"It is easy to confuse what is with what ought to be, especially when what is has worked out in your favor."
- Tyrion Lannister

"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

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Drones and Clones

"Well, that does it Charlie -- we've outsourced everything."


I went and saw Tom Cruise's Oblivion. It was okay. The story is that an alien AI upside down triangle appears near Earth. It doesn't announce its intentions, sort of like 2001: A Space Odyssey's obelisk in space. So the humans send astronauts to check it out. The upside-down space triangle captures the astronauts and makes a clone army using their DNA. (Inside the triangle alien ship we see thousands of clones in fetal positions, like the fetus in 2001.) They attack the Earth, basically destroying humanity except for a few dead-enders who are holed up in hideouts. Once the alien AI had won, it sets up giant robotic harvesters to harvest the Earth's resources to fuel itself. The harvesters are protected from sabotage by drones. Clones of the astronauts perform maintenance on the drones.

One of the clones, named Jack Harper after the original astronaut, has his humanity reawakened. He has been lied to by the alien about his situation and gradually discovers the truth. He meets the surviving humans and decides to go on a suicide mission to blow up the upside down triangle and save humanity.

In the process the clone of Jack Harper meets Harper's real wife. Even though he dies saving humanity, another clone of Jack Harper gets the girl and gets to live happily ever after.

  • ZaldrÄ«zes buzdari iksos daor.

  • “A dragon is not a slave.”

Game of Thrones Linguist Interview Reveals High Valyrian Dragons, Wrong Khaleesis, and More

(via DeLong)

AV Club reviews "The Oath" from "The Americans"

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Preferences of the Wealthy and Their Role in Our Politics by Jared Bernstein

And non-wealthy Republicans are basically sycophants and brown-noses. Ass-lickers and money-grubbers.

And many Democrats bend to the wishes of wealthy donors, but it was Republican Supreme Court justices who prevailed on Citizens United.

Renly Baratheon had been more than a king to [Brienne]. She had loved him since he first came to Tarth on his leisurely lord's progress, to mark his coming of age. Her father welcomed him with a feast and commanded her to attend; elsewise she would have hidden in her room like some wounded beast. She had been no older than Sansa, more afraid of sniggers than swords. They will know about the rose, she told Lord Selwyn, they well laugh at me. But the Evenstar would not relent.
And Renly Baratheon had shown her every courtesy, as if she were a proper maid, and pretty. He even danced with her, and in his arms she'd felt graceful, and her feet had floated across the floor. Later, others begged a dance of her, because of his example. From that day forth, she wanted only to be close to Lord Renly, to serve him and protect him. But in the end she failed him....
--George R.R. Martin, A Feast for Crows 
S.&P. Seeks Dismissal of U.S. Suit Over Rating of Mortgage Debt

Fed Still Owes Congress a Blueprint on Its Emergency Lending
Biggest Borrowers graphic
2. Citigroup (US)       $58 billion 
3. Royal Bank of Scotland (UK)      $58 billion
4. Citigroup (UK)        $50 billion
6. UBS (Switzerland)    $35 billion
8. Deutsche Bank (Germany)     $30 billion
10. Dexia (Belgium)      $25 billion
This was in addition to TARP. Citigroup should have been nationalized. And we still have the crappiest recovery since the Great Depression.

(This Succubus wears no underwear!)

AV Club reviews season 3 finale of Lost Girl

I have a TV crush on TV character Tamsin the Valkyrie played by Rachel Skarsten. Lame I know....

Syfy channel says the show will be back in 2014.

Problems in GDP Measurement and Rent Seeking by Dean Baker

Eugoogly for Margaret Thatcher

New Stone Roses documentary Made of Stone.

The generalized resource curse by Steve Randy Waldmann

Monday, April 22, 2013

Robert Samuelson Finds Economics Is Way Too Complicated by Dean Baker

Samuelson is a founding member of my rogues gallery.

AV Club reviews "And Now His Watch Has Ended" (for experts)

AV Club reviews "And Now His Watch Has Ended" (for newbies)

Doug Henwood in his book Wall Street:
In other words, the modern corporation shows that production can be organized on a large scale over time and space, bringing together thousands of workers in pheonomenally productive cooperation. But these institutions are nonetheless run by and for a small group of owners and managers whose social role is peripheral or even harmful to the institution’s proper running. This contradiction, in Marx’s words, constitutes “the latent abolition of capital ownership contained within it….”