Misremembered: We celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr's birth to commemorate all he did for racial justice. What we forget is that only after he started advocating economic justice for the poor that he was gunned down.
Subscriptions: Remember last week when you opened up the 'invoice' from Better Barbecuing that reminded you to pay for a subscription that you didn't order and didn't want? Well go check the front porch and see if Amazon has delivered something it thinks you might want to order. Anticipatory forestallment. Based on the NSA-like quantity of data Amazon (and Google and on and on) have about you and your habits, Amazon says it can box and ship products to you so that they are on their way before you order them. Let's wait and see who has to pay for the returns. Or who is so spacey they think they must have ordered the stuff and so they pay for it. Oh, wait, it's already been charged against the credit card you have on file. Convenient.
Ah, Progress: When a priest in Pennsylvania was arrested for grabbing a man's genitals, the Archdiocese was quick to point out that the “arrest did not involve a minor.”
If You Give A Mouse A Basic Income: Research shows that if you give the poor enough money to live on, their lives are better, the lives of their children are better, crime goes down in their communities while educational achievement rises. Health improves and mental health improves tremendously. And it saves the government money in the long run by reducing the need for other social service spending.
For the Love of Money: We don’t give deference to people who hoard Kleenex boxes or old newspapers. Why is money different? - Lambert Strether
A Sweet Deal: About 40% of US healthcare dollars go to treat conditions caused by too much sugar in the American diet. That's about a trillion dollars a year. Want to guess how many taxpayer dollars the US government spends on price supports and other programs to enrich the sugar industry? (Don't count whatever our isolation of Cuba costs.)
Innovation: Those clever folks in Silicon Valley are applying all their creatively to preventing the G20 from closing the international tax loopholes that allow them to make a farce of national tax laws. They claim that taxes would blunt t
Self-hoisting Petard: The NSA doesn't seem to like it when their view of the way the world should be – no secrets, everything and everybody monitored 24/7 – is applied to them. Just ask Edward Snowden.
The Wheels On The Bus: the richest 85 people on the globe – who between them control as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population put together – could squeeze onto a single London double-decker bus. The top 1% have $110 trillion in assets. That's 46% of all the wealth in the world. And that's not right. There is absolutely no way to morally justify such rapaciousness, not while a single child goes to bed hungry, anywhere in the world.
Overreach: The headlines proclaim that Deutsche Bank suffered a pre-tax loss of 1.15 billion euros in 4Q2013. What they don't mention is that despite all the fines and private settlements and litigation losses – amounting to 2.3 billion euros - the bank ended up with a 2.07 billion euro profit, up from less than a billion last year and about 300 million the year before. Poor babies.
Freedom To / Freedom From: Some Arizona Republican legislators are pushing a bill that would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT people, unmarried women and non-Christians. The claim this “modest clarification” is needed to clarify the state’s religious-freedom law
Perspective: It might help clarify things if you recall that the government that surveilled Martin Luther King, Jr in attempt to destroy his effectiveness is the same bunch that is telling us now that we should trust them. J. Edgar didn't die, he just moved to Fort Meade.
Porn O'Graph: I can get it for you retail...
The Parting Shot: