Facebook is to friendship as television is to entertainment.
Adventures in Numbersland: There have been but two times in the last 75 years when two consecutive quarters of GDP growth of less than 2% did not occur in a recession. We have just finished the second of two such quarters.
Nest of VIPRs: TSA wants $25 billion to make its nearly invisible Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response surprise parties a lot more visible. Last year they only were able to hold 9,000 “non-airport unannounced checkpoints and other search operations” last year, in bus and train station, sporting events, a couple of high school proms and at random intervals on Tennessee highways. TSA does not pretend VIPR teams have done any good, but they'd like to be ready in case Americans begin escaping from “emergency detention camps” as the indefinite detention bill is implemented. Word for the day: “Disappeared.”
Ontology: Public debate in the US is no longer involves people holding different views of the world, it has become a clash between different worlds – one of which is imaginary, where facts do not matter.
E=MC2: In the real world of petroleum, even “one of the largest oil fields ever discovered in the North Sea” holds between 2 and 3 billion barrels of recoverable oil. It will not come on line until 2018 and will produce about half a million barrels a day for the next 15 years or so. By then the would will want about 100 million barrels a day. Salvation is relative.
The Cratchits: The government's austerity program is working, making life in Merrie Olde ever more austere. The typical family in the UK saw its income fall 8.4% this year, ending with an average weekly disposable income of £161 - $12,500 a year.
Peace On Earth: Syrian tanks fired into crowds of protesters, killing 20. Tens of thousands rallied in Moscow over Putin's blatant 20+ million vote fraud. The military vs civilians contest in Egypt continues. Cops in Albany, NY got to try out their new pepper spray on peaceful #Occupiers. Iran is putting former president Rafsanjani's daughter on trial for talking out of school. And in Bahrain medics are being tortured for offering medical care to those beaten and shot by police for protesting torture by the government.