Saturday, August 10, 2013

SAR #13222

Knowledge is not power, the control of knowledge is. 
Good Question: At this point, why would you believe anything the Government tells you about NSA's domestic spying? About torture, About Al=Qaeda? About some other country's weapons of mass destruction
They're Here: What's the big deal about global warming? Sure, it'll bring us rising ocean levels, larger and more frequent forest fires, long droughts, extreme rainfalls, an increase in excessively hot summer days. So what? After all, we've already got rising ocean levels, larger and more frequent forest fires, long droughts, extreme rainfalls, an increase in excessively hot summer days. 
Understatement: Discovery of the government's practice of hiding the use of NSA intercept information in prosecutions via “parallel construction” “is going to result in a lot of litigation, for a long time.” Can you say “fruit of the poison tree”?

The Threat: In the last few years, the net inflow of undocumented immigrants 'flooding across our southern border' has fallen to zero. This is partly due to the rotten economy in the US and partly due to Mexico's 5% unemployment rate and rising wages, none of it is due to either Sheriff Joe or the weaponization of the border. If this keeps up we'll have to roof our own houses and mow our own lawns.

Convenience, Not Compulsion: It is not a law of nature, or a requirement of capitalism that forces companies to pay their employees as little as possible. It is a choice. Also a moral defect.

God Bless 'Em: In an ecumenical moment of bipartisanship, both the administration and the GOP have told the Supreme Court that Christian prayers held before government meetings are neither Christian nor prayers and thus not unconstitutional. The Court will probably agree, and over-ride the Circuit Court's ruling that they were Christian, prayers, and unconstitutional. But three wrongs will not make a right – it will further erode the once-vaunted separation of Church and Sate. 
Roundness: They say that the proof that Peak Oil will never happen is that the supply is up and the demand is down. Down to $100 a barrel. Because that's as much as we can afford. Why is it $100 a barrel? Because it is hard to find and hard to produce and there's not that much around anymore and ... Dammit, it's not the same as Peak Oil.

Cooperation: A company that had provided secure and private email service has been forced to shut down following a secret battle in a secret court, for reasons that must remain secret because – rather obviously – NSA will not tolerate privacy in any communication.. End of story. Also end of privacy, but that's been an illusion for quite some time.

Ahem: Know when Snowden said he could pull up anyone's email and phone calls and NSA's Beloved Leader said it wasn't true? Turns out it's true. Feel better?

Scale: The Keystone XL Pipeline will require about 3,950 person-years of work, about the same as a required to build a mid-sized mall. When done it will employ less than 50 people, unlike the mid-sized mall. The pipeline will deliver 'oil' to Gulf refineries, from whence it will be sold overseas to be burned and turned into global warming while making profits for Big Oil and Wall Street. What's not to like?

Quoted: ”The sad truth is that the modern G.O.P. is lost in fantasy ... unable to participate in even the most basic processes of governing... What makes this frightening is that Republicans ... have a majority in the House, so America can’t be governed at all unless a sufficient number of House Republicans are willing to face reality; unfortunately that many do not seem to exist." 
The Parting Shot:

1 comment:

Blissex said...

«a requirement of capitalism that forces companies to pay their employees as little as possible. It is a choice.»

This is so wrong on many accounts.

The biggest is that "companies" don't make choices, it is company executives that make choices for the company.

They will make the choice that most benefits them rather than the company in almost every case.

The excellent book "Wall Street" by Doug Henwood (free download but please make a donation) points out that company executives started driving down employment and wages of their labor suppliers when the approach by Michael Jensen, a business economist.

Michael Jensen pointed out that profitable companies could build reserves and overpay and underwork their labor forces instead of maximizing dividend payouts, and that to force them to do otherwise they should be given as little capital as possible, and made to rely on expensive debt, as creditors tend to be harsher than shareholders.

Jensenism created both the asset-stripping movement by the likes of Mitt Romney and led company executives, fearful of being sacked in a takeover if they did not maximize dividends or capital gains, to squeeze their employees as hard as possible.