Monday, April 2, 2012

SAR #12093

Preserving "our way of life" has become more important than the civil liberties that once were our way of life.

Sanctions are US: The US is pressing forward with its attempt to impose sanctions on those who violate the sanctions it placed Iran. But the embargo on Iranian oil exports faces resistance from European countries that depend on Teheran's oil as well as India's misconception that it is an independent nation and China's reluctance to be ordered around by a formerly omnipotent power. Question: Is an embargo an act of war or an attempt to prevent a war, or simply a prelude to war - way to wean the world from involvement with Iran so that when it is bombed and shocked and awed the international marketplace will not notice?)

Smile, You're On Candid Camera: The government already possesses 99% of the technology needed to monitor and record every move you make. Once the data is recorded, government agents can retroactively trace you – through your communications, your purchases, your GPS-reported movements, the programs you watch and the computer sites you visit. Having the ability to do something generally leads to doing it – regardless of putative limits imposed by the US Constitution. And Great Britain is not falling behind.

Talking Points: Here's a paint-by-number look at the misstatements, distortions and outright lies climate change/global warming deniers come up with and the scientific rebuttal of each.

Better Sorry Than Safe: Scientists and public health advocates have once again been turned back by the FDA, which announced it will continue to allow bisphenol-A (BPA) in food and beverage containers until opponents can demonstrate that BPA is doing sufficient harm to children and other living things. The chemical industry applauded the announcement.

This Just In: Goldman Sachs owns a 16% interest in the largest internet site for underage prostitution in the US.

Discuss... A 68-year-old man with a heart condition was shot and killed by police responding to a false alarm from the medical alert pendant he wore for a heart condition. As he repeatedly told police he was okay, the police broke down the door, tasered him, then shot him dead. Although he was black, the former US Marine was not wearing a hoodie.

Data Dump: Student debt – at nearly $1 trillion - has increased 500% since 1999 and now exceeds both total credit card debt and total auto loans outstanding. But it is only one-tenth the size of the mortgage bubble and – here's the good part – Uncle Sam is on the hook for 90% of it, so investors (banks & Wall Street) won't lose a dime. And nobody cares about the students, anyway, a million of whom graduate every year with an average of $23,000 in debt. Over 25% of these recent graduates are unemployed.

Essay Question: Why is single-payer health insurance good for us only after we turn 65?

Ozymandias: The US now requires that people traveling from Great Britain to Canada, Mexico, or a Caribbean holiday seek permission from US Homeland Security for their trips – even if their flights do not enter or cross US airspace.

Hunger Games: The rich only buy lottery tickets only when the jackpots have grown enormous, poor people buy them regularly, along with scratch-offs and such. Both are wasting their money. Why, with repeated experience, do the poor continue to beat their heads against this particular wall? Why do households earning less than $13,000 a year fritter 9% of their income on a sucker's game that only the state can win? Not because they're stupid, but because they understand that it will take a miracle for them to ever improve their circumstances.

Porn O'Graph: Gravity awaits.


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

re Essay Question At the Financial Times, Edward Luce hypothesizes a less-likely possible outcome re the Supreme Court case on Obamacare:

If the Supreme Court deemed Obamacare unconstitutional because it compels individuals to buy something (in this case, insurance), a higher-stakes option would present itself. It would still be fine for government to tax people for their own good, as it does with Medicare and Social Security. It should merely avoid forcing commercial obligations on them.

The logic would be clear, even if the politics were risky. Mr Obama would be urged to run on “Medicare for all”. It would have a catchy ring to it and be easy for voters to grasp.

OkieLawyer said...

Re: Hunger Games

Sounds a lot like what I wrote back in 2007. And the follow-up articles.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.