. OFD says:

    These next few weeks in Europe should be real interesting.

    Say, folks, what’s yer take on this sort of thing happening in this country? What would be your predictions on how it would pan out? Speaking of pols continuing to flail aimlessly about and so forth…

    And Cain was ahead in a bunch of polls until just recently—gee, would someone have played a dirty trick on him to ensure Millionaire Mitt’s ascension to the sham nomination?

  7. SteveF says:

    Regardless of discomfort, I want to get all of my teeth pulled and replaced with titanium posts and carbide crowns. Sharp carbide crowns. Aside from the chic brown-grey color, after I’ve built up my jaw bone and muscles, I’ll be able to chew through a car door or a chain link fence. That’s worth any amount of discomfort.

  8. Raymond Thompson says:

    Yeh, Steve. But if you ever accidently get a small piece of aluminum foil in your mouth you will short circuit and die.

  9. Miles_Teg says:

    SteveF wrote:

    “Regardless of discomfort, I want to get all of my teeth pulled and replaced with titanium posts and carbide crowns.”

    Did you see the WWII movie “Enemy at the Gates”? One of the Soviet snipers had all metal teeth. (Stalin’s goons had smashed them out during the Terror.)

  10. Chuck Waggoner says:

    I had a root canal over in Germany. It was on one of my lower bicuspids. All I can say is what I told the dentist when it was finished: “I feel a whole lot less pain now than when I came in.” When I was a kid, a dentist told me that my saliva was wicked strong stuff, and ate right through my teeth–which is what happened to that tooth. Root canal and filling, and I was back in business.

    Loved my dentist. He was German, but had practiced in New York City for about 10 years before returning to Germany. Got the referral from someone connected with the Embassy. He had a staff of dentists who did the work. He was not very tall, and would practically jump into the room and very animatedly explain the situation and what they were going to do. He was the only one who spoke English with me. Just like in America, when you are in a foreign country, they want you to speak their language, just as we want people to speak English here. At that time, I barely knew enough German to get by, but on my last visit to that dentist, there was no need for anyone to speak English with me.

    Odd system there. At the time I had the work done, they waited until the end of the year to bill you for everything they did. Over the years we were there, they eventually gave up that practice and billed you the following month for the previous month’s work.

  11. brad says:

    How would it play out in the US – that’s an interesting question. Seems to me that the OWS movement shows the beginnings: increasingly unruly mobs that just don’t go away. Eventually, the police will clamp down. Leading to more than just “unrulyness”. Maybe there will be a quiet phase, but I don’t see a happy ending.

    Switzerland reports that the budget surplus in 2011 will be smaller than expected. Ok, it’s a rich country, but still: any Western country is rich enough that budget surpluses should be the norm, not the exception.

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