Here is the Green Monster picture I couldn't manage to post on Saturday. I am slowly gaining competency with my iphone, but the process is far from complete.
So I got back from my reunion, which was a good time, although no thanks to the alma mater. There was a nice turnout of some of my favorite people, many of whom I had not seen in decades. And someone managed to get a big screen feed of the Celtics-Heat game in the room, giving us an additional bit of local color for the festivities. Inexplicably, however, the alumni relations folks decided that at 10:00 PM it was time for us oldsters to hit the road despite the fact that fourth quarter had just begun and most of us were far from being done talking and sharing a glass with dear old friends. The last straw was when some twenty-something alumni relations guy sidled up to me and asked me to give him my beer. No, I said, I'm still working on it.
"Sir, I need to take that from you now."
"I don't think so."
"You have to give me the beer."
"You have to take it from me -- and I wouldn't bet on that happening."
"Am I going to have to call security?" [Seriously.]
"Call whoever you want motherfucker, they're not going to get my beer either." (It's like getting between a mother bear and her cub you know.)
Guy goes to campus cop to complain. Cop looks at him with contempt, looks over at me, continues to watch game with the rest of us.
The game finally ends (badly of course) and all of the booze is taken away ("they took the whole fucking bar" as someone inevitably observed) and booted us out at 10:45. All of us were left a bit astonished after having traveled from all over the country to attend the event. It did not strike me as the best way to some day separate us from our money on the university's behalf.
- Reading Krugman yesterday, I was struck by the thought that it seems like it has been a really long time since the world's elites have collectively lost their senses in such an impressive fashion. Really, think about it -- the west is plagued with unemployment and the dominant response is to cut government payrolls and diminish various government benefits. In turn, economies continue to contract, thereby further diminishing government revenues, exacerbating the very problem that is allegedly being targeted. Spain has achieved Depression levels of unemployment, while half of its young adults are without jobs. Meanwhile the European Central Bank continues to fight phantom inflation while economies contract across the continent; in England austerity continues to shrink the British economy, and the U.S. flounders with sluggish growth. (Amazingly enough, the U.S. has probably responded better to the bad times than most of the other western countries despite our own semi-hidden brand of austerity.) Why the western ruling class cannot understand the devastating impact of widespread and long lasting unemployment is beyond me.
- I now know who the Secretary of Commerce is.
- I still have an over long, half-written piece about unions that (as God is my witness) I will finish and post, but I thought Roy pretty much nailed the zeitgeist the other day regarding a world in which one-third of union household voters can support Scott Walker:
The one significant and ominous thing about the Wisconsin recall election is that most of the voters in a state that is not in the deep South think the problem with our economy is that garbagemen and schoolteachers make too much money.
If this is really the way things are going, then our future will be neo-feudalism, distinguished from earlier variants only by the populist buy-in with which the lords will occasionally refresh their mandate by pointing out to their serfs that someone covered in shit like themselves -- not a celebrity, banker, or manager -- was nonetheless able to build an addition on his house or buy a new car a few years early.
Nothing is certain, but the Almighty has pulled the U.S. out of a lot of jams in the past 236 years and no lucky streak lasts forever. Buy Gold, and by that I mean Cuervo.
Other than omitting granite countertops, I think this is pretty much perfection.
Alright, I've got an arbitration tomorrow and need to contemplate my strategy for tomorrow. Join in the fray.