Wednesday, December 18, 2013

SAR #13352

NSA surveillance is not about security, it's about power and control. Edward Snowden.

Supplement This: After reviewing the available evidence – over 25 studies with over 350,000 subjects – researchers have (once again) concluded that vitamin supplements are unneeded, ineffective and a waste of money. Research also shows that knowing this will not change your behavior. 
Wayback Machine: Is Paul Ryan serious or just pandering to the Tea Partiers when he says he wants to use the need to raise the debt ceiling next spring to extort concessions from the Democrats and shake down the country again. Has October really faded from the rear-view mirror already?

Jailhouse Blues: With but 5% of the world's population, the US holds 25% of the world's prisoners. Ah, we're number one again. 
Assault & Battery: A 25 year-old Italian coed is being charged with “sexual violence” and “causing offense to a public official” after she kissed a riot cop's helmet visor during a protest. And Berlusconi isn't in jail?

Words & Deeds: Shell, in dropping its $20 billion gas-to-fluids plant, was admitting that it projects the cost of natural gas to increase – which in turn puts the lie to the cornucopian view of shale gas. Shell CDO Voser also cautioned that the potential for natural gas and oil from shale elsewhere in the world has been "a little bit overhyped".

Shortly: According to Credit Suisse, short term investment results are based on luck, so it pays to hire an investment advisor who is... lucky. And pay him accordingly.

Conform Or Go Quietly: The Rajoy government in Spain is secure enough in its hold over parliament and insecure enough in the public square that they plan to make public dissent a crime. It would ban gathering outside the parliament and most other public buildings, prevent demonstrations on the doorsteps of politicians, fine those “demeaning Spain's image” 600,000 euros and those who take photos of on-duty police 30,000 euros. The government has already extended most police powers to the private security goons sector. And the recession is over and everyone is happy, it says in the fine print.

Numbness: Inflation was a no-show in November and is up just 1.2% for the year. Core inflation (less food and gas) was up 0.2% m/m and 1.7% y/y. Taper? What taper?

Hot Off The Press: The month of November was the hottest since record-keeping began in 1880.

Speak No Evil: Ramzi Binalshibh, a Guantanamo prisoner accused of helping the 9/11 attackers, was removed from his own trial for mentioning the CIA's secret prisons – of which he has first hand knowledge. 
Sides: The Ryan budget, now proudly approved by the Vichy Democrats, feeds the war machine while increasing the load on the lower classes. It cuts the pay of federal workers, cuts food stamps and abolishes unemployment insurance for over 2 million long-term unemployed. It doesn’t raise taxes on the filthy rich, or their corporations, trusts, endowments, and other tax dodges. Too bad 'spineless Democrats' has become a redundancy. These decisions were once a proper subject for discussion in the public square – back before the public square was privatized. The goal of the oligarchs is to grab all the money and limit government spending to things that they like. We should tax the rich at levels that will make this a decent society. It’s us or them. They're winning. 
Noted: Detroit is not an exception; hundreds Of US cities are turning into rotting, decaying hellholes. Jobs and businesses are exiting the cities, and leaving poverty, crime and desperation behind.

Good Citizens: Boeing, which is in the process of blackmailing union workers and seeking bribes from state and local governments, has announced it intends to return $10 billion to its shareholders via a share-buyback program. 
Worm, Turned: GlaxoSmithKline says it will no longer pay doctors to promote its products. Take two aspirin and call the Justice Department.

The Parting Shot:
Bell Tower,  Convento de Cristo, Tomar, Portugal


Anonymous said...

Re: Vitamins - notably the reports about the study do not mention those, like myself, with compromised health. I have a compromised duodenum as well as anemia and worked with my doctor to find effective supplementation and it worked. Therefore I consider any blanket statement that supplements are a waste of time and $$ to be rather irresponsible.

Thom Foolery said...

RE: Vitamins - This was the news story hullaballoo in my office yesterday. The one part of the story that was, and is, overlooked, was this salient detail: "the diet of well-nourished adults..."

How many adults (USAmerican, that is) do you know who are well-nourished? If you are like me, most folks with whom you work down Diet Coke with their double Big Macs and who wouldn't know a fresh green, leafy vegetable if they were married to it.

I get that the supplement industry is like any other industry - not inherently trustworthy - but the idea that a nation of obese, malnourished WalMart shoppers needs to fear vitamin supplementation more than McNuggets is rich.

(And do the vitamins we enrich milk and flour with do anything? If so, how are they different from the vitamins people take as supplements?)

Drew Dowdell said...

Supplement this: Thanks! You reminded me to take my vitamin.

A blanket statement like this doesn't do anyone any favors. I take Vitamin D from October to April because Pittsburgh is so cloudy during those months, and arriving to my office environment before and after the sun goes by means that I get very tired, extreme, crushing fatigue.

They spent how many millions on a study that makes blanket statements that don't apply to every situation? I spent $16 for a 3 month supply of Vitamin D and I feel better. Placebo or not, who got the better deal?

Jesse said...

Thank you for the photos.

I always like them. I thought the bell tower picture was set up very nicely. Interesting mix of texture and color.

Jesse said...

And just so you don't think I am pandering, I am resisting the urge to straighten it in photoshop.

Well actually I did try it and it ruins the effect. lol.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Jesse, photoshopping my pictures would be... redundant.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Drew has a very valid point about "well-nourished Americans". My wife points out that calcium is... etc.