Monday, 25 March 2013

09:55 – If you believe Merkel and the eurocrats, the Cyprus Crisis is now “over”, and with only one fatality. Cyprus itself, which has been gutted. Off-shore banking, the core of the Cypriot economy, has been killed deader than King Tut, leaving only tourism as a significant source of revenue. (Until now, banking was about 70% of the Cypriot economy and tourism 30%. So, literally overnight, 70% of the Cypriot economy has disappeared.) In a nation of about one million population, the banking collapse alone will eliminate tens of thousands of high-paying jobs, leaving mostly only low-paying service jobs in the tourism industry. The follow-on effects, including plummeting property values, are likely to be as bad as the bank collapse itself.

Meanwhile, the €10 billion bailout boosts Cyprus’s indebtedness to about 150% of GDP. The former GDP, that is. As the GDP of Cyprus collapses with the loss of off-shore banking, its actual indebtedness is likely to end up at 300% to 400% of the new GDP. And the IMF says this is sustainable? What planet are they living on? In the next two to three years, Cyprus will inevitably suffer an economic collapse that will make the Great Depression look like a minor blip. And the worst of it is that this is only the first bailout. Just as with Greece, Cyprus will inevitably need more bailouts, with increasingly harsh terms. Cyprus is now on life-support, just waiting for Germany to pull the plug.


12:39 – This morning Jeroen Dijsselbloem, head of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers, announced that the Cyprus bailout, with its seizing of depositors’ assets, is a template for future bailout actions within the eurozone. This afternoon Angela Merkel, big boss of the eurozone, ordered Dijsselbloem beheaded for being foolish enough to reveal her plans in public. Meanwhile, Putin and (particularly) Medvedev, who are livid at the eurozone’s confiscation of Russians’ assets, very probably including some of their own personal assets, already have plans well underway to punish German companies who do business in Russia by freezing and confiscating their assets. And a little mole tells me that capital flight from Southern Tier banks including French ones, already high, is fast increasing. I expect that by the end of this year the capital controls currently being implemented in Cyprus will spread to the Southern Tier countries. This isn’t going to be pretty.

40 thoughts on “Monday, 25 March 2013”

  1. “The banks in Cyprus remain closed. There is a $130 limit on daily withdrawals of currency out of an ATM. Capital controls keep depositors from wiring euros outside of Cyprus. The Parliament must agree to spending cuts. Maybe it won’t agree. In other words, nothing has been settled.”

    http://teapartyeconomist.com/2013/03/25/the-banking-crisis-is-over-say-european-bureaucrats-ho-ho-ho/

    “…Angela Merkel, big boss of the eurozone, ordered Dijsselbloem beheaded…”

    And the funny thing here is that although Bob was using a bit of hyperbole, East Germany beheaded people via guillotine (usually dissenters and political opponents of this or that Party asshole) until 1966.

    Personally I think it’s the way to go; very fast, tidy and painful for a nanosecond, maybe. Less suffering and guaranteed death. Yes, I’ve read the stories about eyes still looking around and mouths still talking afterward. Tell me, science wizards; is that even possible? Hell, the myths have Mary Queen of Scots reciting a whole prayer after she got chopped.

  2. Of course it’s possible that the head will remain conscious after decapitation, with eyes blinking and so on, albeit not for long. I’d guess that the longest the brain would be functioning and aware would be maybe five minutes. Talking, no. That’d require the lungs still be attached.

    As I’ve said, death isn’t an event; it’s a process.

  3. So you’re saying that the decapitated head in the basket could still be alive and aware for up to five minutes? Seeing and hearing? That would really suck.

  4. Yep, that’s what I’m saying. Doctors have argued that the sudden catastrophic loss of blood pressure results in nearly instant death, but I don’t buy it. The brain dies as its cells die, which again doesn’t occur all at once. It happens as they no longer receive nutrients and oxygen from the blood and no longer have carbon dioxide and other waste products being removed. It wouldn’t surprise me if the head maintained at least some awareness for even longer than five minutes.

