Monday, January 20, 2014

SAR #14020

"Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences." - Robert Louis Stevenson

Gift: There will be an orgy of delight on the right this week, reveling in the President's concession that smoking marijuana is “a bad habit and a vice...” which he does not think is any “more dangerous than alcohol.” Enough to make you wonder what Obama is trying to draw attention away from.

If... Then... A Port Authority official appointed by Gov. Christie says that – if he is given immunity from prosecution – he “has a story to tell” authorities. But it's quite possible his memory is fading fast and no offer of immunity has been made. Yet.

Demonstration Demonstration: Protesters protesting the Ukrainian President's new anti-protest legislation were met by police who explained the error of their ways to them.

Situational Ethics: The US is investigating photos published by that reportedly show Marines burning the bodies of Iraqi insurgents during the combat in Falluja back in 2004. Anybody remember the Highway of Death during the first Gulf War? Where “. No attempt was made by U.S. military command to distinguish between military personnel and civilians on the "highway of death" where upwards of 10,000 essentially defenseless Iraqis were killed during 120 hours of continuous US air strikes. A famous victory.

Odds on the Odds: Egypt's military junta claims their new constitution was approved by a 98% to 2% margin. The two percent will be hunted down and re-educated. The 62% who didn't vote are relatively safe. For now. 
Feel Safer Now? Last August Microsoft was able to reach out and remove a particularly nasty piece of malware from millions of computers during an 'update' of the operating system. During such updates Microsoft can, and does, peruse your computer. But only with your best interests at heart, it says here in the press release.

Happy Days: Turkish PM Erdogan has put down a “judicial coup” by firing top executives in the banking and telecommunications regulatory agencies because they were investigating and reporting on the corruption among Erdogan's inner circle. He had already fired thousands of police officers, and dozens of prosecutors. Erdogan, of course, is completely innocent; just ask him.

Why? Hackers have managed to turn your refrigerator into a weapon against you and others, by inserting malware into one of those new-fangled appliances that talk to the other appliances in the house. Why my refrigerator needs to talk to my stove and the toaster is a mystery to me.

Who's Who? How much less free would we be without Daniel Ellsberg (Pentagon Papers), Mark Klein (Room 641a), Dana Priest (CIA Blacksites), Mark Felt (Watergate Coverup), and Tamm, Risen & Lichtblau (Bush era NSA warrantless eavesdropping). And, yeah. Edward Snowden. Heroes all.

Bricks Without Straw: There's a meme getting started – thanks to BP – that claims we can have endless GDP growth with ever declining energy inputs. A neat trick, but it depends on mirrors. Specifically the claim is that we are producing the same or more value (GDP increase) with less energy inputs – more bank for the barrel. It assumes that we can eventually teach the mule to work without food and water. Ah, yeah, if you can eat bytes and bits and travel throught the internet this just might work. But if you insist on having real food and actual transportation, lots of luck.

Deep In The Heart Of: Public funds are being spent so that public-school students enrolled in Texas’ largest charter school program are learning that the fossil record does not support evolution, which is a 'dogma' and not factual. And the rest of the usual creationist, anti-science hoo-ha. And in History the kids learn that feminism has forced women to depend on the government for support like “a surrogate husband.” And the Fed started both world wars
Porn O'Graph: Investment opportunity.

The Parting Shot:
 Azure Vase Sponge, Callyspongia plicifera.


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

chances are your phrase 'a famous victory' is intended to echo robert southey's 1796 poem 'after blenheim' - which can be perused at

jfwellspdx said...

I was in the Army during the first one and participated in the liberation of Kuwait City. I saw the Highway of Death in person a week or two after it happened. It was horrifying. Almost 23 years ago and I can still see it in my mind's eye like it was yesterday, and I hate that.

kwark said...

RE "Bricks Without Straw" They must be confusing their public message about economics with the dirty little secret said growth applies only the the incomes of their senior management. But that's OK 'cause those folks are creating jobs and keeping the rest of us moving forward . . . right?