Wednesday, December 11, 2013

SAR #13345

The quality of our wonders is decreasing.

Economic History: Wall Street bankers got bailed out, pensioners get thrown to the wolves. In the Us, the wealthiest 1% have about $1.3 million in their retirement accounts. Those at the 90th percentile have put away $239,000 and those at the 50th percentile have only $2,500 to retire on. Much below that, nada. Most of the people living in poverty have jobs, just not ones that pay a living wage. 
Collision Course: Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich insists the nation must deepen its trade ties with Russia, not the EU as hundreds of thousands of protesters continue to demand. In Kiev's main square the police, after hours of a fierce pushing and shoving confrontation with protesters, pulled back and the Interior Minister announced that "there will be no dispersal. No one is encroaching on the rights of citizens to peaceful protest." Or, apparently, to their right to bring down the government.

Just for the Health of It: Research confirms that regular exercise is the most effective single thing you can do to reduce your risk of dementia in later life. Research has also documented that knowing this is unlikely to reform anyone.

Making Friends and Influencing People: The US is threatening to cut off financial aid to Pakistan if the Pakistani government doesn't prevent its citizens freely assembling and presenting their grievances to the government – especially if they are objecting to unannounced death from the sky. The US claims the right to defend its freedoms, even at the cost of those of another country.

Asked & Unanswered: “Why can't Ahmid Karsai be more blasé about the US killing Afghan children - like us the US? 
Spite: Last month the Democrats imposed changes to the Senate filibuster rules that would make it harder for filibusters to be used to delay or deny confirmation of executive branch nominees and most selections for the federal judiciary. Now Senate Republicans are using delaying motions to delay approval of over 70 presidential appointments. They cannot filibuster, but they can be pissy. Very, very pissy.

Them That Got, Keep: The US dumped the last of its GM stock and took a loss of $10.7 billion on the bailout, even though GM is sitting on $27 billion in cash. What about one of those cash-back deals?

Hint: Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan has warned that the country will tolerate "no provocations against the national will" ahead of the elections. No, no, they're not having an election to find out what 'the national will is, but to confirm it.
Free Market Idiotology: The Republicans have blocked a bill aimed at prohibiting plastic guns and those made on 3D printers from being carried onto airplanes. Seems it would inhibit free enterprise...

Lecture: “Understanding Enlightenment ideals requires understanding those places where ideals and humanity meet. If you call yourself a lover of democracy, but have not studied the black diaspora, your deeds mock your claims. Understanding requires more than sloganeering, and parroting—it requires confronting our failures. ...the overall failure of American conservatives to forthrightly deal with South Africa's white-supremacist regime, coming so soon after their failure to deal with the white-supremacist regime in their own country, is part of their heritage, and thus part of our heritage.” Ta-Nehisi Coates.

The Parting Shot:
Palácio da Pena, Sintra, PT

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