Wednesday, February 23, 2011

SAR #11054

The greater the danger, the deeper the denial.

Decisions, decisions: Libya's Gadhafi vows to fight on or die a martyr, Okay, let's take a vote.

United We Stand:  Indiana.  OhioWisconsin.  Idaho.  In May, 1933, Hitler arrested all the union leaders, abolished collective bargaining and outlawed the unions. The best time to enslave a people is when they are down. In repeating the sins of their fathers, not only are the arch-conservatives setting up a replay of the Great Depression, they are making the workers realize how much they need unity, unions.

In The Beginning... Saudi King Abdullah has announced new benefits for his subjects.

You Know It's Bad When.... Wal-Mart's same store sales fell 1.8% in the quarter ended January 28th, which included the entire Christmas season. This was the seventh straight quarterly sales decline. Shares fell sharply as the company blamed the economic “recession/depression” for their poor sales.

Raw Data: The numbers of reports of stillborn dolphins on the Gulf Coast has increased tenfold since BP claimed everything was just fine.

Fog of War: According to the Washington Post, General David H. Petraeus told President Karzai that the children among the 60 civilians killed during a clash with suspected Taliban forces “might have been burned by their elders to exaggerate claims of civilian casualties.” Petreus went on to say that residents had invented stories, or even injured their children, to pin the blame on US forces. Has Petraeus lost his mind? Have we?

Being There:Consumer Confidence levels in the US are at a three-year high based “on economic optimism”. Must be, it's certainly not based on economic facts.

Home On The Range: One out of every four US counties is fading away, as first the jobs, then social and economic structure, then the people wander off in search of yesterday and the Republicans rush in to clear away the underpinning of government. It's not just rural counties in Oklahoma and devastated cities in Ohio, but retirement communities in Florida and agricultural areas of California. Ghost towns are springing up, just like in the last Great Depression.

Whistling Past the Graveyard: US Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman says that the big oil producers should pump more of their product and drive down the price of oil. It is a good thing the oil countries aren't capitalistic and won't mind foregoing the profits so we can keep on keeping on.

Wrong Question: The question isn't “Can a US state go bankrupt?” The question is how long can they keep on pretending they are not?

Company's Coming! The UN expects that within 10 years there will be more than fifty million "environmental refugees" pouring into the global north, driven by food and water shortages resulting from global climate change. Factoid: "When people are not living in sustainable conditions, they migrate."

Miss Manners: "You won’t be allowed to withdraw your money if you are just standing there without a queue ticket number." In South Korea there are strict rules about how to conduct yourself at a run on the bank.

Again, Again: Case-Shiller reports that during December house prices reached new lows in 19 of the 20 major cities they track.

Starvation: Michigan State “education” officials have ordered Detroit to immediately implement a financial restructuring plan that calls for closing half the schools, firing half the teachers, and increasing high school classes to 60 students. Emergency financial director Robert Bobb said “In the long run, the district will be stronger. There can be no retreat." And apparently little education.

House That Again? National Association of Realtors says that CoreLogic is probably right when it suggests the NAR “over-counted” house sales. Regularly. Since 2007. They say that the 20% discrepancy would possibly be corrected by summer. Then again, they may just keep lying.

Porn O'Graph: The Monster has no clothes.


rjs said...

re: consumer confidence new high:

part of the reason for that is that the conference board has changed the methodology and its polling company used to collect information for that survey...its now using neilson to get better results...the old numbers were 53.3 for Dec, and 60.6 for January; the confidence readings are now 63.4 & 65.5...

Anonymous said...

RE: You Know It's Bad When....

I think the Wal-mart same store sales are somewhat misleading. Wal-mart had a sharp increase in sales due to an influx of "higher end" shoppers during the last few years due to the economy.

Expecting Wal-mart to retain those shoppers as the economy stabilized for those at the "higher end" is expecting a little too much.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for another great write up CKM.

It seems clearer each day that there are indeed two Americas.

One America is recovering via its printing presses, and the other is dying via those same presses.

One America sees its citizens jailed and ruined for sneaking its kids into a better public school in another district, while the other goes shopping with its trillions of stolen dollars and freedom bought cheaply from congressional vassals.

Egalitarian it ain't, and even the voting booth only gives us the choices that our betters have already chosen for us.

One observes recent news from Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, differently than one might have a few years ago or at least, I do.