    It would be an interesting experiment to hook up an EEG to the head and observe what happens after decapitation.

  5. “It would be an interesting experiment to hook up an EEG to the head and observe what happens after decapitation.”

    Hold that thought, Bob!

    SteveF and I may have some volunteers soon!

  6. As I understand it, the only way to ‘flip the switch’ on a human is to destroy the brain stem, a la a bullet to the back of the head.

  7. Life is awesome. I lean toward the mutation and evolution explanation, of course, but it would actually be more impressive if this were all planned out by some all-knowing, all-powerful creator. If you buy into the Judeo-Christian story and being cast out of Eden and having to work your ass off to eat, it would be strong evidence that the all-knowing, all-powerful creator set things up so this would pop up just as herbicides were making our lives too comfortable. Yep, the all-knowing, all-powerful creator’s douchebaggery would be truly awesome .

  8. SteveF and I may have some volunteers soon!

    I have some coworkers that I will gladly send you provided you never send them back. The biggest problem is attaching an EEG and expecting something useful to appear on the charts. For a couple of them you would not be able to tell when the brain died.

  9. There is a $130 limit on daily withdrawals of currency out of an ATM.

    Just try and find an ATM with €100 in it. With ANY money in it. Cypriots have been complaining that they have not been able to get money from ATM’s for a week, as the claims are that the banks are not refilling them at all when they run out.

    Cyprus played the game all wrong. They gave practically every nation of the EU the finger after gaining admission, and thus they have no friends AT ALL in the EU. Not only that, but they are the country that has been the staunch opponent of Turkey gaining admission to the EU, and Turkey is their closest neighbor. They’re screwed!

    Moreover, they are probably better allied with Asia than Europe, except they are a safer Mediterranean vacation destination than Turkey. That’s probably over.

    Merkel, of course, is as stupid as GW Shrub was. I pointed out GW’s mental failings 6 months in, and Merkel’s 4 months in. I hope to that imaginary God that she loses.

    While we lived in Germany, I was asked a lot whether I thought America could ever be taken over by a dictator, as Germany was. We already have been, I replied. His name is GW Bush. Nobama is continuing right in his footsteps.

  10. Our first real honest-to-Satan dictator was one A. Lincoln, the Great Eliminator. Until he was spawned from hellfire, we had only pikers. He reigned supreme until Pharaoh Roosevelt II came along. We’ve had a succession of tinpot banana republic goofballs since, starting with Truman, ironic name for a liar, bullshit artist, thief and mass murderer. He and Dulles and a handful of others, including a couple of generals and admirals, set up our national security state and that really got the ball rolling, yea, unto the present day, when we have clowns like Shrub and the Barry and Mooch Show in the Oral Orifice. A sign that it would become carnival-like was the entrance of Larry Klinton and his lovely wife Bruno, a.k.a. Lady MacBeth of Little Rock, a.k.a. The Heroine of Tripoli and Benghazi.

    But don’t get me stahted…

    “… For a couple of them you would not be able to tell when the brain died.”

    I knew specimens like that when I worked in state gummint up here; between Montpeculiar and Albany I bet SteveF and I could gin up a wagon train of EEG volunteers.

  11. Lincoln? Truman?

    What the hell sort of mushrooms are you eating up there Dave?

  12. The spare heads I usually find myself in possession of tend to be too damaged for much scientific use. Sorry.

    Miles_Teg, many Americans (by which I mean people who hold some semblance of the independence and downright cussedness which formerly characterized Americans) think that Lincoln was one of the worst tyrants to inhabit this nation. There was that whole War Between the States business and ancillary acts, in which he arrogated to the Presidency and the federal government much power which they did not rightly have.

    Truman began the police state in the US, I think.

  13. greg in Oz may have gotten roughly the same dose of PC claptrap American history that most of us were taught in our own publik skool systems over the past hundred-plus years. But correctives are easily discovered.

