"Lannister. Baratheon. Stark. Tyrell. They're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that's ones on top and on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground. I'm not going to stop the wheel. I'm going to break the wheel."

- Daenerys Targaryen


"The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned. The Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where's the God of Tits and Wine?"

- Tyrion Lannister


"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are."

- Jorah Mormont


"These bad people are what I'm good at. Out talking them. Out thinking them."

- Tyrion Lannister


"What happened? I think fundamentals were trumped by mechanics and, to a lesser extent, by demographics."

- Michael Barone

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."
- Dorothy Parker

Saturday, May 23, 2015

inequality



Krugman and Bob Solow discuss Tony Atkinson and his new book on inequality.

Game of Thrones

Finn Jones who plays Loras Tyrell tweets with fans:

"nothing would give Loras or the tyrells more pleasure - to eradicate the snide Lannisters from the power..

..they are the "1percenters" of Westeros - they must be abolished."


Saturday, May 09, 2015

Weimar, Nazis, Social Democrats and Communists

The National Socialists as Conservative Revolutionaries by John Holbo
So you get in a position where there is a kind of two-dimensional struggle: left-right/inside-outside. The Social Democrats were now ‘inside’, the new core of the so-called Weimar coalition that held power through the 20’s. The traditional, Wilhelmine conservative forces were still insiders, by any reasonable calculation. They had tremendous social and institutional leverage everywhere – not to mention most of the money – but they couldn’t compete electorally for a time. Some really strange stuff happened. Some of the most vicious in-fighting was on the left, especially between the social democrats and the communists, starting right in 1918.
From the balcony of the Reichstag building, the SPD leader Philipp Scheidemann proclaimed a German Republic. A couple of hundred meters away, from the balcony of the royal palace, the famed radical socialist and antiwar activist Karl Liebknecht proclaimed a socialist republic. Ebert [a social democrat who didn’t like the suddenness of it all] was furious. He discounted Liebknecht, recently released from the kaiser’s jails, as a wild radical who might just as well have languished longer in prison. But Scheidemann was his close colleague, and no recognized body, no government, not even a political party, had authorized the proclamation of a republic. There had not even been a discussion. (Eric D. Weitz, Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy, p. 19)
The Social Democrats where forever fighting with the communists, after that. So, on the one hand, the SD’s were solidifying a grand coalition with more centrist parties, proclaiming women’s rights, a free press, freedom of religion, an expanded welfare state; on the other hand, they were forced to use the proto-Nazi Freikorps to put down the Spartacist League, leading to the murders of Leibknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. Forced because they literally had no police/military alternative. Right-wing paramilitaries were the only available muscle. The SD’s had to work with the powers-that-still-were. Obviously the correct conclusion to draw is not that the SD’s were really right-wingers themselves – or that the Freikorps had left-wing sympathies. Each group tried to use the other. The SD’s wanted to save the Weimar Republic, by any means necessary. The Freikorps wanted to murder communists and gain the sort of legitimacy that might allow them, eventually, to overthrow the Republic – to whose existence they were not reconciled.
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Sort of like Cersei arming the Sparrows and bringing back the Faith Militant who turn on her.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Fed Fail


Yet by the standard of the pre-2007 period we have a depressed level and anemic growth, combined with acceptance of these as the new normal. Thus the North Atlantic is on track to have thrown away 10% of their potential wealth. And there have been insufficient changes in financial-sector regulation or in automatic stabilizers or in other institutions to keep the North Atlantic from once again developing the vulnerabilities it turned out to have in 2007.
DeLong Speech

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Guardians of the Galaxy



Peter Quill's Walkman held up remarkably well.