Choppy and perilous economic seas ahead

From the WaPo: “But much like the government economic indicators reported this past week including a dip in gross domestic product and a slight bump in consumer spending, companies’ earnings are showing that the U.S. economy is in a weird spot. People are still spending their money, but inflation means more of it is going to gas and necessities and less to categories like clothing and electronics. Unemployment remains low, but some companies are slowing hiring and a few are beginning to lay people off outright. …

“Major companies reported a mix of positive and negative earnings results. Pfizer beat expectations on the back of its coronavirus vaccine and covid-19 treatment drug Paxlovid. Southwest Airlines said demand was strong, and revenue would be higher in the third quarter than what it was even before the pandemic. UPS shares dropped after the shipping company missed expectations for how many parcels it would carry in the quarter. General Motors also fell, blaming parts shortages for its inability to sell as many cars as it had wanted to.

“Consumer spending still rose in June, but much of that was because things cost more, and wages aren’t growing as fast, so people are cutting into their savings when doing their shopping, according to data released Friday by the government’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. Some categories, like clothing and electronics, are down, and people are putting a higher proportion of their money toward housing, food and gas.”

The biggest companies in America ? including Apple and Walmart ? are beginning to see cracks forming in consumers' willingness to spend.

Views: 52

Poem of the day

Pity Me Not
by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

Pity me not because the light of day
At close of day no longer walks the sky;
Pity me not for beauties passed away
From field and thicket as the year goes by;
Pity me not the waning of the moon,
Nor that the ebbing tide goes out to sea,
Nor that a man’s desire is hushed so soon,
And you no longer look with love on me.
This have I known always: Love is no more
Than the wide blossom which the wind assails,
Than the great tide that treads the shifting shore,
Strewing fresh wreckage gathered in the gales;
Pity me that the heart is slow to learn
What the swift mind beholds at every turn.

Views: 23

Poem of the day

Ye Mariners of England
by Thomas Campbell (1777-1844)

Ye Mariners of England,
      That guard our native seas,
Whose flag has braved a thousand years
      The battle and the breeze,
Your glorious standard launch again
      To match another foe,
And sweep through the deep,
      While the stormy winds do blow!
While the battle rages loud and long,
      And the stormy winds do blow!

The spirits of your fathers
      Shall start from every wave,
For the deck it was their field of fame,
      And Ocean was their grave.
Where Blake and mighty Nelson fell
      Your manly hearts shall glow,
As ye sweep through the deep,
      While the stormy winds do blow!
While the battle rages loud and long,
      And the stormy winds do blow!

Britannia needs no bulwarks,
      No towers along the steep:
Her march is o’er the mountain-waves,
      Her home is on the deep.
With thunders from her native oak
      She quells the floods below
As they roar on the shore,
      When the stormy winds do blow!
When the battle rages loud and long,
      And the stormy winds do blow!

The meteor flag of England
      Shall yet terrific burn,
Till danger’s troubled night depart,
      And the star of peace return.
Then, then, ye ocean warriors,
      Our song and feast shall flow
To the fame of your name,
      When the storm has ceased to blow!
When the fiery fight is heard no more,
      And the storm has ceased to blow.

Views: 38

Poem of the day

Hot Sun, Cool Fire
by George Peele (1557-1596)

Hot sun, cool fire, tempered with sweet air,
Black shade, fair nurse, shadow my white hair.
Shine, sun; burn, fire; breathe, air, and ease me;
Black shade, fair nurse, shroud me and please me;
Shadow, my sweet nurse, keep me from burning,
Make not my glad cause cause of mourning.
            Let not my beauty’s fire
            Inflame unstaid desire,
            Nor pierce any bright eye
            That wand’reth lightly.

Views: 32

Poem of the day

The Cool Web
by Robert Graves (1895-1985)

Children are dumb to say how hot the day is,
How hot the scent is of the summer rose,
How dreadful the black wastes of evening sky,
How dreadful the tall soldiers drumming by.

But we have speech, to chill the angry day,
And speech, to dull the rose’s cruel scent.
We spell away the overhanging night,
We spell away the soldiers and the fright.

There’s a cool web of language winds us in,
Retreat from too much joy or too much fear:
We grow sea-green at last and coldly die
In brininess and volubility.

But if we let our tongues lose self-possession,
Throwing off language and its watery clasp
Before our death, instead of when death comes,
Facing the wide glare of the children’s day,
Facing the rose, the dark sky and the drums,
We shall go mad no doubt and die that way.

Views: 35

Game of the week

Views: 31

Poem of the day

Low Tide on Grand Pré
by Bliss Carman (1861-1929)

The sun goes down, and over all
      These barren reaches by the tide
Such unelusive glories fall,
      I almost dream they yet will bide
      Until the coming of the tide.

And yet I know that not for us,
      By any ecstasy of dream,
He lingers to keep luminous
      A little while the grievous stream,
      Which frets, uncomforted of dream —

A grievous stream, that to and fro
      Athrough the fields of Acadie
Goes wandering, as if to know
      Why one beloved face should be
      So long from home and Acadie.

Was it a year or lives ago
      We took the grasses in our hands,
And caught the summer flying low
      Over the waving meadow lands,
      And held it there between our hands?

The while the river at our feet —
      A drowsy inland meadow stream —
At set of sun the after-heat
      Made running gold, and in the gleam
      We freed our birch upon the stream.

There down along the elms at dusk
      We lifted dripping blade to drift,
Through twilight scented fine like musk,
      Where night and gloom awhile uplift,
      Nor sunder soul and soul adrift.

And that we took into our hands
      Spirit of life or subtler thing —
Breathed on us there, and loosed the bands
      Of death, and taught us, whispering,
      The secrets of some wonder-thing.

Then all your face grew light, and seemed
      To hold the shadow of the sun;
The evening faltered, and I deemed
      That time was ripe, and years had done
      Their wheeling underneath the sun.

So all desire and all regret,
      And fear and memory, were naught;
One to remember or forget
      The keen delight our hands had caught;
      Morrow and yesterday were naught.

The night has fallen, and the tide…
      Now and again comes drifting home,
Across these aching barrens wide,
      A sigh like driven wind or foam:
      In grief the flood is bursting home.

Views: 38

Poem of the day

The Pied Piper of Hamelin
by Robert Browning (1812-1889)
because today is Ratcatcher’s Day

                        I.

Hamelin Town’s in Brunswick,
      By famous Hanover city;
The river Weser, deep and wide,
Washes its wall on the southern side
A pleasanter spot you never spied;
      But when begins my ditty,
Almost five hundred years ago,
To see the townsfolk suffer so
      From vermin, was a pity.

                        II.

  Rats!
They fought the dogs and killed the cats,
      And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
      And licked the soup from the cooks’ own ladles.
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men’s Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women’s chats
      By drowning their speaking
      With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.

Continue reading

Views: 56

Poem of the day

An Ode
by Matthew Prior (1664-1721)

The merchant, to secure his treasure,
      Conveys it in a borrow’d name:
Euphelia serves to grace my measure;
      But Chloe is my real flame.

My softest verse, my darling lyre,
      Upon Euphelia’s toilet lay;
When Chloe noted her desire
      That I should sing, that I should play.

My lyre I tune, my voice I raise;
      But with my numbers mix my sighs:
And while I sing Euphelia’s praise,
      I fix my soul on Chloe’s eyes.

Fair Chloe blush’d: Euphelia frown’d:
      I sung, and gazed: I play’d, and trembled:
And Venus to the Loves around
      Remark’d, how ill we all dissembled.

Views: 37