The future we get is the one we choose.
Dark Alley: Russia has warned Europe that it had better make sure Ukraine pays up, in full, and on time. Or else...
Self-Hoisting Petard: Goldman Sachs insists that it is misunderstood and that its contribution to the well-being of humanity go unrecognized. Goldman's assets have quadrupled in the last ten years. I feel better already.
After the Dance: What the down side of the peak oil curve means to our economy, illustrated.
1215 &tc: Under a new government ruling, every phone call, text message, email and website visit made by every citizen will be recorded and stored for a year. Over 650 different public bodies, from the police to the ambulance services, will have access to these recording without seeking permission from a judge or showing just cause. Patriots will have nothing left to fear.
Trendsetter? California, they say, is where all the fads start. In Orange County – the quintessential California locale – foreclosure notices are at a record high and rising.
800 Pound Gorilla: What no one mentions in all the discussion about structural unemployment and a new higher level of normal unemployment is this: Capitalism works too well, in two ways. First it manages to keep increasing production per employee, allowing companies to terminate excess employees. Then it puts workers in one area into competition with others elsewhere and gives the ever fewer jobs to the lowest bidders. In the long run companies have lots of products that no one can buy because (a) they don't have a job or (b) they have a job that doesn't pay a living wage. That's the real problem and no one wants to talk about it. Gloss it over with theoretical promises about a golden future, yes, but don’t actually tackle the problem in the real world.
Sunshine: Scientists took the weekend off from dire warnings about global climate change and announced that there was new evidence that dark chocolate helps ease emotional stress. Expensive dark chocolate works best.
Excellent Question: Having shot our wad (and most of our children's allotment, too) on the current economic disaster, and having done nothing to moderate the forces and conditions that brought it about , what are we going to do in a year or three when the party poops out again? And it will, for while subprime mortgages and derivative deviltry may have tripped up Wall Street, it was oil at $100+ a barrel that killed the world economy. And it's getting ready to do it again.
Required Reading: Which big country will default first? (a) Britain (b) Japan or (c) the United States.
Our Gang: After Blackwater guards were caught murdering 17 Iraqi civilians, payment of about $1 million were authorized by Blackwater Worldwide to silence Iraqi authorities and to sidetrack their investigation into the incident.
Neverland: In case you had any doubt, Wall Street CEOs and board members have no remorse for the wreckage they have caused and do not feel they were the problem. It is also hard to find one who feels he had been 'rescued' or 'saved' by the taxpayer.
Consider Yourself Warned: The Justice Department has demanded that Indymedia – which hosts a group of liberal journalists from around the world, advocating social and economic justice – turn over information on all details of reader visits. They also demanded Indymedia not disclose the existence of the subpoena. Relax, so far SAR has not been so served, and if we were we couldn't tell you about it anyway.
Ups and Downs: Reports show that house prices fell in 80% of US cities during 3Q09, while sales picked up a bit.
Porn O'Graph: Where the 'new' oil is.