Tuesday, March 9, 2010

SAR #10068

Peace seemed like such a nice idea.

Lemmings:  Every country in the developed world has the same plan: increase exports, lower wages, renege on pension promises and impose cleverly disguised barriers to imports.  Hold hands and jump.

Smoke/Skirts: Time has an article out that says not to worry about the level of US debt – it might even be a good thing. Sure, like my wife says, you can write the interest off your taxes... if you make enough money to pay taxes. But interest is money taken out of productive uses and given to the investor class. It is hard to justify a McMansion with a 3-D hi-res surround sound theater at 28% interest as productive use of time or money.  Worry.

Cliff Notes:  The banksters are winning.  Same-old same-old – money buys Congress.  You don't need the details.

Propaganda War:  The major offensive to recapture the Afghan town of Marja from the Taliban was doomed from the start because  (a)  Marja is just a few hamlets – small clusters of farmers' homes, rather than a town, much less a city.  (b)  We told the Taliban we were coming so they could run and hide – rather like Tora Bora or the Search and Evade missions in Vietnam. But several million Americans were fooled into believing Marja was a major strategic triumph, so the military counts it as a victory.

Relocation: The Chilean earthquake moved the whole city of Conception more than 10 feet to the west.

The Other Shoe:  Commercial mortgages continue to go bad and thus CMBS delinquencies are also increasing.  Long promised, slow arriving,  the collapse of the commercial real estate market and its good friend, defaults on commercial mortgages, are plodding along.  The 2005 vintage has been diagnosed  “practically dead.”

Now it Can be Told:  The GOP just doesn't like the unemployed.  Not that that make the unemployed unique.

Daisy's Dock:  Mutual Funds are grabbing up stocks at the fastest rate in 18 years, leaving them with the smallest amount of cash on hand since September 2007.  Or to put it another way, mutual funds haven't been this over-invested since the S&P dropped 57%.  That’s not a green light, more of a flashing yellow one.

Math Experiment:  Dubai is asking its creditors to be patient and allow it to reschedule loan payments to some unspecified future date.  What's the net present value of an empty promise?

Not Necessarily The News:  Google “keeps your data forever,” saying that the data is needed to "learn from good guys, fight off bad guys, [and] invent the future."  I'm not sure what that means, and I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to.

Switch Votes: A law that would prohibit schools from abuses such as the use of mechanical restraints or tying children to the furniture was opposed by a majority of Republicans, because the bill intrudes on a states' rights to beat up its hapless kids  the ability of local school districts to discipline students.

Asked & Answered:  Will smart meters help reduce energy bills?  Only if they are used by smarter people, which seems unlikely.

Porn O'Graph:  Unsustainable is as unsustainable does.

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