The poor accept, the rich expect.
Dissonance: The Recovery ™ has been underway for over two years. Corporate profits are at record levels. China and Brazil are booming. Yet paychecks are stuck where they were a decade ago and over 16% of our workers are underemployed or not employed. To put it in crude, class warfare terms, the war is over and the owners have won. Or have they? Even before this week, stocks had turned in their worst 10-year run since the Great Depression. The real recession – hallmarked by stagnant wages caused by globalization of labor – started more than a decade ago and continues. Maybe it will eventually dawn on the rich that their end of the boat is connected to our end of the boat.
Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Proof: The revolutionary claim that neutrinos can commute between CERN and a lab in Italy at 300,006 kilometers per second - seven hundredths of one percent over the speed limit set by Einstein – is being met with a great deal of skepticism. If the results can be duplicated and verified, it would suggest that Einsteinian physics, like Newtonian physics before it, does not account for everything under the heavens.
Self-Hoisting Petard: A new Gallup poll shows that 55% of the public do not believe Gallup polls.
Timing: While Palestine was presenting its statehood recognition petition to the UN, the Obama administration made it known that the US had presented 55 of the military's most powerful bunker-busting bombs to Israel.
Charity, Compassion: Newt Gingrich, asked about unemployment insurance, said “It is fundamentally wrong to give people money for 99 weeks for doing nothing.” He didn't suggest how many weeks the unemployed should be paid “for doing nothing.” To Newt the unemployed are like wives – if they can't work, get rid of 'em.
Come Monday... FEMA will run out of money for disaster relief operations as soon as Monday, and all but 'essential' government services will stop on October 1st if the Republican's don't get their way. Sound familiar? The apparent object of contention is emergency relief funding – the Dems wanted $6.9 billion, the GOP is offering $3.65 and that only if cuts are made to social programs elsewhere in the budget. The real fight is over continuing government as we've known it since the Great Depression, or transitioning to some Ayn Randian state of Social Darwinism where the poor and the unfortunate are kicked to the curb and left to rot. Except, of course, in Tea Party Land's Joplin, Mo.
Smoke on the Water: For the first time since the 1980s, a newly built oil supertanker will be mothballed before entering service, an indication of both the overbuilding of capacity and the expected drop in petroleum demand as a global recession sets in.
Rats in a Maze: Visa and MasterCard plan to increase the fees for small-ticket purchases made with debit cards from 8¢ to 23¢ on a $2 purchase. The merchants will either put up 'minimum debit-card purchase' signs or raise prices, or both. Some consumers will switch to using credit cards, some will pay the ATM fees more often, and some will shrug and pay the higher debit-card fees. Remember, many forms of social welfare payments come as debit card deposits – and that's the real target here, more service fees for the banks since the recipients can't easily switch to cash.
No Choice: Requiring millionaires to pay at least the same percent of their income in taxes as their employees is (a) reasonable (b) too little, or (c) class warfare. For extra credit, explain why dividends, interest and capital gains are not taxed higher than income earned by actual labor.
Be Reasonable: That Arctic sea ice is disappearing has been known for decades. But it is disappearing much faster than the computer models predict. Theory says the ice to be gone by the end of the century, the actual rate of ice melt suggests it will be gone in a decade or two. What have the scientists left out? Soot is the most likely explanation, but other 'short term forcings' are also possible. Since the end of Arctic ice is much closer than predicted, what other surprises are we in for? “When reality is changing faster than theory suggests it should, a certain amount of nervousness is a reasonable response.”
Wannabe Follies: While Michele Bachmann was advocating eliminating all taxes, the audience was busy booing a gay soldier, and multi-millionaire Mitch Romney was claiming to be middle class, Rick Santorum explained how socialists were teaming up with radical Islamists to run training camps in Central and South America.