Saturday, March 16, 2013

SAR #13075

Yes, it's a bull market, and I know bull when I see it.

Headline Headline: "Consumer prices soar, but inflation is in check." Yup, prices have their largest increase in four years and there is "no sign of inflation to trouble the Federal Reserve." Ah, wouldn't want to trouble Gentle Ben.

Most Wanted: Bankers, for committing the following and many more crimes and misdemeanors repeatedly - with impunity and immunity: money laundering for dictators, money laundering for drug kingpins, money laundering for terrorists, fraudulent bond issuance, multiple frauds related to hundreds of thousands of mortgages, selling the same item to several different people, charging for services not performed. And then there's JPMorgan and SAC Capital and no one ever goes to jail, yet they got a subsidy of $780 billion every year- which is about what the rest of the nation got as a stimulus package over 4 years.

Contest: What, exactly, have Ryan and the economists he cites gotten right these past, oh, five years?" Usual prizes.

Plastics: Get that education; they can't take that away from you. Hell, they don't want it, especially if it is a law degree. Only about one-third of law school graduates get full time jobs as lawyers. And this year's crop will be the largest ever. Imagine all the damage these youngsters will cause, wandering around with immense college debts and useless degrees. Hell, they'll probably sue someone.

Bonus Question: Why does an MRI cost $1,080 in America and $280 in France?

Devil/Details: Wall Street's welfare queens are the largest recipients of taxpayer largess – corporations take in nearly $100 billion per year. Penurious corporations like Boeing, IBM, Motorola, Dow Chemical, and GE. Corporations spend what could be R&D money on lobbying. Corporate welfare often subsidizes failing firms and certainly gets passed on to shareholders as dividends on 'profits'. End welfare for the rich!

Warm-Up Question: Why are oil prices so high if supplies are abundant? Hint: $2.4 trillion spent from 2005 to 2010 on petroleum exploration and development resulted in a decrease in the rate of oil production of 200,000 barrels per day.

Remain Calm: The administration is going to give all (and it's a longer list than you would suspect) US intelligence/super-police agencies “full access” to “financial data on American citizens and others who bank in the country”. What's 'full access' as opposed to the 24/7 level of surveillance we now enjoy?

Grated Expectations: All those hopes and prayers and plans for the Golden Years are slip sliding away. Back in 1990, only 11.8% of the 65 and over worked. By 2010 it grew to 17.4% and by 2020 – according to BLS data – it will be 22.6%. And it's even worse for the over-75 gang – From less than 5% working in 1990 the league of Walmart Greeters will double. When are you expecting to retire? Or rather, are you expecting to retire?

Pay To Play: The US war in Iraq has killed at least 189,000 Iraqi civilians directly and over 500,000 more indirectly and has cost the US taxpayer $1.7 trillion so far. Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan together run the tab up to $3.7 trillion, plus future decades of veterans' medical costs. Oh, and the increasing radicalization of the Middle East – there's a cost.

Point Of View: Conservative Senator Rob Portman (Reformed-OH), once a strong supporter of the DOMA now says he supports gay marriage because "we are all the children of God". That one of his own children is gay might have helped him see the light. He is the only Republican senator to support full citizenship for all Americans. Too bad some Senators don't have unemployed working class poor kids.

Animal Farm: Egypt's ruling Muslim Brotherhood, joining Iran, Russia and the Vatican, says it is all in favor of equality for its citizens, but warns that allowing a woman to travel, work and use contraception without her husband's approval, letting her control family spending and prosecuting husbands for raping their wives could destroy a society run by men - like Egypt, Iran, Russia, and that other place. Duh.

Porn O'Graph: Golf just isn't that inviting.

The Parting Shot:



mistah charley, ph.d. said...

re Point of View: From the story you point to: "[Senator Portman] also told CNN that he sought guidance from former Vice President Dick Cheney, whose daughter Mary is gay. Portman said Cheney's advice to him was simple: 'Follow your heart.'"

Once again I am reminded of the wisdom of the Hasidic saying: No person is so bright that they do not have one speck of darkness, nor is no person so dark they do not have one spark of light.

And on the general theme of wisdom and goodness, earlier this morning I came across a review of Leo Tolstoy's last book, published in English as A Calendar of Wisdom: Daily Thoughts to Nourish the Soul, Written and Selected from the World's Sacred Texts. The title is a little misleading - many, perhaps most, quotes are from regular writers, not Holy Books per se. The general consensus of the lay reviewers at Amazon is that this is a great book, if Tolstoy's theistic orientation doesn't rub you the wrong way.

This is the first-ever English-language edition of the book Leo Tolstoy considered to be his most important contribution to humanity, the work of his life's last years. Widely read in prerevolutionary Russia, banned and forgotten under Communism, and recently rediscovered to great excitement, A Calendar of Wisdom is a day-by-day guide that illuminates the path of a life worth living with a brightness undimmed by time. Unjustly censored for nearly a century, it deserves to be placed with the few books in our history that will never cease teaching us the essence of what is important in this world.

"A spiritual guide which became a bestseller in Russia." --
USA Today, October 9, 1997

Anonymous said...

Plastics: ....

Rather: Imagine all the damage these youngsters will cause actually working as lawyers.

If one accepts that at the heart of the Financial Disaster and the Malaise of America is the destruction of the Rule of Law, then all the lawyers, the Law Professors and the esteemed Law Schools stand convicted. This, after all, is their area of Expertise. But we have Omerta. Personally, I cannot think of one prominent Law School which, as an institution, is on record as condemning the current massive Crime Wave and destruction of the Rule of Law. Nor one that is actively training lawyers to fight this massive Crime Wave. Sure, there is the odd lawyer and Law Professor who speaks out but very few.

Let's all keep in mind that Wall Street and the other Rackets all have batteries of lawyers. All the Prosecutors are lawyers. All the Judges are lawyers. Most of the regulators are lawyers. Many of the politicians and the lobbyists who corrupt them are lawyers.

So, lawyers, law schools and law professors hang your collective heads in shame, you have failed the country. The only lawyer deserving of any respect is one who recognizes the above.