Saturday, October 26, 2013

SAR #13299

"The age of bullshit investments is back." Kevin Roose.

The Daisy Test: NSA now explains its scooping up every electronic bit about each of us as the only way it can figure out if we've been good or bad. They look at everything (and they mean everything) and decide if overall you belong in the 'patriot' or 'terrorist' pile. Essentially, we're all guilty until they think maybe we're not. He loves the country, he loves it not...

Trees: Four months after protesters in Istanbul demonstrated against the conservative religious government under the pretext of saving the trees in a large park and were rewarded with riot police with water cannon and plastic bullets, protesters in Ankara are demonstrating to protect some 3,000 trees from government destruction and will in turn be met with water cannon and plastic bullets. It's not really about the trees.

Rhetorical Flourishes: According to Paul Ryan the GOP will use the upcoming budget discussions as an opportunity to make “common-sense structural long-term reforms of the country’s entitlement programs and tax code”. Translation: In return for agreeing to abandon the mindless across-the-board budget cuts of the sequestration, Ryan & Co will insist on cutting Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid and some farm programs while cutting taxes an equal amount. Because (cue boogeymen) the debt, the debt, the debt...

Tale Of Two Projects: The F-35 fighter jet (which the military does not want) is seven years late and $233 billion over budget. The Republicans love it. The interface to the ACA is going to be about two months late and about $300 million over budget. The Republicans are outraged. The main difference is that the F-35 project leads to all sorts of profits for those who contribute to politicians, while the ACA will benefit the poor.

Geography Test: Thirteen of the seventeen states where a majority of public school students are poor (ie over half qualify for free or reduced school meals) are (a) in the South, (b) Republican controlled. The correct answer is, of course, yes. 
Quoted: “The Federal government and its various agencies have set aside the Bill of Rights as a dead letter, substituted for them a bizarre set of interpretations of law, and either avoid having the courts adjudicate their fascist fantasies or managed to have appointed to the bench unethical or authoritarian judges that will uphold virtually anything they do.”

The End Of Times: For over three years, serious-looking men in expensive suits in Washington have repeatedly warned that a terrible debt crisis was underway and would crush the economy while driving inflation through the roof. And repeatedly this has not happened. They have been wrong every time. And they are wrong this time, too.

No Longer A Threat: For several years medical researchers have been warning that our antibiotic weaponry was becoming compromised and that we were in danger of losing our fight with various infections. So relax. We are no longer facing that danger. The microbes have won and we have reached "the end of antibiotics, period."

Porn O'Graph: Banksters, Inc. 
The Parting Shot:
 Homes on the range...


TulsaTime said...

I love those pictures of Amsterdam. Did you travel outside of the city much or any? I don't doubt that you could spend as long as you wanted there, but everybody likes to take the 'tour' as well, so wonder if that was part of a bigger trip?

It's a shame mr Ryan is not as enthusiastic about common sense military budget reform as he seems to be about the domestic side of expense. The F-35, excess C-130's stuffed into natguard bases, F-22 overruns, Army uniform scandals, excess Nuclear weapons, etc., all offer easy targets for economic savings.

Have we gotten to the point of peak graft? Are there just not enough govt programs now for all the crooks to take a slice of, and be happy?

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

TulsaTime: We spent 15 days in the Netherlands, about 8 too few. We went to many of the 'majors' - Den Haag, Ultrech, Haarlem, Leiden, as well as day rail trips to smaller towns north of A'dam.

It was a destination trip - we've reached the age where returning doesn't seem likely, so we go and stay for two or three weeks in a city or local & have been doing so for about 10 years now and find it (a) cheaper - because we rent an apartment, and (b) better from a more leisurely approach: We 'did' the Rijksmuseum in three visits, the VanGogh in two, all on separate days interleved with non-art excursions.

BTW: This approach started with a visit to Portugal, and you may see some of those pictures too, before I'm cleared to wander in the woods again.