Tuesday, January 6, 2009

SAR #9006

The poor have too much debt and the rich have too much money. What could we possibly do about that?

Oh the Blessed Joy! Reports say the new Obama GOP administration will lower taxes on businesses and offer a tax cut equal to $500 a year for individuals and $1,000 for couples. I'm gonna put my $10 a week into investments. Lottery tickets are looking good right now. Or a six pack.

Vocabulary: Today's word is 'genocide' and you'll find it in the evening news, under 'Gaza'.

Death Penalty: From Ann Coulter's new book: "In any event, divorced mothers should be called "divorced mothers," not "single mothers." We also have a term for the youngsters involved: "the children of divorce," or as I call them, "future strippers." Ah, the reasoned voice of the Republican right.

Final Score: GM 31%, Ford 32.4%, Honda 35%, Toyota 37%, Chrysler 53%

Get Your Bets Down: The oil industry anticipates four major projects to begin production in 2009: Akpo (Nigeria deep offshore), West Don & SW Don (North Sea), Tahiti field (Gulf of Mexico) and Frade (deep offshore Brazil). We listed them so you'll know about them when their postponements are announced.

Quiz: Why did the larger portion of those paid to predict and explain the economy miss the biggest event of their lifetimes? 1) it's the herd 2) economics is pretty much guesswork 3) Alan Greenspan was a bully 4) I like my job.

Remedial Math: Ignorance of the power of exponential growth is the root of all evil. Here: Get a checkerboard and put one penny on the first square, two on the second, four on the third and keep doubling it for every square. After you run out of pennies, go get a petri dish....

Cliff Notes: Common myths about climate change: 1) Scientists are divided & the facts are not in. Wrong. There are few if any contemporary fields in which the agreement among scientists is so pervasive and widespread. The debate is over. 2) There's no rush, nothing's going to happen until after 2050 or even 2100. Wrong. It is happening now all around the world and the odds of abrupt climate change increases daily. 3) Some people in Africa and a few islands may suffer, but it'll be beneficial to most of the world. Wrong. Really, really wrong. 4) We can reverse it if some people buy hybrid cars and China uses clean coal like we do. Oh, that's so wrong... We're going over the cliff, take notes.

Whither Oil? The price of oil, over a longer term than CNBC and the WSJ are interested in, depends on whether there will be enough to go around. There won't.

Hubris: Before you sign on to back this or that approach to "solving" the credit crunch / economic slowdown / free market / globalization problem(s), pause for a moment and realize that the whole system is too damned big and too damned complex for any reasonable expectation of success. Even if you're Ben Bernanke. Especially if you're Ben Bernanke.

Paradise Lost: Some folks need a place to rest now and are selling back burial plots, a sign the economy's getting pretty grave.

Three Monkeys: Israel, fearing it could not control the press as well as the US has in Iraq and Afghanistan, simply copied Bush's arrogance and excluded the press from observing the assaults and talking to those involved, in hopes there will be no unauthorized truth telling this time. Ah, but their cause is just and their hearts pure.

Predictions: Every pundit with a soapbox or a piece of curb to shout from keeps echoing how bad it is: downturn, recession, worst recession ever, almost as bad as the Great Depression, it's the Greater Depression. Not yet it's not. Calm down. It may one day, possibly even one day soon, but right now most of us are getting up, going to work and being paid. Sufficient unto the day.... So far it's just been an excuse for WallStreet to steal a whole lot of money from the taxpayers. Sic 'em.

Porn O'Graph: Going Up while going Down?


Anonymous said...

Genocide? Cut the histrionics. Rwanda was genocide. Pol Pot was genocide. This current horrible mess in Gaza is not genocide, not even close. It's wrong and it's horrifying, but it isn't genocide. If you bandy about huge words like that when they're not accurate, you'll acquire a reputation as a shrill screamer, not as someone whose thoughts are worth reading.

CKMichaelson said...

On the other hand, coughing gently hasn't gotten much attention to the long history of discomforts visited on the populace of Gaza.
Besides, nothing is genocide anymore; at very worst it is ethnic cleansing.
But tell me, how many starving, how many injured, how many dead kids does it take to make the threshold? I'd like to know, for I wouldn't want to be thought shrill.
But more I don't want to be thought indifferent.

CKMichaelson said...

For a better statement of the wrongness of the Israeli attack on Gaza, see: http://zenhuber.blogspot.com/2009/01/thursday-preview-unchosen.html
- ckm