Governments go to war when they think they can get away with it.
Sympathy From The Devil: Christine Lagarde, said she has more sympathy for children deprived of decent schooling in sub-Saharan Africa than for many of those facing poverty in Athens, and that the “IMF has no intention of softening terms” for Athens. The Bundesbank now refers to Greece as “a failed, corrupt state.” The Powers That Be are telling the Greek voters to pick the right man, pay their taxes, or expect to be punished severely. Why? Because they can, and because it is intended to concentrate minds in Spain, Portugal and so on, to elicit the required docility to the coming feudalism envisioned by the ECB, IMF and, most particularly, Germany.
C'est la vie: McCain excuses Romney's getting rich by firing employees and looting pension funds by explaining that “the free enterprise system can be cruel.”
The Women With The Dragon Tattoos: “It shows you are strong and tough… It’s a confidence thing, it shows you are not afraid of pain, and that you can make choices for life.” That's one possible explanation for the burgeoning popularity of “skin art” among American women. Today more women (23%) have tattoos than men (19%). Or it could be just another sign of the rate at which America is swirling down the drain...
Clarification: The Bank of England is certain that the uncertainty in the eurozone will continue for several more years. Ah, optimism.
Down Range: Outside Bagram Airfield is an unmarked firing range blanketed with unexploded US ordnance dropped by planes and helicopters or fired or thrown by soldiers. There are no fences, no barriers of any kind, not even signs in the local language to warn children of the danger. Children go into the area looking to scavenge enough scrap metal to buy an ice cream cone. Occasionally they get blown up. US officials are aware of this and have a legal office in the area that's open once a week to handle complaints. In eastern Afghanistan, far from any legal office, a NATO jet bombed a farmer's house, killing him, his wife and six children.
Unclear On The Concept: Lloyds former head of fraud and security has been charged with... fraud. As they put it, she claimed “payments totaling £2.46m to which she was not entitled.”
Going, Going... Global CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel combustion reached a record high of 31.6 gigatons (Gt) in 2011, This represents an increase of 3.2% from 2010. To have a 50/50 chance of holding eventual global warming to 2°C we can only have a total additional increase of 1 Gt over the next 6 years, followed by a substantial decrease in emissions every year thereafter. Realistically, we're sunk.
Point of Sale: A high school administration in NYC plans to hand out condoms to students as they leave their senior prom. The students may or may not have had sex ed, but the administration seems to have learned a thing or two.
Zero Tolerance: A judge in Houston has thrown an honor student in the clink for missing school. 17-year-old Diane Tran is taking (and getting honors in) advanced-placement and dual-credit courses while working two jobs to support herself and her brother who is a student at Texas A&M. Who needs fiction when we have Texas?
Porn O'Graph: Here's what 'recovery' looks like these days.
The Parting Shot: