Saturday, December 29, 2012

A visit to Some Assembly Required

I've been going through "blogger burnout" (again).  There really isn't that much good news, and most of the stuff that is reported is CRAP.  As a result, and to keep this blog from becoming ALL MUSIC  --  ALL THE TIME!!  --  here are some items from "Some Assembly Required"  --  please follow link to original  --  read more, you will thank me  --  when you stop crying.

Fact: The US Government has more information on US citizens than any other government ever. It collects – and stores – every phone call, purchase, email, text, and internet search made. It tracks your browsing history, your health records, your employment, your friends and your travels. It knows where you are – or at least your cell phone is – 24/7. It probably knows more about you than Google does.

Too Late The Dawn: Within the next few years there will be more than 30,000 drones deployed domestically over the United States. FBI, Homeland Security, ICE and such, as well as state and local police agencies. Some will be Raptor and Predator sized, but many will be smaller, much smaller and equipped with cameras and microphones instead of missiles. Think hummingbirds. Think of them looking in your windows or perched near you, listening as you talk with your co-conspirators friends. Don't think of protesting; protests will be monitored by drones that will call in bigger drones designed for crowd suppression and dispersal drones. No riot police necessary - the cops'll know who you are and where you are and will pick you up at their leisure. They call it "full spectrum surveillance". 

Tradition: The generation of homeless Vietnam veterans is being replaced by a generation of homeless veterans of the Oil Wars. The number homeless of Iraq and Afghanistan vets – and those at risk of homelessness – has doubled in the last two years. What have we achieved that was worth this?
Two Things: Do we let Russians adopt US orphans? Why do these people want to adopt Russian kids instead of American orphans?

The Map Is Not The Territory: Inflation was once calculated by periodically measuring the increase in price of a basket of goods and services. The same goods and services. Then, after decades of perfectly fine service, that model was replaced with one that gave different weight to various parts of the basket. That lowered the inflation rate, but after a while even more cosmetics were needed, so the formula was changed to put more weight on the things that were stable and less weight to the things that went up in price – think food and fuel. This also lowered the reported rate of inflation enough so that over the last decade or so, the adjustment in purchasing power of Social Security - among other government programs that are keyed to the CPI inflater - has been cut by about 30%.
But wait, there's more: Next came 'hedonic adjustments', in which the BLS imputes the "increased pleasure the consumer derives" from purchasing 'new & improved' items. That new refrigerator didn't really cost 20% more, because the pleasure you get from admiring it is worth the extra $175. Ditto for the TV, which lets you see the advertising even better than before. Especially the political advertising. The costs of EPA regulations are not inflationary, because you get to live to enjoy cleaner air.
The last tweak to reported inflation is 'intervention analysis" which says that there is no increased inflation when the price of food goes up, because you will eat cheaper stuff, hamburger instead of steak, catfood instead of hamburger and so on. If you can't afford gasoline, you'll walk everywhere. If you can't afford the rent, you can sleep in the street. It is no longer a measure of inflation, it is no longer a cost-of-living adjustment. It is a reduction-of-living adjustment. And you don't want to know about chained-CPI, which is fraud on steroids.

There's more  --  go there

No comments: