Friday, November 25, 2016

Napoleon front-ran the EU. See Cisalpine Republic.

There is a great podcast on Italian unification, hosted by 2 brothers: Talking History Podcast.

In episode 11 (Divide and Rule) they go into detail about Napoleon’s constitution for Italy.

What caught my attention is the reservations the Cisalpine Republic representatives had towards it – the hosts quote Harry Hearder, author of Italy in the Age of the Risorgimento 1790 – 1870:
(At 34 min 30 sec mark, or page 25 of Hearder’s book)
The dictatorship, however, as always, was concealed behind a complicated constitution, which allowed for electoral colleges, legislatives houses, and a Censura of 21 men – bodies which were not elected by the public, but either appointed by Napoleon, or elected by each other in impotent vicious circles.

And I thought “My god – he just described the EU.”

The hosts quote Hearder further:
In practice five or six hundred men – landowners, businessmen, or intellectuals sympathetic to the French – were nominated either directly or indirectly by Bonaparte.

And I thought “Yep, that’s the EU.”

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Mort au régime ancien

On the cusp of Thanksgiving.

Found out the Friday Stocks & Jocks will be a repeat when I sent an email on the guest I booked for the show. Luckily (?) Chief replied to all there's no show. (That's my reaction in photo to the left.)

Via Zero Hedge read a Reuters story from Dave McKinney (nee Chicago Sun-Times) on another aspect of Illinois' fiscal turpitude.

Illinois fix to unpaid bills may end up as financial time bomb
The amount of overdue bills could reach $13.5 billion, or 40 percent of available operating revenue, when the current fiscal year ends June 30, the Rauner administration has projected.
Come fiscal 2022, the backlog is projected to balloon to $47 billion. No other U.S. state defers payments to the extent Illinois does to manage cash flow, credit-rating analysts said.
 Holiday wishes from John McLaughlin:

Thanksgiving lessons learned from WKRP in Cincinnati:

Friday, November 11, 2016

Howard's card trick

Rank is but the guinea's stamp

After hearing Bertie Wooster misquote it as "the rank is but the penny stamp" and be corrected by Jeeves "the guinea stamp" about a thousand times I finally looked into it.

It's from the Robert Burns poem "A Man's A Man For A' That," verse 1.
Is there for honesty poverty
That hings his head, an' a' that;
The coward slave - we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, an' a' that,
Our toils obscure an' a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The man's the gowd for a' that.

And I was left knowing the source, but not the meaning. helped out:
The rank is but the guinea's stamp" means that a person cannot be given a price. The man's character is the true gold.

So a person is overlaid with rank, like a guinea coin is stamped with an image.

Look at me learning things from PG Wodehouse, via Jeeves & Wooster as portrayed by Fry and Laurie.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Fierce competition among the banks. Among all 4 of them. Fierce! Cutthroat!

Courtesy of Clarke and Dawe's "On Banks," 4 November 2010.

One degree of lassitude equals...too late, felled by ennui

The real diagnosis is resistant hypochondriac.

Felt slow getting out of the gate this morning, but that's not unusual.

At work I got a headache - not migraine - that is proving resilient against both Motrin and Excedrin.
Then hot flashes (aka fever).
A persistent hungry feeling.
Topped with tiredness (aka fatigue).

Plug those into WebMD's Symptom Checker!
Oh my god - what if I have all 124!?!

Alright, calm down. Deep breath. Now, let's scan that list.
First off - WebMD substituted my fever for dizziness. Not even remotely the same thing. They both suck, but I don't fall off the sidewalk from hot flashes.

Acute or Chronic Sinusitis. No heart palpitations caused by this one.

Diabetes, Type 2. Normally I'd worry, but recent blood tests rule this out.

Multiple sclerosis. This ticks a few boxes. Like the other day when I dropped my pencil for no reason. MS!

Sleep apnea. My sleep has been screwed with, but I'm blaming menopause for that.

Acute stress reaction. This one has possibilities.

Mononucleosis. Have I kissed any boys recently? Well, there is one that's been in and out of hospitals visiting sick relatives. Great. Might as well as add MRSA, DRTB (drug resistant TB), C. diff.

Tension headache. Why not? Just as the oncoming menopause was reducing the migraines to a thing of the past, let's replace them with tension headaches.

Dementia in head injury. Well, there was that time in 1992 (or was it 1991?!) that I got hit in the head by a trucker opening his door. That I can't remember which year mean I have this - wait, I have to check the beginning of this paragrah - dementia!? Aaaagh.

Thalassemia. This one sounds good. The description is: rare group of blood disorders effecting red blood cells, leading to anemia. Except for the fact I don't have anemia this one sounds like a delightful catchall.

There's many more - 124 total, remember? But I'm too enervated* to go on.
*Enervate: deprive of force or strength, destroy vigor of

See also:
Debility - weakened or enfeebled state
Ennui - feeling of utter weariness and discontent
Languor - lack of energy or vitality, physical weakness, emotional softness
Lassitude - weariness of body or mind from strain, condition of indolent indifference

This momentous election, like a fire bell in the night

The day after the 2016 Presidential Election.
Donald Trump won. Hillary Clinton lost. The Clinton campaign has conceded.

To quote Winston Churchill:
Now is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

Results aren't official yet but it's a good time to remember that states elect presidents, not individuals. The winner-take-all to electoral votes in 48 of 50 states means someone can win the popular vote and lose the electoral college votes.

And so I present the current numbers:

You will note that Hillary Clinton has 170,513 more votes than Donald Trump - but 58 fewer electoral votes.
*41 electoral votes still to be apportioned.

International headlines from Election Day, 8 November 2016:

Hillary and Trump fight to the end
The world holds it breath while the US votes
Today's headlines:
Since he did, Fortune will have to update that headline