Friday, July 17, 2015

5 Things on a Friday: Texas Enters the Union at Last

Thank God it's Friday.  I don't know about you, but this has been a really long week for me.

The guys who bought the Commodore name are releasing an Android smartphone for about $300. The price includes some bog standard specs but, most important, includes two emulators so you can play classic 1980s games right on your screen.

Coming soon to a smartphone near you.
Now this is a good idea.  With the screen size, they won’t suffer for lack of resolution, and who doesn’t love old-style arcade games?

At what point do we have to admit that this “Fantastic Four” movie is starting to look a little cool?
The meta-story of this movie is at least as interesting as the movie itself.  Terrible buzz off the top, idiotic controversies over the choices of actors, rumors of an unstable director, multiple re-shoots…  It seems hard to believe that an actual movie is going to come out of all of that controversy, or that the movie will be good, but I agree with the Post (and not USA Today) that these trailers are pretty damned interesting.  
For what it’s worth, the movie itself is based mostly on concepts out of the Ultimate Fantastic Four, and I really liked that book when it came out.
3. Suicide Squad

4. I.M.F. Demands Greek Debt Relief From Europe in Return for Bailout (Slate)
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday declared despite new austerity measures provisionally agreed to by Greece in return for another European bailout, the country’s current debt level is unsustainable and threatened to refuse to lend as part of a new bailout of Greece’s beleaguered financial system.
Here’s what the I.M.F. said on Tuesday of the Greek debt, which now exceeds 300 billion euros.
Greece’s public debt has become highly unsustainable… The financing need through end-2018 is now estimated at €85bn and debt is expected to peak at close to 200 percent of GDP in the next two years, provided that there is an early agreement on a program. Greece’s debt can now only be made sustainable through debt relief measures that go far beyond what Europe has been willing to consider so far.
This is the problem with currency unions.  Europe is not all one country, so the various fiscal policies differ all over the continent.  When one part gets in trouble, the others don’t want to back what they see as bad decisions.  Granted, we have bad decisions here in the U.S. as well, but at least here we all know that it’s a single country, that at a certain level society as a whole has to back its individual parts.  In Europe, they definitely do not know that, which is why real debt relief is such a thorny issue.  No one wants to let Greece simply go bankrupt—the way Detroit went bankrupt and Puerto Rico is likely to go bankrupt—but while that made make European lenders feel better about themselves, it also implies that this will be a crisis without end.  Meanwhile, the I.M.F. isn’t interested in crises without end, which is why it’s pushing for a deal that matches at least some part of its terms to the facts on the ground.
Or, to put it another way, if I lend you $10, you’re on the hook.  But if I lend you $10 billion dollars, we’re both on the hook.  
Lending is risky.  There’s no way around it.
But hey, maybe they’re right. Maybe the Lone Star State will burn and Obama will rule us in Doom-armor forged from the slag of our F-350s. It could happen. Well, I like to be prepared and now offer myself to Caesar Obamanus as overseer of the cowed. Let’s make this the bestest tyrannical regime change ever. How can we celebrate after Jade Helm?
It’s well worth the click just to see the pictures.
Or does it?
Have a good weekend, folks.  To my friends in Texas, enjoy your last hours of freedom while you can.  I have it on good authority that Obama plans to install none other than Michael Dukakis as the state’s provincial governor once Texas is fully integrated into the Union.
The future proconsul of the Lonestar state.
See you next week!

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