Tuesday, 6 March 2012

08:44 – This is crunch week for Greece, with Thursday the deadline for the “voluntary” debt-swap, in which it is hoped that private investors will agree to take a so-called voluntary write-down of about 75% in net present value terms. If those private sector investors who hold at least 2/3 of the outstanding debt do not agree to the terms, it’s game over immediately. Greece enters a disorderly default and the whole house of cards collapses. If more than 2/3 agree but not all of them, Greece has announced that it will enforce so-called collective-action clauses, which in effect force the hold-outs to comply against their will. If the CACs are triggered, Greece again defaults, and the whole house of cards collapses.

Germany is convinced, wrongly, that the mechanisms in place will prevent a Greek default from spreading to the rest of the periphery. When Greece defaults, the markets will immediately focus on the remaining weak euro members, starting with Ireland and Portugal and quickly spreading to Spain and Italy and eventually Belgium and France. Once that ball starts rolling down the hill, there’s simply no way to stop it. The other southern-tier euro nations will begin toppling like dominoes. Even if Germany were willing to beggar itself, it couldn’t stop the collapse.

In the Netherlands, politicians are now seriously discussing abandoning the euro and returning to the guilder. You can bet that similar discussions are going on behind the scenes in Germany, Finland, and the other northern-tier nations as well. Short of a miracle of biblical proportions, the euro is toast.

After making up the chemicals for the first batch of 60 biology kits, we’ve started to run short of bottles, particularly the 15 mL ones. I ordered a couple cases of the 15 mL bottles yesterday, this time from a supplier that carries US-made bottles rather than the Chinese-made bottles we had been using. The US bottles are a few cents each more expensive, but they’ll arrive tomorrow. Lead time on the Chinese bottles is 60 to 90 days, which is simply too long a window to allow us to manage inventory efficiently.

Rather than dropper tips and caps for the new bottles, I ordered standard ribbed PE-lined PP screw caps. The dropper tips have only one real advantage, and that’s when a chemical is normally dispensed drop-wise. Otherwise, a standard cap is more convenient. We may end up using a combination of dropper tips and standard caps in later batches of the kits, using the dropper tips for chemicals like pH indicators. Or we may just use standard caps on all of them. Another advantage to using standard caps is that they’re less likely to leak during shipping. We haven’t had a big problem with that, but it has happened a couple of times despite our efforts to secure and seal the caps.

14 Comments and discussion on "Tuesday, 6 March 2012"

  1. brad says:

    Well, it’s looking more and more like Mittens. Is he the lesser evil? Or are y’all gonna vote for Mickey Mouse as the more qualified candidate?

    I read a libertarian blog somewhere yesterday that said all good libertarians ought to vote for Obama. He will take us where we’re certainly going more quickly. The idea being that maybe the fast-boiled frog will actually notice, and hop out of the pot.

  2. Miles_Teg says:

    Fortunately I’m not a Yank so I don’t have to suffer through the election process and its aftermath. Ron Paul would be nice, Rand Paul better and Gary Johnson best. Unfortunately the best qualified of the three quit the Republican race last year.

  3. OFD says:

    Mittens has always been The Annointed One, and I have been saying that for three years now. He goes up against the other half of the War Party’s Annointed One. Who cares?

    This is the first year I have not voted since I was a kid. I’m done with it; a lost cause if ever I saw one.

  4. BGrigg says:

    No complaining then! Just roll over and get out the KY.

    The rule is you have to vote if you want to complain.

  5. Miles_Teg says:

    Bill wrote:

    “No complaining then! Just roll over and get out the KY.”

    We, ahh, bow to your greater experience in this area.

  6. BGrigg says:

    Oh, I vote! No KY for me!

    Being willing to bow whenever KY is mentioned an Aussie thing? 😀

  7. Miles_Teg says:

    In prison it is, so I’m told.

  8. Chuck Waggoner says:

    Once again, I am the contrarian here, and do not agree that not voting is somehow reprehensible, forcing one to lose their citizenship and right to complain. Not voting IS a vote!

