Thursday, January 3, 2008

SAR #8003

The U.S. will wind up being owned by
the Arabs and Chinese.

Liberia, Anyone? The European Science Federation is designing a state of the art exploration ship that can drill 1000 meters into the seabed beneath 5000 meters of ocean, crush ice sideways, and hold position within a meter even in heavy seas. But the biggest challenge is determining what flag to fly. Rule of the sea says you must fly your national flag. But legally there is no 'Europe'. No flag, or the Jolly Roger?

Tight Jeans: Research shows that a certain gene's absence leads to overeating and obesity. A protein triggered by this gene controls satiety. If you don't have it, you overeat. Are labs working to synthesize this protein and pack it in a pill? Do politicians lie?

Poorhouse: BushCo thinks there is more the government could do "to address the concerns people have about the housing markets, including FHA reform and other reforms that the president has called for" such as the wholesale negating of legal contracts and give the lucky few a free ride for a few years. Of prime importance, the White House says, is letting Fannie Mae buy loans above the current $417,000 limit. I know we're having trouble moving those sorts of houses in my neighborhood.

Take A Deep Breath: The EPA ruled that Californians do not have a constitutional right to breath any better air than the folks in Detroit. Arnold thinks George is wrong to try to limit state's rights and has filed suit. Drove the paperwork to the courthouse in one of his Hummers.

Mouths of Babes: On Faux News we have Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for Amerika explaining that liberals want sex ed to encourage teens to get pregnant and have STD's because they make money on abortions and penicillin. By the way, Wendy is not a 'babe'.

Don't Tell Mom: Cooking ruins the nutritive value of foods, right? Well, maybe not. Italian researchers found that some methods of cooking some veggies sometimes increases rather than decreases certain nutrients. I say it's broccoli and I say to hell with it.

Emperor's Clothes : Cal Berkley leftist economists have conclued that "forecasts by senior Fed members are useless" and can be counterproductive if Fed projections are used to plan actual economic activity. "Policy makers certainly talk as if they believe they have useful information to add to the staff's forecasts. For the most part, they do not.'' What Galbraith called "a mostly innocent fraud."

Dry Season: Global warming has cut the winter rains in northern India, leading to, yes, water shortages. But the water shortages lead not only to drought and crop failure, but to falling hydro-electric generation. Suppliers have resorted to unscheduled power cuts to try to spread the shortages around. This is not particularly popular.

Psst: Over the last 50 years, recessions have generally been preceded by a sharp drop in residential investment. This doesn't suggest a rosy 2008.

Help Wanted: The nation's largest owner (at 700+) of malls, Centro Properties Group, announced it would consider any offer on any of its properties. Centro has to come up with $3.4 billion it doesn't have by Feb 15th. A red tag sale.

Gone Fishin' : Brits are boycotting a supermarket chain for importing fish by air from Zimbabwe. They have two complaints: The air transport is enormously dirty in terms of CO2, and - hopefully more importantly - millions of Zimbabweans are on the brink of starvation.

Smile for the Camera: The US has joined the UK, Russia and China in watching its citizens all the time, everywhere. What with workplace monitoring, government wiretaps, NSA intercept of cellphones, satellite surveillance, hidden GPS tags, traffic cameras, little chips hidden in your passport (and soon, driver's licenses) and the lady down the street who has a direct line to God and Chernoff, we have no privacy left. The spell check for this website goes though Fort Meade....

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