Monday, June 15, 2009

SAR #9166

How do you measure despair?

Bell, Tolling: A US District Judge has ruled that John Yoo may be held responsible for the abuse of detainees that flowed from his convoluted legal theories justifying torture during the Bush era."Like any other government official, government lawyers are responsible for the foreseeable consequences of their conduct." Wonder what "other government officials" the judge had in mind?

Morning Line: European industrial production fell 21.6% y/y, causing "investors" who had bet on an economic recovery to run and hide.

Targets: Newly appointed US overlord General McChrystal and 400 of his closest friends will measure victory in Afghanistan by the number of Afghans shielded from violence. This number will be obtained by subtracting the number of Afghans killed by drones and errant US ground attacks from the general population. Which is what we've be doing for some time.

PR: Even UPS ships via Fed Ex.

In a Wink: Talk now is of bulldozing great swaths of unneeded houses in our dying cities and converting the remains to small urban centers surrounded by greenways. Flint first, followed by Detroit, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Memphis, Pittsburgh and maybe 40 other once bustling cities. Go to Google Earth and take a look at Wink, Texas - 35 years after the experiment was tried there.
Department of You Can't Know: Homeland Security has decided that letting the public know about the 44 worse coal ash sites would be harmful to national security and the profits of the energy companies - but I repeat myself.

Whose Bull: Economists and Wall Streeters insist that 'employment is a lagging indicator' of economic performance. Families at Wal-Mart know that employment - or the lack thereof - is the only indicator they need. Excellent charts, too.

Good Intentions: In Michigan, some counties are grinding up pavement and putting down gravel as a way to maintain their roads. No taxes, no services, the infrastructure is going to hell. And the road there cannot be paved with good intentions.

Fore! A Chinese submarine collided with a US Navy towed sonar array, probably inadvertently because getting entangled in the line would have been unpleasant. The US Navy did not respond when asked if they US Captain had been aware that the Chinese sub was shadowing him.

Be careful What You Wish For: House sales are up! At least in Detroit, where the average house sold for $6,000 last month.

Here We Go Again: "The $56 trillion of unfunded liabilities for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are a debt that must be paid. This is an unfunded $183,000 debt for every man, woman and child living in the country today. " But that $183,000 is over the next 70 years - and thus the amount is but $2,500 a year. How many billions every year for war? And for we the people?

Handshake: 55% of patients suffering rheumatoid arthritis have symptoms of depresson. The rest use Scotch.

More is Less: To solve the problems caused by having burned up most of the easy to get oil, we continue seek ways to burn through what's left locked away in oil shales. Cost doesn't matter when you need a fix.

Demand Destruction Delusion: Oil prices are trending up, not because of the slight stirrings of recovery in industrial nations, but because the people in the populous emerging markets want a better life for themselves and their growing numbers of kids.

Porn O'Graphs: An entire flock of 'em, don't overconsume.

11 comments:

Namke von Federlein said...

Tech note about 'Be Careful What you wish for' - $ 6,000 is reported as the median sales price, not the average sales price. If I understand that correctly then half the homes in the City of Detroit sold for *less* than $ 6,000.

Thanks for a superb blog!

CKMichaelson said...

NvF - Right you are - and the median's the message.
ckm

Drewbert said...

To be fair, Wink, Texas is a lot different than Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Philly. If Pittsburgh is no longer "bustling", please explain why I have to walk through an obstacle course of people on my way to my downtown office every morning. No, it's not NYC, but it's not dead either.

If you want another example of how this can work successfully, look at Cologne Germany.

CKMichaelson said...

Drebert - Ah, Cologne. And Frankfurt and Berlin and so many others were given the opportunity to redevelop. But there was a human and social cost then,too, I recall.
ckm

Svend said...

Not to nit-pick, but the unfunded liabilities stand at 99trillion:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/5379285/China-warns-Federal-Reserve-over-printing-money.html

Demetrius said...

Porn O'Graphs. Snap.

Anonymous said...

Bell, Tolling: A US District Judge has ruled that John Yoo may be held responsible for the abuse of detainees that flowed from his convoluted legal theories justifying torture during the Bush era."Like any other government official, government lawyers are responsible for the foreseeable consequences of their conduct." Wonder what "other government officials" the judge had in mind?

Whistling In The Wind. Keep in mind that Backstopping all the Crimes committed by the Plutocracy in America is the Roberts Supreme Court. So, Justice in America is as hard to find as a sound security. To folks who think more Sotomayors will solve this problem, they are spawned by the same Plutocracy. (Laughable that the present Criminal In Chief is a Constitutional Lawyer!)

Anonymous said...

Here We Go Again: "The $56 trillion of unfunded liabilities for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are a debt that must be paid.

Better question is: how much of this Loot goes to the Healthcare Racketeers? Some of it, for instance, is for drugs which probably have no beneficial affects with the "research" having been falsified.

See THE LAST WELL PERSON by Dr. Nortin Hadler, Professor of Medicine at UNC.

CKMichaelson said...

We're talking only Social Security today, medicare/medicaid are frauds of a different nature. With SS the point I keep trying to make is that the "unfunded liabilities" are a distraction - if not an outright hoax - that pretends that some tax monies are distinguishable from others and some government debts look different than others when the lights are off.

Social Security is a current budget item, the taxes that come in go into the general fund (no mater what words are used to confuse folks) and the expenditures come out of the same fund. For years Congress got away with overcharging workers for SS and pretended to put the excess in a Trust Fund. But the money was spent, it always is.

But year after year Congress will come up with ways to raise spending money (taxes, borrowing, printing) to pay for wars, pet projects, old folks and so on. They may one day cut back on the wars and the pet projects, but old folks vote and will get their retirement.

Maybe means-tested, and maybe (hopefully) all income gets taxed across the board, but worrying about not being able to come up with 56 or 97 trillion dollars over the next 75 years is a hoax. As long as the country holds together, the old will get their pittance.

In the first place, the odds of the US of A being economically viable much 20 years in the future is iffy enough to make putting on a gloomy facte for non-events 50 or 75 years out is but a parlor game.

ckm

Louis Bryan said...

Regarding "Good Intentions", an advantage of unpaved roads is that they are so much easier on the hooves of the draft animals that we'll be using more and more, so they'll need fewer trips to the blacksmith.

fajensen said...

@"Morning Line":

"
Western banks have supported their eastern European subsidiaries—so far
"
http://www.economist.com/finance/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13829347

There is still time to bet on the collapse of a few Scandinavian banks - SEB, Nordea, Swedbank puts are probably too expensive now.

Now I would go with Danske Bank:

They have a long history of secrecy and subsidiaries blowing in foreign places!

It makes me happy to see those suckers fall; besides, the recession is doing more good for the environment than the carbon cult ever will!