Friday, April 27, 2012

SAR #12118

Don't say it "can't happen here"; it already has.

Love Will Keep Us Together: Will growth save us from ourselves? You bet! Now that everyone agrees that everyone always knew that European austerity programs were exactly the wrong thing to do, maybe a few of these new converts will realize that it is not going to work here, either.

More War: The President, once again usurping the Congress' power to make war, has declared that the undeclared war in Yemen should be broadened and more drone strikes sent against suspected suspects.

Unexpectedly #763: Initial unemployment claims, at 388,000 missed expectations by increasing 2,000 instead of decreasing 11,000. Last week's number was adjusted – upwards, of course – to 389,000, which makes this week's number technically a decrease. Cue the laugh track.

Quality Points: A growing number of public universities are charging higher tuition for math, science and business programs, arguing that such courses prepare the student to actually get a job upon graduation.

Guarding The Guards, Part II: In a case of dereliction of duty far worse than getting laid in their off-duty time, TSA guardians have been charged with taking bribes to allow drug smugglers through airport screening. As TSA and Homeland Security continue to insert themselves in our everyday activities, expect more such stories.

Warm-up Question: Why hasn't the closing of 40 predominantly black public schools in Philadelphia made the national news? Beyond the obvious racial explanation, there's also a story here about bribery, politics and charter schools. The fix has been in for a long time, and not just in Philadelphia. (Go ahead, Google charter schools + Bush + Florida...)

Take Two Aspirin: WHO is "concerned" about a mysterious skin disease that has hit central Vietnam, where 19 of 170 who contracted the illness have died. The symptoms include stiffness in the limbs, ulcers on the hands and feet that resemble severe burns, and, in 10% of the cases, serious liver disorders. Vietnam has not yet not asked for help with an investigation into the outbreak. Stay tuned.

Fodder: American home ownership has fallen to 62%, an all time low, but 70% say this is a good time to buy a house and that prices will rise this year. Despite evidence to the contrary, 53% of home owners believe their house is worth more than they paid for it (down from 92% so deluded back in 2006), and one out of three think their own house will increase in value this year.

Six Or Six Hundred Easy Payments: There are two ways to think about the cost of energy. There’s the dollar amount that shows up on our utility bills or at the pump. And then there’s the “social cost”. We, the consumer/taxpayer/citizen, pay both costs, because the coal miners, oil companies, nuclear power plants, dump every cost they can onto and into the commons. We pay through premature deaths, through environmental degradation, through illness caused by stuff pouring out of smokestacks and exhaust systems and washing up on our shores.


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

Re home ownership - spouse and self are among the majority who believe our house is worth more than we paid for it (we bought it in 1999, finished paying for it a couple years ago) - and Zillow agrees. It also says the price has gone up by one and a half percent in the last month. May it be so.

Anonymous said...

Re: TSA - This country seems determined to create new classes of criminality. Did anyone read that NYT article awhile back about this poor f*kr who works for TSA, minimal wage and has to supplement with food stamps even though he's full time? And we wonder why workers would be tempted, especially when we see the Corzines of the world getting off scott free.

I'm Not POTUS said...

A ph.d.should know that you're holding a grand total of $0.00, until you actually sell it. And you haven't finished paying for this investment, unless you also owe $0 to the county assessor.

Sell it soon if you want to see any of that value turn into cash money.

Make it so #1.