Friday, March 28, 2008

SAR #8089

It may seem impossible that a technologically advanced society
could choose to destroy itself, but we have.
Elizabeth Kolbert

Steamed: Global rice stocks are at their lowest since 1976. Rice prices, which jumped 30% in the last week, are at all time highs. Rice is the staple food for 2.5 billion people. You do the math, including deaths from 'civil unrest'.

Attendance: Why am I not reassured that SecDef Gates has ordered an inventory of US nuclear weapons. Is it because I thought they pretty well knew how many they had and where they were keeping them?

Privatization: Taxpayer bailout rules: No employee of a failed institution who was paid over $1 million in 2007 at a failed institution shall receive any compensation on dissolution. Personal assets in excess of $1 million shall be forfeit. Each such person shall serve a mandatory minimum of 2 years in a CCA run, for-profit prison.

Straight Man: Iraq’s Prime Minister Maliki's security forces are defecting to the Mahdi Army. Basra has fallen to the Saderists, as have several 'pacified' districts in Baghdad. Reports warned that "a threat of a civil war looms in the south." Looms?

Envy: The real estate market and developers are under siege, with signs of weakness in all the key markets. Developers are slashing prices amid plummeting sales. Expectations are for the bust to last another three or four years. And this is in China. Our exports are picking up.

Cheap Shot: Why keep money in a savings account that pays 0.5%, or a money market at 1.5% when the official inflation rate is 4% and reality-based inflation is about 10%? Rational people will spend the money instead of saving it. Paying off your debts and living within your means is unpatriotic. And Americans are a patriotic bunch.

No Reading Required: The headline tells the story: Donner Party Democrats.

Squaring the Circle: Chrysler and GM are taking money from employee pension funds to pay for a publicity campaign to get employees to retire by offering to pay them bonuses out of the very same retirement funds. Their retirement funds.

Next ! Felipe Sixto, special assistnt tot he president for intergovernmental affairs has resigned after being caught stealing money from USID funds. Usual prize goes to the reader who has even a vague idea how many this makes.

"plus ça change... " Wall Street investment bankers have been taught a lesson about the dangers of risk-taking: The Fed will rescue you. Will they learn anything? Yes; for they are already under even more pressure to reap big returns because of the the losses their foolishness had already earned. "Risk is just part of the game." Like death and taxes. Taxes used to save Wall Street from capitalism.

Somebody's Mother: Now Chertoff wants fishermen tell him they're going fishing, pose for pictures when they get back, and get visas for fish they import from the north side of Lake Erie. Canadian, y'know. Probably terrorist.

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