Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Headlines below the fold

Felix Bissextilis!

Father Z notes that this is the old Latin name for the date inserted to correct the calender by Julius Caesar.

In 46 BC, on the advice of the Alexandrian astronomer Sosigenes, G. Iulius Caesar created a calendar system that added one day every four years to make up for the fact that the Earth’s year is slightly more than 365 days. The Earth circle the Sun in slightly more time than it takes for the Earth to rotate 365 times (365.24219). Calendar years with 365 drift from the actual year by about 1 day every 4 years.  After a while the month named after Caesar, July occur during the winter (in the Northern hemisphere).
Caesar’s Julian Calendar was maintained until 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII determined that in his Gregorian Calendar leap days would not occur in years ending in 00, unless the year is divisible by 400.

Get rid of 100 dollar bills?
I always used a credit card, but my husband used to carry these around and pay for our groceries at Walmart with them, to the surprise of the checkout ladies. When he visited the Philippines, he would carry several thousand dollars in cash with him to give out as gifts to relatives, friends, and the farmers who used to work for his family before land reform. Today, he could be arrested for carrying that much cash.

But GReynolds at USA today notes:

 The United States stopped distributing $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 bills in 1969. There are now so many ways to pay for things, and eliminating big bills should create few problems.”
Reading this got me to thinking: What is a $100 bill worth now, compared to 1969? According to the U.S. Inflation Calculator online, a $100 bill today has the equivalent purchasing power of $15.49 in 1969 dollars. 
but the real reason to eliminate them is to let the gov't know what we are buying. Because you would have to use a credit card. And those things are easily stolen or counterfeited, so the next step is a "personal identification" number or microchip.

Uh OH:There is a lot of paranoia about embedding microchips as "the mark of the beast" by conservative Christians, but for myself, I would object to it on privacy grounds, since they could be a way to track you.

or as Reynolds notes:

Cash has a lot of virtues. One of them is that it allows people to engage in voluntary transactions without the knowledge or permission of anyone else. Governments call this suspicious, but the rest of us call it something else: Freedom.
Get rid of cash, and we will go back to the old barter system...

or maybe substitute buying gold and jewelry instead of putting money in the bank. True, you can't use a Krugerrand in Walmart, but there will quickly spring up a black market for you to do business, in the same way folks buy drugs or non taxed cigarettes openly in some areas.

Remember when Bush was ridiculed when he named North Korea as the third member of the Axis of Evil? Well, while you were listening to the political rants, things are going on in Asia:

StrategyPage notes that China is clamping down economically on that country. And the article includes this:

China is also cracking down on North Korean use of Chinese banks. China has long tolerated North Korea using Chinese banks to avoid a growing list of international sanctions. In northeast China, where a lot of this illegal banking takes place, North Korean bank accounts are being emptied. Some of the cash is being switched to accounts owned by locals who have no obvious connection to North Korea. But a lot of the cash is staying cash and despite the risk of theft or getting caught by the Chinese police, North Korea is preparing to use cash transactions despite China now enforcing banking sanctions.
the article also mentions South Korea's new hardline president and that the US is delaying letting them get anti missile system to defend the country about NoKo's missiles: why? to please China.


Pacman say  says the Bradley fight will be his last one; the board of elections is checking if he is doing it for the free publicity (as his opponant claims) to help him win the next election, but I think he is doing it for money. Like Erap, the public will vote for him no matter what Boy Abunda says.


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