Monday, February 17, 2014

SAR #14048

Ignorance is seldom a valid option.

Lies, Damned Lies and Tennessee Republicans: Governor Haslam, proud to preside over the state with the nation's fifth lowest median household income, said a 'yes' vote to let the UAW represent workers at Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant would result in the company losing its tax incentives. This is not true. Senator Corker said that unionizing the plant would lead to Volkswagen moving new production to Mexico. This is not true. What is true is that Volkswagen very much wanted the UAW to organize its workers. Part of their corporate culture is to have worker panels in each plant helping improve the product. And nearly half of the parent company's board is made up of labor union members – who are likely to prefer putting pants where unionization is accepted. Not in Tennessee, where fear and stupidity rule.

Day Late, Dollar Short: The Guardian asks, "Will US civil liberties survive the Occupy trial?" No, and the Occupy trial won't resurrect them, either.

One And Done: Now that we've removed Saadam and established democracy and got the oil wells pumping again (well, one out of three ain't bad), declared victory and gone home (okay, except for secret operations and all that), the folks once known as al-Qaeda now control ever larger chunks of Iraq's Anwar province, still controlling Fulujah as well as stopping and 'taxing' Shiites while letting Sunnies have free passage on the highways to the Jordanian and Syrian borders as well as spreading their control into other adjoining provinces. 
Job Opening: The US Army is looking for young patriots to shift through Facebook and Twitter to "identify extremist influence" and identify potential terrorists for Special Operations Command. You, you and you, step forward and volunteer.

Money Makes The World Go Round: President Obama thinks that a billion bucks spent on “new technologies” will help communities prepare for climate change. Note that it is not to slow or reverse disastrous climate change, but simply to get used to it. In the same vein, he promises to give money to drought stricken farmers to help them with their economic losses. At least he doesn't pretend the federal government can make it rain. Doesn't matter, the GOP most assuredly will not let the increased spending become law, especially if Obama might get some credit for it. Think of it as a reign dance – I'm the boss and I've got to pretend to do something.

Tea Leaves: A National Science Foundation survey found that 1 out of 4 Americans believe the sun revolves around the earth, less than half knew that humans developed from earlier species of animals, and, in the 18 - 24 year old bracket, 66% believe that astrology is 'scientific'. Maybe they need something - if only the fourth star on the left - to explain the sorry state of their lives.

The Easy Button: Instead of all this he-said she-said in the cable network squabble, why not simply turn cable into a public utility? Why not make universal broadband a basic right?

Buy Design: There's an apparently indestructible myth, at least among the rich, that the rich get the big buck because they deserve them, as rewards for their exceptional skill and hard work at screwing the rest of us. That's nice, but it doesn't explain the CEOs who make big bucks while running their companies into the ground, nor does it explain why European CEOs can do better jobs for about 10% of what overpaid US CEOs get. Is it because the rich rig the game? Yes. 
Assigned Reading: What health care should be like.

Democracy In Action: In Turkey, a legislator broke his finger breaking the nose of another representative as Prime Minister Erdogan won control of the judicial system, the better to quash investigation of the rampant corruption in his regime. Ah, democracy.

Out, Damned Spot: Missouri, once proud to be the 'show me' state, no longer wants children shown anything that smacks of evolution. Currently their Republicans are trying to pass a bill prohibiting schools from teaching a child about evolution unless the kid brings a permission slip from home. The bill would also let each parent decide if a particular textbook could be used to teach their little darlings. Next year the far right is going to try to eliminate multiplication and long division from math classes. 
Porn O'Graph: The Red Queen does North Dakota.
 Graysby, Cephalopholis cruentata.


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

re Assigned Reading (on the French Health Care System) - over twenty years ago i read a book by a health sociologist on his personal experience of having both cancer and a heart attack in the same year - he wrote "my American readers may be surprised that I don't mention the monetary impact of all this - here in Canada we spend tax money on health care - i can't think of a better use for it"

he didn't explicitly say "instead of making enemies by killing foreigners who have never harmed us" - filling that in was left as an exercise for the reader

TulsaTime said...

Hoping todays is not on hold while you goof off in the hospital again.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Nope, not goofing off in the hospital. Just goofing off. When it came time to put SAR to bed (or shove it out the door to First Reader) President's (or Presidents') day was a flop and rather than present a piddling pudding I just had another glass of red and read.

kwark said...

Re Money Makes the World go Round: I don't know about the spending. . . there are some very wealthy farmers in California that have to get their subsidy, either in the form of water or, these days, drought bailout. The whining for subsidized water from farmers in California's Central Valley is constant but with the drought I'm sure "relief" will be forthcoming. Remember, they're the deserving hard-luck folks. Just because.