Internal liberty varies inversely with perceived external danger.
Summer Reruns: Europe in the 1930s and Europe today are becoming increasingly similar. Mass unemployment, especially among the youth, financial instability and distress among the peoples, growing support for extremist parties of the far left and far right. But we are too smart to follow the pattern into authoritarian governments, rabid nationalism, closed borders... Aren't we?
Up, Up, and... Initial claims for unemployment rose 9,000 from last week's 377,000 as the economic recovery rolls on. Another 135,000 people lost their extended benefits last week. The Dow closed up 1.25% on the news.
No Fat Lady, No Singing: Egypt's highest court – packed with Mubarak appointees - has invalidated the recent parliamentary elections, so the 'temporary' military rulers gave themselves full legislative authority
in perpetuity or until someone wrests it from their cold dead hands.
Penultimate Sacrifice: Republicans in the House are blocking US soldiers who have been raped (mostly by other US soldiers) from access to abortion. Killing is wrong.
Definitions: Three of the individuals 'preventively detained' before the NATO meeting in Chicago are being charged with material support for terrorism and conspiracy to commit terrorism. Or so it's said. The prosecutor has refused to tell them what their charged with, saying they don't have the right to know what they are charged with until their arraignment hearing on July 2nd.
Confusion: Okay, my mistake. It was flag day. with an ‘L"’. We at SAR would have celebrated, but didn’t see the ‘L’, thought the festivities had something to do with gay marriage.
In Quotes: A US drone attack killed “at least three 'militants'” early Thursday in Pakistan, by firing two missiles into the central marketplace of the main town in North Waziristan. It was not immediately known if we are going to claim these as high-value targets.
Bootstraps: In India, one of those fabulous BRIC nations that are the hope of the future, 21% of the population is undernourished, 46% of their children are malnourished and about 66% of the population eat less that the minimum targets set by the government. India's GDP per capita has nearly doubled in the last decade and no, I've no idea where the money goes – probably to the same types that end up with it here.
Stopped Clock: Newt says that “the current (electoral) system is rigged, frankly, in favor of the wealthy.” Doesn't happen often, but this time he's right.
Takes One To Know One: Michigan Republicans have banned a female Democratic representative from speaking during debates, after she said “Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but no means no.” It was unclear if it was her use of the word 'vagina', or her possession of one that so offended them. A second female representative was banned for knowing the word 'vasectomy'.
Kick The Crip: America's median family income fell from $49,600 in 2007 to $45,800 in 2010 – a drop of 7.7% - and is still falling. We just don't have enough money to buy enough stuff to boost the economy, and, wisely, no one will lend us any significant sum. What to do? A little more equitable distribution of the gains from our labors. We might learn something from history. The WAPA, CCC, Social Security, unemployment insurance, minimum wage... the things FDR did back in the 1930's to get the US out of the hole the 1% had gotten us in. And yes, the economic engine called WWII certainly helped. But this time, let's borrow and spend on infrastructure, not bombs.
Premeditation: Republicans at nearly every level of government are doing their utmost to ignore science's warnings of the catastrophic climate changes rushing at us. Their efforts to deny the threat and delay remediation should be noted and remembered for when the time comes for apportioning responsibility for the destruction of much of life on Earth.
The Parting Shot: