Thursday, February 11, 2010

SAR 10042

Maybe it will all work out.

Indoor Game:  While the anti-science crowd goes on about record snowfall, climate science predicts we will see more extreme precipitation events year-round as warming puts more moisture into the atmosphere. This has been the warmest January in the 32-year history of satellite records.

Just Say No:  Rachel Maddow dismembers the GOP in ten carefully documented minutes.  Give a listen.  If you're with her, it's great fun.  If you're still with them, maybe some light will seep in.  None of this is secret. The GOP no longer stands for anything, does not care about policy or governing, and is not susceptible to embarrassment.

Tides:  Imports up, exports down, net a minus $40 billion.

Money For Nothing:  Remember all the money the Fed spread around to encourage banks to loan it out?  The money the banks loaned to the Treasury instead?  Now, to keep the banks from loaning it out and pushing up inflation, the Fed will pay them extra interest to park it with them as 'excess reserves'.  Win-win for everyone but the taxpayers.

How Green Is My Valley:  In the eastern Sahara camels now graze in areas barren for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years.  Acacia trees and shrubs are growing, birds and gazelles are flourishing.  This trend has been underway for 20 years.  Even satellites have noted the greening of the Sahel.

Our Freedoms: Some quick thinking TSA officers spotted a student using flash cards to study while waiting for his flight and detained him for five hours as they tried to figure out if studying Arabic was sufficient reason to incarcerate him permanently.

Early Birds: Chinese authorities have instructed holders of US assets to dump everything but Treasuries and government guaranteed paper from GSEs.  Is this the first robin of a higher interest-rate spring?

An Observation:  There is a small but vital distinction between supporting the United States and supporting the government of the United States.  One is theory, the other practice.

Check-Up:  Yet another poll shows that the majority of Americans want lawmakers to pass a “comprehensive” health reform bill.  Including a public option.

When Will They We Ever Learn:  Out of the depths of the Great Depression came the labor movement and a steady diminishing of the inequality between the bosses and the rest of us.  Then in the Reagan years the owners began to claw back their unequal share and have been widening the gap ever since.  They've even conned many into thinking it's a good idea, a good idea that wages are lower now than in the 1970's, a good idea that Wall Street executives make tens of millions in bonuses while children go hungry and millions are without health care.  Brother can you spare a dime?

No Pain, No Gain:  Rats given electric shocks while doing a task to earn food pellets stop working.  If they reward is chocolate, they ignore the shocks and keep on working.

Magical Mystery Tour:  A photo-journalist working in Iraq for Reuters was dragged from is home in the middle of the night, incarcerated for 17 months and then released.  No charges, no explanation.  Just one of many foreign journalists who have been arrested and held without charges by the US military in Iraq.

Walk In My Shoes:  A racial-minority group in Oregon plans to offer scholarships to white kids who major in race relations in college.

On Your Mark:  The downturn is not over, it was put on temporary hold through enormous government spending and debt.  There has been no revival of actual productive enterprise, no expansion of jobs or wages.  The bounce in GDP and the markets is due to the Fed's massive money expansion – it is an illusion.

It Can't Happen Here:  Germanys highest court – in what is seen as “a good day for children and families” - tossed out the country's welfare program, finding it unconstitutional because it did not guarantee a “dignified minimum income” for recipients.

Porn O'Graph:  Confirmation, hockey sticks are bad for you.


TulsaTime said...

Funny (not) how Ronnie was such a big supporter of the actor's union, but not any others. He also gave great lip to being a fiscal conservative as long as it did not apply to guns n bombs n stuff. The voo-doo must have cooked his brain, it just took another generation to show up.

My favorite memory of those days was their porn witch-hunt that Ed Meese ran, combined with the firm knowledge that there was NO hunger in America.

David Jodrey said...

This morning I patriotically criticized the government, as Zinn advised. Specifically, through a spam-like process I got the following message from

You have to watch this video about our American Heroes. It shows not only the sacrifices that our military, fireman, etc. make for us...but also the sacrifices that their families make. It's a music video for a new country song called What Heroes Do. I've watched it three times and I've cried every time.

I wrote back, using the "Reply All" button:

I don't doubt that our military AND their families make sacrifices (my late father served in the Army during WWII, Korea and Vietnam) - what I don't like is that the process of killing foreigners is called "defending our freedoms", when what are really being defended are the corrupt power and profits of the Military-Industrial Congressional Financial Corporate Media complex. Music videos like this are part of the brainwashing that keeps this tragic cycle going. As I wrote in a letter published in the Financial Times on July 12, 2008:

I have concluded, with much sadness, that the American militarism that brought us war with Vietnam when I was young, and war with Iraq today, is not a flaw of our socioeconomic system, but a feature. I recommend to your writer, and to all interested readers, Eugene Jarecki’s documentary film, Why We Fight, which includes President Eisenhower’s warning about the influence of the “military-industrial complex”.

Until our political leaders lead the fight against these “masters of war” (in Bob Dylan’s phrase), instead of speaking of US soldiers occupying foreign lands as “defending our freedom”, we can expect more war and ruinously expensive preparations for war.

Anonymous said...

No Pain, No Gain:

I find Scotch has the same effect on me.