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Hollande's dilemma: Austerity vs. Insolvency

The wave of anti-austerity swept Hollande into power in France, and for good reason - Merkel's austerity program, while sounding nice and grownup, doesn't work.

Nor has Greek tax evasion and profligacy - relying on economic statism.

With half the country avoiding taxes, 30% of income and 1/4 of GDP off the books, and about 60 billion € owed to the leisurely tax authorities, the responsibility spreads far and wide.

One touted effort at accountability showed 17,000 swimming pools around Athens with only a few hundred declared. But when a businessman confronted with a 600K € tax debt gets away with paying 11,000 €? Good luck to all that.

Even on the international scale, Greece carried 2 sets of books, the public one with 2% lopped off of debts thanks to some tricky Goldman Sachs moves - moves that cost the Greeks dearly in the long run. Though allowing her to get more loans from EU sources at better rates, plunging her further into debt.

[Refuted] Egypt Highlights the Peril of Democracy

[Note: there is *NO* real source for claims about this law in Egypt - be careful with spreading - likely highly exaggerated urban myth]

With Egyptian politicians considering a 6-hour window on necrophilia, and lowering the marriage age to 14, we're left considering whether they were better off with Mubarak.

Ok, they haven't passed the law yet, and to their credit, many (including seemingly most women) oppose the changes, but it exemplifies issues of authoritarianism vs. liberal democracy in places (like the US?) where the populace as a whole seems to be veering off into insanity or cruelty or just backwardsness.

Mubarak's wife Suzanne helped push through changes in divorce law, which once took 10-15 years for a woman to obtain (but now comes much quicker if she gives up financial rights).

40% of marriages end in divorce, and there's a push to return to the old system. As if the causes for divorce weren't the issue more than the results. 

Kill/Build, the Metaphor - Clouds 'R Us

Another metaphor for the Romney candidacy popped up: cookies.

So we have dogs and cookies and basketball and working mothers and polygamy colony and what? (had another better one to add to list, but sick brain dumped it) - oh yes, it was the little Tommy Friedman 7 years old "broken metro elevator, no cell phone signal" metaphor - "3rd party daddy-warbucks-state".

How about in the age of cloud computing, we use more engaging metaphor:

"We are Everywhere"

Bowdlerizing for Columbine - or "Living within your (ends justifiying the) Means"

As I've been regaled with requests to blog (or more accurately, "get off my lawn, go shit on your own"), I've been looking for inspiration to return to a post (or reason to quit commenting at all, and Get.A.Life, as I often suggest to others).

It's not that I'm not inspired or urged on by events, with a chronic distaste in my mouth. But what to say that I haven't already said or is being droned on by others?

[yes, I posted something like 150 diaries of my own over the course of a couple of years - some serious, humorous, distasteful, incendiary, lame, and other aspects to my personality]

One reader's comment, "I call it Somerbyitis," almost got an "oh yeah" response, but it goes back to Greenwald and Digby and Gene Lyons' "Fool for Scandal".

I'm tired of people making shit up. Left, right, conservative, liberal, centrist, whatever.

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Superpowers
Defies gravity Can spit really far Almost touch my toes Can cut a fly's legs off with a beer cap from 20 paces Know how to say useless stuff and prattle on in a dozen languages Don't know when to shut up
Favorite Quotes
To be for or against the Plague, it's much the same thing. Fiddledee, how a body shure do get around - just 2 weeks ago I was in Mississippi and now I'm all the way to Tennessee... Eat or Be Eaten Better to be pissed off than pissed on.
Biography
Born in swaddling clothes (designer, of course) at the confluence of big waters, my first recorded words were "Dad, can I have the keys to the car?" Raised a Southern Pedestrian, my musical talents were recognized at an early age, leading to my being exiled to the shed out back with a stack of books that became my eddykayshun - advanced readin', writin' & ritmytick, creating a major quandary of "what will I do, oh what will I do?" (Gunslinger) As an old black man advised in song, "You Gotta Move", so move I did, traveling the byways sideways even a lot of driveways, picking up sticks and psychological tics, even movin' to Beverlee through a quaint misunderstanding of the seriousness of TV series, until finally I blew up so big the carry nation incarnation tarnation couldn't hold me no more, so I fixed my sights on yonder sitar, and like Queequeg and Paul Bowles and one of those abducted kids by the Pied Piper of Hamelin, I ventured forth to the larger world, pickin' and grinnin', doin' me some reckonin' and naughts from naughts, occasionally rightin', building me some buildings and wiring and just trying to understand the babble comin' out of people's mouths and heads, I finally ended up in what Rummy quaintly calls "New Europe", which ain't so new from what I sees, but that pit in my stomach from lack-of-moving-sickness finally disappeared, and instead I sit behind a whopping big desk stacked with missives from all the chiefs with big whampum around the world telling me "what's going on". Which seems like a load of boolshit to me, but I guess that's what keeps me busy and entertained now, separatin' the weeds from the chapstick. So my name is Perry Keys, or Peracles to you, and since my mammy always said, "say please and thank you", I added the please, but I'm holdin' back on that thankee until I feel you've earned it. But do welcome, and I hope we's a gonna have a real good time. It all starts with, "I wuz born a poor young white chile livin' in the South..." and we cycle through again, like Nietzsche and his infernal regurgence. So enjoy, and let's spin a spell...

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