  14. To Wit:

    “The Real Lincoln” and “Lincoln Unmasked” both by Thomas J. DiLorenzo for stahtuhs…

  15. IIRC I did read a study where they monitored rats with EEG as they were decapitated. They came to the conclusion that, while there was some consciousness after decapitation, the rat was probably unable of experiencing fear or panic. The conclusion was that decapitation seemed the best way of euthanising rats for/after experiments.

  16. After decapitation, it’s rather pointless to experience fear or panic. I would just like to be looking up at the sky instead of the bottom of the basket or the dirty ground, littered with cigarette butts and empty Budweiser cans.

  17. “This afternoon Angela Merkel, big boss of the eurozone, ordered Dijsselbloem beheaded for being foolish enough to reveal her plans in public”.

    So, what’s really happening?

    The acions taken are really too stupid – it reminds me of the Hostess vs Bakers Union battle of a few months ago, which was equally stupid seeming until revealed as a Bakers Union vs Teamsters battle.

    So???

    Perhaps it’s a deliberate attempt (including Dijsselbloem’s revelation) to loot the southern tier banks of deposits? If it’s happening already, and I assume it is, why speed it up? What does Merkel see coming down the road?

  18. OFD wrote:

    ‘“The Real Lincoln” and “Lincoln Unmasked” both by Thomas J. DiLorenzo for stahtuhs…’

    Oh come on! All that LSD in the Seventies addled your brain. Suppose Lincoln had let the southern boys go for a year or two (they would have been begging for readmission when they realised how stupid their posturing was) would you still be making this stuff up, or did Lincoln do other evil stuff not related to the war? Infant sacrifice? Closet atheist? And as an Aussie what I learned about Lincoln was from disinterested teachers without a political axe to grind.

    “….http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Act_of_1947

    So?

    All Hail Abraham Lincoln! All Hail Harry Truman!

  19. OFD wrote:

    “I would just like to be looking up at the sky instead of the bottom of the basket or the dirty ground, littered with cigarette butts and empty Budweiser cans.”

    I’d be happy to oblige. But you’ll have to provide the cigarette butts and Bud (yeech!) cans… 🙂

  20. “All that LSD in the Seventies…”

    Most of it was in the Glorious Sixties; I only tripped a handful of times in late ’71 and ’73, last one was in early ’75, a bad one. Booze was more of a ruination than the acid, believe me.

    “All Hail Abraham Lincoln! All Hail Harry Truman!”

    OK, so you dig mass murderers. And think HILLARY! is cute. And wassername, Bullock, is hot.

    Maybe you shoulda tried the acid yourself. Was that ever a thing down in Oz?

  21. Nah, I never tried any of that stuff. I was a quiet, studious kid who wanted to get on with my life, not end up in rehab or prison.

    Abe Lincoln a mass murderer? Only in the sense that all generals and political leaders are. In the words of Inspector Morand “But murder is the occupation of generals.” Robert E Lee also was a mass murderer, as was Patton, LeMay and Westmoreland.

    Come on Dave, you never told us your eyesight was shot. Sandy *is* HOT.

  22. “Only in the sense that all generals and political leaders are.”

    A gross generalization, pun intended. Not all. And Lincoln took it to a whole new level in this young country. Even his top thug war criminal generals admitted that if they’d lost, they’d be hanged and rightfully so. “I will make the South howl!,” said Sherman, who went on with other generals to massacre Indian women and children and old men out West.

    “…you never told us your eyesight was shot.”

    It is so shot that I couldn’t find my way out of a room without my glasses, which I’ve worn since I was nine. Good enough to make Marksman every year working for Uncle with rifle and pistol, but not good enough for the U.S. Border Patrol or the Massachusetts State Police, who told me I couldn’t come IN with glasses but if my eyes got worse and I needed them later in my career, I could then buy and wear them. Amazing stupidity. I’d aced both exams in record time, too, and otherwise passed all the physicals and medical exams. A bullet dodged, probably.

  23. For some good tips on home IT security:

    One item the article does not mention. Get a router. Even if you only have one computer that device with the NAT will provide a significant level of protection. Routers are cheap and can be had for less than $50.00 at Newegg. Single biggest piece of security you can purchase to protect your computer(s).

  24. For some good tips on home IT security:

    One item the article does not mention. Get a router. Even if you only have one computer that device with the NAT will provide a significant level of protection. Routers are cheap and can be had for less than $50.00 at Newegg. Single biggest piece of security you can purchase to protect your computer(s).

    Good advice if you are only running a IPv4 stack on your computer devices. Since all new modems / routers are running IPv6, I am not sure how good this advice is. AT&T has had IPv6 routing on their DSL modems for about two years now. I have turned the IPv6 off for now but I am sure that it will be required in the not too distant future as more web servers pop up serving IPv6 only.

    BTW, Windows 2000 and XP only run IPv4 stacks. Windows Vista and 7 are dual stacked by default. I do not know about Windows 8.

    You can see what your Windows is doing using the command “ipconfig /all” in a command window.

  25. Since all new modems / routers are running IPv6

    The modems should have an option to run IP4 or IP6. I just recently acquired a modem that will run both. If running IP6 to the WAN, but the LAN side is IP4 the router will properly handle the translation. Some computers can be IP4 and others IP6 without difficulty.

    My modem self configures itself to the proper mode. Any router made within the last year should be more than capable of handling Ip4 or IP6 with very little knowledge about such on the part of the consumer. Even my three year old D-Link router had the capability to handle IP6 or IP4. I was running IP6 on the LAN side and IP4 on the WAN side with no issues. The other way around is also easily handled.

    Standard configuration on my modem, basically factory settings out of the box, I was required to change nothing. I then ran Steve Gibsons port scan and the result was no open ports that responded to the probe. Basically my system did not exist as far as the network was concerned.

    I maintain that a router is the single most important part of security in a home network. The brain is the second most important but for many that is hard to fix.

  26. I then ran Steve Gibsons port scan and the result was no open ports that responded to the probe. Basically my system did not exist as far as the network was concerned.

    Does Gibson Research ( https://www.grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2 – what a weird URL ) support IPv6?

    My point is that dual stack modems and dual stack PCs have the potential of bypassing the NAT in your router. NAT is for IPv4 only. I wish that there was NAT for IPv6 but the internet pureists won the battle that all internet devices must have a unique address in IPv6.

  27. My point is that dual stack modems and dual stack PCs have the potential of bypassing the NAT in your router.

    DHCP is still to be available on the IP6 routers. I know that my computers are provided an IP6 address by the router and not by Comcast. Whether that will remain true when Comcast switches their network in my area to IP6 I just don’t know. As it is now I have IP6 on the LAN and IP4 on the WAN.

    And the other thing I do not know is if the IP address to my router provided by Comcast is actually provided by the modem and Comcast uses mac addressing to route the traffic.

  28. Does IPv6 use DHCP? I thought that IPv6 addresses are 64 bits of routing and 64 bits of your device MAC address.

  29. Does IPv6 use DHCP?

    I don’t know. But something is providing IP6 IP addresses to my machines and it most certainly not Comcast as they are still IP4 where I live. Where else are the IP6 addresses coming from?

  30. Poor, poor Ray. He’s about to be disappeared because he’s discovered the NSA’s tampering with the intartubes.

  31. Poor, poor Ray. He’s about to be disappeared because he’s discovered the NSA’s tampering with the intartubes.

    Well I hope you are not right about that. I most certainly would not be disappearing because o

  32. Well, it was nice to know Ray; he was a really sharp guy and he had a great sense of humor, too. Nice knowin’ ya, bro. Rest easy in the Big PX.

  33. Yeah Ray, I’ve heard that Florence isn’t as bad as they say.

  34. Nice knowin’ ya, bro. Rest easy in the Big PX.

    I’m back. The NSA uses Linux and when they discovered I like Windows they threw me back and said I had been punished enough.

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