Sunday, March 2, 2008

SAR #8063

Truculence: A word we will become more familiar
with in our dealings in the world.

WWJD? The IRS is threatening to revoke the tax-exempt status of all United Church of Christ congregations because Obama, a long time UCC member, was asked to speak at their convention on the role of faith in public life. It says that Obama's speech supporting the separation of church and state violated the GOP's view and must be punished.

On Guard: The Russian equivalent of the Secret Service has ordered 3,200 "white, female, laboratory mice..." Before you get too carried away with conspiracy theories, keep in mind the Kremlin uses falcons to keep pigeons and crows away from the compound.

Double Down: Fannie Mae's HomeSaver Advance program offers to give people who are behind on their Fannie-backed mortgages a chance to catch up. The 'chance' is a 15 year, unsecured personal loan based on "verbal confirmation of financial capacity" to repay the loan beginning in 6 months. This seems like making the blanket a foot longer at one end by sewing onto one end 12 inches cut from the other.

Xerox A Copy: A congressional panel will investigate why the CDC is withholding a report describing potential health threats near 26 heavily polluted areas in the Great Lakes region. This sort of supression of scientific research is a four letter word: Bush.

Who's Who? When Baghdad George goes to Iraq he slips in and out shrouded in secrecy for fear some Iraqi will kill him. Iranian President Ahmadinejad's visit was not only announced, but his routes were published in the newspapers. He was greeted with flowers.

Red Queen: Don't call it a bailout. Bush & Paulson call plans to aid homeowners stuck in the mortgage mess "an inappropriate use of taxpayer dollars". That's because they are busy bailing out Wall Street. Just don't call them bailouts. "It has to be framed as a short-term rescue for the housing market and the economy and not as a way to help individual lenders or investors." Or so said BofA the other day.

Warsaw Ghetto: Israels missiles killed nearly 70 Palestinians in the last 2 days, more than half civilians, including a 21 month old girl. This can be called collateral damage only if it is not intended. What possesses supposedly intelligent people to do something like this?

Eat, Live & Be Happy: Global warming is now irreversible, and nothing can prevent large parts of the planet becoming too hot to inhabit or sinking underwater. Carbon offsets are an obscene joke. 'Green living' is pretty much a hallucination. Most recycling is a waste energy. So says Gaia's father, James Lovelock. What to do? Enjoy your life as best you can. Glad I didn't say any of that.

Stand Over in the Light: Oil has not risen to $100 a barrel, the dollar has fallen to $100 a barrel. In 2001 the Euro was worth 80 cents, today $1.51. Oil in 2001 was $26 a barrel, €32.5. Today it's $102 vs € 67. The price of oil has doubled, while the value of the dollar - in terms of buying oil - has declined by 50%. In Euros, the stock market has been flat since Bush took office.

Pass the Pasta: In the last year wheat inventories in the European Union have plummeted from 14 million to one million tons. In just one year. Wheat stocks are at a 60 year low, "all grains" are at a 30 year low. Spaghetti, Oh!

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