Tuesday, March 12, 2013

SAR #13071

Things are often easier to do than to explain.

Immaterial: Building or not building the Keystone XL pipeline is a pointless argument. Either crappy Canadian tar sands oil flows to market through a pipeline or it will flow to market on long trains of oil tankers, but it will flow to market. The environmental damage from a possible pipeline leak is minor compared to the inevitable damage it will cause via global warming.

Mirror Image: One of the popular (with politicians) Social Security and Medicare 'reforms' is to extend the eligibility age. But that will lead to fewer lifetime benefits for the poor, who will end up paying for the extended lifespan benefits for the rich. Ought to be the other way around.

Perspective: During the worst of the Iraq war the US Army was going through less than 6 million rounds of ammunition a month. Homeland Security is buying 1.6 billion rounds – that's enough for 20 years of war at an intense pitch. Why does the order include hollow-point rounds? Why so much ammo for snipers? Why? To get a good deal on the bulk buy, they say.

Inheritance: Turns out that we've been dying from atherosclerosis for at least the last 4,000 years – without the benefit of french fries, hamburgers, smoking, booze and cable TV to clog our arteries. This suggests that atherosclerosis may be “an inherent component of human aging and not associated with any specific diet or lifestyle.” This does not mean the doctor is wrong about changing those bad habits – there's always heart attacks...

Minyan: Why are cardinals who have been implicated in covering -up for pedophilia in the Church not being banned from taking part in electing the next pope (or being the next pope)? Because without them, the Vatican couldn't field a quorum.

Bully: The US is throwing a hissy-fit, threatening Pakistan with Bad Things if it goes ahead with its planned gas pipeline link with Iran. The US says it wants to help Pakistan find “more reliable ways to meet its energy needs” than importing natural gas from its next door neighbor.

Hiding In Plain Sight: Some 60 large US corporations 'hid' $166 billion in profits – over 40% of their profits - in offshore accounts. This did not include any of Mitt's funds.

On Fear, With Loathing: Conservatives have been warning about high inflation and interest rate spikes for over four years, yet it hasn't happened. Every social program is, they claim, going to doom the stock market and kill business. It hasn't happened yet, but they keep saying it will. And the Dow climbs on and interest rates remain low and inflation is non-existent. But they continue with their dire predictions, not because they believe them, but because it gives them an excuse to implement policies that would further their ideological preferences – cut Social Security, slash Medicare, abandon the poor, the old, the sick. Screw the workers, bust the unions, fire the teachers, privatize everything. They are high priests, needing sacrificial offerings, but they obviously have no insight into the actual workings of the real world.

I'm OK, Are You OK? Heart attacks rise about 10% following the start of daylight saving time. They fall the same amount in October. Me, I get up in the morning.

Unbelievers: Americans are not only not saving for retirement, they don't think it's worth trying to do so. They believe health care costs will consume their savings no matter how much they save. They're pretty sure investment returns won’t be high enough to provide decent retirement income regardless of how much they manage to put away. The only piece of wisdom the majority share is the conviction that they shouldn't trust investment advice.

Porn O'Graph: What, Me Worry?

The Parting Shot:


Sycamore starter kit.


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

re minyan - missus charley and i were in the car this a.m. when we heard on the radio news the name of our own archbishop suggested as a potential pope - i told her that in the unlikely event of this happening, there would be at least one good effect - there would be a new leader for our archdiocese

not that it's likely the new guy would be any better, but one can always hope

i am an optimist about the new pope - he will be the best possible pope under the circumstances (and my pessimistic side says, "yeah, you're probably right")

the who - i'm free

you've been told many times before
messiahs pointed to the door
no one had the guts to leave the temple


Anonymous said...

CK please read this article about 3 us citizens who have been imprisoned without trial at the sea-tac (seattle tacoma) federal detention facility for exercising their 5th amendment rights

this article coupled with the developing domestic drone policy and several of your recent HLS articles makes the governments intentions quite clear

thanks for your diligence and your informative web site

best wishes
mock turtle


Drew Dowdell said...

On Fear, With Loathing: Inflation is non-existant?

Anonymous said...

and here is a more "news-worthy version of the people held without trial for refusing to speak, and subsequently released without charge after many months imprisonment, most spent in solitary confinement in a federal prison...what bill of rights, huh



Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

No, Drew, there is no inflation, or at least very little. Haven't you been listening to the government?

And really, the rapid rush of inflation predicted has not arrived, it's not even on the horizon, even though Gentle Ben has been trying like hell to get some going.

jfwellspdx said...

re I'm OK, are you OK? I would vote for any politician that ran on a platform to abolish the time change. Could be crazy as a loon on everything else and they would still get my vote.

I have no confidence in these petitions doing anything at all, but if you feel like tilting at the same windmill please go here:


Drew Dowdell said...

I suppose that depends on what inflation we're talking about.

Anonymous said...

The article on DST and a possible link with health problems caught my attention. I've always thought DST was a bad idea. It always took me about 2-3 weeks to get over the change. Coffee certainly saved me from falling asleep at the job. I still have fond hope that some day DST will be repealed.

Call me Geezer

kwark said...

RE "Inheritance" I'm not sure I'd be willing to make such sweeping claims based upon the incredibly small sample size of those individuals who happened to be mummified. I've a suspicion that the class of folks rich and powerful enough to "enjoy" mummification might have been as overfed and inactive as we are!

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

The mummies studied covered a 4,000 year span and the world from Egypt to Alaska to Peru and included hunter-gatherers as well as potentates. No the sample was not large, but it was most certainly varied. Not all of these subjects were the idle rich.

Blissex said...

«extend the eligibility age. But that will lead to fewer lifetime benefits for the poor, who will end up paying for the extended lifespan benefits for the rich.»

Not quite -- it it a way to transfer from men, who live less and pay more contributions and taxes at any level of income, to women, who live longer and pay less contributions and taxes at any level of income.

The welfare system is mostly a large way to transfer income from men to women, in large part because women are a a majority of voters as they vote more often and live longer, and even more importantly they are far more likely to be swing voters.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Seems only fair, Blissex, after forty years of being paid less for doing the same jobs, women should get some bennies. Better late than never.