Saturday, January 26, 2008

SAR #8027

War is not the alternative, it's been
the plan for a long time
E. Swanson

Score Card : In George's wars, 4372 American soldiers have died, another 67,671 wounded, and as many as 25,000 veterans have committed suicide. Over 300,000 Iraqis killed, mostly civilians , many children. Saddam was executed and his sons gunned down. Let's call it even and go home.

Shadow World : Japan underwent a recession in the early 1990's, the early stages of which -both in cause and cure - much resemble our current experience. The good news is that Japanese real estate prices rose last year. For the first time since 1991.

Threat : Few hurricanes are predicted to hit the US in 2008; a disaster for the Southeast. No major storms means no major rains. If drought conditions worsen, nuclear power plants will shut down due to a lack of cooling water. Imagine, cities evacuated due to a lack of hurricanes.

Growth Spurt : Bank robbing is 40% more popular in Florida this year than last. Safer, too: the FBI caught 30% fewer of the villains. Out fighting global warming, I guess.

Goliath Goeth : Mexico's Cantarell oilfield, the second largest oilfield ever discovered, continues to decline. It reached its peak of production in 2004 at 2.15 million barrels per day. In December 2007 production was down to 1.26 mbd, a 16% drop from the previous December. It will be effectively gone in 5 years.

Defense : I've just got through calling the police. I'd shot my neighbor's dog. I was sure it would one day get loose and attack me or someone I liked. They were upset until I explained it was simply a pre-emptive act, and that my lawyer, Mr. Bush, said I had the absolute right to defend myself.

Hippocratic Oath : The Fed's interest rate cuts may eventually lower mortgage rates a bit. If the lower rates cause good credit risks to re-finance their homes, it will lower the value of existing mortgage backed securities (they won't earn as much interest) and make them even more likely to default - because those who can't get a new mortgage (and likely to default) will remain in the old, failing ones. First, the rule says, do no harm...

Potato/Patato : Roget says contract, arrangement, understanding, agreement, and protocol mean the same as 'treaty': . Mr. Bush claims these words are not in the Constitution.

For Want of a Nail : Gold has hit all-time highs not because of the inflated dollar, the crashing economy, or credit worries. Simple supply and demand. In South Africa: no fuel, no electricity; no electricity, no mining; no mining, no supply. The other stuff doesn't help, either.

It's In The Mail : The CIA claims its use of national security letters - which compels businesses to turn over information to the government - is always voluntary. Yet it is against the law for a recipient to keep a copy of the letter or to ever admit one was issued. Cooperate voluntarily or voluntarily go to prison.

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