Money, A Volcano, and Albert Camus


Don’t let them tell us stories. Don’t let them say of the man sentenced to death “He is going to pay his debt to society,” but: “They are going to cut off his head.” It looks like nothing. But it does make a little difference. And then there are people who prefer to look their fate in the eye.

Albert Camus

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Goldman Sachs has a set of brass balls the size of a planet.  Merely days after being accused of fraud by the SEC, the fat cat rat bastards are giving out a total of $5,000,000,000 in bonuses.  Five billion dollars.  They could pay off the people they ripped off and do right by them and have money left over to do something good for the world, but no. They won’t. 

I don’t begrudge them any money they have earned.  Not a dime.  But bonuses that large in the face of this scandal and SEC suit should at the very least be put off long enough for things to cool down.  It would be even better if they suspended all bonuses until the SEC suit is done with.  It would be best if they took that money, if they really did what they are alleged to have done and pay back the people who they robbed, and do something to help the world in some fashion, if for no other reason than to save face, and maybe to do good, and show themselves to be something of a moral force in the world of business.  It would do much to quiet the storm of doubt and anger that has arisen since this story broke.

But this being Goldman Sachs, I’m not expecting anything that would approach conscientious behavior from them. We’ll see what happens.

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I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one’s burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

Albert Camus,  The Myth of Sisyphus

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Eyjafjallajokull.  I like that word.  Probably means “Big Fcuking Volcano” in Icelandic.  Everyone knows by now that the volcano Eyjafjallajokull exploded a few days a go and has been spewing gas and volcanic ash like crazy for the last few days.  It has reeked havoc on travel all over Europe over the last few days.  It has made an absolute mess of the continent and does not look close to being done.  The newest news is that new mini eruptions have occurred today at the volcano with the most excellent name ever. 

The history, from what I have gleaned is that the last time this volcano had a big eruption, the damn thing went on for 2 years.  2 years. 2 YEARS?  Hells bells! Might cool the summers down a bit. I wouldn’t complain if it kept me from having to turn on the AC that much this summer. 

But the report I am reading from an Australian ABC affiliate says it won’t have an effect on the environment.  Ah well, I was looking forward to a cooler summer too. Dammit.

The real reason I’m writing this bit is because the name of the volcano is so utterly awesome and totally unpronounceable by normal humans and or non Icelandic peoples. Bjork can pronounce it.  Me? Not so much.  “Hey ja fuh Jall a joke yule” or some such insane pronunciation.

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For those of us who have been thrown into hell, mysterious melodies and the torturing images of a vanished beauty will always bring us, in the midst of crime and folly, the echo of that harmonious insurrection which bears witness, throughout the centuries, to the greatness of humanity.

Albert Camus, The Rebel

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A final quick shot before I call it a night.  I have seen the list of potential nominees for the supreme court. For what it is worth I think the president is going to make the more middle of the road choice.  I don’t think Janet Napolitano or Hillary Clinton really make much sense, despite the fact that they both would do an outstanding job at it, and Hillary is very qualified to my mind for the job.  Merrick Garland seem to be the most middle of the road choice out there.  But that doesn’t mean he’ll be the choice, I personally hope he picks Elana Kagan, but that’s just me.

Elizabeth Warren however would be a great choice as well.  She is good people, intelligent, a dependable voice for reason in an otherwise unreasonable world and a critical voice for the people of this country, which is something the court needs.

G’night America.

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