Monday, November 11, 2013

SAR #13315

 We dismiss that which we cannot accept.

In Memoriam: Today we honor our veterans, those who served their country, the one that was founded by and for “We the people...” The best was we could possibly honor the living and the dead would be to write our Congresscritters and demand they put a stop to the Trans Pacific Partnership, for if it is passed, the sovereignty of the People of these United States will be but a memory. They pretend it's a 'trade agreement', but it is not. It establishes a new regulatory system that will grant corporations the right to ignore the environmental, labor, financial, health and other rules and regulations of any country and to demand payment from such countries for potential profits lost while overthrowing the rules set by once soverign nations. This agreement has been negotiated in secret by representatives of the corportions; no part of the process has been shared with either Congress nor the public. This sounds impossibly vile, but is precisely what Obama wants “fast track” authority to sign. He does not yet have that authority, but a bill granting him that power is ready, and both the D's and the R's will hear and heed their masters' voice. And it isn't the voice of We the People...

If You Have To Ask: Is Google assisting the NSA in developing psychological profiles of web users? 
Pragmatists: One thing you can say for many of the nation's largest employers – they know a good deal when they lobby for one. Walmart and McDonald's (and many, many others) do not pay their employees a living wage because they know the taxpayer will keep them fed and housed through food stamps, Medicaid, housing and heating grants and other social services. At no cost to Walmart, McDonald's...

Protect & Serve: The Director of Naval Intelligence and the Director Of Naval Intelligence Operations – both admirals have had their security clearances suspended as part of a major bribery scandal involving a foreign defense contractor. Military intelligence has always been an oxymoron, no?

Adjust Seasonings: The austerity measures imposed on the country so far have pushed the nation's GDP about 7 below what it would have been without the 2007 – 2011 recession. That's a $1.2 trillion we will essentially never get back. Since 2008 US unemployment went from 4% to more than 10% and has declined ever so slowly to 7.3%. And they want us to swallow some more of that austerity stuff... “What passes these days for sound policy is in fact a form of economic self-mutilation, which will cripple America for many years to come.” 
Henry VIII: The US ambassador to Spain has assured Spain that whatever the NSA does is legal because the NSA does it “for security reasons never for economic reasons.” Never ever, cross my heart.

Fun With Numbers: The goodish news was the reported 2.8% growth in GDP in 3Q2013. The not-so goodish news was that final sales were up just 2.0% and consumption was a dreary 1.5%, which means most of the goodness of the goodish news came from inventory accumulation – which will be a drag on the next quarter. Spending on health care is falling so fast that the projected humongous growth thereof previously projected will not show up. But don't tell the deficit hawks and debt doomsters.

Apples & Oranges: The European Commission says that it will not relieve Karel De Gucht of his duties as EC trade chief simply because of his tax fraud problems. After all, 900,000 in unpaid taxes is a personal failing and fraud in negotiating trade deals is a professional goal.

Beginnings: Why does JPMorgan still have a banking license? An excellent question, but why stop with JPMorgan? Make a list of all the to big to jail who have paid immense fines for fraud of one type or another and then explain why any of them should be allowed to be “banks” of any sort. Or even still in business.

The Parting Shot:


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

today would have been kurt vonnegut's 91st birthday

the text of a college commencement speech he actually gave, which jocularly refers to the commencement address innacurately attributed to him -

vonnegut was intimately acquainted with war and his speech is very relevant to today's holiday, in my opinion - he identifies himself as a humanist, but quotes a well-known religious figure

it was within my lifetime that the name of today's holiday was changed from 'armistice day' - one that celebrates the end of fighting - to its current name

as each season has a holiday in honor of war except winter - memorial day, july 4, veterans day - i sarcastically propose completion of the yearly cycle with a rebranding - 'warrior valentines day' - cupid uses arrows, after all

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

I much prefer 'Armistice Day' if only for the symmetry of "the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month," and the futility of the crusade to end all wars which it commemorates.

Two tours in Vietnam make me officially a veteran. Don't feel like one, it was (a) a job and (b) the price of citizenship. Don't understand all the nonsense about "our heroes" who are but another generation of mercenaries.

The picture is of Revolutionary War graves - maybe those guys had some idea what they were fighting for, but it's doubtful.

Sorry not to have caught Kurt's birthday.

TulsaTime said...

I have to wonder why any nation would believe assurances from an ambassador, or the president for that matter, about the NSA. Or perhaps they just want to see what is being offered in the way of a fictional explanation, just so they can see what sort of fools we think they are.

I am not optimistic about the possibility for forward progress in the economy. Even without the stimulus of the usual level of federal spending, the deflationary influences are massive. I saw someone had a number of over a trillion for the hole in the housing market from all the overpriced crap that has reset to reality. Add in the fraudulent MBS that were created out of thin air, and there is a big hole of dark matter where GDP used to be.

We are going to need some special class warfare taxes to recover from this. If the 2014 cycle gives back the house to dems, it might be time for some surtaxes to be added to those .01 percenters. Sort of like the clawbacks they talked about to pull back bonuses from the financial heathen.