Wednesday, August 20, 2014

SAR #14230

Bombing people has not been as profitable as we were told it would be. Demetrius
Leaderslip: Missouri's Lt Gov. thinks that the situation in Ferguson calls for “Anglo-American justice,” not racial protests, while the state's GOP head thinks having a voter registration drive during the civil unrest is “disgusting”. Others see a similarity between the violence in Ferguson and the resistance to apartheid in South Africa and suggest the state should take some pointers from the way Egypt was able to enforce decorum in Cairo. The real story is not about race, it is about slavery and about inequality. No matter what the underlying dynamics, shoplifting is not supposed to carry the death penalty. 
Travel Planning: A volcano growing under an Icelandic glacier should be taken into consideration as you plan your fall shopping trip to the continent. 
Headline$: The US stock market rose on the prospect of reason prevailing in the Ukraine and Dollar General gobbling up the competition, while housing prices in London plunged sharply and Barclays predicted a modest 1% gain for the S&P this year. House prices fell throughout China as demand dissolved
Bonus Points: One of the best things about being white is that your child has a much smaller chance of being killed by a cop. 
From The Sideline: Yale's Robert Shiller says that the United States stock market looks very expensive right now,” and points to his home-made CAPE ratio. During the last century the ratio averaged about 15, and it now stands at 25 – a level that has only been reached three times in the last 130 years: 1929, 1999, and 2007. Which, according to Shiller, makes this “an unusual period.”

Wages of War: War is a huge money loser, at least war between nations. Civil wars in the preindustrial world can be profitable and most often resemble turf wars between competing criminal elements or are simply the byproduct of a couple of international giants competing for local resources, which is much the same thing. One reason the big boys keep playing at war is that the leadership – George in Iraq and Putin in Ukraine – simply can't or won't do the math. But more often wars result from the domestic needs of the politicians. Getting and keeping power trumps international peace.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

SAR #14229

Inquiring Mind: What makes you think that the clash between the poor and the police in St. Louis is about race, rather than the continuing economic slavery the descendants of slaves have been kept in for 125 years? How long before the 50 million Americans who are poor realize that being poor gives them more in common than the shades of their skin divide them, that being poor is as big a crime as being black? That united they would be unstoppable? Maybe it starts in the #QuickTrip People's Park.

Repeat After Me: Suddenly we have a “skills gap” in the retail and restaurant sector. Job openings are up 14.6% but hires are down 0.7%. Seems that not just anyone can say “Want fries with that?” and press the little picture on the screen.

The Wages Of War Sin: Israel claims it has now destroyed the homes of the Palestinians suspected of kidnapping and killing the three teens that Netanyahu used as a pretext to kill thousands of Palestinians, maim tens of thousands more and make a quarter million innocents homeless. Chalk it up to collateral damage.

Fill In The Blanks: When drug companies weigh research projects, they direct their R&D departments to focus on maintenance drugs for conditions that a lot of middle class and affluent people in the developed world have (or can be convinced they have), that will be inexpensive to develop and can be marketed at huge profit margins over decades. They have no interest in curing a disease like Ebola that people quickly die from. Thus a a deadly virus has been killing poor rural Africans for 36 years. 
Explain This: Between 2010 and 2012, about 100,000 elephants were slaughtered in Africa by poachers who only took only their tusks. How many erections did that gain for elderly Chinese gentlemen? 
Perspective: This century's global warming will be determined by the fossil fuel industry, not by methane bubbling up here and there in the Arctic. It would take tens of millions of giant methane bubbles like those seen in Siberia recently to make a significant impact. We should keep our eyes on the smokestacks and exhaust pipes, that's what will do us in.

Keeping Score: During 2013, American police killed a black citizen every 28 hours. 
Austrangleia: Australian Head Troglodyte is trying to crush the use of renewables to hand coal and gas corporations an extra $10 billion, while he approves dumping dredge waste on the Great Barrier Reef after the dumper kicked a piddling $150,000 into Abbott's party's pocketbook. Abbott tells would-be immigrants "don't migrate to Australia unless you want to join Team Australia" by which he means sucking up to his administration. Australia's largest solar power project has bowed to the inevitable and abandoned its efforts in the face of the administration's hostility to anything not carbon-based. Yet Germany, that hotbed of socialist industrial power, got 31% of its electricity from renewable sources last month. 
Laundry Bill: The law firm that whitewashed Governor What Bridge? Christie is billing New Jersey taxpayers $6.5 million for that magnum opus. Good thing he didn't do anything else wrong. Right? 
Kinder, Gentler: Authorities in the Georgia county where cops threw a flash-bang grenade into a baby's crib are refusing to pay the child's medical bills. Do they think it'll cost them less to lose the civil suit?