    When my kids were out of high school, I quit voting for school board members. During the time they were in school, it meant something to me; I kept up on who stood for what, conferred with others about school system problems, and voted according to my conscience. After they were finished, I no longer took notice of anything relating to the school system. As I was facing the school board part of the ballot, I suddenly realized — why should I vote for people whom I no longer know anything about? What is more, my stupid, uninformed ballot could cancel out that of a parent who has a real stake in the election for the sake of their own kids.

    Ever since then, I have no qualms about not voting. It IS a vote, and the high numbers of non-voters show just how dissatisfied the US electorate is with the choices presented.

    With reference to judges, on the other hand, I always vote against the incumbent, no matter their record. Rotation in office, and all that.

  9. BGrigg says:

    Chuck, with all due respect, but that’s whack thinking.

    Not voting isn’t being counted as a dissatisfied voter, it’s being counted as tacit approval by whomever wins. If NO-ONE voted, that would be voter dissatisfaction.

    School trustees should be voted for by people with kids in the system, and should only include nominees that also have kids in the system, that I agree with. For instance, as a home schooler, I have no interest in school trustees. That may come back to bite home schoolers in the ass, but I’ve got one kid left, and he’s done this year.

    The rest require some form of action, not inaction.

  10. Chuck Waggoner says:

    I could not disagree more. My health may require some activity from/by me, but NO ONE is going to convince me that anything but taxes is a requirement of citizenship. If that is incorrect (and obviously it isn’t), then I will gladly pay no more taxes here and go straight back to Berlin. Kick me out, I dare ‘ya.

    What’s whacked are the people who claim that not voting is some kind of personal or national failure. It is a choice. If Obama gets to smoke, then I get to not vote. It is my right as a Libertarian not to vote–and to not care about whatever issue is at stake at the polls. Only *I* determine what is in my own self-interest. Moreover, anyone possesses the right to complain about anything, whether they vote or not. War protestors do not have to be active participants in the war to oppose it. Nobody has to vote to activate their right as a citizen, and citizenship includes the right to complain about anything.

    Fact is that I have never missed a national election, except once. That was when the local election office did not send an absentee ballot to us in Germany, but kept saying there was a limit to how early they could send it. Eventually, the moment came when I called again, and they said it had not been sent and was too late to send it. Although I had been in contact with the US Embassy in Berlin all along, they were of no help whatsoever in the matter. That is the only national election I have ever missed.

  11. BGrigg says:

    Well, all I said is no vote, no complaining about what happens after the election. You don’t want to vote, that’s fine, just accept what happens when you don’t.

    War protestors are DOING SOMETHING, they ARE taking an active participation by speaking their mind, loudly and clearly, and you can be sure that they vote, too. I sure did, when I protested wars. Not voting is doing nothing, and is accepted by those in power as approval. You get nothing for paying taxes, if as you say, its the sole requirement of a citizen. You paid your money, and you’re a citizen. End of transaction for this year. How citizens are treated are what the votes are about.

    “All that’s necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.” – as Edmund Burke famously never said.

  12. OFD says:

    But what if the voting process is rigged six ways from Sunday, and the elections every two or four years are a total circus freak show farce, like the one this year? What do we do, vote anyway, just to say we did and therefore we are THEN “allowed” (by whom?) to complain? Not so fast.

    If enough people opted out of this farce and stopped thereby supporting a clearly rotten system, maybe we would see some changes here at last.

    I live in a small enough state that when I vote I can actually physically confront our senators with my questions or browbeat them the next time I see them at the local Shaw’s or farmers’ market. But they go off back to Mordor-On-The-Potomac and do their thing anyway, in their private club of 100 regardless of what I barked at them about. And the voting and the elections and the money bandwagon rolls on.

    We are fast approaching the point where we are going to need to shut these people down, arrest many of them, and start arranging for a new system, preferably going back to the one that was originally configured and then cynically betrayed at Philadelphia.

  13. BGrigg says:

    Nonsense. How low do you think voter turnout can go before they start to question anything? In some towns in Canada it dipped below 30%. Nobody cried foul and stopped anything.

    If everyone voted, and started voting for others, rather than the two sides of the same coin, then and only then can something be done.

    Not voting is quitting.

  14. OFD says:

    Stop voting and stop paying taxes and stop sending our children off to the bloody gaping jaws of Moloch. Then we will see how fast changes can be made. Until that day comes, we live a farce and a sham.

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